Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring flowers

I think Spring may show up soon. After March 31 snow and the brisk cold winds I think a flower or two would be welcome. I've done some research and here are the favorites for the Northwest.
Tulips: It surprised me to learn that they grow about an inch a day even after being cut. They love to reach for the sun. Sounds like a smart flower, it's hard to come by sun in the spring.
There are a couple of main varities: Tulip french-the big ones and Parrot-the ruffled ones. They got their name from the turks turbins as the little cuped flower looks like one. In the 17 century Holland was crazy about these bulbed flowers. one bulb was reportedly exchanged for two loads of wheat, four oxen, eight pigs, twelve sheep, two hogsheads of wine, four barrels of beer, two barrels of butter, 1000 pounds of cheese, a bed, a suit of clothes and a silver beaker!
Because daffodils start blooming in March around my birthday I grew up thinking they were my flower. I thought the narcissus was a different kind of bulb but I found out they are the same thing and the terms are just interchangeably used. Go figure. Another interesting fact. They have poisonous alkaloids and that means that deer, rodents and other troublesome pests tend not to wreak the same havoc on daffodils that they do on other spring flowers. Now I know why we see them all over! Survival of the fittest!
The grape Hyacinths I planted years ago finally decided to give me flowers this week. I love the frangrance of these tiny bluish purple hyacinths. Yes they are bulbs also but did you know they grow inside really easily? Think of all the frangrance you would have with a nice pot of them in the house!
My mother grew a lot of irises, but I have had little luck with them. I see them now and again. They don't really come from a bulb, but rhizomes. I looked it up and it almost means the same thing. Irises are named after the Greek messenger of the same name, who arrived on earth via a rainbow. They do grow in a rainbow of colors but like the others I think they need something to hold up the stalk when those heavy flowers start to bloom.
Crocusus are all finish now, those sweet end of the winter, early spring flowers. They let us know life goes on and I enjoy the way they peek up at us so gently as if to say "is it safe to come out?"

1 comment:

The Stokes said...

Yes, it must mean something because my "golden" child who you would never expect to burn seems to be a bit red from our sunny adventures at the park yesterday! But i suppose we shouldn't get too excited otherwise the bad weather is sure to return!