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.
The use of ornamental flowering shrubs in our home door-yards is one of the easiest and cheapest means of decoration. Among the largest and best of these shrubs is the Weigela, usually growing six feet high and bearing blossoms of a light yellow color. Many florists have wished for a variety with white flowers; yet it has never been prominently brought before the public notice, except in nurserymen's catalogues. We observe the Germantown Telegraph, in a recent notice of new shrubs, commends the above specially to the notice of American lovers of flower-gardening.
" It is only once in a while that new ornamental shrubs are introduced that take a strong hold of the popular heart and come into cultivation everywhere. In our time there have been but half a dozen which seem to be so very desirable that we see them everywhere. Most of the best things have been long in culture - long before our day. The double-flowered plum-leaved spiraea is one of these standard plants of the last half century. It has double white button-like flowers, which open before the leaves in spring. Another good thing of this rather modern period is the bridal wreath, or Reeves's spiraea, which, with its gray-green leaves and full clusters of white flowers, is one of those things no one feels like seeing his garden do without. Then we believe came the golden bell, or Forsythia, which makes quite a gay appearance with its yellow blossoms before the leaves come in spring, and is again gay in fall, when its leaves put on a brilliant plum-purple tint. The Weigela rosea was another favorite, its rosy thimble-like flowers in May and June making no garden seem complete without it.
Soon after this we had another weigela, which also has become rather common, known as the Weigela amabilis which, though not so pretty in habit as the W. rosea, has the advantage over that of flowering twice a year. This fall, at the exhibition of the Germantown Horticultural Society, one of our florists had in his collection of cut flowers a pure white one of this latter variety, very unlike so many " white" things, which are often a dirty yellow or pale green - a real snow white - which he told us was in the habit of flowering twice a year, as the Weigela amabilis does. It is represented to be just as hardy and in every respect just as good as either weigelas; and, if this really proves so, we may look for another addition to the very few plants which of all annualy introduced may become permanently popular."