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 cultivation of flowers affords the most innocent and refined pleasure. It is a gratification, a pleasure cheaply purchased, and within the reach of all - alike accessible to the rich and the poor. It enlivens the young mind, and invigorates the feeble frame. The moral lesson taught by flowers is worthy of attention. Their beauty ripens the taste and improves the heart. The love and cultivation of flowers is evidence of a refined mind, and affords food for reflection. "Consider the lilies of the fields, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say unto you, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these".
The great and increasing taste for the cultivation of flowers has induced us to devote a few pages to the subject, more particularly to the cultivation of our native wild flowers. The interest of many cultivators has been drawn away by foreign productions, while our natives, many of which are far •superior in richness, have been left to bloom and fade in all their beauty, "unknown and unseen, to waste their fragrance on the desert air".
It is oar present purpose to endeavor to awaken a greater seal among cultivators and amateurs, for the growth of some of the brilliant plants which deck our fields and woods. Few persons seem to appreciate or even know to what perfection of culture many of our wild flowers may be brought in the hands of skilful gardeners.
Here we can not help remarking, that many flower-gardens are almost destitute of bloom during a great part of the season, which could be easily avoided, and a blaze of flowers kept up both in the garden and pleasure grounds from April to November, by introducing from our woods and fields the various beautiful ornaments with which nature has so profusely decorated them. Is it because they are indigenous that we should neglect them?
Floriculture and other branches of ornamental gardening have hitherto been less attended to in this country than those of a more useful kind - the rearing of fruits and culinary vegetables. A change, however, for the last few years has taken place of a more favorable character. The hand of nature has scattered the richest beauties of the flowery world around us in every direction, and there is nothing to prevent us from ornamenting our gardens and pleasure-grounds with native plants and flowers from every wood, from every field, and from every brook-side to which the eye can turn.
Among the great number of wild plants found in the vicinity of Albany, we have succeeded in cultivating some of the following named varieties: