This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Those who are limited or room in their greenhouses, and still like to make as good a show of bedding plants as possible during the summer months, will find it by far the best plan to raise their stock of Verbenas from seed. This can be easily done in the following manner: - Take a few seed pans, and if these be not at hand, a few shallow boxes will suffice quite as well (if the latter be selected, some holes must be made in the bottoms), cover over the bottom with some broken crocks, and fill in to within about half an inch of the top with a light mixture of rotten loam, leaf-mould, and a good dash of silver sand, make the surface level, and press it a little, so that when watered it will not sink. On this surface the seeds should be evenly sown, and then covered over with a light sprinkling of the same soil that they are sown on; they should be watered with a pot that has a fine rose, and then placed in the greenhouse close to the glass, and if put so that they will receive a little bottom heat so much the better. They should not be allowed to get dry, but still never over-water them, as that would be much more fatal.
When strong enough the plants should be potted off, and so grown on till it is time to stand them out to harden off before being put out into the beds, in which they are to bloom. When Verbenas are about to be raised in this way the seed should always be purchased of some good seedsmen, to ensure the varieties being good. Petunias can also be raised in a similar manner.- A Hassard, in The Garden.
Euphorbia jacquin aeflora almost stands alone for the incomparable beauty of its cerise-scarlet flowers, arranged in such elegant wreaths, at this season of the year. At an evening party not long since, where the beauty of flowers, among other pleasant agencies, ministered to the delight of the company, this beautiful stove Euphorbia was singled out for especial praise. Such a warm glow of color as the flowers present appears to be especially acceptable when snow and ice and frost of unusual severity hold Nature in a state of repose. The flowers, though small, are individually very exquisite in form and color, and being produced with much profusion on the elongated branches the plant throws up at this time of the year, and the leaves being also of elegant form and of a transparent green, it has come to be much used by ladies as wreaths for the hair. The flowers are set on at the base of the leaves in short spikes of three or four to a dozen buds, and as all regularly face in an upward direction, they form a wreath of great natural beauty. It is a grand plant for stove decoration at mid-winter, and it can be met with as specimens 6 to 7 feet in height, with from twelve to twenty leading branches, each starting from the base, and at the blooming season crowded with flowers.
For winter decoration the Euphorbia, when appropriately managed, is scarcely second to any other plant known to gardener's - Gardener's Chronicle plants as will grow in the open ground of this climate (Maryland), and make borders for beds, such as I have seen about Boston? I should need enough to make, if in one straight line, say 100 feet," flowering in pots. It does not appear to be known much in England yet, but has been introduced on the continent by the old and well-known firm of Vilmorin, Andrieux & Co., of Paris, who are prominent in the enterprise of introducing good and substantial things.