Recommended by jathton - Oct 6, 2020 10:45 AM
Fritz Bahr's Commercial Floriculture is a fascinating look at how the floriculture industry worked in the early parts of the Twentieth Century. Published in 1922, it strove to help florists improve their business, especially during periods when cut flower sales were not a high priority for consumers.
Bahr spends time talking about trends in the business, the best kinds of equipment to have and the practical side of greenhouse management. He then takes things a step further when he begins recommending branching out into other aspects of the horticulture trade.
Bahr was a practical businessman, giving practical advice, but he also had a passionate side. In the introduction he is careful to point out that, "To be gardeners, to enjoy and appreciate the chance to work among living plants, should help make us better men, with a higher conception of our responsibilities and duties in life, a keener realization of life itself, a greater consideration for the rights of all our fellow men, and a deeper sense of gratefulness."
He also had a whimsical side... recommending plants that will either amuse or horrify contemporary gardeners and professionals.
He recommends the Castor Bean to florists because, "...it is highly ornamental for the filling of large beds or for sub-tropical plantings."
He suggests growing Hostas, "...for which the country florist in particular will find plenty of use."
He advocates growing Japanese Maples in pots because, "... these Maples make most showy pot plants in early spring. They are, therefore, desirable decorative material for the retailer."
My personal favorite, however, is his comment about Kudzu Vine. He says, "... easily grown from seed sown inside in March. This will give strong 3.5 inch pot plants by the middle of May, which if planted out, will make fifteen feet of growth or more the first season."
This is a fun and educational book to explore.
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