Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fragrance and memory

"When nothing else subsists from the past, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered· the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls· bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory" -Marcel Proust "The Remembrance of Things Past"

When I was a child I spent many hours at the home of my mother's closest kin - a foster aunt - who owned (with her husband) a nursery and florist business.  The nursery greenhouse was attached to the retail office, and we were allowed to wander through the greenhouse.  I always loved the smell of the dirt and the flowers and I now remember that they grew a lot of snapdragons.  When I started a flower garden of my own, some of the first plants I put in the ground were snapdragons.  I wasn't sure what the emotional appeal was until I smelled them and all those memories came back.  A few weeks ago I saw a banner on another garden blog with a picture of a daffodil and the words "I'm a daffodil. What flower are you."  The "What flower are you" was a link that took me to a quiz to determine what flower I am. (See it on my sidebar.)  It was a delightful surprise to discover that I'm a snapdragon - even if it is just for fun.  For the origin of the common name "snapdragon" and a little more about these beautiful plants, click here.

5 comments:

donna said...

Ginny, this is a sweet story about your relationship with snapdragons. I plant some every year and am never disappointed. The hummingbirds like them, too. I have an emotional connection to lilacs. Everything about them takes me back to my childhood.

The Marcel Proust quote was lovely.

donna

Amy said...

Enjoyed your post, Ginny.

Amy said...

I just did the quiz...I'm a canna. :)

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

It's amazing the memories - good and bad - that are triggered from flowers. Lovely pics...

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

My grandmother used to have a lilac bush and I planted a couple just last year because whenever I see them I have always thought of her.