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Title: Small Gardens - and How to Make the Most of Them
Author: Biddle, Violet Purton
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Small Gardens and How to Make the Most of Them



SPECIAL NOTICE.

SEEDS

IF YOU WANT REALLY GOOD BULBS & SEEDS AT MODERATE PRICES, SEND TO

  Mr. ROBERT SYDENHAM,
  44, Tenby Street, Birmingham.

No One will serve you Better.


HIS UNIQUE LISTS

Are acknowledged by all to be the Best, Cheapest, and most Reliable
ever published. They contain only the Best VEGETABLES, FLOWERS, AND
BULBS WORTH GROWING.

Being the Selections of the Largest Seed Growers, Market Gardeners, and
the most celebrated Professional Gardeners and Amateurs in the kingdom.

They also contain very useful cultural instructions.

Mr. SYDENHAM'S Bulbs and Seeds were represented and gained First Prizes at
London, Birmingham, Preston, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Shrewsbury, Edinburgh,
etc., etc., in 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899 and 1900.


SWEET PEAS A SPECIALITY.

No Flowers give so much cut bloom at so little cost and trouble if treated
as instructions sent with each collection.

12 good varieties, 50 seeds of each, 1s. 6d.; 12 choice varieties, 50
seeds of each, 2s.; or the Two Collections for 2s. 6d.; a Third Collection
of the 12 best varieties for Exhibition, 3s.; or the Three Collections,
5s., post free, with a packet each of the four best striped varieties
added free of charge. Generally sold at twice or three times the money.

  THE BEST TOMATOES, 3d. per packet of 200 Seeds.
  THE BEST CUCUMBERS, 6d. per packet of 10 Seeds.
  ALL OTHER SEEDS equally cheap and good.

FULL LISTS POST FREE ON APPLICATION.



=PUT IT ON TOP= of your Fowlhouse, Tool or Bicycle Shed, or anything in
the shape of a shed that you are building. Ask your ironmonger for our
handy booklet, which will help you considerably with useful hints on
building all kinds of structures, and roofing them with =RED HAND ROOFING
FELT=

If your ironmonger has not got it, you can get it free, and name of
nearest holder, from D. ANDERSON & SON, LD., LAGAN WORKS, BELFAST.



SPECIAL NOTICE.

LAXTON'S GRAND NEW LARGE-FRUITED, EARLY STRAWBERRY FOR 1901.


The "Laxton," THE IDEAL AMATEURS' AND MARKET GROWERS' FRUIT.

The Fruit that everyone must Grow!

_A DARKER, FIRMER, AND IMPROVED "ROYAL SOVEREIGN."_

We believe this to be by far the =finest= of our many introductions, and
in it we claim to have combined all the good points of those two fine
varieties from which it was raised, viz, "Royal Sovereign" and "Sir J.
Paxton," and believe it to be the most wonderful Strawberry for earliness,
size, firmness, quality, hardiness, and vigour of plant combined.


=The following are some of its good points--=

=Earliness.=--In earliness it is as early as "Royal Sovereign."

=Size.=--In size it is as large as, if not larger than, "Sovereign," and
certainly larger than "Sir J. Paxton."

=Colour.=--But in colour it is much =darker and brighter= than
"Sovereign," partaking of the rich colour and taking appearance of "Sir J.
Paxton."

=Flavour.=--In flavour it is quite as rich as "Royal Sovereign."

=Firmness.=--It is also =much firmer= than "Sovereign," does not rot on
the ground in damp weather, and is a far better traveller.

=Cropping Qualities.=--Its cropping qualities are prodigious, heavier than
either "Sovereign" or "Paxton," throwing its bold tresses well above the
foliage.

=Constitution.=--A very hardy and vigorous grower, retaining its foliage
well in winter.

=Fast Selling Out for 1901.=--The demand for this variety has been already
very large, and as the stock is small and is fast selling out, we must ask
for early orders or we shall be unable to execute until 1902. =PLANTS IN
POTS ONLY SUPPLIED.=

=PRICE 18s. per doz.; £5 per 100.=

(Not less than 1/2 at the doz. and 100 rates.) As the demand is very
great, and the stock limited, the price cannot be much lower for several
years. A Handsome Coloured Plate, and full descriptive Catalogue published
shortly.

Free on application.


LAXTON BROTHERS, Strawberry Plant Growers and Specialists, BEDFORD.



SMALL GARDENS



[Illustration]

Green's Lawn Mowers

Imitated by Many! Equalled by None! Over 270,000 Sold!

[Illustration]

GREEN'S GARDEN ROLLERS ARE UNSURPASSED!

Known and appreciated throughout the World.

[Illustration]


  THOS. GREEN & SON, Ltd.,
  Blackfriars Road, LONDON, S.E., and LEEDS.

_Please write for List, S. G., 1901. May be had from Local Ironmongers and
Seedsmen._



  Small Gardens and How to make the most of them


  By Violet Purton Biddle


  London
  C. Arthur Pearson Ltd.
  Henrietta Street
  W.C.



[Sidenote: Patent Coil Stake]

NOTICE.

  DON'T STAKE YOUR CARNATIONS
  TILL YOU HAVE SEEN THE
  Patent Improved Coil Stake.

No Tying required. Stakes last a Lifetime. The Greatest Boon ever
offered to Growers. Only wants seeing.

_Prices (Cash with Order)_:--

  20in., = 7/6= per 100, =1/-= per doz.
  25in., =10/6=    "     =1/6=    "
  30in., =13/6=    "     =2/-=    "
  36in., stouter, =17/6= per 100, =2/6= per doz.

=A. PORTER=, Stone House, =MAIDSTONE=.


[Sidenote: Fruit Trees, Shrubs, Seeds, etc.]


