Hyacinth-one of the early spring blooming flowers.
What a welcome the blooming hyacinths are, for their rich color and wonderful fragrance!
Hyacinths are very easy to grow, requiring very little care, but so rewarding after a long, cold winter. They are the essence of the fragrance of spring, blooming about the same time as daffodils and tulips, March to April.
Hyacinths grow from large bulbs that should be planted in the fall, usually in September to October, any time after the first light frost but before the ground freezes they can be planted.
Bulbs can be purchased at your favorite big box store or ordered from seed or nursery catalogs.
Hyacinths are hardy from zones 4-8.
They do best in full sun but will still flower in partial shade.
Hyacinths come in a wide range of colors from white, peach, apricot, salmon, blue shades, yellow, pink, red to purple and lavender.
Hyacinths grow to 6-12 inches tall, with a dense flower spike surrounded by strap like leaves.
The bulbs should be planted 4-6 inches deep with the pointed end up and 4-6 inches apart.
They like rich loose soil that is well drained, and only need water when dry.
Hyacinths do not multiply and spread like daffodils. One bulb per flower-the bigger the bulb the better.
Hyacinths tend to decline over the years-some people treat them as annuals and replant new bulbs every fall, but if left alone they will bloom for many years, just not as pretty and lush as the first year. The faded flowers should be cut back as soon as they begins to turn brown, and the leaves left to grow. The leaves will store energy for next years bloom. When the leaves brown off they can be cut back or gently pulled off. Some compost or fertilizer is appreciated at this time.
Hyacinths are best at the front of flower borders. Emerging perennials will hide the dying foliage. They are lovely lining a walkway where their fragrance can be enjoyed.
Hyacinths make good cut flowers and have a long vase life. They can also be planted in containers, or forced for indoor winter/spring blooming.
One warning-the bulbs are poisonous-they contain oxalic acid, so use care while planting and around children and pets.
I am enjoying the beautiful colors and fragrance of my hyacinths this spring. In the photo above is one of the beds that I made at our new house. The stone wall on the right was already here-I made this flower bed, bordered by my signature stacked stone borders from stones that I have gathered over the years. Seems like every time I was digging I ran into stones-I decided to put them use as border stones. Now I look for stones everywhere, and have been known to stop the car and grab stones from along the side of the road. No stone is safe around me if it is the right shape and size! Also the stepping stones were brought from our last house and reused as a walkway between the stone patio and stairs to the deck.
The garden here is a work in progress, and I am enjoying the progress of it!
Poem by Gerald Green
I lingered to enjoy the moment,
ending the eleven-month intermission,
as the sweet aroma reached me
from the garden behind the house.
The hyacinth had returned
without fanfare or recognition
by bulbs not yet broken forth,
or buds pregnant with the glory of spring.
I followed the unforgettable scent
to its humble position beside the hellebore,
and admired my early spring friend
before me in perfect health.
With one whiff, everything changed.
Last year’s faded images of spring renewed,
and the value of life increased
in a moment. In a breath.