Trying to extend the growing season by bringing it indoors, and being inspired by the Indoor Garden(er), a companion to the Paper Whites was planted just before Thanksgiving. Pearly white Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) bulbs were set in water, topped with green tumbled ocean glass, chilled, and brought out to be forced into an indoor winter bloom.
Now, I have never grown these type of hyacinths in the past because I never liked their form. They are too rigid and artificial looking for my taste - like little plastic toilet brushes. They never seem natural in the landscape. However, they were on sale at the local store late in the season, so a small packet was purchased to save them from the Christmas decorations muscling in on their shelf space. All but three bulbs were planted in the front garden.
The Paper Whites came and went, while the three Hyacinths took their sweet time. They began blooming last week, 2-1/2 months later. I found the indoor results different than the outdoor results will undoubtedly be:
1. The flowers appear natural - not formal and rigidly-formed
as their outdoor brethren. I like that.
2. The flowers are blooming a few at a time. This will
extend the blooming time.
3. The leaves are stunted - small so the blossoms are
All the effort is worth it for the fragrance. It hits you upon entering the house. And the best part - they are blooming now: right after our record-setting 25-inch (65 cm) snowstorm, and at a time when winter seems to drag on. One needs a reminder of spring in February.