In the middle of the town, along the main road and only steps from the sea there used to be a park when I was little. We never went to this park but we always passed by it. The ground was packed dirt, if I remember correctly. I don’t recall any flowers in the flower beds. There were mostly small trees that made the place shady and dim like nothing you would expect from a sunny beach town. The hedges were also of the same species of plants as the trees. What made the place even more mysterious for a child were the two lion sculptures on either side of the entrance. The faces of the lions were eroded and they only reached a child’s height. The park is no more but I still remember that park with the lions.
This lion is a handsome version of the ones I remember from the park
The plants in the park were mostly ligustrum which is a genus of Old World shrubs that are also called privets. This is a genus of flowering plants in the family Oleaceae which is the olive family. Olive, ash, jasmine, lilac, privet all belong to this family. The trees and the shrubs have berries, capsules or drupes as fruits.
Ligustrum lucidum is a species with leaves that are smooth and shiny. In Latin lucidum means bright or shiny and it refers to the glossy leaves. Small white flowers develop as terminal panicles-much branched inflorescence-and then there appear green berries that turn purple and then black as they mature.
L. lucidum are planted as hedges and ornamental trees.
In my experience the smell of these flowers simply overwhelms the olfactory nodes and you want to experience it over and over. Some descriptions of the flowers mention that the smell is pungent and unpleasant.
I do not believe any flower or plant can have an unpleasant smell, unless it is something exceptional like the big corpse flowers (Carrion) which they say smell like a dead body. Carrion has been brought to our attention in the past few years because they are becoming extinct and botanists and naturalists are rushing to capture all they can about this plant.
Photo taken in December 2003 by Klaus Polak
I wish the same could have been done for old towns and buildings.
This photograph was taken from the opposite direction, looking south. It shows how big ugly buildings are popping up everywhere. When the buildings become taller than the hills and hide the mountains beyond there is no characteristic skyline left to admire.