This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I desire to recommend, through the Monthly, these tuberous-rooted Begonias to all lovers of nice flowers. I have grown them for the first time this season, and am altogether delighted with them. I had been interested in them before, but authorities differing so widely as to their adaptation for summer bedding purposes, as well as the high prices at which they were generally held by dealers, made me hesitate about experimenting with them. But in reading the advertisements - I always read advertisements - in the Gardener's Monthly for February, 1879, I found that Daniel Barker, of Norfolk, Va., would send one dozen seedling tubers for $1.00. Here was the very chance I had been waiting for. And all for one dollar! One could afford to experiment at that price. I sent at once and received them safely by mail. The last of March I put them in a box of earth and set them on a shelf, in a common living-room. They very soon came up, and about the middle of May I transplanted them into a nicely-prepared bed in the garden. Since then they have fairly run wild in growth and flower. They are now about fifteen inches high and very bushy.
They have been literally covered with bloom since they were two inches high - and such flowers ! No one of them is less than an inch and a half long; some more; and wider than long when fully expanded. The colors are exquisite - crimson, carmine, salmon, pink, orange, and vermillion - and look more like wax than real live flowers. I have taken the precaution to shade them a few hours during the middle of our hottest days, by an awning of coarse cloth secured to stakes at the four corners. Perhaps they would have done equally as well without. I only know that I am satisfied - and more than satisfied - with them as they are, and consider it the best invested dollar I ever spent.