Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rose Garden Ramblings: Grape Hyacinths Make Beautiful Buckets [Bouquets]


Summer is on - and here in Texas, we are experiencing long periods of blazing heat with very little if any precipitation. I'm no gardener, although I would like to be one, and the best I can do at the moment is tend to two container plants: one columbine and one coneflower. I had another columbine plant but unfortunately it got overwatered a few months ago and wilted away - something that we don't have to worry about at present conditions. But in my dreamiest of dreams, I would oneday love to own a flourishing English cottage garden, complete with picket fences [or perhaps stone?] and honeysuckle or wisteria-covered arbors.

So I've made it a point to try and learn about different flowers, plants, and design aspects in general that will hopefully come in handy sometime in the future. I chose Muscari grape hyacinths as my first subject solely on the basis of its name - Hyacinth, one of my most favorite and beloved British television characters from "Keeping Up Appearances". I often wondered whether the sitcom's creators chose Hyacinth because of the flower's characteristics, just as they might have chosen Daisy, Rose and Violet.


Grape hyacinths are known to be tough little cookies who can spread and multiply quickly when planted in outdoor soil, a rather ambitious and forceful quality, not unlike Hyacinth Bucket herself. Paghat's Garden's quote is rather hilarious when you relate it to the human Hyacinth: "Many Grape Hyacinth species, & in particular M. botryoides, can spread very dramatically, to the point that some people find them a nuisance". In fact, they can be very invasive indeed [think of Hyacinth invading poor people like Emmet's personal spaces].

Blooming in early spring, these blueish-purple grape like blooms are eye-catching and would make a perfect addition to a romantic, overabundant English cottage garden. Just plant en masse under shrubs or trees, and these self-seeding beauties should grow and grow and grow. If you are lucky enough to have bunches of these growing in your garden come spring next year, feel free to bring a few indoors for your next Candlelight Supper, or how about for your Indoor/Outdoor Luxury Barbeque and Finger Buffet - you know you've been planning that one for ages.

[Photo of grape hyacinth is from Floral Images and photo of Hyacinth Bucket is from this great blog Mavis]

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