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The hyacinths came early this year. Normally they bloom in late March, but this year they showed up in February while we were out of town. By the time we came home, some were already past their prime.
So far, the deer leave the hyacinths alone, though they can develop a taste for plants they supposedly don’t eat. I was told they didn’t eat lilacs, either, but once the leaves come out, it’s not unusual to see a few youngsters chowing down. They manage to bite the blooms off the tulips, so all we see each year are the bottom leaves. We’ve recently fenced the front yard, though, so we’re nipping that problem in the, ahem, bud. Literally.
According to The Flower Expert, hyacinths symbolize playfulness and constancy. They can also represent jealousy. Why? Because Hyacinth was a Greek god.
In Greek Mythology, Hyacinth was a beautiful youth loved by both Apollo and Zephyr, who developed quite a feud over the young lad. In one version of the story, Zephyr kills Hyacinth as a result of jealousy over Hyacinth’s fondness of Apollo. Rather than allowing Hyacinth descend into Hades, Apollo turned him into a flower.
Regardless of the hyacinth’s dramatic backstory, I enjoy watching their deer-repellant blooms in my front yard, a signal of spring.