Gardeners in the 19th century loved forcing hyacinths in special vases for winter bloom. The practice dates back to the mid-1700s when Madame Pompadour, influential mistress of Louis XV, had hundreds of hyacinths forced in vases at Versailles.
Today, antique hyacinth glasses are collected worldwide. For a glimpse of the immense collection of Dutch enthusiast Wim Granneman – a few of which are pictured here – visit kennemerend.nl/bollenglazen.
Wim’s homespun site includes forcing-vase history, tips for finding them today, and even a section on crocus pots. Best of all is the “Vases Worldwide” section which features hundreds of Wim’s vases, old and new.
For even more on forcing vases, see the wesite and blog of British enthusiast Julie Berk at hyacinthvases.org.uk and gardenwithindoors.org.uk.