This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol1", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
Although a large proportion of the bulb trade is undoubtedly Continental, there has been a magnificent effort on the part of British and Irish growers to produce large quantities at home. While such bulbs as Hyacinths and Tulips and Daffodils have been for generations a staple industry of the Dutch growers, signs are not wanting that equally good bulbs can be grown in several places in the United Kingdom. With the exception perhaps of Hyacinths, other bulbs of a hardy nature might be grown more extensively. In the Channel Islands and the Scilly Islands, in parts of Ireland and England, Tulip and Daffodil bulbs are now grown on a large scale and of the finest quality, but the methods of British growers in calling attention to their stocks are far inferior to those adopted by the Dutch. The latter band themselves together for mutual trade benefit, and make a point of encouraging visits to their bulb farms every season. The trade practically commences in the spring, when Dutch growers book orders from the visiting growers, and deliver the goods as early in autumn as possible. During the summer months - from May to August - their travellers invade the British Islands and America, and push the bulb trade so well that they take home fine fat orders for early autumn delivery. From September to December the trade is brisk amongst retailers, while the market grower has already boxed his bulbs of Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Crocuses, Snowdrops, etc, to secure an early Christmas and Easter trade.
Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, and Crocuses are abundant from Christmas to Easter; while Lilium longiflorum is now practically in season throughout the year. Gladioli of the Colvillei and nanus sections are also useful for spring work, while the Brenchleyensis, Childsi, and Nanceianus sections come in for late summer or early autumn work.
Ixias, Freesias, Snowdrops, German, Spanish, and English Irises, Tuberoses, Montbretias, Solomon's Seal, Crown Imperials, Herbaceous Paeonies, Eucharis, Dahlias, etc, are amongst other bulbous and tuberous plants that find a ready sale throughout the year at their own particular season, for the cut-flower trade. Each group is dealt with in its proper place in Vol. II of this work.
Amongst retail nurserymen and bulb merchants other bulbous and tuberous plants dealt in, as well as those mentioned, are Begonias, Dicentras, Gloxinias, Hippeastrum, Leucojum, Chionodoxa, Scilla, Alstroe-meria, Brodiaea, Brevoortia, Galtonia, Haemanthus, Ranunculus, Winter Aconite (Eranthis), Calochortus, Camassia, Colchicum, Erythronium or Dog's Tooth Violet, Eremurus, Incarvillea, Ixiolirion, Lycoris, Milla or Triteleia, Muscari or Grape Hyacinth, Ornithogalum or Star of Bethlehem, and many others, including the Water Lilies or Nymphaeas which have become popular of late years. Most of these are practically hardy, and the trade in them is confined to nurserymen and hardy-plantsmen who deal with the owners of private establishments. Each genus is dealt with amongst the "Plants and Flowers" in Vol. II.