If, like me, you can’t wait until spring for the heady scent of hyacinths, why don’t you plant an indoor variety. They’re often so much cheaper than anything you can buy in the shops and make wonderful homemade presents.
Over the last few weeks at different intervals, I’ve been planting bulbs in various receptacles including old terracotta plant pots, recycled aluminium tins and even old plastic pots.
To plant an indoor hyacinth layer 5cm of compost at the base of your chosen pot and place the hyacinth bulb on top of this layer of compost with the pointed end facing upwards. Position your bulbs closely together but make sure the bulbs don’t touch by leaving a finger width distance between each bulb. Now place this bowl in a cool dark and frost-free place for around 10 weeks ideally below 9C but above freezing. I’m storing my bulbs on some rafters in the barn and am topping them up with water every so often to stop them drying out. Once the flower bulbs reach 5-8cm bring them inside. Starting the bulbs off in the dark encourages a good root system and they should flower between December and March depending on when they were initially planted.
If you’d like to send hyacinths as a christmas gift – www.gardeningdirect.co.uk – have 5 striking pink hyacinths at £13:99. Dobies Garden Centre in Devon – dobies.co.uk – have produced a special christmas variety of four vibrant red hyacinths in a gift basket for £18:95. However, for a truly beautiful display I think John Lewis – www.johnlewis.com have excelled themselves with 9 pure white scented hyacinths in a cube this week priced at £33:00. I think the price tag is hefty but the arrangement is simply stunning and I imagine the smell is heavenly.