Hyacinths - A Permanent Resident
I was certainly caught out with the strong winds over the last few days. Arriving home on Friday the garden resembled a war zone, pots on their sides, dahlias and tomato plants blown over, fallen apples and again the lawn covered in pinecones and needles. With no Formula 1 this weekend at least I was kept busy on Saturday.
This week I thought I would focus on hyacinths, invaluable for both their vibrant colour and the intoxicating perfume they bring to the spring garden. Unlike tulips and daffodils, there has not been a great development in hyacinths over the last hundred years, and in fact, the types offered have considerably contracted since the height of their popularity with the Victorians. I am delighted that I can again offer Roman hyacinths, sometimes known as French hyacinths, being a lot more delicate in form than the multiflora varieties that superseded them. I also have a small collection of double hyacinths, providing intense colour and fragrance in pots or the garden.
I always consider hyacinths to be one of the permanent residences in my spring borders. They are ideal for bedding, being relatively short they are perfect for the front of borders and indeed for containers. The garden does not only have to be a visual experience, by incorporating scented flowers “we can have a garden within a garden, not much less rich and various than the other which appeals to the eye”.
Hyacinths are easy to grow, requiring a rich well-drained soil and sunny aspect. If they are to be left in situ for more than a year make sure they are planted deep enough, 10cm to 15cm (4-6 inches) depending on your soil type. Shallow planting can cause the bulbs to split and produce smaller flowers stems after the first year. Hyacinths in the border can generally be left undisturbed for three to four years before they will need division.
Enjoy your garden,