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Hyacinths: Lost Forever?

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LORD BALFOUR, 1883

One of our all-time favorite hyacinths, ‘Lord Balfour’ is an unusual, old-fashioned color that’s hard to describe but easy to love. It’s officially “wine-colored violet,” but we’d call it ‘old rose shading to silver” or maybe ‘raspberries at twilight touched with frost.” We were heart-broken when it went commercially extinct in 1999, but thanks to Alan Shipp of the UK National Collection it’s back! Exceptionally rare, zones 5a-7b(9bWC). Last offered in 2013. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


MARCONI, 1900

Midway between soft pink ‘Lady Derby’ and intense ‘Vuurbaak’ is this rosy mid-pink hyacinth that’s been a favorite since the days of Marconi’s amazing new “wireless telegraphy.” 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2007. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


MARIE, 1860

Our customers send us love-letters about ‘Marie.’ A deep, rich indigo purple, it’s the oldest traditional hyacinth still grown in Dutch bulb fields today – and superb. Sadly, its days seem to be numbered, so if you’re thinking about ordering it, we recommend you do that soon! 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2016. We lost our grower and haven’t found another who offers authentic stock. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


ORANJE BOVEN, 1870

This Victorian jewel went “commercially extinct” years ago, but Alan Shipp of the UK National Collection has been nurturing it for us, and for the first time since 2010 we once again have a handful of bulbs to offer. Its name translates as “Orange Above All,” a nod to Holland’s royal House of Orange and part of a traditional Dutch cheer that ends with “long live the Queen!” Rosier than ‘Gipsy Queen’, it’s especially beautiful combined with purple hyacinths. 10-12”, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from England. Last offered in 2013. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


PERLE BRILLIANTE, 1895

A shimmering, silvery blue-purple like antique pewter — or pearls — this Victorian relic was last harvested in the Netherlands in 2000. To preserve it, we sent a boxful of those final bulbs to Alan Shipp, holder of the UK National Collection, and now you can enjoy the happy fruits of our partnership! Learn more. 10-12”, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from England. Last offered fall 2018. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


PRINSES MARIA CHRISTINA, 1948

Last offered in 2004 when it went “commercially extinct” in the Netherlands, this pastel princess has been nurtured for us since then by Alan Shipp of the UK National Collection. Although we sell a ton of ‘Gipsy Queen’ every year, the ‘Prinses’ is even prettier — a unique mix of peaches and honey, ripe apricots with a shimmer of gold. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from England. Last offered in 2013. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


PRINS HENDRIK, 1910

Last offered in 2004 when the last Dutch farmer quit growing it, this charming little prince is finally available again thanks to Alan Shipp of the National Collection of Hyacinths. Smaller and more buttery yellow than ‘City of Haarlem’, it glows warmly and smells lovely. Very limited supply, 8-10” Zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from England. Last offered in 2013. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


QUEEN OF THE BLUES, 1870

Although this soft, silvery blue charmer went “commercially extinct” in 2009, our friend Alan Shipp of the UK National Collection has been nurturing a small supply of it for us ever since. You’ll be glad you helped him save it! 10-12”, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from England. Last offered in 2016. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SNOW WHITE, 1950

Fairy or multiflora hyacinths were developed in the 1940s by crossing Roman hyacinths with traditional hyacinths to yield something in between: varieties like ‘Snow White’ that bloom with multiple stalks of informal, loosely-arranged flowers. Like Romans, they bloom earlier (making them popular for Christmas forcing), multiply vigorously, and look utterly natural in the garden. Early spring blooming, 10-12”, zones 5b-8a(9aWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2008. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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