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Inhaltsangabe: Although not a typical instruction manual for orchid growers; About Orchids contains many valuable hints on cultivation, and several paragraphs on how to hybridize. Frederick Boyle (1841-1914) was an English author, journalist, barrister, and enthusiastic amateur orchid lover. He takes the reader on a wander through the dangers and consequences of hunting orchids in the tropical jungles of the nineteenth century, and chats about the extreme peculiarities of orchid growth, behavior and structure, coloring the essays with his own experiences and with his delight in cultivating these beautiful plants. Beware! An amazing new hobby beckons! CONTENTS. MY GARDENING AN ORCHID SALE ORCHIDS COOL ORCHIDS WARM ORCHIDS HOT ORCHIDS THE LOST ORCHID AN ORCHID FARM ORCHIDS AND HYBRIDIZING These essays profess to be no more than chat of a literary man about orchids. They contain a multitude of facts, told in some detail where such attention seems necessary, which can only be found elsewhere in baldest outline if found at all. Everything that relates to orchids has a charm for me, and I have learned to hold it as an article of faith that pursuits which interest one member of the cultured public will interest all, if displayed clearly and pleasantly, in a form to catch attention at the outset. Savants and professionals have kept the delights of orchidology to themselves as yet. They smother them in scientific treatises, or commit them to dry earth burial in gardening books. Very few outsiders suspect that any amusement could be found therein. Orchids are environed by mystery, pierced now and again by a brief announcement that something with an incredible name has been sold for a fabulous number of guineas; which passing glimpse into an unknown world makes it more legendary than before. It is high time such noxious superstitions were dispersed. Surely, I think, this volume will do the good work--if the public will read it. I do not give detailed instructions for culture. No one could be more firmly convinced that a treatise on that subject is needed, for no one assuredly has learned, by more varied and disastrous experience, to see the omissions of the text-books. They are written for the initiated, though designed for the amateur. Naturally it is so. A man who has been brought up to business can hardly resume the utter ignorance of the neophyte. Unconsciously he will take a certain degree of knowledge for granted, and he will neglect to enforce those elementary principles which are most important of all. Nor is the writer of a gardening book accustomed, as a rule, to marshal his facts in due order, to keep proportion, to assure himself that his directions will be exactly understood by those who know nothing. The brief hints in "Reichenbachia" are admirable, but one does not cheerfully refer to an authority in folio. Messrs. Veitch's "Manual of Orchidaceous Plants" is a model of lucidity and a mine of information. Repeated editions of Messrs. B.S. Williams' "Orchid Growers' Manual" have proved its merit, and, upon the whole, I have no hesitation in declaring that this is the most useful work which has come under my notice. But they are all adapted for those who have passed the elementary stage. Thus, if I have introduced few remarks on culture, it is not because I think them needless. The reason may be frankly confessed. I am not sure that my time would be duly paid. If this little book should reach a second edition, I will resume once more the ignorance that was mine eight years ago, and as a fellow-novice tell the unskilled amateur how to grow orchids. FREDERICK BOYLE. North Lodge, Addiscombe, 1893.
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