This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
I was much pleased with the excellent article on this subject with which you favoured your readers in the Chronicle of the 22d of August. Having been an admirer and cultivator of all the best varieties of this beautiful genus that have yet been sent out either by English or Continental growers, I may perhaps be permitted to add a few more kinds to those already named, that I consider worthy of a place in every collection.
Of Phloxes the varieties may now be said to be almost endless, but some of them so closely resemble each other that it is only by carefully comparing them that their slight differences are discovered; such distinctions are therefore undeserving of attention; only the best formed and brightest coloured in each particular class should be kept - the rest should be discarded.
As soon as I receive any new kinds I have a bed prepared for them, and plant out several of each sort, always keeping the newest varieties in beds by themselves. The older kinds are also planted in beds beside the new ones, so that when they are all in bloom I make my comparisons and memoranda respecting them. Whenever I am convinced that any of the new ones excel the older kinds in habit or beauty, I then throw away the inferior sorts, and by so doing I find that a very beautiful collection can be formed without being encumbered with a multiplicity of names.
I receive between 30 and 40 different sorts from various sources annually, and I often find among them only four or five worth keeping, or that are either distinct from or superior to those I have already grown. If, therefore, I had not some principle to direct me I should by this time have at least 500 names of Phloxes on my list; but by making annual selections as I have described I reduce the number to less than 100.
However strange it may appear it is a fact that the Phlox has only lately been treated with anything like care or attention. Generally they have had allotted to them places in borders among shrubs, where they have been either overgrown by other plants or completely starved; for the poor Phlox has often had to do service where nothing else would flourish. All must however, I think, admit that a little care and attention bestowed upon it will be amply rewarded; few plants are so useful either for pot culture, cutting for bouquets, or "clumping" in the flower garden, and if proper attention is paid to height and colors at planting time, a succession of bloom may be had from June until November.
The following I can with confidence recommend: Addisoni, Alba magntflora, Herincq, Josephine Pariot, Madame Fontaine, Madame Rendatler, Primulaeflora, Roi Leopold, Abdel de Lepinium, Comte do Chambord, Imp6ratrice Eugenie, Laurence de Cerf, Madame Belahaye, Mons. Valery, Reve d'Amour. - William Barnes.
The following list of phloxes was made from the very extensive variety at Ell-wanger & Barry's Nurseries, as the best twelve yet known to American gardeners. This superb herbaceous plants are better worth a place as ornaments than almost any other; they are showy for a long time, and for variety are equal to verbenas, with the advantage of being hardy:
Alba perfecta, Elise Fontnine, Gloire de Poteaux, Henri de Santa Crux, Madame de Arguil-liere, Venue, Spencerii, Superba, Teutonia, Vicomte Albert de Beatimont, Argus, Delecta.