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.
Few things better indicate the differences between the climate of this part of the world and of England than this from the Gardener's Chronicle, regarding the forcing of strawberries at the Marquis of Salisbury's, at Hatfield House: "Strawberry forcing on an extensive scale is carried out here. Black Prince is used for the earliest crop. This year it has been all fire work, for up to the end of February we have not had many hours sunshine since the commencement of the year. The first dish was gathered on the last day of February. The crop is a really good one; the fruit as large and plentiful as would be a creditable performance if ripe a month later. Vicomtesse Hericart de Thury is grown to succeed Black Prince, followed by President, Sir J. Paxton, and Sir C. Napier. Five thousand are forced."
At Senator Cameron's, at Harrisburg, Pa., where the forcing of the fruit, under the care of the gardener, Mr. John Paget, is a great success, it would not be thought anything extraordinary to gather the first ripe fruit on the first of February; and then the superior crop at Senator Cameron's would astonish our English friends. The writer has seen the forced strawberries in both of these places, and Senator Cameron's fruit is much superior to those at the Marquis of Salisbury's both in size and productiveness. Our bright, light weather is a great aid to good skill.