THE FINEST APPLE ON EARTH IS UNDOUBTEDLY BRAMLEY'S SEEDLING, Unequalled
for Productiveness and Quality.

ALL KINDS OF FRUIT TREES ON OFFER TO SUIT EVERY PLANTER.

THE ROSE (the Queen of Flowers), All new varieties stocked.

FLOWERING AND ORNAMENTAL SHRUBS A SPECIALITY.

My Flower and Vegetable Seeds cannot be excelled.

Send for my lists which contain valuable remarks on Profitable Fruit
Growing. Free on application to--

Henry Merryweather, The Nurseries, Southwell, Notts.


[Sidenote: Garden Netting]

TANNED GARDEN NETTING.

Protect your Strawberry Beds, Seeds, &c., from the ravages of birds.

NETS OILED AND DRESSED; 36 SQUARE YARDS FOR 1/-.

Can be sent any width or length; carriage paid on orders over 6s.

HENRY ROBINSON, GARDEN NET WORKS, RYE, SUSSEX.


[Sidenote: Plants for Small Gardens]

SMALL GARDENS AND HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF THEM

(_COUNTRY OR SUBURBAN_).

=Send a small Rough Plan of your Garden=, showing points of the compass,
and stating whether in town, country, or suburb, to Mr. WOOD, and he will
give you a list of PLANTS sufficient and suitable for the different
positions. Communication in regard to _Rockeries_ and _Rock Plants_ is
specially invited. List of

  ALPINES, Hardy HERBACEOUS PLANTS and AQUATICS
  on application to
  J. WOOD, Woodville, Kirkstall, LEEDS.



SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS


CHAPTER I

=The General Arrangement of the Garden=

_What to go in for, and what to avoid--Brick walls--Trees, their
advantages and disadvantages, etc._


CHAPTER II

=Lawns, Paths, Beds, and Border=

_How to keep the lawns level--Paths, and how to lay them--Beds and
bedding--The new style VERSUS the old--Flower borders and their
backgrounds--Improvement of the soil._


CHAPTER III

=On the Duty of Making Experiments=

_Description of a small yet lovely garden--Colour schemes--A novel way of
growing flowers, the spring dell--Variety in the flower-garden._


CHAPTER IV

=Some Neglected but Handsome Plants=

_The sweet old columbine--BOCCONIA CORDATA at Hampton Court--CAMPANULAS
as continuous bloomers--The heavenly larkspurs--Christmas roses--The tall
and brilliant lobelias--Chinese-lantern plants--Tufted pansies._


CHAPTER V

=The Conservatory and Greenhouse=

_Mistakes in staging--Some suitable climbers--Economical heating--Aspect,
shading, etc.--The storing of plants--No waste space--Frames._


CHAPTER VI

=The Tool Shed and Summer-House=

_Spades and the Bishop--Weeding a pleasure--Trusty thermometers--
Summer-houses and their adornment._


CHAPTER VII

=Roses for Amateurs=

_Teas--Hybrid perpetuals--Bourbons--Rose-hedges--Pillar roses--Suitable
soil._


CHAPTER VIII

=Enemies of the Garden=

_Slugs, and how to trap them--Blight or green fly--Earwigs--Wireworms--
Snails--Mice--Friends or Foes?_


CHAPTER IX

=The Rockery=

_A few hints on its construction--Aspect and soil--A list of alpines--
Other suitable plants._


CHAPTER X

=Trees, and How to Treat Them--Shrubs=

_Some good plants for growing beneath trees--List of hardy shrubs--
Climbers--Enriching the soil._


CHAPTER XI

=The Ins and Outs of Gardening=

_Planting--Watering--"Puddling"--Shelter--Youth and age, in relation to
plants--Catalogue defects--A time for everything._


CHAPTER XII

=The Profitable Portion=

_Fruit, best kinds for small gardens--Size minus flavour--Vegetables--
Herbs._


CHAPTER XIII

=Annuals and Biennials=

_Why they fail--Table of good annuals--Table of biennials._


CHAPTER XIV

=Window-Boxes=

_How to make them--Relation of box to residence they are intended to
adorn--Suitable soil--Window-plants for different aspects._


CHAPTER XV

=Table Decoration=

_Graceful arrangement--Thick-skinned stems--Preserving and resuscitating
flowers--Colour schemes--Table of flowers in season._


CHAPTER XVI

=The Propagation of Plants=

_By division--By cuttings--By seeds--By layers._


CHAPTER XVII

=The Management of Room Plants=

_Best kinds for "roughing it"--Importance of cleanliness--The proper way
of watering them._


CHAPTER XVIII

=Various Hints=

_Artificial manures--Labelling--Cutting off dead flowers--Buying
plants--Tidiness in the garden, etc._



TERMS USED BY GARDENERS


=Mulching=--Term used for applying manure in a thick layer round the roots
of shrubs, as a protection from frost.

=Pricking off=--Transplanting seedlings into separate pots.

="Eyes"=--Incipient leaf-buds.

="Heel"=--The hardened part of a cutting, formed where it is joined to the
original plant.

=Annual=--Lasting one year.

=Biennial=--Lasting two years.

=Perennial=--Lasting several years.

=Herbaceous=--Term applied to plants which die down completely every
winter.

=Deciduous=--Not ever-green; this term is applied to trees the leaves of
which fall off every autumn.

=Suckers=--Shoots that spring up from the common stock, as distinct from
those which belong to the engrafted portion.

=Pegging down=--Bending branches down close to the ground, and securing
them with a peg.

=Runners=--Separate little plants, issuing from the parent, and ultimately
rooting for themselves.

=Spit=--A spade's depth.

="Strike"=--A term applied to cuttings making roots.

=Pinching out=--Rubbing off undesirable shoots.

="Blind"=--A term applied to plants which turn out flowerless.

