Sometimes when you really, really love a flower that will not grow in your climate.
Sometimes God shows you amazing flowers that do.
The Flowers I only dream about,…. like purple lilacs which start blooming in the Spring in the Midwest…. and yet I know they would never grow here in this tropical climate.
I miss them as you can tell from this tablescape, click here if you would like to read the post.
So I tell myself…it is ok.
Because I have beautiful tropical hibiscus in reds and pinks.
And bright yellow plumaria that leis’ are made of.
And white gardenias that send their wonderful scent right over my courtyard wall from the tree at the entrance to our home.
And Night jasmine perfume which floats dreamily into my Secret Garden in the summer evenings, intermingling in and among the strands of lights.
These are the kinds of flowers most people in northern climates dream about.
They have the purple lilacs of my childhood.
And the bright yellow forsythia, bridal spirea, golden daffodils and Dutch tulips.
I have none of those in SW Florida.
Today, as the Captain and I drove home from a leisurely, morning breakfast at a quaint restaurant by the water’s edge….
I saw them.
They were on the smallish trees lining the median.
They were not new.
They have been there all the years we have lived in the Cape.
But it was like my eyes were suddenly opened to their beauty.
Of course they were not lilacs.
But they were crepe myrtle trees
The first time I ever noticed the crepe myrtle trees in Florida, we were at our bank and the then newly planted trees sported white clusters of blossoms.
I did get a bit excited because they looked like my favored lilac bushes back home in the Midwest.
I remember getting out of my car and rushing to smell them hoping for that familiar lilac smell..but instead they had a pungent odor that made me immediately withdraw my nose and wrinkle it in an unappreciative way.
Eweeeeeeh! I thought to myself and I expressed just that to the Captain.
He knows of my love of lilacs.
So I went through the years, barely taking note of the crepe myrtle trees scattered around the Cape, other than noticing that they came in almost the same colors as the lilac.
White, purple, dark and light pink.
I never attempted to smell them again because I knew I would be disappointed.
And then, we fast forward to today and as we drove by about 30 of the beautiful purple crepe myrtle trees lining the median, I couldn’t help but notice their splendorous beauty.
As I said, it is as if God opened my eyes to say…
“Have you ever really looked at my Crepe Myrtle trees that I have made?”
The low hanging clusters of purple blossoms seem to be calling out to me.
“Stop the car”...I said excitedly to the Captain. “Can you reach that cluster of crepe myrtle, I’d like to smell them”
The Captain pulled the car over and plucked a small stem of ruffled purple flowers.
I hesitantly brought them to my nose and then I smiled.
Again, I sniffed the sweet fragrance that I can only describe as a varied lilac-type, but not exactly.
The Captain suggested we drive by our bank and give the white crepe myrtle another chance and so he snapped off a small stem of white flowers that adorned the trees around our bank.
Hmmmmmm…so different from the years before incident. The blooms were a softer, white flower type of smell.
So why did I experience such different elusive fragrances over the years?
I believe it is because of weather conditions as well as the color of the panicles of blooms.
These beautiful purple lilac looking blooms were exquisite.
My experience today was shortly after sunrise, as the summer heat was building and the humidity was high.
Hence the elusive, varied and lovely scent.
This tree or bush (spelled crepe or crape myrtle… relates to the bark that is smooth or peeling) grows 20-30 feet tall and it grows in northern climates too.
Perhaps you have them in your area.
I was discussing my two stemmed little bouquet with my neighbor who told me that she had the red crepe myrtle growing up and the fragrance was more of a lemony-floral scent.
What a beautiful start to our day….the crepe myrtle is not a lilac, but it is the next best thing and I can’t wait to plant one in our garden.
And here is another plus…lilacs bloom for a very short time in the early spring, and crepe myrtle bloom all summer long.
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?
Beautiful story and flowers. We have purple lilac, plus crepe myrtle and wisteria.
Love the fragrance. Happy to see your post.
So jealous of your lilacs…we have a form of wisteria in SW Florida…it is a lot like Queen Anne’s Lace. Have a great day.