This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
To a person employed in city occupations during the whole day, nothing is more grateful than a return to his garden; and happily the facilities afforded by railway travelling and third-class trains enable me to reside at a sufficient distance from the great Babylon to avoid the poison of its smoke; for poison indeed it is to many of our old favourite florists' flowers, as well as the Rose, and other beautiful objects of our gardens. Being an old-fashioned fellow, an old-fashioned house is no objection in my eyes, particularly as the rent is moderate, and the garden good of its kind; besides, I have abundance of conveniences, which most old places afford, - such as a coachhouse, which serves for my store, where I keep my pots, mats, sticks, and all similar articles; and if my greenhouse, or rather vinery, is also of ancient character, it supplies me with some grapes for my table in the autumn, and serves to protect my bedding-out plants in the winter months. I am little given to paying or returning visits, though I am on such good terms with all my neighbours, that they accept my invitations to visit my garden without ceremony, and indulge me with a patient ear whilst I point out the peculiar charms of my various flowers.
I often detect a pretty girl or two quietly quizzing me, and, as they think, unobserved by myself, whilst, on the contrary, I am not only aware of it, but rather enlarge the opportunity for their smiles by my remarks. One thing I found at first rather troublesome, and that was the supplying the several demands upon my liberality, of a slip of this, and a piece of that, "if I had it to spare, or when I was throwing the surplus away!" But I hit upon a plan which has answered very well, by making it a rule always to answer, "I shall be glad to exchange with you for any thing new." This has not prevented my presenting of my stock to such as I chose; whilst those who, with abundance of means, wanted the best of every thing by way of Cheapside, have been completely foiled, or driven into purchasing for themselves. And it is with no small satisfaction I observe that the gardens of my neighbours and friends have assumed a gayer aspect than they had before I came into the neighbourhood; and many a poor man's window has had the glass more frequently cleaned, that the few plants I had given the owner might be seen to the greatest advantage.
My Florist too I lent about for a while, until I had created an appetite for it; after which, I candidly told my friends that they must take it in for themselves; for I think with Dr. Horner, that when a number of amateurs and professional florists give us their services, we ought not to do less than purchase the vehicle containing their teachings. And now for a conclusion to this rambling communication; let me invite raisers to send for your inspection, and selection for illustrations, the following objects, which have not yet had a place in your embellishments - Fuchsias, Cinerarias, Gloxinias, Liliums, Achimenes, and, in fact, every thing that we can admire, if we cannot grow them. Preserve the tone of the publication; encourage your excellent contributors to continue their services, which are highly valued; discourage all mendacious advertising; and rest assured you will have the support and thanks of a large body of flower-loving people; although from inability like my own, or timidity at seeing their offerings in print, they may be backward in supplying what would prove acceptable. One word, and I have done.
I always make a point of purchasing what I require in their way of the Nurserymen who contribute to your pages, and I do this as a small return for their acceptable communications; and I wish others would follow my example.
Cit. in Rure.
[Our Correspondent will appreciate our motives for suppressing part of his paper. We greatly value the assistance of the respectable Nurserymen he mentions in such flattering terms; but we are disposed to think we shall have a great addition to the number in time, and not one of them would desire a line inserted that should look like an advertisement. - Editor].