starting a review of the 2014/2015 bulb forcing season

There is a natural variation in the bulb's ability to come into flower. I can't see any other explanation for some of the results I'm seeing.

Why didn't one of these White Pearl hyacinths bloom, when it was in a similar vase, started at the same time and given the same growing conditions?

hyacinth in hyacinth vase

at last, in mid-January, some "normal" looking hyacinths

Delft Blue forced hyacinths in vases

This crocus bowl is not very successful; as most of the bulbs are not touching the water? It's difficult to find a bulb that is the right size to touch the water but not so small that it falls in. Compare the crocus bowl with that blue and white pot on the windowsill in the background; I think just about every crocus bulb in it bloomed.

crocus bowl

I have had some wonderful results with the crocus bulbs but if one looks carefully, the same bulb has produced multiple buds. 3 of the 5 Spring Beauty crocus in this Shorter and Son trough have bloomed, one with 3 flowers, one with two and one with 1 flower. A previous blog entry below shows the geese trough, also with Spring Beauty crocus, so that seems to be a good variety of very small bulbs that will fit in the Shorter and Son troughs. What did people in the 1930s actually use them for?

crocus spring beauty in Shorter trough

a week later and new blooms still coming; this crocus Spring Beauty has been a great performer

crocus spring beauty

Although these are mostly wilted, it shows how many flowers will be produced by one bulb - if it actually flowers.

crocus firefly

that new crocus bud above, wide open below

large Dutch crocus

I think with these (below) it's time to call it a day. If they haven't flowered by now, they aren't going to. What I'm seeing is lots of buds but they are dried and wilting inside before they actually flower.

crocus bulbs in vases

I'm also still hopeful for more iris blooms. This one just opened up in the last few days. According to my notes I planted two varieties of Iris Reticulata: Pauline and "Dwarf". Not sure which one this is.


What is it about yellow hyacinths? They just don't force in vases as well as other colours. Hyacinth Gypsy Princess is better than City of Haarlem but still not as good as others. Pics to follow.

amaryllis in forcing vases

a few days after the pic below, I did a double-take, doesn't that windowsill look kind've empty, above? the middle amaryllis had fallen down, that didn't take long! so far the red vase is the best (ie most stable) amaryllis vase I've tried

I've had to move the amaryllis downstairs. Even though they keep falling over I think they look so spectacular I just move them upright again - until the next fall.

amaryllis vases


I've put the above amaryllis in the center of the window sill left free after other vases had spent flowers and really above a radiator is the worst place for bulbs! I'm making an exception for the amaryllis as I don't have any place else to put them.