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.
There is no other plant among our hardy annuals from which, in my opinion, the cultivator will derive so great an amount of enjoyment, in proportion to the time and trouble required for-its cultivation as from the one above named. All that is necessary to insure a gorgeous show of flowers during the whole season, is to prepare your bed, or border, in the fall, or early in the spring, scatter your seed thickly over it, and then keep it free from weeds. After getting the bed once started it will require no further attention for years, except the loosening of the soil in spring, and the destruction of weeds, as any number of plants will start, each year, from self-sown seeds. For a bed, or border, the single variety is almost as desirable as the double, but for single plants, or for special purposes, the double is preferable. I have a border of Portulacas upon which I sowed the seed several years ago, since which it has received no other care than I have named above, but from the brilliancy of its many colored flowers, it attracts more attention and gives greater pleasure than does my collection of house plants, the care of a single one of which costs more labor in a month than this border has required in years.
When beauty is so cheap, why is it that any one will live without beautiful surroundings? - American Rural Home.