Orange Blossom Does any other flower have the power to fill the night and day like orange blossom? Rhetorical, of course. But lately some of the orange and lemon trees in the streets around have come into bloom, and it is almost unbearable. Even the little ones on my terrace are in on the act, though their blooms aren't quite plentiful to perfume the air for metres around.

At home in England, before I'd ever smelled the real thing, I used to wonder about plants such as Mock Orange (Philadelphus) and Mexican Orange (Choisya). They are OK, but not all that wonderful. Now, having been floored by the real thing, I'm keen to get back and see whether they could possibly be acceptable as substitutes. Something tells me not.

Lemon blossom One thing, as it always does, leads to another, and off I went Googling for the origins of Orange Blossom Special, a tune the Flying Burrito Brothers first burned into my brain. There isn't much, this 1 being the best I could do on a quick trawl. The Orange Blossom Special was a train, linking New York to Florida. But did it run all year, or only when the oranges were blossoming? And why did it lend its name to a bluegrass fiddle tune? Surely the line didn't run through bluegrass territory. I crave answers; if one poster to an archived mailing list comes good I may get some.

Oh, and I gardened this past weekend. Not merely moving plants from smaller to larger pots. Genuine hands in the earth gardening. Thanks, Joanne, for allowing me the pleasure. No matter that most of the effort was in digging up couch grass that had responded to being buried 30 cm and more deep by becoming even stronger and wilier. It was good. Tiring, though. Still, like the couch grass, what doesn't kill me makes me stronger.

  1. 9 April 2016: Dead link. In the meantime, though, Wikipedia to the rescue

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