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.
In London are those who make it a business to furnish or decorate windows. These men make it their business to produce plants in flower and suitable for the season and the place they are to occupy.
The beauty, elegance and taste displayed in so simple a matter as this is something that puts Americans into the shade. The English young lady has four ways of arranging her window ornaments. She may simply place the pots on the sill behind the iron guard that is always ready, or she may plant them in a narrow wooden box. She can have the plants in beautiful terra-cotta pots, or she may use tile-covered trays. These last are very beautiful, and are the most fashionable. If she fancies hanging baskets or brackets the stores present a bewildering assortment in every form of cast-iron, terra-cotta, wire and moss, or wood.
The Prince of Wales fills his windows with zinc trays covered with Minton Company's glazed-ware tiles. This is considered the style. If Fifth avenue and Beacon street wish to do the very fashionable thing they will procure these handsome tile-covered trays and fill their windows with beauty.
Now for the places where the plants are produced. Climbing to the top of an omnibus in Oxford street, let us take a ride. The wide street is crowded with a hurrying mass of vehicles of every style. See that donkey cart loaded with lovely plants in full flower! On one little box of a team are plants enough to stock an ordinary New York flower store.
Where can they be going? Ask the driver. Driver: "Peddlers them is; sells em round to folks' winders." Presently we come to another dealer. This time it is a woman with a wooden tray on her head ; mignonette in four-inch pots and thick with bloom.