29 July 2012

The Garden's Revenge

It is as if my garden, or at least certain parts of my garden read my last entry as this afternoon I discovered that yes, I do have my first flower of spring - one of the Muscari (Grape Hyacinths) has decided to emerge and greet the coming Spring.

The name of the genus, Muscari, comes from the Greek word for moschos meaning  "musk", and refers to the sweet aromatic scent of the flowers which, together with their often deep blue colouring, has made them popular in cultivation.

The common name is grape hyacinth, from the way their flowerhead resembles that of a hyacinth. An Anglo-Saxon translation of the Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist, Dioscorides, mentions that the first grape hyacinths were found on a forested mountain peak where they originated from the spilled drops of dragon's blood.

Naturally however my Dutch irises have been in flower all month and with no signs of slowly down.  Whether or not, these flowers are named after the Greek Goddess of rainbows who  has the same name, their vibrant colour is always a joy to see.

But alas, my jonquils (or narcissus) still are not heeding any call to bud.  According to Roman poet Ovid, Narcissus was a rather self-centred youth who, after breaking the heart of Echo (who pinned away so only her voice remained), he fell in love with a reflection in a stream - that was his own. 

Unable to drink from the stream (as that would damage the reflection), Narcissus eventually died of thirst and from the ground where his body lay, a flower grew.

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