Hyacinths.—May be grown in pots, in glasses, or in beds and borders. The soil should be rich and light. Good loam mixed with old manure and a little leaf-mould and sand suits them very well. If intended to be grown in pots the best time to begin potting is early in September, putting more in at intervals of two or three weeks until the end of December. One bulb is sufficient for a 5-in. or 6-in. pot, or three may be placed in an 8-in. pot. The soil under the bulb should not be pressed down. The top of the bulb should be just above the surface. Place the pots on a bed of ashes in a cold frame, put a small inverted pot over the top of the bulb, and cover the whole with cocoa-nut fibre or cinder-ashes to the depth of about 4 in. In about a month roots will have formed with about 1 in. of top growth. The plants may then be taken out, gradually exposed to the light, and finally removed to the conservatory or sunny window. The doubles do best in pots.
For growing in glasses select the firmest and best-shaped bulbs. Those with single blossoms are preferable, as they are of stronger constitution than the doubles. Fill the glasses with pure pond or rain water, so that the bulbs just escape touching it, and put a piece of charcoal in each glass, and change the water when it becomes offensive, taking care that the temperature is not below that which is poured away. Stand the glasses in a cool, dark place for three or four weeks until the roots have made considerable progress, then gradually inure to the full light. September is a good time to start the growth.
When planted in beds or borders, place the bulbs about 4 in. deep and 6 in. apart, putting a little silver sand below each one. This may be done at any time from October till frost sets in. They succeed fairly well in any good garden soil, but give greatest satisfaction when the ground is rich and light.
Hyacinthus (Muscari).—A very hardy race of spring-flowering bulbs. Though the varieties are very dissimilar in appearance, they all produce a good effect, especially when planted in good large clumps. Plant from September to December. A sandy soil suits them best. The following are well-known varieties:—BOTRYOIDES (Grape Hyacinth).—Very pretty and hardy, bearing fine spikes of deep, rich blue flowers in compact clusters on a stem 6 to 9 in. high. Sweet-scented, and blooms about May. The Alba, or white, variety is also sweet-scented.
CANDICANS (Galtonia).—The white Cape Hyacinth, or Spire Lily. A hardy, summer-flowering, bulbous plant 3 ft. to 4 ft. in height, gracefully surmounted with from twenty to fifty pendent, bell-shaped snow-white flowers. Thrives in any position and equally suitable for indoor or outdoor decoration.
MOSCHATUS (Musk Hyacinth).—Bears very fragrant purplish flowers.
PLVMOSUM (Feather Hyacinth).—A fine, hardy, dwarf plant suitable for any soil. Its massive sprays of fine blue flowers, arranged in curious clusters, 5 to 6 in. in length, resemble much-branched slender coral.