hyacinth bulb

first hyacinth bulbs out of the cellar

forced hyacinth bulbs in Tate and Lyle golden syrup tins

The warm weather continued so long into the autumn the forced bulbs in the cellar are growing very fast and ready so early to come upstairs. I've never known them to be so early. Usually they need to come up by December 1st and they often aren't ready then but I have quite a few that really seem to need to come up. As shown in these photos, the bulge of the flower is fully out of the bulb. That needs to be the case before bringing the bulbs (in whatever container/vase) into the warmth and light.

forced hyacinth bulbs

forced amaryllis and hyacinth

If only I'd had a supply of these in September.

Tate and Lyle festive edition golden syrup tin

Things to do after the vases and containers are brought into the warmth and light.

1. top up with water

This pink plastic vase needs topping up with water. The lid is quite open and allows more evaporation.

2. remove bulblets

This one must have developed in the weeks it's been in the cellar as I removed any that I noticed back in September when I put the bulbs in the vases.

hyacinth bulb with bulblet

3. top up containers with soil

The roots tend to push up the bulbs so the containers may need to be topped up with soil

hyacinth bulb in tin

4. push the roots down into the vase

Some of the roots here are growing outwards for some reason. I try to push them back into the vase although that will make some of them break off.

hyacinth bulb in Tate and Lyle Golden Syrup tin

As I noted elsewhere, pink flowered bulbs tend to flower earliest. It's no coincidence that all these bulbs are Jan Bos, Pink Pearl, 1 Fondant (pink) and 1 White Pearl (white I assume so why is it so early? we'll have to wait and see). In the past Jan Bos have been the earliest bloomers.

getting bulbs ready for forcing in vases and pots

hyacinth bulbs to force

Still awaiting my mail order bulbs so can't resist buying some locally. These China Pink hyacinths I haven't noticed before so I wanted to try them. They aren't "prepared" so will need 6 weeks in the fridge before I start them in the vases. I also need more small bulbs for containers so always looking for the smallest bulbs available. I'm still trying different varieties to see what works best. These two types of narcissus are quite small so I'm going to try them in these Shorter and Son flower troughs. All these bulbs (unplanted) will now go into the fridge for 6 weeks.

small bulbs for forcing

I don't know if bulb fibre or grit or pebbles is best for the pots. I'm still experimenting. I recently found a new product to try: bulb fibre especially for indoor bulbs. I will report back how it performs this year.

buying hyacinth bulbs for Christmas 2012

cobalt blue octagonal hyacinth vaseIt's time to think about buying hyacinth bulbs for forcing to be in bloom for Christmas. I got my first bulb catalogue very early this year - the Saturday before the Chelsea Flower Show in May but after all the research I did  last year  on the hyacinth bulb varieties available I decided to take a more casual approach this year. I haven't ordered any bulbs (yet) and am planning on buying some next week at a local garden centre.  Seeing the bulb sizes in person is very useful as I'm always looking for the smallest varieties to fit into the Shorter troughs. I'll probably also order some bulbs from one supplier but not from the suppliers who didn't even respond to my queries earlier this year.

In addition to prepared hyacinth bulbs and unprepared hyacinth bulbs to prepare myself I will buy some crocus and small tulips. I loved how some of the tulips (Little Princess, Red Hunter and White Dream) turned out last forcing season although others didn't bloom at all. Bulbs can be very fickle about being forced. I'm still using trial and error to find which varieties work and which don't.

I also can't resist buying more hyacinth vases. I love Victorian cobalt blue glass and was especially pleased to find this octagonal squat hyacinth vase as I didn't have one of this type.

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

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