Jasmine on the beach: the Yabanaki plant show

May 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s spring, and Greece is mad for plants. All the plant nurseries along the ramshackle avenues are crowded with people carting away vast, low, trembling flats of meretricious little pansies to cheer their yards and concrete balconies.

The best spot for flower-buying, I am told, is a local plant show, such as the recent one at Yabanaki beach in Varkiza, where a jasmine vine that costs nearly 10€ in Leroy Merlin was only 5€. Likewise, it was 5€ for a glossy gardenia studded with promising tight green buds, which I know are doomed to drop without a smile from this infamously prudish, stingy, touchy bush, which is already going yellow in the leaves for spite.

I now have a balcony festooned with both the flourishing jasmine, smelling lemony in the morning and intensely raspy at night, and the obnoxiously guarded gardenia, as well as bay, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, mint and parsley. That makes some that help with dinner and some that never pay their way because they think they’re too pretty. And now I wonder in what order they will wither, since my hand means death to all verdure.

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