Thursday, February 4, 2021
Hyacinth Bulb Liberation
I had a pretty quiet day at work yesterday. I made a book available for a kid coming to collect it, I re-shelved a few things, and I considered weeding our art section but didn't get launched on that project. We have a lot of really old art books, many donated, some in pretty bad shape. I think the Internet has killed the need for them. Nowadays, wouldn't people go online to see a certain painting or work by a certain artist?
Anyway, I did wind up cleaning the windowed corner of our silent area, where we have a lot of plants sitting on the metal windowsill. There were dead leaves and loose dirt everywhere, so I got some damp towels and wiped the windowsill down, trimmed the plants and vacuumed the carpet below. Probably not really my job, but it just seemed easier to do it myself.
It led me to an interesting discovery. Remember the drag queen hyacinths?
These are the ones I brought home several weeks ago. See how they look stunted and kind of brown? Not very healthy, right? I've been puzzled about why they looked so bad, and while cleaning the library I figured out why. I picked one up (we still have a ton of them sitting around the school) and began peeling away the glittery layer. It fell off easily, and beneath it I found latex -- or some kind of rubbery stuff, like a balloon -- tightly wrapped around the bulb!
So basically, the poor things haven't been getting any water at all, even though they've been planted in damp soil. I brought three more home from the library, removed their rubber bulb-torture suits, and planted them. Then I pulled all ours up, one by one, and did the same. Now they should be able to grow roots and become healthier. (Plus -- bonus -- most of that glitter is now in the trash.)
(Top photo: Pavement construction in Swiss Cottage. I think they're laying underground pipe. It's a mess!)