Saturday, July 13, 2013

Phlox, florals, denim, and Barbie!

My phlox is blooming. It doesn't look fabulous this year, but it's the scent that knocks me out.

Phlox (I love the spelling) gives me one of my strongest scent memories because we had phlox in the garden of my childhood home, right next to where we always played. The scent was soft and subtle, but unmistakeably there. We moved from that house when I was 13, and I sort of forgot about phlox.

Then when we lived in Britain, Mr. Sparkle and I were walking through a village when I caught that scent. I was immediately lifted back through time to carefree summer days of make-believe and endless possibilities. Is that phlox? I blurted out, as if Mr. Sparkle would know! A lady standing near her doorway said, Yes, it is. I hadn't even seen her standing there. I jumped - it was almost like a comedy program! We chatted a bit, I breathed in the fragrance, and I vowed to myself that I, too, would have phlox. And here it is.

not as healthy this year, maybe it's been too warm

And from the phlox we move to other phlorals - 

My outfit for Thursday last was cleverly selected to hit not one, not two, but three link-ups over the next few days! I need to be efficient because I have a lot of chores that have been neglected. My personal wardrobe challenge is how I can hit as many link-ups as possible with one outfit!

silk top - Twenty-one from Buffalo Exchange; Levi's jeans - thrifted; Doc Marten's sandals
Spy Girl has Florals bouquet: mix your florals with... for her 52 Pick-me-up prompt this week. I thought, well, that sounds easy. So I put on this silk top with jeans. The top is kind of big, and I considered donating it, but then decided to try it plain with jeans. I think it works best like this, not tucked or belted, just casual and loose, the way I like my men.

My next link-up will be Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. VM was really my gateway to blogging, and I can't miss it. I've met so many people there!

Sunday morning update - Patti of Not Dead Yet Style also has a Facebook page and regularly posts really, really great links. If I could pick one person to follow on Facebook, it would be Patti!

This week's prompt at Flight Platform Living for Shiny T Tuesday is so easy - the prompt is BLANK on BLANK - your choice! So mine could be Clothes on Body, but I'm going to call it Barbie on Earrings. This is so wide open, it'll be a gas seeing what everyone else comes up with!

made by me

Besides the phlox, I took some other photos of the flora around my house. This is what I see looking the other direction on the side of the house.

The vine is a passion flower, which is starting to bloom.

At the front I have lavender, which the bees love.

And in the rain garden (yes, we carefully cultivate our rain here in western Oregon) the morning glory has got a strong foothold. And pulling it is one of the chores I need to get busy with.

What's your strongest scent memory? I hope it's a good one.



Anonymous said...

You really look pretty in this outfit. I think a dark blue is a color that becomes you.

Une femme said...

I don't know that I've ever smelled phlox. But the house I lived in during my high school years had a row of lilac trees right outside my bedroom window, and I remember opening up those windows in still-chilly April to get a whiff of that incredible fragrance. Love the Barbie earrings!!

~julee~ said...

Lovely garden! I don't know much about plants, and I've never heard of Phlox. Maybe I've smelt it, maybe I haven't.

I also don't know much about gardenias, but my mom always wore gardenia perfume, and it's probably my most favorite scent ever.

Connie said...

I like the way phlox is spelled, too. My daughter's name is Phoebe. I just love a good PH. So much phun. You look as pretty as your garden.

sabine said...

What a wonderful garden you have!
The phlox I remember well growing in my grandmother's garden where I spent many time during my childhood. I remember as well the fine scent. My strongest scent memory is the scent of wood drying in the sun. Probably because my father was a carpenter.
Your floral silk blouse is marvellous. It would have been a pity to give it away. Silk is so fine material for hot summer days and to upgrade a jeans outfit.

Vix said...

I've got some of that and now I know it's called Phlox - blogging, it's a constant source of education!
Your garden is gorgeous and I adore your earrings! x

Sheila said...

I love phlox - we had some in our garden growing up.

Wonderful earrings!

My strongest scent memory is my mother's Yardley lilac perfume (you used to be able to buy all plain flower scents). She became sensitive to it when I was in my teens, but whenever the lilacs are blooming, I have this strong recollection of being little.

Anne M Bray said...

Phlox! THAT'S what it is! I have one clinging to life by the back door, my pal Deborah was asking what it was and I couldn't remember.
I usually buy some every year, it's an annual here in SoCal and it hasn't yet lasted longer than a year through my neglectfulness combined with our harsh summers.

After a lovely ramble through my memory smells, I think crab apple blossom is the winner. There were trees next to our various houses when I was 2-16.
There are lots of East Coast flowers that I don't get to smell now. But there are newer old memories of things Californian like eucalyptus -- that takes me back to Isla Vista, winter 74/5.

Thanks for sharing your garden AND for linking up!

PinkCheetahVintage said...

I'm horrid with floral scents... So many allergies! Lovely garden :)

Marla Robinson said...

Beautiful flowers and I love your pretty top.

ann wood said...

Such a pretty garden! Your top a such a lovely floral pattern. It's the time of year for flowers isn't it? I like how your top reflects this.

blue hue wonderland

Anonymous said...

Love your garden, I can almost smell it from here.My strongest scent memory would have to be lilacs from my grandmothers garden.
By the way, great choice of outfit, a gal can't go worng with a good pair of jeans combined with a floral top.

Crazy Ravens Studio said...

