At this time of year there's not much blooming in my garden. There's not a lot for sale at nurseries, either, although they are beginning to stock up again after the holidays. Many have houseplant sales at this time of year, including very showy, fancy orchids -- splashy, colorful creatures that never fail to attract my eye and my camera, but unfailingly, when I buy them, they die.
In medieval times, orchids were known as bollock worts. The name comes from the Ancient Greek ὄρχις (órkhis), literally meaning "testicle," because of the shape of the root. Wort, of course, simply meant plant.
A lot of flowers -- the Narcissus perhaps most famously -- figure in Greek myths. The orchid does as well. Orchis was the son of a nymph and a satyr, who during a Bacchanalia, raped a priestess and was torn apart as punishment. His father prayed for him to be restored, but instead the gods turned him into a flower, the orchid.
Instead of showing you yet another photo of the Mahonia x media 'Charity' that is blooming in my garden, I thought I'd post some pictures I've taken of orchids. I prefer not to associate them with a rapist, although I really do get a kick out of calling them bollock worts.
Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of every month. Check out her blog post here and see loads of other flowers from around the world.