Garden and Forest – vol 1 no. 1 Editorial Timely Hints about Bulbs


Volume 1, Number 1



Timely Hints About Bulbs.


SPRING flowering bulbs in-doors, such as the Dutch Hyacinths, Tulips and the many varieties of Narcissus, should now be coming rapidly into bloom. Some care is required to get well developed specimens. When first brought in from cold frames or wherever they have been stored to make roots, do not expose them either to direct sunlight or excessive heat.

A temperature of not more than fifty-five degrees at night is warm enough for the first ten days, and afterwards, if they show signs of vigorous growth and are required for any particular occasion, they may be kept ten degrees warmer. It is more important that they be not exposed to too much light than to too much heat.

Half the short stemmed Tulips, dumpy Hyacinths and blind Narcissus we see in the green-houses and windows of amateurs are the result of excessive light when first brought into warm quarters. Where it is not possible to shade bulbs without interfering with other plants a simple and effective plan is to make funnels of paper large enough to stand inside each pot and six inches high. These may be left on the pots night and day from the time the plants are brought in until the flower spike has grown above the foliage; indeed, some of the very finest Hyacinths cannot be had in perfection without some such treatment. Bulbous plants should never suffer for water when growing rapidly, yet on the other hand, they are easily ruined if allowed to become sodden.

When in flower a rather dry and cool temperature will preserve them the longest.

Of bulbs which flower in the summer and fall, Gloxinias and tuberous rooted Begonias are great favorites and easily managed. For early summer a few of each should be started at once—using sandy, friable soil. Six-inch pots, well drained, are large enough for the very largest bulbs, while for smaller even three-inch pots will answer. In a green-house there is no difficulty in finding just the place to start them. It must be snug, rather shady and not too warm. They can be well cared for, however, in a hot-bed or even a window, but some experience is necessary to make a success.

Lilies, in pots, whether L. candidum or L. longiflorum that are desired to be in flower by Easter, should now receive every attention—their condition should be that the flower buds can be easily felt in the leaf heads. A temperature of fifty-five to sixty-five at night should be maintained, giving abundance of air on bright sunny days to keep them stocky. Green fly is very troublesome at this stage, and nothing is more certain to destroy this pest than to dip the plants in tobacco water which, to be effective, should be the color of strong tea. Occasional waterings of weak liquid manure will be of considerable help if the pots are full of roots.

J. Thorpe.

Garden and Forest – vol 1 no. 1 Editorial Plant Notes


Volume 1, Number 1



Plant Notes.

A Half-hardy Begonia.—When botanizing last September upon the Cordilleras of North Mexico some two hundred miles south of the United States Boundary, I found growing in black mould of shaded ledges—even in the thin humus of mossy rocks—at an elevation of 7,000 to 8,000 feet, a plant of striking beauty, which Mr. Sereno Watson identifies as Begonia gracilis, HBK., var. Martiana, A. DC. From a small tuberous root it sends up to a height of one to two feet a single crimson-tinted stem, which terminates in a long raceme of scarlet flowers, large for the genus and long enduring. The plant is still further embellished by clusters of Scarlet gemmæ in the axils of its leaves. Mr. Watson writes: “It was in cultivation fifty years and more ago, but has probably been long ago lost. It appears to be the most northern species of the genus, and should be the most hardy.” Certainly the earth freezes and snows fall in the high region, where it is at home.

Northern Limit of the Dahlia.—In the same district, and at the same elevation, I met with a purple flowered variety of Dahlia coccinea, Cav. It was growing in patches under oaks and pines in thin dry soil of summits of hills. In such exposed situations the roots must be subjected to some frost, as much certainly as under a light covering of leaves in a northern garden. The Dahlia has not before been reported, as I believe, from a latitude nearly so high.

C. G. Pringle.

Ceanothus is a North American genus, represented in the Eastern States by New Jersey Tea, and Red Root (C. Americanus and C. ovalus), and in the West and South-west by some thirty additional species. Several of these Pacific Coast species are quite handsome and well worthy of cultivation where they will thrive. Some of the more interesting of them are figured in different volumes of the Botanical Magazine, from plants grown at Kew, and I believe that the genus is held in considerable repute by French gardeners.

In a collection of plants made in Southern Oregon, last spring, by Mr. Thomas Howell, several specimens of Ceanothus occur which are pretty clearly hybrids between C. cuneatus and C. prostratus, two common species of the region. Some have the spreading habit of the latter, their flowers are of the bright blue color characteristic of that species, and borne on slender blue pedicels, in an umbel-like cluster. But while many of their leaves have the abrupt three-toothed apex of C. prostratus, all gradations can be found from this form to the spatulate, toothless leaves of C. cuneatus. Other specimens have the more rigid habit of the latter species, and their flowers are white or nearly so, on shorter pale pedicels, in usually smaller and denser clusters. On these plants the leaves are commonly those of C. cuneatus, but they pass into the truncated and toothed form proper to C. prostratus.

According to Focke (Pflanzenmischlinge, 1881, p. 99), the French cross one or more of the blue-flowered Pacific Coast species on the hardier New Jersey Tea, a practice that may perhaps be worthy of trial by American gardeners. Have any of the readers of Garden And Forest ever met with spontaneous hybrids?

W. Trelease.