I hope we shall see the collecting spirit develop wonderfully in America during the next ten years, for there is a heap of fun in it and it will do a lot of good. A man who grows fifty varieties of daffodils in a separate garden has something his friends and neighbours are bound to talk about.
A separate garden containing fifty varieties of irises is very pretty and a life-long delight, but fifty kinds of lilies would not make a beautiful garden.
If peonies are bulbs, then fifty varieties of peonies make a lovely bulb garden.
But the oldest and most famous garden of this kind is the tulip fancier's collection, which is still a beautiful institution in England. We have nothing like it. The beds usually have iron railings around them which support canvas, for tulips are easily spattered by a rain. The fancier's tulips are the rectified or variegated tulips, of which we know comparatively little. Any one who wishes to learn about this delightful hobby should send for a little pamphlet called "The English Tulip and Its History," by Rev. F. Horner and others. It costs about fifty cents to import.
It is unlikely that the English tulip fancier's point of view will ever become popular here, but American collections of Darwin tulip are now becoming rather common. These and the cottage tulips seem best adapted to American social and labour conditions, because Americans demand long-stemmed flowers for cutting, and do not like the bother and expense of digging and replanting bulbs every year. There are over two hundred varieties of Darwins to choose from.