What a week


My phone contract was up and I got a new one, with a much better camera.

We’re in our second period of ‘warm’ this summer, moving into hot this week. Am not complaining. Will walk early with the dog and then set him up with the fan for the day. He said, “at least I’m not a golden – it’s easier being a flat coat”.

There’s loads of fruit in the house and in the fridge, including this magnificent melon (see pic). Ice cream from the farm shop’s fancy artisanal counter is a staple (I’ve discovered that a scoop of coffee with something else – vanilla, milk [yes, they make milk ice cream], hazelnut, salted caramel, pistachio – works a treat).

A bbq might be necessary and I’ve seen this great watermelon, strawberry and rose pudding that I’m going to do (another pic). It’s basically watermelon, sugar, strawberry jam, rose water and heavy cream, etc. It wants regular flour but I wonder if it can be done with ground almonds…

I will stay away from the seaside, as some people here take this sort of weather as permission to disrobe almost completely – which can be … unsettling.

Basically, we’ll be indoors mostly for the next seven days. The garden will get attention early and late.

So, I expect many of you will have noticed our crisis this past week. I’m not going to say anything about that except that I think an early election would be a good thing.

And then there’s my lilies. I only have three. I got them in Amsterdam in 2017 at, I think, the tulip museum (if you go to Amsterdam, I highly recommend it – fascinating for both history and botany and a bit of economics). I had purchased tulip bulbs at the floating flower market but the squirrels ate them all.

These lilies did nothing for years. I don’t know what the deal was but I planted them, the foliage came up every year, but nothing else happened.

But this year … hurrah, a ha, etc. I’ve got flowers. Three huge, beautiful flowers.

The other thing that is going now (besides the roses, but this is England, after all, so the roses feel compelled to perform even if every one else says no go) is the jasmine. It was an all of a sudden thing. I noticed a flower mid last week and now things have exploded. Morning and evening it smells strongest: AM post night when it’s had some time in the cool it smells light but lush and soapy and then PM after the hot days it just opens up with everything it’s got.

I’m not a fan of lily in perfume. The ones I’ve tried all made me sneeze. I like the idea of cut lilies inside but again they make me sneeze so it doesn’t happen. They get admired outside. And they do smell good outside. Peppery but proper floral.

I don’t know why with the sneezing – my allergies have nothing to do with plants.

As to jasmine, well, that’s a different story. Love it in perfume and it’s such a shape-shifter, from soap through to serious pong. And lush. Love that lush feeling.

Any way … in the hot, I’m leaning towards the light stuff. Ninfeo Mio always gets a lot of love. And I’ve been using my Guerlain samples of Mandarine Basilic and Neroli Vetiver.

Hope your week was pleasant and your upcoming weather is good. Are you a lily lover, jasmine? Neither? Other summer things?

(This is an Anhinga drying its wings. I’ve only seen one once — at Sanibel Island in Florida.
It’s my favourite bird. Just thought I’d add it in. Tx, Wiki. And the featured image is an Anhinga as well, but from Pexels.)

  • Musette says:

    Lilies: check (I have several 😉 Lily in perfume, not so much (I have so much trouble with the musks at the end)…

    • cinnamon says:

      Joe the lab has a huge sneezing fit last night due to the lily pollen. Not amusing. The only lily fragrance I can recall smelling more than once is the one by the fashion designer … what is she called … it had a good bottle …

  • Tom says:

    I love lily of the valley and love jasmine (especially our night-blooming kind) but don’t like them cut. I don’t think they smell much cut.

    Ninfeo Mip is a favorite. There were so many really good Goutal’s in the later years that have gone. So sad.

    Thank you for keeping politics out. Anyone who knows me knows mine and can easily friend me (Thomas Pease on Facebook) to read tons of my liberal maunderings. Here, it’s not my tea party, and not really the focus of the blog.

    • cinnamon says:

      The more I use NM, the more I like it. And it is seriously perfect for our current weather. Sigh. I grew up with non-stop talk about politics. It is hard to keep myself from doing it.

      • Tom says:

        I try to keep myself from talking about it unless asked. Just in case someone doesn’t agree with me. When they don’t I just silently judge and pity them. ?

