Thursday, January 12, 2012

aerial scent new

Posted by Picasa Writing in the sky.

This must be the third or fourth year in succession that I have drawn attention to the powerful scent of the Sarcoccoca shrub which flowers at this time of year. Its unobtrusive white flowers have an astonishing perfume. As my plant book says "you smell them before you see them." The shrub in question is in the garden of a house in the passage called Belgrove which leads from Little Mount Sion to The Grove. Every year I forget the name  of the plant and have to look it up again. Fortunately now a bookmark in The Botanical Garden leads me directly to it and reminds me that it is a member of the box family and originates in The Himalayas. I have in the past tried unsuccesfuly to describe the scent. My best attempt goes back to the time before I had identified its source, when I fancied that someone had a horse nearby. The smell of a stable, straw and of the horse iteself after exercise still seems to fit the bill.

A small child, just at the walking stage, is introduced by a group of adults to a push chair in which a new baby lies swaddled in blankets.  "It's a baby," says one of the grown-ups, "your brother." After briefly satisfying its curiousity the child runs off to investigate  more attractive occurences.

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