last bulbs of the forcing season

For some reason these Red Hunter tulips are not blooming properly in this pot although they did do very well in the trough growing on grit. There's lots of colour but the flowers just aren't opening up.

Red Hunter tulips

I also have 2 sad looking hyacinths which I don't even want to picture here. Those are the final bulbs for this forcing year.  Almost completed my notes on my forcing results.  Do let me know your successes this year (julie @

hyacinth cigarette card

I happened to notice this cigarette card on ebay. Not quite as good as finding a hyacinth bulb in a vase but in a pot is the next best thing.

Wills cigarette card hyacinth from Flower Culture in PotsWills cigarette care hyacinth Flower Culture in Pots

finally time to review my bulb forcing results

As these are two of my final hyacinths it's finally time to review my bulb forcing results. I have created some new pages with info about how each variety/supplier/bulb performed. I'm still working on them as there's so much to go through. I'm also formulating some questions to ask the bulb suppliers, eg: 1. why are there so many double-stemmed hyacinths this year? 2. why are the Jan Bos hyacinths so poor this year compared to other years? I'm sure I'll think of more questions.

Delft Blue hyacinthLInnocence hyacinth


Yet another double-stemmed hyacinth (right). It would be better if both stems were in bloom at the same time. I guess I should cut the wilted one off. This photo embarrassingly shows how I haven't watered this one as I should have. I may seem organised in some ways but keeping up with the watering I find difficult!





Red Hunter tulips

These Red Hunter tulips are taking longer than the other pot I had of them (one of the Shorter troughs) but I was pleased to see the first red bloom this week.

tulip Red Hunter

Delft Blue hyacinthI think this may be my last hyacinth bloom. I started it mid-December. The other two bulbs I did not put in the cellar and they don't look like they're going to bloom but I was wrong about some of the others so they may surprise me.








remaining white hyacinths mid-February

These are the final white hyacinths: L'Innocence far left and far right and Carnegie middle three.

remaining white hyacinths mid-February

These are the final few Delft Blue hyacinths.

remaining Delft Blue hyacinths mid-February

I've had a number of double-stemmed hyacinths this season but this is the best one.

double-stemmed Delft Blue hyacinth

Last remaining bulbs beginning of February

These are my last 10 hyacinths and they are certainly taking their time to bloom. I suspect some won't make it.

remaining hyacinth bulbs beginning of February


Are they trying to produce bulbs with multiple stems? Maybe I missed the press release. Here's another that has one stem with a flower in bloom and another stem emerging.



Pure Pleasure with Mr Bulb

I've been picking up bulb forcing  leaflets from garden centres for a number of years. This one was produced by the International Flower Bulb Centre Hillegom.

Forcing Flower Bulbs Pure Pleasure

Growing Indoor Bulbs Successfully with Mr Bulb





This was produced by the Wincester Growers (WB on the back).

See these complete leaflets and some others at the Bulb Forcing Leaflets page.




Byzanta ware vase

Ceramic and terracotta hyacinth vases are rather rare. This wasn't described as a hyacinth vase but from the shape and size it certainly looks like a hyacinth vase to me.  I had one final hyacinth bulb kicking around to try in it. I have never tried growing a hyacinth in a vase without a cold, dark period but as it's the end of January  I'm not going to put it in the cellar now. I'm going to leave it out and see how it does. BTW the blue and white vase in the photo below is ceramic as well but it is not an "official" hyacinth vase - I'm just using it as one and the brown vase in that photo is indeed a terracotta hyacinth vase.

Byzanta ware

last bulbs out of the cellar

As it was almost the end of January I decided to take the remaining bulbs out of the cellar even though some didn't look ready to come out. The two on the right look ready, the six in the middle I'm really not sure about and the one on the left looks decidedly unready (another double-stemmed bulb).

last hyacinth bulbs out of cellar end of January

Three in the middle (terracotta, tall green X and tall cranberry glassroots) have no roots at all.

hyacinth bulbs with no roots

double-stemmed hyacinth bulb

A close-up of the latest double-stemmed bulb.








amaryllis end of January


The last amaryllis.












panorama of bulbs end of January

red tulips and double-stemmed hyacinths

I'm still experimenting with what bulbs work best in these Shorter and Son flower troughs, the main problem being finding small enough bulbs. I think these red tulips (Red Hunter) are a good fit being quite small and producing some very nice flowers on reasonably-sized stems, ie not too tall  (sometimes forcing bulbs can produce leggy stems).

red tulips in Shorter and Son flower trough

Here they are a couple days later. I am very impressed that they've all bloomed. (They bent over leaning towards the sun. I turned the trough the other way to encourage them to bend the other way to straighten up.)

red tulips in Shorter and Son flower trough

forced tulip in truffle bottle


Another tulip variety in the truffle bottle is also performing well, Little Princess. I'm still improvising tulip vases as I still haven't found any. I've reached the conclusion that they do not exist.








I have more double-stemmed hyacinths appearing every day. I'm intrigued about why these have suddenly appeared this year when I've never had them before. I'm not sure of the total. I'll have to count up how many I've had.

double-stemmed Delft Blue hyacinths

Here's another double-stemmed example. I had trouble taking a pic that showed both the main flower and these buds on the secondary stem that hasn't emerged yet so I'm afraid this will have to do.

double-stemmed hyacinth


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