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.
Our readers, with a comfortable greenhouse, will enjoy it most at this season, when the outside flowers, and also the bright-colored autumn leaves have disappeared for the year which is now nearly closed. Now is a good time to compare notes, and decide what novelties to add to the collection of plants. We frequently meet with some good, old-fashioned plant in out-of-the-way places, which only require to be better known to be generally cultivated. It must be also remembered that all the European novelties are not of equal merit; and many plants which are fine there, are of little value here; while many plants, only fit for greenhouse cultivation in England, are much finer outside in this country in the summer.
At this season there is usually more leisure time than at any other; for the outside jobs will be few, and limited to fine weather, so that every attention must be paid to cleansing plants and pots. Have all dirty pots and pans washed and stowed away in readiness for potting at the busy season. Have broken pots and charcoal in readiness for draining pots, some sphagnum moss under cover for mixing with orchid and anthenium soil, etc. Moss cannot be collected when the swamps are frozen. If a full supply of soil is not housed, do it at once, or it will be in poor condition when required for use. If there is time to spare, some plain wire-baskets can be made ready for filling with various plants at the proper season; but many baskets can be purchased cheaper than made at home.
Camellias will now be coming in flower. See that there is no dust or water dropped on the flower when the plants are watered, or the flowers will decay in a short "time. Be careful the plants do not get dry, or the buds will drop without opening. If press of work has prevented washing the foliage it must not be delayed, for it is difficult to do it thoroughly without pressing the flowers when on the point of opening. If it is desirable to have a number of cut flowers for any special time, these will keep longer if gathered and placed in a cool cellar, free from frost, than if remaining on the plants.