second week of January

some of my best hyacinths this forcing season, I can't stop taking pics of this corner of the windowsill

hyacinths in forcing vases

the pink hyacinths were looking a bit sparse but they've really filled out

hyacinths blooming in hyacinth vases

hyacinths blooming in forcing vases

Victor and Socks looking totally indifferent to the hyacinths

cats and hyacinth vases

These are the remaining hyacinths today (14th Jan). Most in bloom but a few unopened buds.

hyacinth vases

the bulb bowl on the table has 3 hyacinth bulbs in very different sizes and 1 bulb that looks dead

I've discarded the 2 bulbs on the right (above) and put the other 2 in vases (below)

Close-up of some of the new (to me, I haven't grown them before) varieties of  hyacinths: Miss Saigon, Skyline, Fairy White. I love the way the Miss Saigon florets are bluish at their base. All the Miss Saigon bulbs I've grown this year are unprepared. They've forced very well unlike the Skyline which are prepared but don't seem to have grown properly or flowered properly.

hyacinth flowers in forcing vases

These 3 Skyline (lavender) are the only 3 bulbs of that variety I used this year as I had late purchases (2 vases and 1 bulb pot) to find bulbs for and those were the variety in the garden centre bins. Miss Saigon I've bought from 4 different suppliers, unprepared but they've forced ok.

hyacinth flowers in forcing vases

some hyacinths in bloom mid-January, tall amethyst vase Taylors Sky Line or Skyline (have seen it both spellings), green Tye vase Bloms Delft Blue, green squat left front is a very undeveloped deJager Delft Blue only the tiniest sprout out of the bulb, not ready to come out of the cellar but fear it won't ever be ready (other hyacinth varieties noted in following pics)

hyacinths in forcing vases

Peter Nyssen Fairy White on the left, deJager Delft Blue on the right

hyacinths in forcing vases

Peter Nyssen Miss Saigon - small but gorgeous buds, Fairy White on the right - also a bit small but very nice, think the Hornsea Cirrus bulb pot has Skyline but I bought it loose at the garden centre end of October and by then the bulbs were a bit mixed up

hyacinths in forcing vases

J Parkers Miss Saigon

hyacinth in prattware vase

J Parkers Miss Saigon?? that must be a mistake, their Sky Jacket turned out to be that colour, but I didn't realise other bulb(s) were also mixed up

hyacinth flower in forcing vase

last bulb bowls up from the cellar

I've had my pink hyacinths (Anne Marie/Ann Mary, Pink Pearl) in bloom before other varieties in past years but this year they are much later. (left to right, blue vases: 11 Peter Nyssen Anne Marie very sparse, 15 Peter Nyssen Anne Marie, 72 Bloms Bulbs Anne Marie, 92 or 93 Hornsea Cirrus bulb pot Peter Nyssen Anne Marie)

some of the latest vases up from the cellar, none of the bulbs are looking good, I'm not even taking these inside

hyacinth vases

none of those bulbs are worth keeping, I'm discarding them: (left to right) Bloms Anne Marie, Peter Nyssen Anne Marie, Peter Nyssen Anne Marie, deJager Delft Blue, deJager Delft Blue

these are the rest of the vases I brought up from the cellar today (11 Jan) and I'm going to try to keep them growing: (left to right): J Parkers Delft Blue, deJager Delft Blue, J Parkers Delft Blue, J Parkers Delft Blue

hyacinth bulb vases

the roots in the clear vases are visible above, the blue vase bulb is turned upside down, left below and has some short roots, pulling up the green vase bulb below right shows some good roots

a few days ago I also brought up the last of the bulb bowls

I was hoping some of the bulbs in the remaing bowls would catch up a little with the larger ones but no luck so far so I thought they really need to come upstairs even if only 1 bulb in each is going to bloom. Some of the crocus bulbs have very developed roots some have no roots at all. Bowl 4 on the left with Miss Saigon from 2 different suppliers, bowl 2 in the middle with 2 Splendid Cornelia and Miss Saigon and/or Delft Blue (that one got a bit confused), crocus bowl on the right.

