January 7, 2022
Reflections, Day 86
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
― Mark Twain
“I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.”
― Lewis Carroll
I took a picture of a tea olive plant that was blooming in early January. Its fragrance chased me down. I remembered the fragrance from May, and June, and even September. It carries with it the essence of a fairy princess traipsing through a field of daisies. Or perhaps the essence of a ripe peach.
I love using tea olives in my landscape designs. They are evergreen, easy to care for, and the leaves are pretty all year. I haven’t figured out what triggers their bloom, but they surprise me now and then with a fresh showing of the small white flowers. Another favorable point is that deer don’t seem to like them.
The tea olive, with a bit of judicious pruning, may be kept as a medium sized shrub or grown tall and full for a screen—so much nicer and more well-behaved that the ubiquitous hollies. The plant may be turned into a tree-form with a little effort. The tree formed plants can really be show pieces.
A lot of times, I try to use gardenias and tea olives near entrances and other traffic areas so that people walking by may periodically stop, look around, and say, “Wow. Something really smells good.”