Heavenly Hyacinths

Beautiful Hyacinths

Beautiful Hyacinths

Hyacinths are my most loved bulbs. Each year I look forward to growing and enjoying them while they flower. Their scent pervades the house from their containers; plant them on the balcony to captivate as we pass through to the garden. Originating from the Mediterranean and western Asia, the ones we see today are developed in Holland.
The Dutch hybrids have a single flower. The smaller bulbs are great for planting in gardens as their flowers are smaller so are able to withstand weather conditions. They do grow better in the cooler climates. When you grow them outside, they prefer a well-drained and sunny position. Given time, hyacinths multiply and enhance your garden, mixed in with jonquils a pretty picture.

Who can resist the first of the early or forced hyacinths when yours are just greening up in the garden? It is cheating but what does it matter, because we get a prolonged enjoyment from this bulb. The forced bulbs from shops and nurseries are especially grown for indoor use so if you have bought a pot of the hyacinths; keep them in a cool sunny spot. They tend to fade quickly if they get too hot. When they have finished flowering plant them outside in the garden and forget about them. In the right place, they will pop up again next year. They appreciate a little blood and bone as well.

Growing your own bulbs could not be easier. Choose well-grown bulbs that are free from signs of rot (soft to a gentle squeeze), mould, and gouges. If you are buying one of the string bags with a number of bulbs, look closely and feel as any as you are able. I have found buying them like this there will always be some that are not up to scratch.
The smaller bulbs also will grow as well as some of the bigger bulbs.

Each year I store bulbs from the garden in a cool room for the next season. One of my grandchildren wanted to know why I had my onions stored here! She now knows that onions and bulbs are two different things. Then approximately six weeks before planting, I put them in the chiller bin in the refrigerator to chill down. This misleads the bulbs into thinking that winter is just around the corner and its time to get growing.

Plant your bulbs in the garden between four and six inches deep and the same distance apart. Plant those for growing in pots and containers, just to their necks, and reduce the space between them. Hyacinths grown for children’s interest are grown in bulb pots. These are jars with a specially designed cup at the top of the jar. This allows the bulb to sit in the top and send its roots into the water. If you grow them like this, do not leave the base of the bulb in the water as it will rot and spoil your efforts.

Increasing your stash of bulbs could not be simpler. After the leaves and flowers have died off, you will find the bulb has what are called off sets, small attachments to the main bulb. These can be removed and grown on. Grow hyacinths from seed if you have the patience, as they will take up to three years to flower. Enjoy these wonderful flowers if you have not already done so.

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