Fragrance from Beyond

Ever find a scent can bring you back in time? Well, here’s a short, sweet tale for you.

Years ago, my hubby, Guy mentioned how he collected flower seeds alongside his Mom as a boy. She would grow pink four o’clock flowers in their yard. When the fragrant blooms finished, a dark round seed could be picked. Or, more often than not, be found on the ground where it dropped and rolled into a little crevice in the soil.

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“Do you think we could plant some?”

I’d never heard of four o’clocks. I think people bypass them because they’re  annuals which take a while to develop into a flowering plant. Also, because they tend to bloom later in the day. Like after four o’clock, of course!

Guy and I bought a few packets of seeds and I’ve never needed to buy more since. Each fall, we faithfully gather up the seeds. I’ve had some epic fails in the past with planting gathered seeds. Since I didn’t realize I collected seeds from hybrids, those new seedlings emerged looking like ugly weeds! And, they were everywhere! But, the four o’clock seeds have been successful each time.

Many “volunteer” four o’clock plants shoot up on their own. Those little round seeds work their way into the soil, tucked away safely over the fall and winter, only to become my biggest four o’clock plants yet!

These plants typically grow to a height of 18-24”. Every year, a volunteer plant grows in the corner of my yard, surpassing me in height!


Guy’s happy. He says every time he sees the four o’clocks, he thinks of his Mom. She passed away unexpectedly when he was sixteen.

 I tell Guy, every time I walk near the flowers,  I catch a whiff of their wonderful fragrance without even coming close to them at all. And, I think, “This is what Heaven will smell like.”

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