Friday, November 23, 2007

Sweet Jessamine

The scent of this Orange Jessamine is like Opium - the perfume not the drug. It is so rich and powerful that on humid summer nights it fills the house sometimes to the point of nausea. It always reminds me of Paddington when I first arrived in Sydney and lived in a Terrace off Five Ways. The sticky heat was a real shock for a girl who had spent the last three years in Dunedin - not a city renowned for warmth or sunshine.

This bush is by the back door and is one of a few exotics we have in the mostly Native garden. Some were here when we came, some like the cabbage tree and Pohutakawa, were planted as reminder of past lives, and some were planted by my Mum when she lived here 10 years ago. Of the introduced species they are the most precious.

Down the side of the house are two large roses, a deep Crimson Red and a flowsy Pink with a lovely perfume. They were surrounded by concrete and fibro but still flowered profusely every year. The concrete boots are gone and instead they have a mulched bed with regular doses of Cow poo - I wonder if such kindness may reduce their hardiness. I value and admire their tenacity and strongly repel any suggestions that they be replaced by something less prickly, as they do have a mean thorn.

The garden is also productive; cumquats, mulberries, strawberries for the birds, beans and just today we saw our first Apple!

This is on a tree we called Lady Penelope because it a triple grafted mix of Pink Lady, Royal Gala and Granny Smith. I don't know what variety this first fruit is but it will definitely not be picked until it is well and truly ready. Its close proximity to the bird feeder and the rowdy group of Cockatoos that have recently moved in do concern me a bit but I'm hoping they haven't got a taste for Apples, for their sakes.

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