This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Every spot around one's home ought to be beautified. No matter if it is a house built of logs or stone you call home, you cannot make it too beautiful. If yours is a little log cabin, cover it with vines, and make it the dearest and most beautiful spot on earth. Flowers have a refining influence, and are elevating to our thoughts and should be cultivated if only a few by every mother in the land. They are indeed the stars of earth.
A reader has asked me to teach her how to treat Fuchsias. I dearly love this flower, and I think that they will find a place in the affections of any one who grows them. So I will begin by telling how I am doing at this season of the year with my plants. Several weeks ago I made slips of all the new growth and rooted them in sand, then I put in two inch pots and they are now growing nicely. As soon as all danger of frost is past, I shall prepare a bed close to the north side of the house in the shade; they do not need much sun, indeed they must be protected from it during the hottest part of the day. Then I will shift my plants into four inch pots, or sooner if need be, and sink the pots a little below the level of the soil in the beds prepared for them. If not well sheltered from the wind, you had better build a lath fence about two feet high around the plants; through the hot, dry weather, they should have a good sprinkling with water about three evenings in each week. They will begin to bloom as soon as they have had time to make the buds, and if carefully lifted in the fall, will continue to bloom until Christmas, and such varieties as Speciosa and Lustre, much longer. When they cease flowering and the leaves begin to turn yellow and drop off, they should have their annual rest.
Gradually quit watering them and set the plants down cellar, and only give enough water to prevent their drying out entirely. In about six or eight weeks you may bring them out again, and they will need repotting, and given some stimulants in the shape of liquid manure, when new growth will soon start, and the plants may be treated the same as they were the year before. The Fuchsia makes a splendid pot plant and may be pruned to any desired shape. When the little plant attains a height of eight or ten inches pinch out the center and in place of one, there will be three or four branches grow out. Let their branches make about the same growth, then clip the points out, keeping the side branches of equal length, or tapering like a pyramid. Or you can clip off all the lower limbs and allow the upper ones to droop over as they are sure to do when loaded with flowers, and you form a handsome umbrella. I think Speciosa is the best variety for this purpose. Get some iron filings or scales of iron from around a blacksmith's anvil and work among the soil, and it will cause your plants to grow vigorously and bring plenty of bloom.