As a child, I disliked the grape hyacinths that popped up each spring in my mother’s garden.  I thought that they were misshapen, ugly things.  That there were only a few a them, seemingly randomly dispersed through the beds only added to my dislike. At least, I thought, they were adjacent to the air conditioner where nobody would easily notice them. My grandfather, who lovingly tended my mother’s garden — and often the neighbors as well — tried to transplant them, increase them, and lastly, to remove the stragglers. But, he understood, that volunteers can be stubborn. Those three or four bulbs were determined to bloom where they were planted and were unwilling to accept others into their ranks. That spot was, apparently, their perfect home.

As an adult, I have a different view of hyacinths.  I’ve never planted any and I suspect that the ones that bloom in my yard may have been planted by the previous homeowner but in a different locale.   There used to be some that bloomed regularly near the house, in a bed that was destroyed 10 years ago during a renovation.  Perhaps the few that I have were tossed into the woods during the digging.  Perhaps they were transported by a squirrel who either forgot where he planted his treasure or spit them out once he realized they were not as tasty as the tulips.

Every Spring I look towards the top of the hill for those first signs of the oddly shaped spears of purple and white that will lean with their top-heavy weight once the blossoms open.  In a few weeks they will be gone, their stalks hidden by the vinca and the honeysuckle and shaded by the maple and hickory trees.

But, for now, they are the imperfect, colorful stars standing out in a continually greening landscape.  Wabi-sabi.   Beauty.  For the soul.

Beauty for the soul

Beauty for the soul

Linking with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday. This week’s theme: Perfectly Imperfect.  Follow the link to see some great artwork.

This photo was shot with a 60mm lens, at f4, 1/2000 sec,  ISO 1600.  The image has been layered with Kim’s texture “Gentle Whisper” at 10% soft light.


5 responses to “Hyacinths

  1. Loved your story 🙂 (I used to dislike my mom’s bachelor buttons flowers.) Your image lovely and I like your quote!

  2. Anne, I loved reading your story. I used to feel the same about prize dahlias that my aunt grew. As we grow older, it is nice to see the beauty in things. I LOVE your hyacinth!!

    • Thank you so much, Bev. Love how our interests change over time & circumstances. I often think about all of the wonderful things that start showing up in the garden centers this time of year — and how few of them will grow in heavy shade. But then, I think about all of the interesting things (and critters!) that live in the woods and never cease to surprise and amaze me.

  3. I’ve always liked grape-hyacinths but have only recently come to realise how many varieties there are. They’re unassuming but colourful and come up reliably year after year. And in most places they multiply and spread.

    • I’ve had the same 4 or 5 plants for the last ten years. I wonder why they don’t spread. Very different than the hard clay soil of my mother’s garden, but they seem just as reluctant to multiply. Likewise, there are some very little/miniature iris that refuse to propagate, but they’re lovely every May/Jun.