The Power of Fragrance

After my post in praise of roses the other week, today I demonstrate my fickle and inconstant nature by lauding the mock orange and lime blossoms all around me at this time of year.

A few hundred miles north makes a big difference, because the lime trees were in full bloom down in Camden a month ago. I have been sniffing the air daily ever since waiting for Leeds trees to catch up.

I can’t decide though whether I prefer lime blossom or mock orange. Both are heavenly. Maybe the lime has the edge, because it is always so unexpected. There’s no showy blossom. It’s understated elegance all the way.

Not that mock orange is overstated. The blooms on the tree waving outside the skylights of my home studio space are simple, waxy perfection. Whether backed by the deep evergreen of holly or laurel, or framed by blue sky, it’s a sight to gladden the heart and raise the spirits.

I particularly appreciate the mock orange’s fight for survival. It’s a pretty ancient specimen, and four years ago looked pathetically bare and bedraggled. I took the decision to carry out a brutal pruning exercise, and have spent the years since watching anxiously for signs of new growth. Patience this year is rewarded with magnificence.

Move over roses. There’s stiff competition over the next week.


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