A package from the postwoman!

I got a big box in the mail. My postal carrier, who is a dear woman, drove it up my long driveway and honked for me to come outside. She said, “It looks like rain so I didn’t want to leave this one in the box.” We have a box just for packages on our fence. Keeps the dogs from tearing into them.

Like Pooh Bear, I almost said, “Tut, tut . . .,” but I didn’t think she’d get the reference. She might even be offended. Does anyone even say “tut, tut” anymore? Probably not. Like The Little Engine That Could and The Little Red Hen (Paul Galdone Classics), Pooh’s dialogue, in The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, is mostly packed in mothballs these days. Please read these stories to your children. They will remember one day and thank you for it. Claire and I were discussing the first two books this morning on our way to school. Also,Henry and Mudge and Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea. Claire said the Henry and Mudge books made her think she could read long before she could. She’d memorized them, but I digress.

Back to the package. I bet it isn’t packed with mothballs. At least, I hope not. Don’t you just love packages from far, far away? They always hold a bit of mystery inside, and even if from only across town, they feel like they’ve traveled from afar. Mine states “Breakable–Glass” on its front. Shall we open it together?

A box with treasures inside!
A box with treasures inside!

I know I don’t look happy, but I am just concentrating, trying to take a selfie. It’s harder than you think. I can hear my children laughing.

Postmark from Canada
Postmark from Canada

Look! The postmark says it’s from Canada. Hello Canadian friends! Ooh, look inside. I wish they’d used biodegradable filler. It could go on the compost pile instead of the landfill. Unfortunately, they did not. Sigh.

Not biodegradable filler
Not biodegradable filler, not a good thing.

Uncovered, we see four little packages wrapped and strapped and snuggled into their beds.

Look at those little packages snuggled in their box bottoms up!
Look at those little packages snuggled in their box. Bottoms up!

Have you guessed yet what they are? Shall I show you another photo?

You can see they wrap them very well.
You can see they were wrapped very well.

Ready to see them? I know I am!

A Tye-type vase. It appears to be old because of the width of its top. It is also not molded. A good find.
A Tye-type vase. It appears to be old because of the width of its top. It is also not molded. A good find.

The one above is a Tye-type of hyacinth vase. Its shape was created by George Pearcy Tye in England in the mid-1800s. It has been copied ever since. There are blown glass examples and molded ones like the second vase below. The Birmingham History Forum (UK) has more information on Mr. Tye. The vase, above, is older and blown glass. You can tell from the sharpness at the top and the place on the bottom where it was connected to the blow tube. It is not, however, an original Tye because it doesn’t have the markings needed, “Gt Charles St, Birmingham” and in the middle: ‘G P Tye.’ Some also included ‘1850’”. This is quoted from my favorite UK blog on forcing, Garden Withindoors. It is from Julie’s first blog: Hyacinth Vases. Before you buy any vases on eBay, you may want to check out her list of researched prices. This is quite a service for an unknowing buyer.

Here’s vase #2: It is a molded variety, and from this photo, you should be able to see the line on the side. This means it is a newer variety. I can’t tell you how new, but I know molded vases were produced well into the middle of the 20th Century. It also has a polished rim that is very smooth, another indication that it is molded. In the back part of the photo is my dining room. The part bathed in light is my seed starting station. Right now, it’s full of amaryllis and paperwhites under light. We’ve been very cloudy so I’m giving them a bit of extra help to get them going. I want paperwhites and some amaryllis, preferably the red ones, by Christmas. I also put some out in the greenhouse to get an early start. To learn more about growing amaryllis, may I suggest Matt Mattus’ informative post, Amaryllis Confidential. He’s a bulb connoisseur and knows a lot about them.

We know this is a newer vase because it is molded. Can you see the line on the side?
We know this is a newer vase because it is molded. Can you see the line on the side?

While this vase is not as graceful as the older one, who really cares? I’m just using them to grow hyacinths so I don’t go mad in winter. Some of the best information on all things forcing are on blogs from the Netherlands. I found several through Pinterest, and fortunately Google Chrome makes an attempt to translate them for me. Sometimes, the verbiage is pretty funny and wrong, but I still get the gist of what the author is trying to say.

Now, on to vase #3. Don’t you feel like they are pageant girls? Maybe it’s their hourglass shape. Vase #3 is a blown variety. See the bottom? That tells you it is mouth-blown. It does have a smooth top and was polished. It is a round variety. I don’t know about its date, but I think it is old.

See where it was blown and cut off from the pipe?
See where it was blown and cut off from the pipe?

Here’s another shot of it.

Cute little round, green hyacinth vase
Cute little round, green hyacinth vase

Vase #4 may not be a vase at all. It could be a candle holder, and it’s a strange little creature. It is sorta lopsided. I knew this when I bought it. I loved it’s color and unique shape. Even if it is a candle holder, it will still work as a bulb vase.

