This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
Very little attention will suffice this month. Prepare the soil, and keep it dry for repotting those intended for blooming under glass; which operations should be performed about the first of February, if the weather prove mild. Seedlings should be looked over twice a-week, pressing those firmly in the soil that have been loosened by worms. Give but little water to those in pots. Pansies are still flowering gaily here (December 15), the season hitherto having been so mild; should severe frost follow, they will require some protection. C. Turner.
Pansies have had a trying month; ours have been protected with inverted flower-pots, as described in No. I. of the first Volume, and have stood the weather admirably. Repot those for blooming under glass into 7-inch pots, in soil similar to that for blooming Carnations, but with more sand. If the plant is long, peg it down; if otherwise, secure it with a small piece of deal stick, or they will often become injured with rocking to and fro, as they must be kept open generally, or they will draw, and become weakly, and there will be no large blooms. There will be a few vacancies to fill up in the beds, and the seedlings will require looking to. Seed saved in the autumn should not be sown before the first week in April, otherwise the plants will bloom at a time when they are seldom seen in character, and a good flower might be discarded.
Nursery, Slough. C. Turner.
Pansies will now begin to be very interesting. From the mildness of the season, many are coming into bloom, and the early kinds have already produced some fine flowers. Grow those in pots as hardy as possible; turn them round occasionally; water sparingly, unless in very growing weather. As soon as sufficiently dry, the beds will require top-dressing with rotten manure, previous to which fill up all vacancies, and look well for young slugs, and destroy them before they have commenced their depredations, as a small piece eaten out of the bud in a young state will be a great disfigurement in a fully-expanded bloom. Seedlings wintered in pans should now be planted out, and side-shoots taken and put in as cuttings, if increase is required: there will be little trouble in striking them, if put in early in this month.
Nursery, Slough. C. Turner.
If flowers are required of large size, thin out the side-shoots, whether they be wanted for cuttings or not. This trouble is unnecessary when blooms are not wanted in a cut state. Plants grown for exhibition, however, make as good a show in the garden as those not so treated; for six fine large blooms will make as much or more show than twelve small ones. Sow seed in pans, and place the latter in gentle heat. A bed may now be planted in a north aspect for summer blooming. Before another Number of The Florist shall have issued from the press, this charming flower will not only be making our gardens gay, but it will have graced the opening show of the season, which takes place at the Horns Tavern, Kennington. We hope to see a spirited competition; and we are of opinion that the following varieties will be conspicuous in the winning stands, having seen them good already this season: - Marchioness of Lothian, Miss Edwards, Supreme, Duke of Norfolk, Mrs. Hamilton, Zabdi, Al-manzor, Caroline, Aurora, Princess, Blooming Girl, Disraeli, Duchess of Rutland, Milton, Constellation, Commodore, Orestes, Rainbow, Fire King, Candidate, Berryer, White Sergeant, Wonderful, and Luna.
Royal Nursery, Slough. C. Turner.
Our spirited correspondent and contributor, Mr. Turner, of the Royal Nursery, Slough, has supplied the present illustration. We have compared the drawings with the flowers, and have pleasure in saying, that Mr. Wakelin has hardly done the latter justice, particularly in the size of the Duke of Norfolk. We are happy to learn from Mr. Turner that his entirely gratuitous services to The Florist have not gone unrewarded by public favour, verifying the scriptural passage, "The liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand." We believe our other contributors in the trade have found the same; but we have no authority to say as much. Have the body of that interest ever asked themselves the question, Is The Florist, as a channel of information, rendering any service to floriculture? We do not put the query asking help. The work is now past that point - it is thoroughly established; and if we asked aid, it would be to help us to obtain clean copies of last year's Nos. 2 and 4, for which the Publishers will give 18 stamps each, if sent post free.
Unless such are obtained, they cannot supply more copies of Volume I.
Best 24, Nurserymen's Class, first prize to Mr. Turner, of the Royal Nursery, Slough, for Almanzor, Duke of Norfolk, Climax, Rainbow, Mrs. M. Hamilton, Juventa, Perseus, Charmer, Addison, Miss Edwards, Attraction, Are-thusa, Duchess of Rutland, Zabdi, Aurora, Ophir, Model of Perfection, Supreme, Duchess of Norfolk, Commodore, Constellation, Princess, Example, and Mrs. Beck; 2d, to Mr. Thompson, Iver; 3d, to Mr. Bragg, Slough. Amateurs' Class, 24 blooms, 1st prize to J. Edwards, Esq., for Superb, Mary Jane, Mrs. M. Hamilton, Juventa, Miss Edwards, Constellation, Supreme, Climax, Rainbow, Model of Perfection, Commodore, Almanzor, Caroline, Duke of Norfolk, Arethusa, Example, Curion, Perseus, Wonderful, Aurora, Prince of Orange, Lord J. Russell, Zabdi, and Princess; 2d, to Mr. Over, Streatham; 3d, to H. Harms, Esq., Brixton Road.