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Title: The Book of Bulbs
Author: Arnott, Samuel
Language: English
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Transcriber's Note: Minor typographical errors have been corrected
without note. Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have
been retained as printed. Words printed in italics are noted with
underscores: _italics_.


HANDBOOKS OF PRACTICAL GARDENING--V

EDITED BY HARRY ROBERTS


THE BOOK OF BULBS

[Illustration: EARLY TULIPS]



THE BOOK OF BULBS

BY

S. ARNOTT, F.R.H.S.

TOGETHER WITH AN INTRODUCTORY
CHAPTER ON THE BOTANY
OF BULBS BY THE EDITOR

JOHN LANE: THE BODLEY HEAD
LONDON AND NEW YORK.      MCMI

_Printed by Turnbull & Spears, Edinburgh._



CONTENTS


                                                                 PAGE


Editor's Note                                                       x

Concerning Bulbs                                                   xi

Introductory                                                        1
    Value of Bulbs--Bulbs in Grass--Arrangement in Borders--Bulbs
    for Cutting--Propagating Bulbs--Diseases of Bulbs.

Hardy Bulbs                                                         7
    Aconitums--Alliums--Alstr merias--Anemones.

Hardy Bulbs                                                        15
    Amaryllises--Anthericums--Antholyzas--Apios--Arisæ--Arums--
    Asphodelines--Asphodeluses--Belamcanda--Bloomerias--Brodiæas
    --Bulbocodiums.

Hardy Bulbs                                                        21
    Calochorti and Cyclobothras--Camassias--Colchicums--
    Convallarias--Forcing Lily of the Valley--Corydalises--
    Crinums--Crocosmias and Montbretias--Crocuses.

Hardy Bulbs                                                        29
    Cyclamens--Dicentras--Dieramas--Eranthis--Eremuruses--
    Erythroniums--Eucomises.

Hardy Bulbs                                                        35
    Fritillarias--Funkias--Galanthuses--Galtonias--Gladioli--
    Hemerocallises.

Hardy Bulbs                                                        42
    Hyacinths--Hyacinths in Pots--Scillas--Puschkinias--
    Chionodoxas--Chionoscillas--Muscaris.

Hardy Bulbs                                                        48
    Irises--Kniphofias--Lapeyrousias--Leucojums.

Hardy Bulbs                                                        54
    Liliums--Liliums in Pots--Malvastrum--Merenderas--Millas--
    Narcissi--Narcissi in Pots.

Hardy Bulbs                                                        60
    Ornithogalums--Oxalises--Pæonias--Ranunculuses--Romuleas--
    Sanguinarias--Sternbergias--Schizostylis--Tecophilæas--
    Trilliums.

Hardy Bulbs                                                        65
    Tulips--Zephyranthes.

Half-hardy Bulbs                                                   72
    Acidantheras--Albucas--Alstroemerias--Androstephiums--
    Besseras--Boussingaultias--Bravoas--Cypellas--Dahlias--
    Galaxias--Geissorhizas and Hesperanthas.

Half-hardy Bulbs                                                   77
    Gladioli--Ixias--Sparaxises--Babianas--Morphixias--Tritonias.

Half-hardy Bulbs                                                   83
    Ixiolirions--Moræas--Ornithogalums--Oxalises--Phædranassas
    --Pancratiums--Tigridias--Zephyranthes--Cooperias.

Greenhouse and Stove Bulbs                                         90
    Achimenes--Alocasias--Amorphophalluses--Arisæmas--Arums--
    Begonias--Bomareas--Caladiums.

Greenhouse and Stove Bulbs                                         97
    Clivias--Colocasias--Crinums--Cyclamens--Cyrtanthuses--
    Eucharises and Urceocharis--Eurycles.

Greenhouse and Stove Bulbs                                        102
    Freesias--Gloxinias--Hæmanthuses--Hippeastrums.

Greenhouse and Stove Bulbs                                        109
    Lachenalias--Nerines and Lycorises--Pancratiums and
    Hymenocallises--Richardias--Sprekelias--Tuberoses--Vallotas
    --Watsonias--Zephyranthes.



ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                 PAGE

EARLY TULIPS
    (from a drawing by Ethel Roskruge)                  _Frontispiece_

SNOWDROPS IN GRASS                                                  3

ALLIUM TRIQUETRUM                                                   9

WHITE CROCUSES IN GRASS                                            25

EREMURUS ROBUSTUS                                                  31

GLADIOLUS, "THE BRIDE"                                             39

SNOWFLAKES                                                         51

TULIPS CARPETED BY ARABIS                                          67

LILIUM AURATUM                                                     85

LILIUM CANDIDUM                                                    93

WHITE SCILLAS                                                     103



EDITOR'S NOTE


Like many another distinguished gardener, Mr Arnott is a Scotsman,
being a native of Dumfries, and now living in the adjoining county of
Kirkcudbright. For the last fourteen years his name has been a familiar
one to readers of the leading journals devoted to gardening, for he has
been a very frequent contributor to _The Gardener's Chronicle_, _The
Gardener's Magazine_, _The Garden_, _The Journal of Horticulture_, and
other papers. Although not a professional gardener, Mr Arnott is a
practical one, for he manages at least the flower department of his
beautiful garden almost without assistance; and having spent most of
his life amongst flowers--his mother being a great gardener--he is a
successful plant grower, as well as an interested one.

Mr Arnott takes an active part in the work of encouraging the gardening
spirit among his countrymen, and is a member of the Scientific
Committee of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, as well as a
member of other leading associations with similar aims.



CONCERNING BULBS

BY THE EDITOR


Anyone who has observed ever so casually the order of flowering of the
plants in garden or hedgerow, must have noticed that bulbous plants
figure prominently amongst those which flower in the early months of
the year. Winter Aconite, Snowdrop, Crocus, Scilla, Chionodoxa,
Daffodil, Fritillary, Anemone, and Tulip are among the greatest
treasures of the spring garden, and though these are not all strictly
bulbous plants, they all have either bulbous, tuberous, or other
enlarged form of root or underground stem which serves a like purpose.
Even those early flowers, the primroses, are borne on plants whose
thick, fleshy, underground parts are almost tuberous in appearance; and
it will be found that all the earliest blooming plants of spring are
furnished with large stores of nutriment in root or stem. Only by
virtue of these granaries of materialised solar energy, accumulated
during the spring and summer of the previous year, are plants able to
manufacture leaves and beautiful flowers in those early months during
which the sun yields little heat and light, so essential to healthy
plant life.

In a sense, we may consider bulbs and tubers as functionally equivalent
to seeds, for they contain within sundry wrappings a dormant plant and
stores of food material, wherewith the young plant may be nourished
from the time when growth commences until the plant can fend for
itself.

It is easy to understand how great an advantage it may be to a plant,
in which cross-fertilisation is essential to racial vigour, to open its
flowers before the great armies of floral rivals expose their baits to
the gaze of flying insects whose visits are desired. For a like reason,
it is advantageous to certain flowers to appear late in autumn after
the summer flowers have withered and the competition for insect
visitors has abated. These also have usually woody stems, or bulbous or
tuberous rhizomes or roots, in which are stored reserves of starch,
sugar, and other foods formed in the season of sunlight. Fibrous-rooted
plants, on the other hand, for the most part flower between the months
of April and September, when the daily hours of sunlight are many.

We commonly speak of the bulbs of crocuses as of tulips or of onions,
but morphologically there is a distinction, although functionally there
is little or none. If we examine a tulip bulb, we find that it is
mainly composed of thick succulent scales which closely overlap one
another, in the centre being a flattish axis continuous with the roots
below, and with the leaf and flower-bearing stalk above. This axis is
part of the tulip's stem, the fleshy scales being morphologically but
modified leaves whose basal portions have become swollen with stores of
nutriment. After the tulip has flowered, it sets to work to manufacture
fresh supplies of food material which is sent down the stem and there
accumulated in a new bulb, formed by the development of a bud contained
among the scales of the old and now withered bulb of the previous year.
These stores will, in the following season, enable the tulip to cut a
pretty figure before it or other plant has had time or opportunity for
preparing fresh supplies by the aid of the spring-time sun alone.

The so-called bulb of the crocus has a somewhat different structure.
The crocus "bulb" does not, like that of the tulip, consist of
overlapping scales, but of a more or less homogeneous mass enclosed in
a stiff membrane, within which may sometimes be seen two or three
smaller membranes of similar structure. From the lower part of the
"bulb" issue roots, and from its summit proceed the leaf-bearing and
flower-bearing shoots. The crocus "bulb" is not strictly what botanists
call a bulb, but is a corm ([Greek: Kormos] = a stem), the expansion
being composed of the swollen base of the stem and not, as with true
bulbs, of the leaves--the latter having degenerated into mere
membranous sheaths, which have no function beyond serving as protective
envelopes for the food store and living nucleus within. As in the case
of the tulip, so the crocus, having flowered in the early days of the
year, proceeds to make and store up fresh supplies of starch and other
food in readiness for the following year. The base of the stem enlarges
above the old and withering corm, from which it sucks the remaining
nutriment. Fresh roots are formed, some of which, having penetrated the
soil to a varying depth, contract in length, and so draw down the new
corm to the level of the old.

This contractile power of roots has another office of great interest in
connection with bulbs and corms. I have said that new bulbs form around
the old exhausted ones by the development of buds in the axils of the
leaf scales. It is obvious that in this way overcrowding must result,
and that the young bulbs must often fare badly through being obliged to
seek nourishment from soil already half exhausted of the elements
necessary for the plants' health. But by the development of lateral
roots which subsequently contract, such bulbs are often pulled to an
appreciable distance from their parent, and thus gradually by yearly
steps spread over a considerable area. Kerner quotes an interesting
illustration of this process. Some soil containing bulbs of Tulipa
sylvestris was once put in a garden in Vienna in the middle of a grass
plot shaded by maple trees. As the grass was mowed every year before
the flowers opened there was no formation of seeds, and the tulips
could only multiply by offshoots. After about twenty years, the lawn
was covered with tulip leaves, which arose from subterranean bulbs
occupying an area ten paces in diameter. Thus, in the time mentioned,
the bulbs had spread for about five paces in all directions in
consequence of the pull of the contracting roots.

Indeed, the underground life of bulbous plants, both during their more
active stages of growth, and in those times mistakenly spoken of as the
periods of rest, is full of interest to the careful observer. That
curious process of ripening which is essential to the health of nearly
all bulbs is itself no merely mechanical change. Each plant has its
peculiar time for bursting through the surface of earth, for expanding
its first leaves, and for displaying the glory of its first blooms; and
any material hastening of these processes by the artificial application
of heat means, except in a few species, subsequent debility to the
plant, and, as a rule (though not invariably), diminished character in
the flowers thus forced. There are, however, plants, such as Lilies of
the Valley, to which the so-called resting stage seems of less duration
and importance, and it is such flowers which may be forced under
carefully arranged conditions with little ill result.

Among our English wild flowering plants, the principal ones furnished
with bulbs or corms are to be found in the orders Iridaceæ,
Amaryllidaceæ, and Liliaceæ. Included in the former are the very rare
purplish flower known as Columna's trichonema, and the doubtfully
native Crocus sativus, the autumnal saffron crocus, referred to by
Hakluyt at the close of the sixteenth century: "This commodity of
Saffron groweth fifty miles from Tripoli, in Syria, on an high hyll,
called in those parts Gasian, so as there you may learn at that part of
Tripoli the value of the pound, the goodnesse of it, and the places of
the vent. But it is said that from that hyll there passeth yerely of
that commodity fifteen moiles laden, and that those regions
notwithstanding lacke sufficiency of that commodity. But if a vent
might be found, men would in Essex (about Saffron Walden), and in
Cambridgeshire, revive the trade for the benefit of the setting of the
poore on worke. So would they do in Herefordshire, by Wales, where the
best of all England is, in which place the soil yields the wilde
Saffron commonly, which showeth the natural inclination of the same
soile to the bearing of the right Saffron, if the soile be manured and
that way employed."

The Amaryllis order contains the Daffodil and the Snowdrop, as well as
Leucojum æstivum, which is thought by some to be a native species. It
is, however, the order of the Liliaceæ to which belong the majority of
English bulbous flowering plants. Bluebells, like "heavens upbreaking
through the earth," purple Fritillaries, yellow Tulips, Stars of
Bethlehem with curious greenish flowers, Vernal Scillas, the
not-so-pretty S. autumnalis, and the Broad-leaved Garlic, whose white
flowers are among the most beautiful of all, though the scent of the
whole plant is very "grosse and very unpleasant for fayre ladies and
tender lily rose colloured damsels which often time profereth sweet
breathes before gentle wordes." There are a few other British bulbous
and cormous plants scattered among the various orders, such as the
Meadow-saffron which is still used in pharmacy, but the greater number
are contained in the three orders named.



CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTORY

Value of Bulbs--Bulbs in Grass--Arrangement in Borders--Bulbs for
Cutting--Propagating Bulbs--Diseases of Bulbs


BULBOUS AND TUBEROUS PLANTS

Our gardens owe so much of their charm to the free use of plants with
bulbous or tuberous roots, that it is unnecessary to impress their
value upon the reader. We have only to cast our thoughts upon the many
flowers of this character which bloom from the dawn of the year to its
close, to recognise their almost transcendent claims upon our notice.
In the following pages an attempt has been made to assist those who
wish to know something more than they have done about these plants.
Much more could have been said, but the scope of the work would not
permit of exhaustive details. In addition, however, to the information
given in the chapters dealing with the various plants, it is desirable
that a few general hints should be given regarding the uses of these
plants, and how they may be turned to most account.


BULBS IN THE GRASS

One of the most delightful phases of bulb-growing is that of the
cultivation of hardy species in the grass. Nowhere do they look so well
as against the grass, whose leafage seems to harmonise so well with the
general character of the bulbous plants. In addition to this, many of
these bulbous plants will thrive much better in grass than in a
cultivated border, where there is often too much bare soil, and where
other flowers of encroaching nature can injure them. Nearly all hardy
bulbs do well in grass if the place is properly prepared for them by
removing a portion of the turf, forking up the earth beneath, and
adding fresh soil when it is too poor, and then replacing the turf. One
thing must be remembered as a _sine-qua-non_, and this is, that on
no account must the grass be cut until the plants have ripened their
leaves. This will be shown by the foliage becoming yellow. Neglect of
this has been the cause of much disappointment, and it is thus
advisable that the bulbs should not be planted where a neatly kept
grass plot is wanted early in the year. In planting the bulbs, they
ought not to be arranged in regular lines, but in masses or informal
groups. As good a plan as any to follow in planting in masses in the
wilder parts of the grounds, is to throw the bulbs down from the hand,
and to plant them where they fall. A good lesson will be given by a
glance at a long-established plantation of Snowdrops or of the wild
Scilla nutans, where these will be seen to have formed charming groups
and masses of greater beauty than any formal arrangement would give.


ARRANGEMENT IN BORDERS

It is more difficult to arrange bulbs in borders in pleasing ways, and
in such a manner as to harmonise or contrast in colouring with other
flowers in bloom at the same time. One desirable way is not to keep all
the early flowering bulbs near the front of the border, as one would
naturally do, because of their dwarf habit, but to plant them so as to
give balance in the border at the different seasons. Bulbous plants,
like most others, look better in groups than scattered singly in lines,
and it is wiser, as a rule, to plant a clump of one kind than a mixed
mass. One exception, at least, is in the Montbretias, which, when
mixed, look even prettier than in separate groups of one shade. Colour
arrangement is always a troublesome question in planting these flowers,
and there is more satisfaction, if harmony instead of sharp contrast is
aimed at, by arranging, say, different shades of yellow together, than
in working to secure strong contrasting effects. Such a contrast as the
white Galtonia candicans and Gladiolus brenchleyensis is striking at
the time, but it is not one on which the eye would love to dwell from
day to day and from hour to hour.

[Illustration: SNOWDROPS IN GRASS]


BULBS FOR CUTTING

These plants afford an almost endless choice for cutting purposes,
although some cannot be cut of great length of stem without destroying
the strength of the bulb for another year. The flowers are generally
best when cut before quite open, and such flowers will usually open
perfectly in water, and will last much longer than if pulled when fully
expanded. Where many flowers are used, it is better to grow a stock in
the reserve garden or in an out-of-the-way border, to avoid destroying
the beauty of the more conspicuous parts of the garden.


PROPAGATING BULBS

The greater number of bulbs are propagated by offsets, produced from
the old bulbs, and which are best removed when the foliage has died
down. Named Hyacinths are increased by cutting across the base of the
bulbs, or scooping out the interior, afterwards allowing the wounds to
callous partially. Young bulbs are produced at the wounded parts.
Raising bulbs from seeds, although slow, is very interesting work, and
ought to be more largely followed for the purpose of obtaining new
varieties. Seeds are sown in the ordinary way in pans, and the young
bulbs grown on until they attain flowering size, generally from two to
five years, according to the genus and the treatment they receive.
Liliums are also propagated by scales of the bulbs, inserted in pots or
pans, with a portion of the base attached. These will eventually form
little bulbs, to be grown on as in the case of seedlings.
Tuberous-rooted plants, like the Anemone, are propagated by division of
the tubers.


