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.
By the complaint of your correspondent "Querist," in your October number, he appears to be sorely disappointed with regard to the produce of his new green-house, and after expending $800, that he has not been able to furnish his desires, of "having cut flowers regularly for the center table." Now, we may well sympathize with those enthusiastic amateurs who often deprive themselves of other luxuries to begin the cultivation of flowers, more particularly when we see them going to the expense of erecting glass houses for the reception of their favorites; and, under the circumstances, it becomes a duty, owing to our own profession, to give a helping hand, that the disappointed, in their first efforts, may not despair of success, or reluctantly turn their .attention away from this pleasing, ennobling, and instructive pursuit.
In the present case, it appears to me that the above sum ought to have accomplished this little affair, if rightly appropriated, with proper culture added; and having said thus much, it remains for me to show how it may be done. He speaks of not being able to afford two houses. Why not have a division-window inside? Two small houses in this style might have been plainly and substantially built for less than the cost he mentions; and one furnance, or hot-water boiler, if rightly constructed, would have answered for both. I have at present under charge, two houses of this character, which are seventy-five feet long by twenty feet wide; both are worked to satisfaction with one of HitchiNs' boilers, having a shut-off valve. In one division is a general collection of green-house plants, and in which, by artificial heat, is kept a temperature of 40° to 45° at night; and in the other, from 55° to C0°, which is sufficient for most things, such as your correspondent will require, - in fact, enough for almost any tender exotics that are cultivated. His want of success has most likely occurred - first, from having only one temperature; and, second, by keeping too dry an atmosphere, with too much heat for some of his plants, - the dropping of the Camellia buds, for instance.
Now, if he will put a glass division inside, and adapt his heating apparatus so as to work one or both divisions, as may be desired, he will have no occasion to despond as regards the convenience. Of course, proper culture and management is an essential requisite, without which, all the money he may expend will not make up for the deficiency in this respect.
There is also another consideration; all houses for growing winter-flowers, ought to face full south, or very few degrees east, or west, of that point, and be fully exposed to the sun's rays. The plants also, should be kept as near the glass as possible. The very best culture will be rendered neutral, so far as flowers are concerned, where these requisites are not attended to.
Another thing, is a judicious selection of those kinds of plants which bloom through the winter months, choosing, as far as may be, free, and long-continuing bloomers. Variety of color ought likewise to come in for a share of attention. Add to these items, cleanliness, careful watering, open porous soil, and well-drained pots, and we have the sum total that will give satisfaction.
To succeed with winter-flowers, it is most essential that all plants he well established in the pot some time before wanted for use. Roses, to bloom from November, ought to be kept in the pots all summer, and placed in larger ones, if requisite, without removing the ball of earth, in September; or they may be removed from the open ground not later than October, if a stock has not been previously prepared for the purpose. Hyacinths, Tulips, and the like, should be potted at the same time, or even earlier, if they can be procured, and be kept in a cool place, out of doors, covered with rotted leaves, sand, or other loose material of a similar nature, until frost sets in. Mignonette, Sweet Alyssum, Nemophyllas, Schizanthus, and other like annuals, if sown in pots in September, and kept in a cool green-house near the glass, will furnish a great addition. Oranges, Gardenias, Burchellia capensis, Deutzia gracilis, Spircea Beevesii, and s prunifolia plenus, Persian Lilacs, Rhododendrons, and our much neglected Kalmias, may be kept in a low temperature till late in December, and then introduced into the warmer apartment, when they will soon expand their flowers.
Azaleas with plump flower-buds, will be in bloom by New Year, if placed in the warm-house in October. Pinks, if potted in September, and kept in a cold frame, freely exposed to the air and light, will succeed, if placed in the warmer apartment, near the glass. A few pots may be introduced at intervals of a week, from the middle of December, and will produce flowers from the middle of February. This rich-scented and lovely flower is too seldom seen in the forcing-house, yet nothing is more easy to manage. If cuttings of Heliotrope are rooted in August, they will make strong plants, and will bloom all the season, if freely exposed to the sun, in a heat of 55°. Wall-flowers, Ten-week, or Intermediate Stocks, do best in an airy, cool situation; a few may be put in the cooler house to bloom through winter, and others kept in a cold frame for spring flowers. Neapolitan, Tree, and Double "White Violets, Primroses, Polyanthus, Auriculas, Forget-me-nots, Daisies, Pansies, etc, should also be grown in frames.
