Flowering Bulb Varieties for the Garden
Large Dutch crocuses make splendid pot plants. Four corms should be potted in October in a 3-in. pot in John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost and covered to a depth of ½ in. Plunge them under ashes out of doors until growth starts and then bring them into the greenhouse. They should not be forced before mid-January, when a temperature of 10°C. (50°F.) is sufficient.
Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are a source of pleasure when grown in medium-sized pots or pans. Pot the bulbs in September in John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost, setting the bulbs 1 in. below the surface. Start into growth in a cold frame and then bring into the greenhouse.
Grape Hyacinths are delightful plants. A popular variety is Muscari Heavenly Blue. I like to plant about 15 bulbs in a 5-in. pot and John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost is a suitable growing medium. This is done in September or October.
The bulbs should be set about 1 in. below the surface of the compost. Plunge the pots in a cold frame until growth is under way and then bring them into a cool greenhouse.
Two dwarf irises are much grown in pots and very attractive they are: the deep purple and gold Iris reticulata and the rich blue Iris histrioides. Several bulbs can be grown in a 3-in. pot and John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost is recommended. The bulbs should be set about 1 in. below the surface of the compost. House in a cold frame until growth starts and then bring into the greenhouse.
Dutch and English irises can be grown in the same way but in 5-in. pots.
The Siberian Squill, Scilla sibirica, makes a good greenhouse plant together with others of the genus. Pot the bulbs, at any time between August and November, in John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost. The bulbs should be set 1 in. deep. Plunge them out of doors until growth starts and then, when a good root system has developed, bring them into the greenhouse.
Nearly all varieties of Early Double and Early Single tulips are excellent for a cool greenhouse as well as the Cottage, Parrot, Fringed and Broken tulips and species like T. kaufmanniana. They should be potted between September and November in John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost and plunged out of doors until the flower buds appear. They can then be brought into the greenhouse, but the temperature should not rise above 13°C. (55°F.) until the buds are well formed. Tulips can also be grown in bowls, but bulb fibre should be used rather than potting compost.