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Stop and smell the hyacinth

Variety of colors for the spring

One of my favorite parts of spring is seeing and enjoying all the spring-flowering bulbs in flower. The hyacinths are the most fragrant.

The hyacinth has a little tug of war going. Some of us love the smell and there are some who can’t tolerate it. The strong fragrance makes them one of the most popular bulbs to force into bloom in pots and enjoy indoors in the winter. If you dislike the smell, choose an outdoor location where they can be enjoyed just by looking at them.

Garden hyacinths are a hardy bulb in our area and must be planted in the fall to flower in the spring. Choose a site with rich soil that is moist but well-drained, and plant them 5 to 6 inches deep in groups of 5 or more for a fantastic spring display. 

There are many hybrid hyacinths commonly available. They come in blue, white, light and dark pink, or red and yellow. The most popular blue is delft blue, shown above. It is easily forced indoors or performs very well when planted in the garden. A few others you can choose from are pink pearl, dark pink woodstock, the yellow city of haarlem, and aiolos, which is white.

Hyacinth bulbs are not inexpensive with individual bulb prices ranging from $ .75 To $1.79 Per bulb depending on variety and bulb grade. Consider investing in a few bulbs each fall and you can have both a colorful and fragrant spring garden in just a few years.

Shelly Nold from the 2016 March issue

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