August 21, 2014



Plants are like people. No, not in a Jerry Baker way (but come to think of it, I might want to re-read his book. My innocent 12 year old brain was somewhat defenseless against his seductive premise about plants ), but I have started to wonder lately about how plants are somewhat like our friends. No, not 'friends' as in comrades or cohorts, more like acquaintances,  passing through our life. Well, OK. More like 'friends' in a 'Facebook' way. I know each a bit, some better than others, some which I feel bad for and keep around (ugh!), and others, which I tolerate for one reason or another.

I have even 'Unliked' a few.

I have a multitude of plant 'friends'. The many plants in my life come from all over the world, just like my human people friends. Some, I rescued, took pity on and brought home ( yes, even I do that). Others, force their way into my collection, either 'gifted' by well intending human friends, or sometimes mysteriously self-seeded. This handsome Stephanotis vine was once sitting on the 'for sale' table at our local supermarket (Wegmans), discounted for quick sale or even worse, some 'chamber where it would be 'put down'.

Joe held the yellowing vine up high, as if he was in the Lion King, and made his way out to the center aisle - the poor plant - coiled around a wreath or wire, disgraced buy being hot glued into a faux French country ceramic planter without drainage.

 I nodded an obvious approval.  "OK, we can take it home".

Stephanotis (no, we didn't name it) was re-planted in a large clay pot with warm, fresh soil (hey, it was January), and placed high on a bench in the warm, sunny greenhouse. Throughout the winter, he slowly grew, uncurling leaf by leaf, extending tendril-like new growth that ran throughout the greenhouse rafters, twirling here, and twisting there, playfully enjoying the winter, and then spring light as it streamed in warming its stephanotic soul.

This past weekend, I strolled through the greenhouse to check on some Nerine repotting which I never finished, and I caught the scent - the scent of Stephanotic awesomeness. Only one bunch of waxy, white fragrant blossoms yet still worthy of any wedding blog. So high in the rafters were they, that I had to first stand on a bench, and then step onto the second height bench just to pick them.  I don't think that he minded. 

The bouquet now sits in our bathroom ( I know, right?) Their scent brings me back to my college days in Hawaii, as many vines grew around the campus, where I would pick a few to bring home when I walked back late from the library. 


  1. I've never smelled a Stephanotis ... I am imagining that it smells somewhat like a gardenia??? Also, in the first/top photo, are those all Stephanotis leaves?

  2. That Stephanotis is really stunning in your greenhouse. We have them here as houseplants but they don´t last long in our homes, you really need a greenhouse, certainly in our climate in western Europe.


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