Perfume and Pompoms

Without startingto sound like a gardening blog, considering my Jasmine post, I love the perfumethat some plants have.  “Yesterday, Todayand Tomorrow” trees emit the most glorious smell.  I have never had any luck with roses but ifone has the patience to adhere to their long list of fiddly and fancifulrequirements – roses will bless you with their beautiful scent.
One of the many Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow trees in my  jungle, umm, garden.

I have thisugly, messy, unruly plant growing like a weed in my garden.  For 11 out of 12 months they serve no purposeexcept as privacy from our neighbours who are so cool we don’t really needprivacy from them.  They also dropcopious amounts of large, elongated, shrivelled leaves. (The plants – not theneighbours.  Really!)  I have no clue what they are called – their Latin,biological and common name all elude me.)

What is sospecial about “plant with no name” is that the ugly brown clumps at the end of theirstalks turn into white laced pompoms and drenched the air with a powerful aromathat can be smelt for miles.  The smellpermeates every inch of the house and the garden.  This only lasts a couple of weeks but I lookforward to those 2 weeks every year.  Theperfume is so potent that one could almost get a headache from it. 
They look like Lamingtons, don’t they?

I am sograteful that these “weeds” grow so prolifically in my garden.  


Please come and visit me one evening (they onlygive off their precious aroma at night) in January/February and allow theglorious perfume to uplift you. 

If you knowwhat they are called – I’ll give you a glass of wine.  Fair trade?

Land Invaders 0 – Jasmine 1 (Finally)

As I sit working, my lounge is filled with the fragrance of my Jasmine creeper. It is the most beautiful, uplifting smell. It reminds me of my years living in Johannesburg where Jasmine grows like a weed.

I am not sure if Jasmine likes growing in Durban much because it has taken over 5 years for it to bloom. Having said that – I know that the blame for its ridiculously slow growth is not just the climate. The daily land invasions are the main culprits.

The land invaders i.e. the troops of vervet monkeys who visit, either first thing in the morning or about 4 in the afternoon, used to love eating the tiny jasmine buds. The poor creeper did not stand a chance against the sheer number of monkeys enjoying a post paw-paw snack.

My garden has about 6 paw-paw trees and a guava tree. Not that I ever eat either the paw-paws or the guavas. I leave the fruit for my cheeky, uninvited guests in the hope that this will discourage them from jumping into the kitchen and helping themselves to bread, bananas and anything else edible they can find at Alma’s Kitchen Restaurant. I do not feed them yet they ignore the bills for the buffet menu they have helped themselves to.

I want to hate them, particularly when they tear apart the garbage bag and throw stuff about looking for tasty titbits. How can I hate these animals with their human-like traits?

Before the arrival of Roxy – the monkeys were bolder and took complete advantage of my hospitable nature. Whilst watching TV one afternoon (Animal Planet of course) I thought Cuddles was lying on the floor next to my chair. I then realised it was a monkey, sitting next to me, engrossed in the Animal Planet programme I was watching.

I looked back and there they all were. The whole troop was parking off on our outdoor furniture, watching TV and waiting for afternoon tea to be served!