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.
No class of plants affords as much satisfaction to the grower the year throughout as do the native hardy ferns. Our forests, in many sections, abound with them in great variety, and at this season of the year they are easily removed. A little peak of rocks, if not in artistic taste, is soon relieved and made bright by the introduction of a few hardy ferns; and when they are mingled with Daphne Cnconum and Juniperus Squamata or repens, the effect is always pleasingly attractive.
Annual Flower Seeds should now be sown in the open ground. Prepare the ground very fine, and with small delicate seeds sow them, and then press them into the ground by a piece of board, leaving the board afterward over the whole, but raised say one or two inches from the ground for a few days, or until the seeds are fairly sprouted, when the shade should only be on during the middle of the day. Some of the coarser seeds may be covered from one sixteenth to one quarter of an inch deep, and a few will bear half an inch; but more are lost by too deep than too shallow covering. Don't forget to shade the seeds until after they have fully germinated.