We had extreme cold weather warnings on the weekend. It was the kind of brutal cold that stings your face, thumbs your fingertips and quickly penetrates even an extra thick layer of wool socks. The frigid temperatures definitely left me pining for spring.
I always save a walk past the floral department for the end of a trip to the grocery store. Even if I don't purchase anything, it is a treat to see cellophane wrapped bouquets of fresh flowers and displays of spring bulbs. On Saturday, there were orchids for the bargain price and pots of daffodils, tulips and hyacinths to temp me. After much humming and hawing, I chose the hyacinths.
The death of Hyacinth by Merry-Joseph Blondel
This is a rather theatrical depiction of Apollo bent in grief over the body of his lover Hyacinth. According to Greek mythology, Hyacinth, the handsome son of a Spartan king, made the fatal error of rejecting the affections of the Zephyrus, god of the west wind. In a fit of jealousy, Zephyrus blew Apollo's discus against the boy's head mortally wounding him. A purple hyacinth flower sprang from the young boy's spilled blood.
Hyacinth was also a martyred Christian saint who starved to death when he refused to eat meat that had been blessed in a sacrifice to pagan gods.
Wild Hyacinth, a native of Turkey and the Middle East, was introduced to Europe in the 16th century.
According to the Victorian language of flowers, the hyacinth flower symbolizes sport or play. A blue hyacinth signifies sincerity.
Hyacinth bulbs have been cultivated commercially since the second half of the 16th century. As well as being grown for their flowers, hyacinths are also cultivated in the Netherlands for the perfume trade. Most hyacinth perfume sold however is actually synthetic.
Not everyone likes the rich, spicy scent of hyacinth flowers. Certainly their fragrance can overpower a small room. Myself, I like the heady fragrance and the waxy, bell shaped flowers.
I put the pink and white hyacinth flowers into two of my favorite containers. I hope they brighten the start of your work week.