Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hyacinth in a Bowl - Forcing Bulbs......my first attempt!

Earlier this year we went to a Gardening Expo that was held here in Adelaide.  I love going to these things, I love the feeling of hope and inspiration you gain from the shows.  I always come away from them dreaming of how my garden could look.......if only I had a green thumb lol.

Anyway, this year I saw these small boxes which were called Hyacinth in a Bowl.  They came in white, pink or blue.  These flowers were so pretty that I just had to buy one to give it a try.  I purchased the pink one.  It came with a glass bowl, gravel and 3 bulbs. The idea is that you place the gravel in the bottom, partly fill with water and simply nestle the bulbs into the gravel and place in the fridge for about 3 months.

Now as I have never done anything like this before I was very cynical that it would actually work.  My kids thought I had gone mad when they opened the fridge to find these things that they thought were purple onions sitting in a bowl of gravel.  I warned them all to stay away, well away, from this bowl if they valued their lives lol.

I watched, I waited.  I watched the bulbs turn a weird kind of colour in places, kinda black and yes, mouldy looking.  I was tempted to toss them out but decided that since I had paid good money for these darn things I would keep them going.  Slowly I saw little roots digging down into the gravel, slowly little green shoots began to stick out the top of one of them, followed shortly after by the other two.  I was pretty excited and wanted to share my excitement with my Hubby.  He was a little less thrilled than I had wanted him to be, so I gathered around the kids, showing them my little babies.  They all said words similar to "Great Mum, the onions are sprouting,,,,,but can't they do that just sitting in the cupboard??".  Okay I would in future just keep my excitement to myself.  Each day I peeked into the deepest darkest recess of my fridge, watching my little bulbs get a little bigger.  The instruction book said to wait until they are about 8cms tall before removing them from the fridge.

Finally about 10 days ago, I deemed them big enough, strong enough to stand the test of life beyond the fridge!  I placed them on my family room windowsill.  Here they would get plenty of light but no real heat, exactly what the instructions said.

Each day, you could see them growing.  Each night they were that little bit bigger.  You could see the flower buds swelling up from the middle of the leaves.  Then this weekend, those little buds were up above the leaves, slowly beginning to open.  Two days ago there was just one little flower bud opened, this morning, look what I have........aren't they beautiful!!!

Sadly you can only "force"bulbs once apparently, so I will need to toss these out when they are finished, but gee, they are just so pretty that I definitely think it is worth it.  Next year I will try to plant some of these in the garden and see if I have any luck.

Now if only I could get my seeds to have the same kind of luck as the bulbs, we may actually grow something edible lol.

PS....the kids and hubby were at least a little more impressed when they saw the flowers, not doing a jig like I was but at least they said "oh they are pretty" Lol


Sherlyn said...

Off course the once rotten onions have now given you a beautiful plant! I must say the waiting for well worth :)
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Sue said...

They are so pretty!! I've discovered that I actually really like flowers but I don't grow them myself. Can you use any gravel or its it some special fertilised gravel? Cheers Sue http://notenoughbutter.blogspot.com

OurGangof7 said...

Hi Sue :-)
No it looks like just normal gravel. I was thinking I would keep the bowl and gravel and try some other bulbs next year....I have no idea if it is only hyacinths that work or not but hey its worth a shot lol.

Kitty said...

Hello! I just came across your blog as I (in another hemisphere) am about to plant my own hyacinths to bloom for Christmas. I just wanted to say that you don't have to throw the bulbs away when they finish blooming: they will still flower next year, they just can't be forced. Plant them in the garden and they will come up!
You can force all sorts of bulbs: I have done crocuses and paperwhites as well as hyacinths.

OurGangof7 said...

Thank you for that Kitty. That is fantastic news. I have the perfect spot for them to go in the garden. I'm happy now, it seemed so sad that because I had forced them I had also basically killed them lol, I felt like a murderer!!