tulip Little Princess

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.

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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