This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"As far as tested, they are most suitable for bedding plants, surpassing the geranium in their beautiful foliage and large flowers of richest hues, and will soon become a great acquisition to the garden and lawn. In England they have already superseded it to a great extent, being more vigorous and floriferous." Now, this is direct contradiction to my experience. As greenhouse plants they are magnificent, but in the flower garden my own practical experience and that of my neighbors emphatically testify that tuberous-rooted begonias are utterly worthless.
"We can do something with the Rex and fuchsi-oides sections, but Bolivienses and Veitchii must stride miraculously ere"General Grant" need hide his face. If"W." means that these begonias have, to a great extent, superceded geraniums in English flower gardens, his statement will be absolutely wrong. I have tried them there myself and seen them tried by others; but our attempts were fruitless. The plants would grow moderately and bloom a little, but in no way sufficient to compensate for the care and space devoted to them, as compared with results from other subjects. Their notoriety for outdoor gardening in England originated at Veitchs' nurseries, London, where these begonias were planted in the flower garden - sheltered on every side by ranges of greenhouses - and where, on a little rock-work, I know the tubers to have survived the Winter. In that flower garden, time and again, I have seen these begonias, in moderately fair condition, I admit, but in no way surprisingly excellent.