Saturday Surprises

Here again is something a little different, and “Saturday Surprises!” seems to be the most appropriate name for this type of post. It’s just a glimpse into life here in our little backyard in the middle of a big city.

Last weekend we were energized by these tiny fragrant blossoms from our tea olive, or sweet osmanthus. It started out as just about a foot and a half tall when I bought it several years ago. It is now over five feet tall.

If it had not been blooming at the time when I saw it at the nursery, I would have walked right by it because the leaves are similar to many other plants. You may want to watch for this plant in your local nursery, but check the label if it’s not blooming season. Otherwise you may miss it. This would make a great addition to your yard and is very low maintenance. (Basically just plant it in a good spot. How nice is that?!?)

These blossoms are extremely small, but they put out a sweet fragrance that fills most of our yard. The smell is said to resemble peaches or apricots, but I think it is something else entirely unique. In some countries the blossoms are added to green or black tea leaves, which is likely why it is often called tea olive. (It does not have any fruit like the regular olive.)

The only wish I have for this plant is for the bloom time to be longer than its four to five days. But I am grateful for the joy it brought us all last weekend, and so this weekend, I’m reliving that joy by sharing this with you.

For most of the year, it is just another evergreen in the landscape, but when it blooms, it is amazing! Amazing! I have it planted in the side yard so that it can greet me before I even see it when I come home at the end of the day. It makes almost as joyful a “Welcome Home!” as my chickens make!

It definitely has an invigorating effect on my chickens as well. Their “Welcome Home!” greetings always seem a little more extreme when the tea olive is blooming! Or maybe they are just catching some of my enthusiasm?!

My wish for you is that you will find joy in the smallest of wonders wherever they may be. Often the small things in life provide a most amazing and overpowering experience.

I wish I could have described the fragrance of these blossoms much better. But then again, maybe there are some things which are so extraordinary in life that they defy description and can only be experienced? Perhaps this is one of them.

12 thoughts on “My Life With Gracie…Saturday Surprises!

    1. It is! I’ve read where some people plant what they call “a fragrance garden.” It’s supposed to be very soothing and healing in a way, and I can see how such a garden would be. I still get a thrill out of the wild honeysuckle!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Judi. I thought of you and your small appreciations of things yesterday afternoon. I had gone to the shopping mall to get a haircut and to visit the Barnes & Noble there. I watched as a dad and his little boy rode up and down on the escalator. The son was still quite young and the escalator was very new to him, and he enjoyed it tremendously. He and his dad would go up and then back down again time and time again. Such a simple “Wow!” kind of moment. I thought about you and your on-the-way grandson, and I imagined and prayed for you to have wonder-filled moments like that with him. Best wishes always, John


  1. Anything related to the sense of smell is hard to put down on paper (or screen). Everyone seems to smell things differently. You did a fine job explaining it because it was more about what was evoked from it. That’s where the pleasant aroma comes from. Your backyard sounds delightful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, C.D. When I was in high school many years ago, I took a creative writing course one summer as part of an art program. I don’t remember very much of it, but I do remember struggling to find new and innovative ways of describing things and “activating the reader’s senses.”

      Apparently at the time, making sure the reader had a great deal of sensory details was the key to good writing. I never got the hang of it, even for things visual. I think writing instruction has changed now, or at least begun to change. Probably for the better!

      It seems to be less about making your readers “feel like they are in the story” and more about making your readers “care about the main character.” I read recently that the key is “Your readers will feel what your main character feels.” Something to think about for sure!

      So if anyone felt like jumping for joy like a chicken after reading this, well, I guess I was successful! Thanks, John

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the beauty of writing comes from the fact that there are so many voices. Some are terse and some know how to spin a yarn. Some can capture characters and others can capture stories. Some can make you smell the air and others can lead you to it. “Being in the story” and “caring about the character” both have their place but I’d be hard pressed to say it was either way. A good voice that comes through a person’s writing can make dull things interesting. You have a good writing voice AND interesting stories. I’ll spare the world of my chicken dancing but I certainly feel their excitement about the changing seasons.

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  2. I’m not sure which I enjoyed more: the lovely fleeting blooms or your wonderful reflections, lessons, and joy they bring you, and you so graciously share. 😊 I smell them just fine from here; you did them justice.

    Liked by 1 person

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