Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dutch Hyacinth

Dutch Hyacinth
Hyacinthus orientalis
(hy-uh-SIN-thus) (or-ee-en-TAY-liss)

Despite the weather, which again today is rainy and cold, the Hyacinths have started to bloom. Over the last two years I have done two fairly large plantings of these bulbs. I learned something from the way I did it. For the first year I ordered a collection of 6 of ten different varieties and planted them in groups of three along a perennial border next to the driveway and it has looked good for the last two years.

Last fall the owner of one of the gardens I was working came out and said, “I ordered these” and handed my 75 Hyacinth bulbs of the same variety (forget what it was). On one hand it was disappointing to me that they were all the same on the other I was happy to have them for the garden. The garden is a bit, um, cramped but very charming and it was struggle to find some place to put them. I planted some groups of 10 and a few 5’s around some semicircular edging in the rose/herb garden and forgot about them. This spring I noticed what kind of looked like a miniature volcano of dirt lifting where I planted the bulbs. That was a first fr me. All of the dirt around the bulbs and on top was lifting up like sod. This should be interesting I thought. When I went back several days later (after a lot of rain) the bulbs were up and starting to bloom. The soil had sifted back down to the ground and everything was fine. I couldn’t believe how nice my little pink forest looked and smelled.

So I think the all of one variety, heavily planted groups were better than stretching out the different varieties. The picture is of a lone bulb that is probably from a long ago planting. The color is much hotter than most.

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