The stars of the garden, tulips, blossoming trees, daffodils, are so brilliant it would be easy to just stand and stare at them and then go home.
But I was on a mission. I wanted to note details, I wanted to find the hidden gem. Like this camellia leaning over a stream, or the white mayflower at right or this pink dog tooth violet hiding under a rhododendron.
I wanted to use all my senses. Sight is a no brainer and the scent of hyacinth was heavy as honey in the air.
Other perfumes were more subtle. This heather, for example, has a faint peppery smell, and the star magnolia was reminiscent of vanilla.
I used my sense of hearing too. This natural waterfall, mostly hidden, played sweet music over the whole of the sunken garden.
In this secret pond a bullfrog croaked loud and long and in the Japanese garden a cultivated stream provided a soft sh..sh..sh to the shady bowers
I heard a bird chirp and found this little fellow preening himself.
Children’s delighted squeals punctuated the silence. They were hunting Easter rabbits.
I used touch, too. Not on the flowers, thousands of fingers would soon crush the blossoms, but I stroked the soft, fibrous bark of this giant cedar and rubbed the smooth, polished snout of the garden boar. Rubbing his nose is said to bring good luck.
I couldn’t taste the flowers “Please don’t eat the daisies” and all that, but taste and smell are so closely linked, you’ll note I described the scents in terms of taste — pepper, vanilla, honey.
My senses sated, my well filled to overflowing, I finished off my afternoon with one of my favourite tastes, café mocha in the coffee shop. There I overheard this lovely snippet of conversation.
She: When do the roses bloom?
He: When love is in the air.