Japanese mock-orange tree ::: Smell this series, part I

Reason #133: this Japanese pretends to be an orange and smells wonderfully

I’ve decided to introduce a new category to this blog – “Smell this! series”. I’ve read that technology experts predict we will soon be able to convey scent through computers.

This post is for those reading in the year 2024. Go ahead, scratch and sniff your screen! ;)

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You barely notice these trees during the winter, but once they start blooming you realize – they’re everywhere!

Pittosporum tobira is a tree native to Japan and it’s also called Japanese mock-orange. The scent is similar to that of an orange tree, but I would say it’s even stronger.

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Although I love it and would gladly hug one all day, I can imagine that, as with all powerful fragrances, not everyone does and that they can’t wait for the season to be over.

Roses are red… and yellow and white and pink and…

Reason #129: grow a garden full of beautiful flowers

With this wonderful Mediterranean climate on Brač there’s lots of warm and sunny days all year round and that means anyone can grow just about any plants and flowers they want.

Disclaimer: my anything-but-green thumbs are not in any way responsible for this garden. Aunt Nada is the wizard behind this magic. I just get to wake up to it every morning. That’s a pretty rosy deal, as far as I’m concerned.

No thyme for Scarborough Fair

Reason #127: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Hiking or cycling on Brač in April and May you feel like you’re in flower heaven. Colors and smells are fantastic. Sage and rosemary are practically everywhere you look. And with parsley in your garden, you know what that means… you can’t help but hum Scarborough Fair as you go ;)

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Sage in the wild

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Growing out of a rock

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Sage planted to decorate public spaces 

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Rosemary. This was taken back in February when it was in bloom.

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Parsley in our garden

Now all we’re missing is some thyme. Obviously we can’t show up at the Scarborough Fair until we have all four. The guidebook tells us it’s definitely here somewhere, so off I go:

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Scarborough Fair by Simon & Garfunkel

Guidebook to 103 wild plants on Brač

Reason #126: now you can use a guidebook to find all the amazing plants in the wild

Dalmatia is bursting with amazing flora, tons of plants, flowers and herbs. Islands, such as Brač, are especially rich and relatively untouched ecosystems.

Now there’s a fantastic pocket guidebook available to us nouveau-locals and visitors. “Vodič za šetnju prirodom – 103 samonikle biljke otoka Brača” (Hiker’s guidebook – 103 wild plants of Brač)

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Kudos to the authors Tija Mlinac and Marisa Škaljac. Here they are promoting the book at the public library in Selca:

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Photos courtesy of knjižnica Hrvatski sastanak 1888, Selca

You can buy the guidebook at public libraries on Brač, or online: Purchase info @ super affordable 50kn

Mmmm… smells lovely, and costs nothing

Reason #73: in springtime you can pick flowers in the wild and your house will smell great

Did everyone else already know this but me? That freesias smell great!

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Don’t know if you can tell, but the cat is very pleased with the freesias, too.

The great thing about it is that you pick these flowers in the wild, meaning you’ve had a nice walk outdoors and they were for free (which we, Bračani, really like :)).

Also in the wild: daffodils, hyacinths…

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There’s wild asparagus in that bunch, too. Not for smelling, for eating :)

…. and cyclamen.

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And tons more. Just come on over to Brač in early spring if you like flowers and hiking.

To all the Selčanke

Reason 67: the women of Selca

Here’s a bouquet of wild flowers for all the ladies of Selca on this International Women’s Day.

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To all the moms, grandmas, sisters, daughters, aunts . To all the married ones, single, widowed and divorced ones. To stay-at-home moms, to entrepreneurs and other working women. You cook and clean and bake and take care of everyone. To the wonderful nuns who take care of our grandmas at the old persons’ home . To our doctor and nurses. To the waitresses in our cafes. To the teachers and the staff at the elementary school. To our hairdressers. To the women working at the općina, tourist board, pharmacy, supermarket… to all of them. You are wonderful! :)

And did you think today would go by without a party? No way, check this out:IMG-20140304-01097Poster inviting us to a Woman’s Day party at Ružmarin (restaurant in Selca). There’ll be live music by Trio Brač and lots of food and drinks, of course. 

I was told there’s going to be old-fashioned ballroom dancing, so that’s exciting. But I was also told you need a date for one of these things, so I’ll have to give it a miss. Maybe next year :)

UPDATE: the ball was cancelled and later I found out that there was a strip show in Povlja. A strip show, with an actual stripper. A male stripper…. and I missed it!!!

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Poster advertising a Women’s Day show with live music from Duo No Stress, plus a male stripper. The poster is stuck to a bus stop in Novo Selo.