All from one little plant
Years ago a downtown hotel, then new, that has since changed names a time or two set out beds of cyclamen, pink and white. I had to look it up to see what these were. It was a year when there was at least a dusting of snow, and some very cold weather otherwise. They bloomed throughout the winter undisturbed. It was a display that in its own way rivaled the beauty of the astounding displays of wintertime snapdragons at the Alamo some years. This fall, a tiny pot of the bright pink cyclamen came home from Sledd's Nursery by the Kash-Karry. Why that color? We're not in general fond of white blooms and, as is true of blue or purple flowers, the deeper pink (puce or fuchsia) doesn't show up well from any great distance. It has never been transferred to a larger pot. It has beautiful variegated leaves. Since it has the sort of succulent stems that African violets do, all watering except that provided by nature has been from the bottom, so as not to touch the stems of the leaves and perhaps rot them. This pot, along with some Johnny jump-ups (violas) from the same source, has sat all winter long atop the table on the catio (neighbor cats like to peer in from it), just outside the dining-room French doors. The yard has been so redolent of hyacinths and narcissi that it was only in this damp weather that it became clear that the cyclamen has a scent of its own, and a very beautiful one. It somewhat resembles that of the freesia but with a spicy overlay.