DISEASES OF BULBS

These plants are subject to a variety of diseases, such as always
appear among plants grown in large numbers together. The leading
genera, such as the Lilium, the Iris, the Gladiolus, or the Hyacinth,
are all affected, and although many remedies have been tried it is
difficult to find a cure. I find Veltha gives good results, but where
the disease cannot be exterminated by such means it is better to
destroy all affected plants, and to give the others fresh soil. A
surface dressing of new soil with a little kainit added is beneficial.



CHAPTER II

HARDY BULBS

Aconitums--Alliums--Alstroemerias--Anemones


ACONITUMS

Although the effective Aconitums or Monkshoods of our gardens are
usually classed with ordinary herbaceous plants, the best of those with
tuberous roots can hardly be omitted from this work. They are of much
service in the mixed border or the wild garden, and it is only the
poisonous properties of these plants which make one view them with
suspicion. They should not be planted where any danger can result to
children or to animals. Their nomenclature is very confused but the
names below are authoritative. The following are some of the
best:--Cammarum, four feet, purple; flaccidum, six feet, violet;
heterophyllum, two feet, yellow and blue; japonicum, six feet, flesh;
Lycoctonum, a pretty yellow species, four to six feet high; Napellus,
very poisonous, in several varieties, four to six feet; paniculatum,
three feet; and variegatum, three to six feet, blue, white, or blue and
white. All of these grow in any soil and can be planted in spring or
autumn.


ALLIUMS

The Alliums can hardly be classed as among the choicest of bulbous
plants; but although not among the _élite_ of our garden flowers, there
are, however, among them some pleasing and useful flowers, and a few
remarks upon some of those most easily obtainable may be of service. It
may be premised that the Alliums are most suitable for naturalising in
grass or in wild gardens, as many of them are so prolific that they are
apt to become troublesome in the border. They usually seed very freely
and some produce offsets in great numbers, while others, again, form
little bulbils on their heads which eventually form separate
individuals. Almost all are of easy cultivation, although some of the
Central Asian and Californian species need a little protection in
winter.

A. acuminatum is a pretty dwarf species with deep rose flowers, and
other pretty dwarf forms or species of similar or deeper colour are
Bidwilliæ, Breweri, falcifolium, Fetisowii, macnabianum,
narcissiflorum, ostrowskianum, and pedemontanum. A few blue species
exist and are generally very pretty, though sometimes tender; of these,
cæruleum, cyaneum, kansuense, and violaceum may be mentioned. A great
many have white flowers and it is among these that we find the most
valued of the species. The greatest favourite is neapolitanum, so much
used for forcing, and which is grown in pots under the same treatment
as other bulbous plants. Other pretty white species are triquetrum,
subvillosum, Erdelii, and falciforme. None of the yellow species are
equal to the old A. Moly, a bright June flower, but others of worth in
their own way are flavum, and the straw-coloured stramineum. Good tall
species, some having ornamental foliage, are karataviense, giganteum,
sphærocephalum, nigrum, Suworowi, and nobile. The great drawback of the
Alliums is their odour, which is, however, not always perceptible
except when the flowers are cut.

[Illustration: ALLIUM TRIQUETRUM]


ALSTROEMERIAS

There are few finer or more useful garden flowers than the
Alstroemerias, whose brilliant colours and uncommon forms are great
attractions. As cut flowers they are highly prized. They like a free
root run, and a rather light, rich soil. The tubers should be planted
in spring, nearly a foot deep, but they are easily raised from seeds
sown in gentle heat in spring. Several of the species are too tender
for outdoor cultivation everywhere, the hardiest being A. aurantiaca,
which has yellow flowers of varying shades. Chilensis and peruviana, or
versicolor, and psittacina of gardens (syn. pulchella), are all fairly
hardy, psittacina possessing a singular combination of crimson and
green colouring. A. pelegrina and its variety alba are exceedingly
beautiful, but require frame treatment except in the south. Diazii,
Ligtu, and hæmantha (syn. Simsii) are very beautiful and more or less
hardy according to the climate and soil. Some lime rubbish is often
useful mixed with the soil, together with a little peat or leaf-mould.


ANEMONES

The tuberous-rooted Anemones, which alone come under the scope of this
work, form a section which embraces flowers of surpassing beauty.
Generally dwarf in stature, these Windflowers give us much variety of
colouring, from the pure white of A. nemorosa to the deep scarlet of A.
fulgens, with the blues, purples, and other tints of A. coronaria, and
the bright yellow of A. ranunculoides. Usually of easy cultivation,
they are among the choicest ornaments of our gardens.

A. apennina, the Apennine Windflower, is a delightful little plant,
growing about six inches high and having pretty blue flowers. There are
white and rose-coloured varieties. It likes a peaty soil, and prefers
shade. It is a charming plant to naturalise in the woods, where it
flowers in March and April.

A. baldensis, the Mount Baldo Windflower, is of erect but dwarf habit,
and grows about six inches high. It has little white flowers tinged
with blue or red, and does well on a rockery in half-shade in sand and
peat.

A. blanda, the Fair, or Greek Windflower, is one of the earliest of our
flowers in sunny gardens, and frequently opens soon after New Year's
Day. It needs a well-drained, warm position, but flowers better on a
stiffish soil.

There are several forms of this very beautiful Windflower. That called
cypriana has flowers which vary from white to lilac and pale blue, and
the variety taurica has blooms which embrace an even deeper blue among
its shades. The variety scythinica is one of the choicest. The exterior
of the flower is blue, while the inside is pure white. The seeds of A.
blanda should be sown as soon as ripe.

A. caroliniana, a North American Anemone, now referred to heterophylla,
grows about nine inches high, and has finely cut leaves and white or
purplish flowers in May. It likes a shady place and peaty soil.

A. coronaria is the well-known Poppy or Crown Anemone, which is so
wonderfully varied in its form and colouring. We have no more effective
flower than this in beds or lines in May. For cutting, its blooms are
most useful. This Anemone is best propagated from seed annually. It
likes a rich, light soil, and cow manure is the best to apply to it.
The "St Brigid" strain is a charming one, and the flowers it produces
are of great beauty. Tubers of A. coronaria of excellent quality can be
purchased at a very low price, and should be planted in a sunny
position about three inches deep in October or November. Seeds should
be sown in March or April, and should be mixed with dry soil or sand to
separate them. The double Crown Anemones are very beautiful, although
not so much grown as when they were favourite florists' flowers. They
are of almost every colour but yellow. A good white is named "The
Bride."

A. fischeriana, a Siberian plant, grows about six inches high, and has
white flowers. A. intermedia is a new Anemone with yellowish flowers,
and seems allied to nemorosa.

A. nemorosa, our native Windflower, gives us several lovely forms. The
double form, A. n. flore-pleno, is very beautiful, and there are a few
large-flowered forms, besides the pretty bracteata, which has ruff-like
green bracts round the flower. The variety rosea and its double form
have rosy flowers, and cærulea has pretty blue blooms, but is surpassed
by the charming robinsoniana of a brighter blue. Alleni is even larger
and better coloured than the last-named. All these like shade and peaty
soil.

A. palmata is a lovely little plant, which grows from six to nine
inches high, and has yellow flowers. There is a white variety, and a
very rare double one. It likes a moist, peaty soil.

A. ranunculoides is a pretty little native species of the nemorosa
type, but with smaller yellow flowers. The variety pallida, with pale
yellow blooms, is very pretty.

A. stellata, or hortensis, is a pretty southern Anemone which is not so
good in cold districts as A. coronaria, although pretty and varied in
its colouring. It likes a warm soil and sunny position. There are
pretty "Chrysanthemum-flowered" double varieties, and a double red,
different from fulgens fl. pl., which blooms pretty well, even where
the other forms do not succeed. All of these may be grown from seed or
by division of the tuber before planting.

A. fulgens is a popular Anemone, because of the beauty of its brilliant
scarlet flowers. It is, however, difficult to induce to flower after
the first year, and it ought to have a warm place, where the tubers
will get well ripened after they flower. There is a double form, and a
recent re-introduction, bicolor, has its blooms scarlet and white in
stripes. Aldboroensis and græca are good forms.



CHAPTER III

HARDY BULBS

Amaryllises--Anthericums--Antholyzas--Apios--Arisæmas--Arums--
Asphodelines--Asphodeluses--Belamcanda--Bloomerias--Brodiæas--
Bulbocodiums


AMARYLLISES

The only really hardy Amaryllis is A. Belladonna, the Belladonna Lily,
which is a very effective plant with silvery rose flowers in late
summer or early autumn. The leaves appear in spring, and as the flowers
come after these have withered, the Belladonna Lily should have some
carpeting plant above the bulbs. It is quite hardy if planted in a
warm, sunny position, near a wall, and the tops of the bulbs at least
six inches below the surface. It is safer to put some dry leaves or
other light material over the bulbs in severe winters, removing this
when the leaves come through. It also makes a good pot plant. The form
major is even finer.


ANTHERICUMS

Some of the hardy plants cultivated in gardens as Anthericums are now
included by botanists in other genera, but they will be more
conveniently dealt with together under their popular names in gardens.
Several of these are very ornamental plants, with handsome spikes of
beautiful flowers. They grow well in common soil, not too dry, and are
best planted in autumn or spring, at which times they may be divided
when desired. Liliago, St Bernard's Lily, grows about one and a half
foot high, and has pretty white flowers from May. There is a larger
form, called major. A. Liliastrum, St Bruno's Lily, now Paradisea
Liliastrum, and also named Czackia Liliastrum, is a still prettier
plant, with larger fragrant flowers in the beginning of summer. It is
taller than the foregoing. There is a fine variety called major.
Ramosum (syn. graminifolium), is pretty also, though the flowers are
smaller than those of A. Liliago. It flowers in June, and has white
blooms on stems about two feet high, and narrow leaves. Hookeri, whose
proper name is Bulbinella Hookeri, is a good plant for a moist border,
and has nice yellow flowers in summer.


ANTHOLYZAS

Antholyzas are effective plants allied to the Gladiolus and Crocosma,
and look very striking in the border. Several are hardy in the greater
portion of the United Kingdom if planted about three inches deep and
covered the first winter with about two inches of cocoa-nut fibre. One
of the best is Antholyza paniculata, which has scarlet and yellow
flowers and blooms in autumn. It has handsome leaves, and grows about
three feet high, Æthiopica, Cunonia, and spicata are all effective, but
paniculata seems the hardiest of all. There is a variety known as
major. They can also be grown in pots for the conservatory.


APIOS

The only plant of the genus in cultivation is A. tuberosa, the Ground
Nut, a hardy North American plant of climbing habit, with sweet-scented
purple flowers in August. It is hardy in a sunny, sheltered position,
and should be planted three inches deep in rich soil in late autumn or
spring.


ARISÆMAS

These singular, Arum-like plants grow in rather sandy soil, and prefer
partial shade. The hardy species are ringens (syns. præcox and
Sieboldi), which has green, white, and purple flowers in spring; and
triphylla, which has green and brown spathes in June and July. They are
increased by seeds or division, and are best planted either early in
autumn or in spring.


ARUMS

The favourite flower which bears the name of Lily of the Nile, or Arum
Lily, is not an Arum, and will be found spoken of as Richardia
africana, but there are a few true Arums which may be grown for their
singularity, if not for the beauties they reveal to those who examine
them carefully. The hardy species like a rich, rather sandy soil, with
plenty of moisture in it. They should not be planted out the first
season until spring, but may afterwards be left in the open ground.
Dracontium, the "Green Dragon"; Dracunculus, the "Common Dragon";
italicum; maculatum, our native "Lords and Ladies"; orientale;
palæstinum, or sanctum (only hardy in mild places); proboscideum, whose
true name is Arisarum proboscideum; and tenuifolium are all hardy.


ASPHODELINES

These fine hardy plants are closely allied to the Asphodeluses, and may
be grown in deep sandy soil with plenty of water during the growing
season. The leading species are:--brevicaulis, yellow and green, about
one foot high; damascena, two feet high, yellow; liburnica, wo feet
high, yellow; and lutea (syn. Asphodelus luteus), about four feet high,
yellow; its double form is desirable. Taurica (syn. Asphodelus
tauricus) has white flowers on stems about two feet high; and tenuior,
now cretica (syn. Asphodelus tenuior), has yellow blooms on a stem
about a foot high. The most imposing of all is imperialis, eight feet,
with reddish white flowers.


ASPHODELUSES

Asphodels are useful and ornamental in borders and in wild gardens.
When well-grown, plants of A. ramosus, the King's Spear, are truly
handsome. They like a rich, sandy loam with some manure added, and
should always have plenty of water when growing. The principal species
are the following:--acaulis, pink, flowering in May, an Algerian
species and a little tender; fistulosus, white, in summer, and one a
half foot high; and ramosus, five feet high, in summer, with white
blooms striped with brown. Albus is a form of the last.


BELAMCANDA PUNCTATA

This distinct, Iris-like plant is usually known as Pardanthus sinensis,
and is too seldom met with in gardens. It is a little tender, but may
be cultivated in a sheltered position in light soil. It grows about two
feet high, and has orange flowers spotted with brown, and Iris-like
leaves. I prefer to plant it in spring.


BLOOMERIAS

Bloomerias are pretty, hardy, golden-yellow flowered plants, which are
but little grown, but deserve a place in our gardens. The easiest to
obtain is aurea, which grows about one foot high and has an umbel of
pretty flowers, in July. The only other species, Clevelandii, closely
resembles it, but has smaller flowers and more slender stems. They like
a warm position in rich, sandy soil, and may be planted in early autumn
about two inches deep.


BRODIÆAS

The Brodiæas have of late been deservedly coming to the front, and
their use adds much to the charms of the garden in June and July,
although growers must make up their minds to lose a few the first
winter should the season be a damp one. Many are very beautiful, and
well repay the little trouble they give. They vary much in height, some
sending up tall scapes with many-flowered umbels, while others are
quite dwarf. They like a light soil and a sunny position, and ought to
be planted about two or three inches deep.

Bridgesii and laxa bear some resemblance to each other, and grow from
one to two feet high. They have flowers of a purple-blue. Candida
resembles these, but has paler bluish flowers. Capitata is another tall
grower with blue flowers, the white variety, alba, making a good
companion. Coccinea, whose proper name is Brevoortia Ida-Mai, is a fine
plant with tall stems and scarlet, green-tipped flowers. Congesta is a
tall grower with purple-blue flowers; and other tall species with dark
flowers are multiflora and californica. A pretty section with yellow
flowers is made up of Hendersoni, with its yellow flowers striped with
purple, crocea, and ixioides and its varieties erecta and splendens.
The latter species is sometimes known as Calliprora flava or lutea.
Howelli is a fine species, with a tall stem and porcelain flowers; the
variety lilacina is pleasing. Lactea and pedunculata are both good
white species, and the late-blooming Orcutti has light blue flowers.

A charming set of dwarf forms will be found among grandiflora, Purdyi,
rosea, and stellaris, with blue or purple flowers; volubilis is a
curious twining species, which needs support when it makes growth. It
grows about five feet high.


BULBOCODIUMS

The only Bulbocodium to be met with, except in a few collections, is
ruthenicum, almost universally known as vernum, a pretty early spring
flowering plant with rosy purple flowers, and much resembling a Crocus
in bloom. It thrives in any soil, but should be protected from slugs.
There is a variegated-leaved form. These should be planted about two
inches deep.



CHAPTER IV

HARDY BULBS

Calochorti and
Cyclobothras--Camassias--Colchicums--Convallarias--Forcing Lily of the
Valley--Corydalises--Crinums--Crocosmias and Montbretias--Crocuses


CALOCHORTI AND CYCLOBOTHRAS

The Calochortus, with which is now included the Cyclobothra, is one of
our most beautiful bulbous plants, its appearance well justifying the
names of Butterfly Tulip or Star Tulip applied to it. With a little
protection in the way of rough litter, it will thrive outside in mild
districts, but those who have any fear for the safety of their bulbs
can grow these flowers in frames. They like a raised bed of light, dry
soil in which they may be planted in September or October three inches
deep, and protected with dry straw or spruce branches. When danger from
severe frost is over, this may be removed and plenty of water given. If
grown in frames, the lights may be removed at that time. There are now
many species and varieties in cultivation, but the following form a
good selection for those who wish to begin their cultivation:--albus,
pulchellus, cæruleus major (these like a soil largely of leaf-mould, in
half-shade), Purdyi, luteus, splendens, and any of the venustus
varieties, especially those of the "Eldorado" strain. After the leaves
die down, the bulbs should either be lifted and dried, or covered with
a frame.


CAMASSIAS

The Camassias, or Quamashes, are handsome plants with long leaves and
tall spikes of flowers of much beauty, although rather fugacious. The
blooms are generally blue, but there is a white variety of the pretty
C. esculenta and a creamy-white one called Leichtlinii. Fraseri is very
pretty, and Cusickii and Engelmanni are also worth growing. They like a
rather moist, peaty soil and a little shade when they bloom in May or
June.


