This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
When a geranium is called pre-eminently beautiful, like the catalogues call Mrs. Charles Pease, what shall we say of Emile De Giradin, which is much like it in color but better in every other respect? If you have the last you do not want the pre-eminent.
After reading some superlatives on Acalypha Macafeana, I bought the "superb" thing, and was surprised at its dull colors blotched a little brighter. Not one who saw it during the summer thought it as fine as a Coleus. Still the little black fleas, such as eat potato tops, like it and eat the leaves full of holes.
In some forty varieties of geraniums President Leon Simon was marked first as a bedder, while in color there are many better. Deputy Taflye is darker and has a fine truss, but the flower stalks are slender and every rain breaks them down. McLeod has fine double pips and a good truss, but one-half of the truss is dead by the time the other half is out. This is the case with General Grant, Queen of the West, and others of the "enormous" trussed varieties. Of what special use is this enormous truss if not one-fourth is perfect at once. In the orange scarlet class none were satisfactory, as the dew soils the flowers and makes them still duller. Alba Perfecta was not so easily soiled as some of the other white ones.
In Roses I purchased some thirty varieties, mostly ten cent teas. During the latter part of the season some of these had on ten buds at a time. La France got up to six. I thought teas were of small growth, but some of these grew two feet high the first summer.
I followed Mr. Elwanger's list mostly. But the "extras," which are welcomed when you have none to be duplicated, did just as well. Clement Nabonnand grew stout and branching, and was very prolific. That nice little white one called M'll. Rachele I believe, if of small growth and not profuse of blossoms, is good for what it does. Malmaison and Pearl of the Garden winter-killed most.
If you read some catalogues you will find " many " roses desirable and " extra " with special " merits," etc., and you hardly can go amiss if you have none. The following I liked best: Catharine Mermet, Marie Guillott, Marie Van Houtte, Malmaison, Perle des Jardins and Mad. de Vatery; and one rose that has good form, color, fragrance, etc., is worth several that have not these qualities. Paul Neron was the only Hybrid Perpetual that blossomed in the summer.
Roses like new ground, so I burned a brush heap to make it new and ash it. Then it is well to cut the blossoms as soon as they open. Almost any lady will accept a bouquet of roses, whether rich or poor. I give most of mine away.