I have one room long-liver – this is Sambuc jasmine. The plant is over forty years old. This is my mother’s flower, where she got it from, I don’t even know … When exactly it appeared, I also can’t say. In my youth, I was not interested in indoor flowers. Yes, and people did not have a flower boom in Soviet times, there are enough fingers on their hands to list those that the majority had on the windowsills. Geraniums of 2-3 species (now we know that these are pelargoniums), ficus (old rubber), a couple of cacti, an agave (now more called aloe), well, and a Chinese rose tree (now trendy hibiscus). Then the majority had only one of its varieties, Hamburg (I recently identified this). And then, my mother was simply happy, from time to time appearing scarlet terry balls. Well, especially advanced florists of that time, somewhere they got Kalanchoe degrioma, Tradescantia and Vanka-wet (unforgettable and sung in songs of windows, aka balsam), groom and bride (blue and white campanula). As a rule, flower shops did not have a wide assortment. And the people, preferred to save money, changed processes, brought cuttings from work, grew citrus fruits from seeds.
Jasmine sambac (Jasminum sambac)
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And for some reason this incomprehensible plant always irritated me. The branches are long, thin, the leaves are sparse, some kind of crumpled, often withered, a cobweb at the base of the branches. In addition, it always clung to the tulle curtains. And sometimes I deliberately, abruptly jerked them away and twisted leaves flew to the floor. Mom shook her head, sighed, carried the hated freak into the bathtub, lathered it with household soap, then put it under the shower …
“Oh, why all this effort! – I was irritated, – it is high time to throw it out! The window sill is narrow, the flower only interferes! “
“You don’t understand,” mother defended her pet, “this is a rare plant and blooms very well”.
I shrugged my shoulders: “Is it blooming ?!” I’ve never seen this angular driftwood bloom. I soon got married and left home. There were children, new worries and new things. I did not plant flowers, there was no time to bother with them, and there was no desire. Although I often visited my mother, I did not even look at the windowsills.
Years have passed. Mom was gone. The brother who lives with her is going on a long business trip. I came to say goodbye.
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“Sister, take this flower for yourself, otherwise it will perish,” – my brother brought me … my mother’s jasmine. The flower had grown, bright green leaves sticking out cheerfully in all directions.
“You would take it to work,” I said, not at all happy about his proposal.
“Yes, I handed out almost all the flowers, I know that you have no time to bother with them,” he looked sadly at me, “but, you know… this is… my mother’s flower, beloved. I can’t … Well, I ought to keep it. If I could, I would take it with me. “
I sighed heavily, and without much ceremony, threw a pot with a flower into a bag and took it home. My new family – myself, my husband and two children – lived then in a communal apartment, on the second floor, near the Universitet metro station. The corner room had two windows, one overlooking the avenue and the other into the courtyard. I placed the flower on a sunny window overlooking the avenue. This area is very green, around the house there is a small garden with lindens, lilacs and bird cherry trees. And the window to the courtyard was often opened in the summer, and a flower would interfere with this. It was the first houseplant in my adult life. But I was a careless owner (you can’t call me a florist at that time). I forgot to water, sometimes the unfortunate person got the remains of sleeping tea, sometimes – coffee. Seeing how disastrously my “departure” was reflected on him, she appealed to her own conscience. Remembering the words of my brother: “After all, this is my mother’s flower!”. Reproaching herself for her negligence and lack of sensitivity, she hastily wiped the leaves and watered them with fresh water. But then, one day, I went with the children to the dacha for the whole summer. Not that she threw the flower, she just hoped for her husband.
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“Oh, it will pour, somehow.” The spouse approached this issue seriously, even though the scientist poured water into a jar, put it on a dais and threw a wet flagellum from the jar to the flower.
Then, with peace of mind, he left for the time of our absence to his parents.
I returned home in the middle of summer to do my laundry and go grocery shopping. The first thing that caught my eye was the reddish frame of jasmine, without a single leaf!
“He died, did!” – sadly, but with a share of relief, I stated. She felt the twigs, stroked the dry bark of the trunk with her finger and, taking the plant out of the pot, threw it into that very open window overlooking the garden.
At the end of August we returned to Moscow. While my husband was carrying things from the car to the second floor, I stood at the entrance with my one and a half-year-old daughter in my arms, and looked at the flower bed in our front garden. Well done, our pensioners, they have broken such a flower garden! Here my husband opened our window – something fell from the slope directly onto the flower garden. I followed the flight and discovered that it was a crust of white bread, apparently falling from somewhere higher, there some old woman always fed pigeons on her windowsill. Apparently this is from her. But what’s next to bread? I put my daughter in the stroller and came closer. So it is – my mother’s jasmine, twigs and roots stick out plaintively from the lush green of the flower bed. My heart sank!
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“Or maybe he is still alive ?!” – Flashed through my head. Anyway, I’ll try to do something for him! It’s my mother’s jasmine.
I bought fresh soil and transplanted the poor fellow into a new pot, cut off all the dry twigs. She moved the plant to another window, because the merciless sun can burn it! How could I have not noticed this before. It was as if the veil had fallen from my eyes, and, most importantly, I’m not afraid of pretentious words – my heart burst open.
Soon, chlorophytum appeared on the windowsill, and then nephrolepis made up the company of Sambuca.
Beauty, the window sparkled with new colors! It would be necessary to look into the flower shop, maybe something new has appeared there? I strenuously tended the jasmine, loosened and watered with softened water. There were no leaves stubbornly, but for some reason I firmly knew that he was alive. Once, unable to resist, she scratched the dry trunk with her fingernail – it is not clear, then deeper. Alive. Alive! Alive !!! The leaves appeared a month later. And three years later, on a frosty January day, when my children and I returned from a walk, we were struck by the extraordinary delicate and wondrous aroma that stood in the room.
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Sambuc shot with a single bud, which I did not notice, and now it was blooming with might and main with a large (for this plant) snow-white flower. Children stretched their noses to the flower, and closed their eyes in bliss. If I say that the calendar was January 25, Tatiana’s day, and that is exactly what my mother was called, they will not believe me. Well, as they say, believe it or not …
We don’t live in that communal apartment, and for a long time I have had an extensive collection of flowers. With something I part easily, I am experiencing some losses difficult … But Sambuk is still with me. It is always different, it blooms profusely, then it throws off the leaves. But I never managed to propagate it by cuttings, neither by me, nor by those to whom I gave the shoots. This is one of my favorite plants, which I will never part with and will pass on to my children, because this is my mother’s flower.