Last hyacinths

These are just about the final hyacinths but the first (and probably only) crocus in a vase as it escaped the squirrels. I also had a crocus in a small pot. The hyacinths have been spectacular this year although all too brief.  Last year they were rather disappointing but it does prove my theory that the weather affected them. Obviously the weather for this year's was better and I've had better blooms to prove it. I'll have to do some analysis on which varieties/suppliers performed best.

last hyacinths

audio slideshow on the BBC news website

Lovely to share bulb forcing with the readers of the BBC website.

last hyacinths indoors

small bulbs

I've been so wrapped up with the hyacinths recently I haven't been paying much attention to the small bulbs. All desperately needed topping up with water when I checked them a few days ago. None are blooming yet. These are mostly new varieties for me so I'm not even sure if they willl bloom. None look even close to blooming except the lone crocus that survived the squirrels. Not watering them enough probably didn't help!

small bulbs in vases

first crocus in bloom and update on some of the hyacinths

Some hyacinths have the most intense colour when they wilt, for example, this Peter Stuyvesant hyacinth.

wilted Peter Stuyvesant hyacinth

These Peter Stuyvesant hyacinths have not performed very well this year. Still waiting to see how the one in the small clear vase on the bottom left blooms. The one on the bottom right (and above) never bloomed properly.

Peter Stuyvesant hyacinths

City of Haarlem hyacinths, below, are taking their time but may just turn into proper blooms.

City of Haarlem hyacinths

Some more nice examples.

small green hyacinth vase with Aiolos white hyacinthTye vase with Delft Blue hyacinth













My first crocus in bloom, below right.

opalescent vase with Delft Blue hyacinthfirst crocus in bloom













next wave of hyacinths

Yesterday I replaced all the vases on the windowsill. New hyacinths are in bloom every day.

hyacinths in bloom in vases

hyacinth vases

I'm trying to make sure I have photos of each vase/pot so I can analyse how each variety of bulb and each supplier's bulbs performed. More difficult this year as I have moved some bulbs between vases, both at the beginning of the forcing process in September and more recently as some bulbs wilted early or rotted.

hyacinths in bark basket

hyacinths in improvised bulb bowl

small green vase with Aiolos white hyacinth

large bulb bowl

hyacinth vases

hyacinth vases

This was my last vase in the cellar and although the bulb wasn't ready I brought it up anyway. The bulge of the flower is not out of the bulb and I guess it never will be. It just stopped growing for some reason.

orange ByzantaWare vase

I am left with lots of wilting flowers. Without the window to support them they are bending over.

wilting hyacinths in vases

hyacinths in bulb bowls

Bulb bowls have their pros and cons. The one on the left looks great: the hyacinths have great flowers, all 5 in a similar state of development and of a similar size. The bulb bowl in the middle had a rotted bulb which is a glaring gap. The bowl on the right has two of the 5 bulbs with undeveloped flowers so also a big gap. Bulb bowls are great if all the bulbs are similar but not if one or more bulbs doesn't grow at the same rate.

hyacinths in bulb bowls

That bulb bowl on the left looks even better a few days ago, below.

hyacinths in bulb bowl

I noticed just a couple days later some of these are looking much better and on their way to looking like normal hyacinth blooms. Maybe they'll all look ok eventually. I will note progress.
stunted hyacinths

Just a couple days ago I took a photo of these stunted hyacinths, below. The flowers should have a much longer stem and be well-above the bulb, as the ones on the windowsill.

deformed vs well-formed flowers

I haven't grown Ailos before but I think these are looking great. I will definitely use this variety again.

Ailos hyacinths in bloom in vases

The following 2 images are the Sky Jacket hyacinths that looked like asparagus until they started blooming. They've filled out pretty well although the flowers are smaller than some other varieties.

SKy Jacket hyacinths in bloom in vases

Sky Jacket hyacinths in bloom in vases

purple hyacinths

I do love purple hyacinths.

purple hyacinths

There are masses of hyacinths in bloom now, mostly purple but a few other colours as well, beginning of January.

hyacinths in bloom

Exquisite but very brief iris flowers.


The bulb in the black vase on the right started to rot a little (I filled it too high with water so the bulb was sitting in water) and therefore shrank so it fell into the vase. These vases have very large openings and need the largest bulbs. I had to replace the rotting bulb with one from another vase.


I have too many hyacinth vases to fit on the windowsill - and these are just the ones in bloom and starting to bloom.

hyacinths in bloom and starting to bloom

hyacinths in vases

a black velvet cat amongst the hyacinths

A beautiful black velvet pussycat amongst the hyacinths.

black cat amongst the hyacinths

This image is similar to one below but includes the black vases and I couldn't decide which was better so I'm including both.

strange crop of vegetables

a strange vegetable

I thought these looked like a crop of a strange vegetable.

crop of strange vegetables

The hyacinths are changing day to day. Everything is happening so quickly now.

hyacinths end of December

hyacinths end of December

The last time I grew Lady Derby hyacinths the bulbs were huge and the flowers were large and full. This year the bulbs were very small as are the flowers. In fact, the bulbs were so small I could only put 1 in a vase (this Burmese vase which is quite small) and the rest I put in this SylvaC pot.

Lady Derby hyacinths

first signs of hyacinth flowers

This is my first iris on Dec 28th. It only lasted a day or two and now I have a second one but the first is wilted.

first iris

I guess I've had bent hyacinths every year, some years more than others. I seem to have 3 this year so far. The one in the green vase on the right looks like it might straighten up but the two on the left are very bent and look like staying that way.

bent hyacinths

Pink Pearl and Purple Sensation hyacinths in bloom, other varieties almost in bloom

 Two days after Christmas, the Pink Pearl hyacinths have really filled out. I guess pink hyacinths are the earliest. My earliest blooms in past years were Ann Mary, also pink.

Pink Pearl hyacinths

Purple Sensation are also early.

Purple Sensation hyacinths

Even after all my obsessive record keeping I found I had a number of question marks for which variety was in which vase and have tried to sort them the best I could, below. I guess I was in a hurry to get the vases in the cellar after waiting so long for the bulbs in September.  And I was still buying vases and bulbs until the last minute so things got confused.

As of December 27:

Delft Blue

Delft Blue hyacinths

City of Haarlem

City of Haarlem

Sky Jacket

Sky Jacket hyacinths


Aiolos hyacinths

Blue Star

Blue Star hyacinths


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