Socks and hyacinths

cat and hyacinths

flower bricks

After seeing the flower bricks on Antiques Roadshow yesterday, I was inspired to push the hyacinth vases to one side, buy some inexpensive flowers and have a go at arranging them in my (reproduction) flower bricks. I did not know which were the best flowers to use and how many of each but in this case I was limited by availability and budget. This time it's red tulips and purple iris.

hyacinth vases and flower bricks

The stems are much too long. I've had to force myself to trim them even more. It's painful

flower bricks

but I see they do look better. One flower in each hole I think would be too much and wouldn't even fit.

flower bricks

The holes in the Winterthur brick are smaller, too small for the tulips and irises. The greenery that came with the irises just fits.

flower bricks

I need to see how the iris look when in bloom. I'll probably have to shorten them even further.  I've filled all the bricks with water (through the larger central hole). I think that's a good number of tulips in the Culpeper brick.

flower bricks

I have not been able to find any period examples of flower bricks with flowers (eg paintings or illustrations) but from my experimentation I think less is more, the smaller the better with flower size and not every hole needs a stem in it. I will try other kinds of flowers and post results here.

a couple days later and the iris are in bloom, I think they are too big for the "vase" and overwhelm the flower brick, I will look out for other flowers to try

purple irises in flower brick

 

an embarrassment of riches

My hyacinths are looking spectacular. I notice that some of the Delft Blue hyacinths are darker than others, with a really intense purple colour. I guess they get lighter with age.

Aren't hyacinths naughty when a pair of vases has two such differently-sized flowers?

hyacinth vases

All of the hyacinths in my Tye vases finished early. As I was putting them away I noticed one felt much heavier so I decided to weigh them. They should, in theory, all weigh the same if they are being moulded with the same mould, but they don't. I guess different amounts of glass are put in. Left to right, they are 403g (amethyst), 453g (green), 397g, 477g, 370g (all 3 cobalt blue). They are all the vases that are impressed "Gt Charles St, Birmingham, GPTye" to the base, none with the date (4th November 1850?).

Tye hyacinth vases

hyacinth vases in January

above is my first crocus

Delft Blue and Sky Jacket hyacinths in cobalt blue vases

Delft Blue hyacinths in hyacinth vases

everything is changing so quickly

This hyacinth, on the left below, has straightened up just in the last few days (see earlier photo below). I think this page proves that Delft Blue is "the" hyacinth variety for forcing - or my favourite anyway! The only downside is it doesn't bloom for Christmas, it's 2 or 3 weeks later, but it gives reliable, excellent results.

biscuit barrel with hyacinth bulb

teal hyacinth vases

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This hyacinth is still bent at a 90-degree angle.

Tye amethyst hyacinth vase

these bulb bowls and pots have been a great success this year

I think these are Delft Blue

SylvaC pot with hyacinth bulbs

bulb bowl with Delft Blue hyacinth bulbs

I incorrectly said I though these were Blue Star hyacinths but they can't be because I only bought 3 of those and put them in vases so these must be Delft Blue.

SylvaC pot with hyacinth bulbs

I think these are Delft Blue

Past Times hyacinth bulb bowl

hyacinths first week of January 2014

Finally some large Delft Blue purple hyacinth blooms, in a SylvaC pot.

SylvaC pot with hyacinths

Broste Copenhagen jack-in-the-pulpit hyacinth vases. Not sure which variety these are.

Broste jack-in-the-pulpit vases

Cranberry hyacinth vase with Delft Blue hyacinth bulb.

cranberry hyacinth vase

The bulblet in the first photo below is surprisingly well-developed but still needs to be removed  (see next photo) to allow the main stem and blooms the best chance.

square glass vase used for hyacinth bulbs

 

square glass vase with hyacinth bulbs

Hyacinth bulb bowl (from Past Times) on the left, crocus bowl on the right.

