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.
Our readers will remember that during the past year we noticed a fine show of Double Pyrethrums, in colors, which we saw at Messrs. Ellwanger & Barry's, Rochester, New York; and if they have been wise, they have determined that plants shall grace their flower-beds this coming season. The following, from the London Florist, describes many new varieties, and tells the whole story:
"Any attempt to chronicle the improvements made during the past few years among the flowers employed for garden decoration would be incomplete without some allusion to the greatly improved forms of the Double Pyrethrum. Only a few years ago a Double Pyrethrum of the section now under notice was a thing unknown. But that patient enterprise that works out so many astonishing revolutions in the world of horticulture has been applied with great success to this flower, and we have now among us a valuable summer-flowering plant for the open ground - one thoroughly hardy, being altogether an outdoor flower, and at the same time thoroughly valuable for the embellishment of shrubbery and mixed borders.
"The history of the improvement of this flower is just the simple process that has worked such happy results in the case of other popular flowers. Received from the Continent by Mr. John Salter, of Hammersmith, in a form suggestive of a much higher order of development, it was at once taken in hand, and by careful seeding, year by year, semi-double flowers became resolved into fully double blooms; increased size both of floret and flower-head followed in the wake of fuller substance, and with these came that coveted variation which always gladdens the heart of the florist - a breaking away into new colors, or combinations of color, even to a much larger degree than was at first reasonably expected. And so, bringing up the 'record of progress' to the present year, the rich and varying beauty of some of these flowers really surprises one who has inspected them, seeing what a comparatively short space of time has been devoted to perfecting them. They are certainly a valuable addition to our hardy herbaceous plants. That they grow somewhat lanky is really no tenable objection against them, as they can easily be tied up to stakes in common with many other herbaceous plants.
But it is not improbable that this objection will soon be altogether removed, inasmuch as some very dwarf-growing varieties are now showing themselves in the seedling-beds, in the same way as has been observed among the Antirrhinums for instance, and there is no loss of any good qualities in these dwarf-growing kinds, while their dwarfness is a great gain. They remain in bloom for a considerable time, commencing early in July, if not earlier, and they are even now (the second week in September) in full bloom, as the plants throw out a succession of lateral shoots that become floriferous.
"Then some single-flowered varieties of the Pyrethrum are also undergoing a collateral improvement, though they only bear about the same relationship to the double-flowered kinds that the single Anemone-flowered Chrysanthemums do to the splendid and full double flowers. Still, they are moving along in the march of improvement, increasing year by year in size of flower, in breadth and roundness of floret, and in diversity of color. They are easily propagated; this is another recommendation in their favor. They can be multiplied by taking off cuttings either in the autumn or early in the spring; these should be put into a bed made ready for them in a cold frame, or else be put out on a shady border, and protected by a hand-glass. A good rich soil is all that is required to induce them to root.
"I have endeavored to arrange under certain heads of color some of the showiest and best varieties. Under the head of Carmine and Red may be put the showiest and brightest colors. Of these the following can be well recommended: Emile Leomine, a fine continental variety, color deep rosy carmine with bronze center; Modele, a fine shade of carmine red, but with a tendency to come single ; Carmina-tum plenum, dark carmine; Fulgens ple-nissimum, dark red, a large and handsome flower; Imbricatum plenum, bright rosy carmine, the flowers of great size and showy; Rose Perfection, a dark but pleasing shade of rosy carmine; Prince of Wales, dark carmine shaded with bright red, a striking shade of color, flowers large and full.
"Rosy Lilac and Purple shades will well represent the next section. A distinct purple hue is evidently soon to be obtained, but at present it is somewhat mixed with rose. The most noticeable under this head are Miss PlinMe (Salter), new of 1867, pale rosy lilac, with a light center, the flowers large and full, and belonging to what Mr. Salter denominates the Ranunculus-flowered section, inasmuch as the florets forming the center of the head are flat instead of being quilled, as is ordinarily the case ; Lischen, another continental variety, rosy purple with paler center; Madame Galot, deep rosy purple, a very effective shade of color; and Barral, a very fine and double crimson purple flower, one of the best of the dark colors.
"Of shades of Rose there are Salter's Alfred Salter, vivid rose, a fine flower; Iveryanum, bright rose, the flowers large and full (this variety is somewhat dwarf in its habit) ; Nemesis, dark glowing rose, showy and fine; Paul Journou, soft rose with light center, another dwarf-growing variety; Pompon Rose, a small but good flower of a lively dark rose shade; and Wilhelm Kramper, a tall-growing variety, but of a good shade of color - namely, lively dark rose.
"Pink shades are found in the following varieties: Nobilissimum (Salter), new of 1867, a very large flower, having broad guard florets of a bright pink hue with a white center, one of the most distinct kinds, and very attractive; Yolande, rosy pink, flowers very double, and dwarf-growing; Carneum plenum, pinkish blush, flower large and full; Fascination, a very pleasing shade of deep pink; Gustave Heitz, a continental variety of a pale rosy pink shade with bronzy center, a fine flower, but a somewhat tall grower; Lady Blanche, blush, with a distinct rosy tint, very fine; Miss Talfourd, bright rosy pink, a pretty and pleasing shade of color; and Mrs. Dix, blush, shaded with pale rose, and very fine.
"There is a clearly perceptible presence of something akin to Peach color in a few of these flowers, particularly in Avians, rosy peach, the center lighter, a pretty and distinct flower; Cerito, clear rosy peach with sulphur center, a fine flower; and Pet, another pretty flower of bright rosy peach shade.
"Shades of Yellow are as yet confined to yellowish sulphur and buff. Of these the best are Luteum plenum (Salter), new of 1867, pale yellow, but deeper in color in the center, free-blooming and dwarf - growing ; Nancy, a continental variety, in color creamy sulphur; and Sulphureum, sulphur, with a deeper color in the center of the flower, distinct and good.
" Of White flowers there are Annie Hol-born, white, with a deep blush center; Belle Gabrielle, pure white, with delicate peach center, a fine flower ; Ne Plus Ultra, blush white, a fine and bold flower; and Princess Alexandra, white, with a slight tint of cream, a very fine flower of great depth and substance, and dwarf-growing.
" The following are the best of the single flowers : Giganteum rubrum, chestnut red, flowers large and bold ; Kleinholtz, bright crimson, fine and distinct; Mons, glowing crimson, a fine shade of color, flowers large and fine ; Prince Alfred, purplish crimson, flowers large and bold; and Sparkler bright reddish crimson, flowers very showy, and a fine shade of color".
The Verge of Walks and Roads should always be made as inconspicuous as possible. The less the verge is elevated above the walk, the less we have of harsh line to break the smoothness and harmony of blending from lawn to roadway or flowerbed. Some gardeners seem to think that a strong, harsh line, or verge of two inches deep or more, next the path, is a mark of skill; but to our taste, it is only an exhibit of mechanical labor breaking in upon the softness of nature's own laws, which always resolve into one another without any harsh or offending feature. The verge to a path should rise from the path just as little as possible, if even extra care have been taken to cut each line, sloping underneath, as it were, so that when the roller is passed over it, the line of demarkation will be perceptible only by the change of gravel to turf.