Présentation de l'éditeur
Like many another distinguished gardener, Mr Arnott is a Scotsman, being a native of Dumfries, and now living in the adjoining county of Kirkcudbright. For the last fourteen years his name has been a familiar one to readers of the leading journals devoted to gardening, for he has been a very frequent contributor to The Gardener's Chronicle, The Gardener's Magazine, The Garden, The Journal of Horticulture, and other papers. Although not a professional gardener, Mr Arnott is a practical one, for he manages at least the flower department of his beautiful garden almost without assistance; and having spent most of his life amongst flowers—his mother being a great gardener—he is a successful plant grower, as well as an interested one.
Mr Arnott takes an active part in the work of encouraging the gardening spirit among his countrymen, and is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, as well as a member of other leading associations with similar aims.
Anyone who has observed ever so casually the order of flowering of the plants in garden or hedgerow, must have noticed that bulbous plants figure prominently amongst those which flower in the early months of the year. Winter Aconite, Snowdrop, Crocus, Scilla, Chionodoxa, Daffodil, Fritillary, Anemone, and Tulip are among the greatest treasures of the spring garden, and though these are not all strictly bulbous plants, they all have either bulbous, tuberous, or other enlarged form of root or underground stem which serves a like purpose. Even those early flowers, the primroses, are borne on plants whose thick, fleshy, underground parts are almost tuberous in appearance; and it will be found that all the earliest blooming plants of spring are furnished with large stores of nutriment in root or stem. Only by virtue of these granaries of materialised solar energy, accumulated during the spring and summer of the previous year, are plants able to manufacture leaves and beautiful flowers in those early months during which the sun yields little heat and light, so essential to healthy plant life.
In a sense, we may consider bulbs and tubers as functionally equivalent to seeds, for they contain within sundry wrappings a dormant plant and stores of food material, wherewith the young plant may be nourished from the time when growth commences until the plant can fend for itself.
It is easy to understand how great an advantage it may be to a plant, in which cross-fertilisation is essential to racial vigour, to open its flowers before the great armies of floral rivals expose their baits to the gaze of flying insects whose visits are desired. For a like reason, it is advantageous to certain flowers to appear late in autumn after the summer flowers have withered and the competition for insect visitors has abated. These also have usually woody stems, or bulbous or tuberous rhizomes or roots, in which are stored reserves of starch, sugar, and other foods formed in the season of sunlight. Fibrous-rooted plants, on the other hand, for the most part flower between the months of April and September, when the daily hours of sunlight are many.