This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
This is a handsome genus of evergreen shrubs from New Holland, so named in honour of Mary, Duchess of Beaufort, a distinguished patron of gardening who lived in the early part of last century. They are free-growing plants, capable of being developed into a considerable size, and therefore well adapted for planting out in roomy conservatories as permanent plants. The larger growers are in fact better fitted for this way of culture than pots; they grow more freely and flower better. Light sandy loam, with about a fourth part of good peat, suits' them well; the drainage should be thorough. They like a free exposure to light if planted out, but in pots they are better of a little shade during the hottest part of the day in the middle of summer. They bear a very low greenhouse temperature in winter. Cuttings of half-ripened shoots root freely in sandy peat in a cool propagating house. Keep them close with a bell-glass during the day and shaded; but tilt the glass, or remove it at night. All flower early in summer.
This is one of the smallest of the group - a twiggy yet neat-growing plant, the branches of which are crowded in a regular manner with small bright green leaves. The clusters of flowers are pink, and the most conspicuous organs in them are the stamens, which are very numerous, and the pistils. This species is best fitted for pot-culture.
A stronger grower than the last. It forms a beautiful shrub when planted out, capable by moderate pinching during the early part of the growing season of being made into a densely-furnished plant in any style. It is also a free bloomer if care is taken to ripen the wood properly before winter sets in. Flowers scarlet.
This is perhaps the showiest species, and splendid it is when well grown and well bloomed. As in all the others the stamens and pistils are the showiest parts of the flowers, and they are deep brilliant scarlet. It is a vigorous grower, and should be managed as to pinching in the same way as the last. W. S.