"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
Winter Shapes: Jasmine Blooms and Rose Leaves

Winter Shapes: Jasmine Blooms and Rose Leaves

From “Lalla Rookh” by Thomas Moore in The RHS Book of Flower Poetry and Prose by the Royal Horticultural Society:

Plants that wake when others sleep —
Timid jasmine buds that keep
Their fragrance to themselves all day,
But when the sunlight dies away
Let the delicious secret out
To every breeze that roams about.

From “My Neighbor’s Roses” by Abraham L. Gruber in The RHS Book of Garden Verse by the Royal Horticultural Society:

The roses red upon my neighbor’s vine
Are owned by him, but they are also mine.
His was the cost, and his the labor, too,
But mine as well as his the joy, their loveliness to view.

They bloom for me and are for me as fair
As for the man who gives them all his care.
Thus I am rich, because a good man grew
A rose-clad vine for all his neighbors’ view.

I know from this that others plant for me,
And what they own, my joy may also be.
So why be selfish, when so much that’s fine
Is grown for you, upon your neighbor’s vine.


It’s always fun to uncover splashes of color among the winterized branches and bushes. Below are a few photos of tiny jasmine blooms, the first I’ve seen so far as we try to wrap up winter. The blooms — even the fully opened ones — are barely half an inch long, but still glow with some very bright yellows.

Below the jasmine photos are some early rosebush and rose vine leaves. They have quite a few large and thorny thorns, mostly, I believe, to protect them from photographers who like to stick their faces and lenses into the bushes — but also to ward off plant-eating predators.

Thanks for taking a look!


  1. I never knew what a jasmine bloom looked like, interesting. One of my aunts had a garden at the side of her house specifically for nighttime, night-blooming jasmine (a complete different plant I guess) and ornamental nicotiana. She moved a long time ago so I never saw it, but always sounded like a cool idea.

    1. Dale

      I didn’t know it was jasmine either, because I’m more accustomed to thinking of jasmine as a vine with little white flowers, rather than a shrub like this one. Plantnet.org called each of my photos “winter jasmine” — and if you search for “winter jasmine” on the web you’ll see photos that look like mine… so I guess it’s right (unless it’s wrong… lol).

      Night-blooming jasmine sounds interesting; I hadn’t heard about it till now. And I realize that must be what Thomas Moore is referring to in the poem snippet I included above. What a hoot!

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