Monday, April 16, 2012

Grandma's Tuberoses...

When I was little, my Grandma Launius ~ my Daddy's Mom ~ grew the most amazing, exotic (I thought, and I guess they really are) flowers...tuberoses.

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 About this time of year I always try to get some bulbs (tubers, actually) in memory of Grandma...(they are planted in May and bloom in late August). Tuberoses are a tender bulb and must be brought inside in the fall, but somehow, after the cool autumn days begin along with preparations for the string of fall and winter holidays, I forget... :^( ...and they freeze. (Maybe not this year, though, as I did bring the pot inside the garage, but I didn't "lift" the tubers and over-winter them like you are supposed to do...I guess we'll see).


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You know how scent is supposed to evoke the most vivid memories? I truly believe that; one whiff of this intoxicating flower on a hot August night (the fragrance is barely there in the daytime; in the evening, however ~ wow!) ~ ♥

Here are my memories of Grandma's tuberoses...

We didn't have air-condtioning when I was small...in fact, I didn't know anyone who did (these were the days when stores and restaurants would entice people in with signs on their doors with penguins announcing, "Come on in...it's COOL inside") ~ except my Grandpa and Grandma Launius.

I'm not talking whole-house central air, here ~ it was a window air conditioner ~ but when you've been used to sleeping hot and sticky at night with just a little oscillating fan (1950s turquoise ~ I wish I still had it) to try to keep cool~ it was amazing!  That's what I thought, anyway, when I spent the night at their house in the summer; I would get out of the bathtub ~ still a little damp ~

Oh ~

They also had one of THESE things...

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...a portable Jacuzzi (for Grandpa's arthritis), which sat in the tub and was plugged in....(amazing it didn't electrocute us)...but you could make the most GINORMOUS tub of bubbles with it and a bar of Dove soap! (photo from the Jacuzzi History site) ~

I digress...

So, I would still be damp, in my little summer night gown (and probably a little bubbly still, too) and I would RUN into the living room, where the little air conditioner was chugging away...and the room was perfumed with the now (it's evening) super-fragranced tuberoses, which Grandma would place in a vase on the little lamp table right in front of that air conditioner....Heaven, I tell you!

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Here is a site that I'm getting ready to check out and probably order from...Tennessee Tuberoses ~

Here's what their site says about the Tuberose's history...


The tuberose is a tuberous-rooted herbaceous perennial which was domesticated by the pre-Columbian Indians of Mexico (Aztecs), and, like corn, the tuberose origin is lost in antiquity. The Aztecs called it Omixochit (oh me" zu che'tl) or bone flower. The tuberose is a plant growing 3 to 4 feet tall with bright-green foliage and upon the stem that springs up from the center of the plant, will be the pure white blooms in pairs that spiral towards the top. The unopened buds may have a pinkish tint on the tops sometimes esp. if it is of the "Pearl" double tuberose plant family. The tuberose is most familiar as a fresh cut flower from your local florists and is very popular as a wedding flower. The tuberose (Latin tuberosa) is named for the shape of its rootstock and belongs to the Agave plant family Agavaceae. Extracts of this most fragrant flower are used as a top note in perfumery. The tuberose is also used traditionally in Hawaii for leis and was considered a funeral flower in Victorian times. Its scent is described as complex, exotic, sweet and floral.

 

I'd even like to visit there in August ~ it's in middle Tennessee...not too far for a little road-trip...(I wonder if they give evening tours...or allow camping near their tuberose fields?) :^)

♥ ♥ ♥
Anne

Have a happy Tuesday, all! I hope to get past my lazy spell and work on the Fairy house tomorrow ~ and, those watercolor paintings....

And, thank you to Pixie of View from Harmony Hills for giving me the idea for my post tonight; she is planting pansies in memory of her Grandma.

I'm adding this post to Brambleberry Cottage's Time Travel Thursday ~ ♥

23 comments:

  1. I love tuberoses Anne, their perfume is amazing. I can smell it, just typing this.

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  2. Beautiful flower. I can almost smell it. Beautiful memories of your visits to your grandparents.

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  3. I love tubor rose too. I worked as a florist for a number of years and I always loved using them in arrangements:) It was fun reading about the memories of your grandma's house.

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  4. Such a sweet post about grandma and her tuberose and grandpas' spa. Those memories stay with us forever! From one sweetie to another....roxie

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  5. ...greetings and merry meet! ~ gently delicious! ~ have returned the follow of yoU ~ to a most amazing site!...
    ...thankyoU for your visit to my new li'l room amidst the big internet highway! ~ blessed be!...
    ...xXx...

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  6. Anne: What a heavenly flower. It's beautiful and the story about your grandparents is very special..Happy Tuesday..Judy

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  7. What a gorgeous flower.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story about your grandparents.
    I'm your newest follower.
    Wish you a wonderful Tuesday.
    Mette

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  8. Such a wonderful story. I would really love such a wonderful plant.
    It sounds amazing !!
    Have a great day.

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  9. I tried to grow tuberoses once, not sure why they didn't do well. Love their fragrance. Might have to try them again. Loved your story.

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  10. Tuberoses are such wonderful Southern flowers! The scent is heavenly and I do miss the ones I had in my yard in Arkansas.

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  11. Hi Anne, I agree with you tuberoses are wonderful flowers and the fragrance is truly exotic and intoxicating. I only got to know them when we moved from Germany to California and I will never forget the first whiff that I took of their incredible scent. Good luck with yours this year!
    Christina

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  12. What wonderful memories of your grandmother. My grand mother used to get out her big powder puff and put floral scented powder all over me after a bath. I loved that! I read things like this and wonder what my kids will remember some day.

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  13. ♥ memories I experienced the atmosphere of this wonderful Tuesday, today is my birthday :-)

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  14. Such pretty flowers. I don't think I have ever seen these before. Hope you have a wonderful day.

    Danielle

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  15. An interesting post with the history of your lovely tuberose and that amazing gadget!

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  16. We had tuberoses when I was growing up. The fragrance is one that is never forgotten!

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  17. Anne what a lovely story about your grandparents. Have never grown tuberoses - they are now on my must try list. Thanks for mentioning me in your Blog. Love Pixie

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  18. Wishing you all the best with your tuberoses!
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

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  19. Such a wonderful post remembering your grandma and her tuboroses and your grandpa with his pull in whirlpool. How sweet!

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  20. A beautiful flower and I like the way you describe the memories it brings back. Lovely post. Thanks for your comment on my blog, I really appreciate it. Have a lovely evening xo

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  21. I agree with you about bringing back memories with scents... I have many... What a wonderful memory of time spent with your grandmother... Beautiful post!
    Blessings,
    Penny

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  22. Hi Anne! Thanks for becoming a follower of my blog. I appreciate your kind comment. I grew tuberose in the past, but haven’t thought about it in years. I may need to order some new ones off the internet. Thank you for sharing a lovely memory!

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  23. Oh I just love those little white flowers the pictures are wonderful.

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I love your thoughts and comments, and I read each and every one! Sometimes life gets in the way, though, and it takes me a while to respond...Thank you for understanding! ♥...Time is precious, and the time you've taken here is truly appreciated!