This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
"When dark December glooms the day, And takes our Autumn joys away; When short and scant the sunbeam throws Upon the weary waste of snows A cold and profitless regard.1' Scott.
In the midst of winter, when work out of doors must be left to the garden labourer, the more delicate patroness of flowers need not be idle in the parlour and drawing-room. Those beautiful beguilers of short and cold and gloomy days, the Hyacinths and early Tulips, will now need constant care, and will fully reward their possessor for the attention given. If the Hyacinths are in glasses, the water should be changed more frequently as the growth becomes more rapid, and all the light consistent with a due degree of heat should be given them. Tulips and Hyacinths in pots will require more water as the foliage is more fully developed; it should not, however, stand in the saucers, but be applied in such portions as the soil will retain. Warm rains should be taken advantage of when they occur; for the dust inseparable from a sitting-room stops up the pores of the leaves, and is unfavourable to a healthy growth. When the pots are brought in after being exposed to a genial shower, the improvement of the plants will be immediately manifest.
The superintendence of these in-door favourites will be productive of a high degree of pleasure; and as the flowers expand, and emit their fragrance and display their colours, it will be confessed that gardening in winter has a charm, enhanced by the contrast of blooming flowers with the sterility and gloom which reign all around.
In closing these brief instructions for the year 1849, I shall only be forwarding the laudable designs of the conductors of The Florist, if I indulge in an observation of a moral kind, suggested by the approaching departure of another year. Since the "Ladies' Page" was commenced in January, what a variety of operations have been begun, carried on, and completed by the wise and all-powerful hand of the great Author of Nature in the department of vegetable life alone! The innumerable acres of our country have been sown, have displayed their daily increasing crops, and been reaped. Tens of thousands of gardens, from the cottage plot to the domains of wealth and rank, have recovered from the waste of winter, presented their array of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and faded before the iron rule of winter again. The Florist has sown his choice seed, or repotted his cuttings; they have prospered under his hands, have died away; and he is invited to pursue the same course again. How short is a year; yet how much is done within its little span! How obvious is the reflection, that if we imitate the economy of time and means practised by our Creator, a year will find us more advanced intellectually, and better stored with those invaluable graces and affections of the heart which no winter can wither, and which are destined to bloom fully under a holier and a purer sky!
The Bury, Luton. Henry Burgess.