hyacinth vase at Chelsea Flower Show

Here's Carol Klein holding a hyacinth vase in the Floral Pavillion at the Chelsea Flower Show. It's a shame it's an extremely minor part of the hyacinth stand. Don't know why they even bothered. It looks pretty unloved - it needs a top-up of water.

hyacinth vase Chelsea

flower bricks and bulb bowls

I'm interested in anything that can be used to grow bulbs indoors.

bulb bowls and flower bricks

The bulb bowls with lids with holes seem to be straightforward enough. The bulbs (crocus or hyacinth, depending on size of the holes) go in the holes on top. How does one use a flower brick? The large hole seems perfect for a crocus bulb but I'm not sure if they were made for that or were just made for cut flowers. I managed to find a few spent bulbs to show a comparison of the hole sizes.

bulb bowls and flower bricks

bulb bowls and flower bricks

The main question with the bulb bowls is whether to put the bulbs on top of the lid or underneath. I think they were made for the bulbs to go on top. Before I knew that I put them underneath. Both methods have their pros and cons.

The empty hole (below) was because the crocus bulb dropped down as it was a bit small. The largest bulbs are required to sit on top. Some roots can also be seen around the edge of the bulbs preventing them from sitting neatly in the holes.

crocus bowl

The bowl below looks quite neat with the bulbs beneath the lid but that isn't always the case as in the pic below that as it shows how multiple stems can be a tight fit in the holes and the roots push the bulbs up, dislodging the lid.

crocus bowl

crocus pots

I'd love to see how these ceramic items were actually used rather than my attempts. If anyone can direct me to paintings that feature them, it would be great, thanks (julie @ gardenwithindoors.org.uk).

I'm not sure if this was made for cuttings or bulbs or either. I'm going to use it for small bulbs.

bulb holder with bulbs

And of course one can use small pots for small bulbs indoors. Below are a couple purchased recently at the front and a couple of vases and the bulb bowls and flower bricks for size comparison.

bulb bowls and flower bricks

planting out forced hyacinths

In addition to watering my bulbs, I find planting the spent ones out a real challenge. I guess we all have things we are better at than others. This is all I have left of the bulbs. Some rotted after sitting in a bucket for the last 2 months and a few the squirrels have had and I discarded the Jan Bos which I was disappointed with.

forced hyacinths to plant out

They are now finally in the ground.

forced hyacinths planted out

Here are some blooming this year that I planted out in previous years so there's still life in them after forcing.

forced hyacinths planted out in flower


hyacinth bulblets

I've tended to put any bulblets I break off from my hyacinth bulbs into this pelargonium pot - only because it's handy! Until recently I never saw them grow or root or do anything but now I see a few of them are growing in earnest. Maybe I just left them long enough? or watered them enough? (I must admit I never watered this pot much off season). (The hyacinths are the smooth straight stems with the pelargonium further back on the right.) I will replant them into their own pots and see how long until they bloom, if indeed they ever do. I will also try to organise a better pot to put bulblets in in the future.

growing hyacinth bulblets

Avalanche Narcissus

Another failure with the Avalanche Narcissus. I gave them time in the fridge (6 weeks) and time in the cellar and didn't take them out until the roots and stems were well-developed so I really don't know  where I'm going wrong.

Florimania at Hampton Court

I saw this bulb bowl at the Florimania exhibit at Hampton Court. This should have bulbs on top on the holes but it's always nice to see hyacinths especially ones of such a great blue/purple colour.

bulb bowl with hyacinths

I was hoping to see more of Queen Mary's delftware but apparently William sold much of it after she died.

time to move from the garden withindoors to the garden withoutdoors

Inevitably at this time of year the focus shifts from the garden withindoors to the garden withoutdoors

At that site you can see what's happening in my garden, including my first frog. I am so excited to finally have one after over 10 years of trying to get them and being given frog spawn a number of times.

garden frog

Here's my indoor frog, a recent purchase I'm looking forward to planting small bulbs in in the autumn. The pot on the left is a mystery. It was described on ebay as a "bulb pot" but it's obviously missing a piece from the centre and possibly from the other holes. It looks quite a lot like a SylvaC pot I've also seen on ebay with animals in the holes and a small pot in the middle. Anyone have any ideas? (totally unmarked on the bottom).

pottery frog pot and mystery pot

While I'm doing show 'n tell with new purchases, here's a vase I bought for hyacinths, although it's not an "official" hyacinth vase, it's the perfect size to put a hyacinth bulb in.

blue vase

I do hate showing this poor looking bulb *but* it shows both how desperate this bulb is to grow: 1.it's struggling to bloom 2. it has a secondary stem coming up 3. it has a large bulblet developing and also how the blue vase is a fine size for a hyacinth bulb.

blue vase with hyacinth bulb

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 @ gardenwithindoors.org.uk).

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!






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