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.
The winter over a great portion of the country has been very changeable, and on the whole what may be called severe upon trees and plants ranked as tender; yet up to this time we are not aware that fruit-buds have suffered seriously, but the most trying periods for these are coming.
Mistakes are often made in uncovering trees and plants too early - subjecting them to cold, biting winds, and the blighting influence of warm days and cold, frosty nights. We advise a slight covering to remain until the weather be soft and genial.
A sure foundation for successful gardening during the coming season, is to be well prepared to execute every operation promptly in its season. Seizing the very first opportunity for planting, and taking time to do it well, is a certain means of success.
Hot-beds for forcing early vegetables, raising plants for the kitchen garden, and propagating soft-wooded plants for bedding out, will be among the important operations of March requiring hourly attention.
Laying turf, mending lawns, etc, where neglected last fall, should be attended to as soon as the frost is out of the ground, to give the grass the advantage of a vigorous spring growth that will put it out of danger from drouth.
Roses, flowering shrubs, etc., should be pruned and dressed. Many people suppose that Rose bushes and shrubs when well established may be left to themselves; and the consequence is, they become bushy and twiggy, the growth is feeble, and the flowers indifferent They need frequent prunings, and top dressings of good rich compost about their roots, to give them vigorous growth, luxuriant foliage, and a profusion and perfection of bloom. In pruning both shrubs and Roses, it should not be forgotten that some produce their blossoms on young wood, and some on wood of last year. In the latter case, a sufficient quantity of flowering wood must be left, cutting out the older parts.