ju1i3's blog

Boxing Day flowers

I had banished a number of pots to the patio table to make room for Christmas lunch yesterday. When I brought it back into the house and the warmth, this crocus burst into bloom.

forced crocus

forced crocus

I brought more hyacinth vases up from the cellar, something I'd been delaying until after Christmas.

forced hyacinths

these Hornsea bulb pots are looking good, buds just ready to burst, pot from the Cirrus range on the left, Image on the right

hyacinths in Hornsea bulb pots

one of my cats, Polly Pocket with some of the hyacinths in the background

cat with hyacinths

update on the bulbs

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas! The Delft Blue hyacinths are really opening up.

This Victorian wirework plant stand makes a great place to put some of the hyacinth vases, esp as I don't have a window sill in the living room.

The silver vase below with the Pink Pearl hyacinth is the one from M+S. It was only when I was processing the pic below on my pc I noticed the purple crocus in the background on the window sill.

Here is that Shorter flower trough with the crocus coming into bloom (and Socks in the background).

Below is the M+S crocus bowl.

Below is the M+S jug with muscari. Lots of leaf growth but no buds and of course, no flowers.

White amaryllis, my first amaryllis in bloom and it looks amazing.

amaryllis growing in amaryllis vase

I've had variable results with the Pink Pearl hyacinths but these are looking great.

pink pearl hyacinths in golden syrup tins

The blue vase on the right below is one of the Pink Pearls that didn't bloom properly. Those small hyacinths in the pot below are two bulblets I removed from larger bulbs. I'm surprised to see 1 Splendid Cornelia and at least 3 Delft Blue in that pot. I thought I would have planted all the same variety. That's the best chance of them blooming at same time.

sylvac pot with hyacinths

Socks started walking by while I was snapping pics. I think the black actually makes a nice contrasting background.

sylvac pot with hyacinths

More successful Pink Pearl blooms.

pink pearl hyacinths

3 more purple flowers in bloom, 2 iris reticulata and 1 large Dutch crocus.

iris and crocus

Some close-ups of the irises. I think they are exquisite.

iris reticulata

iris reticulata

update on the bulbs

these are some of my Delft Blue hyacinths - they are so early this year - I've never had Delft Blue hyacinths in bloom before Christmas

delft blue hyacinths

I was so busy getting these into the cellar in September I didn't note them as "Delft Blue" but they sure look like it now

delft blue hyacinths

this is my first Large Dutch Crocus coming into bloom

forced crocus

Jan Bos hyacinth in the tall vase, White Pearl on either side, Delft Blue just opening up at the back on the right

Delft Blue hyacinth

in the absence of cat grass Polly Pocket will munch on the crocus

this purple early crocus has survived the munching

bulbs in bloom mid-December

I must take advantage of a bit of sun this past weekend. Here are most of my vases which are out of the cellar, mid-December.

hyacinth vases

I was worried that I'd taken some of the vases out of the cellar too soon but now they're looking a bit better, although the White Pearl flowers look a bit stunted.

hyacinth vases

hyacinth vases

With so many vases I can sometimes forget it's nice to just look at a single vase. I love the way this one has a cup shaped like a flower.

white hyacinth in amber vase

the downside of bulb bowls is the different growth rates of the bulbs, moving left to right below bowl 1 one bulb is in full bloom and another one half way there bowl 2 the two bulbs at the back are much taller than the 3 in front,  bowl 3 most of the bulbs are the same height bowl 4  each bulb is a different height

hyacinth bulb bowls

all my bulb pics look better with a cat in the background

Splendid Cornelia Hyacinths

splendid cornelia

White Pearl Hyacinths

white pearl hyacinths in forcing vases

Pink Pearl Hyacinths

Pink Pearl hyacinths in forcing vases

This is the first crocus in bloom, the first bulb of any kind in bloom, first week of December. Very exciting!

crocus in bloom mid-December

vases out of the cellar end of November

the bulbs are incredibly early this year, probably due to the warm weather ?

hyacinth vases out of the cellar

annoyingly 1 of the 3 bulbs in this pot are completely soft and rotten, I do wonder whether the warm weather has caused this

rotten hyacinth bulbs

paperwhites, amarylis, some new vases

Until I bought these two pairs of hyacinth vases I said I used all of my vases for forcing but I'm not sure about these. So far these are in the display cabinet and on the mantelpiece.

