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"The Sewing Circles of Herat"
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Friday, June 15, 2007

Flora

I heard recently that all flowering plants that end in a vowel originally came from China. That would be the mimosa and the azalea and the camellia and the gardenia and I am sure there are others, but I was especially thinking of the gardenia.

My earliest memories of gardenias is the gardenia that was used in corsages, especially for high school dances, way back when. Gardenias didnít grow in Eastern Montana or, probably anywhere in Montana. I remember that we would order a corsage for Mom on motherís Day and it was often made of gardenias. The smell was so wonderful I thought.

When we first moved into our house nearly 45 years ago, we had the front yard landscaped and a gardenia was planted by the front door. I loved that plant and it faithfully produced dozens if not hundreds of gardenias every year. When we had sprinklers put in the plant had to be torn up and I havenít been able to grow a gardenia there since. I have two in the back yard and one in a pot in front but I miss the masses of gardenias at the front door. I think Kay does too, since she bought a wreath one year that had gardenias in it.

I am leaving for Montana in the morning and I will miss the abundance of gardenias that fill the front and back yard with fragrance. I wonder if some Chinese immigrant brought a gardenia plant to remind him of home. Perhaps I need to take some blossoms on the plane tomorrow Ė would they make it through security?

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