Winter Flowers in My Neighbourhood – A Photo Essay

Looking for inspiration today I quickly walked around the block and snapped a few happy winter flowers. This is what I saw:

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A pretty camelia round the back lane:

 

A pretty camelia around in the back lane

camelia

 

And my forever favourite, lavender. The girls next door just planted these plants called “Avonview”. It’s Lavandula stoechas ssp Avonview:

 

lovely lavender

lovely lavender

 

A distant shot over the fence, up the laneway, in a grey sky:

magnolia

magnolia

 

A stunning lilly opposite me in my little street:

 

Arum lilly

Arum lilly

 

A cute little pansy with a face, spotted on my way back from the post office:

pansy

pansy

 

My red zygo cactus (the pink one has already flowered:

 

zygo cactus

zygo cactus

 

And some beautiful ornamental kale in a bunch of flowers for my mum:

 

ornamental kale

ornamental kale

 

And finally the beautifully illustrated paper from the local book shop. They gift wrapped a book I bought for my 86 year old mum in hospital:

 

botanical gift wrapping paper

botanical gift wrapping paper

Thank you.

The end.

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Check out my YouTube channel too, thanks.

copyright 2016

Osmanthus – Heaven on Earth

I walked past the osmanthus bush in the back lane today. It’s in bloom, in a warm Sydney autumn. I don’t know how I can endeavour to explain to you how beautifully mesmerising the scent of this plant is – but I’ll try.

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Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

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and many other stores worldwide as an ebook and paperback

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Osmanthus fragrans

Osmanthus fragrans

 

Here it is! Osmanthus fragrans, part of the Oleacae family. What else belongs in this family? Oleander, olives and jasmine.

As a small white flower (depending on the species the flowers can also be orange), just like jasmine, it’s hard to believe the intoxicating scent is so powerful. But it is.

Imagine jasmine, gardenia, frangipani all rolled into one, then add apricots, the secrets of the universe and unicorns, and you may come slightly closer toward this deep exotic floral perfume.

 

The leaf

The leaf

 

“Osmanthus fragrans flowers are also known as gui hua. These tiny dried yellow blossoms are among China’s most heady and intoxicating flower blossom fragrances. China’s great flower-scented teas were developed during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Osmanthus, jasmine, rose, orchid, lotus, gardenia and wintersweet were all used to delicately scent batches of tea.”

Jann Erik Nilsson

 

 

Flower in broad daylight

Flower in broad daylight

 

“Osmanthus fragrans is associated with a number of Lunar legends in China, which makes it symbolic at the time of the Chinese Moon Festival which is held in September under the symbol of Osmanthus Flower and is also called Osmanthus Festival.

In the warmer parts of China, the plant continues to bloom non-stop throughout the winter to spring. During the nights of the peak season for the flower, Chinese families used to gather in their yards to eat moon cakes, while the grandmother of the family told traditional stories about the Moon, the sweet Osmanthus and the figures of Chinese legends.

According to those legends, there live on the Moon the Fairy Chang E and a Jade Rabbit which is Chang E’s pet, a Giant named Wu Gang and a huge Osmanthus Tree (Osmonth).”

Jann Erik Nilsson

 

 

The bush in the back lane

The bush in the back lane

 

Osmanthus is a native of Asia, particularly China and Japan, and is even the mascot tree for some cities in both these countries. Having said that, this pic above was taken in the back lane today. The end of Autumn and 27 degrees. Hello global warming!

I have walked this lane for the past 10 years, never knowing what the beautiful scent was. I am embarrassed to tell you abut a year ago, I had to ask a natural perfumery group the question – “what is this plant?” As soon as I found out, I realised I had detected the scent many times before in various locations. I had always thought it was coming from this palm ……

 

The palm

The palm

 

Osmanthus is sold as an absolute and it’s often expensive. I’ve seen it advertised from as much as $32 for 1ml, $121 for 1gm, and as little as $22 for 10 mls. This is definitely an oil I’d encourage you to try.

So there you have it – from scented Ming Dynasty teas to lunar legends, this flower is beloved of the world. If I’ve helped one person discover this wonderful tree and perfume, it’s a job well done I reckon.

 

Thanks again lovely readers. Do you have a favourite scented plant?

copyright 2016

Flowers in Purple

Hi natural beauties! This week I am republishing a post that Portia Turbo from Australian Perfume Junkies curated for me. Because I’m busy. That’s my excuse. And the pics are all by me, and they are gorgeous! Thanks nature x

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Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

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and many other stores worldwide as an ebook and paperback

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Hi APJ,

I’m looking though my photos and everything seemed to be purple. Peaceful, perfect, poignant purple.

