This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
How many females find a a means of gaining a livelihood by selling buttonholes, etc, in the streets of London may be inferred from the fact that a few days since 2000 flower-girls were taken down to Southend by special train, that they might enjoy a holiday in the country. Many of these girls are connected with properly organized bodies, known as flower-girl brigades, the leading aims of which are to preserve the girls to some extent from the dangers of the London streets; to encourage them to orderly conduct, and to call in play habits of carefulness and thrift. It will have been noticed that at this season of the year red roses largely preponderate in the botton-holes sold in the public streets.
The flower business in London is no small item in the commercial world. It is said to fall short of that in New York and San Francisco; but the money invested in it in London is something enormous. It would be difficult to take a census of all engaged, directly or indirectly, in furnishing the many things required in the floral decorator's work. It is reported, that in San Francisco there are "a large number of persons engaged in cultivating, arranging, and selling flowers, and there are three firms who are engaged in nothing else but making wire designs for the florists. These designs consist of horse shoes, marriage-bells, harps, hearts, crosses, pillows, pillars, columns, monuments, locomotives, ships, horns of plenty, stars, doves, butterflies, anchors, lettering - and almost everything else that can be imagined." Our Trans-Atlantic brethren are evidently far ahead of us in extent and fertility of design in regard to their floral decorations. - Gardener's Chronicle.