This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
I have been for some years an enthusiastic seedling raiser. In my case I find the old proverb " Hope deferred maketh the heart sick" quite set at nought; for year after year my pleasurable anticipations seem increased by failure, instead of my heart growing sick with disappointment. In my early career as a Florist I often wished to raise Seedling Roses, but was deterred by the cry, "Two years in coming up." How that absurd though generally received notion got abroad, seems now to astonish me; however, I then believed it, but at last determined to wait and hope.
I had some very old leaf-mould, which I mixed with old turf and small pieces of charcoal. I sowed my seed in a pan, and placed it in my greenhouse; this was in January 1847. Many seeds vegetated in June, which after a time were planted in an open border; but in consequence of some neglect in my absence from home, they were suffered to perish. Again I collected seed, which I sowed in January 1849, and it vegetated in July. This altered my opinion, and gave me fresh vigour; I sowed this time in November, and have now (April 3d, 1850) potted off many seedlings, and others are daily making their appearance, whilst those of last year are healthy plants breaking strongly.
I made my principal sowing this year on January 20th, in a cold frame, also some for experiment in the border a week ago; the result of both I will carefully report to you. In the mean time, I may as well state that my seed has been saved mostly from Perpetuals and their hybrids.