This section is from the book "How To Make A Flower Garden", by Wilhelm Miller. Also available from Amazon: The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques.
The jonquils, being much smaller bulbs than the general variety of daffodils, should be planted only two inches under the surface. The foliage should be allowed to ripen thoroughly before being removed, after which a top-dressing of loam and thoroughly rotted manure will be found of great advantage. For outdoor planting, special mention should be made of the following: Ard Righ, Emperor, Horsfieldii, Princeps, Trumpet Major, Incomparable, Sir Watkin, Maximus, Stella, Poeticus ornatus, Biflorus, Van Sion, Orange Phoenix, Alba plena odorata, and all the jonquils.
The poet's narcissus. (Narcissus poeticus).
Scillas have already been mentioned as being preeminently fitted for planting on the lawn. Like all the bulbs, they prefer a light rich soil. The Amcena or Sibirica pręcox is the most useful and beautiful of the species. These, by the way, are commonly known as squills. The flowers are produced in wonderful profusion, a beautiful rich blue, and appear almost before the snow has vanished. It is a gem among bulbous flowering plants, so beautiful that no garden is complete without some. Planted among the rocks or in an artificially made rock garden, it is a strikingly beautiful object. Scilla campanulata is also a charming variety, and can be had in blue, white, and rose. This is commonly known as the wood hyacinth. A colony may remain undisturbed in the ground for a number of years, as the natural crowding does not seem to injure them.
Another very useful bulbous plant is the snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis. It should be planted in masses and closely together, about an inch apart. Combined in beds with scillas or chionodoxas the effect is charming. It is best to plant where they can be allowed to remain from year to year; along the edges of hardy borders is a fitting place for it. There are new and improved sorts, such as Elwes's Giant and King of the Snowdrops, which are superior to the original type.
Chionodoxa, commonly known as " glory of the snow," is an exquisite plant, blooming early in the spring and bearing ten to fifteen scilla-like flowers, a beautiful intense blue with a white center. As an edging for a shrubbery, or bed of hardy perennial plants in connection with scillas and snowdrops, or for planting on the lawn, or in out-of-the-way places as "naturalised" plants, they are unequalled. Cultivate the same as scillas.
Trillium grandiflortim, the great American wood-lily, as it is called, is another very useful bulbous plant. This should be planted early in the fall in soil which has plenty of sand or leaf-mould. The flowers are pure white, changing to soft rose.
Bulbocodium, or spring colchicum, is one of the favourites for the bulb garden. B. vernum is the best known and is a charming early spring-blooming plant. It bears rosy purple flowers, and is one of the first to make its appearance in spring. It succeeds well in any garden soil, and should be planted about three inches deep in clumps or masses. Its chief interest is that it generally blooms a week before the crocus.
Tulips edging an informal shrubbery border. After growing tulips or hyacinths in beds for a season, the amateur may transfer the bulbs to the garden border or some other out-of-the-way place, where they will last for years.
The camassia is also a very desirable bulbous plant among others in the garden. It resembles the common blue scilla, but is much larger, its leaves being about a foot long and very narrow. It is commonly known as Indian Quamash. It does best in sheltered and partly shaded positions. The flower-stalks grow from two to three teet high and bear twenty or more blue flowers each two inches across. It is fine for cutting Grown in a mass it is very effective Grape hyacinths should be in every garden.
Crown imperials are among the most showy of bulbous plants. There are dwarf varieties which are very effective in the garden They may be left untouched for years. In the blooming season, should the weather prove dry, the ground must be frequently well soaked with water, that the growth may be vigorous, or the flowers of the following season will be deficient.
Erythronium, the dog's-tooth violet, is a charming plant. The foliage is usually variegated. A mass of this is an attractive object in the garden at all times. There are numerous species in cultivation. The California kinds are worth especial study.
Last, but not least, are the anemones. The varieties of A. coronaria form a most brilliant group of spring-flowering bulbous plants, producing enormous quantities of bloom of every shade of colour, both double and single, and of very varied form. Though perfectly hardy south of Washington, District of Columbia, they are not entirely so in this latitude, but if planted in September or October, about two inches deep and protected by a cold-frame in winter, they will flower magnificently in spring. The tubers, however, keep well through the winter, and may be planted out in spring for summer blooming.
A bed of narcissus.
The fall is also the best time to plant lilies, but as they are generally regarded as summer bloomers they will not be treated in this connection. It is possible to plant lilies in the spring, but the bulbs start early and should not have a setback. In this connection I would remind the reader that many other bulbous and herbaceous plants, as peonies and iris, which are commonly planted in the spring, can be planted also in the fall.
There are many other bulbs and roots which can be planted in the fall which are not specifically mentioned, but I trust that enough has been said to create a wider interest in this beautiful and valuable section of flowering plants.