Wow, it's November already!
Yay! This means that "Christmas preparations" season is officially open in my home. I've already made up my mind about what colors to use for the holidays. And the hyacinth bulbs are already being
forced tricked to be in full bloom for the magic evening of December the 24th.
Having tiny paper-whites and hyacinths and crocus flowers in the middle of the winter season feels wonderful. Need proof? These are my little touches of life from last year (yes, I stumbled upon these old pics and thought they would make a great tutorial). I advise everyone to buy some bulbs and force them to bloom. First you need to chill the bulbs in the fridge for 4-6 weeks. Better yet, you can buy pre-chilled bulbs almost everywhere nowadays! Just follow these VERY simple steps:
1. Fill a tiny vase with gravel. Instead of gravel, you may use rocks or clay pellets. Or just use gardening soil.
2. Fill the vase with water. Make sure you use clean, filtered water. If you pour tap water directly into the vase, the chlorine in the water will damage the plants. For chlorine-free water, pour tap water into a bottle and let it "breathe" for 3 days - and the chlorine will slowly evaporate (so don't close the bottle!).
3. Put the bulb on top of the gravel (if you use a larger pot, squeeze in as many bulbs as you can, depending on their size). Make sure that the bottom of the bulb doesn't touch the water (or else the bulb will rot and then it's goodbye, beautiful hyacinths!)
4. Special note for bloggers: If you think that your bulbs are too beautiful to be stacked away for a few weeks, now is your chance to grab them and make a few arrangements and photos, before they start growing roots. I couldn't help myself and made a vignette using kitchen bowls and the DIY washi tape vase :)
5. Leave the bulbs in a cool, dry place. I put mine in the cabinet on the balcony, which is the coldest corner of the apartment. After 10 days, little roots were starting to show already. Maintain the water level by adding a few drops now and then - always making sure that the water doesn't touch the bulbs.
6. When the leaves are already a few inches tall, you can move the hyacinths some place warm and sunny.
For example, my Christmas bulb came to live with us on the kitchen shelf. We admired its delicate beauty in all the stages. Watching a plant grow little by little every day and forming blooms under your very eyes - priceless! So hurry up and buy your own bulbs if you haven't done it already, because Christmas is coming in just 8 weeks :)