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.
Among the ornamental shrubs which are greatly sought after for the decoration of lawns is the "Canna." It is a free growing plant, and its large and brilliantly marked leaves present a beautiful appearance, especially when grown in masses. At the Allen nurseries the gardens are divided by rows of this superb plant.
If cannas are required to be grown on in pots previous to planting outside, no time should be now lost in potting. See there are plenty of Echeveria, Sempervivums, Cotyledons, and others of that class of plants in readiness for bedding out next month; many varieties of these plants are comparatively hardy, and if desirable can be planted out early in May, or if room in the house is required, and it is considered best to make a general planting out all at once - which is the best plan in small gardens - the above plants can be placed in cold frames until required. ' When forced flowering plants, such as Deutzias, Spiraeas, Lilacs, Tulips and Hyacinths, and others of that class, have finished blooming, remove them at once, to be replaced by others to succeed them, which have been reserved to succeed those advanced in heat'; it is seldom necessary to give these plants extra heat after this time, for they will flower in a short time with the ordinary temperature of a cool greenhouse; and if shaded, the flowers are finer and last longer than when forced into flower in a high temperature.
The hardy shrubs can be placed in a cold frame for a time, and then planted out in open ground to be taken up again for the same purpose; it is best to have a few young plants of these things coming on to take the place of overgrown and exhausted specimens, which can be thrown away or planted permanently in open border, as the case may be.
Tulips and Hyacinths are seldom of much use after once flowering in pots, except to plant as border plants, so it is fortunate that the price of these bulbs are moderate. Any Ferns requiring larger pots should be potted at once; see the plants are not dry when potted; these plants all do best shaded from sun after this time - in fact, a house with a north aspect is best for Ferns, and also for Camellias, and for keeping plants in flower for the longest time; but of course these plants can be grown in any greenhouse.
A box or two of these plants placed in a warm part of the house is very useful for cutting shoots during the winter to mix in large stands of cut flowers. Select some of the varieties most telling in the foliage, such as Marshal Valliant for dark brown, and'Jean Vandael or Premiere de Nice for a light green.