Wednesday's Visual Treat - Day 3 / Flowers That Make Me Swoon

photocourtesyofuprightandstowed.typepad.com/weblog/images 
Peeps,  

It's day three of the peep-show (of visual treats) devoted to the theme of "Beautiful Flowers that make me Swoon," and by the number of emails received, it seems that flowers have the uncanny ability to trigger memories, generate passionate conversation, evoke emotions, and in the case of our group of design-obsessed peeps, prompted many to share their thoughts upon reading the posted daily treat.  Of the many emails that I received in response to yesterday's posting of cosmos, the following arrived late this evening from one of my favorite peeps who wrote:  

Cosmos… I reflect on the wild beauty of these little wispy gems and embibe, almost drunkenly, of their carefree splendor!

Don't you just love the poetic language and the sentiment expressed;  it crowned my day and made this whole f/blog thing worth the effort and an endeavor to continue.  Thanks a million!!

While I struggled on Sunday evening to narrow down the list of flowers that would be presented this week, I had very little problem in placing the gardenia on the short list.  It was a favorite of my mother's, and a plant that we were unable to grow successfully in our garden at home.  In my eagerness to please and make things pretty, I probably over-watered and drowned the tiny bush which gradually turned yellow and died to the chagrin of my 11-year old self.   While not especially hardy to our area (zone 6) unless kept in a container and brought indoors to the garden room during the winter rooms, folks who live a little further south have the opportunity to revel all year in the beauty of the gardenia, a native of China much beloved everywhere for its graceful form and glossy, green leaves; and of course adored and treasured for its intoxicating aroma.  Jasmine has long been used for body oils and in the composition of perfumes such as Marc Jacobs' DAISY and NAMESAKE, CHANEL'S GARDENIA, GARDENIA by Elizabeth Taylor, JUNGLE GARDENIA by TUVACHE, and Kate Middleton's alleged favorite:  WHITE GARDENIA PETALS by ILLUMINUM.  Interestingly, gardenia is not used in the production of men's colognes.

Gardenias are quite popular in Mexico where I remember seeing and smelling it in the courtyards of my parents' favorite hotel in Chetumal City.  There is something magical about walking up to the white blossom, reaching up and then slightly parting the petals as the nose is guided to inhale the heady, sweet, floral-scented notes of the jasmine flower.  And in that moment, for a split second and then another, emotion overcomes reason, and sensation triumphs over thought. In a place outside of time, beauty reigns {momentarily/precariously/joyously} and if one chooses to inhale again, the excursion in pure beauty offered through the olfactory sense is repeated without any variance. Again and again...

Enjoy the day,
Shane

PS: Jungle Gardenia was given away by Bob Barker as a consolation prize to the losers on the daytime quiz show Truth Or Consequences from 1950-1958.

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