COLCHICUMS

Colchicums or Meadow Saffrons are of much value in the garden in
autumn, and in large clumps or masses produce a splendid effect. The
few spring species are of less merit and are only desirable for those
who like collections of uncommon flowers. They like a rather rich soil,
and a sunny position. As the leaves appear in spring, the Colchicums
should be grown through grass or other herbage where the flowers can
have some support. The best time for planting is immediately after the
leaves become yellow. The tops of the corms or bulbs should be about
three inches below the surface. Colchicums are very poisonous and must
not be planted where there can be any danger of their being eaten for
edible tubers. The finest in cultivation are Bornmulleri, Sibthorpii,
and speciosum, in several forms, including maximum, rubrum, and the new
white album. Byzantinum is a good species, and some of the double
forms, ascribed to autumnale, are possibly varieties of this. These
double varieties are very useful, the best being album fl. pl., roseum
fl. pl., and striatum fl. pl. The ordinary autumnale, of which there
are several colours from white to purple, is rather weak in the
flower-tubes and is much injured by bad weather. Other good Meadow
Saffrons are cilicicum, Bertoloni, Decaisnei, alpinum, variegatum,
Bivoniæ, and montanum. The spring-blooming crociflorum, with white
flowers lined with violet, is small and much affected by slugs. The new
hydrophyllum, which likes a damp spot, is a neat little spring species;
luteum, also blooming in spring, does not appear to be so hardy as any
of the others.


CONVALLARIAS

The cultivation of the Lily of the Valley out of doors calls for no
special remarks beyond saying that it likes shade and some moisture. It
is also desirable to mention that there are varieties with pink
flowers; with double white flowers; and with gold-striped leaves. The
first of these shows its colouring much better outside than when grown
under glass. Fortin's variety and prolificans are specially good forms.


FORCING LILY OF THE VALLEY

Lily of the Valley is easily forced, and this can be done either by
lifting large clumps or purchasing crowns, and growing them in a
hot-bed or by planting them in pans or pots. The crowns should be kept
above the soil, and they ought to be kept moist and dark until they
have made some growth, when light should be given. For early bloom at
Christmas, the crowns ought to be potted in the beginning or middle of
November. A temperature of from 65 to 70 degrees is suitable for
forcing this favourite flower. Retarded crowns are coming into favour,
and give good results with careful treatment. It is inadvisable to put
these in heat at first.


CORYDALISES

The tuberous-rooted Corydalises are pretty plants resembling in bloom
those of the genus which have a herbaceous habit. The best known are
bulbosa, known also as solida and tuberosa, also called cava, of both
of which there are purple or lilac and white forms. Halleri is a pretty
variety of bulbosa. C. nobilis, with yellow flowers, is a handsome
May-blooming plant. Semenowii and Sewerzowii are both good yellow
species and Scouleri has pale purple flowers and graceful leaves. They
like peaty soil and a little shade.


CRINUMS

The Crinums are remarkably effective flowers, and some are perfectly
hardy if given a warm position, preferably one in front of a greenhouse
or a wall. The best known is longifolium, also called capense, which
has fine fragrant pale rose flowers. The white variety alba is also
pretty. Moorei is hardy if planted as recommended, and Powelli and
Powelli album are equally as hardy as longifolium. Yemense is a fine
white Crinum. Some patience is often necessary until the plants are
strong enough to flower. They need copious supplies of water, and
should have little litter about them in the first few winters. Their
fine leaves are handsome but require a place sheltered from the wind.


CROCOSMIAS AND MONTBRETIAS

These two flowers go naturally together, not only because Crocosmia
aurea is understood to be one of the parents of the hybrid Montbretias,
but also because of the resemblance of their long spikes of bright
flowers. The only species of Crocosmia, that named above, is a pretty
and showy plant, though it is scarcely so hardy as some of the
Montbretias and requires protection with dry litter or ashes in some
districts when grown in the open. Plant about six inches deep in
spring. The form C. a. imperialis is very fine and C. a. maculata is
also worth growing. They all make good pot plants for a cool house.

[Illustration: WHITE CROCUSES IN GRASS]

The hybrid Montbretias are now so well known as to need no
commendation, and the constant production of new varieties renders it
inexpedient to give a list of varieties. While they are perfectly hardy
in some gardens, in others they must be protected in a similar manner
to the Crocosmias. It is also desirable to lift them and replant a few
inches apart when they show signs of flowering unsatisfactorily.
Otherwise they may be treated like the Crocosmias. They like a sunny,
but not too dry, place in the garden.


CROCUSES

Crocuses are such brilliant and beautiful flowers that one need not
occupy space with their praises. Their use in beds, borders, pots, or
in grass is necessary if we are to enjoy our gardens to the full. While
the popular Dutch varieties, whose names will be found in any bulb
catalogue, will retain their place in the garden, they will be largely
supplemented by the different species by whose aid the interest in
these flowers will be much increased. By their help we can not only
extend the Crocus season, so as to have flowers in autumn and winter as
well as in spring, but they will also give us new colours and markings
of much beauty. The autumn Crocuses are of much value. The earliest is
C. vallicola, with creamy flowers, but it is not very hardy and wants a
frame. Speciosus and its larger form Aitchisoni are of great service
with their blue-purple blooms. Zonatus, pulchellus, iridiflorus, and
iridiflorus major are all good, as also are lævigatus, cancellatus,
with its variety asturicus, hadriaticus, medius, nudiflorus,
ochroleucus, Salzmanni, and Tournefortii. Sativus, the old Saffron
Crocus, is showy, but is a shy bloomer in most gardens. Its forms,
cartwrightianus, elwesianus, and Pallasii are better flowerers.
Scharojani should have a frame. White varieties of some of these Croci
are highly prized.

The winter-flowering Croci are also very beautiful, and with the
protection of a little glass over them in bad weather will give much
pleasure, especially in December or January, when other out-door
flowers are scarce. Chrysanthus, which varies much in colour; Imperati,
a valuable species; the charming Sieberi, dalmaticus, etruscus,
Gaillardotti, the yellow Korolkowii, nevadensis, the orange suterianus,
and the pretty suaveolens, might be included and protected by glass
covers from the storms.

Following these come the spring Croci: aureus, said to be the parent of
the Dutch yellow, giving us shades of some variety; while biflorus
yields some very beautiful forms, such as argenteus, estriatus,
Pestalozzoe, pusillus, and Weldeni. Then, apart from the Dutch
varieties, vernus gives a number of forms, George Maw, Leedsi,
leucorhynchus, leucostigma, and Petro Polowsky being among the most
distinct of these. Alatavicus, ancyrensis, banaticus, Balansæ,
corsicus, Fleischeri, gargaricus, Malyi, Olivieri, reticulatus,
stellaris, susianus, the varied versicolor, and the charming
tommasinianus will give many exquisite pictures. These will give little
trouble if planted, in early autumn, about three inches deep in rather
light, peaty soil. Growing Crocuses from seed is very interesting work,
and may be productive of excellent results. Crocuses in pots should be
planted close together, and the pots plunged outside until growth
begins.



CHAPTER V

HARDY BULBS

Cyclamens--Dicentras--Dieramas--Eranthis--Eremuruses--Erythroniums
--Eucomises


CYCLAMENS

The hardy Cyclamens or Sowbreads are charming little flowers which grow
well under the shade of trees or in the rock-garden. They like a rich,
but light soil, with a few stones mixed with it, and to be planted an
inch or two beneath the surface. The earliest and one of the best is C.
Coum, which has pretty crimson flowers about January. There are a
pleasing white variety and a few other colours such as rose and lilac.
Libanoticum is later and has large flowers and leaves. Ibericum
succeeds these, and the Atkinsi varieties are very beautiful, in
various shades from white to purple. Cilicicum and alpinum are tiny
little species with red or white flowers and small leaves, and are best
suited for the rock-garden. Europæum, red or lilac, in August, is more
difficult to grow, but likes shade and partial covering with a low
carpeting plant. The best of the late species is neapolitanum, or
hederæfolium, which has prettily marked leaves succeeding the red or
white flowers which come in autumn. These plants can be raised from
seeds sown as soon as ripe, or in spring.


DICENTRAS

A few of the tuberous-rooted Dicentras or Dielytras deserve mention
here. Among them are Cucullaria, white and yellow, and about three
inches high; and spectabilis, a well-known and handsome plant, which
needs shelter from cold spring winds. They like a light, peaty soil and
some shade.


DIERAMAS

The known species of Dierama, known in gardens as Sparaxis, are pendula
and pulcherrimum. Both are graceful hardy flowers with long stems,
arching over and bearing many loosely hanging bells of various shades
of purple, and even white. The one mostly seen in British gardens is
pulcherrimum, which has stems from four to six feet long; pendula being
a little less robust. They are rather difficult to establish, and like
to be planted under stones. Plant in spring about four inches deep.


ERANTHIS, WINTER ACONITE

The Eranthis or Winter Aconite would receive more attention were it not
so cheap, but it should be largely planted in moist and shady places,
which it brightens up early in the season. Either in the border,
rock-garden, or grass, it is very effective when in a mass. It may be
grown from seed. The species generally grown is Eranthis hyemalis, but
recently a species, named E. cilicicus, which blooms later, and has
deeper coloured flowers, with a less ornamental "ruff," has been
introduced. It is scarcely so hardy as E. hyemalis. The Winter Aconite
will grow in almost any soil which does not become too dry. It should
be as short a time out of the soil as possible.


EREMURUSES

The Eremuri are among the noblest of our hardy flowers with tuberous
roots, and are exceedingly ornamental with their magnificent spikes of
flower. They may be planted in autumn or in spring, though the first is
the better time, unless the plants are in pots. There is much
difference of opinion among growers regarding their requirements in the
way of sun or shade. Much depends upon the gardens, and the writer has
seen plants equally good with a north or north-west aspect, and in
other places with a due south exposure. In the latter case, however,
there is more danger from spring frosts. The crown should be about two
inches beneath the surface, and the soil should be light and rich,
although it may have a hard bottom. Protect with dry litter, and keep a
good lookout for slugs when growth begins. Cover if there is danger of
frost in spring, and give plenty of water during the growing period.

[Illustration: EREMURUS ROBUSTUS]

The best blooming species, and among the most beautiful, is E.
himalaicus, with white flowers, and sometimes eight feet high, but
generally less. Robustus, with its variety elwesianus, grow taller, and
have charming flesh-coloured flowers. Olgæ, with whitish flowers, is
very beautiful, and Bungei is among the best of the yellow species,
though caucasicus and spectabilis are also good yellow Eremuri.


ERYTHRONIUMS

The Erythroniums or Dog's Tooth Violets are delightful little spring
flowers, which are becoming increasingly appreciated. All are very
beautiful, their marbled or mottled foliage adding to their other
attractions. Some of the Dutch named sorts, such as Blanca, Von
Humboldt, Rubens, Rouge Trappeuse, &c., are of a large size, and are
very pleasing. The colours of the common Dens-canis vary from white to
rose and purple or violet, and all the plants do well in the border,
but better still in grass. In warm gardens they do best in shade, but
in others they require sun. The American Erythroniums are very
beautiful, but should generally have a sunnier place than the others.
They like a rather light soil, but americanum, which has yellow
flowers, prefers one of a heavier nature, and, to induce flowering,
should have its roots in a confined space. Albidum has whitish flowers;
giganteum has from one to six whitish flowers with a yellow base and
mottled leaves; grandiflorum has from three to ten yellow flowers on a
stem, and unmottled leaves; and nuttallianum has a shorter stem with
smaller flowers than the last, of which it is a variety.

Hartwegi, Bolanderi, montanum, citrinum, purpurascens, and Howelli have
all yellow or whitish flowers. Of these, Hartwegi is the earliest, and
Howelli among the most beautiful.

Revolutum, Johnsoni, and Hendersoni have all exquisite rose or purple
flowers. Propullans has small rose-coloured blooms. Bolanderi is
sometimes sold as Smithii or grandiflorum var. Smithii. Japonicum and
sibiricum are fine Asiatic forms of Dens-canis, with handsome purple or
rosy purple flowers.


EUCOMISES

The curious looking Eucomises are hardier than is generally believed,
and may be grown in the border or in front of a greenhouse or stove,
with a little covering of litter in winter. Although not showy, they
are worth growing for their long spikes of whitish flowers, spotted
with rose, and their long mottled foliage. They like a light, but not
poor soil. Punctata is probably the hardiest, but regia and bicolor are
also hardy if planted about six inches deep.



CHAPTER VI

HARDY BULBS

Fritillarias--Funkias--Galanthuses--Galtonias--Gladioli--Hemerocallises


FRITILLARIAS

Although many of the Fritillarias are more distinguished for their
singularity than for the brilliance of their colouring, there are few
more interesting garden plants. The native species, F. meleagris, is
varied in colour and in depth of markings, and the Dutch have raised
some pretty named varieties. The white form, F. m. alba, is very
beautiful. The varieties of the broad-leaved form of Meleagris are but
little grown in Great Britain. There are now many pretty species which
are quite as easy to grow, but which do not need such a damp position
as suits F. meleagris best, although it grows in dry soil as well.
Recurva has beautiful scarlet and yellow flowers, but is difficult to
establish. Aurea, with yellow flowers and of dwarf habit, is more
easily grown, and is the brightest of the yellow Snake's Head Lilies.
Pallidiflora, with pale yellow flowers, is distinct; and the pretty
armena gives several varieties with flowers varying from greenish to
bright yellow and red. Walujewi is very fine; and Moggridgei is well
worth trying also. Acmopetala is a fine, tall species; and such species
as Burnati, citrina, lanceolata, lusitanica, lutea, oranensis, pudica,
pyrenaica, ruthenica, and Thunbergii are all of interest to those who
care for such flowers.

The Crown Imperial, F. imperialis, is so well known that its noble
appearance and its value for the garden need no praise. There are
several varieties, which range in colour from pale yellow to deep red.
In addition, we have a form, called "Crown upon Crown," which has two
tiers of flowers; one with a fasciated stem; and two with variegated
leaves, one having white and the other yellow margins, and bands on the
leaves. These make fine plants. The smaller Fritillarias should be
planted about two inches, and the Crown Imperials about four inches
deep. The latter like a good rich soil, and all should be as short a
time out of the ground as possible. All can be grown in pots.


FUNKIAS

Funkias, or Plantain Lilies, are among the most ornamental of our
hardy flowers, and look exceedingly ornamental in borders or by the
margin of water, where their fine leaves are in keeping with their
surroundings. They all like some shade, but to induce F. subcordata
(syn. grandiflora) to flower well it should have a warm, sunny place.
They are best planted in spring. F. lancifolia has pretty leaves and
purple flowers. There are several varieties, such as undulata, alba,
variegata, and albo-marginata. Ovata has handsome large leaves and
purple flowers, and the variety aurea-variegata is particularly fine.
Sieboldiana has ornamental foliage and pale lilac flowers. It and the
variety marmorata, with marbled foliage, are fine for groups. Fortunei
and its variety variegata are both splendid plants, and glauca is
another good species.


GALANTHUSES

The Galanthus, or Snowdrop, is one of our chastest and most beautiful
flowers, and its pure blossoms are universally appreciated. It is more
varied in character and in its time of blooming than many are aware of.
The earliest Snowdrops come into bloom in autumn or early winter, and
lovers of the flower who wish to grow these interesting varieties,
which are forms of G. nivalis, the common Snowdrop, will find that G.
corcyrensis and G. octobrensis are those most easily procured. They
require a rather light and sandy soil. In their general appearance they
closely resemble the common form of G. nivalis, but are generally
recognisable by the light colour of the line which runs up the centre
of the leaf. Others blooming about the same season are G. Rachelæ and
G. Elsæ. These flowers show a tendency to draw nearer to the spring
Snowdrops as they become established. There are too many varieties of
the common Snowdrop in existence to detail, but one may name Melvillei,
a splendid flower of great beauty; poculiformis, which has the inner
and outer segments of almost equal length; Scharloki, which has
separated spathes and a green spot at the base of each outer segment;
and æstivalis and Gusmusi, two late forms, as representative, if we
exclude a number of named varieties which have been raised by Mr James
Allen and others. The so-called "Yellow Snowdrops" have yellow instead
of green markings and ovaries. The best are G. lutescens and G.
flavescens.

The Italian sub-species Imperati gives us some handsome flowers, larger
than those of our native Snowdrop; the finest is the variety Atkinsi, a
noble Galanthus. The sub-species caucasicus is principally noteworthy
as giving us the form virescens, which has its flowers all flushed with
green outside.

One of the finest Snowdrops is G. Elwesii, from Asia Minor, of which
there are many local and seedling forms. That sold as ochrospeilus, and
the large variety named Whittalli, are equal to any other of the wild
forms. G. Elwesii is not long-lived in many gardens. It seems to prefer
a rather moist, peaty soil.

G. latifolius is a very distinct Snowdrop with broad, bright green
leaves. Unfortunately, it is rather too delicate for our climate, and
the newer G. Ikariæ is preferable. It has handsome bright green leaves,
with arching habit, and pretty flowers.