hyacinths and crocus forced in bulb bowls

I just realized I hadn't uploaded this pic of the crocus vases which I took a week ago. Still no flowers but lots of roots.

crocus forcing vases

The Christmas-themed golden syrup tins are disappointingly out of season now. They were only ready to come up from the cellar this past week. The usual problems with amaryllis bulbs, not just falling over and breaking (therefore that short-stemmed flower in a vase) but one of the vases having a crack and leaking the water out and staining the table. Maybe the crack happened when they fell over?

hyacinth forcing vases

J Parkers Delft Blue looking a bit small but perfectly formed

hyacinth vase

bulb bowl 3 with deJager Miss Saigon

hyacinths blooming in a bulb bowl

bulb bowl 5 all bulbs bloomed (J Parkers "Sky Jacket" and Miss Saigon in the middle) but great variation in heights

hyacinths blooming in bulb bowl

bulb bowl 1 deJager Splendid Cornelia, only 1 bloomed

hyacinth bulbs in bulb bowl

another view of that bulb bowl from above, bulb flower buds on the left and on the right are both brown and dead

first week in January

Quick update on the hyacinths upstairs today (6-1-2016), that Bloms Delft Blue in the Mary Gregory vase has turned out very well. (left to right, 44, 51, 71, 53, 96, 98)

I'm pleased with the White Pearl hyacinths, even though they are a bit short, on the left is an unprepared Peter Nyssen Miss Saigon.

(left to right 14, 30, 31, 3, 45)

Quick update on the hyacinths downstairs, today (4-1-2016) as everything is changing so quickly, moving along the windowsill from left to right:

1. left

2. middle

3. right

Yesterday, I've discovered a few problems today (3-1-2016). The green vase (back left) has a shrunken bulb that has sunk into the water and is rotting.

The rest of the Fairy White hyacinths are looking good.

Fairy White forced hyacinth

Fairy White forced hyacinth

any bulbs I have in pots with bulb fibre/compost have those small annoying black flying insects (fungus gnats) so I have banished these outside, the 2 pots on the left have a rotted hyacinth bud each so not much point in keeping them indoors, the pot on the right had 2 of the hyacinths in bloom almost spent

as well as that green vase that has a rotting bulb, the Prattware vase below right also has a bulb that is not big enough and it is falling into the water and rotting

None of the mail order bulbs is large enough to fit in some of these very wide mouth vases without possibly sinking in - bulbs do seem to shrink a bit as they grow. Back to the bins of bulbs from the garden centre! at least for the few vases needing large bulbs which I will now mark as such on my spreadsheet.

I bought these prepared White Pearl bulbs for some late vase purchases but bought too many so just had to put them in any pots to hand. They all seemed to have bulblets which I will try to grow on.

White Pearl hyacinths

The Cirrus Hornsea bulb pot in the first pic above is also from the garden centre bins, although not sure which variety. Some of the vases upstairs also have those larger bulbs as these were recently purchased vases: Skyline on the left and Jan Bos on the right.

(I moved these vases to the radiator under the window just to get as much light as possible to photograph them on a pretty dismal January day but hyacinths should not be anywhere near a radiator!)

vases 53 (Peter Nyssen Delft Blue) and 71 (Peter Nyssen Miss Saigon)

(btw the numbers are just for my records to keep everything straight, I have labels on the bottom of each vase)

the bulbs in these vases (above and below) are not looking well at all but will await flowering

unprepared Peter Nyssen Miss Saigon on the left below looking pretty good and one of the garden centre White Pearl on the right (vases 14 and 45)

vase 46 and 45 again (not sure why I included that vase again) both with White Pearl

Peter Nyssen Miss Saigon on the left and deJager Delft Blue on the right below (vases 30 and 3)

few days after Christmas

selection of hyacinths on New Year's Eve, some are updates of recent photos

I'm not sure what variety these dark purple hyacinths are - certainly not one I ordered. They were supposed to be Sky Jacket but obviously are not but they are quite attractive; I love purple flowers.

