This section is from the book "The Gardener V2", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Here we have a fine tribe of bulbs, which can be had in flower at any time when they have been previously prepared for it. Now is a good time to examine them. Any that have got the pots well filled with roots should have a shift into pots one size larger; those which do not require larger pots should have clean ones of the same size, with fresh drainage. The compost should be good fibry loam, a little peat, silver sand, and cow-dung which has been lying for some time, put through a half-inch sieve, and all well mixed together. The potting should be carefully done, likewise the drainage, for it is a plant which does not like much shifting from pot to pot. Every other year is often enough to shift, but we pick away all the surface-soil right down to the roots, and give a rich top-dressing when we start them into growth. After dealing with them in this way, let them be placed in a frame not too far from the glass, where they can have a temperature of 60°, with a supply of moisture by frequent syringings overhead. By the middle of August they will have made good growths, after which water should be given sparingly at the roots, and gradually giving more air until they can stand without the lights when fine with a good strong sun, which helps to ripen the bulbs.
On the approach of cold weather they can stand in any out-of-the-way corner, giving no more water than what keeps the bulbs plump. A few can be taken at intervals of ten days (or as required), and placed in a brisk bottom-heat of 85°, with top-heat ranging about 65°. If good flowering-bulbs, they will soon show the flower-stalks. When the flowers begin to open, gradually harden off to the conservatory temperature, where they will stand a long time. We find them invaluable either for centres of baskets or singly in vases for house decoration. The following are a few which we find good and worth a place in any collection: Ackermanni, Distinction, Delicata, Favourite, formosa, Glauca, Holfordii, marginata venusta, purpurea, robusta, venusta grandiflora, vitata coccinea.