Purple: Photo Essay

Suzanne R Banks Prince Purple #1

Suzanne R Banks Prince Purple #2

Suzanne R Banks Prince Purple #3

Suzanne R Banks Prince Purple #4

Suzanne R Banks Prince Purple #5

Suzanne R Banks Prince Purple #7

Suzanne R Banks Prince Purple #8

Suzanne R Banks Prince Purple #9

Suzanne R Banks Prince Purple #6

Prince Sound Opinions Episode 191 Purple Rain FlickrFlickr

“I might just stop talking again and not do interviews.”

Prince

 

Vale Prince

copyright 2016

Botanical Inspirations from Oz- A Photo Essay

Hi there my scented friends! I’m really enjoying summer on this beautiful land and here are some lovely plants and flowers I’ve seen lately. I hope you are as inspired as I am with the lovely colours and shapes of nature.

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Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

Barnes & Noble      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

and many other stores worldwide as an ebook and paperback

**************************************************************************************************************

Eucalyptus or gum nut flowers

Eucalyptus or gum nut flowers

Where: the Inner West, Sydney

I feel:    happy and grateful for the warmth of Australia

Scent:  a very mild honey scent which brings bird life

 

Pine cones

Pine cones

 

Where: Sugar Pine Forest, Batlow. NSW,

I feel:    quiet and abundant

Scent:  not particularly scented but the environment of the pine forest certainly was!

 

Murraya peniculata

Muraya paniculata

Where: the Inner West, Sydney

I feel:    beautiful, dreamlike and sensual

Scent:  a very heady citrus/jasmine scent that permeates the air all around Sydney

 

Sunflower

Sunflower

 

Where: a friend’s garden, the Inner West, Sydney

I feel:    connected to the universe through the golden ratio

Scent:  mild herbaceous scent

 

Frangipani

Frangipani

 

Where: the Inner West, Sydney

I feel:    tropically delicious as if I’m on holidays

Scent:  a sweet honey floral


How does your environment make you feel – how are you inspired?

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Check out my YouTube channel too, thanks.

copyright 2016

Tussy Mussies, Nosegays and the Victorian Language of Flowers

white rose tussy mussy in a Victorian silver tussy mussy holder

white rose tussy mussy in a Victorian silver tussy mussy holder

Tussy mussy.

I’ve always thought it was very camp but until now I don’t think I ever had the proper understanding of what it really was. I thought that herbs and flowers were gathered in posies and carried by ladies in the 16 and 1700’s to drown out the stench of sewerage, rotting rats and other smelly things. It was also before daily bathing was common and I suppose the tussy mussy would have come in handy regularly. I’ve imagined lavender, rosemary, thyme and all things herbal, dotted with sweet smelling flowers where possible. These were called originally called “nosegays”, and if that isn’t camp – what is?

herb tussy mussy

herb tussy mussy/nosegay

Upon further research it seems they were around in the 1500’s too for the same reasons. It isn’t quite clear if the word “tus” refers to a cluster of flowers or comes from a similar word meaning tuft or clump.

So I’m right.

But it’s more than that!

Gentlemen callers sent posies to the one they admired whereby the flowers chosen had secret meanings! How devilish and exciting.

And….. there are special tussy mussy holders made from gold, silver and even glass that hold the posy in place as you gad about the town – taking whiffs whenever needed. You could then rest the posie on your table when finally at home.

Victorian tussy mussy holders

Victorian tussy mussy holders

I imagine beautiful violets in a traditional tussy mussy. I wonder what that means? Here are a few from about.com/gardening

Strands of ivy signified fidelity and friendship, gardenias conveyed a secret love, forsythia… anticipation. Shakespeare used them to enhance the story, as in Hamlet, when poor Ophelia laments “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember: and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.”

Baby’s Breath: Everlasting Love

Calla Lily: Magnificent Beauty

Camellia: Perfected Loveliness

Daffodil: Unrequited Love

Daisy: Innocence

Forget-me-not: Memories

Gardenia: Secret Love

Gladioli: Sincerity

Jasmine: Cheerful & Graceful

Lilac: First sign of love

Lily: Purity of Heart

Orange Blossom: Marriage and Fruitfulness

Orchid: Beauty

Red Rose: Passionate Rose

Sweet Pea: Good by

Violet: Modesty

My client and amazing angel lady Doreen Virtue has written a book with an Australian Naturopath, Robert Reeves, about the language of flowers.  It’s a beautiful book and of course differs from the list above. It’s worth a read if you LOVE flowers and the healing energy of mother nature. Check it out “Flower Therapy: Welcome the Angels of Nature into Your Life”.

red roses

red roses

Today I think it’s pretty simple. Flowers are always a beautiful gift and if you send red roses it probably does still signify love and passion. If you send anything else, it’s simply stunning. How could a flower have a negative connotation? And of course my choice would be scented flowers. Especially roses. I think if you are sending roses, ask for scented stems.

So next time you are on the holo-deck having a virtual Victorian experience, remember your nosegay or tussy mussy to get you through.

 

copyright suzannerbanks 2013