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.
Having received several inquiries respecting the Chrysanthemums I exhibited at the Ger-mantown Horticultural Society, probably a short article on their culture would be interesting to lovers of this beautiful Fall flower. I have been asked what varieties they were, and where they can be obtained. There were only four in number, which were George Glenny, Venice, Virgin Queen, and Eve, which I got from Mr. Peter Henderson of New York; thereare many more varieties which are just as good, if not better than those named. While in Philadelphia, in November last, I made a visit to the Horticultural Hall at Fairmount Park. The Palms and Ferns were a lovely sight, and in excellent condition. But to my eye the most striking thing there was a house of Chrysanthemums. There was almost every color you can mention, with the exception of blue, and that we must never expect to see, if we look into the natural law of colors. I made note of one or two of the most striking varieties, - Temple of Solomon, a very large yellow, extra fine; Hero of Stoke Newington, Antonella, Empress of China, Jardin des Plantes, Mrs. George Mundle, and many others.
I find it best, if good specimen plants are wanted, to start the cuttings from November to January, but I prefer the former; after the cuttings are started, a cold greenhouse near the glass is the best place to grow them; never let them get dry or pot-bound. When they have obtained a height of four or five inches the top should be pinched out, to encourage side shoots ; as soon as the small pots are filled with roots give them a liberal shift, which, by the end of June, will require pots from eight to twelve inches. I think the Chrysanthemum, like the rose and strawberry, delights in new, fresh loam, with one-third good, rotten cow manure. Some people will advise to fill the pot one-third full of broken pots, for drainage ; but I think it is quite time for us to leave off such old whims, that our grandfathers practiced years gone by.
1 found last summer I had to water our plants twice a day, without any crocks at all in the bottom, only a piece of rough turf, and the pots plunged into the ground to their rims. I think nine out of ten will agree with me that good, rough, rich loam is better for a gross feeder like the Chrysanthemum to grow in, than a lot of old broken pots. In stopping the shoots it is important to stop them all at one time, You will often see some a little stronger than others; but you will find if they are stopped, and the weaker ones are left, the growth will run to the ones left untouched, and an uneven plant is the result.
Last May I planted a row of young Chrysanthemums in a border, on the north side of the house, forming a back row of some bedding plants, mixing with each plant a good spadeful of well-rotted manure. From the end of October to the middle of December, this row of Chrysanthemums was the admiration of the town. They flowered fully two weeks later than our neighbors'. The Chrysanthemum can be trained to almost any shape, of which I will write some other time, should the editor think it would be interesting to our readers.