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.
We learn by the preface that Rose and Lily Richmond, Mary Miner, Jenny Weeks, Daisy Burritt, and Miss Flora united in asking Uncle Edward to write an account of his successful window gardening, and that this work is the response. We were rather surprised that Pitttburg ladies should have to ask a man how to grow window flowers, for here in Philadelphia the women beat the men at this pleasant work, and there are not a few good gardeners who often feel a little envious that with all their skill, the women in their windows, have better plants than they, with all their greenhouses and conveniences can produce. However, it seems there are men who can, for all, teach the ladies a little more than they know about these things, and Dr. Johnson is certainly one of them. Window gardening just now, especially, is attracting marked attention, and this beautifully printed and pleasantly chatty book is just timely and very welcome.
The title "greeneries" strikes the ear strangely at first, and one is half disposed to resent it; but after all, "greenhouse" must have sounded just as odd when originally introduced; and it is about as appropriate as window garden, or any other term in use. And then it conveys a better idea of what we can do with a window; for we can have "window green" when we may not have " window flowers, " and we have often expressed our wonder in these pages that more attention was not given simply to green leaves and half-hardy things. To us, it is not among the least of the many merits of this little work, that it shows how very much may be made of foliage alone. Perhaps some of the practical directions might bear comment. For instance, where we are told that it is only necessary to transfer the Lily of the Valley from the garden to pots, to get them to flower well in the Winter time. Roots of the Lily of the Valley, matured in other countries, flower thus easily; but we have known of many attempts to flower American roots this way, and they have never succeeded that we know of. The usual practice is to grow them in pots or boxes one year first. Again we were surprised to read that " in the case of red spider, drowning will be more convenient.
Keep the stems submerged for an hour." Some years ago the writer of this imagined they could be drowned, and put half a dozen of Gardenias covered with both red spider and mealy bug in a barrel of water, under a spring, for forty-eight hours, but of neither insect could a single dead one be found. Again the " con-stantly moist atmosphere" recommended to keep down red spider on room plants, is not very easily secured. But practical experience always differs. People will not want to criticise this pretty book from this stand point. It is full of very useful hints that every window gardener may profit by.