Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

It's Spring . . . Indoors!

I have a large collection of Victorian Forcing Vases

Different colors
The first three (new ones) bought at a favorite store - Veranda in Paola years ago!

Forcing hyacinths to bloom in water was a Victorian passion.
Like paperwhites, hyacinth bulbs are easy to grow and will bloom
with very little encouragement
A way to provide a bit of spring to an often snowy January and February.

The difference between paperwhites and hyacinths are the fact that hyacinths have to be pre-chilled.
You can do it yourself . . . or you can buy pre-chilled bulbs
(I always go the pre-chilled route)
Some years I get a mix and other years I select just one color.

Hyacinth bulbs in tight bud just waiting to burst into bloom!

They're as easy to grow as paperwhites
Just fill the vases with water and plop in the bulb.
It takes about six weeks to get them to bloom
(They're a bit slower than the paperwhites)

When foliage develops, move the vases to a sunny spot
( do my forcing in the breakfast room)
And you should (although I don't always)
turn them daily to prevent leaning.
Check the water levels -- it should remain in the bottom part of the forcing vase.
The flowers last a week or so.

But as with all forced bulbs, don't plan on planting outside
The bulbs are spent and have used up every bit of their energy
Throw them away!

The bulbs in the breakfast room
The sunlight filters through the forcing vases
for a bit of color in the breakfast room.

Between the paperwhites in January and the hyacinths in February
(and the bouquet of tulips from the grocery store)
Most of winter is a bloom!


Francie Newcomb said...

Martha, this year I bought a lot of hyacinths in plain clear forcing vases from Aldi's! I gave away all but 3 of them and everyone has loved them! They are so pretty and smell wonderful. The last one is about to bite the dust now. Thanks for the tip about throwing away the spent bulbs-- you have saved me some gardening work.

Pondside said...

It's a big treat at this time of year - the scent of hyacinths. I have them around the house but cannot take credit for the forcing. I buy them and put them in interesting pots and enjoy them very much!

Pat said...

Gorgeous blooms in your breakfast room, dear friend!!!
Love the sun coming through your windows in the breakfast room!!!