If Camellias are subjected to too much heat, or a parched atmosphere, the buds are very liable to drop, and the general health of the plants is sure to be impaired; 40° to 45° at night is quite sufficient. A judicious supply of fresh air, avoiding cold drafts, is also indispensable. The following are twelve of the best, and cheap kinds: Double White, white. Abby Wilder, white, striped with pinks. Wilderii, rose. Heal it, red. Imbricata, crimson, sometimes marbled with white. Henri Lefevre, rosy red. Binneyii, crimson. Landrethii, pink. Incarnata, or Lady Hume's Blush, light Mesh color. Saco de Novo, light rosy pink. Sarah Frost, light crimson. Dunlap's Imbricata, marbled rose and white.
To bloom Roses well through winter, choice should be made of the free and continual bloomers, as Tea, Bourbon, and China; and even in these classes there is much difference for this purpose. The plants-ought likewise to be kept near the glass, in a heat by night of 55°, allowing it to rise to 70 or 75° by sunlight The following flowers from November to May: Common China, pink. Cramoisi Superieur, dark crimson. Hermosa, pink. Mrs. Bosanquet, blush. White China, white. Le Pac-tole, light yellow. Louis Phillippe, crimson. La Sylphidac, tawny white. Souvenir de la Malmaison, fleshy pink. Lamarque, white. Bougere, salmon. It is best not to attempt too much variety in this case; and the above list, though limited as to quantity, contains a variety of colors. They are also, with the exception of the Common and White China, all good-formed flowers, and have the extra advantage of being handsome in the bud. To enumerate all that may be done, and exactly how to do it, would occupy a volume, so we must be content to give a rough draft for the present, with the hope that these few remarks may be of use to your correspondent and others who may be placed in the same predicament.
The following list, in addition to what is mentioned above, contains some of the best adapted, most suitable, and handsome plants, which bloom through the winter and spring months:
* Abutilon striatum,
* " Venosnm, * Euphorbia splendens,
* " jacquiniflora, * Poinsettia pulcherrima.
Jasminum grandinflorum, " multiflorum,
* " Sambac,
* " inrignis,
* " hydrocotylifolia,
* " manicata,
* " coccinea,
* " semperflorenB, Daphne odora,
* Justicia cocci nes,
* " speciosa,
* " bicolor, *Aphelandra cristats, *Cyrtocerus reflexa, *Ruellia formosa, *Bletia Tankervillaea,
Olea fragrans, Polygala cordifolia, Kennedia monophylla, " Marryattae,
*Inga pulcherrima, Illicium floridanum, Erica actaea,
" meditteranea, *Plumbago rosea,
* " capensis, Cupbea platycentra,
" leucanthera, Pelargonium, Tom Thumb, and all the other scarlets, Stevia serrata, Eupatorium elegans,
Ageratum Mexicanum, *A11amanda neriifolia, *Eranthemum pulchellum, *Fransisea latifolia,
* " Hopeana, Gardenia radicans,
" Fortunea, " florida, Cestrum aurantiacum, Buddlea Madagascarienais, *Habrothamnus elegans, *Bignonia venusta, •Epiphyllum truncatum,
* " crenatum,
* " Ackermanii, * " Fielderii, *Cereus speciosisaimus,
Metrosideros floribundus, *Nematanthes longipes, *Columnea Sheidiana,
The above list might be considerably enlarged, but there are enough enumerated to furnish a fine display, and enable your correspondent not only to come up with "contemporaneous boquets," but also give him a return profit, in the way of gratification.