Friday, 5 February 2016

led home by the nose

At this time of the year, walking home of a chilly evening, you can suddenly find yourself moving through blocks of scent so solid it is almost visible in the air. Sarcococca is the usual culprit, though sometimes it's Chimonathus or Mahonia or Hamamelis. Late as it is, there's no time to stop; dark as it is, it would be impolite to peer over walls and into gardens; cold as it is, I'm unwilling to linger; so these patches of scent remain mysterious, momentary, instantly lost.

Try as I might, I can't get any of these delicate, early-year flowerers to grow in my garden. I've tried; and things have died.

The only thing my garden smells of is damp.


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