The rest were given away as holiday gifts—I think I originally had about 200 hyacinths in pots and glasses, as well as 50 or so tazettas. The tulips are still in the root cellar. I am told that one pot of hyacinths I gave away before Christmas is already in bloom.
There are many different ways to force bulbs for winter bloom, and none of them are that difficult. Warm zone gardeners can chill bulbs in the fridge before planting. In the north, even if you don’t have a root cellar, any cold dark place that will maintain temps of 45-55 works. You can get creative and just make such a place. A dedicated fridge might be the best way, though I would turn the temperature up (contemporary fridges are too cold), disable the light and keep nothing in it but bulbs. I only mention all this because I think there might be a perception that bulb forcing is too specialized or difficult.
Over the years, I have stopped looking for the “best for forcing” notation in bulb catalogs. I like to experiment with the offbeat or rare varieties, most of which you can find at Old House Gardens. The only failures I’ve had are sometimes with forcing glasses (they really prefer being in dirt) and when I have tried to overwinter them in big pots in the garage. If they get too cold—which is what happened, I think—they will freeze and turn to mush in spring.
Shown above are (in larger quantity) City of Harlem and Woodstock and (a few of each) King of the Blues, Menelik, Mulberry Rose, and double Hollyhock. There are also some Erlicheer tazettas. The Mulberry Rose is really cool. Can’t wait. Though planning it and doing it is more than half the fun.
(This was also mentioned in my Bloom Day report. Click on the link to see all the other gardeners who participated.)Posted by Elizabeth Licata on January 16, 2011 at 7:01 am, in the category Bloom Day.