This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
By some it may be considered a sort of presumption for florists to attempt to mend Nature: well, be it so; we hope that, like a fond mother, she will only laugh at the innocent amusements of her children, and let us have our own way.
The botanist loves Nature for herself alone: a rustic beauty to him is "loveliest when least adorned." Not so the florist; he loves Nature too, but not in dishabille; for him she must be clad in all her charms. He takes the wild beauty from its native home, sees hidden charms beneath the rustic guise, makes it his fondling, tends it from morn to eve, watches every change of colour and of form with joy or sadness, as it approaches to his waking dream, or recedes from it. With years of toil, anxiety, and care, with perseverance, he bends the stubborn beauty to his will.
He aids Flora in producing her soft round form of beauty, Nature's charm. For her his skill prepares the many-coloured mantle, that might vie with Iris's own, and make her blush with envy. He gives to the gaudy Tulip all its charms, flakes the Carnation, laces the Picotee, makes the proud Dahlia almost to forget its ancestry - giving to Flora beauties not her own. He, by morphology's aid, raised the wild Dog-rose from its humble birth to wear a diadem, - be beauty's queen! What were Roses all without his fostering care?
But what is Nature? Is she not to-day just what she was ten thousand years ago? and who can tell but all our efforts only help to do what Nature's self has ofttimes done before without our aid? Therefore, vain man, think not those things are done at thy mere bidding; thou art but the secret agent of a will mightier than thine. Those soft pursuits are given to lead our thoughts from worldly cares to seek a brighter and a better home.
A. Kendall, Florist.
Queen Elizabeth!'s Walk, Stoke Newington.