06 February 2010

Pearly Whites Just In Time

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
    more visible.

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.


Jan (Thanks For Today) said...
We had the snow too...my deck looks like yours, although you may have gotten a bit more than me if you are somewhat north. My paperwhites are actually blooming right now. Their scent isn't something I'm crazy about. Hyacinths,on the other hand, do smell lovely. I don't know why I didn't think to force them this year. Enjoy your bit of spring as you are forced, like the rest of us, to stay indoors for a few days!
Janet said...
I like the fresh white blooms, something we need right now...I live in Southern Virginia. We didn't get quite the amount of snow as the folks to our north, but we got enough to last for years!
Kenneth Moore said...
Aw! I'm glad to have been an inspiration. :-D It's a two-way street, however. Maybe I'll try hyacinth--I've also not really liked them, but I think mostly because everyone has them. But, then, I've been enjoying my crazy amaryllis blooms, and everyone has those, too!
J.C. said...
Those are stunning!
Dirty Girl Gardening said...
I can practically smell those bulbs from here!! I love pure white bulbs.. so lovely.
Patrice said...
I like those pearly white flowers.