Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

This plant is practically the antithesis of what I am typically attracted to, but when it’s mid-February and I am aching for the fragrance of fresh flowers, my standards shift dramatically. It’s akin to when I am in search of coffee while on the road or out of town. At home I am a supreme coffee snob. Good quality espresso-based coffee only and it had better have the right proportions of milk as I will not tolerate spending $4 for a puffy while cloud floating on top of a lake of indeterminate brown liquid. Away from home I will pretty much take what I can get.

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Brunfelsia pauciflora) is curiously named for its showy blooms, which cycle through three colours, starting out violet and fading to white over the course of three days. It’s a half-hardy shrub from Brazil, certainly much too large and needy for a small space grower like me. This is the sort of plant that you can grow if you have an ample greenhouse (lucky you!) or live in a warm climate. It’s in the Solanaceae family (nightshades like tomatoes), and while I am often attracted to Solanums, this is one of the least interesting, in my opinion.

Still, those flowers are FRAGRANT. They epitomize the word floral. I must have breezed by this plant at the Allan Gardens Greenhouse at least a handful of times in the past, but yesterday I stuck my face right up in those blooms and deeply inhaled that aggressively cloying floral scent as an antidote to a slushy, gross, winter day. And then I took a picture of it.

For that reason I am renaming this plant, “Late-winter’s Desperation.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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5 thoughts on “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

  1. Oh how I understand you !
    I’m reading one of your books and can’t wait to start gardening again. Luckily, the first crocuses are poking their heads out of the snow (VERY early this year). A wonderful sight but almost no fragrance. Sigh.
    Well, gotta get some good coffee (with the right amount of milk !) to help me out of my winter desperation.
    And thank you for your books, the blog and all the inspiration !

  2. I visited Allan Gardens for the first time last weekend to quench my desire to see flower-blooming in action. I too can’t wait for springtime! And this plant and it’s fresh smell stuck out to me as well.

  3. I have started 38 plants, flowers and herbs indoors. I had some sprouts in as little as 24 hours!! I’m super excited and I cannot wait for warmer weather!! Last year I bought a couple of plants at the local green house and stuck them in virgin soil and waited to see what happened. Not too bad. But this year, I HAVE A PLAN!!!! I just don’t know how/where I’m putting them in my tiny yard yet. This site has offered some inspiration! Keep up the great work!

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