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.
Nurserymen who have opportunities of knowing tell us that of late years there has not been the same taste for extensive, out-door gardening as at one time. Not but that there are not many pretty places forming, but they are not in proportion to the increase in population - not what one would expect from the pleasure which such gardening would give. But the reverse of this is true of house gardening. The love for window flowers or for plant cabinets attached to dwelling rooms seems to be increasing in popularity from year to year. In all decorations, whether for the dinner table or special festive occasions, both living plants in pots and cut flowers enter largely. They are expected to be present, and the welcome does not seem complete without them. When the host has them not they have to be furnished by the florist, and are, of course, a considerable item of expense. Those who grow them themselves have, therefore, not only the pleasure which flower culture involves, but also are able to save in some degree the expense which inexorable social laws involve. Such considerations seldom enter into the mind of the true flower lover, but we can see how well the love often reaps a substantial reward.
In advising what aspect to have for plants one can only say that, if flowers are an object, sunlight in winter is of great importance; but if the room is so situated that sun cannot be had, one must be content with ferns, palms and leaf plants. The same remark is true of a greenhouse as of a room. Where flowers are desired in winter all the sunlight possible should be encouraged. It is this fact which makes a steep pitch to a greenhouse of the first importance, though there are some advantages in favor of flatter roofs. In regard to the atmosphere of room plants it is often thought desirable to have it very moist, but it is rather the gases from the furnaces and the gas burners which make it so difficult to raise plants in rooms. The slightest taint of burnt sulphur is an injury to vegetation. If one can succeed in keeping out of a plant atmosphere these troubles the dryness of the atmosphere need give little concern.