terracotta hyacinth vases

terracotta hyacinth vases

Stevens and Williams Princess Vases

- later - decided to use the Princess Vases, on the right below

Stevens and Williams Princess hyacinth vases

the base of the vases showing the registration mark

base of Stevens and Williams Princess hyacinth vases

paperwhites over pebbles

these were a bit slow to get going but half (6 out of 12) are in bloom now (Nov 22nd), one has no roots

paperwhites over pebbles

amaryllis in vases

these are slow to get going as well, only the one in the tall vase at the back on the right has a bud

amaryllis in vases

otherwise it's a bit quiet with the indoor bulbs - they are in the cellar for a few more weeks

last minute forcing

It's rather late to get bulbs into the cellar for forcing but I did want to use these: last few golden syrup tins with hyacinth bulbs, an inexpensive (£1.99) brand-new hyacinth vase from the garden centre, my mother-in-law's Venetian glass vase with a crocus bulb and the Shake O'Cini tin with crocus bulbs. I first saw hyacinth vases at my mother-in-law's house - so she started it all!

hyacinth bulb forcing

Bulb Forcing Gifts

The last time I tried paperwhites over pebbles I didn't have very good results but I wanted to try again with a different variety. I don't know if the bulbs should be in the water or not. Some are, some aren't so will see which ones root better. Some in bulb fibre in a pot are in the background on the windowsill.

paperwhites over pebbles

here are some Marks and Spencer bulb forcing gifts I received from my husband for my birthday this week

Marks and Spencer bulb forcing gifts

and below, after I have opened them and gotten them ready for forcing, the crocus bulbs are planted in the re-hydrated compost in the bowl, the muscari planted similarly in the jug and the hyacinth bulb is in the vase over water, those 3 into the cellar (for 8-12 weeks), the amaryllis came ready-planted in the silver plastic pot, only needed watering and can be left out now, for comparison, my 4 amaryllis vases at the back with recently purchased bulbs

Marks and Spencer bulb forching gifts prepared for forcing

more bulb forcing experimentation

I'm still getting bulbs ready for forcing. I'm experimenting with hyacinths in these tins. I've tried hyacinths in the smaller size tins with varying results so hoping the larger tins will work better.

hyacinths in golden syrup tins

The red tin below shows the size comparison with the larger tins. It's extremely rusty on the other side but I'm hoping it will get through at least one more forcing season.

hyacinths in golden syrup tins

I'm using assorted small crocus in these smaller golden syrup tins. The black plastic pot front left has the bulblets (shown below from 10-10-2014). Sadly one was eaten by slugs, still 3 left.

crocus in golden syrup tins

These muscari (grape hyacinths) look desperate to come out of the cellar. I don't understand exactly how they grow, ie why are they sprouting now?

muscari in cat pot

These muscari in the wooden trough are so developed and so green, they've always been outside. I've brought the anemic ones in the white pot and the golden syrup tins out of the cellar.

muscari in white pot and golden syrup tins

This crocus in the geese Shorter and Son flower trough has pushed itself up, completely out of the pot.

crocus in geese trough

I've managed to ease the roots back into the pot. It got a little dirty in the process.

crocus in geese Shorter trough

this is just about my last hyacinth bulb for this season, I'm scrounging around for containers

hyacinth bulb over pebbles

mid-October, more bulb forcing preparation

I recently bought this Shorter and Son flower trough with squirrels at the ends on ebay. I seem to be the only one using these flower troughs; something about them caught my interest a few years ago.

squirrel Shorter and son trough

Having said that I will try anything that appeals, regardless of pottery company producing it. This little flower trough with a squirrel is just big enough for the smallest bulbs (species crocus). 4 hyacinth bulbs on pebbles in this square vase. One hyacinth bulb on top of pebbles in this rose bowl missing its grill. I'll stick bulbs in anything!

bulb forcing

You can see roots just starting on one of the hyacinth bulbs, above, which I'd left on the table outside and I think they got rained on. Hyacinths are so easy to force, they want to grow, no matter what. Tulips and crocus are not so easy. They have to be coaxed. I fill up their containers so the water reaches the bulbs, unlike hyacinths which will rot if in water, their roots will reach down to the water which should be just under the bulb but not touching it.

This truffle bottle (also bought on ebay recently) is just the right size for a dward tulip bulb.

truffle bottle with tulip bulb

I dropped one of the bottles that go in the holders in this plastic rack and it shattered. It's very old plastic. Another glass bottle I had of similar size and shape just fits. I think this was made for cuttings but of course, to me it seemed good for bulbs.

Having a few bulbs leftover I decided to use these small pots in a rack I got (yes, on ebay!) a few years ago. I forget what I planted, will have to check my notes.

pots in a rack


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