I’ve got hundreds if not thousands of plant species out back, but a few times a year one in particular captivates me. It’s exotic, hallucinogenic even. (Though I cannot personally vouch for that). It has giant flowers, and big, jagged-edged leaves. Best of all, it boasts a fragrance so intoxicating it’s nearly psychedelic. I’m talking about Brugmansias. I first saw them while hiking in the Ecuadorean Andes, where villagers in some of the hamlets around the town of Otovalo planted them at the corners of their houses. “They protect our dreams,” a villager told me. Plants are easy to grow, even here in Connecticut, where I have them in containers and in the ground. Mine overwinter in a dark cool basement and recieve zero attention from me from late October to early May. Outside, once they launch into growth, they pump out several flushes of bloom that are just a marvel for the senses. I get about four flushes a season, each one bigger and better. Tonight’s one of those magical evenings. The brugs are absolutely stellar. Transporting even. Tonight, I’m going to make a mojito, sit under the brugs while their fragrance builds in the dwindling twilight, and drift away on a wave of fragrance. My dreams will be very well protected.
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