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.
J. B., Topeka, Kansas, writes: "Allow me in the columns of the Gardener's Monthly to notify its Western readers and all others of the amateur class in floriculture, that there is on the war path a tuberose bulb peddler who represents his bulbs to possess the virtue of giving blossoms of many colors, and from what I have heard, is carrying on a lively business amongst the amatuer and flower lovers, and especially the ladies. I first heard of him two weeks ago from a nurseryman in Atchison, this State, who inquired if he had, as yet, visited Topeka, and since that time he has been here, and from all accounts done a good business. A gentleman visiting the greenhouses to-day informed me that he swindled his wife to the amount of two dollars - the price he charges per dozen. He managed to keep clear of the florists, and tells the ladies not to let them know that they possess them. Now Mr. Editor I think it about time those lady lovers of flowers made themselves peddler-proof against such swindlers by reading such papers as the Gardener's Monthly. They have generally made their harvest and are gone to fresh fields of plunder before the professional man can get hold of him."
[We never had the slightest sympathy with any people who place themselves wholly in the confidence of a stranger. Any one who buys an apple tree from such a one, who tells him it is a Baldwin, has no one to blame but himself when ten years after it is found to be "a miserable thing that has never been grafted." If one is able to see with his own eyes what he is buying, a stranger is as good as any one else perhaps to buy from. If he is buying a peck of onions, he is not likely to have a lot of potatoes forced on him. If he is in treaty for a fresh fish, he can use his nose if the peddler is inclined to foist an unsavory article in its place. But to take the word of a total stranger as to the value of what the buyer cannot possibly know for years to come, is "buying a pig in a bag" with a vengeance. No one but lunatics do these silly things. It so happened that the "scarlet tuberose" man called on the writer of this with his wares. Very cheap they were, at $2 per doz. The vendor was told that we did want that scarlet tuberose very badly, but preferred to have it in flower in a pot, and for which we generously offered to give not $2 a dozen, but $100 for one when the time come.
We insert our correspondent's note because it was kindly intended by him, but with a protest that it is a waste of valuable space to note such things. Our doctrine is that if people choose to shut their eyes and open their mouths, and see what the stranger sends them, it is nobody's business but their own; on the contrary it is meet and proper that they pay for wisdom. - Ed. G. M.]