Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I think I'm in love now...and my apology to Mr. Squirrel.

YES! Two years later and I finally have them in my possession! The beautiful- excrutiatingly sweet and citrus fragrance causing me to walk out my front door 30 times a day just for a sniff- tiny and perfectly formed star covered- Daphne Odora!! Words can not describe my love for this shrub.

Were you expecting me to talk about my love for my husband or kids? :) I love them too, but this bush has been calling my name for two years, and now I finally have it. It took me about 9 months to figure out what type of plant I was looking for, I had just smelled a twig someone put in a vase at the hospital but no one knew what it was. Then it took a couple months to realize they aren't sold really after March due to their early flowering, so then I waited all summer and winter- but NOW, it's MINE. My kids are doing the same thing, no one can help themselves! We just keep going back out there to walk past the Daphnes and BREATHE in God's amazing creativity. Love it, love it. The absolutely best part is the little Japanese variety has only a few blooms and tons of buds left, and the big shrub hasn't even started to offer up it's beautiful and fragrant secrets. The next couple of weeks all I am going to do is walk back and forth past them to enjoy the intrigue while it lasts.

My friend Nicole went to the nursery with me and was just as shocked as I was when I first saw a winter Daphne. No one would imagine the little green bush with tiny little star flowers could smell so delicious. If I was rich, I would buy every single person I know a Daphne Odora, plant it next to their door and then reap the benefits of being "the best friend in the world". As it is, I am not rich, so I will just have to settle for telling everyone I can about these delightful little bushes and BEG them to go to Shorty's or Yard and Garden to buy one.

I know- why would I know about both garden centers having Daphne? That would be because obsessed people such as myself should not be allowed to have days off. I went to Yard and Garden to sniff, then to Shorty's to check out what they offered- picked out my bigger Daphne Odora Marginata, then back to Yard and Garden to get the smaller but more agressive growing Daphne Odora Zuiko Nishik. You see, I couldn't decide which type would suite me better, and I thought, why not try both? The Marginata is the old standard, and the one I recognize, the Nishik looks very similar and smells as delicious, but does not have variegated leaves and (according to the backyardgardener.com) seems to be hardier and grows faster. The blooms also seem slightly more pink and bigger than the older variety.

Ahhhh...spring, come quickly. I couldn't resist any longer and also planted some of my containers with lovely spring colors, but will I regret it when this wicked winter decides to freeze one more time? Oh, please, don't freeze anymore! Let my trees burst into bloom, my flowers be warm, and the ground start to smell like spring.

It probably doesn't help that I am reading this kind of stuff- I should try to control myself and not bust out the poems until March:

"See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land." Song of Solomon 2:11-12

"Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil." A Prayer in Spring Robert Frost 1915

Dear Enemy Squirrel, (long story, I will have to share it sometime)

As much as your presence grates on me because you INSIST on eating the bulbs and roots of my flowers, I do feel guilty for digging up your trove of walnuts yesterday. Unbeknown-st to me, you had buriedyour tasties in a large wood planter, and when I was softening the soil to put in my hyacinths, tulips and primrose- out they went. Forgive me, squirrel. You won't go hungry, I put them under the quince bush.
Your new gardener

P.S. I know this property made a perfect hideout since it has been empty for a few years. But now that this home is occupied, please move your things to the neighbor's yard. I fully intend to dig and uproot every square foot, so it is quite likely I will discover another of your secrets and we both will be frustrated- me with guilt, you with an empty stomach.


KEI said...

Renee, you are so funny! Thanks for the fun Spring colors and tell me more about this wonderful plant you spoke of? Can it tolerate hot summers? We lost a lot of our plants this fall when we had about 5 days of frost and freezing temps! I really want to find some that smell yummy, so I'll be researching it for sure! Thanks!

Jody Benson; Clark County Horse said...

I know there was a good reason we were friends. Daphne.
I adore Daphne. I may just have to come and sniff blooms some day.

I had two of them at our last house but haven’t had a ‘safe’ place for one here. Actually a dear friend brought me one several years ago but the dogs didn’t like it.

It is good to have several because they occasionally commit Daphnecide. Just up and die for no reason so always have a spare.

I grew up with a huge Daphne bush outside my bedroom window. The very best smell in the world. I have never found a perfume or house fragrance in ‘Daphne’. Boy are they missing the boat.

If you come out some morning to find a small twig missing from your plant, don’t some here looking for it…… :)