A big basket of hyacinths, for those prepared to play the long game…Normally you’d be doing this in September for Christmas blooms, but, well, I forgot…and at any rate, who needs MORE stuff at Christmas? – It’s the bleakness of January and February I want hyacinths for.
Hyacinth bulbs (available now, but selling fast) I like ‘Carnegie’ or ‘Jan Bos’. Protect your hands when you’re touching them…some people are hyacinth-bulb-allergic.
A basket (lined with plastic) or other container – the large one here is 35cm diameter
Bulb fibre (but if you can’t get it, then multi-purpose is fine)
Something to cover the container with so that the bulbs stay in the dark…I use a deep plastic pot saucer
Just plonk your bulbs in, leaving the tips uncovered, and then water the whole thing, cover the containers with something to keep things dark, and leave it somewhere cool and dark (I use my basement, but if I had a garage I’d use that). Check the bulbs periodically to make sure the compost doesn’t completely dry out and wait until the shoots are about 7cm high (this could take anywhere between two and four months….you’re simulating late winter and early spring – tricking the bulbs into coming up when you want them to.
Bring them out into the light and relative warmth of your home and they’ll burst forth with their glorious scent before you know it.