This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
When any one is disposed to regret that " we cannot have nice flowers as they have in Europe," let him look at his tuberoses, and then read the following from the Gardeners' Chronicle: "The cultivation of double tuberoses for their flowers in this country is a remarkable branch of horticultural enterprise. A large number of tuberoses are annually imported for this purpose from France, and some clue may be obtained to the quantity when it is stated that Mr. John Reeves, florist, Acton, imports 30,000 annually; but then he has flowers almost all the year round - last year with an intermission of six weeks only, this year he hopes to have an unbroken supply " all the year round." The first batch is potted singly in large 60-pots about Christmas and earlier, and there are successional pottings till May, fresh batches being introduced as required. The bulbs potted at Christmas and onwards are started into growth in a brisk bottom-heat and shifted into a 48-pot as soon as required, when they have grown to a height of twelve inches or so, and then pushed on into bloom. The later potted roots are put into a cold house to flower after being gradually hardened off.
The bulbs potted in May are placed in a cold frame and during summer fully exposed to the elements; by September some of them are throwing up their flower-spikes, and as they continue to do this, introduced into heat to expand their flowers. There can now be seen in Mr. Reeves' nursery a considerable number of plants in bloom, and still in the open air a very large number coming into flower. The tuberose appears to do well in any light soil, and there is no professional secret of this character in the cultural process. At this time of the year the spikes carry five and six and more of the richly fragrant flowers, but as the days shorten and the fogs abound, the latter cause the topmost buds to decay, and Mr. Reeves states that in the depth of winter one or two flowers only will be perfected. It has been asked will the tuberose flower in the open ground around London ? It might do so if grown on in pots and turned out early in summer as soon as warm enough to do so, but if planted in the open ground it is more than doubtful if the flower would be produced early enough to escape the damp and cold of autumn. "