All the hyacinths are finished and it's time to analyse my results. These are roughly in the order of how they performed, starting with my best results descending to total failures. A number of bulbs I don't have a note of where they grew and how they performed as I gave them as gifts so couldn't track them. Also it gets crazy in September/October trying to get almost 200 bulbs started and the spreadsheet did not get updated with every single bulb.
Peter Nyssen City of Bradford all 10 very good (no failures!), first time using this variety, will definitely use again.
Blue Jacket 6 unprepared from Bloms, very good, some of best blooms this year, if a little late, this bulb bowl was in full bloom end of January.
nice deJager Blue Jacket hyacinth (not one of my best flowers but just keeping all the Blue Jacket together)
Blue Jacket hyacinth on the left, Taylors Delft Blue on the right (leaving 2 Blue Jacket unaccounted for)
Caribbean Dream variable results from 7 unprepared bulbs: 4 failures, 1 ok and 2 of my best blooms of the year, fat, dense and heavy:
Delft Blue is a perennial favourite. I have more of those than any other variety, all prepared from 5 suppliers
deJager 8 bulbs: 2 ok, 5 good, 1 failure. Very late blooming this year, these are mostly deJager and it's the end of January.
Bloms 10 bulbs: 2 ok, 8 good
cranberry on the right and squat vase in the middle (amongst other varieties) and 5 in bulb bowl in next pic below
Peter Nyssen 7 bulbs: 5 ok, 2 failures
garden centre 12 bulbs (half Delft Blue, half Skyline): 9 very good, 3 ok (Delft Blue in tall vases middle and back)
some of the bulbs from the Skyline bin at the garden centre were obviously mixed up, this is definitely not Skyline on the left
Taylors 2 of 3 ok, see example above next to Blue Jacket in the tureen
Silverstone 10 unprepared from Bloms, extremely variable: 4 failures, 3 very small, 3 very good that are some of my best blooms this year
Blue Eyes (unprepared) from Bloms, deJager and Peter Nyssen
4 of the 5 Peter Nyssen bulbs were good, 1 failed
the 3 Bloms Blue Eyes were quite late, this is the second to the last bloom (below) of all varieties this year on Feb 7th, the others were rather sparse
of the 3 deJager Blue Eyes 1 was good (below), 1 was ok, 1 failed
Lady Derby, 3 (unprepared) bulbs from deJager in this SylvaC pot, very nice if one a little smaller than the other two
Sainsbury's unnamed varieties assorted hyacinth bulbs. Out of 19 bulbs, only 1 failure. A lot were small but that's ok, they worked in a lot of smaller vases and pots; some were quite normal size.
after the one on the left above has opened (one of my best blooms), below and the one on the right has opened more
the two on the right are Sainsburys
Bloms Fresco not a good variety for forcing. 3 out of 10 nice (not just nice but spectacular with huge florets), 7 failures. The bulbs and stems tend to rot. Keeping the water level well below the bulb seemed to help.
Peter Nyssen (prepared) Miss Saigon spectacular results last year but ok this year (Bloms couldn't supply it), 2 pinkish flowers in the middle below.
Peter Nyssen Purple Star (unprepared) 2 out of 5 ok - nothing special, 3 failures
Bloms Purple Sensation substitution for unavailable Miss Saigon, all 5 failures.
Plans for next year based on these results: Delft Blue as always, Miss Saigon, Lady Derby, Sainsburys for smaller bulbs, adding City of Bradford and Blue Jacket. Considering whether to get Silverstone, Caribbean Dream and Fresco as those 3 all had some great blooms but also many failures. Won't bother with Blue Eyes and Purple Star. Will try Blue Star again as I have no idea which flowers those were.
I guess forcing bulbs inevitably has a lot of failures, tantalizing look at what might have been.
36 bulbs (30 from Taylors, 6 from Marks and Spencer)
6 of 10 muscari bulbs (Taylors) in this trough bloomed (remaining 4 had dried blooms), total failure from all the remaining 26 bulbs in vases
I had 2 boxes of these vases and bulbs, total failure even though I followed the directions closely.
I've tried differently coloured bulbs in previous years, or at least purple and white. This year I couldn't find a white variety that inspired me so I'm just doing shades of purple - and 3 pink Lady Derby.
I like to try different things every forcing season. This year I want to see how well unprepared hyacinth bulbs really work compared with prepared bulbs. I have used unprepared bulbs before but want to analyse the results a bit more scientically. l also want to compare opaque and translucent vases and see if light really helps the roots. Again, I have used both but want to analyse results scientifically.
I have bought the following hyacinth bulbs this year (2016). I'm still compiling this list and confirming all the bulbs are on my spreadsheet and unfortunately already I have missing data, either no hyacinth supplier/variety listed or supplier listed but no variety.
prepared Delft Blue from 4 different suppliers (10+9+10+10) (all on spreadsheet but suppliers slightly mixed up)
5 + 3 (unprepared) Blue Jacket, 8 in total (only 4 plus 1 on spreadsheet)
3 + 5 (prepared) Miss Saigon, 8 in total (only the 5 prepared on the spreadsheet)
5 + 3 + 5 (unprepared) Blue Eyes, 13 in total (3 plus 3 plus 5 on spreadsheet)
10 (unprepared) Fresco (on spreadsheet)
10 (unprepared) Caribbean Dream (only 9 on spreadsheet)
10 (unprepared) Silverstone (on spreadsheet)
3 (unprepared) Blue Star (none noted on spreadsheet)
3 (prepared) Lady Derby (on spreadsheet)
10 (unprepared) City of Bradford (11 on spreadsheet)
5 (unprepared) Purple Star (on spreadsheet)
5 Purple Sensation, I didn't order these but they were substituted for 5 of the Miss Saigon?? (on spreadsheet)