Start of the Hyacinth Bulb Forcing Season Sept 2018

The first step of hyacinth bulb forcing is getting some hyacinth bulbs. This week I received my order from Peter Nyssen and bought some bulbs from B+Q and Sainsburys. I have a print-out of my spreadsheet where I can note which bulb I put in each vase (each vase is numbered). As soon as I started, the cats started appearing, first Bear.

hyacinth forcing

then Scarecrow

hyacinth bulb forcing

then Jeffrey, predictably a cat has gotten in the empty box the bulbs came in

then Victor

hyacinth bulb forcing

After the bulbs, one needs some vases to put them in. I like a range of vases of all styles. On the right (and the terracotta ones on the left) are some of my Victorian vases.

hyacinth vases for forcing

Some of the modern vases, including things I'm just going to use that aren't "official" hyacinth vases such as that jug.

hyacinth vases for forcing

put a hyacinth bulb in the vase and fill it with water to just below the bulb, then put somewhere dark, a shed, cellar, even a closet

hyacinth vases water level

I bought prepared hyacinth bulbs from Peter Nyssen and Bloms Bulbs but I also bought

plastic hyacinth bulbs for forcing

some smaller bulbs from Sainsburys and B+Q

Sainsburys and B+Q hyacinth bulbs

hyacinth bulb forcing in vases

hyacinth vases for forcing

Socks doesn't come outside very much but eventually even he had to come and investigate the hyacinth bulb forcing

hyacinth vases for forcing

the tall cups are useful for hiding bulb imperfections, if the bulbs are split they are on display with the smaller cups, bulb pots and bowls

split hyacinth bulbs

that salvia stem broke off so I had to pop it in a vase quickly, the hyacinth vases were handy; the smaller bulbs are good for the bulb bowl with 5 bulb holes, some of the larger bulbs don't fit together

hyacinth vases for forcing

after touching hyacinth bulbs for 2 days, I've gotten seriously itchy - be careful, they can be irritating

hyacinth vases and bulb bowls

I wish I'd saved some of the smaller bulbs for the bulb bowls. Fitting 5 close together is difficult. That larger bowl isn't a problem but the smaller ones are challenging.

hyacinth bulb bowls

I got my delivery from Bloms Bulbs today (Tuesday the 18th) so I've been busy getting more vases ready. I'm on the last few vases and realise I've been going so quickly I haven't taken time to enjoy them and these are so beautiful so taking a moment to look at them.

hyacinth vases and bulbs

these amethyst vases have such a beautiful jewel-like colour, the classic forcing hyacinth, Delft Blue, seems appropriate to use

hyacinth vases

Couple days later, I'm onto my crocus vases now although still waiting for another bulb (large Dutch crocus, Crocus vernus) delivery for those. I did buy a box of crocus bulbs from Sainsburys, Crocus chrysanthus, winter-flowering as described by bulb companies but they aren't really large enough for the vases but some might be. As usual - I'll try it and compare the two types. I've forced both in the past but not in a scientific-enough way.

crocus vases glass ball joined posy

I have an old amaryllis bulb I'm using for that amaryllis vase and need another for that amethyst vase.

hyacinth vases

Final hyacinths in the Golden Syrup tins.

hyacinth bulb golden syrup tin