Smells like Home

Sometimes I think that if you blindfolded me and put me in a Star Trek transporter to an unknown natural destination, deprived of giveaway clues like language,  I could still tell which country I was in my the smells and sights of nature around me. Certain smells like mandarin oranges remind me of childhood Christmases, smells can be so evocative or time and space and memory.

For me the smell of newly cut grass, marigolds, annual flowerbeds and roses are the England I knew when I was growing up.  Here is Nepal all of these are everywhere, looking very English and completely foreign all at the same time as they mix in with some very Nepali surroundings.

In fact if was dropped blindfolded in a Nepali garden, I might have a really hard time figuring out where I was at all.  Its all here…everything…from so many different places I have lived:


Salvias…very English


Zinnias….very English


Busy lizzies and marigolds…to name a few..

And yet the Himalayas and Hertfordshire are not the only mix I see. Let me explain about the Greek contingent going here too:


There’s no shortage of cacti like this classic paddle cactus that’s so common growing wild on the Greek mountainsides


…And there’s plenty of large trumpet-like flowers which I’ve seen all over the Med…but I don’t know their name…


…and most strikingly, there’s bougainvillea everywhere. Sometime growing colorfully up a pergola – just like in Greece – except that in the background you can see snowy mountain peaks. Bougainvillea and snow in the same frame is hard to believe.



And before you think that Nepalese gardens are very European…let me shake it up a bit by introducing The Philippines into the mix:




….palm trees…


..and ancient Banyan-like, gnarly trees

And finally, just for good measure, a little North American Fall and Christmas….


Is there anything that DOESN’T grow here ?!!