=Heeling in=--The process of temporarily covering plants with soil, till
the weather is suitable for setting them out in their permanent quarters.

=Carpet-bedding=--The geometrical arrangement of plants.



_All Seeds and Bulbs sent carriage and packing free on receipt of
remittance._

BARR'S SEEDS FOR FLOWER & KITCHEN GARDEN OF FINEST SELECTED STRAINS
& TESTED GROWTH

=The Best Seeds in the World= for securing a supply of Vegetables "the
year round," and for keeping the Flower Garden and Greenhouse always gay,
and with abundance of Flowers to cut for vases and bouquets.

BARR'S 21/-Collection of Vegetable Seeds

     Contains a liberal assortment of the following useful
     Vegetables:--Beans (Broad and French), Beet, Borecoli, Broccoli,
     Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Capsicum, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery,
     Colewort, Corn Salad, Cucumber, Cress, Endive, Herbs, Leek, Lettuce,
     Melon, Mustard, Onions, Parsley, Parsnips, Peas, Radish, Salsify,
     Savoy Cabbage, Scorzonera, Spinach, Tomato, Turnip, and Vegetable
     Marrow.

Other Collections of =Barr's Superior Vegetable Seeds=:--=5/6=, =7/6=,
=12/6=, =42/-=, =63/-=, and =105/-=. Full particulars sent on application.


BARR'S CHOICE FLOWER SEEDS

=BARR'S SEED GUIDE= contains a Select List of all the most beautiful
Annuals and Perennials. Special Collections for all purposes and many
Sterling Novelties.

  =12= Packets of the Best Hardy Annuals     =2/6=
  =25=    "      "     "     "      "        =5/6=
  =10=    "      "     "     "   Perennials  =2/6=
  =25=    "      "     "     "      "        =7/6=

For Collections of Half-hardy Annuals or Perennials, and Seeds of Plants
for Rockwork, &c., see BARR'S SEED GUIDE, _free on application_.


=BARR'S= Seed Guide, containing many useful notes on culture, which will
be found of great value to Gardeners, Amateurs and Exhibitors, free on
application.

=BARR'S= Catalogue of Hardy Perennials and Alpines, Ready in February,
Free.

=BARR'S= Catalogue of Bulbs and Tubers for Spring Planting, Ready in
February, Free.

=BARR'S= List of Autumn-flowering Bulbs, Ready 1st July, Free.

=BARR'S= Catalogue of Beautiful Daffodils, Ready in August, Free.

=BARR'S= Catalogue of Bulbs for Garden and Greenhouse, Ready 1st
September, Free.


  BARR & SONS,
  11, 12 & 13, KING ST.,
  COVENT GARDEN, LONDON
  Nurseries--Long Ditton, Near Surbiton, Surrey.



[Sidenote: Corpulency and the Cure.]

"HOW STOUT YOU ARE GETTING."

There is too often a scarcely veiled reproach in that exclamation: "How
stout you are getting!" At any rate, the corpulent one is generally
sensitive on that point, and perhaps feels a reproach where none is
intended. Certain it is that to lose the _svelte_ symmetry of youth, to
broaden out, to "swell wisibly," as Sam Weller has it, and finally to
become "fat and scant of breath," is a process at once humiliating and
distressing, especially to those who possess that keen appreciation of
personal appearance which is a part of what is termed good breeding. There
is now, however, no excuse for those who have resigned themselves to carry
to the grave the rotund proportions of a Falstaff. The perusal of a little
book entitled "Corpulency and the Cure," by F. CECIL RUSSELL, has afforded
us not a little interest and instruction on a subject that has hitherto
received but superficial attention from the medical profession. Mr.
Russell has made the cure of obesity his life's study, and judging from
the record of his achievements--over a thousand grateful letters from his
patients are printed in the book--he has been singularly successful. The
author's treatment is not by "wasting." There is no "sweating"; there are
no stringent restrictions as to eating and drinking; no drastic conditions
of any kind. The medicine prescribed is simple and pleasant, purely
vegetable, and perfectly harmless.

Its action is two-fold; it reduces the abundant fatty tissue at a very
rapid rate--in some cases to the extent of over 1lb. or 2lbs. in
twenty-four hours--usually from 3lbs. to 4lbs. in a week (sometimes
considerably more), and at the same time it acts as a refreshing and
invigorating tonic, promoting a healthy appetite, and dispelling the
feeling of depression and extreme _malaise_ experienced by the majority of
corpulent people. "Does the fat return after cessation of the treatment?"
is a question that many will ask. No, under normal conditions it does not.

Mr. Russell's treatment goes to the root of the malady, and, without
having the slightest pernicious effect even on the most delicate persons,
eliminates the cause of the tendency to corpulence.

"Corpulency and the Cure," a dainty little book of some 256 pages, is now
in its eighteenth edition. We would cordially recommend such of our
readers who are troubled with what we will call, for the sake of euphony,
"exaggerated _embonpoint_," to procure a copy by sending two penny stamps
to Mr. F. C. Russell, Woburn House, Store Street, Bedford Square, London.
This well-known specialist can claim the unique distinction of having
successfully treated over 10,000 cases of obesity.

     A UNIQUE TREATMENT.

     The "Russell" treatment is a marvellously efficacious and radical
     cure which is not only not harmful, but extremely vitalising and
     strengthening, promoting appetite and aiding digestion, assimilation
     and nutrition. Meanwhile the reduction of adipose matter goes
     steadily on until normal weight is reached.

       =No Noxious Drugs.=
       =No Stringent Dietary.=
       =No Drastic Restrictions.=


     AN UNFAILING TEST.

     The weighing machine will prove that the reduction of fat commences
     within 24 hours, the loss of weight varying from 1/2 to 2lb.; even
     more than this in severe cases of obesity. The compound forming the
     basis of the treatment is purely vegetable, & wholly free from
     objectionable ingredients.

