My Mum says I am a Victorian, because I have a thing for flowers. Not just because they’re pretty and they smell nice (although those two reasons are obviously key) but because I like to think of what they mean. An extension, I suppose, to the meaning and sentiment I bestow upon scents – courtesy of the relationship my strangely good nose causes me to have with scents – I give meaning, attach great sentiment, to flowers and their perfume. Not necessarily the meaning the Victorians did (although I do love the thought of innocent daisies and respectful daffodils, chaste white roses and the yellow ones of friendship) instead meaning of memory. Gardenias are summers as a child, up at Port Macquarie with my grandparents. Freesias, my favourite, are Spring and sneaking into the front yard of a house near school, with my best friend, to pick fistfuls of the fragrant little things. Jonquils are crisp mornings and a promise of longer days to come. Lavender is hand-making my Mum little underwear-drawer bags for mother’s day, because we had plenty of stocking feet, plenty of lavender and bits of ribbon lying around, and it made me feel pretty special to whip up something so sweet and scented from such ordinary things. Roses are speech and drama lessons as a child, because my teacher’s husband tended to his roses like he had nothing else to care for in the entire world. And sometimes – often – I would get right up close and smell them. Sweet peas are the afternoon my sister and our two childhood besties stole into the neighbour’s garden and picked their flowers to sell to surrounding houses. Boronias are the first perfume I ever got, from my heliotrope loving Nana.
Right now, a vase of long-gone roses I bought two and a half months ago, are sitting on my coffee table in Weiden because they remind SG of me. Sentiment and meaning in a bunch of faded, dried petals. I understand. I have the first rose he gave me. And one I stole from someone’s garden (notice an ongoing theme here?) one cold Münster night, as we walked home from the local pub.
Home is in bloom at the moment and I, in heaven. And no garden, not one, is safe.