The sarcococca is blooming. This tidy evergreen shrub with it's boxwood-like leaves is visually quite shy, keeping to the shade, a modest supporting player to the showy asters of fall that grow at its feet. Its white flowers are inconspicuous, followed by purple-black berries in spring. But these shy flowers open in January, just when everything is sodden, chilled and depressing.
Their scent rolls out, filling our porch with rich fragrance. With your eyes closed, you might mistake it for a tropical plant, so lush is its perfume. It is a fragrance that stops visitors in mid-step. "What is that?" they exclaim. We who expect it, stop to inhale - and smile, no matter how gloomy the weather.