     Whilst permanently reducing the body to normal weight and size, the
     "Russell" treatment has a wonderfully strengthening & invigorating
     effect upon the system.

Mr. Russell will be pleased to give to all readers suffering from Obesity
a copy of his book, "Corpulency and the Cure," 256 pages. When writing for
the Book, enclose two penny stamps to cover its postage. The Book will be
forwarded in a sealed plain envelope.

  ADDRESS:--
    Woburn House, 27, Store Street, Bedford Square, London, W.C.



SMALL GARDENS



CHAPTER I

The General Arrangement of the Garden

     _What to go in for, and what to avoid--Brick walls--Trees, their
     advantages and disadvantages, etc._


It is imperative that =a small garden=, such as one generally finds
attached to suburban or small houses, should be made the very most of.
Frequently, however, its owners seem to think that to attempt to grow
anything in such a little plot of ground is a veritable waste of time and
money, as nothing ever comes of it. The aim of this book is to show that
even the tiniest piece of land can be made pretty and even profitable, if
due attention be given it.

=WELL BEGUN IS HALF DONE.= To begin with, it is well to remember that the
tenant of a small garden should not endeavour to represent every feature
he sees in large grounds; the poverty-stricken shrubbery and pond just
about large enough for a nice bath, are too often seen, and only call
forth ridicule. Some landscape gardeners have even objected to the
presence of a lawn, where the space at disposal is very limited indeed,
but to my mind =a little turf is always advisable=, for it not onl
entices people into the fresh air for a game, but forms a good foil for
flowering plants, and above all looks so well during the winter.

=A long narrow garden= is always easier to deal with than a square plot of
land, the range of vision not being "brought up short," as it were. It is
well to take heed of this fact where there is any choice in the matter.
=Good brick walls= are a great help in gardening, though alas! in these
hurried days they are becoming much rarer, the wooden fence being run up
so quickly, and at far less expense.

As regards =the walks=, it is better to have one path wide enough for two
people abreast than several unsociably narrow ones. Each path should lead
somewhere, to the summer-house, or a gate, for instance: otherwise it
looks inconsequent.

Besides the flower-garden proper, =a nursery= for making experiments,
sowing seeds, and striking cuttings, should find a place, if possible; a
rubbish-heap is invaluable, too, where all decayed vegetable refuse,
road-scraping, soapsuds, etc., should be thrown. In autumn, all the leaves
the gardener sweeps up should be placed near by, both heaps being
frequently turned over to allow of the noxious gas escaping, and to assist
decomposition. The =rubbish corner= should be at the furthest extremity of
the garden, though it need not be unsightly if a screen is placed around
it. Privet is certainly the quickest growing shrub for that purpose, but,
as it is so common, other shrubs, such as =pyrus japonica=, =arbutus=,
=barberry=, and =pyracantha=, may be used.

=THE JOYS OF A GREENHOUSE.= If there is no greenhouse, try to obtain one;
it is such an infinite delight all through the dark months of the year,
and this without any great cost for fuel. A Rippingille oil-stove, with
one four-inch wick, will suffice to keep the frost out of a structure
measuring 16 × 10, if a lean-to (that is, attached to a dwelling-house).
Even this expense may be avoided where it is built against a kitchen wall,
though, if the wall happened to face north, only ferns and just a few
flowers would thrive. But even these would form a great interest,
especially to invalids, who often find their greatest pleasure in
pottering about under their "little bit of glass."

=A VEXED QUESTION.= The vexed question of =lopping one's neighbours'
trees= is sure to crop up sooner or later. However much detriment the
trees may be doing, by preventing the free access of sun and air, tenants
should know that the law only justifies them in cutting down those
branches which actually overhang their own domains. This being the case,
it is often the best "to grin and bear it," and lop the trees as little as
possible, for we must acknowledge that the fine form of a tree is always
spoilt when interfered with to any great extent. If the border would, in
any case be shady, so much the better; it will only require a little more
attention in the matter of watering, etc. After all, shade from the hot
summer sun is absolutely necessary if we would enjoy a garden, therefore
it is always well to hesitate over an act which takes but a few minutes to
do, but may need years to repair. Where the trees overhang a good south or
west wall the matter is more serious; it is then advisable to cut back as
far as possible, for roses, peach-trees, and, indeed, most =climbers
resent the constant drip= they are obliged to endure in wet weather. A
list of plants which do well under trees in various aspects is given in
another chapter.

=BREAKING UP.= As the eye wearies of the straight piece of lawn with
gravel path and border surrounding it, where practicable the ground should
be broken up a bit. Some wide =trellis-work=, painted dark-green, with an
arch-way on either side, helps to do this, and lends a pleasant sense of
mystery to what might otherwise be a prosaic garden. It should be covered
with all manner of creepers, such as clematis, jasmine, roses in variety,
and some of the hardy annuals. Very tender plants should not be put on a
trellis, as it does not by any means take the place of a wall, being more
draughty than the open ground, though such things as the _ceanothus_ will
often live through several winters, and bloom beautifully every summer in
such a spot, till an unusually hard frost kills them outright. =Mulching=,
however, of which more anon (see Glossary), materially aids in preserving
them.

=In gardening it is the little things that tell.= A mere trifle often
makes the difference between failure and success. People will hardly
believe, for instance, how important it is that certain plants should only
receive =soft water=, and continue giving the water laid on by the company
when all the time gallons and gallons of =precious rain= from heaven are
running to waste. It is only a question of a tank to preserve it, which
should be in an unobtrusive situation, though easily get-at-able. Where
alpines are concerned, rainwater should be the only beverage, and this
reminds me that a =rockery= on which to grow these gems of other countries
is not such an impossibility in a town garden as might be thought by their
scarcity.

