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Category: Slices of Life

Unexpected blooms

I’ve always loved frangipani (plumeria) flowers, ever since I was a kid and my big sister had them in her bridal bouquet. So pretty and such a lovely fragrance. They don’t readily grow down south (of Australia), where I live — they’re more of a tropical plant. But some people manage, and I’ve been trying for years to get one to flower — without success. It hasn’t died, but that’s the best I can say of it.

When a friend of mine moved house a few years ago, she was delighted to find an old frangipani bush growing in her garden. Several years passed but it never flowered for her. She moved it, tried planting it in a different position, but still not a bud in sight. 

A few months ago, in frustration, my friend ripped her frangipani out. She was about to throw it in the green recycle bin when she decided I might want it, so she stuffed it in a plastic bag and dropped it over to me. I thought it would never grow. It was just a couple of thick old sticks, no leaves and barely a root to its name. So I bunged it in a pot at the front porch and forgot about it. 

And lo . . . I have flowers! There they are in the photo above — only two so far, but more coming. And they smell divine. So at the moment at my front door I have a few late gardenias in bloom and frangipani. Bliss.

Mind you, my original frangipani has more leaves than ever this year, but not a single bud of flower. I live in hope, though, that my new plant will encourage it.

Are you a fan of fragrant flowers? What’s your favorite?

Fresh Basil

Three days ago a friend gave me a bunch of fresh basil, straight from her garden. It was so gorgeous,  so lush and fragrant. I would usually make  fresh pesto with it — I love pesto— but instead I’ve been tossing the fresh leaves into salads and bowls of hot vegies. So yummy.

I’ve had it for several days now  and it’s still looking fresh and delicious. That’s what’s left of it now, in the photo on the right, after three days in my kitchen — still fresh and yummy.  So I thought I’d share the trick I discovered a few years ago for keeping fresh basil fresh.

Stick the stalks — as they come from the garden — in a glass of water and place a plastic bag over the top — just loosely. Don’t put it in the fridge — keep it on the kitchen bench. I don’t spray the leaves or anything. Any faint condensation on the plastic bag is from the leaves themselves.

It also works with the basil you buy in bunches from the supermarket. Pop them in a glass of water and cover loosely with a plastic bag. I’m not sure how long it will last for — I usually eat fresh basil pretty fast.

Are you a fan of fresh basil? How do you prefer to eat it?