This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
In our last we endeavoured to direct the attention of those who might intend to commence raising seedling Florists' flowers, to the means best calculated to effect the object all aim at, viz. the production of superior varieties. In our present Number will be found a list of very superior Pansies, handed us by Mr. Edwards; similar lists will be supplied occasionally of other flowers, as they appear during the season. Now it is from seeding first-rate sorts like these, that our hopes of success are likely to be realised; - any half-dozen of them are more likely to bring a first-rate flower, than a score or two of inferior varieties. But, we repeat, all the latter must be discarded; for the bee, carrying their pollen to the superior flowers, will defeat the object in view by fertilising them, thereby destroying the chance of raising any thing good, and throwing all the probabilities into the wrong scale. When we reflect that it is as easy to cultivate the offspring of good varieties; that it costs no more time, room, or trouble; and that the only additional expense is the first purchase of the best sorts, - we cannot fail to see the folly of year after year seeding from varieties already out of date.
And if it be folly in him who has followed the pursuit year after year, it is doubly so on the part of one commencing as a seedling-raiser. The former has got into a track, has his favourites, perhaps his own seedlings, and expects to open a new vein (or strain, to use the technical term); but the latter starts fair, and every thing depends on a judicious first selection. If we were starting as a seedling Pansy-raiser, we should select one colour, - light grounds, for instance, which are much wanted. From the best varieties we could obtain of this colour we should save our seed; and however much we might be disappointed the first year, we should allow nothing to divert us from our purpose of raising something very fine in that class, or any other we might select. Mr. Turner's Treatise on the Cultivation of the Pansy, republished from our pages, may be consulted with advantage by any beginner; and wishing such every success, we will merely add, that it is very necessary to avoid the indiscriminate collection of seed; gather it from the best flowers only, remove all others, that the whole vigour of the plant may be given to the former alone. A daily watching of the seed-pods is necessary, that they may be gathered immediately they are ready.
Amateurs sending us any inquiries upon the subject of seedling-raising, shall have the information required embodied in future articles.