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.
Choice Stove and Greenhouse Ornamental - Leaved Plants, comprising descriptions of upwards of eight hundred species and varieties, accompanied by instructions for their cultivation and mode of management, with illustrations. By B. S. Williams, F.R.H.S., author of the ' Orchid -Grower's Manual,' 'Choice Stove and Greenhouse Flowering Plants,'etc. London: Published and sold by the Author.
As Mr Williams designates this work Vol. II., it must be regarded as a continuation of the work published last year, entitled ' Choice Stove and Greenhouse Flowering Plants.' No better authority than Mr Williams can discourse on these plants. Summed up in these two volumes are the results of the experience of a life devoted to their culture, as well as to the introduction of many newer species and varieties. Any one who has walked through the Victoria Nursery, Holloway, must have been struck with the wonderful wealth of foliaged and ornamental-leaved plants to be seen there; and these have been arranged in groups by the author, then masses in divisions, as a general would an army of soldiers, and passed in review, and finally arranged in the book before us, in a compass of 329 pages, abundantly illustrated, and abounding in valuable cultural notes.
Before we reach the notes on plants, we are treated to several pages of incidental matter extremely useful to the cultivator. There are short chapters on Plant-Houses, Greenhouses, and Conservatories, Cisterns, Glazing, and Ventilating, etc, every one of which is well worthy a careful study. The writer has decided opinions, and they are expressed clearly and forcibly. The preliminary matter being disposed of - none the less valuable in character because preliminary - we are treated to a chapter on Horticultural Exhibitions, which forms a kind of antechamber by which we pass on to the general purport of the book. This chapter is well worth extracting, though it must not be supposed we agree with the author in all the opinions therein expressed; rather we give it as showing what can be said in favour of foliaged plants by one of the most successful and best-honoured cultivators of the day:
The Wild Garden: Or, Our Groves and Shrubberies made Beautiful by the Naturalisation of Hardy Exotic Plants; with a Chapter on the Garden of British Wild-Flowers. By W. Robinson. John Murray, Albemarle Street, London.
This is, as far as we are aware, the first work devoted to the Wild Garden in which we are happy to meet with Mr Robinson, for he is well versed in all that pertains to the plants by the introduction of which he wishes to enhance the beauty of wild unkept grounds, and to weed from highly-kept gardens such subjects as he justly characterises as too coarse for such positions. The way to do this he very copiously, and in his usual terse style, explains at the outset, and follows up with selections of hardy exotic plants suitable for naturalisation in woods and groves, pointing out the circumstances and position most suitable for different plants, and giving descriptive and cultural remarks on the same, and closes by descanting on the beauty capable of being created in a garden of British wild-flowers. There can be little difference of opinion of the desirability of adding the charms of many hardy exotics to our natural grounds and woods; and to those who are desirous of making the effort we say, purchase Mr Robinson's book; it cannot fail to be an efficient aid; and it is, moreover, pleasantly written and handsomely got up.
Cottage Gardening. By E. W. Badger. Houlston and Sons, London.
This is the Essay to which the Royal Horticultural Society of London awarded the first prize offered by Mr Edgerton Hubbard on Cottage Gardening, and now published in the form of a pamphlet of thirty-two pages. It contains very sound practical instructions on all that appertains to a cottage garden.
The Orchid-Grower's Manual. By Benjamin Samuel Williams, Victoria Nurseries, Upper Holloway, London. Fourth Edition, Enlarged and Revised, with Illustrations.
We welcome Mr B. S. Williams in this fourth edition of his valuable Orchid Manual. The character of this work has been determined by its object - namely, to be especially useful to amateurs. The author is known as a very able man among Orchids, and he has here given select lists of this noble family of plants, with cultural note3 couched in a plain and sensible style; popular, and free from all that is not thoroughly practical. To all who want to know not only how to grow, but what sorts of Orchids to select, the work canot fail to prove of great value; and there are few cultivators, however experienced, who will not find this handsomely-got-up volume instructive and useful. It has the rare merit of giving all the cream of the subject of which it treats, without compelling the reader to wade through pages of words in search of it.
An Illustrated Natural History of British Butterflies. By Edward Newman, F.L.S., F.Z.S. This is a handsomely-got-up volume, with most beautiful illustrations of all the butterflies of Britain. The author seems deeply in love with his subject, and treats it with an enthusiasm and an amount of cheerfulness that, apart from its value as a work on Entomology, must render it pleasant reading to the most apathetic; while nothing connected with the life-histories of the different butterflies appears to be forgotten. The illustrations, as we have said already, are exquisitely got up.