Sunday, March 6, 2011
The Hyacinths are Blooming! One Blossom's Fragrance Fills a Room
Three years ago, I bought a "mixed bulb garden" assortment from one of the seed catalogs, and planted them in the fall.
The following spring, hyacinths became a part of my life. Oh my! Fragrance as rapturous as honeysuckle, and a single stalk will perfume an entire room for a week or longer.
Easy to buy: hyacinths are inexpensive, and available in most garden catalogs and at your local nurseries for fall planting.
Easy to plant: push a trowel into the ground in the autumn, drop in a hyacinth bulb and cover it over. Easy to care for: let them die back when they have finished blooming, then mow or water or fertilize whatever plants or grass cover the area the rest of the year.
Easy to enjoy: A superb cut flower, they will be beautiful and fragrant for seven to 14 days after cutting. Cheerful colors of red, white and beautiful blue are my favorites. Once a bloom stalk has opened most of its florets, cut the stalk, pop into a vase of water, and enjoy the heady perfume.
You can even force hyacinths, and stretch the season longer by chilling them in the fridge and putting the bulb in a container where the root end will sit on water - or a special "hyacinth vase". I haven't tried this yet but I think I will save a couple of bulbs this fall and try it. This website, www.kennemerend.nl/bollenglazen/ , has great photos of hyacinth vases, including antique ones. They remind me somewhat of a carafe: a sort of bottle shape, with a small neck and a top rim that widens to provide a reservoir in which the bulb sits. I've seen those odd shaped glass containers from time to time but never knew what they were for.
There's no need for any air freshener, potpourri or scented candles while you have hyacinths blooming. Because the fragrance is fully natural, the nose never ignores it, so the lovely scent catches my attention frequently each day.
I even carry the vase in & put it on the bedside table each evening, falling asleep to the fragrance of hyacinths. It joins the bird songs as one of the first things I become aware of when I wake in the morning.