Vick's Monthly Magazine, 11: 117-118 (Feb 1888)
SUBSTITUTING
A. W., Placer Co., Cal.

I believe I am stating an undeniable fact when I say that there are no misrepresentations or mistakes possible to be made by any dealer, so intolerable, so irremediable, as those made by florists. They advertise that they will correct any mistakes or losses, if notified immediately. But these are often of a nature that cannot be ascertained at once.

Of course, the chief reason for the disappointment lies in the fact that we lose a whole year generally in a case of this kind. When we receive the fascinating catalogues, in the early spring, we read of many flowers we want, but there are a few we feel we must have. And when we have bought them, we pot, and shelter, and nurse, and watch them with the most eager impatience, and when the disappointment comes, we are fairly heart-sick over it. It is very cruel, and a conscientious florist who considers the matter well, will send exactly what is wanted, or nothing. Not to receive what one wishes is a small matter. It can be ordered elsewhere.

In getting up a club, one lady ordered a Hydrangea grandiflora for another who dwelt in the mountains, where only hardy plants would live. A common Hydrangea was sent, but not being familiar with the leaf, the substitution was not discovered for months, and the plant was useless.

Another lady wished particularly for a yellow Carnation, but the one sent proved to be white.

One dealer offered some wonderful ever-blooming, large-flowered, highly perfumed, white Carnations for premiums, and after waiting a year the happy owner discovered, one day, a pink bordered flower, and during the second summer obtained, perhaps, six blossoms.

One, who did not like red Roses, made out a list without one of that color. But a few months afterwards it was found that several belonged to the obnoxious class.

Another, who had all the red and yellow Chrysanthemums she wished, selected a variety of other colors, but at blossoming time there was a bold display of brick red and chrome yellow.

A lady who is working gradually into the florists' business, sent for the new large-flowered Verbena, Century—red, with white eye—and took the new growth all summer for propagating. When, at last, she permitted one to bloom, behold it was just the old common kind of which she already had an abundance in her grounds.

"Substitution" is inexcusable. Suppose I order brown ladies' cloth for a dress. Would any reputable dealer substitute a blue, because he had none of the other? A florist has no more right to send me a red Rose when I pay for a white one. He cannot know what I already have, nor what I like or dislike.

If I wish a velvety crimson, much twisted Japanese Chrysanthemum, does a yellow Chinese plant supply me?


Storm King: John Lewis Childs (1891)

"KATE ELLICOTT," in the January number of this MAGAZINE, makes complaint about Storm King Fuchsia, and says it must have the best of care "or its flowers will not be a whit larger than Speciosa's." This is probably another case of "substitution." One of my friends purchased a veritable Storm King two years ago, and it was all that the advertiser claimed. The blossoms were immense, although it received only ordinary treatment. It was necessary to remove many of the buds, or the plant would have been broken by their weight. The Speciosa no more compares with it than the blossom of the Safrano Rose compares with that of American Beauty.