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Blooming all over the farmette


It's a foggy day at the farmette. Only 10C, and damp. We're hoping to get out and do some roto-tilling on the big veggie garden later, when it's not soaking wet.

I took a spin around the yard, and was able to enjoy all the spring flowers that have jumped out since last weekend. Honestly. It feels like I turn my back for five minutes and there's a whole new crop of lovely, fragrant blooms that I hadn't even seen peaking out before.

So here's a roundup:

Here's my hellebores. My. One. Hellebores. Because I can't seem to grow more than one. It's a beauty, though, eh?

It's also called the Christmas rose and is quite toxic. That olde tyme medicine man Hippocrates used it as a diuretic and a laxative. Constipated citizens all over the ancient Greek world owe a lot to this little gem.

I put in some miniatures last fall. Here's my wee daffs. They, too, are of Greek extraction, first documented in 300 BC by philospher/botanist Theophrastus. Of course, they are from the family Narcissus, and we all know from our mythology what happened to the original poor dear. Fell in love with his own watery reflection. Kerplunk, splash, and he turned into a lovely trumpety flower.

My little red tulips are nearly done. As you can see, I just have a handful of them in a clump just past my redbud tree.

These little beauties have been cultivated as far back as 1055 in Istanbul. By the 1500s, Turkish Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire was so enamoured of flowers that he had 12 gardens and more than 900 staff to take care of them. Tulips were his favourite and actually became the symbol of the Ottomans. Long before the Dutch took them on as their own. Cool eh?

My hyacinths are in full, fragrant force. Their scent is nearly intoxicating as you walk up the back steps to the patio doors on the sunroom. These guys' mythological history is Greek, as well, with Apollo and Zephyr fighting for the attention of the gorgeous Hyakinthos.

Unfortunately, the poor thing was hit by a discus during a game and died from his wounds, cradled in Apollo's arms. The structure of the bloom is supposed to resemble the Greek letter A, which indicates the sound of Apollo wailing. Boohoo.

Finally, a no​n-floral sign of spring greeted me this morning on the bird feeder. The picture really doesn't do him justice, but I couldn't get close enough to get a shot of this stunning rose-breasted grosbeak. He actually has a bright red bib under his wee beak that sets off the perfectly co-ordinated black and white feather suit that he wears.

An interesting fact about this grosbeak is that the male and female partners share nesting-sitting duties and sing to each other, which is apparently rare in the bird world. In most species, the ladies rarely ramp up the vocal cords. So yay for the grosbeaks, I say.

Here's hoping for lots more pleasant blooming revelations as the spring unfolds here at the farmette. Until next week.


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