I was taking my dogs for a walk yesterday afternoon and was stopped dead in my tracks by this glorious, fresh, sweet smell that I had almost forgotten. This was a smell that took me completely back to my childhood. I had this huge overwhelming feeling of being in both my grandmother’s garden and my mother’s yard.
I was walking right by a giant Sweet Shrub bush in full bloom. It was just beautiful and smelled so incredibly sweet. I couldn’t just let all those blooms sit there. Of course, I had to look both ways, pray the owner didn’t see me, and carefully plucked a bloom. It went straight to my nose. For the rest of my walk I would lift the bloom up, take a big whiff and simply smile. If you don’t know about this wonderful plant, maybe you aren’t from the South or aren’t much into gardening, I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s a fresh, distinct smell that isn’t quite like any other bloom.
I love how such a simple thing, a smell, can sometimes knock your socks off. That small thing can bring back memories at such an overwhelming pace that, at times, cause me to lose my breath. When I was growing up my grandmother lived on a farm. I spent a lot of time staying with my grandparents and outdoors either playing or helping around the gardens and farm. My grandmother was the old fashioned kind of gardner that planted what she loved, where she loved it. There was no set pattern or set of rules. She also gardened for food so along side her day lilies, irises, shasta daisies and roses where plum trees, pear trees, strawberries, grapevines and rows and rows of vegetables. There was always something growing and something that needed tending.
Right outside of the back door was the thick, fragrant Sweet Shrub. You could smell the sweetness the moment you opened the door to push open the screen door. It was a lovely way to exit the house and enter the outdoors.
As I walked yesterday, carrying the sweet bloom, I had a wonderful time reminiscing to those days following my grandmother around her yard and gardens. My mother also had a sweet shrub bush near the back of the property in her yard. One of the things she loved to do was simply walk around her yard and look at her flowers and plants. She would check on her blueberry bushes, maybe take a magnolia bloom to put in the house, stop by the sweet shrub for a smell, see if the squirrels had eaten all of her plums, make sure the tomatoes got enough water and ask me if I wanted to divide some of her day lilies. Those were simple walks in our yard and simple conversations. However, they pleased my mother and the memory makes me happy.
I am now looking for my own sweet shrub bush to plant in our yard.
Do you have smells that knock your socks off? Do smells also bring back memories to you? Are you familiar with a sweet shrub?
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