This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
If we except Begonia rubra there is nothing scarcely so continuously in bloom as the geranium. They are always with us, and cheap, while orchids are dear, and only bloom a few weeks. We had Calanthe vestita and Dendrobium nobileby way of variety in our little plant room this winter. These are easily grown and not very expensive. I wanted a Disagrandiflora that was $4. Mr. Saul showed me a " wee bit" of an orchid, grown for its fine foliage, that cost him four guineas. I didn't want that. Any one can grow the Epiphyllun trunca-tum, and one with fifty perfect flowers beats many orchids. So if you have half a dozen pots of Amaryllis in the cellar to be brought out in succession, you can have them three months, but these things are not always with you like the geranium. The Cyclamens are also very fine for winter, but they are lazy fellows and want to sleep all summer. I find the following geraniums good winter bloomers. White Vesuvius, Emile de Gi-rardin.rose; Mad Thiebaut,carmine violet; Guillion Mangelle, carmine crimson; Henry Cannell, fine scarlet; Lemoine Cannell, rich amaranthine red marked purple; Representant Gaudin, deep velvety crimson. These are also good for bedding out, except the first, which is single. I cannot find a single geranium that is fit for bedding out.
Queen of the West is as good as any to hold its flowers, but every shower spoils it for a few days. To make a geranium bed interesting, one should have at least fifty varieties, and get something new every year. I mean new to those who get them, as most of the new high priced plants are not as good as many old ones. So if you raise fifty seedlings, some of them will be good, and every one of interest till after it has bloomed.
It is impossible to tell colors from catalogue descriptions. Robert George is called more decided in color than Deputy Taflize, while it is lighter and only a shade darker than H. Cannell. Richard Brett is called "very double;" still it is not near as double as McLeod, and is a coarse grower, a poor variety. I did not take it up. Prokop Danbeck is called pure soft rose, while it is nearly identical with Leon Simon, which is described as red flamed with salmon. Remarkable, a much improved Earnest Lauth, with me is not as good. La Constitution is lighter than Asa Gray and not as good, while Mrs. E. G. Hill is better than either. I have had two varieties for Mr. Chas. Pease, but neither was as good as Mad. Thiebaut.
Lemoine Cannell and Charles Darwin are much alike. Both might have come from the same parent. One description answers for both, only the first is a shade darker, which can only be told by holding them together. Their amaranthine red and purple give us a new color for the geranium, and are very welcome.