This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Around us everywhere the New crowds aside the Old, notwithstanding that many of the old flowering plants combined the useful with the beautiful in a high degree. Nevertheless, in some localities they have almost entirely disappeared; and yet they seldom have been surpassed, but only fallen under the bane of popularity. Possibly it sufficeth that they have been grown, and it became known what season they generally flowered, and what color and character of flowers they produced, therefore they no longer possessed that alluring halo of uncertainty, that enticing charm of novelty, so peculiarly attractive. Amid the many innovations-has there been much real improvement in the direction of flowering plants, or is it the novelty that attracts and not the quality? A walk through several of the hot-houses of one's neighborhood will convince us, and I think our answer would be in the negative. Here are new, high colored Dracaenas, beautifully marked and blotched Marantas, Crotons, Dieftenbachias and a host of others, all of which are undoubtedly-beautiful. But where are the old flowering plants, or where are their superiors ? They are wanting What novelty will compare with a well grown and flowered specimen of that old plant Dendro-bium nobile? - equally suitable for the establishment of the conservatory, hot-house, or warm fernery, or as a florist flower.
It is curious that such serviceable subjects should be neglected when many plant growers are cognizant of the fact that there is a steady growing demand for fine flowers - flowers rich and choice. All cannot be accommodated", but the numerous indispen-sible novelties that are annually offered must have room, as not to grow those would certainly be non-progressive. But as the car of progress marches along, its path is sometimes winding, and its huge wheels frequently run in the mire of extremes; these extremes, perhaps, may be a, mania for novelties, varieties or wonderful blue glass, all of which are pursued with such clamor and ardor by their respective votaries, that the non-enthusiast is ready to exclaim,"let us alone".