Summer Memories



From knitted blooms to the real thing, snapped just now in our jungle of a garden. I don’t think our dogs care two hoots whether it reaches Chelsea Flower Show Standards. (It definitely does not!) What they, especially our youngest pooch, care about are places to explore, dig and best of all…sniff out  those tantalising scent messages that speak of worlds unknown to we poor ignorant humans!

After all, a dog’s primary sense is olfactory and it’s  thousands – if not billions of times more sensitive than that of humans. Rendering what disgusts us, ( freshly laid fox poo, for  example, or rotting vegetation)  into the canine equivalent of Ashes of Roses.

Myself? I’ll stick to Ashes of Roses,  thank you. One of my favourite scents of  Summer are from our Mock Orange, a  creamy-white bloomed shrub with a perfume      that’s indescribably, tantalisingly beautiful. Maybe one day someone will try to bottle it, but I doubt they’ll ever capture that all too fleeting  scent.

I wonder if smells evoke memories for dogs as they do in humans? Many years ago, I used to visit at a Care Home. The lady I’d befriended was partially-sighted, almost blind. My original remit as a volunteer, was to go in and read to her. However, it quickly became apparent that the only reading matter that interested her was the ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches,’ column of the local newspaper; not a little disconcerting for me!

But as time went on and we got to know each other a little better, I realised that what she really appreciated was the company, a link with the outside world and most of all, somebody to listen. Not to ‘do unto’ but to listen. I learned a lot about our little town in days gone by, the shops long gone,  the tales behind some of the other residents, too. For everybody has a story to tell. It was an early lesson for me about the gift of simple presence.

Back to Mock Orange: Well, B had been a keen gardener in her time and loved to talk about flowers and the beauties of the countryside. What better to bring in bunches of these blooms for her to enjoy!

So, every year, as Summer arrives and the scent of our Mock Oranges begins to fill the garden, I remember B…and give thanks.



















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