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.
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).
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 ~
They also had one of THESE things...
...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) ~
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!
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?) :^)
♥ ♥ ♥
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 ~ ♥