This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
As I considered the closing Number of the first Volume of The Florist a befitting time to review the stewardship of its conductor and editors, so also do I think the commencement of a new one a seasonable opportunity for addressing its supporters; a word therefore, amongst ourselves, in respect to our own future conduct and duties, as well as our interests.
In respect to our conduct, it becomes us, I conceive, in a simple spirit of fairness and candour, to reflect on the position in which a few amateurs are placed, who, impressed with the sole desire of promoting the progress and the science of floriculture to a higher standard, have incurred vast responsibility and labour, as well as a necessarily great pecuniary outlay, for the accomplishment of such a laudable design.
But one moment's reflection will, to every honourable mind, point out, determine, and impel the right course of action and conduct; since the position of the conductors differs wholly from that in which an individual writes a book or journal for the purpose of his own profit, advantage, or fame. In such example, the author is bound himself to supply the matter of instruction, as an equivalent for the pecuniary benefit he reaps. But the conductor and editors of The Florist are gentlemen of whom we have no right to expect that they should sue or wait for favours and literary support, which are to benefit, not themselves, but others; or, at most, but to promote the interests of a science, in the progress of which they feel deeply concerned. They say to us, in fact: There is need for the establishment of an illustrated work of high order, which shall afford a faithful portraiture of the new and really deserving flowers which, from time to time, are produced by florists; a work which shall also be a meet and respectable medium for the intercommunication of knowledge and instruction between florists and amateurs, and all who feel interest in the subject.
We, for the love of the art, and for the attainment of the object, will cheerfully undertake all the labour and responsibility of the publication; do you but support your own work with your own pecuniary and literary contributions, and make it known in your own circle of acquaintance, that a journal worthy of its high object may flourish.
This statement so simply and plainly sets forth what our duty is to the promoters of the work and to ourselves, that it would be mere redundancy of words further to urge the subject; for it implies, that we should not be mere readers of its pages, but should also contribute to their contents. On general principle, indeed, it is a duty which we owe to our fellow-men, to communicate, for their benefit, that knowledge which we ourselves possess; and doubtless, to many of the supporters of The Florist, such becomes an agreeable exercise, as well as a relaxation from the more severe duties of busy life, - a pleasure in which I wish others would more freely participate.
On one other point I would beg to speak with all candour. Though I know that the subscribers to the work have steadily increased as it has become more known, yet I am equally aware that they have not, as yet, reached the required amount which would enable the spirited conductors of the work to accomplish all they design and wish. To this end, I would claim the kind efforts of its present supporters, that they should each act and determine within themselves, to add some new subscriber or subscribers to the list; and thu3 hasten, or rather secure at once, the highest aim the conductors have in view. I suggest this on the ground of duty, not of their self-interest; though, of course, they only will be rewarded in a larger expenditure of funds on the work itself. As a verification of the old proverb, that "Where there is a will there is a way," and as a seasonable hint, I may state that, in one week, I have added eight new subscribers to the list, by simply shewing them the completed Volume I.; and to that number added a real pleasure. In truth, every thing is in our own hands; the book only wants making more known, that the very highest aim of the conductors may be attained.
F. R. Horner.