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.
Of necessity, some difference exists in the general culture of those plants under this heading and that of seedlings. There is no difference regarding the preparation of the ground, and other details which I need not rehearse; but at the risk of repetition, permit me to counsel against ever permitting the plants to get pot-bound, and that they be strictly watched and covered at night from frost after being planted out. Instead of planting 3 feet both ways, as recommended for seedlings, allow 3 feet between plants in the rows, and 4 feet between the rows. Mulch the beds with manure in June, and by every means encourage vigorous growth. Earwigs should be hunted and kept under, as advised in last month's number of the ' Gardener' in treating of Dahlias. The weaker sorts of named kinds are more subject to the attacks of red-spider than seedlings; and in again referring to this pest, allow me to make mention of a very completely constructed syringe, which I saw in the possession of my friend Mr Marshall, of Kingston Grange - a most enthusiastic and successful cultivator of the Hollyhock. This syringe is of the usual form, with the additional appendage of a swan-neck tube, attached by a screw exactly the same as that of the different roses.
It can be removed at pleasure, and a rose fitted on in its stead. The other end of the tube has a receptacle furnished also with a screw to fit those of the roses. The object of this addition to the syringe is the more readily to apply the water underneath the leaves, where the enemy does most mischief. Mr M. disagrees with the practice of syringing overhead. One stem to a plant is sufficient, and all others carefully remove; but the one left should not be altogether dismembered of its side shoots, but these ought to be pinched back to the second eye - not, let it be observed, after those laterals have been permitted to make strong lengthy growth, but before.
"Top over" the spikes at from 7 to 9 feet, according to their strength, and thin out the flowers, leaving no more than are sufficient to cover the spike and protect those spikes intended for exhibition from the weather. A good plan to adopt is to fix a narrow hoop to the upright stake which supports the plant, bringing the hoop over, or making it to encircle the stem; another similar hoop is fixed at the top of the plant, then laths are stretched and fixed to both hoops: this makes a substantial frame for the coverings of hexagon netting, or any other light material.
The following varieties are all first-rate, and no one need scruple to choose from them; all that they require to consider is the colours: -
John Stewart, deep rose, flowers large and perfect. Mrs James Laing, bright rose, handsome form, good spike. Mrs Laing, rose lilac, one of the foremost. Perfection, white suffused with salmon, great flowers, most perfect in form. War Eagle, glossy black, the most perfect and darkest of its class. David Lowe, pale rose and crimson, splendid both in individual flower and spike. John Gair, rosy peach suffused with crimson, fine flower and grand spike. R. T. Mackintosh, rich rose crimson, very constant, extra.
Andro Signet, pure white; perfect in form, extra good substance, the first of white flowers. Fredgater, pale yellow, early and constant. Her Majesty, white, delicately-shaded pink, which is most present in dull weather. Ida, buff suffused and touched with rose, good flowers but indifferent spike. Invincible, rose with touches of deep salmon, extra. John Tweedie, a good variety of the rose crimson type. James M'Indoe, like the former, but better spike. James Whitton, lively rose crimson. Lord Stanley, deep ruby crimson, of the finest form in flower, grand spike. Lady Rokeby, rose blush, splendid spike, and flowers the first of the best. Lady Cliefden, rose crimson, fine in the fullest sense of the word. Queen of Yellows, quite worthy of the name, being the best yellow extant. Mrs Downie (improved), bright orange-shaded rose. Octoroon, dark mauve maroon, immense flowers and handsome spike. Mrs P. Bruce, B. Tod, rose peach, first-rate. David Marshall, dark rose, a good flower and spike. Earl of Rosslyn, brilliant scarlet, splendid form of flower and spike.
Then there are, among hundreds of others, the following, all excellent, but we cannot afford room to describe them. Beauty of Mitford, Andrew Goodfellow, Archbishop David Henderson, James Anderson, Mrs Bolton, Model, Ruby Queen, Queen of Primroses, R. B. Laird, Richard Dean, Sovereign.