=HOW NOT TO DO IT.= The rockery, as seen in most gardens, both public and
private, is too often an example of "how not to do it." A heterogeneous
mass of clinkers, planted here and there with ivy, and exposed to the full
force of sun and wind, is not to be named in the same breath with those at
Kew, for instance. Of course, these are not made with bricks at all, but
of soft grey stone, rather difficult to obtain by amateurs. Nevertheless,
the shape and general characteristics may be copied; indeed, a day every
now and then spent in the Royal Gardens at Kew or in any other well
planned gardens, is a liberal education in such matters, and a great help
in laying out a garden to good effect, though, naturally, everything must
be considerably modified.



CHAPTER II

Lawn, Paths, Beds, and Border

     _How to keep a lawn level--Paths, how to lay them--Beds and
     bedding--The new style versus the old--Flower-borders and their
     backgrounds--Improvement of the soil._


=THE AUTOCRAT OF THE GARDEN.= We have spoken of the general arrangement of
the suburban garden, and must now proceed to particularize. First as to
=the lawn=: It might often be described as a thing invented to keep the
journeyman gardener in constant work, for where that individual only comes
for a day or even half a day each week (on which basis this book is
written) he generally seems to occupy his time in rolling, mowing, and
sweeping the grass. An endeavour should a made to curtail this lengthy
business, if it can be done without hurting his very sensitive feelings.
When a boot-boy is kept, he can be set to roll the grass before and after
it is mown, and also assist in the tidying up, thus giving the man leisure
to attend to other matters. Where tennis or more especially croquet is
played, great care should be taken to keep the turf level; =inequalities=
can always be remedied in the winter or early spring. =Fine soil= should
be scattered over each depression where these are only slight, and a
little seed sown about March; but when the turf is very uneven it is a
better plan to lift it, fill up underneath with soil, and re-lay, rolling
well so that it may settle down properly. To keep a lawn even =constant
rolling= is most necessary. Even when the lawn is smooth, it is as well to
some seed in the spring of every year, for there are sure to be weeds to
eradicate, and this is apt to leave bare patches which mar the beauty of
any lawn. During hot, dry summers, water must be regularly applied or the
grass will wither and perhaps die out altogether. =Grassy slopes=
especially should be looked after, as they are the first to show signs of
distress. Where there is no hose, a "spreader" will be found a most useful
adjunct to a water-can, and is quite inexpensive. The knives of a
mowing-machine should not be set too low in warm weather, as =close
cutting= of grass is often responsible for it turning brown.

The =paths= of a garden can be composed of several substances, gravel
possibly being the best, as it is so easily renewed and kept in order. In
cottage gardens delightful pebble walks with an edging of tiles can be
sometimes seen, but unless plants having a mossy or cushion-like growth
are allowed to fall over the tiles, this arrangement is rather stiff. When
laying gravel down, see that it is of a ="binding" quality=, and laid
fairly thick, as this method is economical in the long run, because it can
be easily turned. The paths must be kept clear of weeds, and, except in
the wild portion, free also of moss, a difficult thing where the growth of
trees is very rank. Picking up the path constantly with a rake and
=scattering common salt= over it, is one way of keeping moss down. It is
important that the centre of a path be higher than the sides, so that it
should =dry quickly after rain=.

=BEDS AND BEDDING.= As regards the beds in the garden, these are usually
all on the lawn, though =a long raised bed= with a path on either side
looks extremely well if filled with flowers, and can be easily got at on
dewy mornings without wetting the feet. Fantastic shapes are not
advisable, unless =carpet-bedding=[1] is the style aimed at. Rose-trees
look best in round or oblong beds, and do not lend themselves to filling
up stars, though a crescent-shaped bed suits the low-growing kinds very
well. As a rule only one or two different kinds of flowers should be used
in the same bed, and if a good display of blossom is required these must
be frequently changed. =Cuttings a year old= make the best bedding-plants
in a general way, for, though the quantity of bloom may not be quite so
great the habit is more bushy, the individual flower far finer, and the
period of blossoming greatly prolonged. It has been found that many of the
old-fashioned flowers bloom much better if they also are =divided= and
=new soil added=. This is particularly noticeable in such flowers as
_delphiniums_, _campanulas_, and _japonica_ anemones. Once every two or
three years, however, is often enough for these hardy denizens of our
gardens.

     [1] See Glossary, p. 7.

=MAKING THE MOST OF THE LAND.= A new style of bedding has cropped up
lately, or rather a lesson that Nature has always been teaching us has at
last been taken to heart, for the idea is really as old as the hills. Two
=plants flowering at different seasons= are placed together where formerly
each would have had a separate piece of ground; thus, a tall, autumn phlox
will be seen rearing its panicles of flowers from a carpet of _aubrietia_,
_alyssum_, or forget-me-not, which all flower in spring. In this way each
foot of ground has something to interest us at all seasons of the year.
Lilies have been planted amongst rhododendrons and azaleas for some time
past, and now the system has been extended. When once we have made up our
minds to have =no bare soil=, various schemes will present themselves to
us. Bulbs can be treated so, to the great improvement of the garden, as
when they grow out of some hardy herbaceous plant, their dying leaves
which present such an untidy appearance are nearly hidden. This double
system of planting is especially necessary in beds which are in full view
of the house, as these must never look empty.

=WANTED--AN EYE FOR COLOUR.= Borders are not so much trouble in this way,
as, if the wall or fence at the back is well covered with a succession of
flowering shrubs, this makes =a very good back-ground=, and, as every
artist knows, that is half the battle. The colours, however, must be
carefully chosen, so that the plants in front blend with the creepers on
the wall. The inconsistency of people in this matter is very noticeable,
for they will mix shades in their borders which they would not dream of
allowing on their dinner-tables. Who has not had his teeth set on edge by
the sight of a pinkish-mauve everlasting pea in juxtaposition with a
flaming red geranium! it is repeated every year in scores of gardens, to
the great offence of every artistic eye. =Colours that quarrel= so
violently with each other should never be visible from the same point of
view, but kept rigorously apart.

