2015/2016 Forcing Results

a week into February and I'm reviewing my results and thinking of plans for next year

Next forcing year (ie later this year August/September 2016) will definitely use Miss Saigon again and of course Delft Blue. Will need to see which white varieties are availble. Fairy White was ok but small. It was the only white I came across last year when ordering but since then have noticed more, indeed I bought others in the past. Will make sure I have some extremely large bulbs, such as Skyline, for those vases that have the larger opening. Take into account bulbs shrinking a bit when they are being forced.

Miss Saigon has been a great variety of hyacinth to force this year even though 3 of the 4 were garden rather than prepared hyacinth bulbs.

Of the 5 Peter Nyssen prepared Miss Saigon, 4 were good, including the blue vase on the left at the back and the amethyst vase on the right, one rotted before it had a chance to bloom. The black vase on the right has J Parkers. One of the J Parkers was not Miss Saigon as marked, another mix up.

this is either J Parkers or deJager (things can get mixed up) but definitely Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon hyacinth flower

these are deJager Miss Saigon, terrible looking bulbs but they bloomed ok in the end

I had 10 Fairy White from Peter Nyssen of which 1 arrived rotten, 2 rotted in the vases and the remaining 7 small but nice. I think green vases make a good match with them.

Other years I have found pink hyacinths to be the earliest bloomers. This year they were not.

I had 5 prepared Ann Mary from Bloms 4 were ok and one I had to discard straight from the cellar.

I had 5 prepared Anne Marie from Peter Nyssen of which 2 I had to dispose of before they bloomed properly.

a few days later they have nicely filled out

deJager Splendid Cornelia did not do well this year. The bulb bowl with 4 bulbs only had one in bloom.

This Splendid Cornelia (middle, below) did well so this variety is hit and miss. I had much better results in recent years. These bulbs were not prepared.

forced hyacinths

I have no results for Sky Jacket as I didn't get any of those from J Parkers. By mistake they sent me another variety.

I had Delft Blue  (10, 15, 9 and 10 bulbs) and Miss Saigon (5, 5, 6 and 5 bulbs) from all 4 suppliers.

Starting with deJager's 9 Delft Blue bulbs, 3 had good flowers, 6 were not good even to the point of discarding them straight out of the cellar. One of the best of them and one of the best of all my hyacinth flowers was the one in the clear vase below at the back.

forced hyacinth flowers

Moving on to Bloms, only 2 of the 10 Delft Blue bulbs needed to be discarded. 5 were ok flowers but 2 were stand-out some of my best flowers overall:

Delft Blue hyacinth in hyacinth vase

left below, one of those great Bloms Delft Blue flowers

forced hyacinths

maybe not "stand-out" flowers but still nice

Delft Blue hyacinths

I had 15 prepared Delft Blue from Peter Nyssen, of which half were good, half not good. Not very good percentages. Tall blue vases below:

hyacinths in bloom for Christmas

sadly a number of flowers only half-opened before they turned brown - the case with some bulbs from all suppliers, all varieties but never had so many before

a few days earlier and they were looking so good with great potential, cranberry vases both Bloms Delft Blue, green on the back right deJager Delft Blue

I got 10 prepared Delft Blue bulbs from J Parkers but for some reason only have 6 rows on my spreadsheet for them of which 2 said "lost track" so not many to go on but of the 4 left I have "got there in the end" as they were late and "small but perfectly formed", flower on the right and in the blue Byzanta Ware in the middle

and orange Byzanta Ware below

Although I didn't order them early with the other bulbs, I must mention Skyline hyacinths which I bought from the garden centre. They were quite variable. I had a stand-out flower on the left below but also

skyline hyacinth

flowers that never really opened properly

I also had some hyacinths from Sainsburys and they were good, although no marked variety and smaller. All the bulbs in the square pot below bloomed. On the right are the "Sky Jacket" bulbs although obviously not Sky Jacket. J Parkers sent me replacements which I put in the garden as it was too late to force indoors and they look like the dark purple below (see them at my outdoor gardening blog).

some vases and containers need a smaller bulb


early August 2015

I am going to try to be more organised this year! I always say that or think that but I really need to do it.

I am going to mail order my hyacinths as I wasn't all that happy with the limited selection from the garden centre.

Of course I'm going to buy lots and lots of Delft Blue as it's my favourite and very reliable. Trying to review what I wrote about previous years' results and I'm having trouble finding a white variety so I'll try a new one, Fairy White. I got 10 bulbs to give it a good try. I also had good results in previous years with Sky Jacket so will use that and also pleased last year with Splendid Cornelia. I'll get more of those this year.

Will not be using any yellow varieties or Jan Bos or Woodstock. The last two I've had variable results with and I don't think they are worth using. Yellow hyacinths I have never had even 1 decent flower. I don't know if there's a secret to getting better results but if there is, I don't know what it is.

I've never tried Miss Saigon but most suppliers seem to have it now so I will get some from each. A pink variety seems to feature at most suppliers. Before that seemed to be Ann Mary/Anne Marie but lately Pink Pearl, Pink Sensation, etc. I have had good results with Ann Mary which I will try again as it is quite early, otherwise pink is not my favourite colour. Last year the hyacinths were incredibly early so no need for an early pink variety but assume it will be back to normal weather-wise later this year.

Just ordered all my hyacinths. I can't get down to the cellar right now to count vases and pots so am just going for 100 in total:

Variety Number ordered
Delft Blue 44 from 4 different suppliers
Fairy White 10 from 1 supplier
Ann Mary/Anne Marie 10 each from 2 suppliers
Miss Saigon 21 from 4 suppliers
Splendid Cornelia 6 from 1 supplier
Sky Jacket 10 from 1 supplier

That totals 101. If that's not enough for all my vases and containers, so be it! If I find a fantastic vase on ebay I can always go to the garden centre for the odd bulb.