Finding Arabian Jasmine

When I followed my husband to North Carolina for a year, I knew we would be up for a great adventure. What I didn’t expect was a feeling of entrapment, of needing more greenery and missing our Ohio open spaces.

On a whim, we decided to bring the greenery to us and buy a houseplant. Buying this plant became similar to adopting a pet: we chose the “breed” with care and yet it was different than we had anticipated: larger (and will continue to actually vine), more delicate, and we knew way less about keeping plants than we had suspected because they are all so different to care for.

Upon researching indoor plants, I came across a flowering shrub called Arabian Jasmine. This plant immediately called to me for its name – I used to show Arabian Horses and Jasmine is supposed to smell amazing. An article by Better Homes and Gardens suggested the Arabian Jasmine would add fragrance, and could contribute to cottage style or tropical style, and would add zen to the room. According to Pinterest, my style is “cottage eclectic,” and I knew she would fit perfectly into our home.

We located a litter of Arabian Jasmines available at our nearest Lowe’s, picked one out (along with the many plant necessities such as soil, fertilizer, a new pot, a trio of Succulent siblings, and etc.), and nestled her into our home.

Maybe nestled isn’t the word. In order to transplant a plant, you have to get rid of some of the old soil and place it correctly into the new soil, then work it in until it comes together. In addition, we added rocks for a drainage layer and a tray to catch excess water.

Did I mention we lived in an apartment? Our living room turned into a greenhouse work bench for a few hours, and it was so much fun. We laid a Dollar Tree tarp over our carpet and got our hands dirty preparing the home for our newest addition.

We placed her in our sunroom, which had the most sunlight and put her on display, placed just off to the right, next to the Bonsai tree. Jasmine reached toward the Bonsai and is now vining into it. Instead of trimming her back, we’re going to get her a trellis soon and let her grow wild.

I love pronouncing her whole name. It’s slow and poetic; rolling off my tongue with grace. Although they only relate in name, my Arabian Jasmine plant is similar to my beloved horses. Its blooms are are leathery to the touch – much like my horse’s muzzle – and they are supposed to bloom June through September, some even March through November, much like my former show season.

Arabian horses are known for their elegance and many of the original breed are small, mostly pony size, yet they are hardy, strong, and full of life, just like this plant’s tiny flowers.

The tiny buds bloom at night, oftentimes just after dark, and little wisps of Arabian Jasmine waft across the living room to surprise us, making our space feel magical. Like my horse’s star, these blooms are petite and star-like, speckling through the plant as they bloom. The blooms are so delicate in their attachment. They are quick to fall and slow to decay, yet even then they decay regally. First they dot and stripe in lavender, then turn deep violet entirely until they actually wilt into a mauve-brown heap.

I tried to press the first snowy blooms that fell, but when I returned to them, they dried into this brownish purple. Nothing like they had originally bloomed.

We’ve recently moved back to Ohio and although I am again surrounded by greenery and vast sunrises, I enjoy my Arabian Jasmine all the same.

So, until I have a farm of green pastures dotted with a couple of elegant Arabian ponies, I will have an Arabian Jasmine in my windowsill reminding me of the beauty in the little things.

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