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Indoor bulbs - the cheats version

Years ago I used to buy expensive prepared hyacinth bulbs - especially treated so they didn't need a long chilling - for growing indoors.

They still needed a complicated regime of darkness and light and I was always slightly disappointed in the results.

The ones that I tried to force on old hyacinth vases - with traditional paper cones to exclude the light - were always the least successful - - growth was often a little lopsided, the blooms not properly developed, and the roots were often not enough to hold the flowers upright.

Now forced hyacinth bulbs are beginning to appear in the shops again - often far cheaper than the bulbs were back in October - and I have taken to cheating.

I buy pots of three bulbs - buds showing healthily above the leaves - and transplant them into my old hyacinth vases which line the windowsill. They look exactly as though they have been grown traditionally.

1. Choose the deepest pots of forced hyacinths that you can find and make sure there is good root growth.

2. Take the plant out of the pot and sit in a bowl of hand hot water for half an hour.

3. Carefully prise the plants apart and rinse off all soil under a tap. Don't worry if you snap some roots, as long as most remain it will be fine.

4. Fill the hyacinth vase to just below the neck with tepid water.

5. Carefully thread the clean roots into the water until the bulb sits in the neck of the vase.

6. Keep water topped up to 1 cm below the bulb and turn the vase every few days so that the hyacinth doesn't grow towards the light and topple over.

Comments: 4 (Add)

Ann on November 27 2018 at 10:12

That is a really good idea - you are clever to think of it! I'm always disappointed with those forced bulbs too - they never open properly and always fall over! I've only carried on growing them for the scent in my small living room.

Jane on November 27 2018 at 17:38

Thanks for sharing 😊I love this idea !

Lesley (Lilybabylulu on insta) on November 30 2018 at 13:46

This is great Jane. Thank you for sharing x

Radius Theme on December 18 2018 at 11:31

It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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The bees aren’t enjoying this cold damp weather any more than I am. 
I keep finding them clinging to the leeward side of flowers - especially the big bulks of globe thistles, teasels and sea holly. 
They look like they are clinging on desperately to the rigging as the plants are buffeted about in the wind. 
What are you up to this weekend?
This is one of the photographs from a new course that I am writing at the moment about growing your own annual cut flowers.⁠⠀
It is a course based on my practical experience of growing flowers in a fairly tough climate, up a hill in the middle of Scotland.⁠⠀
It will be my first course written exclusively for members of Snapdragon Studio - membership costs £10 a month at the moment but for people joining after 18th September it will be £15 a month. ⁠⠀
The price increase is to reflect all the extra things that you get now in comparison to when I first launched the membership - I have been adding in exclusive e-courses, a hard copy magazine, a private community where you can ask advice and share expertise.⁠⠀
I am freezing the cost of membership for everyone who joins up by 17th September at £10 a month until the beginning of 2021 as a thank you for supporting me and allowing me the space to develop the membership.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
If you want to join us - and it is a very good time to join as there are embroidered badges in the Welcome pack - you can find out more by clicking through my profile.
Are you a city break person or a lover of the open road? 
And what do you think of caravans? Are they a symbol of adventure or something slow moving you get stuck behind on the motorway? 
This mug, printed with my watercolours of vintage caravans (including my own, very stationary airstream) probably shows my own allegiances.  It is now up on the website, click through my profile to find it.
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I may even have found a dinner plate dahlia I like - indeed love. 
Fairway spur - pretty much the colour of Heinz tomato soup - it has a beautiful bursting out shape and longish stems. 
By longish I mean about a foot between flower and next big bud. Perfect to put on its own in a stoneware bottle. 
By a cow. In my office.
Did you all survive the weathery weather? 
One of my jobs today or tomorrow is to go and see if I can rescue the sweet peas. 
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That worked for a while - but the winds over the weekend got under the sheets of flowers and whisked them off the grid. 
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Yesterday I took a duvet day. My first ever I think. 
I woke and I thought of all the things I had to do- Re-write a blogpost, write & send a newsletter, edit photos & write instructions for the Studio Box.
Then I rolled over and went back to sleep. 
I had a long bath, I took a nap, I went hunting antiques - I did no work. 
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Are you a taker of duvet days?
‘Be canny with the sugar’

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I think of all that when I see this sugar bowl - a personalised sugar bowl for an aristocratic lady, a pretty large sugar bowl. 
And I wonder how much she thought about anybody who made her commodities, or if it was unknown, suspected but easily dismissed .  Or was she a trendy liberal, the feel good boycott, the buying of sugar beet, the washing of hands, the feeling of having done her bit. 
And yet - I type this out on my phone - aware that the chance that modern slavery powers it is high. The children in the Democratic Republic of Congo mining cobalt, others elsewhere mining elements I haven’t even heard of. The deliberate untraceability that Somehow allows us to turn away. 
Our technology, more ubiquitous even than sugar. 
I’m not really sure where I am going with this caption, it was going to be about sweet peas. 
Just probably to say awareness being the start and a googling after facts and ways to change. But only a start. 
The lowest estimate of the extent of modern slavery today is 20 million people.
Pineapple weed ice cream. 
There seems to be two camps in the foraging world at the moment. 
One evolves from back when found foods were an important everyday part of our diets - from wild spring greens to hedgerow brambles - the other from a very high end cheffy chasing of flavour. 
I am usually firmly in the first camp, with my basket of nettles and my billhook, but last week I took a little detour into weird flavour hunting and made Pineapple weed ice cream - from a type of very common wild chamomile that (kind of) tastes of pineapple. 
The recipe is on my blog and is delicious- you can get to it by clicking through my profile. 
What is the weirdest flavour ice cream you’ve ever eaten?
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About Snapdragon

At Snapdragon we gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

Through our communities, both free and paid for, through Jane's writing on the blog, through carefully hand crafted gifts and activity kits, and through our online and in-person workshops we aim to bring people back in touch with the rhythms of a seasonal life.

Learn more about why here

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