I tend to use white hyacinths in green vases, this year Fairy White, flowers a bit small but pleasant enough. I think the small ones in the square vase are the ones from Sainsburys. They are surprisingly good.

this bulb bowl (above right and below) has "Sky Jacket" which I'm fairly sure has been a mistake from the supplier

vase 12 with J Parkers Delft Blue, great example

cobalt blue hyacinth vase

I had some rather small bulbs, from a multi-pack from Sainsburys which didn't even have varieties marked. This flower is small but a nice colour and well-formed. It's coping well with a small rose bowl filled with pebbles. More of those bulbs in the square vase above.

pink Stewart plastic hyacinth vase with Bloms Delft Blue

pronged vase with Bloms Delft Blue

vase 56 with Peter Nyssen Delft Blue

and some other half-brown flowers (left to right, 24. Bloms Delft Blue, 55. Peter Nyssen Delft Blue, 35. PN Delft Blue ,46. PN Delft Blue)

I'm not really sure why I pressed on with these. The bulbs look terrible and the buds not much better. Unprepared Miss Saigon from deJager.

vases in a prev pic below a few days later, they look good from this side

but not so good from this side (I just turned that vase around)

some Delft Blue hyacinths - that colour is fantastic

I think that pink hyacinth below is Splendid Cornelia but I'm not absolutely certain, could be Ann/Anne Marie/Mary or even Miss Saigon which I haven't grown before so not sure of its exact colour. I try to carefully note which variety of hyacinth bulb I put in each vase but get a bit haphazard with the pots.

I think those Fairy White hyacinths are looking good in the green vases

every container is pressed into service

Anne Marie hyacinths from 2 different suppliers, buds not looking very good

anne marie hyacinths

these are mostly Fairy White, except bulb bowl on the right is bulb bowl 5 with 4 JP Sky Jacket and 1 deJ Miss Saigon in the middle and blue vase on the left with PN Delft Blue which appears to be rotting and the water turning cloudy

Fairy White forced hyacinths

bulb bowl with unprepared deJager Splendid Cornelia

bulb bowl with deJ Miss Saigon, bulbs still looking unpleasant but have fat buds that look ready to bloom soon

Merry Christmas

Christmas Day hyacinths are what bulb forcing is all about! Some recommend staggered starting to have a succession of blooms. I can't do that. I want hyacinths in bloom for Christmas so start them all at the same time to have as many flowers as possible. There are still bulbs in the cellar and some upstairs just in bud so I will still have a succesion of blooms.

Upstairs on the mantelpiece.

hyacinths in bloom on Christmas Day

Downstairs on the kitchen windowsill.

hyacinths in bloom on Christmas Day

Christmas Eve

this is my best hyacinth so far this year (2015/2016 forcing season)

an exquisite bud just opening (B. Delft Blue)

another exquisite bud just opening (JP. Delft Blue)

I also reviewed all the hyacinths in the living room:

(2 Tye and uranium vases deJ. Delft Blue)

seeing the vases like this I realize I need to top some of them up with water

the cranberry vases (both the glassroots and the squat round one) have very fat buds, I just hope they grow a bit higher

(cranberry vases B. Delft Blue)

I still don't know what makes them bend over, sometimes they straighten up, sometimes they don't

the hyacinth bulb in the amethyst vase in the middle is completely rotten, soft and smelly! it went straight out to the compost pile (PN Delft Blue)

another Sky Jacket hyacinth in the green vase below looking purple rather than pale blue

(JP Sky Jacket)

