Hello, Again

Very happy to be back home after an eight day stay at Evanston General Hospital. Not that the staff aren’t exemplary. But I was tired of having apparently random groups of doctors (doctors travel in groups, like fish) come by, knead my abdomen, and ask about my bowel movements. And I was tired of the IVs and the monitors and the taking of blood and vital signs. But maybe I should stop my grousing, because when I went there I was not at all well, and now I am much better (though still tired).

In front of the house I have one container of hyacinths of eight of hybrid tulips. The tulips are just starting to open, I think they will have a good year.
In front of the house I have one container of hyacinths of eight of hybrid tulips. The tulips are just starting to open, and I think they will have a good year.

Hyacinth ‘Blue Jacket’ (Hyacinthus orientalis) was there to greet me at the front door. Many people consider Hyacinths commonplace, but this is the first time I have grown any, so I was excited. I grew these in containers buried outside to overwinter. I think it is a very handsome flower. I like the blue-purple trumpets that have a faint white stripe.

I should say that these are my pictures, not Judy's. I used my camera and it was an overcast day.
I should say that these are my pictures, not Judy’s. I used my camera and it was an overcast day, so they are not the best.

They have only a very modest fragrance, though. I had read that Hyacinths had a sweet fragrance so strong that some people found it unpleasant. I like a powerfully fragrant flower, though, so I was a bit disappointed. I wonder if if the fragrance was below par because it was a chill day with few pollinators to attract? That could be a good question for a future post.

Do you grow hyacinths, and are they always fragrant?


67 Comments on “Hello, Again

  1. Welcome back! And I am so relieved to hear you are feeling better.

    I used to grow hyacinths many years ago. This year I decided to grow some again for old time’s sake and I was so surprised at the weak fragrance — I have memories of one single plant perfuming the entire house. If someone knows the mystery of the disappearing fragrance I hope they will spill the beans. It was a great disappointment. They were pretty but I felt a little cheated.

    • The loss of fragrance is often because of breeders emphasizing other traits, but I had thought that all varieties of hyacinth were very fragrant. Next time I buy some bulbs I will check specifically what it says about fragrance by variety.

      • Guess I will, too. It sure was a surprise.

  2. Hello! Very glad you are back and all went well. I grow some in the garden, the cultivar name is long since lost and they have only a faint fragrance but I also grow the heat treated type for indoor winter flowering and the smell in our warm kitchen is always wonderful. Yours look really lovely though.

  3. Take it easy now, sir. Glad you’re doing well and back home. =)

    These flowers are truly beautiful. I love the color!!!

    I’m sure you’ll get well sooner with these colorful flowers around your garden. Have a good day!

      • Thank you, sir. It was a surprise. I do hope people who saw the post there and on my blog would really try the diy moss.

        Glad lots of people are still gardening these days despite the size and location of their outdoor [as well as indoor] space. =)

  4. I think the first day of two they are open the fragrance is most powerful. After several pollinators have visited, probably not so much. Yours look fully open, they are stunners!

    Glad to hear you are home, a wonderful feeling. Is it not?

    • I think I will give a couple other varieties a try, if the experience regarding fragrance is the same, I may give up on them. I was ecstatic to come home, though it was a very slow, rickety sort of ecstasy.

  5. Glad to hear you are better and out of hospital, hyacinths have a strange fragrance, attractive yet repugnant.

    • Welcome home! Glad you’re on the mend. I haven’t grown hyacinths outside in years. Back then I seem to remember them smelling great. The indoor ones still smell great. Even without the smell, a very pretty welcome home.

  6. Welcome back! Glad to hear you’re out of the hospital and on the mend. I planted Hyacinths in a previous garden, and I do remember them having a very powerful scent. Like hybrid tulips, though, they tend to decline every year, with the flowers getting smaller and smaller, until finally there is not much left but maybe a wimpy little leaf. So I didn’t plant them again.

  7. Welcome back. I’m glad that everything went well. Eight days seems like a long stay!
    Your hyacinths might be a hybrid variety. To get bigger, showier flowers breeders often have to sacrifice something else and sometimes that is the scent. That’s why so many roses don’t smell like roses anymore.

    • Eight days was a long stay, even longer that it sounds. As I told Debra, in the future I’ll check what is said about the fragrance of specific varieties.

  8. Glad you’re back home. I love hyacinths though I have only a couple. I need to remember to get some in the fall. I don’t think mine was very fragrant but they are supposed to be.

  9. Such pretty pots Jason! I bet you were excited to be greeted by their beauty when coming home! I am so glad that you are feeling better…that is a long stay at the hospital! You take care of yourself and get some rest! All the best to you! Nicole

    • Thanks, Nicole. You’re right, they were an exciting sight. I’ve been getting rest, but I’m very antsy to get working on the garden.

  10. Hi Jason, Australia has many different climate zones, some are tropical, cold, where I am in Sydney, it is temperate, although I do grow some tropical plants,I can’t grow all, although some do if they have the right micro climate.
    We are lucky enough to be able to grow plants from different climate zones here. Have a nice day.

  11. Jason: I’m glad you’re back home and the surgery went well. Can’t believe that was a week! Hope your recovery continues at a speedy pace. Most of the Hyacinths I’ve had were a bit overpowering (the scent), including the ones I have on my back porch. They’re all lovely, though. Take care!

