Just like last year, I forced some hyacinths to cheer me up. I think I was a little more successful than last year.
First of all, I used good quality bulbs. Last year I bought some on impulse at a big box store. This year I subscribed to Brent and Becky’s email newsletter and waited until they put the hyacinths on sale. Then I bought some ‘Crystal Palace’ hyacinths. On November 7 I put two of them in hyacinth glasses and potted the rest of them up. I remembered that last year they didn’t spend enough time chilling, so I marked January 16 on the calendar to bring them up. That’s ten weeks.
When the buds started showing color, I brought them to the sunniest windows we have, which are in the kitchen. The ones in the glasses bloomed first, and then the ones in the pot. They look blue in the picture, but when I look at them they seem more purple in color. However, I took the picture a week ago, so perhaps the color changed gradually. At first I thought I hadn’t kept them in the cold long enough, and the flowers weren’t going to emerge out of the leaves enough to enjoy them, but in the end it seemed to be about right. One flower was so top heavy that I had trouble keeping it upright in the glass:I tried jamming a marble between the bulb and the glass. That worked for a while, but I guess the bulb shrunk, and then the marble dropped down into the glass. Elizabeth Licata, who inspired me to start forcing bulbs to begin with, says she displays them on a windowsill and just lets the floppy ones lean against the window.
This post is a little bit of a cheat, because the flowers are well past their prime now, though I am still enjoying them. I have to admit that if these hyacinths were blooming in the ground outdoors I would consider it time to deadhead them. I also have one miniature rose bloom.
Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.