February 2017

While browsing the Telegraph news website, this caught my eye.

hyacinth indoors Telegraph

the forcing season is sadly coming to an end after a fabulous explosion of floral fireworks

This is one of my last blooms, my only successful Fresco hyacinth. The others rotted so I held back on topping this up with water in case water too close to the bulb contributed to the problem. I was rewarded with a huge flower with the largest florets I've seen on a hyacinth - and that gorgeous purple at the base of the florets.

forced Fresco hyacinth

and from the other side

forced Fresco hyacinth

keeping the water level low did not prevent that Fresco hyacinth rotting only a couple days after the pics above, the florets were starting to wilt anyway so still had a nice flower for a few days

rotten Fresco hyacinth

very last hyacinths, Fresco on the left, Blue Eyes front right, Skyline back right (this pic was taken a few days after one below which shows these hyacinths less open)

forced hyacinths in hyacinth vases

4 days later that Fresco hyacinth on the left above has bloomed well, next 3 pics below

forced Fresco hyacinth

forced Fresco hyacinth

unlike the other Fresco hyacinths, it never rotted

forced Fresco hyacinth

I've had 6 out of 10 flowers on the muscari bulbs in the Shorter trough. On closer examination all the non-flowering ones did have buds but they dried before fully developing.

muscari with dried buds

I've been pondering what about the flower trough allowed the muscari to bloom that the bulbs did not get from being in a vase or compost, 2 things: air to the roots (as well as water) and something for the roots to anchor on. The compost and the vase provided one or the other, not both. I have taken the remaining muscari from the vases (they obviously are not going to bloom there) and put them on some crushed shell mulch I had, right below in the saucer. Maybe that's too late for them this year. I have 2 more muscari bulbs in vases in the cellar which I started later. I will try the same with them and see what happens.

forcing muscari indoors

a few days later and I have a bud! and another has one of those dried out buds, obviously there's something about forcing them on pebbles/gravel/shells that they like, more experiments next year


While passing Ligne Roset in Mortimer St, London, I was delighted to see this exuberant display of hyacinths in two white troughs.

Ligne Roset forced hyacinths

Ligne Roset forced hyacinths