G. plicatus, the Crimean Snowdrop, is troublesome because of the
unaccountable way in which it often disappears. It is, however, so fine
and distinct, with its revolute leaves, that it should be tried.
Hybrids between it and G. Elwesii are often hardier than either of the
parents. G. byzantinus may be a hybrid of this parentage.

It is needless to refer to the cultivation of the Snowdrop further than
to say that it seems to do best planted in the grass, and that it is
much finer in a rather moist, peaty soil. When grown in pots it should
not have much heat.


GALTONIAS

Galtonia, or Hyacinthus, candicans is the best of the three species
which constitute the genus. It is a noble plant, whose white, drooping
bells look remarkably handsome, especially when associated with such
plants as the scarlet Gladiolus brenchleyensis. It should be planted in
spring, about six inches deep. Although hardy in most gardens, in some
it must be lifted and stored in winter, or well protected with dry
ashes or litter.


GLADIOLI

While the magnificent hybrid Gladioli are not hardy in the greater
number of gardens, and are therefore referred to along with half-hardy
bulbs, it will be found desirable to attempt their cultivation in warm
localities as hardy flowers, planting deeply and giving them a little
protection in the way of a mulch of dry litter in autumn, and removing
it in spring. We have, however, a few species which are quite hardy,
although some are the better of a little protection for the first
winter. The hardiest of these is Gladiolus byzantinus, a species with
small, rosy-purple flowers, but the following others may also be grown
as ordinary border flowers: communis, segetum, serotinus, illyricus,
and neglectus. Then the varieties of the early-flowering Gladioli named
in catalogues may be accounted almost hardy on light dry soils,
especially if protected for a winter after being planted. Such forms as
Colvillei, The Bride, and almost all the other early bloomers are
amenable to this treatment. Plant them about six inches deep in a sunny
position.

[Illustration: GLADIOLUS "THE BRIDE"]


HEMEROCALLISES

The Day Lilies are very ornamental plants, although their usefulness in
the garden is reduced by the individual blooms only lasting for the one
day. The number available for gardens has been increased by varieties
raised by hybridisation and cross-breeding, and some of these are of
much value. Auriantiaca major, a fine plant introduced within the last
few years, is shy in flowering and wants a good soil and a warm, sunny
position. It has rich orange flowers. The others grow in a sunny
position in ordinary soil. Dumortieri, orange, brown outside, grows
about one foot high; flava has pretty yellow blooms, on stems about two
feet high, in June; fulva is taller, and has more coppery flowers.
There are double-flowered and variegated-leaved varieties of fulva, the
form fl.-pl. variegata being very fine. Middendorfii has orange
flowers, and is about one foot high; Thunbergi resembles flava, but
blooms a month later. Minor, or graminea, is of dwarf habit, and has
yellow flowers. Hybrid, or seedling forms of merit are Apricot, Dr
Regel, Flamid, Frances, luteola, and Sovereign.



CHAPTER VII

HARDY BULBS

Hyacinths--Hyacinths in
Pots--Scillas--Puschkinias--Chionodoxas--Chionoscillas--Muscaris


This group of bulbs is one of the most valuable, their bright colours
and beautiful forms giving the garden much of its attraction in their
season.


HYACINTHS

The garden Hyacinths, the offspring of H. orientalis, are fine for beds
or for groups or lines in borders, although too stiff for planting in
grass. They like a good, but light, soil, well enriched with thoroughly
rotted cow-manure, and may be planted three inches deep in a sunny
position in October. There are so many good varieties that intending
growers would do well to consult the catalogues of dealers and select
from them. Mixed Hyacinths are sold at a cheap rate.


HYACINTHS IN POTS AND GLASSES

There need be little difficulty experienced in growing Hyacinths in
pots, glasses, or jardinets, if proper care is exercised and the bulbs
have been properly grown and well-matured the previous season. The
pretty early varieties, popularly known as Roman Hyacinths, are very
useful, and may be had in bloom at various times by potting at
intervals from August onwards, about six bulbs being required for a
forty-eight size pot. They like a light rich compost, such as may be
made of good fibrous loam, with the addition of well-decayed
cow-manure, leaf-soil, and sharp sand; three parts of the first to one
each of the second and third being a good proportion. The bulbs should
be barely covered, and the pots plunged in ashes and covered with these
until the roots have made free growth, when the pots may go into a
frame or greenhouse. When the buds show, the pots may be put in bottom
heat in a temperature of sixty-five to seventy degrees. The white Roman
is the one generally grown for early work, but blush, blue, and
straw-coloured forms are also to be had, and form a pleasing change.
The large Hyacinths may be grown in a similar compost, although one
lighter and richer gives good results. They are potted with the crown
just above the surface, and plunged in ashes or fibre in a pit, frame,
or open ground. When the spikes show above the ashes they may be taken
in and forced if desired. A temperature of about seventy degrees is the
highest which should be allowed.

When Hyacinths are grown in water in glasses good sound bulbs must be
selected. The water should almost touch the base of the bulb, and a
little piece of charcoal should be placed in the glass. After putting
in the bulbs the glasses ought to be placed in a cool, dark place,
until the roots make their appearance, when they may be brought into
the light. Hyacinths may also be grown in moss, Jadoo, and cocoa-fibre
and charcoal, and even in sand. Bulbs which have been grown in pots and
glasses can afterwards be planted outside.


OTHER HYACINTHS

For early flowering in a sunny place in the rock-garden, the lovely H.
azureus, or Muscari azureum, should be grown. It flowers in January or
February, and has spikes of small blue flowers. The form freynianum is
hardier, but is a little later.

The charming little H. amethystinus, with blue flowers, and its white
variety albus, only a few inches high, are bright May-flowering bulbs
for the border or rock-garden. They like a light soil.

The Scillas, or Squills, are numerous and important garden flowers. Our
native Scilla nutans is pretty in the wild-garden, but it is surpassed
by the larger flowers and spikes of S. campanulata or hispanica, the
Spanish Squill, which is very beautiful in the garden or the grass.
Like our native Scilla, it has sported into several colours, and these
show some diversity of quality. The pink and the white varieties of
this called rosea grandiflora, Rose Queen, and alba compacta, are all
pleasing; as also are grandiflora, deep blue; Emperor, porcelain,
striped blue; and aperta, blue, striped white. Less showy, but very
delightful, are the early Squills, such as S. bifolia and S. sibirica.
These bloom about March, and give some variety of colour. Bifolia is
the more variable, and gives us the white variety, alba; a
flesh-coloured one, called carnea; and a pink, named rubra. Some new
forms, such as Pink Beauty and White Queen, are not in commerce. The
typical bifolia and the variety taurica, both blue, are very pretty. S.
sibirica is of different habit, though equally dwarf, and has larger,
drooping flowers of a fine blue. The variety taurica blooms earlier. S.
sibirica alba is one of the greatest acquisitions of recent years, and
has charming pure-white flowers. It is a gem for the borders or for
pots. Slugs are very fond of S. sibirica. S. verna is a beautiful
native Squill, seldom seen in gardens, but its lilac-blue flowers are
most attractive. Its white and rose forms are hardly to be met with. S.
italica is a somewhat neglected April and May blooming species, with
pretty conical heads of light blue flowers. The white variety alba,
though scarce, is obtainable, and is a charming plant. Scilla
autumnalis likes a light soil, and a warm, dry place on the rockery. It
flowers in autumn, and is worth some trouble to establish for the sake
of its blue flowers. The pink form, japonica, is desirable.

Ciliaris, hyacinthoides, and peruviana are highly ornamental in the
border, with their large heads of flowers in summer, and their broad
foliage; they are, however, shy bloomers in some soils after the first
year, and want thorough ripening off after blooming.

A Scilla little seen in gardens is Lilio-hyacinthus, which has broad
leaves, large bulbs with scales, like those of a Lily, and pretty
bluish flowers. There is a rare white variety, but the pink form seems
to have been lost.

Puschkinias are pretty bulbous plants allied to the Scillas, and
producing neat spikes of porcelain-blue or whitish flowers lined with
blue. They are easily grown on light soil, but require protection from
slugs when they first appear. They bloom in March, and there is only
one species in cultivation--scilloides--the variety compacta having a
denser spike.

Chionodoxas deserve all the praise they have received, although in our
climate they do not come, as a rule, when we have snow, so that the
popular name of "Glory of the Snow" is not so appropriate as in their
native country. The best known is C. Luciliæ, which has blue flowers
with a large white eye. The greater number of the others are distinct
enough for garden purposes, although classed by botanists as varieties
of this species. Sardensis is a favourite, with its smaller, deeper
coloured flowers, with hardly any white in the centre. Gigantea and
Alleni are nearly alike, but the latter has more flowers on the stem,
and is deeper in colour. Tmolusii is the latest to bloom of these
varieties; it resembles Luciliæ, but is of a deeper, more
purplish-blue. There are pink, and also white varieties of all these.
Cretica is the least effective of the genus, with the exception of the
scarce nana, which is a charming, if not showy little flower, almost
white and lined with blue.

The Chionoscillas are hybrids between the Chionodoxas and Scillas, S.
bifolia being one of the parents of nearly all the forms in existence.
These are interesting and pretty in their varied shades of blue or
pink. Seedlings from Chionodoxas do not always come true to the parent,
but may revert to one or other of its ancestors.

Muscaris are so numerous, and many resemble each other so closely, that
it is needless to attempt to grow more than a selection. Few are
prettier than the common M. botryoides, the Grape Hyacinth, which drew
from Ruskin words of praise familiar to many. It is very beautiful, and
its only fault is its rapid increase. Some of its varieties are prized
by those who grow them. The larger of the two white varieties, known as
album grandiflorum, and pallidum grandiflorum, with pale blue flowers,
are both pretty.

M. racemosum, the Starch Grape Hyacinth, is also pretty, with its large
spikes of deep-coloured flowers; there is a pink form, and a scarce
white one is also met with. A fine Grape Hyacinth is M. conicum, with
brilliant blue flowers in large racemes. M. Heldreichi is one of the
earliest and best, with its long spike of blue flowers, each broadly
margined with white. M. szovitzianum is a small, rather light-blue
species of considerable beauty. M. armeniacum is a good little Grape
Hyacinth. M. latifolium is very distinct, with its broad leaves.

M. comosum, the Tufted Hyacinth, is an interesting plant, but it is
surpassed for the garden by the form monstrosum, which has curiously
pretty frizzed blooms. It ought to be more grown.

The Musk Hyacinths are worth growing, if for nothing but their odour,
although they are pretty as well. They are, however, not satisfactory
everywhere, and often fail to bloom after the first season. They should
have a warm, dry border, where the bulbs will ripen off well. Moschatum
and macrocarpum are worthy of a trial at least.



CHAPTER VIII

HARDY BULBS

Irises--Kniphofias--Lapeyrousias--Leucojums


IRISES

As a separate volume of this series to treat fully of the Iris is
contemplated, only a brief _résumé_ of the genus, with a few general
cultural hints, are required at the present time.

Irises, which supply plants suitable for almost any position in the
garden, are naturally divided into two great groups, the first having a
short rhizomatous root-stock, and the other one of a bulbous character.
Each of these is divided into separate sections, about which it may be
said that no common treatment can be dictated. The sub-genus Apogon,
which comprises the beardless Flag Irises, embraces plants which
require totally different treatment. Thus, unguicularis, or stylosa,
likes a dry, stony soil, while sibirica and others prefer a moist one.
The plants of the sub-genus Pardanthopsis have flowers like the Apogon
Irises, but are without the crest. They generally prefer a moist,
well-drained soil. The Oncocyclus, or "Cushion" Irises, are much prized
for their singular beauty, but are not easily grown in gardens, unless
in frames, where they can have a long period of rest before they start
into growth in winter, or lifted and dried. This rest should begin
immediately after they flower. They like lime in the soil.

The Regelia Irises form the link between the last and the Pogon Irises,
and should have similar treatment to the Cushion Irises. The Evansea
section contains some pretty plants, which often do well in dry places.
They have a pretty crest on the flower. The plant grown by the Japanese
on the roofs of their houses (I. tectorum) belongs to this group.
Pseudevansea Irises have a beard which springs from a rudimentary
crest, and otherwise much resemble the Evansea section, but few are in
cultivation.

The Pogon Irises form the most important section of non-bulbous Irises
in gardens, and are distinguished by the beard down the claw and lower
part of the blade. They will thrive almost anywhere, but should, as a
rule, have sun. They do well on walls and roofs. The familiar "German"
Irises will give a good idea of the appearance of all the plants of
this sub-genus.

The bulbous Irises are very beautiful, but details as to their
treatment cannot be given now. For cutting, the Spanish Iris (I.
Xiphium) is very useful and it makes a fine bedding or border plant. It
prefers a rather dry soil, but should be lifted and replanted every two
years or so. The English Iris (I. Xiphioides) prefers a stronger and
moister soil, and is a beautiful plant in the garden.

I. reticulata and its forms belong to this section and are charming in
the garden or in pots, though liable to a troublesome disease, which is
best checked by lifting the bulbs and destroying those which are much
affected. The sub-genus Gynandiris contains only one species, I.
Sisyrinchium, which is not absolutely hardy and should be grown in a
frame. Several of the Juno section, such as persica, alata, and
palæstina, are best in frames, but I. orchioides is quite hardy and
makes a fine border or rockery plant. The Hermodactylus section
consists of I. tuberosus, which is native to some parts of the South of
England, and is a curious and interesting species worth a place in
gardens.


KNIPHOFIAS

The Kniphofias or Tritomas are among the most brilliant of our garden
flowers and are of gorgeous effect in lines or masses in the garden.
The greater number are hardy in most gardens, particularly if the
crowns of the tuberous roots are planted about three inches below the
surface of the soil, and the old leaves fastened together at the top to
throw off winter rains. One of the most dependable species is Aloides
(syn. Uvaria) of which there are many varieties varying in colour from
pale yellow to deep red. Grandis, nobilis, and Saundersii are all good
forms. Burchelli, a dwarf species with red and yellow flowers is
pretty; caulescens, corallina, foliosa, Nelsoni, and modesta are also
worth growing. Macowani and pumila are pleasing dwarf species. There
are many hybrid forms, such as Autumn Glory, Chloris, Clotho, Diana,
Lachesis, Obelisque, Osiris, Pfitzeri, Robert Cannell, and Star of
Baden Baden. Rooperi is an almost continuous bloomer; Tuckii is a free
flowerer; and Leichtlini and the variety distachya are distinct
Kniphofias. These noble flowers should be planted in spring. They are
easily raised from seeds. They like plenty of moisture in summer.


LAPEYROUSIAS

The Lapeyrousias or Anomathecas are brilliant little bulbous plants
with blood-red flowers which look remarkably effective in shady places.
They are hardy in warm places in light soil, but in cold localities
should be grown in a frame. They ought to be planted two or three
inches deep and covered with litter for a winter or two. They produce
seeds freely and these should be scattered in suitable places and
covered over with a little soil. The one usually seen is L. cruenta,
but there is also one, called grandiflora, with larger flowers.

[Illustration: SNOWFLAKES]


LEUCOJUM

The Leucojum, or Snowflake, ought to be more largely grown in the
flower garden or in grass, where its white, drooping bells look
charming. The Spring Snowflake, L. vernum, is among the most beautiful
with its large, handsome white flowers, each tipped with a green spot
on each outer segment. There are several forms, that sold as carpaticum
being early and pretty. There are also yellow-spotted forms which are
of much beauty, and one of these seems to be the true carpaticum. Miss
Hope's variety is the latest Spring Snowflake. The Summer Snowflake is
less pleasing because of its habit, but it is a pretty and useful
flower. There are two or three varieties of L. æstivum, one known as L.
pulchellum being a little earlier than the other L. æstivum and having
smaller flowers. The autumn Snowflake, L. autumnale or Acis autumnalis,
is an exquisite little bulb with white blossoms, tinged with rose. It
flowers in July or August and likes a sandy soil; the others will grow
in any good compost. Plant about two inches deep, and as soon as they
can be procured.



CHAPTER IX

HARDY BULBS

Liliums--Liliums in
Pots--Malvastrum--Merenderas--Millas--Narcissi--Narcissi in Pots


LILIUMS

The Lily is the noblest of bulbous plants, and it is to be regretted
that its cultivation often presents insuperable difficulties in many
gardens. There are a few species which can be grown almost anywhere, it
is true, but the greater number require special conditions of soil or
climate. As this noble plant may form the subject of a separate work in
this series, I shall only give a brief summary of the leading species
and their requirements for the benefit of the general reader.

