Such a simply put together vase was not my intention for today; however, using these hyacinths, my 10p each bargains from a month ago, was. Purchased and planted on 17th December, I think they were a little confused about the season due to sitting outside in a partially sheltered garden centre display for a number of months; I kept the six bulbs I bought (3 blue, 3 pink) in a cold room in semi-darkness for a couple of weeks but suddenly found flower spikes on some so moved them immediately into the light. These 3 spikes were from 2 bulbs and there is a single pink one in the other pot; the remaining 3 bulbs have not a single shoot emerging between them so perhaps it’s worth returning the pots to the cold and relative dark again for further encouragement now these spikes have been cut.
A foray outside to pick accompanying greenery and twigs was planned, but yesterday’s weather forecast of a grey morning with a hint of sleet had morphed into a morning of snow; time was short as I was due out in the afternoon so the hyacinths had to hold the fort on their own. The photograph on the left shows the view from our ‘back sitting room’, the room that was emptied to become the ‘café’ for our open garden events. As well as the two pots of hyacinths, there are pots of early narcissi, some in bud, two new potted foliage plants which I hope to keep alive, a couple of manky orchids that seem unlikely to flower again, and the unplanned mixed bag of amaryllis/hippeastrum. Just think how much more stunning they would have been if they were all of the same variety…!
Having three blue vintage hyacinth vases, these were an inevitable choice to pop the three stems in – possibly a little too tall for the length of stem, and in hindsight a few pebbles in the bottom would have elevated the blooms. My chosen prop was to have been a music cassette of the Joni Mitchell album ‘Blue’, probably purchased in the early 70s but certainly not played for well over 20 years – but could I find it? No, I could not – however, having Googled the lyrics of the title song for a snippet that could be used for the title of the post I realised how naive a student I must have been at the time I used to listen to the album as the content went completely over my head! Hey ho, we are all older and wiser now… Instead, I included a sphere of lovely sparkly blue lapis lazuli, a gemstone believed to have many spiritual properties and to be especially beneficial to the throat and third eye chakras.
Meanwhile, Hippeastrum ‘Dancing Queen’ is still looking pretty good after a fortnight in a vase, with only the slightest hint of browning on the tips of one of the blooms. Seeing this one flowering at the same time as the group in the back sitting room makes it obvious how much larger the latter blooms are – Dancing Queen, as well as being double, seems more elegant and refined in comparison.
I may have short changed myself with the content of today’s vase, but the fragrance more than makes up for it with none of the relative subtlety of last week’s viburnum, lonicera and sarcococca. I wonder what other people’s vases will focus on today – form, fragrance, foliage or fun? If you can manage to get out into your January gardens and find something to pop into a vase or jam jar then please share it with is too by leaving the usual links to and from this post.