Sunday, July 02, 2006

Gag Me in the Garden

I choose many of my plants for fragrance, but my selections have sometimes unintended results. I discovered one such surprise as I was digging in the sun bed, right next to my miniature rose, to plant a veronica. My hole was roughly six inches in depth when I started to smell something bad. My first concern was that I had disturbed a previous homeowner’s pet. Then I realized that I had dug in this area too often to have missed a rotting corpse. In fact, I had planted a hyacinth bulb right in that very spot last fall…

My shovel bit squarely into the soft, juicy bulb and the full, putrid smell was released. A rotting hyacinth bulb smells like a mixture of onions, sulphur, and decaying meat. Even in the open air, it was potent enough to cause me to hold my breath as I fished the remains from the earth. I suppose it is only fitting that something that smells so powerfully good in bloom would have an equally powerful stench when dead.

I’m not sure whether to blame my heavy soil or my watering practices (I have thirsty annuals above) for the bulb’s death. Hopefully, I haven’t killed them all. I won’t be poking around in the dirt to find out, though. The experience of smelling of one rotting hyacinth will last me a lifetime.


Blogger snappy said...

thank goodness it was a bulb and not a former pet.did you recover the bulb or remove it from smelling distance?

4:21 PM  
Blogger Zoey said...

I've never had the pleasure --

I have hyacinths planted in a spot I almost never water. I guess that was a good choice for their home. :)

4:35 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Oh my! I don't even like the smell of hyacinths when they are blooming (too strong and sweet for me). It's good to be warned about the bulbs though, because I do have a few in my garden.

8:05 PM  

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