This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
It was presumed when this work was started, that our favourite flower would have occupied many pages, and our own productions have found a field of particular favour. Many significant remarks were made when, on opening the first Number, a plate of Pelargoniums raised at Worton Cottage met the eye; and the failure of the work was predicted as a thing to be reckoned on with certainty from that moment. But a different complaint now reaches us from several quarters, and we are asked why so little is said on the subject? The truth is, we have done so much, that there is little to say. In the class new and first-rate varieties (we hope we speak it modestly), we have always proved victorious; and we are now busily preparing for another season; for fresh triumphs, if we can attain them - perhaps for defeats: if the former, we hope to wear our honours meekly; if the latter, to bear our humiliation becomingly. At the Seedling Exhibition we took a very poor place indeed; we expect to be more successful in time to come: we think we shall be so, if some flowers raised this season do not disappoint us; but all is uncertainty.
Hope, that leading star of the florist, however, leads us on; and we invite any one to see our collection now that we are upon the threshold of the season 1850. Many have been very unsuccessful this year in obtaining seed; owing, no doubt, to the hot dry weather: for ourselves, we shall perhaps have some 1500 seedlings established by the end of this month. Our bottoms are all well broken, and the young plants doing well; the seedling bottoms for a second year's growth and proving, and also the cuttings from them, are very good; Dob-son never had them finer: and the plants which our subscribers will have received before this is in their hands, or rather under their eyes, will, we hope, prove equally satisfactory with their predecessors. And now, what more can we say, beyond giving a list of a good selection, not of our seedlings (accurate descriptions of them will be found in our Catalogue, which any one may have for the asking, enclosing a penny stamp), but of older varieties, which may be purchased of any nurseryman that has a good collection? Well, this is soon done; please to refer to No. XVI., page 115.
Worton Cottage, Sept. 6th, 1849. E. Beck.
N.B. I have no other motive in mentioning the state of our stock, than to induce those who say they cannot grow our varieties, to come and see for themselves our mode of culture from the commencement.
Shift all young plants that require it; repot the bottoms that have been disrooted and have got well established again, putting them into their flowering pots, as they will not require another shift for flowering in May. Water sparingly; and in the morning light a fire now and then in the daytime, so as to get the heating apparatus in order, in case it should be wanted in a hurry.
Seedlings will require but very little water; if wet weather should set in, light a little fire in the morning, to rid the atmosphere of the house of excessive moisture.
Worton Cottage. J. Dobson.
There is little to do with these plants this month. Water but seldom, and never unless they absolutely require it, which is easily learnt by rapping the pot outside with the knuckle. Clean all the glass thoroughly; for the more light they get in the dull months the better. Place the plants in the situations they will occupy when in bloom; the space between may be filled up with flowering bulbs, Primulas, etc. Tie a piece of strong bast under the rim of the pot, and to this train down the shoots, taking care not to break them out of the stem. The best time to do this is when the plants are dry and the shoots pliable.
No more shifting will be required till January. Seedlings not removed into their blooming pots had better be shifted at once, if well rooted round the ones they are in. A 5 or 6-inch size will be quite large enough for them to flower in.
Worton Cottage. John Dobson.
N.B. If fire is required, let it be no more than is absolutely necessary to exclude frost.