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?
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.
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.
Uncovered, we see four little packages wrapped and strapped and snuggled into their beds.
Have you guessed yet what they are? Shall I show you another photo?
Ready to see them? I know I am!
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.
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.
Here’s another shot of it.
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.
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.
Did you buy yourself any pre-Christmas presents? Will they come in small or large packages? Do tell.