For providing a summerin the , there is a wide range of plants to take over the flowering period where the spring and early summer bulbs leave off. These bulbous plants possess the added value in that most of them can be grown together in any ordinary greenhouse. It is not possible to grow to perfection the perpetual-flowering carnation which enjoys dry, cool conditions with the warm, moisture-loving , but begonias and gloxinias will be quite happy together, and with them achimenes and clivias.
Before purchasing the plants or, a number of 48- or 60-size will be required and for these plants, earthenware pots, now reasonably inexpensive again, are most suitable. And the made up to the necessary requirements of the plants will be all-important. The now well-known John Innes Compost may be used, but care should be taken to use exactly as prescribed. Trouble is often experienced when the ingredients are thought to be prescribed in too small amounts with the result that the fertilizers are often used in quantities that cause an unbalanced compost.
The John Innes Base consists of 2 lb. Horn meal, a lb. Super-phosphate of lime, 1 lb. Sulphate of potash. Growers may prefer to make up their own composts, but the John limes Base should be used in exactly the stated amounts. Coarse sand may be used in place of silver sand which may be more difficult to obtain and some growers usemould instead of peat. This is not advisable for mould frequently contains weed and disease spores which peat of good quality does not. Small quantities of very well-rotted manure, such as old mushroom-bed compost, may be used in addition. Above all, the compost should be friable and freshly made up and should be placed in the greenhouse for several days before being used, to take off the . See too that the compost comes from a nursery of repute, one who will not mix in almost sterile soil from a low spit instead of the virile soil from a good field of fibrous loam.