Old House Gardens: Stop! Stop!


Web-only treasures? Too rare to put in the catalog?  These people are driving me crazy. Some of us have to buy groceries, you know.  Check out the description of this hyacinth, ‘Gigantea,’ 1859.  Resist if you can.

Extinct? That’s what the experts thought. Not even the
Hortus Bulborum grew ‘Gigantea’. But then Alan Shipp of the UK National
Collection got a surprise phone call from the Lithuanian ambassador’s
wife and before long a box full of old hyacinths arrived that had been
preserved by a botanic garden behind the Iron Curtain – including this
Victorian beauty. With a “large truss” of “delicate rose” florets,
‘Gigantea’ was the most expensive single hyacinth offered in the 1870
catalog of the Olm Brothers of Springfield, Massachusetts. Very limited
supply, from England. Sorry, no photo.

Lithuanian ambassador’s wife?  Are you kidding me?  Eleven bucks each, and you’re limited to three.  These people are breaking my heart.


  1. You’re NOT HELPING!!!!!

    You’ve just reminded me to add $33 to my order, because now I need to force those, so I can talk at length about them to whomever is foolish enough to enter my house when I have my hyacinths out.


  2. I actually e-mailed in desperation for something that would grow well in my gulf coast z8b/9 garden. Scott sent me a list – yeah.

  3. Why didn’t I get that email? I’m a friend of Old House Gardens! And I love their lilies which grow beautifully right next to my piazza. They are always helpful, but I’m going to give them a scold. I want to be on the list.

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