The easiest to grow in the garden are those which are satisfied with
ordinary, well-dug soil, with the addition of some leaf-soil, if it is
heavy, or some loam, if light. This class comprises the favourite
candidum, the Madonna Lily, of which there are several varieties, such
as one with a golden margin to the leaves; spicatum, also known as
flore pleno, which has partly double flowers; and striatum, with
flowers streaked purple outside. There are also chalcedonicum, with
scarlet "Turk's-cap" flowers and its variety Heldreichii; the dark-hued
hybrid dalhansoni; bulbiferum; the pretty concolor, with its forms
Coridion and pulchellum; the brilliant croceum; dauricum, known as
umbellatum in some gardens; the pretty elegans (syn. thunbergianum);
the good yellow Hansoni; and that comparatively new Lily, Henryi. In
this soil, also, can be grown the exquisite longiflorum, with its
trumpet-shaped blooms, and its varieties giganteum, eximium (Wilsoni of
some), foliis albo-marginatus, Takesima, Harrisii, and præcox. The
hybrid Marhan thrives in the same soil, as also do the typical
Martagon; the pretty pomponium; the strongly-scented pyrenaicum; and
the ever popular speciosum (syn. lancifolium), of which there are so
many good varieties, such as album Krætzeri, album novum, Melpomene,
roseum superbum, cruentum and punctatum. To these may be added the
pretty tenuifolium; the well-known tigrinum, with its forms splendens,
Fortunei, and fl. A selection of varieties of L. elegans would include
such as Alice Wilson, alutaceum, atrosanguineum, aurantiacum, Batemani,
often called L. Batemanniæ, Horsmanni, Flore-pleno, Prince of Orange,
Van Houttei, and Wilsoni. There are also a number of varieties of
umbellatum.

The following Lilies require a deep and well-dug friable loam,
lightened with sand and leaf-soil if of a clayey nature:--

Alexandræ, a fine new Lily; the splendid auratum with its many forms,
of which platyphyllum, rubrovittatum, virginale and Wittei may be
named; Bolanderi; Brownii; callosum; columbianum, giganteum and the
allied cordifolium; the fine Humboldtii; the rather unsatisfactory
japonicum, better known as Krameri; japonicum Colchesteri; Leichtlinii;
Lowii, neilgherrense. Martagon album; M. dalmaticum; M. cataniæ;
nepalense; pulchellum; the pretty new rubellum; rubescens; sulphureum;
monadelphum or szovitzianum--a well proved species--Wallacei, and
washingtonianum. Although these all do with the compost named,
unfortunately some are almost impossible to grow in ordinary gardens.

The following like a moist peaty soil, although some can be grown
without this, but it is safer to study their likings:--canadense with
its varieties; carniolicum; Grayii; maritimum; pardalinum, with its
varieties californicum, Bourgæi, Johnsoni, minor, and Michauxii;
Parryi; parvum; philadelphicum; Roezlii; and superbum.

In planting Lilies, they should have the crowns from four to six inches
below the surface, and should be surrounded with some sharp sand. In
heavy soil it is desirable to plant the bulbs on their sides.


LILIES IN POTS

Lilies make beautiful pot plants, and in pots their cultivation is very
simple. Fibrous loam, peat, and a little decayed manure and sand will
grow them well. It is a good practice not to cover the bulbs too deeply
at first, and to add soil afterwards as growth is made and roots formed
at the base of the stems. Watering must be carefully applied, so as to
give enough without souring the soil. Plunge the pots in frames, and
bring them in when growth is so far completed, or place outside in
sheltered positions until they show flower. Repotting is best done as
soon as the stems are quite withered.


MALVASTRUM GILLIESII

This is a very pretty little trailing rock garden plant, with tuberous
roots, and only a few inches high. It likes a sunny place, but must not
suffer from drought in summer. The flowers are of a bright
crimson-purple. It is hardy in a sheltered rockery.


MERENDERAS

The Merenderas are closely related to the Colchicums, and are amenable
to similar treatment. The species grown in gardens are M. Bulbocodium,
four inches, lilac, blooming in autumn; caucasica, blooming in May, and
having rosy flowers; and persica, which flowers in late autumn and has
pale lilac blooms.


MILLA

The Millas are pretty bulbous plants, but the only one worth growing as
a hardy bulb is M. uniflora, often called Triteleia uniflora, which has
white flowers, shaded with blue, in spring. The form violacea has
porcelain-blue flowers striped with a deeper blue. The Milla can be
grown in the border or rock-garden, but it likes the edge of a gravel
path, where it will soon establish itself. Plant in early autumn with
the crown about two inches deep.


NARCISSI

It is impossible to treat properly of the Narcissus in the space
available in a work of this character, but as it is proposed to publish
a volume devoted entirely to this charming flower, it will be
sufficient to give a chapter dealing generally with the flower and its
ways.

Generally speaking, the cultivation of the Narcissus out of doors is
without difficulty, if we can give it a free, loamy soil, and a pure
air. The exceptions are few, except that there are some species which
are troublesome, and apparently resent being grown in cultivated
ground, and die off there. Some of these will thrive on grass or on
rockwork, while they die in the border. The white trumpet Narcissi are
among the most troublesome in this respect, and some find it necessary
to plant them on grassy banks facing the north. This is not desirable
in the north, and it will be well to try various positions before
finally giving up the cultivation of the fascinatingly beautiful white
trumpet Narcissi. The Hoop-petticoat Narcissi, as the forms of N.
Corbularia are called, are difficult to establish. Those who wish to
attempt them may begin first with citrina, the sulphur one. Many find
them thrive best planted where the roots can reach water, such as in
light, peaty soil, above a milk pan sunk in the soil. The writer has,
however, frequently seen plants established in the border or
rock-garden. Triandrus albus, the exquisite "Angel's Tears," is
troublesome to establish also. It ought to be planted in a crevice of
the rockery in gravel, sand, and peat. The form Triandrus pulchellus,
although scarce, is a much better grower. The beautiful little N.
moschatus, of Haworth, is difficult to grow except on grass; and others
which thrive better thus planted than in the ordinary border are named
by Messrs Barr. Their list may be safely followed, although one's
experience of several is that they grow quite well in a border; much,
however, depending upon the character of the soil and how it is
drained. The varieties are:--Achilles, Countess of Annesley, Spurius,
Thomas Moore, Pseudo-narcissus, the English Lent Lily, variiformis, and
pallidus præcox. Few of the Tazetta Narcissi are suitable for outdoor
culture, although in the milder districts of England and Ireland they
may be grown in the open.

As the Narcissus prefers a soil without animal manure within reach of
its roots, it is better to cultivate it in land manured for a previous
crop, or to add artificial fertilisers, than cow or horse manure.
Experienced growers prefer a small quantity of basic slag or bone meal.
In light soils a sprinkling of sulphate of potash is applied annually
in autumn.

Planting is best done early in autumn, September being a good month,
but the varieties of N. poeticus should be in earlier if possible.
Occasional lifting and replanting is advisable.


NARCISSI IN POTS

In cultivating the Narcissus in pots or boxes a somewhat similar method
may be adopted as in the case of Hyacinths in pots, but they will
generally stand more forcing. The Tazetta, or Bunch-flowered Narcissi,
such as Paper White, are largely used, and can be had very early in
bloom.



CHAPTER X

HARDY BULBS

Ornithogalums--Oxalises--Pæonias--Ranunculuses--Romuleas--Sanguinarias
--Sternbergias--Schizostylis--Tecophilæas--Trilliums


ORNITHOGALUMS

The Ornithogalums, or Stars of Bethlehem, are not general favourites in
gardens, because of their seeding propensities, which make them
difficult to keep within bounds. Several are very pleasing and deserve
some attention, because of their white and green flowers. Umbellatum,
the common species, is only suitable for the wild-garden, but the
little tenuifolium is pretty, as also are fimbriatum and montanum.
Nutans is pretty also, but increases too rapidly. Pyramidale is a fine
plant about two feet high. They like a sandy soil and to be planted
about two inches deep. None of the yellow Ornithogalums are hardy.


OXALISES

The Oxalises, or Wood Sorrels, are bright little plants, although their
value is reduced by their flowers only opening in sun. There is a
pretty lilac variety of O. Acetosella, our common Wood Sorrel, and
Bowiei and floribunda, with rose flowers, are quite hardy in light
soil. Lobata, a beautiful little yellow species, flowering in October,
is also hardy, as well as the exquisite white enneaphylla. Tetraphylla,
lasiandra, l. alba, and violacea may also be tried with every prospect
of success. Give a sunny position in light soil, and if planted in
autumn cover slightly the first winter.


PÆONIAS

The herbaceous Pæonias, which are such brilliant ornaments of our
gardens in May and June, would require more space to do them justice
than we can command. They like a rich, well-manured soil, inclining to
heaviness and thoroughly trenched before planting in early autumn.
After the plants are in position mulch the ground with rotten manure,
and when growth is being made in summer give liberal applications of
manure water to induce free growth. The crowns should be a little below
the surface, and plant if possible where the sun does not reach them
until a little before noon. The list of superior varieties is extremely
extensive, and those thinking of purchasing Pæonias should either
select the plants while they are in bloom, or from the catalogues of
dealers who grow these flowers largely. The single forms are very
beautiful also, though they hardly keep so long in bloom. Many of the
species are also attractive plants, and where there is sufficient space
a selection of these should be made and grown. The common Peony of old
gardens is P. officinalis.


RANUNCULUSES

At one time a favourite florist's flower, the Ranunculus has fallen
greatly out of favour, and there are now few named sorts grown. It is,
however, well worth growing for its beauty as a garden flower and also
for cutting. A bowl of pure white Ranunculi with the foliage of
Heuchera Richardsoni, or some other dark-leaved plant, is a charming
thing, and many equal beautiful effects can easily be produced. The
florist's Ranunculus was derived from R. asiaticus, and there are
flowers of almost all colours among the double varieties which have
been raised. A good strain of mixed Ranunculuses will produce many good
flowers at a small expense. The principal forms now grown are the
Turban or Turkish and the Persian, which are varied in their colours.
Those named R. asiaticus superbus are large and showy, if a little
coarse to those accustomed to the more refined flowers of the others.
They can be grown in an ordinary border well manured, and can be
planted from October to February. In planting choose a dry day, and
keep the crowns two inches below the surface. Care must be taken to
keep the crown up, and to cover this with a little sand after planting.
Cover with some litter in winter, and water freely when coming into
bloom. Lift when the foliage becomes yellow, and dry off in a cool and
airy place, storing the tubers in dry sand.

There are a few other tuberous-rooted species of Ranunculus worth
growing in the garden. Of these the best are the double form of the
native R. bulbosa which has yellow flowers; R. chærophyllus, yellow; R.
monspeliacus, yellow; and R. millefoliatus grandiflorus, the same
colour. These are easily grown in the border in ordinary soil.


ROMULEAS

Romuleas are remarkably pretty little bulbs with Crocus-like flowers,
from March to July, and grassy leaves. They require warm, sunny spots
on rockwork, and in cold localities should be grown in a frame. They
like sandy soil. Among the best and hardiest are R. Bulbocodium, with
blue and yellow flowers. The variety pylium is even prettier. Columnæ
is pretty with its white flowers. Clusii, lavender, and speciosa, rosy
violet, are both pretty. Plant in autumn two inches deep, and protect
in winter.


SANGUINARIAS

S. canadensis, the only species, is a pretty little plant, known as the
Bloodroot, Red Puccoon, or Red Indian Paint, and perfectly hardy. It
has white flowers with a yellow centre in April, and the leaves are not
fully developed until after the flowers. It likes a rich moist soil,
but can be grown in the border. The best form is grandiflora, and the
one called multipetala has many narrow petals. There is said to be a
pinkish form.


STERNBERGIAS

The Sternbergias are handsome autumn flowers with blooms like a
glorified yellow Crocus, which appear before the leaves. The best for
the open air is S. lutea angustifolia, a narrow-leaved variety of the
common lutea. Others of much beauty are fischeriana and macrantha, the
latter having very large flowers. In order to make them flower they
need a dry, sunny position in soil with limestone or lime rubbish. They
should be planted in summer about two inches deep.


SCHIZOSTYLIS COCCINEA

The Kaffir Lily is a valuable late blooming plant in a warm, sunny
border, where it blooms in autumn, when its bright scarlet flowers in
long spikes are much appreciated. Although it likes a warm position, it
must not suffer from drought in its growing period. Plant in spring
about three inches deep. It makes a good pot plant for a cool house.


TECOPHILÆAS

The beautiful little Tecophilæas are quite hardy in light soils, but
are, because of their scarcity, usually grown in frames or in pots in
greenhouses. They have pretty Crocus-like flowers of blue and white,
and should be planted in rich, light soil in a sunny position,
well-sheltered from wind, or in a frame. Slugs are very partial to
them, and must be carefully guarded against. The leading species are
cyano-crocus and violæflora.


TRILLIUMS

The Trilliums, or Trinity Flowers, are very ornamental plants, and are
so distinct in form that they please everyone. They like shade and a
moist peaty soil. Grandiflorum is a general favourite, with its large
flowers of pure white. There is also a rose-coloured form named
grandiflorum roseum. Even finer than grandiflorum is sessile var.
californicum, which is considerably taller, and has fine white flowers,
those of the typical sessile being purple. Cernuum, erectum, erectum
album, nivale, petiolatum, recurvatum, and stylosum are all pretty, the
last being the latest to bloom, and well worth growing. Plant in autumn
or spring, with the crown one or two inches below the surface of the
soil.



CHAPTER XI

HARDY BULBS

Tulips--Zephyranthes


TULIPS

It is a matter for regret that the true beauty of the Tulip has been so
long obscured by the manner of its planting in stiff lines or beds,
where the flowers stood in almost regimental array, with little but
their own foliage to tone down the superfluous brilliancy of the mass
of colour. It is emphatically a flower which requires association with
other plants to show its true value. Grown in bold clumps in the mixed
border, or in irregular groups among the rougher grass, it gives a much
better effect. Individually, the Tulips are very beautiful, and their
value in pots is of a high degree. Of course those who grow the English
florist's Tulip ought to continue to grow them in beds and in lines, so
that they can be protected from frost and shaded readily from strong
sunshine. For ordinary gardens, however, an informal grouping will be
the most satisfactory and pleasing. The species are very varied in
their character, and many of the dwarfer are delightful rock-garden
plants. A good, loamy soil is suitable for all classes of Tulips, but
where it is heavy a little coarse sand may be placed about the bulb. It
is well to plant comparatively early, from the beginning of October to
the end of November being the most suitable time. In gardens subject to
late frosts, it is better to plant in November than in the earlier
month. Three or four inches is the depth generally recommended, but on
light soil an additional inch may be given. Six inches apart is a good
distance at which to plant the bulbs for ordinary effect. The English
florist's Tulip ought to have a good loamy soil, the bulbs being
planted three inches deep and four apart in lines. The end of October
to the middle of November is the best time, but the bulbs should never
be planted unless the soil is in a good working condition. Some litter
should be put over the beds in severe frosts, and an awning erected
over them at the blooming-time to preserve the flowers from rain and
strong sun. There are a number of details connected with the florist's
Tulip and its cultivation which cannot be given in the space of this
work, but Mr Bentley's little pamphlet, entitled "The English Tulip,"
will give all necessary information not to be found here. The florist's
Tulip can be grown in a border, but its effect there is not so good as
that of some of the self-coloured flowers.

The early Tulips are the most prized for pot-culture, but the others
may be used also, although not generally so amenable to forcing. They
should be planted at the rate of from three to five bulbs in a
five-inch pot, according to the size of the bulbs. After planting, the
pots should be plunged in ashes or cocoa-fibre until they have made
root-growth, when they may be brought in as required and subjected to
gentle forcing. Watering must be carefully attended to at this time.
When a number of flowers are required for jardinettes, etc., the Tulips
may be grown closely together in boxes. When they show colour, they may
be lifted with roots intact, and planted in moss in the receptacles in
which they are required.

[Illustration: TULIPS CARPETED BY ARABIS]

The most valuable Tulips for early work are the early Dutch varieties,
many of which are very beautiful and embrace much variety of colour.
The varieties of Duc Van Thol and Pottebakker are largely used for
early bloom, but other good varieties are Bacchus, Canary Bird,
Keizerskroon, Mon Tresor, and Proserpine. Following these are the
popular Artus, Cottage Maid, Crimson King, and many others. As,
however, almost all the bulb-dealers give the blooming periods in their
lists, it would only take up space unnecessarily to detail them. A
special selection of the best for pot work or for forcing would include
such varieties as the Duc Van Thols, Couleur de Cardinal, Globe de
Rigaut, Keizerskroon, the Pottebakkers, Royal Standard, and Samson, all
reliable bloomers where they are properly cultivated.

Double Tulips last a little longer in bloom, but they do not lend
themselves so well to the decoration of the garden, and many people do
not care for their rather heavy-looking blooms. Good varieties for pots
and forcing are Artus, Brutus, Duchess of Parma, Proserpine, Rose
tendre, Thomas Moore, and Van der Neer. For bedding there are Cramoisie
superbe, La Candeur, Murillo, Rex Rubrorum, and Titian, besides a
number more. Variegated leaved Tulips are pretty in beds, even before
the blooming time, but they are not much grown in this country.

The "Cottage Garden" Tulips grow yearly in favour, and they deserve it
because of their beauty and their general hardiness, which enables the
greater number to be permanent border flowers. There are a great many
of much beauty, and a brief selection is necessarily incomplete. It
includes the curious acuminata, Didieri, elegans, Faerie Queen, flava,
Gala Beauty, gesneriana, Golden Beauty, Golden Crown, ixioides,
macrospila, maculata, Picotee, retroflexa, sylvestris major, vitellina,
and York and Lancaster.

