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.
A writer in the Rural New-Yorker obtains the best and earliest plants from the seed accidentally scattered on the ground from the plants of the previous year's growth, taking care not to disturb the surface in spring till these plants are removed. He obtains a good supply of geraniums from his beds of the previous year, and in one instance had a geranium flower in four months from seed. He also obtains, in the same way, an abundant supply of petunias, mignonette, candytuft, Dianthus, Delphiniums, pansies, etc. We have been successful with some of these in the same way. This suggests the advantage of autumn sowing hearty flower seeds, with, perhaps, some protection.
A Floridian makes fun of us Northerners with our "posies" and ornamental plants, and says: There are Cannas here 9 feet high, and 40 feet in circumference of the bushes. There are many castor bean plants ' that grow 12 feet in a season. Roses grow here as rapidly, and are as healthy as our wild shrubs in the Northern States.
The demand for flowers in London is said to be astonishing, and the prices given for them amazing. The dinner tables at fashionable parties and meetings are said to be regular bowers of flowers and ferns. At a recent dinner the flowers cost $1,000, and the peaches 12 guineas per dozen, or $5 per peach.
Roses - Madame Francois Janire, having bright orange buff flowers, of a distinct hue of color, and very beautiful in the bud.
One thing which strikes one pleasantly in Mexico is the wonderful abundance of flowers. All the year round crowds of Indians sit at the street corners in the early morning, making and selling for a real (sixpence) bouquets, which in London or New York could not be got for a guinea. Roses, verbenas, heliotropes, and carnations grow like weeds; and besides the made-up bouquets the Indians bring down on their backs from the mountains, loads of the Flor de San Juan (bouvardia), a flower like a white jessamine, and for a quartilla (three half pence) you can buy an armful of it, which will scent a whole house for a week. Our rooms were always fragrant with the bouquets which came in fresh every two or three days, and sometimes round the hanging baskets in the windows a lovely humming-bird would hover, and dip his long bill into the flowers, for honey.- The Garden.
At Christmas, New Years, and Easter, there is fairly a rage for flowers of every description. Prices then rise to very high figures, such as Camellias, $50 per 100; Tuberoses, $10 per 100, and Rosebuds, $5 to $8. These are trade rates. Consumers have to pay higher - Camellias, $1 each; Roses, 25 cents; Tuberoses, 25 cents; Carnations, 15 cents; Violets, 4 cents. . When the holidays are past, and the fever is over, Camellias fall to $6 per 100; Carnations, $1; Roses, $2 to $3, and all others in proportion.
Many pretty little blossoms of bulbs of violets, primroses, and other spring flowers having short stalks, will keep fresh for a long time if each flower be pricked into a saucer or plate of wet sand. The great advantage of the sand over water used in the usual way, is that each bloom remains in its place just where fixed. It is a good idea to keep a flat glass dish filled as stated above, on the side board, and as the flowers decay, remove them, and stick in a few more in their places.