In these final days of winter, prudent gardeners who have taken some time to prepare are filling their windowsills with early spring blooms. Many winter flower seekers begin the forcing season with the holidays and amaryllis, and continue with a procession of paperwhites and other exotic bulbs through late winter (now), when hyacinths, with their heavenly scent and their beautifully collectible forcing vases, come into their own.
This beautiful collection belongs to Martha at Lines to Linderhof. She has collected hyacinth vases in the antique shops in the Midwest where she lives, and her particular preference is to mix vase colors but remain solid in the flower color.
Many of the best hyacinth vases can be found on Ebay on searches that include Europe and the UK (as they are generally more popular and well known there). My personal preference is for the multicolored and stemmed varieties that can more easily be found in France. You can see what I am talking about here....plus this site has an overwhelming amount of information about Hyacinth forcers and the hobby of coaxing bulbs into early blooming.
If you haven't already chilled and prepared your bulbs for forcing this year, it is frankly too late to get started now — you will have to be patient for that snow to melt. But if you fancy giving it a try for next year, it is a perfect time to start shopping for the pretty vases that bring these arrangements to life. Once you have a sweet collection (or even one, for that matter), head over to Old House Gardens. There you will find information about forcing, as well as an amazing collection of rare and interesting bulbs to experiment with.