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.
In your notice of Dr. Johnson's book "Winter Greeneries at Home," in the November number of the Gardener's Monthly, you mention the fact of its being strange that Pitts-burgh ladies should have to be taught by a gentleman in this matter. In response to this, I would just say a word in defence of the ladies. The ladies of Pittsburgh have a great deal to contend with from the atmosphere, which is always so freighted with soot and smoke that the sun seldom penetrates through it in the Winter, except for a short time at noon. This causes so much more work in attention to the plants than is required in other cities, that much of the enjoyment is detracted from the work. Besides, these difficulties, which are often insurmountable, cause success to be not at all sure, even with the greatest care. It is only those who live in the cleaner parts of the two cities (Allegheny and Pittsburgh) who are really successful. The author of the book in question is one of these. In another part of your notice, you mention the Winter flowering of home-grown Lillies of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) pips, saying, that to your knowledge, it has not yet been done.
To this I would say, that, being connected with one of the largest Florist establishments in the city, I have had opportunity to see it done, with great success, several years in succession. We always use only the strongest clumps, and treat them the same as we do the imported ones.