This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
For this purpose Single Hyacinths, and such as are designated earliest among the Double, are to be preferred. Single Hyacinths are generally held in less estimation than Double ones; their colors, however, are more vivid, and their bells, though smaller, are more numerous; some of the sorts are exquisitely beautiful; they are preferable for flowering in winter to most of the Double ones, as they bloom two or three weeks earlier and are very sweet scented. Roman Narcissus, Double Jonquils, Polyanthus Narcissus, Persian Cyclamens, Double Narcissus, and Crocus, also make a fine appearance in the parlor during winter. It is a remarkable circumstance of the Crocus, that it keeps its petals expanded during tolerably bright candle or lamp light, in the same way as it does during the light of the sun. If the candle be removed, the Crocuses close their petals as they do in the garden, when a cloud obscures the sun; and when the artificial light is restored, they open again, as they do on the return of the direct solar rays.
Hyacinths intended for glasses should be placed in them during October and November, the glasses being previously filled with pure water, so that the bottom of the bulb may just touch the water; then place them for the first three or four weeks in a dark closet, box, or cellar, to promote the shooting of the fibres, which should fill the glasses before exposing them to the sun, after which expose them to the light and sun gradually. If kept too light and warm at first, and before there is sufficient fibre, they will rarely flower well. They will blow, without any sun; but the colors of the flowers will be inferior. The water should be changed as it becomes impure; draw the roots entirely out of the glasses, rinse off the fibres in clean water, and wash the inside of the glass well. Care should be taken that the water does not freeze, as it would not only burst the glass, but cause the fibres to decay. Whether the water is hard or soft is not a matter of much consequence - soft is preferable - but must be perfectly clear to show the fibres to advantage.
Bulbs intended for blooming in pots during the winter season, should bo planted during the months of October and November, and be left exposed to the open air until they begin to freeze, and then be placed in the greenhouse, or a room where fire is usually made. They will need moderate occasional watering, until they begin to grow, when they should have an abundance of air in mild weather, and plenty of water from the saucers, whilst in a growing state; and should be exposed as much as possible to the sun, air, and light, to prevent the leaves from growing too long, or becoming yellow.
The annexed cuts were crowded out of our last year's November number, but are now appropriate.