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    LOVE both lilies and jasmine in the garden and perfume. Mum didn’t like fragrant lilies so grew the nearly scentless ones. It was my mid teens before meeting a Casablanca Lily. It was a profound shift in my olfactory existence.
    That melon looks like it might be bloody delicious.
    Enjoy your super warm summer.
    Portia xx

    • Musette says:

      You should come to my garden, Portia, if you want stinky lilies. I’ve only got 78 this season (lost a couple over the Winter). xoxoxo

    • cinnamon says:

      The jasmine is especially wonderful this year. We had a such a meh summer last year and the jasmine wants heat and humidity to get really stinky. This is the first lily I’ve managed. And the melon is actually incredible. It’s green-fleshed, but sweeter than anything else I’ve had.

  • March says:

    We’re in a hot spell too — I don’t have A/C so it’s windows open at night and then closed by 8am to keep the temps down. Fortunately most of the house is adobe and the indoor temp stays pretty steady. Anything outdoors that hasn’t happened by about 1pm can wait (except for walking the dog, who doesn’t seem to mind it as much as I do, and she’s wearing a fur coat!) I love the smell of lilies indoors, although I know a lot of folks don’t. And I think I’ll try jasmine here next year, I keep seeing it around!

    • cinnamon says:

      We have such a strange microclimate here (a bit farther west you find tropical gardens) that jasmine is very happy outdoors. Living within Adobe sounds fascinating. Is it mud mixed with other things?

      • March says:

        Yep, adobe bricks are basically mud (with a lot of sand/silt or clay in the soil, common here in the southwest), and some straw. It’s then usually covered (stucco outside, plaster inside) so you’re not looking at the bricks. Most newer homes are frame/stucco shaped with the slight curves that look like adobe (I call them pseudobes lol) but many of the older homes here are actual adobe. One giveaway is the thickness of the walls — the archway between my kitchen and living room, for example, is 12+ inches thick. It tends to keep interior temps pretty constant.

  • Dina C. says:

    Cinnamon, I’m also like you with regard to jasmine and lilies. Outdoors, yes indeed. In scents: only jasmine. Not a fan of lily. We don’t even use Easter lilies in our church at Easter because those of us in the choir can’t properly breathe to sing! We decorate with potted hydrangeas and potted azaleas instead. That’s awesome that the garden decided to perform so well this year.

    • cinnamon says:

      That makes sense people reacting to the lilies and substituting other flowers. I’m not sure the local church uses lilies. I keep complimenting the garden in the hope this year isn’t a one-off. But, oddly, after having loads of bees a month or so ago almost none now.

  • alityke says:

    Cinnamon that lily flower is stunning! I’m so envious. I just cannot get them to grow. Must be our soil. DH gets severe hayfever but is also allergic to lilies & freesia, my favourite cut flowers but I now avoid cut flowers indoors completely.
    I need to replace Sarrasins in my collection but I have decided to use up the 2 bottles of A La Nuit first.
    Black dogs really don’t thrive in hot weather. Poor Jarvis is so grumpy, he’s taken up residence in front of the fan. If we turn it off he taps it when he wants it back on.
    This weather does cry out for melons. My fave salad is watermelon, feta, red onion & black olives with mint & basil. So refreshing & tasty

    • cinnamon says:

      That sounds like a great salad. Will have a go making it. A La Nuit has never been one of mine. It’s one of the few jasmines that just goes completely soapy. Last night on our walk (I have given up on taking Joe for AM walks — he just doesn’t want to) we met Bruce the black lab who was cheerful but panting a lot.

  • Maggiecat says:

    Jasmine for me. I love lollies (Diorissimo was my wedding scent) but I get tired of them after a day or so.
    And its been over 100 F here for about two weeks and will be for the coming week. Short dog walks early, then we STAY INSIDE.

    • cinnamon says:

      That’s hot. It’s not quite there yet here — moving into mid- to high 80s. What’s weird is that the heat is more uncomfortable here than I ever found it in NY.

  • ElizaC says:

    I love lilies, jasmine and I also love rose water in desserts (let us know how the pudding turns out)! My favorite perfume is Amoureuse which is lily, jasmine and tuberose wrapped in tangerine, cardamom and honey! No sneezing but it is so intense I really only wear it around the house or running errands.

    • cinnamon says:

      Will definitely report back on the watermelon dessert. Amoureuse sadly didn’t work on me and got rehomed. The notes list on that one is just too wonderful.

  • Tara C says:

    Not wild about lily, but do love jasmine. Planning to try the Perris Monte Carlo Jasmin de Pays, although I may just rebuy SL Sarrasins. It’s warm and muggy here, sleeping with just a sheet and the fan going. Lots of good fresh fruit.

    • cinnamon says:

      Perris Monte. Will have to look up. Here, the fan is for the dog. I’m just using a top sheet too. Just bought some more peaches and nectarines and the prices are ludicrous.