The beautiful species of wild Tulips give much variety, and among the
desirable plants may be named Batalini, biflora, clusiana, Greigi,
kolpakowskiana, Korolkowi bicolor, Leichtlini, linifolia, ostrowskyana,
persica, præcox, Sprengeri, and violacea. Many of these are capital for
the rock-garden.

The Parrot Tulips are also showy in the rock-garden or for hanging
baskets, where the large, fantastic flowers droop over and look very
curious with their strange colouring and laciniated petals. They are
rather unreliable bloomers.

The Darwin Tulips are very effective and beautiful flowers. They belong
to the breeder class of the florist's Tulips, but are of a strain with
more brilliant self-colours than the ordinary breeders. They are good
growers, and promise to do well as border flowers.

The English florist's Tulip, while very fascinating in its way, is not
of so much value for the garden as the self-coloured forms, and there
are a good many details to be followed by those who wish to cultivate
it as it deserves. These will be found in Mr Bentley's work, already
mentioned. These English Tulips are divided into three classes with
rectified or variegated blooms, as well as another, which consists of
what are known as "Breeders," which, like the others, have a stainless
base, but have not developed the markings of the other classes.
Bizarres have a yellow ground and yellow base, of various shades, with
orange, scarlet, crimson, black, or brown markings on the ground;
Bybloemens have a white base and ground, the latter being marked with
black, violet, purple, and lilac to lavender; while the Roses, which
have a white base and ground, have the markings of pink, rose, scarlet
or crimson.


ZEPHYRANTHES

Zephyranthes, or Amaryllis Candida is the only really hardy member of
this genus in British gardens which are not specially favoured with a
mild climate, and it will seldom prove a permanent success unless
planted in dry soil in front of a greenhouse or stove and exposed to
the sun. It has beautiful white flowers in autumn, and should be
planted about three inches deep in spring.



CHAPTER XII

HALF-HARDY BULBS

Acidantheras--Albucas--Alstroemerias--Androstephiums--Besseras--
Boussingaultias--Bravoas--Cypellas--Dahlias--Galaxias--Geissorhizas
and Hesperanthas


ACIDANTHERAS

The only species of Acidanthera which has been introduced hardy enough
to be classed with half-hardy bulbs is A. bicolor, a pretty plant with
spikes of whitish flowers with the lower segments spotted purple. It
may be grown outside in a warm border if treated like a half-hardy
Gladiolus, or better, under glass as recommended for the Ixia.


ALBUCAS

Only a few of the Albucas, which come near to the Ornithogalums,
deserve cultivation; these can be grown outside in warm districts
alone, on a raised bed of rather light soil, in a sunny position,
protected in winter by a layer of litter. They are, however, better in
the greenhouse or frame. Aurea, yellow; fastigiata, white; and Nelsoni,
white, are the best in cultivation. They bloom in summer, and may be
planted three inches deep in autumn.


ALSTROEMERIAS

Apart from the hardier Alstroemerias, which may also advantageously
be grown in frames or in cold greenhouses, there are several others
which are pleasing occupants of frames and cool greenhouses, from which
severe frosts are excluded. The least hardy of all is A. caryophyllæa,
which should always have a little heat, and does best in a warm
greenhouse or stove. Eminently suitable for the frame or the greenhouse
without heat are the charming pelegrina, white or yellow, striped with
rose, and with a yellow spot on its segments; and its white variety,
alba, a lovely thing. Then there are Errembaultii, a pretty hybrid,
white, spotted purple; pulchra, purple, white, and yellow, with red
spots, and brasiliensis, with its reddish yellow flowers spotted with
brown. At one time these were more grown, and a renewed demand would
bring many other species into cultivation. A light rich soil is
suitable for all, with plenty of water while growing but very little
afterwards.


ANDROSTEPHIUMS

These are pretty bulbous plants resembling the Brodiæas, and hardy if
planted six or seven inches deep, but better grown in a frame. They
like a sunny position and a light soil. The species are breviflorum and
violaceum.


BESSERAS

Few people know the Bessera, which is a pretty little bulbous plant
from Mexico, bearing some resemblance to the Scillas, but having bright
scarlet or scarlet and white flowers. It grows from one and a half to
two feet high, and may be treated similarly to the Babianas. It is one
of the many half-hardy bulbs which might be more widely cultivated with
advantage.


BOUSSINGAULTIAS

B. baselloides is a rather pretty trailing plant which gives clusters
of white flowers in late autumn. In a few districts it is hardy, but it
ought usually to have the protection of a frame in winter, or to have
its tuberous roots stored in sand until spring, when it may be planted
about three inches deep. It likes a rich, but light soil.


BRAVOAS

Bravoa geminiflora, the only one of the three species in cultivation,
is hardy in warm places in the south, but for most gardens its proper
treatment is that of a frame bulb. It has beautiful orange-red,
drooping flowers in July, on stems from one and a half to two feet
high. It likes a light, sandy soil, and may be planted about three
inches deep in autumn.


CYPELLAS

These are pretty plants allied to the Iris, and well suited for growing
in pots in the greenhouse as well as for frame cultivation. They may
also be planted out in spring, and lifted in autumn and potted. They
like a light, sandy soil, and may be planted two inches deep in pots,
or three inches if in a frame. In the latter it is well to give them a
little covering in frosty weather. They may be raised from seeds or
increased by offsets. Cypellas grow from one to three feet high. The
most desirable are Herberti, yellow; peruviana, yellow, spotted
red-brown; and plumbea (syn. Pohlia platensis), lead-coloured, with a
tinge of yellow in the centre.


DAHLIAS

The Dahlia is too extensive a subject to permit of its being fully
considered in the limits of this work, but, without entering upon
particulars regarding the various sections and varieties of the flower,
it may be helpful to give a few broad cultural details for the benefit
of those who grow the flower to a limited extent. It is a plant which
must have generous treatment, and to give this it is essential that the
ground should be deeply prepared by digging, and thoroughly manured
with well-decayed manure. The plants may be put out as soon as danger
from severe frost is past, and they should be allowed plenty of room.
For exhibition purposes from five to six feet apart will be found a
suitable distance. The plants should be staked immediately, and covered
at nights when there is a prospect of a cold night occurring. Pots
filled with moss or hay may be placed on the top of the stakes and
examined regularly for earwigs. When the plants begin to make growth,
the soil ought to be well mulched with half-rotted manure. Watering
should never be neglected, and as the plants grow they must be properly
tied to the stakes. Thinning and disbudding are necessary to secure the
largest possible blooms for exhibition flowers. These may also require
to be shaded and protected from bad weather. When the plants are
destroyed by frost in autumn, they may be cut down to within six inches
of the surface of the soil, and, after leaving them in the ground for a
few days, lifted and stored out of the reach of frost. Dahlias are
propagated by seeds, division of the tubers, and by cuttings, the two
last being the only way of propagating named varieties. Seeds are sown
in pans or pots in March under glass. When the young plants can be
handled, prick them out into small pots and grow under glass until
large enough to plant out in the beds. Old tubers may be divided if a
portion of the crown with an eye or bud is attached to each piece.
These must be put into small pots and grown on for a short time.
Cuttings are easily struck from February to August. In spring the old
tubers are placed in heat with the crowns above the soil, and the
shoots taken off when about three inches long, and struck in heat in
single pots of light soil. Cuttings taken off in summer and rooted in
small pots, form good "pot roots" for planting out in spring.


GALAXIAS

Few people grow these pretty little bulbous plants, which do well in a
frame with some protection in winter, although, perhaps, even better in
pots in a cool greenhouse. They bloom in May, the clusters of flowers
being almost stemless. Graminea has yellow flowers, and the other
species, ovata, has purple-violet blooms. They belong to the Irids. A
sandy peat is the soil they prefer.


GEISSORHIZAS AND HESPERANTHAS

These are closely related to each other, and require practically the
same cultural treatment. The Geissorhiza is a pretty little plant, but
both it and the Hesperantha seem a little more tender than the Ixia and
do best with greenhouse treatment. They may be potted and grown in the
way recommended for Ixias under glass. Both have loose spikes of
flowers. They bloom in May or June.

Practically the only Geissorhiza grown in Britain is G. rochensis,
a charming thing, with Tyrian blue flowers with crimson blotches,
but alba, white; and violacea, light blue, are also procurable;
while a demand for them would probably bring out humilis, yellow;
purpureolutea, purple-black and yellow; secunda, red, rose, and
white, with a number of others from South Africa.

The Hesperanthas are even less grown, but one may meet with graminea
and pumila, white, and pilosa, rose, out of the twenty-six or so
species known. Their drawback is that they flower in the evening.



CHAPTER XIII

HALF-HARDY BULBS

Gladioli--Ixias--Sparaxises--Babianas--Morphixias--Tritonias


GLADIOLI

Although there are some districts in which the greater number of the
Gladioli may be grown as hardy bulbs and left in the same position for
years without removal, in the vast majority of British gardens they are
more satisfactorily treated as half-hardy, and are lifted and replanted
annually. They are less liable to disease, and less apt to be injured
by frost in severe winters. Those, however, who wish to establish them
permanently, will do well to plant rather deeper than is usually
recommended--say, eight inches from the crowns to the surface of the
soil.

The general cultivation of Gladioli is very simple. They may be grown
well in any good loam, enriched in autumn by a supply of properly
rotted animal manure being dug in deeply. In the case of the pretty
early-flowering Gladioli, which are often satisfactory when permanently
planted, they are put into the ground in late autumn, and protected
with a layer of two inches of dry litter or cocoa-nut fibre. The
greater number of the species, like the exquisite hybrid Gladioli, may
be planted in April or early May. The corms should be about six inches
deep, and are best planted by means of a trowel to form the holes,
unless the soil has become too solid, in which case it ought to be
forked over before planting the corms. For exhibition they may be
planted about six inches apart, but for border decoration they look
well in groups of three or five at a closer distance. Many charming
effects may also be produced by planting Gladioli in beds, with a
groundwork formed by a low plant of contrasting or harmonising colours.
Other good effects may also be made by arranging them with other tall
flowers. Gladioli should be staked early, and it is desirable to put in
sticks when the corms are planted, unless they are in a position where
the long stakes will look unsightly. In this case short sticks may be
placed where the proper stakes are afterwards to go, so as to avoid
injuring the corms when inserting these. They should be timeously
secured with roffia or other soft material. Spikes of bloom intended
for exhibition ought to be shaded and protected from the weather by a
glass fronted box, with the lower portion of the glass shaded by
whitening or canvas as the lower blooms open. When the leaves become
yellow the corms may be lifted and, after drying slightly in a cool
airy place, be stored free from frost until planting time.

The leading section of Gladioli is that formed by the gandavensis
varieties, charming hybrids, which through a long period have been
constantly improved until their almost perfect flowers have been
produced. Even the best of the present day are being gradually
superseded by novelties, and a selection of a few would only
mislead. Named varieties procured from reliable firms will all give
satisfaction, and seedlings of great beauty can be bought at a moderate
price, and will often give flowers suitable even for exhibition. The
scarlet G. brenchleyensis is indispensable for garden decoration.

The Lemoinei section, from G. purpureo-auratus and gandavensis
varieties, is also very important, though it is not so perfect in form
as the gandavensis flower. These Lemoinei varieties are characterised
by fine blotches on some of the segments. They are slightly hardier
than the preceding. These are still being much improved.

The nanceianus section comprises a number of very showy flowers,
particularly suited for garden decoration or for cutting for large
vases. The plants are tall, and the blooms are of great size. The
Childsii varieties are also very effective plants in the garden, and
are of fine colours. Several new hybrids are at present in course of
improvement and will, in time, add much to the beauty of our gardens.

The species are not much grown, but there will be found among them a
number of very pretty plants, which only await a demand to be readily
obtainable. I have only space to refer to such as alatus, cardinalis,
galeatus, hirsutus, dracocephalus, præcox, ringens, Saundersii,
psittacinus, purpureo-auratus, and tristis, as all being interesting
and not devoid of beauty of their own.

The hybrid Gladioli, as well as the species, make good pot plants which
may be treated in a similar way to such bulbs as Hyacinths. Named
varieties are propagated by offsets, by division of the corms, each
portion having an eye attached, and by "spawn," the cormlets at the
base of the corms which are grown on until they reach flowering size.
Gladioli are also raised from seeds, sown in pans, or in the open
ground in spring.


IXIAS, SPARAXISES, BABIANAS, MORPHIXIAS, AND TRITONIAS

For convenience of treatment, these pretty and useful bulbs may well be
grouped together. They are possessed of brilliant colouring, and few
things are prettier or attract more attention than beds of these
flowers. They are also lovely pot plants, and can be well grown in the
cool greenhouse or conservatory. In some places they are hardy and may
be left without much attention, but, as a general rule, they need the
little care now recommended to bring them to perfection. For their
cultivation, a bed with a south aspect, of rich, light loam, raised six
inches above the level of the garden, is to be preferred, special care
being taken that the drainage is perfect. The bulbs should be planted
from October to January, at a depth of from three to four inches, and
about three inches apart. If the foliage does not appear until spring,
a little dry litter is all the protection required, but should it
pierce through the soil earlier, a mat or two may be placed over the
bed in frosty weather. When the foliage dies down after flowering, the
bulbs may be lifted and dried off. For pot work, from five to six bulbs
are enough for a five-inch pot, and loam, leaf-mould, and silver sand
form a good compost. The best time to plant in pots is from September
to December, and the soil should be slightly moist, but not so wet as
to be adhesive. After making the compost firm about the bulbs, place
the pots, plunged in cocoa-fibre or ashes, in a cold frame until the
plants appear, when water may be given very moderately, and the lights
kept off in all favourable weather. When the plants have made some
growth, remove the pots to the greenhouse or conservatory, keeping them
near the glass and giving a sufficiency of water.

The Ixia, or African Corn Lily, is a charming plant, with long racemes
of brilliantly coloured flowers, whose dark centres add much to their
beauty. Mixed varieties can be bought very cheaply, and will give many
beautiful flowers. Bulb dealers also offer named collections at
moderate prices. Azurea, blue; Beauty of Norfolk, yellow; Conqueror,
yellow; crateroides, bright scarlet, and a capital thing; Donnatello,
scarlet; erubescens major, rose-carmine; Excelsior, crimson-scarlet;
magnificum, yellow; nitens, magenta; Queen of Roses, rose; viridiflora,
a charming thing, with sea-green black-centred flowers; and White
Queen, pure white, with crimson centre, are all desirable. Morphixias
are now included by botanists with the Ixia. They bloom rather later.
The varieties of paniculata should be grown. Sparaxises are equally
beautiful, but are of dwarfer habit. Among the most useful is S.
tricolor, which has scarlet flowers with a yellow centre. The others
are not so much grown under name as formerly, as mixed varieties are
cheaper, and give good flowers. Fire King is bright with its scarlet
and black flowers, with a yellow centre, and Angelique, white;
Garibaldi, crimson; Lady Carey, white, blotched purple; maculata,
white, purple, and primrose; Queen Victoria, white, yellow, and black,
are all good.

Babianas are also very beautiful with their dwarf habit, plaited
hirsute leaves, and their self-coloured or strongly contrasted flowers.
Apart from the species, of which there are upwards of twenty, there are
a number of named varieties. Atro-cyanea, purple-blue and white; and
rubro-cyanea, blue and crimson, are both varieties of B. stricta.
Others worth growing are:--Attraction, blue; General Scott, lavender;
Hellas, yellow; Julia, white and blue; speciosa, mauve; and villosa,
blue. The plant called S. pulcherrima is Dierama pulcherrimum, which is
named among hardy bulbs.

The Tritonias now include Montbretia Pottsii, but the plants, forms of
T. crocata, generally known in gardens by the former name, more
resemble the Sparaxis in their habit than the popular Montbretia of
modern times. They are grown like the Ixia, but are rather more tender,
and do best if kept indoors in winter. They bloom later than the
Sparaxis, and differ in their leading colours, these being buff, rose,
salmon, and orange. Good forms and varieties are amoena, yellow;
Bella, blush; crocata, bright orange; elegans, orange-cerise; Eleonore,
buff; and speciosa, orange-scarlet. Mixed varieties can be bought
cheaply.



CHAPTER XIV

HALF-HARDY BULBS

Ixiolirions--Moræas--Ornithogalums--Oxalises--Phædranassas--Pancratiums
--Tigridias--Zephyranthes--Cooperias


IXIOLIRIONS

Few people seem to grow the Ixiolirions, which are pretty summer
blooming bulbs with umbels of lilac or blue flowers on stems about a
foot high. This is unfortunate, as they are of pleasing appearance,
though it is to be regretted that they are among those troublesome
bulbs which are almost hardy, yet not absolutely to be depended upon in
our climate. If planted in the open, this ought to be done in spring,
and the bulbs lifted in autumn, and stored in dry sand, but it is more
satisfactory to grow them in a frame or cool greenhouse in pots of
loam, leaf-soil, and sand. There are two species--montanum and
kolpakowskianum, the latter having a smaller bulb and shorter segments.
The variety tataricum is considered a separate species by some
botanists.


