Monday, February 23, 2009

A gaggle of hyacinths


There are mature buds on all the tulips, so I thought it best to document the forced hyacinths before they begin to go. The ones in forcing vases (below) are mostly done-they do not last as long-but the Isabelle (blue) and Raphael (pink) in pots are still developing. As I've mentioned before, I am fascinated by the differences between them. We tend to think of the traditional Dutch hyacinths as a generic group, but everything about them varies.


The Isabelles (blue) have huge, heavy flower heads, so much so that their tallest stalks will not hold them, and I've cut them to put in vases. The Carnegies (white) have much fewer florets, but on the other hand, they stand up in their forcing vases with no problem. The Raphaels (pink) are the weirdest, and latest, with shaggy petals, black centers, and an inexorable need to go pointing off in all directions.

Maybe next year, I'll pick cultivars that are easier to deal with, forcing-wise, but I am enjoying these. I'd hate them if they were in the garden though! They'd likely all have to be staked and how ridiculous would that be.

19 comments:

Kerri said...

It's good to see their pastel blooms and imagine their beautiful scent. Interesting to note their characteristics too - good and bad.
I missed forcing some this year. Must try again next winter.
Where do you store your tulip bulbs during the cold period to keep them away from hungry mice? They ate most of ours last year (stored in pots in the garage).

EAL said...

We have a root cellar that's pretty secure, but I keep some big pots in the garage as well (they bloom at the regular time). I guess we don't have mice.

Country Gardener said...

Your hyacinth collection looks just gorgeous. Soon, I hope, we'll see some bulbs blooming in the garden...waiting not so patiently.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Nice to see them all grouped together. It makes me truly believe spring is on its way.~~Dee

Gardeness said...

I forced Hyacinth for the first time this year. They're filling the house with a lovely scent now. I wasn't sure which kind they are, although I believe they're Multiflora Hyacinths, because they're sending up multiple stalks.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Hyacinths are wonderful indoors. I'll have to track down the label of mine, as it is a standard one for forcing. I'd like to try some different ones next year, as your Hyacinth adventure has made me curious to compare the various cultivars myself.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

Great experiment on bulb differences but superb grouping with all those soft colors and that chair in the background. Your flowers always make beautiful pairings with your interior.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

You already know how I feel about hyacinths, but now I'm kicking myself that I didn't buy a potful of soon-to-bloom bulbs I saw in a store on the weekend. Especially as we're having Yet Another Winter Storm. But I'm enjoying yours, even though I see melting snow out through the windows of your pictures....;-)

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

I'm diggin' on the shaggy ones.

Frances said...

Hi Elizabeth, what a glorious way to get through the long winter. I can only imagine the fragrance in your home from those hyacinths. I only grow them outside though, and find the ones forced that are for sale in the stores now transfer well to the ground and return for years. They never need staking either. They are sold very cheaply after the bloom has gone by, much cheaper even then buying them as bulbs in the fall. Exciting to hear about your tulips too.
Frances

Carol said...

The other day I grouped up all my hyacinths, and they make a great display. But their days are numbered, the 1st one to bloom has already gone to the compost bin. (I don't try to plant them out in the garden if I force them in a vase.)

How quickly time flies... it seems like just yesterday, we were all buying the hyacinths to chill for forcing!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Gail said...

I planted them out in the garden for the first time...The big pink ones; not the fascinating Raphaels with interesting weirdness I am a hyacinth challenged for sure! gail

Pam/Digging said...

It's like spring on your coffee table and windowsill. They look great en masse, and I bet they smell wonderful too.

Chandramouli S said...

Your room must smell heavenly, Elizabeth? The flowers on the window sill are such a contrast against the gray background.

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

I'm still waiting for mine to do something. My hopes dwindle with each passing day ...

Annie in Austin said...

What a perfectly lavish vision of bulb-beauty, EAL! A few 'Woodstock' hyacinths in the Secret Garden looked good for a few days but are quite pitiful after yesterday's 83°F. I'd love to be enveloped in the perfume wafting around your plant room. To catch any fragrance here I must imitate Elizabeth Lawrence and kneel on the gravel path.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Hostabuff said...

Ohh the scent. Mine are not as far along as yours. I'm looking forward to their spring color, however your photos are the next best thing - thanks!

Alice Joyce said...

Hi Eliz I don't know how it could have taken me this long to get here! Actually, I only began blogging 1 month ago, but the name of your blog resounds in the blogsphere. Drop by for a visit: http://BayAreaTendrils.blogspot.com
I've been writing the Garden Walks column for the S.F.
Chronicle, which featured Amy's story on the Buffalo walk on a day that one of mine also ran in the paper. Did you get a copy of the day's paper? Alice

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yummmm I can almost smell them.