I have three pots of hyacinth in Greenhouse No 5 (The Coop); two contain bulbs I started myself back in October whilst the other was a gift. I had in fact purchased three different varieties myself, but when I came to divi-up the bulbs between the four of us who had ordered, one pack was inadvertently allocated incorrectly and went to the friend that we only see every few months. It made sense for her to keep them of course, once the mistake was discovered. My gift hyacinths were a belated Christmas present (and a replacement for the poinsettia that had been purchased but killed off before it could be given to me – whew, that’s a relief! a whole Christmas season without receiving a poinsettia!) and already in bud when I received them so it made sense to cut some of them for today’s vase.
The flowers do of course also ‘make scents’ and I am looking forward to enjoying their heady perfume here in the kitchen. The disadvantage of keeping various potted bulbs in The Coop instead of the house is not having the brightness of their seasonal blooms readily available nor, as with these hyacinths, their scent, but on the other hand the blooms will last longer and the stems will grow straighter and less lankily. They also take an age to flower because of the coolness of the conditions but overall I am hoping they will be all the better for it. And of course, unlike the working greenhouse, The Coop is attached to the house and readily visitable without a trek to the bottom of the garden.
Keeping it simple, I plucked a useful Arum italicum ‘Marmoratum’ leaf to contrast with the creamy white blooms adding, on a whim, a sprig of a narrow-leaved ivy that was growing next to the arum. The ivy neatly embraced one of the blooms and unintentionally but cleverly mirrored the bamboo featured on the little Chinese perfume bottle that acts as a prop. Although it looks like pottery, the vase is another of my numerous Caithness Glass vases, albeit a wedding present rather than a car boot bargain this time.
As the bounty of seasonal bulbs begins to creep into our vases it may be that the leanest months are behind us for yet another year – or we could be at the mercy of the weather for a while yet. Whatever we find to put in our winter vases or whatever the quantity of material we can be sure that there is pleasure to be had from creating them – so do join us if you can and share them with us by leaving the usual links to and from this post.