MORÆAS

Moræas are charming plants resembling the Irises, and are of bright
colours, and generally very fragrant. They should either be grown in a
frame with some winter protection, or in a cool greenhouse or
conservatory planted out in rather sandy soil or in pots. Out of some
sixty species, there are few not worth growing, but corms of only a
limited number are purchasable in the ordinary course, and the best of
these are named as a guide. They are often found about six inches high,
but frequently grow much taller. Edulis has bluish-white flowers;
iridioides, white, spotted yellow; papilionacea, pale-blue, spotted
dark-blue; spathacea (syn. Dietes Huttoni), yellow; and tricuspis,
greyish yellow and brown. Robinsoniana, also called Iris robinsoniana,
needs a greenhouse, and has white flowers and handsome leaves with the
habit of Phormium tenax. The genus now includes the Vieusseuxias and
Dietes, which are sub-genera.


ORNITHOGALUMS

It is singular that the half-hardy Ornithogalums are so little grown,
as they are very easily managed in a frame or unheated greenhouse, and
will even do in a warm border in the south. They like a light soil and
a sunny position, and to be well ripened after flowering. The prettiest
of the half-hardy species are O. aureum, yellow; O. arabicum, white
with almost black centres, a very effective plant; and the pure white
O. revolutum They may be planted about three inches deep.


OXALISES

The tender Oxalises or Wood-Sorrels, are deserving of more attention
from those who have sunny frames or unheated greenhouses, or even a
sunny window, where these flowers can open, for all are sun-lovers.
They like a light, rather sandy soil and may be planted in autumn or
early spring about two inches deep. They are too numerous to detail,
but I may name the following as all worth growing, although the list
might be considerably extended. Arenaria, violet-purple; articulata,
mauve; Barrelieri, yellow; elegans, purple; hirta, red; valdiviensis,
yellow; variabilis, white or red; and versicolor, white and red. Those
named among the hardy bulbs can also be grown under glass.

[Illustration: LILIUM AURATUM]


PHÆDRANASSAS

Although generally grown as greenhouse bulbs, the Phædranassas, or
Queen Lilies, may be grown in mild districts as frame bulbs, by
cultivating them in rather heavy soil, keeping them as dry as possible
in winter, and covering the glass of the frame with some canvas or a
mat. Some succeed with them in the open, but they there need a position
below a south wall and to have some protection in times of severe
frost. They are also suitable plants for the greenhouse, where they can
be grown in pots and rested in winter. They have umbels of pretty,
reflexed flowers, and grow about one and a half feet high. The most
suitable for frame cultivation are chloracea, yellow, and
sweet-scented; schizantha, vermilion, yellow, and green; and
ventricosa, yellow. They may be planted in spring about five inches
deep in a frame, or six inches if in the open.


PANCRATIUMS

Although the two Pancratiums named below are hardy in the milder parts
of these islands, it is more prudent to treat them as plants which need
frame cultivation throughout the greater portion of Britain. A warm,
sunny border under a south wall is the place for them in the open
garden, and in frames it is desirable to give them a similar position.
They should be planted with the neck about a foot deep in the open and
two or three inches less when in a frame. They belong to the Amaryllis
family and have charming white flowers. The hardiest and most easily
grown is P. illyricum, but P. maritimun has finer flowers. They like a
light soil, and plenty of water while in growth.


TIGRIDIAS

Tigridias are among the most brilliant of summer bulbous plants, but
though they have been established in some southern gardens, they are
not generally hardy in Britain. The greater number in cultivation are
varieties of T. Pavonia (syn. grandiflora) and these are very
beautiful, their only fault being the short time the flowers last. The
type has scarlet petals and a yellow, crimson-spotted cup, but there
are a number of varieties ranging from white, through almost rose to
lilac, pale yellow and orange yellow. Immaculata alba, Immaculata
lutea, and the new "Nankin" are among the latest introduced. Van
Houttei (Hydrotænia Van Houttei) has brown and yellow flowers and is
rather more delicate, and should have a frame or greenhouse. Violacea
and Pringlei should have similar treatment. All may be potted and grown
in a greenhouse if desired. Plant in April or May.


ZEPHYRANTHES

Reference has already been made to Z. Candida among hardy bulbs. A few
others may now be mentioned for frame or cold greenhouse cultivation.
These are strangely neglected by amateurs, as their pretty crocus-like
flowers are exquisitely beautiful when open. Generally speaking, I
should recommend their being grown in pots in the greenhouse, where
they can have a sunny position near the glass. The best of those known
for the frame or cold greenhouse are Andersoni, which grows about four
inches high, and has yellow or coppery flowers about May; Atamasco,
white, tinted pink, grows about nine inches high, and blooms about the
same time; carinata, rose, about one foot high, and flowering in May;
gracilifolia, about a foot and a half high and blooming about January;
rosea, six inches high and flowering in May; and versicolor, rose and
white, about six inches high. These Zephyranthes like a turfy loam with
a little sand and well decayed manure or peat. They are propagated by
offsets and should be repotted occasionally. The night-blooming
Cooperias require similar cultivation.



CHAPTER XV

GREENHOUSE AND STOVE BULBS

Achimenes--Alocasias--Amorphophalluses--Arisæmas--Arums--Begonias--
Bomareas--Caladiums


ACHIMENES

The charming Achimenes is not so much grown as formerly, but it might
well become more popular among those who have a warm greenhouse or
stove in which to start the tubers, as before coming into bloom they
may be taken into the conservatory, where their bright flowers will be
much admired in pots, pans, or baskets. They may be planted in equal
parts of peat and fibrous loam, with a small proportion of manure, from
about the beginning of February until the end of April. They can either
be started in the receptacle in which they are to flower or
transplanted when an inch or two high, the latter being preferable. A
night temperature of about sixty degrees is required, and they should
have plenty of water and be regularly syringed to keep off red spider.
The points may be taken out to make the plants more bushy. When they
come into bloom they should be removed to the greenhouse or
conservatory; while in bloom syringing should be suspended. Partial
shade is also advisable. Withhold water gradually after flowering, and
when the leaves are yellow place the pots in a dry place in a moderate
temperature, leaving the tubers undisturbed until they are wanted for
starting. There are many varieties, and mixed sorts can be purchased at
a low rate.


ALOCASIAS

These magnificent stove plants are much admired for their handsome,
often variegated, leaves, and for their striking appearance. They like
a compost of sandy loam and fibrous peat in lumps, with some sphagnum
and small pieces of charcoal, keeping the soil and bulbs a little above
the top of the pots, with a surfacing of cocoa-fibre or sphagnum. The
pots can hardly be over-drained, and from a half to two-thirds full of
broken crocks is a good proportion of drainage. They require a moist
atmosphere and plenty of water while growing; a summer temperature of
seventy-five to eighty-five degrees and a winter one of sixty to
sixty-five degrees are suitable. A little liquid manure may be given at
intervals. They are increased by division of the stem or rhizome, or by
seeds. The following selection comprises some of the finest
grown:--Chelsonii, cuprea, metallica, hybrida, Jenningsii, Johnstoni,
macrorhiza variegata, scabriuscula, Sedenii, thibautiana, and zebrina.


AMORPHOPHALLUSES

These are singular stove plants, allied to the Arums, but of most value
for sub-tropical bedding. They must be kept dry and in a warm place in
winter, and started in a moist atmosphere and a temperature of from
fifty-five to seventy degrees. They are never likely to become popular
for ordinary gardens, so that details would be unnecessary here.
Campanulatus, Lacouri, Rivieri, and Titanum are the best known species.


ARISÆMAS

These singular, but not showy plants, require somewhat similar
cultivation to the Arums, and may be grown in any heated greenhouse in
rather light but rich soil. They should have plenty of water while
growing. The best species are concinnum, about two feet high; curvatum,
about four feet high, and both flowering in June; also galeatum,
Griffithi, nepenthoides, and speciosa.


ARUMS

The greenhouse and stove Arums thrive in a warm, moist temperature, and
are curiously interesting as well as worthy of being admired for the
beauty of their foliage. Rich loam, a little sand, and some thoroughly
rotted manure will grow them well. After flowering they may have the
supply of water restricted so as to keep them at rest until spring,
when they start into growth again. Among the most useful of the
greenhouse species are sanctum or palæstinum, spectabile (half-hardy),
and spirale.


BEGONIAS

The great genus Begonia would, as regards even the tuberous or
rhizotamous-rooted species alone, take up too much space, so that this
brief reference must principally deal with the cultivation of the
hybrid Begonias, which are for most gardens the most valuable of all.
They are standing witnesses to the powers of the skilful hybridiser,
and the perfection to which they have been brought makes any words of
praise superfluous. Their value in the garden or under glass is
self-evident.

[Illustration: LILIUM CANDIDUM]

The Begonia may be readily raised from seeds sown in January or
February in a house with a temperature of about seventy degrees, and in
pots or pans of fine, light soil. Some sow the seeds before watering,
and then water with a fine rose; while others water before sowing and
cover the seeds slightly with fine soil, covering the pans with a sheet
of glass. After germination watering must be carefully attended to, and
many have the best results from plunging the pans in water until it
begins to rise through the surface. As soon as possible the young
plants must be pricked off in a little heavier, but still free soil,
and grown on until fit to put into small pots before transferring to
larger ones. If properly grown they will bloom well the first year.
Begonias are also propagated by division of the tubers, like potatoes;
by cuttings stuck in pots in a bottom heat of about seventy degrees;
and by leaf-cuttings on cocoa-fibre or sand.

They like a rich, but not heavy soil, either when in pots or when
bedded out, and in the latter position, they should not have too dry a
border or bed, and should be freely supplied with water in dry weather.
The tubers must be lifted when frost cuts down the foliage and stored
away in dry sand, although larger tubers may be stored without the sand
if kept free from frost also. They ought to be started in a little heat
before planting out, which may be done when the days and nights are
warm, according to the district in which the garden lies. The growing
of named tuberous Begonias is on the decrease, as so many excellent
single or double flowered plants can be raised from seed of a good
strain.


BOMAREAS

The Bomareas are among the most ornamental of our greenhouse climbers,
but are less grown than their beauty deserves. They are allied to the
Alstroemerias, but are of climbing habit. They do best when planted
out in the warm greenhouse or stove, but may also be grown in pots.
They should have a compost of peat, sand, loam, and leaf-mould, and
when in growth ought to have plenty of water, occasionally giving them
some liquid manure. They can be grown from seeds or by division of the
stems. Perhaps the following are as good as any in cultivation:--

B. Carderi, which has handsome rose-coloured flowers spotted with
brown; oligantha, red and yellow; Shuttleworthi, vermilion, yellow,
red, and green. Edulis has been longest grown, and has rose flowers
tipped with green; the hardiest species is probably B. salsilla, with
purple and green flowers. This is hardy in a few districts when other
conditions are favourable.


CALADIUMS

Caladiums are among the most useful of stove perennial plants, and
their adaptability to growing for table and room decoration adds much
to their general value. The beauty of form and the fine colouring of
their foliage place them high in the ranks of stove plants. A capital
compost is made of turfy loam, turfy peat, and leaf-soil in equal
parts, with a little well-rotted manure and some sharp sand. In March
or earlier, if they have been long at rest, the tubers are started into
growth in a temperature of not less than 60 degrees; when they have
made growth, they may be placed in five or six inch pots, and the
supply of water gradually increased until it is given freely, with
alternate waterings of some liquid manure. They should be kept growing
in a high temperature, and then hardened-off in a cooler part of the
building preparatory to their removal to the conservatory. When the
leaves begin to grow yellow, gradually decrease the water supply, and
store for the winter in a temperature of not less than sixty degrees.
Do not allow them to become entirely dry. A large number of hybrid
Caladiums have been raised, and these, which will be found in the
catalogues of leading nurserymen, have almost driven the original
species out of cultivation.



CHAPTER XVI

GREENHOUSE AND STOVE BULBS

Clivias--Colocasias--Crinums--Cyclamens--Cyrtanthuses--Eucharises and
Urceocharis--Eurycles


CLIVIAS (_syn._ IMANTOPHYLLUM)

The Clivias and Imantophyllums were formerly kept distinct, but are now
combined by botanists, the name Imantophyllum being retained as that of
a sub-genus. Both have long leaves in opposite rows and umbels of
flowers, which are of various shades of yellow, orange, or scarlet. C.
nobilis grows about a foot high, and has bright red-yellow flowers.
Gardneri has fewer flowers (twelve to twenty in the umbel). Miniata is
the only species belonging to the sub-genus Imantophyllum, and
seedlings, or hybrids between it and the other species, have been
obtained in considerable numbers. The catalogues of leading bulb
dealers may be consulted for the varieties now in commerce. All are
ornamental in pots or planted out in beds or borders in airy houses,
with a temperature of from fifty to sixty degrees. In spring and summer
they should have plenty of water, both at the roots and applied by
means of the syringe. A rather lower temperature and less water are
desirable in spring. They should have a soil composed of good fibry
loam and peat in the proportion of about three of the former to one of
the latter, with a little charcoal, bone-meal, and silver sand. C.
miniata flowers in spring and summer, and the other species in winter
and spring.


COLOCASIAS

The Colocasias are very ornamental plants with large handsome leaves,
and are related to and require the same culture as the Caladiums. There
is considerable confusion in the nomenclature of these plants in gardens,
and Caladiums are sometimes found named Alocasias or Colocasias, and
_vice versa_. The principal species are antiquorum; its variety,
esculentum (syn. Caladium esculentem), sometimes used in the south for
sub-tropical effect, being planted out in June, and freely supplied
with water; and odorata.


CRINUMS

We have already referred to the hardy Crinums, but this work would be
imperfect without a few details about the stove species, among which
are some plants of the highest types of floral beauty. These should
have a good soil of fibrous loam, peat, a little sand, and charcoal to
keep the compost sweet, as the plants require plenty of water while
growing, C. campanulatum and C. purpurascens especially requiring this,
as they do best standing in a pan of water. They are also greatly
benefited by syringing overhead. After the flowering period is over
water may be reduced. They need large pots or tubs, as they form fleshy
roots which should be as little disturbed as possible. There are so
many Crinums, that a short selection of well-proved, good species
suitable for the stove is necessary. These are--amabile, three feet,
red; asiaticum, two feet, white; campanulatum, one foot, red-purple;
giganteum, three feet, white; Kirkii, one and a half feet, white,
striped red; Macowani, two feet, pink; purpurascens, one foot,
claret-red; and zeylanicum, three feet, white, striped red.


CYCLAMENS

The varieties of Cyclamen latifolium, or persicum, a plant which has
yielded under cultivation so many beautiful flowers, are general
favourites, and are so easy to cultivate that they are largely grown
for the decoration of glass structures and rooms. There are several
methods adopted for raising the fine plants so often seen nowadays,
which are generally young specimens grown from seeds. The following
plan is followed by many successful growers. The seeds are sown from
the beginning of August to the end of November, in pans of fibrous
loam, some silver sand, and a fifth of leaf-soil. They are placed in an
intermediate house, or a temperature of about fifty-five degrees, and
in a little shade until the seedlings have begun to appear, when they
may be placed near the glass and pricked off when they can be handled.
They may be grown on in a similar temperature during the winter, but a
little increase may be given immediately after potting off in February
or March into three-inch pots. They should be placed in frames turned
towards the north for the summer, receiving a potting into five-inch
pots in July, and being kept close for a few days afterwards. After
taking indoors they must be near the glass, and syringed frequently to
keep off red spider.

Corms which have flowered may be kept, and with careful treatment will
flower again, although scarcely so freely as young plants. They may
either be planted out in frames for the summer or plunged in their
pots, repotting when they show sign of making fresh growth. The
large-flowered varieties are very handsome, and the Papilio, or
Butterfly-formed flowers, and those with crested blooms are also
considerably appreciated by those who like new flowers.


CYRTANTHUSES

The Cyrtanthi are among the neglected bulbs in ordinary gardens, but
when bulbous plants once more take their proper place they will be more
largely grown. The genus now includes Monella of Salisbury and
Gastronema of Herbert, and the plants have either pendulous or erect
tubular flowers, those having the latter being formerly called
Gastronema. Like many other Cape Amaryllideæ, the Cyrtanthus requires
to be kept dry in winter, but to be well supplied with water after
starting into growth. Carneus and obliquus must not be dried off. Loam,
peat, and sand form a suitable compost. They will grow in a greenhouse
in summer, but should be kept in a stove during the winter months. The
fragrant C. Mackenii, with white flowers, is pretty. Macowani,
orange-scarlet, and sanguineus, bright red, are both fine species, and
those desiring a larger number may grow albiflorus, white; carneus,
bright red; obliquus, yellow; and odorus, red. Others are
angustifolius, Huttoni, lutescens, smithianus, Tuckii, and ventricosus.