I quite like the barbie earrings but your "man" comment made my day.

Patti said...

Love the spelling and the scent, too. I think of my grandmother Lucy when I smell marinara sauce cooking - it's one of my earliest memories.

Love your look and the linky-mileage you're getting from it! Thanks for the kind words, too, and for sharing all the glorious-ness of the garden with Vis Monday. xoxo

Dawn Elliott said...

Mine is more of a taste memory: Mackintosh apples. We used to have 'em all over in upstate NY, then as an adult I ate one in Tucson - wow, the flooding memories! Love your line, "just casual and loose, the way I like my men." I've lost my other thoughts/comments at this point!

meriusa said...

I am a new follower of your blog,attracted(from far away ) by your gray hair and the interesting comments. Thank you for your visibility.
My strongest scent memory is basil ,yards full of basil plants !

Ariane Lasalle said...

Hi Val!

I will ask Mr. D about Phlox he is the plant and flower expert
I love the smell of a rose or lilac - Rose cause the botanical gardens in Montreal have a lovely Rose garden- it's just so amazing and it smells like heaven!
Lilac cause I use to bring some to my mom when I was little and so aromatic



Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

Happy to hear that you're keeping the top. I think it looks really nice.

Okay, I adore florals, and could wax poetic about grandfather's rose garden, but if I'm honest, my strongest memory is of kreosote. Toxic, was always used for railway ties and telephone poles, and my Dad worked in a plant that did the coating. He always came home smelling like creosote, and if I ever get a whiff while walking along a railroad track on a sunny day...well, it takes me right back to my Dad.

Sue xo

Hollie "Jet" Black-Ramsey said...

When I was a little girl, me and my sister found a passion flower. We'd never seen one before and we were sure it was an alien flower. So we picked it with the intentions to send it off for scientific research!

juli said...

That blouse is terrific, I agree it fits best loose over jeans or perhaps a short skirt or dressy pants.
Fragrance memories? Too many! Summer rain is the nicest scent, the world smells so clean and fresh.
xx juli

pastcaring said...

That is a lovely blouse, I bet it is easy and cool to wear, and the print is so pretty.
Casual and loose are great qualities in a man.
Your garden looks beautiful. I have tried three times to keep a passionflower alive in mine, but the frost has killed them every time, so I have given up.
My earliest, strongest olfactory memory isn't a perfume, it's tobacco smoke! Most particularly, pipe smoke - my dad, grandad, my uncles, they all smoked pipes, and I did love the smell of the tobacco in the tin. All their houses (including ours) smelled of pipe smoke and had yellowing ceilings... Sounds awful, doesn't it?! xxxx

Jane George said...

ooo your earrings i love them, you fashionista multi tasking diva!!! your story of phlox brought a tear to my eye and for me the smell memory that transports me back is yardley has a distinct smell and my mum always wore it, whenever i smell it it reminds me of mummy kisses and cuddles as a little girl when the world was safe when wrapped in mummy's arms! I have been known to buy yardley just so i can sniff it as i put it on! i think smell is so very very powerful for holding memory. ooo feel all nostalgic and teary now xxxxx

meriusa said...

An additional note :Phlox is a Greek word meaning Flame .

The Style Crone said...

"Loose and casual, the way I like my men." You caught me by surprise and had me laughing, which is part of the reason that I love your blog. Good thing you didn't donate the beautiful floral silk top.

Your garden is lovely and scents are very powerful. It's roses for me!

Anonymous said...

Love your outfit and attitude!! Multi-tasking is da bomb!!

I hope next year to finally get my cottage garden in with phlox and hollyhocks and other goodies. i miss the one at our old house!

Spashionista Alicia Searcy said...

You're a clever girl! I'm heading over to Shiny T Tuesday in a sec and I'm going to make you all LOL with my B-on-B ;-)

My grandmother grew the most amazing roses of all kinds and colors. She was also adept at cultivating African Violets. Both of these scents have a strong pull on me.


Jan Graham-McMillen said...

Pretty phloral shirt, Val! I love a floral with a dark background, and so cute with your jeans!
Phlox ... oh, dear. Such memories. My mother had beds of lovely "antique" phlox, with an extremely heady fragrance ... I know what you mean. Sadly, after my mom died, we rented the house to a complete bitch who skipped the rent, fled in the night and dug up my mother's flowers and took them with her!!! How low was that?! To this day, I pass HER mom's house where she planted the purloined phlox, and it pisses me off. I drive out of my way to avoid it ... and if she didn't live so near the local cop shop, I'd go get um!

Angels have Red Hair said...

Love those earrings ... just what every girl needs ... some Barbie earrings :0)

Flattering50 said...

I want your garden! Lovely. And those Barbie earrings are a crack up. What fun!

Cathie said...

Commenting late, but I have just discovered your blog and am appreciating your friendly, interesting and thoughtful writing.

My scent memory is wood smoke, really burning-house smoke. I didn't really know I had it until an evening several years ago when I heard fire engine sirens close to my house, went outside to investigate and smelled the distinctive smell I then remembered from when I was 7 and our house burned. The time gap was at least 40 years, but the memory of childhood was crystal clear. It was not a bad memory, as my family was all safe and we felt protected by my parents and neighbors, but a surprising one.

Another scent that brings back memories of the same childhood home is that of my favorite flower, lilacs.

Thanks for making me think of those times today.