It is important that =the soil of the border= be of fairly good quality;
if the staple be poor and rocky, plenty of loam must be incorporated with
a small proportion of manure. On the other hand, if it is heavy, cold, and
clayey, sand must be added to make it porous, and thus improve the
drainage. Where the soil is not improved, some trouble should be taken to
choose only those plants which will do really well in the particular soil
the garden possesses.



CHAPTER III

On the Duty of Making Experiments

     _Description of a small yet lovely garden--Colour schemes--The spring
     dell--A novel way of growing flowers--Variety in flower-gardens._


="Be original!"= is a motto that every amateur gardener should adopt. Far
too few experiments are made by the average owner of a garden; he jogs
along on the same old lines, without a thought of the delightful
opportunities he misses. Each garden, however small, should possess an
=individuality= of its own--some feature that stamps it as out of the
common run.

I remember seeing a tiny strip in a large town quite fairy-like in its
loveliness, and it has always been a lesson to me on what enthusiasm can
do. The old lady to whom it belonged was not rich, but an ardent lover of
all that is beautiful in nature and art; moreover, she did nearly all the
work herself. Though it was situated amid smoke and dirt, it almost
invariably looked bright and pretty, reminding one somehow, from its
quaintness, of the "days of long ago," for there were no geraniums, no
calceolarias, no lobelias, and not a single Portugal laurel in the whole
place. =Gardeners of the red, white, and blue school=, if any read this
book, will open their eyes at all this, and wonder, maybe, how a proper
garden could manage to exist without these indispensable plants. But then
it was not a proper garden in their sense of the term; paths were winding
instead of straight, flowers grew so well, and bloomed so abundantly that
they even ran into the walks occasionally, and, what was yet more
reprehensible, there was not a shadow of a box edging to =restrain= their
mad flight! Roses and jasmine threw their long flower-laden shoots over
the arches in wild luxuriance, and were a pretty sight, as viewed from the
seat hidden in a bower near by.

There was a small fernery, too, containing some of the choicest specimens
that can be grown in this country. Altogether it was a most charming
little garden, and gave infinite pleasure to the owner and her friends;
indeed, I for one have often been much less pleased with formal ground of
several acres in extent, though the latter might cost a mint of money to
keep up.

Experiments in the way of colour-schemes are most interesting, and should
appeal to ladies, who may gain ideas for their costumes from the blending
of shades in their garden, or _vice-versâ_. Here a word of warning will
not be out of place; do not rely too much on the =coloured descriptions in
the catalogues=, for, as they are usually drawn up by men, they are
frequently inaccurate; so many men are =partially colour-blind=, and will
describe a crushed strawberry as a carmine! Frequently a flower will
change its colour, however, when in different soil and position, even in
the same district.

=THE DELL AT CHERTSEY.= A novel way of growing plants is to open up a
spring dell. I wonder if any of my readers have ever seen the one on St.
Ann's Hill, Chertsey? I will try to picture it here. A large basin is
scooped out of the hill, and on the slopes of this basin are grown masses
of rhododendrons and azaleas. Round the rim at the top is some light
rustic fencing, partially covered with climbing plants, and there was also
a narrow bridge of the same material. This dell could not be copied in
very small gardens, because it should be so placed as to come upon one
rather in the way of a surprise, but where there are any corners not quite
in view of all the windows, a little ingenuity will make a lovely thing of
it. The shrubs used need not be identical; less expensive plants may be
grown in just the same way. Those on the slope of the dell will do best;
the plants for the bottom must be carefully chosen, as, of course, they
will get =much moisture and little sun=. Wall-flowers would run to leaf in
that position; and so, I am afraid, would forget-me-not; daisies (double
ones) would revel there, however, particularly if the soil were made
fairly rich; they are extremely reasonable in price, and easily obtained.
Bluebells, wood anemones, _doronicums_, _hepaticas_, narcissus, snowdrops,
all like such a situation, but perhaps the queen of them all is _dicentra
spectabilis_, or "lady's locket," as it is sometimes called; it has pink
drooping racemes and finely-cut foliage, and is generally found under
glass, though it is never seen to such advantage as when well grown out of
doors. This dell is the very place for it, as, when out in the open
ground, rough winds injure its precocious blooms. The =hardy cyclamen=
would do admirably, too, but these must be planted on the slope of the
dell, as they need perfect drainage. In summer it should be a mass of
filmy ferns, foxgloves, and hardy orchids; the best of the orchids is
_cypripedium spectabile_, and it should be planted in peat and leaf-mould,
and in such a way that it is fairly dry in winter and well watered in
summer. Experiments in the way of growing uncommon plants are always
interesting; in the next chapter, therefore, I will mention a few
unreasonably neglected plants, including some novelties which I can
personally testify to as well worth obtaining.



CHAPTER IV

Some Neglected but Handsome Plants

     _The sweet old columbine--BOCCONIA CORDATA at Hampton Court--
     CAMPANULAS as continuous bloomers--The heavenly larkspurs--Christmas
     roses--The tall and brilliant lobelias--The Chinese-lantern
     plants--Tufted pansies._


We will begin alphabetically, therefore I will first say a few words
regarding the =pink-flowered anemone japonica=. Though the white variety
(_alba_) is to be seen in every garden, the older kind is not grown half
enough; perhaps this is owing to the peculiar pinkish shade of the petals,
a colour that will harmonize with few others, and might be termed
æsthetic; it should be grown in a large clump by itself or mixed with
white; it flowers at the same time as _A. j. alba_, and equally approves
of a rich and rather heavy soil, and also likes a shady place. Both kinds
spread rapidly.