EUCHARISES AND URCEOCHARIS

The Eucharis is such a favourite with everyone that it is a matter of
much regret that it has suffered in so many gardens from the ravages of
what is known as the Eucharis mite (_Rhizoglyphus Robini_), which
also affects other bulbs of allied character. There seems little doubt
that this is brought about by errors in watering, as the Eucharis
dislikes suffering from either too little or too much water. It should
not have a season of rest from water, as many suppose, but should not
be forced into flower more than twice in a year. Clibran's Eucharis
Mite Killer, used as directed on the package, or a weak preparation of
Kerosene Emulsion, are equally effectual, but the Emulsion should not
touch the actual roots. So beautiful a plant is worth every attention,
as we have nothing among other stove bulbs which can approach its pure
white, elegantly formed flowers and dark-green foliage. The Eucharis
likes a compost of two or three parts of good loam to one of leaf-mould
or turfy peat, and a little charcoal to keep the compost sweet. It
requires a temperature of from sixty to seventy degrees in winter,
rising to seventy-five and eighty degrees in summer. Syringing overhead
on bright days is necessary, and a little reduction in the temperature
is desirable when the leaves are of full size. Six or eight bulbs may
be placed in a ten-inch pot.

The most popular Eucharis is E. grandiflora (syn. amazonica); there is
a fragrant variety of this named E. grandiflora fragrans, and others
are E. g. Lowii and E. g. Moorei. Candida and Sanderi are also good
species, and hybrid forms, named burfordensis and Stevensii, are also
meritorious. The other species are bakeriana, elmetana (hybrid),
Lehmanni, Mastersii, and subedentata. The hybrid Urceocharis, from
the Eucharis and Urceolina, is cultivated in the same way.


EURYCLES

The Eurycles is little known in private gardens, but the two species
form interesting occupants of the stove or greenhouse, with their
umbels of white flowers, and broad, heart-shaped or ovate leaves. E.
amboinensis is a stove species about two feet high, flowering in March.
The other, E. Cunninghami, likes a warm greenhouse. It grows about a
foot high. One part leaf-soil to three of good loam, with a little
sand, will grow them satisfactorily. After they have completed their
growth water may be diminished, and finally withheld to allow them to
ripen.



CHAPTER XVII

GREENHOUSE AND STOVE BULBS

Freesias--Gloxinias--Hæmanthuses--Hippeastrums


FREESIAS

Freesias, whose fragrant flowers are so acceptable, are so nearly
hardy, that it might, perhaps, have been more consistent to include
them among the half-hardy bulbs. They are, however, of so much more
value when grown and flowered under glass that we may be pardoned for
including them among greenhouse bulbs. They are very cheap, and
increase so freely that they might be grown in far larger quantities. A
five-inch pot will hold about a dozen of good-sized bulbs, and they may
be potted at intervals from the beginning of August for a month or two.
They like a light, but rich soil, with the addition of some leaf-mould
and silver sand. A depth of an inch is generally recommended, but they
are none the worse for being a little deeper. After planting, the pots
may be watered and placed in a cold frame, plunged in cocoa fibre or
ashes.

[Illustration: WHITE SCILLAS]

When some growth is made, they may either be removed to a frame with a
moderate bottom heat, or taken into the place where they are to bloom.
In a sunny window they may be brought nicely into flower as well as in
a greenhouse. They like air, however, when possible. It is essential
that they should have plenty of water while in growth. A temperature of
about fifty-five degrees is suitable for blooming them in. After
flowering, water should be gradually withheld; and when the foliage
becomes yellow, the pots with their contents should be thoroughly
roasted in the sun. Before repotting, it is desirable to sort them
according to size. Some grow Freesias from seed, but they are so cheap,
and make offsets so freely, that it is hardly worth the trouble to do
so. The seeds are sown when ripe, and gradually grown on until they
attain to flowering size. The best of the Freesias is F. refracta alba,
but F. refracta, white and yellow, and F. refracta Leichtlini, with
creamy-yellow flowers, are also grown.


GLOXINIAS

Gloxinias are so beautiful in their colourings, and are so ornamental,
that it is no matter for surprise to find them in most gardens of
importance. Nowadays, however, they are principally grown from seed
instead of cultivating the old bulbs for successive seasons as was
formerly practised. They are easily raised in this way, and the plants
produced are more vigorous and floriferous than those produced by old
bulbs, or by cuttings or leaves. They can be flowered in about six
months from the time of sowing.

Fibrous loam or leaf-soil, mixed with sand and peat, will answer for
the seed pans and for the after compost. Seed sown in January or
February will give a succession of flower, and later sowings may be
made for winter bloom. The seed should be thinly sown and covered with
a sprinkling of fine soil. The pans ought then to be placed in a
temperature of about 70 degrees, and shaded from strong sun. The young
seedlings are very liable to damp off, and must be pricked out into
other pans or pots as soon as possible. They will grow quickly in a
moist warm house, and, when a fair size, may be repotted, giving a
forty-eight size pot for the final shift. They can have then a
temperature of sixty to sixty-five degrees. A little manure water is
beneficial at intervals, but this, and a moist atmosphere, are
prejudicial when the plants are in bloom.

Cuttings of the young shoots taken off when the old bulbs are started
are easily struck in a propagating frame, and are afterwards potted and
treated like young seedlings. When the leaves are firm, they may either
be inserted in fine soil like cuttings with a portion of the petiole or
footstalk, or by cutting through the midribs at several places and
pegging down the leaves on cocoa fibre or sand in a close frame.

Old tubers of Gloxinias should be carefully stored in winter beyond the
reach of frost, and started into growth in February in small pots in a
temperature of about sixty-five degrees. Until they have fairly begun
to grow they should have little water. Similar treatment is suitable
for some of the other Gesneraceous plants, such as the Gesnerias.


HÆMANTHUSES

The Hæmanthus is a handsome and distinct-looking plant, but it is
seldom that one meets with it in private gardens. Its usefulness is
lessened by its handsome leaves appearing at a different time from the
flowers, but this fault may be partly concealed by an arrangement of
other plants about the pots containing the Hæmanthi. A few of the
species can be grown in a cool greenhouse, but the greater number ought
to be cultivated in a higher temperature. H. sanguineus is one of the
easiest to grow and the writer has grown and flowered it yearly in a
house from which frost was only excluded and where the temperature fell
to near freezing point. For the greater number, however, a temperature
of from fifty to sixty degrees in the growing season is best. After
flowering they should have a short period of rest.

There are a number of very handsome species, among the best being
abyssinicus, scarlet; cinnabarinus, red; incarnatus, flesh; insignis,
orange-scarlet; Kalbreyeri, crimson; Katherinæ, deep red; natalensis,
green, bracts, purple; puniceus, scarlet; and sanguineus, scarlet.
Albo-maculatus, hirsutus, and virescens albiflos are the best whites.


HIPPEASTRUMS

Under their popular name of "Amaryllises," the Hippeastrums have for
years been increasingly grown by those who desire to make their glass
structures gay with bulbous plants which are distinct from the ordinary
forcing bulbs of winter and spring. Their deserved popularity has been
increased by the wonderful improvements which have been in progress for
years among these plants which are naturally beautiful and have such
brilliant colouring. Some of the original species are very handsome,
but the seedling varieties and hybrids are superior to these. It is
generally accepted that these improved Hippeastrums are largely due to
the hybridisation of some of these species, but there is considerable
doubt regarding the parentage of some of these reputed hybrids. However
this may be, there can be no two opinions regarding the value and
beauty of the plants themselves, with which greenhouses and stoves may
be made gay for months at a time.

The greater number of the Hippeastrums are easily grown in a
temperature of at least sixty degrees, although some even suggest five
degrees less. They can, however, take more heat with advantage. This
heat is required during the growing season, from February to September,
after which they should be kept cooler, and only moist enough to keep
the roots alive. During the growing period full supplies of water are
required. They like a rather heavy loam, with some charcoal and crushed
bones. They should be disturbed as little as possible, so as to avoid
injury to their fleshy roots, and to prevent the necessity of
re-potting, established bulbs may be top-dressed when being started
into growth. Some manure water is beneficial, but not when the blooms
show colour. Hippeastrums are increased by offsets taken off carefully
when the plants are at rest, and also by seeds, which are sown in pots
or pans in a temperature of about sixty-five degrees, the seeds having
only a slight covering of the sandy soil which should form the compost.
When old enough to handle, the seedlings can be placed singly in small
pots and grown on in the heat suitable for the larger bulbs. As the
newer Hippeastrums are very high priced where of good quality, this
method of raising from seed is recommended. Plants have been flowered
in about two years from seed. There are a good many species and it is
only worth while to name such as Ackermanni, crimson; Equestre, orange;
and vittata, all of which have given some fine varieties. With regard
to the named varieties, we would recommend intending purchasers to
consult the catalogues of the leading bulb-dealers, where there may be
found varieties at all prices. Unnamed varieties may be obtained at a
lower price, but it must be remembered that the newest and best named
sorts are necessarily very expensive. Habranthuses are now included
with the Hippeastrums and Zephyranthes.



CHAPTER XVIII

GREENHOUSE AND STOVE BULBS

Lachenalias--Nerines and Lycorises--Pancratiums and Hymenocallises
--Richardias--Sprekelias--Tuberoses--Vallotas--Watsonias--Zephyranthes


LACHENALIAS

Were the beauty and usefulness of the Lachenalias better known, they
would soon become very popular plants for the amateur's greenhouse and
window. They may be said to lie on the border-line between greenhouse
and frame plants, as only sufficient heat is needed to keep out frost.
The popular name of "Cape Cowslips" gives some indication of the
appearance of the spikes of drooping flowers, but hardly expresses the
singularly pretty colouring, which lies in the yellow or white grounds
and the shadings of green, red, or purple, which make such pretty
combinations. The Lachenalia, which can be had in bloom from February
to May, requires a period of rest, and after flowering the pots should
either be placed on a sunny shelf or other dry place, and water
gradually withheld as the leaves become yellow. Pot in August in loam,
leaf-soil, or peat, and a little manure and sand. Some grow Lachenalias
in hanging baskets lined with moss and filled with soil. A good
selection may be made from the following, but the newer varieties are
well worth having also, although a little more expensive. A
selection:--fragrans, lilacina, Nelsoni (hybrid), pendula, tricolor,
tricolor lutea (syn. L. aurea). New varieties are Aldborough Beauty,
Cawston Gem, and Rector of Cawston.


NERINES AND LYCORISES

The best known of the Nerines is N. sarniensis, the Guernsey Lily,
which is imported in great numbers in autumn with the flower buds set,
and is potted at once to bloom almost immediately. It has been grown by
some as a hardy or half-hardy bulb, but its true place in most gardens
is in a greenhouse in pots. This is advisable so that it may perfect
its foliage. It likes a rich, yet light, soil and careful watering.

It is unfortunate that some of the other Nerines are not more grown, as
their brilliant flowers possess all the beauty of the better known
sarniensis. The handsome scarlet curvifolia, with its even finer form,
known as Fothergilli major, are worth more than the room and care
they need. Then the rose-coloured flexuosa; the rosy carmine humilis
splendens; the white and red pudica; the rosy-purple undulata; and
the hybrid or seedling forms, amabilis, carmine rose; the charming
roseo-crispa, pink; and excellens, bright rose, are all of much beauty.
These should have little water from May to August. The Lycorises should
be cultivated in a similar manner.


PANCRATIUMS AND HYMENOCALLISES

These closely allied plants require similar treatment, and may be
suitably mentioned together. The connection is so close indeed that
several of the species of either bear in gardens the generic name of
the other. The stove species should always be kept moist, while the
plants which do with greenhouse temperature need to be kept dry while
at rest in winter. The pots must be large and filled with good loam and
leaf-mould, with a dash of silver sand. The bulbs should be just below
the surface. A few, which have been also known as Ismenes, are
understood to be hardy in favoured places. Ordinary stove heat will
suit the following:--Hymenocallises:--andreana, Choretis, expansa,
lacera, ovata, macrostephana, maculata, speciosa; and Pancratiums
verecundum and zeylanicum. For the greenhouse there are:--H. Amancaes,
calathina, harrisiana, littoralis (syn. adnata), macleana (the
hardiest), tenuifolia. In looking over catalogues to order these,
Pancratium, Hymenocallis, and Ismene should all be referred to on
account of the uncertainty about the nursery names.


RICHARDIAS

These are best known because of the popular R. africana, often called
Calla æthiopica, the Arum Lily, or Lily of the Nile. All the species
like a very rich soil, and a plentiful supply of water while growing.
R. africana can be grown as a hardy aquatic in some warm districts in
these islands if the crowns are well below the depth to which the water
is frozen. It is, however, most grown as a greenhouse or window plant,
especially when white flowers are wanted early. After flowering, it may
either be planted out in trenches in the garden, or dried off and
started in the same pots. Potting may be done about September, and
the plants grown in ordinary greenhouse temperature. Albo-maculata,
hastata, and melanoleuca are less beautiful. Adlami, elliotiana,
Pentlandi, and Rehmanni are all newer and of much beauty, the second
and third having yellowish flowers.


SPREKELIAS

Although Sprekelia formosissima, known also as Amaryllis formosissima,
the "Jacobea Lily," is sometimes recommended as a half-hardy bulb, this
is of doubtful expediency, and it is better to treat it as a cool
greenhouse bulb and to grow it in pots. It is sometimes planted out on
a sunny border below a wall in April and lifted in September, but we
recommend planting it in turfy loam, well-decayed manure and a little
sand, in pots, and treating it like the Hippeastrum, but in a rather
lower temperature. It grows about two feet high, and has crimson or
white flowers about June. There is another named S. Cybister, which has
red flowers about April.


TUBEROSES

The botanical name of the Tuberose--Polianthes Tuberosa--is so little
used by those who grow it that it will be more convenient to speak of
this most fragrant flower under its popular title. It is everywhere
prized, especially when its pure white flowers are produced in winter,
when few of similar character for buttonholes and bouquets are readily
procurable. Although a plant which can be flowered in the open border
if the bulbs are started and grown on for some time under glass, it
requires a considerable amount of heat to flower it properly at other
seasons. The bulbs should be potted three together in a five or six
inch pot in a soil composed of loam and manure or some leaf-soil. The
soil should be slightly moist, so as to obviate the necessity of
watering before the bulbs begin to make growth. Some plunge in a cold
frame until growth begins, but a preferable plan is to plunge in a
bottom heat of from sixty to seventy degrees if early bloom is
required. Plenty of water should be given when growth has fairly begun,
and it can hardly be too strongly emphasised that this and a
temperature such as that named for the bottom heat should be maintained
for winter-blooming. Potting may begin in November, and may be
continued at intervals for two or three months. Old bulbs are not worth
keeping. The double form is the more appreciated, and the double
African, American, and Italian grown bulbs are all good. The Pearl is
dwarf in habit.


VALLOTAS

The Vallota, or Scarborough Lily (V. purpurea), is a general favourite
for its brightly coloured flowers in autumn, and because of the ease
with which it can be grown in a greenhouse or window. It is hardy in a
few favoured places, and in some is grown as a frame bulb, but for the
greater number of British gardens it is best when grown in a house from
which frost is excluded in winter. It should be repotted as seldom as
possible, and then the roots should be little disturbed and the plants
transferred to a larger pot with the ball attached, only removing some
of the soil on the surface to allow of top dressing. The offsets may be
removed with a stick. It likes a rich, light soil, and may be potted
towards the end of spring. The roots should never become dry. Some give
a little liquid manure during summer, and when well grown few plants
look more ornamental, with its heads of deep scarlet flowers. There is
a larger-flowered variety named major.


WATSONIAS

Although the Watsonias will do if planted out on a warm south border in
favoured places in this country, and treated as half-hardy bulbs,
intending growers are advised to grow them in pots as greenhouse
plants. They have fine branching stems of a height of from two to three
feet, and pretty blooms somewhat resembling those of the Freesia in
form. The corms should be planted in spring, and treated like Gladioli
in pots. After flowering, water should be gradually reduced when the
leaves begin to turn yellow, and the corms either kept dry in the pots
or taken out and stored like those of the Gladiolus. The most
appreciated of the Watsonias are the varieties of W. Meriana, the type
form having rose-red flowers. The white varieties of this, such as
alba, Ardernei, and O'Brieni are all much admired, that called
Ardernei, which some consider the same as O'Brieni, being a special
favourite. W. M. iridifolia and W. M. roseo-alba are also good
varieties. Other desirable species procurable are:--aletroides, scarlet
or pink; angusta, scarlet; coccinea, crimson; humilis, rose-red; and
rosea, rose-red.


ZEPHYRANTHES

All the Zephyranthes mentioned in the chapters regarding hardy and
half-hardy bulbs can be grown in the greenhouse, and there are also a
few which ought to have a little additional heat, such as that of a
stove. Citrina, yellow, about six inches high, and blooming in August,
is one. Others are concolor, sulphur-yellow and blooming in April on
stems a foot high; pumila, also known as Habranthus pumilus, blooming
about September, and having rose coloured flowers; robusta (syn.
Habranthus robustus), about ten inches high and blooming in June;
sessilis, white and red, with its flowers in April; striata is a
striped variety of this; tubispatha likes stove heat. They grow best in
turfy loam, with the addition of some decayed manure or peat and sand.


TURNBULL AND SPEARS, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.



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