This section is from the book "The Gardener V2", 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.
By William Robinson, F.L.S. London, Warne & Co.
Another volume from the busy pen of Mr Robinson ! and one of the best he has yet written. If hardy border-plants do not soon become as popular as their merits deserve, the author of this book will not be to blame. He seems passionately fond of this class of plants himself, and writes much about them that is calculated to make his readers look upon them with the same affection. In this handy volume everything connected with the culture and arrangement of these plants is minutely and elaborately dealt with. Mixed borders of hardy flowers; hardy flowers for mixed shrubberies, for beds and groups, for isolated specimens, and for being used as bedding-plants; hardy plants for the rock-garden, the wild garden, for water and for boggy ground, - all come under treatment and minute botanical description. The concluding part of the work deals with selections for various purposes, and bears evident marks of skill and care, and is especially calculated to be useful to those who have yet to learn how to utilise hardy perennials in dressed ground - a task which is by no means easily combined with that of keeping a flower-garden always trim and fresh-looking. We quite agree with Mr Robinson that the mixed border composed entirely of hardy perennials should be cut off entirely and distinctly from ordinary flower-gardens, for with all the interest that is undeniably attached to a selection of these, they cannot be appropriately combined with plants suitable for artistic flower-gardens. But that is no reason why hardy flowers should be banished from our grounds.
This is a point we are happy to find Mr Robinson dealing with in a more temperate spirit than his usual, for we have often thought his condemnation of flower-gardens too sweeping; and we feel convinced, now that he is soon to be in regular editorial harness, that he will find the bedding system, as it is popularly called, to have a strong hold. But that is no reason why hardy plants should not have a stronger hold than they have, and to all who want to learn all about them, 'Hardy Flowers ' will be a most useful and interesting volume.