=Aquilegias, or columbines, are most elegant plants=, generally left to
the cottage garden, though their delicate beauty fits them for the best
positions; they do well on borders, and generally flower about the end of
May; in a light soil they seed freely, and spring up all round the parent
plant. =Asters=, the botanical name for Michaelmas daisies, are beautiful
flowers for a small garden if the right sort are chosen; those that take
up a great deal of room should be discarded where space is an object, and
such kinds as _A. amellus bessaribicus_, planted instead; this is perhaps
the finest of the genus, and is =first-rate for cutting=. It is only two
feet high, of neat habit, and bears large, bright mauve flowers with
golden centres very freely, from the beginning of August right into
October. =A. ericoides= is another one of neat habit, and is only half a
foot taller than the last; it bears long sprays, covered the whole way up
the stem with tiny white flowers and mossy foliage. Some of the
_novi-belgii_ asters are also very good and easy to grow. One of the most
=effective and beautiful= plants in the summer months is _bocconia
cordata_; it has delicate, heart-shaped foliage of a clear apple-green,
silvered beneath, and creamy flower-spikes which measure from three to
five feet in height; though so tall, it is eminently =fitted for the town
garden=, for it is not a straggling plant and rarely requires staking. At
Hampton Court Palace it is one of the most striking things in the
herbaceous border during July.

The hardy =campanulas= are good things to have, and in their own shade of
blue are not to be beaten; of the taller varieties, the blue and white
peach-leaved kinds are the handsomest, and come in very usefully for
cutting. _C. carpatica_ and _C. c. alba_ are shorter, being only one foot
high; they =flower continuously=, and look very well in a bed with the
double _potentillas_, which are described further on.

=Coreopsis grandiflora= is handsomer than the old _lanceolata_, and bears
large bright yellow flowers, which are very handsome when cut and =bloom
for a long period=.

It is difficult to imagine what we should do without =delphiniums=
(larkspurs) in the hardy flower-border; they are absolutely invaluable,
and seem to have almost =every good quality=, neither are they at all
difficult to grow; some of their blossoms are of an azure blue, a rare
colour in nature; then they can be had of a Cambridge blue, purple, white,
rose, and even red; the last, however, is a fickle grower and not to be
recommended, save for the rockery. Though one may give 21s. and even more
per dozen for them, beautiful kinds can be had for 10s.; these plants run
from two to five feet high in good soil, but need plenty of manure to do
them really well, as they belong to the tribe of "=gross-feeders=."

The =erigerons= are useful plants to grow, very much like the
large-flowered Michaelmas daisies, except that they come in earlier and
are of a dwarfer habit; they may be had in orange as well as blue shades.

The =funkias= are grand plants, grown chiefly for their =foliage=, which
is sometimes green margined with white, or green mixed with gold, and in
one kind the leaves are marbled blue and green; they =set off the flowers
near them= to great advantage. In the early spring slugs attack them;
these must be trapped and killed (see Chap. VIII.).

Why are the old =Christmas roses= seen so little, I wonder? Grown in heavy
soil and cold aspect they do beautifully, and bring us their pure white
flowers =when little else is obtainable outside=. One thing against them
in this hurry-skurry age is the fact that they increase so slowly; this
makes them rather expensive too. Good plants of _helleborus niger maximus_
may, however, be bought for half-a-crown; this variety has =very handsome
leaves=, and is all the better for a little manure.

=A flower that everybody admires= is the =heuchera sanguinea=, a rare and
lovely species; it has graceful sprays of coral-red flowers, borne on
stems from one to two feet high, which generally appear in June, and are
first-rate for cutting. =Lobelia fulgens= is a brilliantly beautiful
species, not to be confounded with the dwarf blue kinds; these tall
varieties have quaintly-shaped red flowers, and narrow leaves of the
darkest crimson; the roots are rather tender, and much dislike damp during
the autumn and winter.

=Lychnis chalcedonica= is one of the unreasonably neglected plants; it has
=bright scarlet flowers=, a good habit, and grows from two to three feet
high; it must have a sunny position and prefers a sandy soil.

Some of the new hardy =penstemons= are lovely, and =flower during the
whole summer=; they look very well in a round bed by themselves, and do
not require much looking after; they are rather too tender to withstand
our damp winters without protection, therefore the old plants should be
mulched, after having had cuttings taken from them, to be kept secure from
frost in a frame.

The =winter cherry=, or =Cape gooseberry (physalis alkekengi)= is a most
fascinating plant; =its fruit is the attraction=, and resembles
Chinese-lanterns; they appear early in September, and make quite a good
show in the garden. When bad weather comes, the stalks should be cut, hung
up to dry for about a week, and then mixed in vases with dried grasses and
the effect is very pretty. Care must be taken when asking for this plant
under the English name, as there is a greenhouse plant so termed which is
quite different, and, of course, will not stand frost. A dozen plants cost
about 5s.; do not be persuaded to get the newer sort--_franchetti_--the
berries are larger, but coarse and flabby, and not nearly so decorative.

=Polemonium richardsoni= is a very pretty plant, its English name being
=Jacob's ladder=. The flowers are borne in clusters, and are pale sky-blue
in colour with a yellow eye: the foliage is fernlike in character and very
abundant. This plant =likes a shady nook=, which must not be under trees,
however, and if well watered after its first bloom is over in June, it
will flower again in autumn. The double =potentillas= are glorious things
for bedding, and are most uncommon looking. Their flowers are =like small
double roses= in shape: generally orange, scarlet, or a mixture of both:
the leaves, greyish-green in colour, resemble those of the strawberry.
Unfortunately, these plants require a good deal of staking, but they are
well worth the trouble.

