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Saturday, July 24, 2010

“Blue Jacket” Hyacinth

In the world of flowers it is the color blue that is most rare and therefore most sought after. So, when spring time comes around and we’re inundated with cheery yellow Daffodils, bold red Tulips  and purple and gold Crocus it is with a sense of relief and wonder when we spot something blue in the landscape. True blue that is. Not the kind of purple, lavender or violet that passes for in-the-blue-range but really isn’t as any child with a 64 count Crayola crayon box can attest. This is where the Giant Fragrant Hyacinth “Blue Jacket”    comes to save the day, so to speak.

In the floral department you could do far worse than to have this lovely scented miracle of  spring in your own garden. Botanically known as Hyacinthus orientalis “Blue Jacket”   comes in a deep blue color so enticing that the pretty medium green foliage accompanying it is almost an after thought. The flower stalk can get as tall as 10 plus  inches. Extremely impressive for a spring bloomer what seems like hundreds of tiny flowers making up the long flower stalk.

The size of  Hyacinth “Blue Jacket” isn’t nearly as impressive as the fragrance which is likely to knock you out. These planted by a window will encourage the opening of windows perhaps earlier than some may find prudent but do it anyway. The smell is fantastic! Plant some in window boxes so their enticing fragrance can come into the home perfuming the indoors as well as outside. No need for artificial smelling and costly air fresheners and dangerous scented candles when you have the real thing about. Some would advise the novice gardener to use these sparingly because of the intense scent emanating from these blooming torches but since when do gardeners worry about such a trifling thing as too much of a good thing?

Hyacinth “Blue Jacket” is hardy in USDA zones 3-8 and likes it in the sun although it does fine in part shade. The gardener, however, should recall that in early to mid spring there are many trees that are not yet leafed out when some spring blooming bulbs make their appearance. Thus it is perfectly safe to plant spring bloomers under some trees and shrubs.

Hyacinth  “Blue Jacket” blooms in early to mid spring. It likes a rich, well drained soil and does particularly well in pots for indoor forcing during the dreary winter months.

To plant this lovely  “Blue Jacket” is quite easy.  They look best when grouped together in threes or fives. (For whatever reason odd numbers seem to work great in the landscape and not just with Hyacinths. It’s a gardener’s trick applicable for all plants and good to remember.) Plant them deep 8 inch to be exact and 2 -3 inches apart. Make certain the planting bed has plenty of organic matter and/or compost incorporated into it before planting. A nice mulch of any sort you choose will finish things off nicely. If you want a continuos show consider planting more shallow bulbs over the Hyacinths. That way you have more blooms for a longer show.

Hyacinth “Blue Jacket” is widely available starting in late summer and all through the autumn months. These are the months perfect for designing and planting  an outstanding spring flower show. Inter-planted with other show- stopping spring blooming bulbs such as Siberian Squill, Alliums,  Tulips, Crocus   and even another Hyacinth in a contrasting color  ,  the Hyacinth “Blue Jacket” will bring the neighbors in from all around to see the show.

Having a true blue flower is what every gardener wants and with “Blue Jacket” Hyacinths you won’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to find this elusive color. Don’t be surprised, therefore, when traffic seems to increase on your street with many a nose pointed towards your garden.

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