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.
Only a Scabious! - a common flower that at one time, not far distant, was scarcely tolerated in gardens, and which is now welcomed as beautiful and useful alike. Thanks to the German florists , they have not only given us a dwarf, but a very double, handsome and varied race of dwarf Scabious. Before us, as we write, lies a group of flowers picked from a collection of dwarf Scabious grown by Mr. J. Roberts, of Gunners-bury Park. We make out nine distinct varieties, viz., dark maroon, crimson, rose, purple-rose, mauve, lilac-pink, salmon, blush and white. It would not be difficult to name others, but these are all as distinct as they are large and full in the flowers. If any one will look at a well-developed bloom they will perceive there is an exterior circle of large four-petalled flowers, and within this a dense mass of much smaller flowers of the same shape, quite filling up the surface. They remind one of double Pyreth-rums, but are not so large or high centred; they are wonderfully free of bloom, and those who grow them find them extremely useful for cutting purposes.
It is the custom of the German seed growers to make up collections of these dwarf Scabious in six or nine colors, and on the whole they come pretty true from seed; but the tendency to sport, which is characteristic of so many flowers, is certain to display itself in the case of the Scabious, and does so, but not to a great extent. - Gardener's Chronicle.