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 selecting varieties of hardy annuals, seek rather a few of those that bloom freely and grow vigorously, than to make your collection one of varieties. Very little satisfactory effect can be obtained from a great variety, many of them possessing no distinctive character or color, however pretty and curious they may be to the botanist. Large masses of a few sorts and of distinct colors, white, crimson, etc., such as candytufts, phlox Drummondi, etc., will give, are very effective either in small gardens or on extensive lawns.
A cheap hot-bed frame will hold a great many cuttings, which may be grown for bedding out, and make gay the garden all summer at a very small cost aside from a little daily care. Prepare the bed in the ordinary manner for growing of early kitchen garden stuff; let the rank heat escape - or, rather, leave it a week or so, until it becomes sweet in its regular warmth; then procure a few good bushy plants from a commercial gardener; make up the cuttings and plant them in sandy soil. Shade for a time, but give air and avoid too much moisture, as it is liable to create mildew and cause the cuttings to damp off.