start of the forcing season September 2019

September is the start of the forcing season, especially if you want hyacinths in bloom on Christmas day. The prepared bulbs are available for sale. I ordered mine in August (and received them 11-9-2019) but I believe some bulb companies have them in May (Chelsea time) in their catalogues, but still to be delivered in September.

Firstly, I printed off my spreadsheet of vases where I note which hyacinth variety I put in each vase and got some spare labels for any vases not labelled. I do like to think of which hyacinth might look best in each vase but it can get a bit haphazard but I do know I used Woodstock in that small uranium vase with the prongs.

forcing hyacinth bulbs for Christmas

fill the vases with water to just below the hyacinth bulb then put the vases in the dark, check them regularly after about 8 weeks

forcing hyacinth bulbs

I usually have lots of cats appearing when I start organising my hyacinths but only this sweet boy with the massive paws (he's polydactyl) came and started playing with the bulbs

forcing hyacinths

I bring out about 6 vases at a time (from boxes in the cellar). I remembered Sainsbury's have a new hyacinth vase for sale so of course, I had to try one.

forcing hyacinths for Christmas

I disagree with the instructions that say have the water touching the bulb; I think the bulbs would rot.

sainsburys hyacinth vase

I only have 1 of my bulb orders so I don't have the largest bulbs I ordered so cannot start some of the vases with larger openings (3 on the right).

forcing hyacinths for Christmas

the Woodstock hyacinth bulbs are a bit smaller so suitable for some of the smaller vases and some vases that are suitable for different size bulbs

forcing hyacinths for Christmas

continuing the next day (this is going to be days of work), my one female cat, Polly Pocket came out, guess she's more comfortable if the boys aren't there

forcing hyacinths for Christmas

I do love the tall cobalt blue vases, probably they're my favourite, but I also like the short also Victorian vases in jewel colours, the Victorian terracotta vases and the odd modern ones. The clear engraved ones are from Cox and Cox and have labels on their bases. I only got them recently on ebay so didn't know for sure about them. Someone had told me the engraving was just a clear sticker applied to them but these are actually engraved, slightly different sizes. My one "Mary Gregory" hyacinth vase above, very tasteful IMHO, compared to some Mary Gregory designs.

forcing hyacinth bulbs in hyacinth vases for Christmas

I had to get the torch to look for all the "x-shape" vases (don't know a better term for them) as I thought they'd be nice with the same variety.

forcing hyacinth vases for Christmas

Scarecrow showing his massive polydactyl paws. I've put the catnip on the table for him.

hyacinth bulb bowl

I think I might have too many bulb bowls. I think some of these will be on ebay soon. The 4 on the left at the back are all the same, as are those two large ones back right. I didn't count these properly as hyacinth bulb requirements so I need to buy more bulbs.

hyacinth bulb bowls