I’ve written before about using the sense of smell in my writing, but in June and July, I go into sensory overload here. First come the magnolias, then the mimosas and gardenias, and now the tuberoses. I planted a handful of corms this spring and, like the gardenia bushes, a sweet jasmine scent greets my nose from six or eight feeet away even when the wind isn’t blowing from that direction.
My Virginia cousins grow them as a cash crop which they sell to the florists in Richmond. I’ve never visited my cousins when the tuberoses are blooming but it has to be one of the best crops ever and those clean crisp stems are certainly more pleasant to work with than gummy, dirty tobacco leaves.
When I wrote Hard Row, I was searching about for something Kezzie’s grandchildren could grow instead of tobacco, and my cousins’ tuberoses immediately presented themselves as one possible alternative. The profit margin may not be as high, but the pleasure margin certainly is. They respond well to organic fertilizers and they don’t seem to have any insect pests.
I, of course, won’t be selling mine. Just enjoying them. Thanks, Judy and Amos!