Early spring flowers take all attention , they are first, after all. Modest they might be, but they evoke the primordial feelings about the cycles of year and life. Beginnings are always sweet, as all spring flowers are. But they can be toxic, like mezereon, small bush from the forest rim. When summer comes, its simple sweet smelling flowers will vanish till the next year. And then the cycle will begin again. Sweet smell and poison, spring and winter, life and death, again and again……..
Daphne_mezereum_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-050.jpg (438 × 591 pixels, file size: 113 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg), from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Daphne_mezereum_-_K%C3%B6hler%E2%80%93s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-050.jpg
Before spring opens the many buds at My Botanical Garden there is some time to enjoy Strauss music.Comic love affairs and roses were triumphant at the premiere, even if Strauss used Waltzes, not fashionable at that time. Der Rosenkavalier is part of the standard repertory even today, 103 years after it was first performed at La Scala. Is it for the comedy of human characters or the beauty of roses? Have a look and decide by yourselves…….
Laurus nobilis, bay laurel, is what Mediterranean summers smell like. Dark green leaves shine under hot sun and make deep shadow. Each August I make bay bouquets for my friends to bring some summer memories into their kitchens. A bay leaf in winter casserole is like a sunshine hello, not only from summer holidays, but even from far countries like antique Greece. This is why laurel is to be respected, for its story is old and picturesque, aromatic and unique. It became part of Ovid’s Metamorphoses as an Apollo and Daphne myth.What a destiny to turn a beautiful girl into a laurel bush! Or what a privilege?
Antonio del Pollaiolo: Apollo and Daphne, from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Antonio_del_Pollaiolo_Apollo_and_Daphne.jpg
Seeing that Apollo was bound to catch her, she called upon her father, “Help me, Peneus! Open the earth to enclose me, or change my form, which has brought me into this danger!”Suddenly, her skin turned into bark, her hair became leaves, and her arms were transformed into branches. She stopped running as her feet became rooted to the ground. Apollo embraced the branches, but even the branches shrank away from him. Since Apollo could no longer take her as his wife, he vowed to tend her as his tree, and promised that her leaves would decorate the heads of leaders as crowns, and that her leaves were also to be depicted on weapons. Apollo also used his powers of eternal youth and immortality to render her ever green. Since then, the leaves of the Bay laurel tree have never known decay. from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_and_Daphne
Viburnum tinus is among stars of the Mediterranean spring. Its dark green leaves contrast fragrant pentamerous flowers in white or pale pink, evolving into dark blue fruit resembling small pearls. Yet this obvious picture from maquis has its invisible side .It is called domatium, after Latin word domus, for home. Domatia are microscopically small chambers at the under sides of the evergreen leaves. Plant grows domatia to host mites. In this way Viburnum tinus can be seen as a botanical skyscraper with many tiny apartments for arthropod neighbors. Imagine a little mite calling her friends to come over for a party at her condo! I am kidding, it only fascinates me to recognize there is another life underlying the botanical beauty of the plant we can see with our eyes. It is like a parallel world. Only the question remains, are the mites, or are we , at the right side?