Summer is in full 90+ swing here in Central Il. That lovely, extended Spring, with its cooling, soaking rains, gave way to blistering heat & sun (but not before it had some Monsoon Moments) and all I can focus on is staying ahead of at least some of the weeds. But I have teeeeny tiiiiny windows in which to rip and hack and swear at creeping Charlie and bindweed and nightshade. By 9a it’s like the surface of the sun out there – and besides, I haz to work at my rent career, y’know? So I’m up at 5a, watering containers and feeding my voracious Audrey-like Colocasias, grabbing a few minutes to enjoy the smells in the garden before the sun blasts them into oblivion.
March talked about lilies and I thought ‘well, I’ll talk about some other flower’ – except! It’s LILY TIME and all elebenty-billion of my lilies are either blooming or getting ready to pop! and 5a (and 7p) are the optimal times to enjoy their fragrance. The orienpets and orientals are fully flowering now (Asiatics were a bit earlier and, gorgeous as they are, are relatively scentless). It’s actually a bit narcotic, with that weird gassy ‘tickle’ one gets in the presence of too much perfume.
Borage is in full flower, as well, with its crisp cucumber scent. I let it grow through all the paths in the kitchen garden and, like the oregano, enjoy stepping on it, to release the fragrance.
And Casa Blanca lilies smell like Double Bubble bubblegum! Which is a weirdly delightful thing. Ymmv.
Vaseline is playing a part in the garden right now, too! I was watching my hummingbirds get chased off their feeders by voracious wasps and thought ‘oh, HELL no!’, so I pulled out the Vaseline and smeared it all over the feeder, except for the perch and the actual port holes. Unlike the hummingbirds, wasps aren’t able to sit on the perch and feed and I’m ashamed/not ashamed to admit I cackled like a hyena, watching those vicious little bassids try to find ingress! Ha! Newp. So now the hummers can feed in peace – and there’s plenty of other food sources for wasps. I put out grape jelly for the orioles and they can share that – orioles will beat the snot out of a wasp if they get too aggressive so no worries there (and yes, I cackle when I see wasps getting their lunch et by big birds. Nothing against wasps but they can be a real pain sometimes). Anyhoo, Vaseline/petroleum jelly has an interesting smell when it’s baking in 90F. Obviously there is some masking scent added that isn’t easily detectable at normal temps but omg! smear it on a feeder (and the pole, to keep out the ants) and you’re assailed by a weird mingling of scents. Not quite ‘secret smells’ petrol but……well, there is a hint of some sort of rubbery tang to the air. It’s completely ‘unnatural’ in the midst of all that nature – and I kinda like it!
by 7a I’m done with the garden, showered and slathered with Jean Nate because 90F means I can’t think! By 10a I can think again so I think about what to wear, perfumewise (since I’m not going to be in a 90+ garden at 10a I don’t have to worry about wasps)….. our neighbor has his burn pile going, which made me think of Amouage Tribute Attar, with that smoky rosy plummy-jammy fabulousness. Perfect – absolutely perfect – in 90+ heat. It’s what it was made for!
For those of you in the grip of heat, what sort of smells are working for you? Do you go light or work with the heavy hitters? Anything ‘weird’ smelling that tickles your fancy this hot-as-hell time of year?