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Yikes … Add Hyacinths To The List!

If you follow The Daily Artisan blog, you know how much I love flowers and photographing them both outdoors and in the studio. Fortunately, there’s only one flower I’m highly allergic to, and it’s the lily.

That was until today … yikes, add hyacinths to the list!

Hyacinths are so beautiful, and although I’ve not spent time around them, that changed today with a potted hyacinth that had the most gorgeous pink blooms and emerging buds to boot.

I’ve been wanting to do a watercolor of hyacinths, and when I saw the plant today, I thought it would be a great combination to both photograph and watercolor it – and make it the subject of today’s blog post. So, I scooped up the pink hyacinth (the only one in the store) to bring home for an enjoyable afternoon.

The hyacinths were in the back seat, and driving home I was excited! That is until less than one mile down the road when I started wondering if maybe I could be allergic to them? I let down the windows in my vehicle as I drove and opened the sunroof thinking this would help, but not so much.

Still determined to put these beauties in front of my camera, I brought them inside my house and started pulling together some backdrops and props to set scenes for the photographs. How bad could it be anyway?

Well, within 10 minutes, my head started to itch, and then my legs … and I know how this drill starts with lilies so I knew I’d need to move quickly with my camera. I have never photographed so many setups so quickly in my life, and at one point I stopped to even put on a Covid mask!

The pink hyacinth was beyond beautiful, and I thought I was getting some good shots, but I couldn’t stop to see for sure because its “effect,” shall we say, continued to progress! Fortunately, it was not as bad as my typical throat-closing reaction to lilies so I kept shooting and shooting, knowing these gorgeous pink flowers sadly were not going to be able to stay at my house or even outside on the lanai.

And, I’m pretty sure this is going to be my one and only day around hyacinths!

Mind you, I often spend five and six hours in botanical gardens shooting all kinds of flowers (just knowing to avoid any lilies) and in the process, getting very close up to them. Today with the hyacinth – not so much! I would have put on disposable gloves if I’d been able to operate my camera wearing them.

You’ve heard of speed-dating? Well, today was speed-shooting and it went fast!

When I figured I’d (hopefully) gotten some good shots of the hyacinth – and as more parts were starting to itch – I decided it was time to call an end to the madness. I called one of my friends who lives nearby and gave her a quick explanation of why I was about to bring her flowers that I’d bought for myself – put them in the back of my SUV with all the windows down – stayed in my mask – and drove over there right away to hand over my beautiful pink hyacinth!

After some Benadryl and a couple hours back home, the reaction finally stopped, and I’m just now downloading my photos to see what I got. The hyacinth drama prevented me from doing the watercolor painting but I can do that another day from looking at the pictures, and will post it then.

Interestingly, out of curiosity I looked online at flowers that can be dangerous, and found a list of the top 10 flowers that can be deadly for pets to ingest – and you guessed it, two of the 10 are lilies and hyacinths! Oddly, though, others on the list like tulips have no effect on me at all other than swooning over how pretty they are to look at and photograph!

I really can’t put into words just how much I love flowers – looking at them, photographing then, reading about them, answering the doorbell to the delivery man holding a bouquet, drawing them, and watercoloring them. But as of today, I now know there are two flowers that will have to remain in books for me!

Enjoy the photographs of the infamous pink hyacinth – just please don’t send me any, other than maybe a picture!

Do you like hyacinths (assuming you’re not allergic!)? Have you photographed them? Please comment below!



  1. Reply

    Elaine Lester

    March 7, 2022

    Beautiful! So sorry you had an allergic reaction.

    • Reply

      Susan Evans

      March 7, 2022

      Thank you, Elaine! It’s such a gorgeous flower I hate I’m allergic to it!


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