I always think of hyacinths as winter flowers, whatever T. S. Eliot may have taught us to think about them (or Tennyson, in The Idylls of the King, for that matter). In their case, they were writing about hyacinths in nature, springing up through the ground as a signifier of spring, or resurrection, maybe. But my mother always used to plant them - pink, blue, white - so that with luck, they would be blooming indoors at Christmas, or just after. These are white, in our front hall, bought on the point of flowering, and doubtless to be planted outside at the end of this week, with our fingers crossed that they aren't immediately chewed up by hungry gophers. The smell is the same, though: powerful, slightly bitter, instantly transporting me back fifty plus years.