ju1i3's blog

crocus and red tulips

These are my best crocus ever with multiple flowering stems. These are my second flush of crocus blooms and for a while I was wondering if they would grow at all as some didn't even have roots a few weeks ago but they have certainly caught up now.

forced crocus in bloom in vases

These crocus have not performed so well. Of this variety I only have 1 bloom which I almost missed. It's already wilting and I didn't even manage to get 1 photo of it at its best. The other bulbs are rotting underneath.

flower trough with forced crocus in bloom

When I noticed the bulges in the stems I knew that these would flower soon. It wasn't long before the first red appeared.

Shorter and Son flower trough with red tulip bulbs

late hyacinth bulbs

large hyacinth bulbs

I'm still suprised by the size of the hyacinth bulb in the green vase (top right). It hardly fits in the vase. And the buds of that bulb and the one to the left are so fat and ripe and ready to burst out. I bought those bulbs quite late (for me) to go with those late purchased vases. I still think I got them  late August when there was still a good selection of bulbs in the garden centre.

The bulb in the amber vase (bottom right) has really caught up fast. I didn't start it until mid-December and it's out of the cellar before some of the bulbs I started in September.

Bulbs purchased a few weeks later have not performed so well. These never bloomed properly. They looked quite poor when I bought them so I knew I was taking a chance but I really wanted to try out these new vases - definitely not official bulb vases - but as I thought, they hold bulbs just fine. Next year I will use better bulbs in them.

rotting bulbs in 1950s flower transfer vases

the scent of hyacinths

Delft blue hyacinths in vases and a pot

I love hyacinths in vases but there's nothing like a pot of hyacinths for a real oomph of scent. The other varieties just didn't do it like lots of Delft blue hyacinths with that intoxicating sickly sweet scent.

Delft blue hyacinths in pots

amaryllis, tulips, crocus

amaryllis in vases

amaryllis in vaseI've had some difficulties with my amaryllis this year. First, when I started them the water turned practically black with the roots rotting. I expected many of the existing roots to rot and then new ones grow. I just had to replace the water and pull off the rotted roots. After that no problems with rotting. Then, they got so tall they fell over. I've had this in previous years but never so badly as this year. When they fell they broke the stems and even the new vase third from right - and I had been so pleased to find that vase. I also managed to break a piece off the rim of another vase so all in all, a poor result for the amaryllis, even if the snapshot above captures them before they broke. The one to the right I moved onto the floor and tried to lean it against something to keep it up but it still kept falling over.

I had better luck with the white tulips this year. Quite pleased with them. They all bloomed and didn't get too leggy.  These are the white tulips on January 8th. Still no sign of any red tulips.

These are the tulips a few days earlier.

white tulips forced in vases

Like the hyacinths, the crocus are blooming steadily. Last year I incorrectly put the bulbs under the lid of this crocus bowl but I think they are supposed to be placed on top as pictured below.

Funnily enough I have never had any double-stemmed hyacinths (from single-stemmed varieties) before but this year I have three.  This one is ready to burst into bloom, the one below bloomed early and another is still in the cellar, along with about 10 other bulbs which still don't seem to be doing much. They seem to be well and truly "stunted".

double-stemmed Jan Bos hyacinth


busiest bulb forcing time

busiest bulb forcing time

This is the busiest time of the bulb forcing year. It's the peak time for hyacinths started in September to bloom. Some early ones bloomed in December (they are now wilting and need to be disposed of and their vases washed and put away). Everything needs watering and I have masses of data to collect: dates, photos  and notes including on how they all compare. For example, below are all my Delft Blue hyacinths that are upstairs (a few are still in the cellar), arranged by supplier (I will add details - and the 30 plus photos I took this week!).

all Delft Blue hyacinths

I have posted some reader photos in the Forum. If you'd like to share some photos and/or comments, please post something in the Forum.

first crocus buds and a bumble bee

crocus forced in vases

Being a bit warmer today I had the back door open and a bee flew in and seemed to be enjoying the hyacinth flowers.

Carnegie and Delft Blue Hyacinths Blooming

After that first batch of Jan Bos hyacinths in bloom, I have Carnegie and Delft Blue blooming. They have scent! unlike the Jan Bos which seemed to have no scent at all. I definitely won't be doing those again next year.

Carnegie hyacinths

two Delft blue hyacinths

Delft Blue hyacinths, above and below.

three Delft Blue hyacinths


forced hyacinths in bloom just before Christmas 2011

hyacinth buds and blooms

hyacinth buds and blooms

Above are my next buds and blooms after the Jan Bos below which are by far my earliest blooms. In fact, some are already past their prime a week before Christmas. The scent is practically non-existent so I'm somewhat disappointed.

forced Jan Bos hyacinths in bloom in vases in December

Below are a few of my next vases out of the cellar. The pair of vases on the right are not "official" hyacinth vases but I thought that because of their shape they could hold bulbs above water and they do.

hyacinths out of the cellar

first hyacinth blooms

I thought it was a bit early for the hyacinths when I took this trough out of the cellar but the tall plants (muscari, I think) were getting "leggy" and needed to come out so thought I'd take a chance. The hyacinths are a little stunted so far.

wooden trough with bulbs

When I checked the supplier of these rather stunted bulbs I was sure they'd all be from the same one but they are from 4 different ones! Obviously Jan Bos is not the best for forcing, or not so far. Maybe they'll have a miraculous change but at the moment they aren't looking very impressive.

These are all my tulips in vases, well-rooted, even the one in one of the red vases that until recently didn't have any roots, except the one in the Burmese vase which I put in quite late, just starting some roots.

tulips forced in vases

more vases out of the cellar

I love using different containers and vases to grow bulbs. A tulip bulb is in the tall clear ink bottle, muscari in the small bucket, a crocus in the painted blue vase and of course, a hyacinth in the tin.

different vases and containers for bulbs

Some of my blue vases and my one Bristol green vase, a rare colour.

blue hyacinth vases and a green hyacinth vase

I've brought quite a few vases out of the cellar now but a few bulbs are still there without any root growth. I was wondering what was happening with them. When I checked this one I saw some quite developed bulblets raising the bulb right out of the vase. Not sure if that's why it doesn't have any roots but it sure isn't right above the water any more.

hyacinth bulb with bulblets

These crocus are doing great with super root growth (but there are quite a few in the cellar with nothing).

crocus vases

These iris are my first bulbs in bloom. I'm impressed that all the bulbs in this set are growing. Some troughs have bulbs that aren't growing (will add a pic tomorrow).

Shorter and Son geese trough with iris

The squirrel trough has 4 bulbs, 3 of which have not rooted at all. The trough behind that has 2 out of 8 bulbs not growing.

Shorter flower troughs with small bulbs


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