Friday, March 31, 2006

Grape hyacinth

I think that my favourite bulbs indoors at the moment are the grape hyacinths (Muscari armenaicum) in glass pots. The bulbs are growing crammed together with their roots reaching down into water and small pebbles. They have looked good for 3 weeks now and look set to go on for another week or so.
This is partly due to their foliage which is very fresh and grassy - somehow having glass vases of growing green is very uplifting at the time of year, regardless of whether or not there are flowers. The flowers start off tiny and then gradually snake up above the foliage and expand into conical blue heads. I have several glass pots of grape hyacinth along the dining room window ledge and the light shining through them is beautiful. Somehow they are much more springlike than all the scented hyacinths and narcissi in the other rooms.
Grape hyacinths originally come from South East Europe where they grow on grassy hillsides - I am constantly amazed by bulbs ability to adapt and happily grow inside a Scottish dining room. Another plus is that I shall be able to plant them outside after they have finished flowering.
Next year I intend to keep a better eye on my snakeshead fritillary bulbs and stop the mice eating them all - then I shall have pots of nodding fritillaries to add variety to my windowsill meadow.

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