This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The account of the vast product of bee culture in the United States in the December Notes and Queries has excited some astonishment. That thirty-five millions of pounds of honey and wax should constitute the annual product, and that one firm of grocers keeps as many as 12,000 swarms is truly astonishing. The assistance given to the bees by making artificial preparation for lightening their manufacture of wax is interesting and curious. The whole story is characteristic of American enterprise, and system is shown to result in success. There are many other plans pursued with success by quiet industry. Northern men have successfully planted Florida with orange groves; a firm with which we correspond lands during the season an immense number of boxes of the finest oranges produced by their agents, and finds each box bringing a five-dollar note, with a profit in expectation greatly increased as the trees grow older. Sweet things are in demand, and so is every useful and nutritious thing. A market like that of the whole of America for any article, however small, is a great market, and a vast army of producers who have laid a sure foundation for desirable articles may be said to sit at home at ease while reaping the results of thought, and employing bees and men to do their bidding.
They say to one, "Go, and he goeth," but he returns to the master minds laden with produce. Such we like to record, whether it be the extension of the product of the field, the loom, or cultivation. We have already stated that mushrooms are to be, and even are, successfully grown as an article of food, taking the place of meat, which they resemble in nourishment, with added enjoyment of high flavor.
In California, fruit-raising is very lucrative, and men have found the almond more than likely to become a national product; while the grape, taking the place of the great European decline, is taking its place as a wine producer much more rapidly than most persons believe. There are many industries of greater or less value which Notes and Queries will, from time to time, mention as practicable.
Of late introductions, the Weigelia alone seems to hold its own, but the Desfontania spinosa, looking like a holly, but throwing scarlet and yellow tubes of blossom, or the Diplopoppsus with its leaves like a variegated thyme, and its flowers like a minute-aster, are too rarely seen. - London Quarterly Review.
The old China pink, or monthly rose, deserves a bed to itself. It should be pegged down, and the blue lobelia should be planted between. No rose, taking all the good qualities of a rose together, will surpass the Gloire de Dijon, though golden cups of Marshal Niel may be richer in color, and the fragrance of La France recalls as no other rose does, the luxurious fragrance of Oriental otto of roses. - Ibid.
Remember that the Marshal is improved in color, especially by budding on Lady Banks. The most striking successes among hybrids have been among roses, clematis, begonias, and rhododendrons.
One single florist in the neighborhood of London sends to market annually more than 80 000 plants of one description of pelargonium alone. It is calculated that the bedding out of a single good sized garden will take at least 100,000 plants to make it effective. - London Quarterly Review.
A Mr. Burbridge tells us that the value of flower roots sent from Holland a year or two ago was nearly £60,000, and one English grower imports annually 160,000 tulip bulbs. - Ibid.
Besides the spring garden, there is in some places the semi-tropical garden, and in others the Alpine garden. No one has done more than has Mr. W. Robinson to call up the chief ornament in the gardens of Paris, and in the delicate tufts of flowers which nestle in the crevices Of our rockeries. But there is much still to be done. - Ibid.
Why do the climbing plants climb at all, and why do some twine and others cling? Why do the fly-catching plants cause the death of numbers of unlucky insects? Why are the stamens and pistils of plants of such various lengths and sizes? Why have some flowers a hairy fringe, and others drops of nectar in their calyces? What is the meaning of the scent of flowers? The key to many of these questions is in the relationship of flowers to insects; and Charles Darwin, Sir John Lubbock, and others, have done much to explore and then popularize the subject.
The "dressing" of flowers of particular blooms has recently become an art, and little curling irons are employed to get petals into their proper shape, and various other devices are used for various flowers.