Strong, magenta pink to wine red florets. Densely packed perfection.
Seriously perfume powered, Hyacinths are one of the most fragrant of all the spring bulbs. Combined with their dynamo colours, they really are something special. They are so wonderful that it is a shame not to plant a few each spring!
When you plant your Hyacinths, it is a good idea to put them somewhere you can enjoy their heady scent; such as along a pathway, in a window box or by your favourite garden chair. In pots you can even bring them indoors to enjoy the delicious fragrance.
When planting Hyacinths in the garden, choose a spot that is shaded from the hot afternoon sun, such as beneath deciduous trees. We recommend preparing your soil prior to planting. To do this, dig through some well rotted manure a few weeks before you put your bulbs in. This increases drainage and adds nutrients to the soil. The bulbs are best planted around Mother’s Day, after the soil has cooled.
Plant your Hyacinths 10-15cm deep with the pointy end up, then water in. When planting Hyacinth bulbs it is a good idea to wear gloves as the bulbs have a natural defence in the fragile skin that flakes off the dry bulb. These flakes can irritate sensitive skin and cause itching, try to resist the urge to itch if you are affected and simply wash with warm soapy water.
If you are planting your Hyacinths in pots, plant them so the bulbs are almost touching, this will create a nice, dense display. You can plant small bulb such as Spring Star Flowers or annuals such as Pansies on top and the bulbs will push through. After planting, position the pot so it is in a cool, shaded spot (for around the first eight weeks or so). As well as reducing water loss from pots this allows the flower heads to develop slowly, so they don`t grow too quickly and flop, or emerge only part way from the foliage. As the buds emerge, move them into a lightly shaded area, gradually bringing them into the sunshine. Once the blooms are out, you can leave them where they are or take them indoors.
In the garden, you can try mixing Hyacinths with other perennials or bulbs for an extra splash of colour. The more you plant, the better the display and the stronger the perfume will be to take pleasure in.
Hyacinthmania occurred a century after Tulipmania (1734-1739) A double white with a red eye ‘King of Great Britain’ fuelled the fire and a bulb was worth around $15 000 in today’s money. This variety is now sadly lost to time, as have thousands of cultivars. Today only around 70 Hyacinth varieties are grown commercially.