Hyacinths to Beat the Winter Blues

Hyacinths When You Need Them | The Cottage Journal

Hyacinths When You Need Them | The Cottage Journal

Imagine perfumed spring blossoms in a spectrum of colors blooming blithely on your windowsill in the dead of winter—Imagine hyacinths.

Text By Tovah Martin | Photography By Kindra Clineff

It’s brutal outside with the snow piled deep and the winds howling loud. The ground is frozen, the garden is slumbering, and it will remain dormant for months. But no matter—on your windowsill, a pageant is in the process of unfolding. At first just a few tentative leaves sprout from the center of a plump, rotund bulb. But then, one promising bud breaks free, begins to swell, and slowly its sheath peels back to reveal a cluster of kindred florets tucked inside. Gradually, each floret unfurls its nuanced splendor. Those emerging flowers start pale before blushing to a truer shade—be it purple, pink, magenta, peach, white, or blue. Meanwhile, their fragrance evolves from muted to munificent. No jasmine compares in sight or smell, although the deep, musky aroma of gardenias might be an apt analogy. With zero effort from you, no green thumb, and little light, your hyacinth is perking along brilliantly on autopilot. Anyone who doesn’t believe in magic should grow a hyacinth.