Hardy plants, generally grown on the rockery and in the margin of the border. . alpina bears clusters of snow-white flowers on 3-in. Stems. Flowers from May-June.
Hyacinth. When buying hyacinth bulbs, the first thing to look for is their size and weight. The largest bulb3 are not necessarily the best, and bulbs that are heavy and firm are more likely to produce good flowers. In the case of bulbs that are equally firm and solid, the larger the bulbs the better the flowers will be.
Medium-size bulbs are quite suitable for use in the open garden, and it is not wise to pay the price asked for top-size bulbs when hyacinths are to be grown extensively in beds and borders. The bulbs will be set about 8-in. Apart, and the soil that covers them will be twice the depth of the bulb. They can be set farther apart than this with quite good effect, as much as 12-in. Between each bulb being permissible, or more if the plants are to be used with another variety of bulb or spring-flowering plant.
In a mixed border, hyacinths should be planted in small groups, but in formal gardens they can be used either for massing, or for outlining the edges of the beds. Comparatively light soil is best, preferably soil that has been manured the previous season. A little sand underneath the base of each bulb is good, as it prevents the collection of surplus water round the base.
Planting should be done with a trowel rather than a dibber, so as to make sure that there is not an air pocket below the bulb. If hyacinths are used for naturalizing, they can be planted in grass or woodland, using a special bulb-planter, which is sold by most nurserymen. If preferred, pieces of turf can be lifted, and the bulbs planted in the ordinary way beneath them, the turf being afterwards replaced.
As a rule it is not advisable to use hyacinths for naturalizing, as these bulbs nearly always deteriorate instead of gaining in beauty as the years go by. Some of the best of modern hyacinths for ordinary garden decoration are:
Arentine Arendsen, white.
Dr. Lieber, blue.
Gertrude, pink and rose.
Grand Mailre, blue.
King of the Blues, blue.
King of the Violets, violet.
La Victoire, red.
Orange Boven, orange.
Perle Brilliante, blue.
Queen of (lie Whites, white.
Yellow Hammer, yellow.