Saturday, September 22, 2007

Heirloom Hyacinths

Delft Blue Hyacinths
(Not an Heirloom)
This hybridized Hyacinth is available just about everywhere.

I wish my friends could be a little more thoughtful (and be born in various months during the year.) Six of them are celebrating birthdays, this month, right about the time I would selfishly like to spend all of my money on fall-planted bulbs. :) According to the stars, Librans (that would be me) aren't even supposed to get along with worry-wart Virgos so I've no idea how I've accumulated so many!

Of course, there's lots of things I don't know. Like the fact that bright-blooming Hyacinths are being hybridized to extinction. I discovered that while I was roaming around Google this morning, trying to find some birthday presents.

At one time, Hyacinths were more popular than Tulips. And, for good reason. They bloom longer, are much hardier, and fill your spring garden with an intoxicating, sweet perfume.

Rare Hyacinth Bulbs:
* I'm buying mine from Old House Gardens. They specialize in heirloom bulbs. It's my first purchase, so I can't recommend them. But, I do admire their love of odd bulbs.

General Kohler: Born 1878
The oldest, surviving double Hyacinth.

Marie: Born 1860.
One of the rarest. Now considered 'commercially extinct.'

Gypsy Queen: Born 1927.
Naturalizes 'effortlessly' in dry, southwest gardens.

Hollyhock Hyacinth: Born 1936
Blooms later in spring than most commercial Hyacinths.

Curing the Winter Blues..
At about $1.00 a bulb (for commercially available Hyacinths) there's no reason to short change yourself. Buy an extra dozen and store them in the 'frig. Hyacinth bulbs are easily 'forced.' Meaning we trick them into thinking it's spring by keeping them in a cool dark place. Come January, after 12 weeks of cold storage, forced Hyacinth bulbs will happily bloom in a sunny window.


thismngardener said...

you are a great friend. i saw t's flowers today, gorgeous!!!

eleKtrofly said...

hmm i like that hollyhock