Delft Blue hyacinths in Past Times bulb bowl

hyacinth bulb bowl with Delft Blue hyacinth bulbs

hyacinth bulb bowl

Biscuit barrel used as a hyacinth planter. It would be nice if the hyacinth wasn't bent over at a 90-degree angle. Sometimes they do that, sometimes they staighten up on their own.

biscuit barrel used as a hyacinth planter

These are the last vases out of the cellar. Some don't look that ready, even after all this time, but I figure if they aren't ready now, they're never going to be. I think that purple one in the middle and the small green one at the bottom have a certain variety of hyacinth - they have quite a different look- will check which ones. On the right in the pot are bulblets and some crocus.

late hyacinth bulbs out of the cellar

This is the worst amaryllis I've ever had. It never bloomed properly, just shriveled up and died.

amaryllis fail

fat hyacinth buds on New Year's Eve 2013

It's raining and cloudy and miserable but I wanted to photograph my bulb vases so I moved the table near the window, tied up the curtain not to block what little light there was and took a few photos. These were my fattest buds. They look ready to burst and that they will have fab blooms but I will wait and see because things often don't turn out as you expect. The small stems in the SylvaC pot are bulblets I planted. They will take a few years to develop. I've never managed to get any to maturity but those look promising so I'm hopeful.

fat hyacinth buds on New Year's Eve 2013

a close-up of one of those fat buds above

 

hyacinth bulb bowl on new year's eve

The photo above and the one below illustrates possible problems with bulb bowls: the bulbs develop at different rates (the one on the left at the back above hasn't bloomed yet) and the bulb at the right front below doesn't match (the garden centre didn't put the correct variety in the correct bin OR the supplier didn't OR a customer returned it to the wrong bin).

hyacinth bulb bowl on new year's eve

My 3 cobalt blue Tye hyacinth vases with Blue Star hyacinth bulbs.

Tye hyacinth vases

Great British Garden Revival

Anyone else watching the Great British Garden Revival? Gosh, Tom Hart Dyke talking about Victorians and bringing plants indoors and choosing regardless of what's in fashion and not a mention of forcing bulbs! He has his own "approved" list of what you should grow indoors and he doesn't include hyacinths.  signed, Disgusted

hyacinths day after Christmas

amber tulip cup hyacinth vase

 

Until I bought this amber hyacinth vase, I'd never seen one in this exact shape - and I love it. The cup is more flower-like than similar vases, I would say tulip-like (unlike the similar amber vase below).

forced hyacinths day after Christmas

forced hyacinths day after Christmas

These just came out of the cellar (note there is some overlap with these photos- it was difficult to show them all in the same photo). This is the peak, for me, of the forcing season with about 20 coming out of the cellar on the same day.

forced hyacinth bulbs

forced hyacinth bulbs

forced hyacinth bulbs in vases

This bud is huge. On closer examination it shows the beginning of 2 stems.

The bulb below wasn't sitting in the vase quite right. When I tried to straighten it I realised there was a bulblet, common enough, but I didn't expect it to be so developed under the water. I broke it off and planted it in a pot (photo to follow).

forced hyacinth bulb with bulblet

Pink Pearl forced hyacinths

This is a close-up of the tins above. It's a shame they never bloomed properly. I don't like this variety generally. Its main advantage is that it blooms early, which it did, after a fashion. I think these may be another example of mislabelled bulbs as I can't imagine I bought so many! although I did not note the bulbs in the tins as carefully as I did the vases.

forced Pink Pearl hyacinths planted in tins

These two are ready to be discarded. The one on the left (White Pearl) never bloomed properly. The one on the right (Fondant) only half-bloomed.

2 spent forced hyacinth bulbs

amaryllis in full bloom

Some of the amaryllis are in full bloom (2 of the 4) and they only took 5 weeks. One is not looking good at all (2nd from left) and the last one (far left) is not nearly as full  as the best ones. So somewhat hit and miss on these. For the price (£8.99 each) I want them all to be spectacular. Yesterday I rinsed out all the vases and put in fresh water. I also removed all the rotten roots. 

amaryllis in vases

With limited space and a ridiculous number of vases and pots I have to be brutal and thin the hyacinths as soon as they've bloomed. So I will be discarding these today. Some never bloomed properly. Some are just past their best.

spent hyacinth bulbs in vases

These are worth keeping a little longer.

Pink Pearl hyacinth bulbs in vases

Pink Pearl hyacinth bulbs

Pink Pearl hyacinths

These (below) were in the Jan Bos bin at the garden centre - but they aren't Jan Bos! I'm very disappointed. These were the only Jan Bos hyacinths I bought this year. They look like Pink Pearl.

Pink Pearl hyacinth bulbs

crocus bowl

crocus bowl

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