(all vases below, PN Delft Blue)

the flower in the middle below doesn't look very well

a close-up of it

and this is on the kitchen windowsill

(B. Delft Blue)

few days before Christmas

these are the hyacinths I have in bloom today (21-12-2015), I hope the flowers that seem "stuck" will grow up a bit more, like the Delft Blue on the left and the Splendid Cornelia (?) in the middle

hyacinth bulbs in hyacinth vases

these are the hyacinths that were in bloom the day before, the purple hyacinth on the left (and at the back) were supposed to be Sky Jacket, which I've used before so familiar with their pale blue colour, but these sure don't look like Sky Jacket to me

hyacinth bulbs in hyacinth vases


I wasn't meaning to take any more vases out of the cellar this week but while getting out the xmas decs I saw these and realised I just had to get them out into daylight

this Mary Gregory vase is one of my favourites, I think some Mary Gregory designs can look a little tacky but this one is quite tasteful and unlike some vases with this sort of applied feet, this has no chips at all and the hyacinth bulb I used for it - how fat and magnificent! (the cranberry vases below also have great fat buds)

my first hyacinth in bloom - and I don't even know which variety! I tried to note which variety in each vase but wasn't so careful with the pots

this is a better view of the split bulb from the following pic

some vases and pots recently out of the cellar, they will green up after being in the sun for a day or two

lots of roots showing through the vases

it's harder to assess whether crocus are ready to come out of the cellar as there's no bulge  of the flower to see on the stems, it's just guess-work whether they look tall enough

some of the crocus bulbs are quite mouldy and I discarded them

mouldy crocus bulbs

the following buds are starting to show some colour

the bulb in the silver vase on the right only had the bulblet growing without a main bud

I put that bulb in some soil and now there's a bud emerging, plus the bulblet still growing

I've sorted the vases by hyacinth variety (upstairs and downstairs), this is Anne Marie (downstairs):

they were supposed to be Sky Jacket (downstairs) but they don't look like it to me:

and 1 upstairs:

Fairy White (downstairs):

fairy white hyacinth

Delft Blue from 1 supplier (downstairs):

Delft Blue from another supplier (upstairs):

hyacinth bulbs in hyacinth vases

and (downstairs):

Delft Blue from another supplier (upstairs):

delft blue hyacinths in hyacinth vases

and (downstairs):

Delft Blue from another supplier (upstairs), the water in that vase on the right in front looks a little cloudy, the bulb and/or roots are a little rotten, refreshed the water and removed the rotten roots, hope it will still bloom ok

delft blue hyacinths in hyacinth vases

and (downstairs):

everything is happening now with the hyacinths

I've had to bring some of the vases upstairs, still experimenting with where to put them

hyacinth bulbs in hyacinth vases

hyacinth bulbs in hyacinth vases

I love this Victorian wirework plant stand but like the table above I worry about stability

hyacinth bulbs in hyacinth vases

the kitchen widowsill is still the main place for the vases in my house

hyacinth bulbs in hyacinth vases

second week of December

more vases out of the cellar, when they first come out the buds are not very green but after a day or so in the sunlight they green up

hyacinth bulbs in hyacinth vases

the bulb in the tall blue vase below wasn't sitting quite right, I pulled the bulb out a little and discovered two bulblets growing into the water, just visible in the first pic (nb this one has been out of the cellar since the 1st or 2nd Dec, it's quite green)

hyacinth bulb with bulblet in hyacinth vase

hyacinth bulb with bulblets in hyacinth vase

I carefully broke off the bulblets with their roots attached. I planted them in a pot outside. Regardless of how careful I was, those long roots on the one on the right broke off but there were still those shorter ones so hope it will grow.

hyacinth bulblets

the windowsill is now full, I need to take some of the vases upstairs, I use a plastic box to carry them as I'm worried there might be an accident, one vase wouldn't even stay upright as it has a wobbly base, think the one on the front right below but I'll take a pic today (7-12-2015)

this is the wobbly vase



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