These bulbs are mainly such as are imported from Holland in the fall, and consist of Hyacinths, Tulips, Crocuses, Jonquils, Narcissuses, Snow-drops, and various other less known kinds. With few exceptions, all these bulbs are hardy in our most northern states, though all are benefitted by a covering of two or three inches of rough litter or leaves spread over the beds before freezing weather. The soil best suited for all bulbs is a rich, but rather sandy loam. All these bulbs may be planted any time from the middle of September, until the ground is closed by frost in December. Hyacinths should be planted at distances of eight or ten inches apart each way, and from three to four inches deep. Tulips, the same distance apart, but a little less deep. Crocuses four inches apart and two inches deep. Jonquils and Narcissuses may be planted six inches apart and four inches deep. Snow-drops the same as Crocuses.
Very fine effects are produced by planting Hyacinths in lines each of one color, or when mixed colors are placed in the lines, care must be taken to have them arranged so that the bed will give harmonious blending of color. Crosuses have nearly the same range of color as the Hyacinth, and may be planted either way.
All these bulbs are easily grown in pots. The Hyacinth requires a pot six inches in depth and diameter; in potting it is only necessary to fill the pot rather loosely to the brim, and press the bulb down, so that only about one-fourth of it appears above the soil. The pot should then be struck smartly on the bench to give the soil the proper degree of firmness, leaving it, when finished, about an inch or so below the rim of the pot. Then water freely to still further settle the soil. The pots should then be placed where it is cool and dark, which will encourage a strong development of roots, before the bud starts to grow at the top. Such a situation can be made by covering up the pots with four or five inches of sand in a cool cellar, under the stage of a cool greenhouse, or in a sunken pit, in each case covering with sand or leaves, so as to exclude heat and frost, for it must not be forgotten that a strong development of root can only be had at a low temperature, say from forty to fifty degrees, and any attempt to force them to make roots quicker by placing them in a high temperature, will most certainly enfeeble the flower. If we will only observe how nature points out to us this necessity, we will see how safe it will be to follow her. In all hardy plants, the roots in spring, (when the temperature is low), form the rootlets before a leaf or flower is developed. To show the bad effects when this is not the case, take a root of any of our hardy lilies and plant it in March, and take a similar bulb and plant it in May; it will be found that the early planted bulb that had an opportunity to slowly develop its roots before there was heat enough to start the top, will give a finer growth and finer flower than the bulb that was planted in May, and run up into growth before it had an opportunity to sufficiently push its roots into the soil. The culture of all the bulbs before named, in pots, is the same as that of the Hyacinth, only the Narcissuses and Tulips should be planted three or four in a six or seven-inch pot, and Crocuses ten or twelve in a pot. All these bulbs may likewise be grown in moss, or even pure sand, provided that it is kept damp; the necessity being a medium wherein the roots can revel in moisture. But whether potted in soil, sand, or moss, there will be no need to water, but at the time of potting, provided the pots have been covered up as directed, and kept cool and dark. If potted say the first week in October, they may be removed from their dark quarters in seven or eight weeks, only before doing so, turn a few of them out of the pots to see whether they have rooted around the ball of earth. They may then be placed in full light and watered freely.