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.
There is nothing more desirable for cut flower work than this. Its waxy, white and very sweet flowers do not wither soon, and hence are far superior to orange blossoms for decorating the hair, or for any other similar use in floral ornamentation. The misfortune is that it does not bloom till May in our gardens. If it could be brought out in Winter, its value would be inestimable. We give from the Gardener's Chronicle, an account of one successful effort to advance it:
"It would be difficult to point to any sweet-scented flower as being held in higher general estimation than Stephanotis floribunda. Its snowy, wax-like blossoms are alike beautiful, growing on the plant, as they are fitting for the wreath intended to deck the brow of the bride. It is a flower equally valuable to the many who have to provide for the no small requirements of private establishments as it is to the grower for market, who knows he can always calculate upon making a high price for it if he can only get it in early enough at a time when it is necessarily scarce. Its naturally free-flowering habit when it receives the treatment it requires, makes it plentiful in summer, but it is in the early spring that it is most prized, and Mr. Baker, who so ably practises the gardener's art at Coombe, has hit upon a way by which he is able to have it in bloom each year in April. The plant occupies a position on the north end of a span-roofed house running north and south, and is trained on the roof in the usual way. About the end of August each summer, it is freely cut in, the shoots shortened to less than half the length of the house, and all weak growths removed, it is then started into growth and kept going all through the autumn, and slowly during the winter as well.
So managed, it sets flowers as the young wood is formed, just in the way usual with spring-made growth, and begins to open in April. It continues in blooming for a long time; in fact the quantity of flowers it produces under this treatment is something unusual. By this method the plant is kept free from weak shoots, and its leaves are almost as broad as those of a common laurel. The house is used for flowering Eucharis amazonica and other things that need a similar temperature through the winter, consequently there is heat enough to keep it on growing during the season when this plant is generally at rest. Mr. Baker has other plants of Stephanotis which he treats in the ordinary way, that succeed it in blooming, and he is thus able to have a constant supply from early spring until the autumn is well on".