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White hyacinths to feed my soul

Friday, February 15, 2013

"If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves
alone to thee are left,
Sell one & from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul"
- Muslihuddin Sadi,
13th Century Persian Poet

"If I had but two loaves of bread
I would sell one of them
& buy White Hyacinths to feed my soul."
- Elbert Hubbard

DH and I have kind of worked out a deal for Valentine's Day, over the years - he takes me out for a nice dinner at a romantic spot, and I buy flowers ostensibly for him but really for the two of us. He used to try to send flowers to me at school, but somehow the flowers never arrived - so I'd send flowers to him at work, and he'd bring them home for us to share and enjoy.

This year, we're in Melbourne, Australia - we just moved to another guest house (the one we were in could only house us for 2 weeks, so we had to move), and we found a cute little cafe that wasn't having a special Valentine's menu, so voila, a booking was made. A few doors up, there was the flower shop, ready for us - it was fate!

I wandered in, and chatted with the shop lady - I wanted the lilies, but hesitated because I knew we only had water glasses or coffee mugs, no tall vases. So we settled on a bunch of white hyacinths, and a bunch of pink, which fit beautifully into the water glass on our bureau.

Woke up this morning to collapsed pink hyacinths. The white ones held up but the pinks were just collapsed. I gave them a bit more water, we went off on errands, we came back and the stems were either broken off or bending.

I gathered together all the pinks and walked over to the flower shop. The gentleman recognized me from yesterday, took one look, and said, "Oh no, that shouldn't have happened!" We discussed it - and eventually I left with an armful of lilies (which were almost double the price of the hyacinths) and a borrowed plastic vase, to be returned in a week or two. At no cost. Because the man knew that the flowers should have held up longer than one night. (He apologized for selling me dodgy hyacinths. Dodgy!)

So our souls are well fed, with white hyacinths AND white lilies - which should bloom all week.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1920 days ago
    Flowers are good for the soul, and the environment-as you said it makes it more personal. Love that you do that.
    I love hyacinths and lilies, my FIL used to give me one or the other every Easter.
    emoticon emoticon
    1921 days ago
    The whites were gone yesterday, just kind of faded away.

    But last night the first lily opened up, today there are three with several more ready to pop, and the room smells wonderful. I will admit that I often buy flowers when I'm in a hotel or guesthouse for more than a few days. Richard thinks I'm a bit crazy, but I think they make the impersonal room just a bit more personal and homey.
    1921 days ago
    Lovely, lovely, lovely.

    I remember when I was a philosophy teacher once giving a lecture on Hegel scheduled for a three hour class. I took in a pot of blue hyacinths to relieve the tedium and by the end of the class they had completely collapsed into a floppy pile on my desk: much to the amusement of the students!

    I almost always have hyacinths on the kitchen table all winter long: right now, a beautiful shade of mauvy pink.

    And my garden is planted up with 26 years worth of hyacinth bulbs from my winter indulgences.
    1922 days ago
    Awww that was nice! I like the idea of picking out flowers for both of you. I wish I could have had flowers this year, I have a feeling my cat would knocked them down. They bring such beautity to a home. So nice the of the flower shop to lend u the vase and replacement flowers. Thriftshops usually have vases super cheap. I got a big one for my MIL today at goodwill for 96 cents.
    1924 days ago
    Julia, interesting idea with the collapsable vase. (I usually just cut off the top of a water bottle, but didn't have one handy!)
    1925 days ago
    How beautiful...dinner and flower...I love that arrangement and as fate would have it, it worked out well for the two of you. Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours. emoticon
    1925 days ago
    ahhh I could mail you one of those flat plastic flower vases -

    here is a set sold on Amazon so you get the idea, but I've seen them even at office supply stores (in USA there's OfficeDepot).


    Some just fill up with water and you can put your flowers in them and they more or less hold their shape. Others were a heavier plastic (not seeing them just now, seems like I also saw them in or but you use warm water to expand it and then create your "shape", and then soak it in cold water to "lock" in the shape. Then when trip was over and you were ready to collapse the vase, you poured out the water and dead flowers and cleaned it out as best as you could and soak it in warm water and flatten it, dry it off a bit, and you're set to go.

    Who knows? maybe a luggage company might have some. I'm not familiar with Melbourne or any of Australia so not sure where to advise, but keep your eye open! (maybe the florist would have contacts to get some for his ship for other tourists?).

    Sounds like a great trip, otherwise!!

    1925 days ago
    The flowers sound beautiful - enjoy them. Happy belated Valentine's Day!
    1925 days ago
    how lovely
    1925 days ago
  • POPSY190
    I love hyacinths, especially their scent. Glad you both had a lovely day.
    1925 days ago
    HI Phebess.
    How lovely !!. I love that you are enjoying yourselves and scored some lovely flowers ...
    Loved that the florist made good with the Lilies ..

    Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon
    1926 days ago
    That is so awesome!!!! White hyacinths are BEAUTIFUL!!!!
    1926 days ago
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