Even if this is a candle holder, it will still work as a bulb vase too.
Candle holder or vase? You decide.

So, those are my prezzies to me. I have been on a bulb vase binge this year. I started earlier than last year, and the prices were great. I’m still waiting on a package from the Royal Mail (UK) with three Tye-type vases in unique colors. I’ll let you know when they get here. In meantime, here are the four vases sitting on my kitchen table. I cleaned them which is always a pleasure. Look how they shine. Can’t you just see purple hyacinths in them, or red tulips? I can.

Four Green hyacinth vases
Green hyacinth vases

Did you buy yourself any pre-Christmas presents? Will they come in small or large packages? Do tell.


  1. Hey sweet thing,
    Truly enjoyed this post Dee as I began collecting forcing vases this year myself. I’ve drawn to cobalt blue glass in general so have snapped up three and will buy some cheap clear ones for all the heirloom hyacinth bulbs I got from Old House Gardens. Also snapped up six cobalt blue crocus forcing vases. Have you had success with forcing crocus, my dear friend.

  2. Robin L says:

    Did I buy myself any presents? If you only knew how that makes me laugh. I’m pretty sure that packages arrive here daily. Yes, most of them are gifts for other people, but not all…

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Here too, Robin, here too.

  3. Gail says:

    Dee, They’re wonderful and I think that many of your readers are going to be as inspired as I am to find a few of these bulb vases. xogail

    1. Dee Nash says:

      They are definitely fun. I like them just for beauty’s sake whether there’s a bulb in them or not.

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    These are great finds. The color green is one of my favorites. All of these shapes go well together. I can’t wait to see bulbs atop each one. I haven’t bought any Christmas for myself yet. I haven’t bought for anyone actually. Must make a list.

  5. Oh, how fun! Yes, I do enjoy packages–even when they’re from across town and I know what’s in them. I have a friend who frequently gives her friends forced bulb plants in these vases–and they do make wonderful gifts.

  6. Ann says:

    Jealous. . . .

  7. I’m not a bulb forcer, but looked this up after reading your post. So you simply fill the bowl with water, plop a chilled bulb in, and watch it grow? I think even I could do that! Loved the art history lesson too.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      I’m so glad you liked it. Yes, you chill the bulb either in the vase with water or by itself. After the chilling time, you can bring the bulbs indoors where they will bloom. Pretty cool huh?

  8. Rose says:

    I did guess beforehand what was in your package, but only because I follow you on Pinterest, Dee. Before I saw some of your images, I had no idea there were so many different types of bulb vases! All so pretty! Thanks for the links to some articles on bulb-forcing; I need to check out the one on amaryllis, because I haven’t had much success in getting mine to re-bloom the last two years.

    “Winnie the Pooh” was one of my kids’ favorites. I don’t think I say “tut, tut” often, but I do find myself saying, “Oh bother”:)

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi Rose, Whenever it’s going to rain, I do say “Tut, tut” sometimes, but more often “Hallelujah!” because it doesn’t rain here often. We loved Winnie the Pooh. Did you ever see the old Disney videos? I found the classic ones for my children, and we loved those too. Elizabeth Licata got me started on bulb vases. I’m so glad she did.

  9. Sally says:

    I love the last one. It’s so obviously hand made. I can’t wait to see the hyacinth sitting in them all a bloom!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Sally, it’s pretty cool. I love them all of course. I’ve never met a hyacinth vase I haven’t liked. 😉

  10. granny annie says:

    I am still stuck at the fact that you have such a wonderful postal carrier. I call my rural carrier “Crazy Dave” and he works hard to deserve that title.

    Love each vase:) What treasure.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      I do have a wonderful postal carrier. She is a jewel. I bake her cookies every Christmas too. I also have a great FedEx driver and the best UPS man. He is so nice, and they all make a special effort with my boxes. Maybe it’s because I order so much stuff online? I don’t know.

  11. Carol says:

    Those are pretty. I did not know about the types of hyacinth vases. Very interesting.
    And yes, I did buy myself a pre-Christmas present. It’s coming on a big truck in mid-December.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Carol, I cannot understand why Akismet throws you into moderation every time. Good grief. It should know we’re friends.

  12. Linda Belcher says:

    #3 is my favorite but #4 has a wonderful shape. Can’t wait to see the others when they arrive in your home.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hey Linda, I’ll unwrap that one too. Such fun to share with others.

  13. Cindy, MCOK says:

    I love how they looked massed together. You will enjoy their beauty, coupled with those of the blooms, in the dead of winter.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Thank you Cindy. I think they will help when February hits.

  14. Oh, I love those! I have a weakness for clear glass vases. I have dozens lining the top of my bookshelf collecting dust bunnies. Congrats on the great new vases! I can’t wait to see them all decked out in hyacinths.

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