Thursday, April 2, 2009

O.k., it's really Spring now!

Last Friday, it was chilly and rainy, but i got a few pictures of my early Spring bulbs starting to bloom (unfortunately most of the pictures were out of focus). I did get a nice picture of my hyacinths. And here they are a week later, on another drizzly day, much more open and showing their nice dark purple color.
They are what happens to hyacinth when they are allowed to come back year after year instead of being pulled up and thrown away--the flowers seem to revert to a more wild, open type. These plants are probably 15 years old. My friend Gloria happened to come along at the right time one day, when the gardeners for the Smithsonian were pulling up the spent bulbs and getting ready to throw them away. Over the years she and i have both had this discussion, that it seems so very wasteful, but the gardeners say that there's no place to store the bulbs from season to season, and they (the gardeners) are expected to provide constant blooms all season and the only way to do that is pull out the bulbs when the flowers go by and plop something else in their place. For some reason they can't sell the bulbs either, something about them having been bought with government funds? (of course, that was 15 years ago...maybe now they'd be happy to raise some revenue!)
Anyhow, Gloria came along as the guys were pulling the hyacinths and tossing them aside. She got 6 bulbs for herself and 6 for me. Each of the bulbs has made 3 or 4 new plants. I suppose i should divide them but i like the clumpy look and i haven't really had place for more hyacinths.
The little grape hyacinths have suddenly popped up and are blooming.
The viburnum buds are showing lots more color.
And this week is the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC! It was grey and misty this morning and this picture was taken from a moving car (i wasn't driving this time!). It's of the reflecting pool in front of the Jefferson Memorial and all around it are Yoshino cherry trees in full bloom (sorry that the guardrail takes up the whole foreground of the picture). Even at 7 this morning there were tourists walking around under the trees, striving to get the best picture of the lovely blossoms close up or far away. Lots and lots of big cameras and tripods!
The National Park Service has an excellent site all about the cherry trees, including an illustrated history of how they originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship from the people of Japan. Some of the trees are descendents of trees in Japan that are said to be 1500 years old!


  1. This was interesting !
    and I read about your book club too
    AND ..... Sky blue pink is a favorite of mine , I mean I just like saying 'Sky blue pink '
    I think it was a popsicle flavor years ago .
    one more thing > I love that you said
    Snoopervise about the cats
    another perfect word !

  2. Great post! I, too, love the deep blues of hyacinths and scilla. And I loved reading about the cherry trees. What a rich cultural history those beautiful trees represent! Thanks for this post...and have a good weekend!

  3. Would love to see those cherry trees in person! As for the hyacinths, they are so pretty and I love the fragrance of them, too!

  4. Hi QC!
    It's so lovely to be back - let's just see if this has signed me in OK....

  5. Great, it has! Lovely to see your garden pics - we have the same flowers here! I was just at the local garden centre, and I was really shocked at the prices of things like grape hyacinths (can't spell it!) they were nearly £5!! Zoiks!
    Hope you and the furry fur balls are well!

  6. You have lovely spring flowers!

  7. We had thick fog here this morning but it's beautifully sunny now! Nice to see your flowers. We have little hyacinths too and the bluebell patch that runs behind the house is beginning to bloom, as are our bleeding hearts! Our cherry trees won't be ready for a while yet. #1 has told us about going "Cherry-Blossom Viewing" when she lived in Japan and that her favourites are the weeping cherry trees!

    Tom, Tama-Chan and Sei-Chan

  8. Well, just wait a minute. We had several pretty nice days this week, (one in particular where I even had the AC on in the car) but now they are saying possible flurries on Monday. It ain't over till it's over.

    Love those cherry trees. I planted one in my front yard two springs ago and now it is simply beautiful.

    I have to remark that the bulb situation is just another fine example of government waste! Glad you were able to recycle something beautiful.

  9. Enjoyed your post..we also have many of the same bulbs but will have to wait a bit longer for them so it's so nice to see yours as a reminder of what is yet to come! So far all we have blooming are the crocuses! My husband used to live in the Washington and Baltimore area so he remembers the cherry blossoms but I have never been there.

  10. Mom loves Hyacinths. She enjoyed your pics.

  11. Those photos were wonderful. The PM wishes she had an "online sniffer"!!!!!

  12. Hi Quiltcat, Thanks for your comment on my blog :). Your cats look beautiful, so soft, so furry..yes you're right I do have kitty envy!x

  13. We are definetely going to read that info about Cherry trees later! Mom agrees that it seems wasteful to throw away the bulbs. How lucky to be walking by! Something similiar happened to mom the other day in our botanical garden. She came home with a load of Oriental poppies, Winter aconites and Lysimachia. It's great to get good plants for free. The same in a store would have cost quite a bit...
    Purrs to Spring!
    Siena & Chilli

  14. as a side note -- thanks for the encouragement over at the croft. another problem with coping with my mother is that she's housebound. I need to get hooked up with the visiting nurse service or some such so I can have medical folks come to the house.

    But I do appreciate any and all information from folks who have traveled this road -- and I do thank you.

  15. We know we're really late, but the humans are so lazy. We love flowers.