J is for Jasmine #AtoZChallenge
On April 11, 2015 | 20 Comments | Uncategorized |
Photo:  http://www.stockvault.net/photo/117506/jasmine

Photo: http://www.stockvault.net/photo/117506/jasmine

This is the last A to Z Challenge blog post for this week! I’ll be back on Monday with more. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Walk past a group of jasmine vines and run your hand along the edge. Release its perfume into the air. Is it any wonder that jasmine is used medicinally as a relaxant, or as an aphrodisiac?

According to legend, the Duke of Tuscany brought Jasmine to Europe in 1699. He wanted to keep the plant for himself and didn’t allow cuttings to be given away.

His gardener, however, had a beautiful sweetheart with a birthday coming up. He was a poor man, so he had nothing to give her. He picked a sprig of jasmine for her to wear.

Here’s the cool part: she didn’t just wear it, she planted it, and it rooted.

Over time the plant grew, and she grew others from its cuttings and sold them to the wealthy. Then this enterprising woman and her gardener lover could afford to marry.

And this, my friends, is one reason jasmine shows up in bridal bouquets even today (though I suspect it’s more because it’s pretty and smells good).

It’s sadly believable that someone would want to covet a beautiful item and keep it for himself rather than sharing it with the world. I’d say it’s the Duke’s loss, because he does not know the joy of giving beauty away freely.

My favorite days in the garden are when I harvest enough to share. Sometimes it’s in a baked item, such as a fruit cobbler…I can taste the mix of sweet and tart of my plums even now. A friend’s children love my applesauce, made with home-grown apples and not a lick of extra sugar, just a touch of cinnamon. Potatoes, garlic, figs, tomatillos — all find their way out of my yard and into the kitchens of others.

I tip my hat to the beautiful sweetheart of the story, who didn’t just wear the jasmine, but planted it. Rather than going for the instant glory of scented flowers in her hair, she saw the value of waiting. By delaying gratification, her dreams came true, and she and her beloved husband prospered.

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