  12. Glad you’re back Jason, and hope you feel better very soon. Don’t do too much gardening now till you’re fit! I have some large Hyacinths and grape hyacinths in the garden. Both smell nice when you walk past, but if I bring them indoors the scent becomes overpowering… something to do with air circulation and warmth?

  13. Welcome back. I have some hyacinths, and they all have strong scent. It can be almost too much if they are indoors. Hope you will be garden ready again soon.

  14. Great that you are home again and on the mend.
    I find Hyacinths smell wonderful at first and then they get rank as they mature. When they are planted out in the garden, I like their daintiness as they dwindle over the years into something less chubby and obese.

    • My instructor at the CBG bulbs class said something very similar about preferring hyacinths after they had lost a bit of vigor.

  15. Glad you are mended and ready for the growing season! I grow City of Harlem which are butter-yellow. I usually get three years out of them but they only look great the first year. I mix them with the daffodils and misc by the front door where you can definitely smell them as you approach. They are just in the garden bed. Your blue ones look great though. I really look forward to them. They are one of those ethereal Spring events. Unlike hospitals.

  16. Jason, I’m glad you are better and I hope your tiredness will go away in your wonderful garden! The hyacinths look healthy and sure the fragrance is great!

  17. Welcome home! Glad you’re on the mend. I haven’t grown hyacinths outside in years. Back then I seem to remember them smelling great. The indoor ones still smell great. Even without the smell, a very pretty welcome home.

  18. Glad you are home now and feeling better! What a welcoming sight those hyacinths must have been. I love them and grow forced bulbs every year which bloom inside during the long dreary winter months. They fill the house with fragrance but then the house is warm, so maybe your theory about temperature is correct, and they have less fragrance when the temperature is low.

  19. No input about hyacinths other than they look cheerful, but I am so glad to hear you are well and out of the hospital! I saw your earlier post at some point in my travels but barely had internet access (and then left my phone charger at the first lodging). Welcome back!!

  20. Glad you’re home! 8 days is a long time to be in the hospital. I have found many plants to be much less fragrant on chilly days than warm ones.

    • Thanks. Yes, eight days is a long time indeed. And I’m glad to get some support for my weather/fragrance theory.

  21. Glad to hear you’re back home and on the mend, hospital visits get old fast and eight days is a lot! The hyacinths look great and make a perfect pot for lining the entryway.
    I was informed that the hyacinths here need to be moved away from the front door because if the scent…. I can kind of pick up on it, but the boss says it gives her a headache :)

  22. I adore hyacinths, grow them and all mine are fragrant…now to your hospital stay…seems we are on the same path. I entered the ER with severe pain a week ago and it is a hernia needing repair that kept me there 2 days. But hopefully it won’t be 8 days for surgery but 1 or 2 more. Not sure when that will be yet. I cannot garden because I cannot bend so I am not happy and my surgery will put me down for 4-8 weeks. So I wish you a speedy recovery and take time to heal!!

  23. Hi. Thanks for your comment on the crocuses. I checked the tag and all it says is ‘crocus – Golden Yellow’. They are small ones. Diane

  24. So glad your feeling better and I’m sure being back in the garden will speed your recovery, especially if you take it easy. I always do too much too soon and regret it.

    I love growing bulbs in pots, but haven’t grown hyacinths for years, though when I was an apartment dweller I forced them indoors. My nose found both the hyacinths and paper whites scents somewhat off putting, but it’s hard to describe why, since it wasn’t their strong smell (since I like the heady strong smell of daphnes), but something that hinted of rubber or tar. I read somewhere that we really don’t have adequate words to describe scent and I’m a prime example of that (tar?). But for me, nothing compares to the scent of Lilacs and Daphnes.

    • I know other people who have that reaction to paperwhites but I have never had it. I do love lilac though, and have never smelled Daphne.

  25. What a lovely sight to welcome you home. I know you must be happy to be out of the hospital. When your there, it’s because you need to be but it is very hard to get any rest. Feel better soon.

  26. Hello again Jason. My finger tips are correct this time. I am happy for your regained health. Those blue hyacinths are so beautiful. My sister came from NZ bringing 3 hyacinth bulbs, but i know they will not grow in our very hot clime. But i stil plant them, i hope they will still emerge, even if they might not be able to flower.

  27. Lovely to have you back, and it’s great news to hear you are recovering. Lovely pics….now take it easy eh…xxx

  28. Nice that you finally got sprung from the joint! Good behavior or did Judy have to come up with a hefty bail? In any case, I’m glad that you’re on the mend and posting again! I only grow stinky hyacinths because I love the fragrance. Didn’t know they made non smelly ones. Pity!

  29. Found it and fully sympathise with the continued pocking and prodding from the doctors – that’s often worse than the procedure itself!

  30. Hello Jason, I’m glad you’re back with a full recovery after your hospital interruption. I’m surprised at the hyacinths not being so fragrant, I thought they were all supposed to be on the verge of overpowering. The main reason for hyacinths is their fragrance, otherwise it would be like having oh, a jasmine that doesn’t smell or honeysuckle.

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