This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
It has been a source of regret that the finest varieties of Pelargoniums have hitherto not been found available for the decoration of our flower-gardens. Who can contemplate the splendid display of this beautiful tribe of plants at our metropolitan exhibitions, and not feel the rising wish, that the same masterpieces of floral beauty could be made to assimilate with the Verbena, the Petunia, and other half-hardy plants, which throw so great a share of gaiety into our parterres during the summer months? But no; plant them out, and they become (as a lady once emphatically observed to me) "beauties run wild." Well, what must be done? are we to despair of ever possessing those gems of the green-house in our gardens? No; Flora fordids it. And what says perseverance? Try again. Bring all your energies to bear upon an object, and you must succeed. Well, I have tried and tried again, and have at last been successful; and, as I am no monopolist, I will give the floral world the benefit of my experience.
This time last year I took about 100 plants of the best varieties, such as Aurora, Mustee, Hebe's-lip, Mount Etna, Orion, Duke of Cornwall, Duchess of Leinster, Fire King, etc, all nicely coming into bloom, and planted them in three beds in the following manner: Having got my plants well hardened off, that is to say, having fully exposed them to the influence of sun and wind for a few days, I took a garden trowel, and dug a hole in the bed where I wished them to be placed of exactly the size of the pot, but nearly double the depth of it: the plant, pot and all, was then inserted in the hole in such a manner that the rim of the pot was level with the surface of the bed, thus leaving a vacuity of several inches in depth at the bottom of the pot. In this way I proceeded with the whole of my plants; and no Pelargoniums could possibly produce a better display of flowers than they did throughout the whole of the season. The roots, being confined within the pot, are as much under command as though the plants were in a green-house; and if any of them should shew the least disposition to ramble, they can be taken up and examined at any time; besides, under the conditions I have just mentioned, a fresh arrangement of the plants might be made with nearly as much ease as if they were on a stage in the green-house, and without the least injury to them. 'Tis true Pelargoniums planted in this way require a little more attention as regards watering than plants do turned out of pots; but then the cultivator is amply repaid for all extra trouble by abundance of blossom.
Hoping that others may be as successful as I have been with the above method, my recommendation to all is, to try my plan. A. Kendall, Florist.
Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Stoke Newington.