The peaches on this tree always ripen late in the season.
When I say ripen, I mean that they change colour and the whole tree gives off a delicious perfume.
But they stay fairly hard, and are really best for cooking in some guise or other.
As soon as we’ve finished with the pears, grapes and almonds, I’ll pick them.
The scent reached me when I was in the pool today and I thought, ‘This is too strong for summer jasmine’.
Sure enough there was one half-opened flower on the magnolia tree.
Bear in mind that one tree with only a handful of blooms can perfume an entire street.
It must be one of the strongest flower fragrances there are – imagine creamy lily-of-the-valley with a twist of orange.
I love the translucent white petticoat inside the earthier outer-skirt and the way the form of the flower shines through.
An evergreen clematis smothers a white balustrade with its white flowers and fills the air with its heady perfume.
Last Christmas, when Clive was in hospital in France and I was on my own in Italy, I bought a rose-scented candle to keep me company.
This Christmas, although we’re back together, I lit the candle again.
Every time I come into the room, the scent envelops me – not faint and delicate like the perfume of the roses which still persist in the garden, but rich, creamy and heady.
The flame, flickering in my peripheral vision, adds to the feeling of cosiness.
We have a big candle painted with Nativity scenes on the other side of the room, and a freesia-scented candle to take over when this one’s finished, but this is the romantic one.
The oleander season is just beginning; this is one of the first blooms to open.
The altitude we’re at is a bit too high for oleanders to flourish because every year the frost battens them back, killing some.
But they still make a display, with colours ranging from pure white through ivory, apricot-and-cream, shell pink and pink to deep red.
Their smell seems to vary according to colour and even individual bush, but this pink one has a sweet, light perfume of vanilla and rose with a hint of coconut.
They don’t need much watering (although they appreciate it) and since the winter prunes them anyway, I don’t need to!
If the gurus of perfume manufacture haven’t used wallflowers yet, they ought to.
Wallflowers must have the sweetest, strongest, least cloying of all scents in the garden.
I suppose the connotations are unfortunate.
Imagine a new fragrance being marketed ‘scent of wallflower’. It would hardly be the most popular thing to buy for a party!
The flower isn’t shy and retiring in any of its habits, though, least of all the colours in its petals.