Thursday, August 23, 2012


In a flaring celebration for all the world’s noses, and, and a bow of apology to those whose summers have been smellimited by rogue colds, I present to you OLFACTION WITH SATISFACTION: THE TOP TEN snifty SMELLS FROM our 2012 GARDEN 10 Freshly mowed grass. Who can catch the whiff without being transported to the days when your mom said, “How did you get those grass stains?” 9 Green onion. We step on it as we reach to pull the sheets from the clothesline. There’s a combination for you—tangy green onion and the laundry after the breeze. 8 Tulips. It’s never quite warm enough to stay outside in the early days of spring, so it may be that the fragrance gives us the first inkling that a blossom has decided to open. 7 Peonies. The white ones, lovely! The pink ones, fabulous! The red ones—the faint reminder of toilet water. Without their pink and white cousins, they’d never make it to this list. 6 Geranium. Some people say the pungent geranium reminds them of the school days when their teacher would pinch the leaves that grew lanky in the classroom. Geranium reminds me of Mom’s kitchen window, right behind the chair where I sat to eat fried chicken, or roast beef, or rice pudding laced with cinnamon. 5 Dill. Our dill leans over the sidewalk. It beckons when you bump it as you pass. It rewards you when you pick a sprig. The kitchen fills with delight when you boil it with the new potatoes, or the beets, or the beans. 4 Tomato vine. The tomato vine treats you to a promise every time you water it. 3 Rose. This year the yellow ones smell best. Today there are 17 on a single bush. Oh why does it have to be so near the end of August? 2Calendula. Rub the leaves and your nose could almost convince you to believe you were touching a lemon. 1.6 Marigold. They say bugs hate that smell, but I don’t. 1.5 Stocks. 1.4 Heliotrope. 1.3 Peas in the shell. 1.2 Carrots. Rub them before you sniff. 1.1 PANSIES. And the #1 smell in our garden for 2012 just came out today. 1 ACIDANTHRA!!!!!!! Acidanthra flowers call me out to play. “Don’t worry,” they say. “It only feels like fall. Feeling like fall is not the same as actually being fall. There are still a few summer days left.”

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