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 following were the best Dahlias in this latitude last season, and some of them were fine the previous year:
1. Reine dee Beiges.
2. Mrs. Hansard. 3. Emperor Maroe.
8. Cote d'Or.
11. Miss Way land.
12. Madam Zahler.
13. Miss Ward.
14. Duchess of Kent.
15. Gen. Fauchier.
17. Flora Mclvor.
18. Forget me not.
These were the best of 120 varieties. The first five are unequalled as fancy flowers; the 6th, 7th, and 8th are splendid self-colored. The 7th is remarkable for its lull and perfect form; color, a rich crimson marroon".
We can add our testimony in favor of all except Nos. 1, 5, 6,7, 8, and 9, which we have not seen, but we ask for no better recommendation than that of Mr. Wilson.
Which I have never succeeded well with before, have done beautifully with me since, flowering most abundantly and brilliantly, when watered in this way. In all out-of-door plants, if mulching is used, only half the quantity of plain water is needed. For plants in pots, I consider it invaluable; and gardeners who wish to raise specimen plants for exhibition, will find this mode of watering them every sixth time with the solution, to produce a perfection of growth not to be surpassed in any other way.
Yours truly, An Amateur.
New -York, May 10,1852.
"We endorse our correspondent's testimony to the value of the solution of sulphate of ammonia, applied in the manner he directs, having witnessed its satisfactory effects. Ed.
Thomas R. We believe the best seedling Dahlias shown this year by the English growers, have been, Turner's Sir John Franklin; Bragg's Miss Matthews., scarlet tipped with white of great depth; Pope's Lord Byron, rosy salmon, new in color; Turrill's Lady Dalrymple, Edwards1 Unanimity, a fancy striped variety; colors, scarlet and deep yellow. But we advise you to wait till they come here; the chances are, Thorburn & Co., of New-York, will have them in the spring. You are not aware perhaps, that if you write to London for them now, as you contemplate, you would have to pay at least $20 or $25 a piece for roots of them; on account of their being at present only in the hands of the original growers or raisers of them; whilst you will get them here for a dollar each, when they come over and are propagated here in the spring by the importer.
D. F. From your remarks, we expect that when you take up your roots you injure them by pulling them out of thegronnd, when only half lifted by the spade. Never do that; let the top be first cut off near the ground, then with the spade raise them entirely out of the ground; but do not pull them.
The following are the best four bedding varieties: Queen of Whites, the best white; Duke of Newcastle, yellow; Scarlet Tom Thumb, scarlet; Crimson Gem, fine crimson. It is impossible to have dahlias in flower early in the season; to do them well requires ample space, an open, sunny position, and a free but not over-rich loamy soil.
Our lady readers may desire to plant some good dahlia roots the coming spring. Here is a good selection of twenty-four varieties, sufficient to form a good beginning for any amateur. In our cool fall months the dahlia is our most showy flower, and we esteem it worthy of a place in every flower garden. By some it is considered too gross and coarse, but it has never appeared so to our tastes. It may lack the delicate beauty of the rose, and also its exquisite fragrance, yet its showy bloom and free, flowering habit, with comeliness of plant, are great arguments in its favor.
Madame St. Laurent,
Countess de Chambord,
Lady Cathcart, Magpie, Warrior, Wacht an Rhine, Lord Derby, Caleb Mix, Duke of Roxbury, Madame Maria,
John Bright, Princess, Mants Saville, Triomphe de Picq. Fair Maid, Charles Turner, Golden Ball, Mezard.
So many new and desirable varieties appear yearly, that doubtless many in this list would be found surpassed and forgotten in a year or two; but a really choice variety will always deserve planting.
The dahlia is a somewhat bushy and free growing plant, and will not bear crowding to such an extent as the gladiolus. There are two acres of this plant now under cultivation. The plot contains fifteen hundred plants, and when in bloom, forms a beautiful sight. This dahlia plantation contains a great variety of flowers, some of which are very rare.
If desirable to increase dahlias by cuttings, do so at once; in a brisk heat they will root in a few days and be established by planting - out time. We consider the dwarf varieties the most desirable; the plants flower earlier and more abundantly, and the plants do not require stakes to prevent the wind breaking them; but of course when exhibition flowers are required, the size of plant and abundance of bloom is a secondary consideration, as the buds are usually trimmed to a small number, and there are not sufficient varieties among the dwarfs to make up a collection for competition.
A correspondent of the Rural New Yorker, says that if limited to three named sorts, she would take La Phare, bright scarlet; Emily, blush, with lilac tints; Purity, white. They make a bouquet in themselves, and are remarkably thrifty and free flowering.