Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hyacinth and Friends

A little white hyacinth is blooming in our backyard, where no hyacinth has bloomed before!!! I've bought them before, of course, at the supermarket, in tiny ceramic pots for forced blooming indoors. After all, who can resist a hyacinth in the springtime?

This one was growing up out of a pile of compost. I imagine the spent bulb came out with the kitchen scraps and landed in a propitious spot. Not realizing what it was -- no blooms were showing -- I unwittingly uprooted it while shoveling compost and adding insult to injury, or rather injury to insult, I sliced off a bit of the bulb with the shovel.

When I saw what it was I immediately planted it in the rich soil along the fence. I was sure it was done for, but plants can surprise you and I am always ready to be surprised. How nice to be rewarded with an un-looked for bloom. Let's hope it prospers in its new home as a symbol of rebirth, regeneration, and second chances, or, actually, third chances: house, compost pile, and now, planting bed. A three-time winner and a fitting tribute to the beautiful youth Hyacinth, beloved by Apollo but accidentally, tragically, slain by him and immortalized in an ever renewing flower.

Flowering at the same time across the yard in the bed along the other fence is a little mystery bulb, a migrant from the front yard. It must have come in with the leaf litter I collect in the front yard to cover paths in the back yard, following the permaculture practice of using onsite materials whenever possible.

There are dozens of these unknowns in the front yard, coming up every spring as long as we have lived here. And now they will be colonizing the backyard too. Another un-looked for spring bloom.

The wild onions are also blooming now in the shade under the plum trees. No mysteries or surprises are involved. These are tenacious weeds I happen to be fond of. They appear with the early spring bloomers and spread opportunistically everywhere there's an opening. I like them as additions to spring salads -- all parts are edible and have a mild oniony tang.

What all three of these pretty volunteer plants with their hopeful white flowers have in common is that they have chosen to grow in our yard. May they prosper (within reason).

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