There are few things as intoxicating to me as breathing in the scent of a flower, and of all flowers that give off scent, gardenias are one of my favorites, especially since they always make me think of my grandmother and her lovely backyard. In the summer, it smells of honeysuckle, jasmine, and her gardenias, which she grows better than anyone I know. Something in the water where she lives, or perhaps in the plants themselves, make the clippings she takes and puts in a vase sprout roots within a few days.
While living in the South may have its share of hot days, we at least get to experience the delights of plants that cannot survive farther north, gardenias being one of them. My parents live only two and a half hours north, yet my mother has never been able to keep any of the rootings my grandmother has given her alive.
So I felt like I'd been given a real treasure today when my grandmother handed me the gardenia blossom as I sat outside in the sun crocheting. As I set the blossom down on my piece of handiwork, I was struck by the way the white blossom looked against the lettuce green of my yarn, and ran to get my camera. Such moments must be captured quickly; soon enough the blossom will wilt in its baby food jar and only dried petals will remain, but every time I look at these photos I will smell that blossom once again.