The large-leaved =saxifrages=, sometimes called _megaseas_, merit a good
deal more attention than they receive. For one thing they begin flowering
very early, holding up their close pink umbels of flowers so bravely in
cold winds: then their foliage is quite distinct, and turns to such =a
rich red in September= that this fact, added to their easy cultivation,
makes it wonderful that they are not more grown. I remember, on a dreary
day in mid-February, being perfectly charmed by the sight of a large bed
of this _saxifraga ligulata_, completely filling up the front garden of a
workman's cottage in one of the poorest roads of a large town. The flowers
are particularly =clean and fresh-looking=, and having shiny leaves they
of course resist dust and dirt well.

=Tradescantias= and =trollius= are two good families of plants for growing
on north borders; the first have curious blue or reddish-purple flowers,
rising on stiff stalks clothed with long pointed leaves, and they continue
in =flower from May till September=. The =trollius= has bright orange or
lemon-yellow cup-shaped blossoms and luxuriant foliage. It flowers from
the end of May for some weeks. Both these plants grow about two feet high.

=Violas= or =tufted pansies= are very pretty, and extremely =suitable for
the ground work of beds=, especially where these are in shade, though they
will not do under trees. Cuttings must constantly be taken, as
one-year-old plants flower more continuously, and have larger blooms and a
more compact habit than older plants, besides which they are apt to die
out altogether, if left to themselves.

These are but a few of the wealth of good things to be made use of, for,
when once real enthusiasm is awakened, the amateur who wishes to have a
thoroughly interesting garden will only be too eager to avail himself of
all that is best in the horticultural world.



CHAPTER V

The Conservatory and Greenhouse

     _Mistakes in staging--Some suitable climbers--Economical
     heating--Aspect, shading, etc.--The storing of plants--No waste
     space--Frames._


=A well-kept conservatory= adds much to the charm of a drawing-room, but
requires careful management. Potting and the like cannot very well go on
in a place which must always look presentable. A conservatory, of course,
is tiled, and therefore every dead leaf and any soil that may be spilled
show very much; it is therefore advisable to have a greenhouse as well,
or, failing that, some frames. A greenhouse, though it may be only just
large enough to turn round in, is a great help towards a nice garden, and
a boon in winter; it also allows of =a change of plants= for the
dwelling-house and conservatory, greatly to their advantage. =Staging
generally takes up far too much room=; the middle part of a conservatory
should be left free, so that there is space to walk about; stands for
plants are easily arranged, and give a more natural appearance than fixed
staging, which always looks rather stiff. Being a good deal more liable to
visits from guests than an ordinary greenhouse, the conservatory must be
kept scrupulously clean and neat; the floor, walls, and woodwork must be
washed very often, and the glass kept beautifully bright. Cobwebs must
never be allowed to settle anywhere, and all the shelves must be kept free
of dirt and well painted; curtains should be hung near the entrance to the
drawing-room, so that they may be pulled across the opening at any time,
to hide work of this sort.

=Hanging plants= are great adjuncts where the structure is lofty, and
open-work iron pillars, when draped with some graceful climbing plant, are
a great improvement. Where there is but little fire heat, considerable
care will be needed to choose something which will look well all the year
round. We will suppose that the frost is merely kept out; in the summer,
such a house can be bright with _plumbago_, _pelargoniums_, _salvias_, and
indeed all the regular greenhouse flowering plants, as, except in
hot-houses, no artificial heat is then necessary anywhere. In winter,
there is more difficulty, for all the climbing plants which are in
conspicuous positions must be nearly hardy; of these, the trumpet flower
(_bignonia_), _swainsonia_, passion-flower, _choisya ternata_, myrtle and
camellia, are the best; these are nearly evergreen, and consequently look
ornamental even when out of flower.

=Plants suitable for hanging baskets= are the trailing _tradescantias_,
the white _campanula_, lobelia, pelargonium, and many ferns. For the pot
plants there are hosts of things; _freesias_, _cyclamen_,
marguerite-carnations, _primulas_, Christmas roses, arums, azaleas,
_kalmias_, _spireas_, chrysanthemums, narcissus, roman hyacinths, and so
on. Many late-flowering hardy plants, will, if potted up, continue in
bloom long after the cold has cut them off outside.

=Cactus plants=, too, ordinarily grown in a warm green-house, will even
withstand one or two degrees of frost when kept perfectly dry, dust-dry,
in fact. During winter in England =it is the damp that kills=, not the
cold; bearing that in mind, we shall be able to grow many things that
hitherto have puzzled us. All those delicate iris, half-hardy ferns, and
tiresome plants that would put off flowering till too late, why, a cold
conservatory or greenhouse is the very place for them!

=Green-houses are altogether easier to manage than conservatories=, and
therefore are the best for amateurs. There cuttings may be struck, plants
repotted, fuchsias, geraniums, etc., stored, and tender annuals reared. A
=lean-to greenhouse= should face south preferably, and the door should be
placed at the warm end, that is, the west, so that when opened no biting
wind rushes in. When the summer comes, a temporary shading will be
necessary; twopennyworth of whitening and a little water mixed into a
paste will do this. About the middle of September it should be washed off,
if the rain has not already done so; for if it remains on too long the
plants will grow pale and lanky.

=ARTIFICIAL HEAT.= The Rippingille stove before referred to must be placed
at the coldest end, and only sufficient warmth should emanate from it just
to keep out the frost, unless it is intended to use it all day. It is well
to remember that =the colder the atmosphere outside, the cooler in
proportion must the interior be=. Even a hot-house is allowed by a good
gardener to go down to 60° or even 55° on a bitterly cold night, as a
great amount of fire-heat at such times is inimical to plant life, though
it will stand a tremendous amount of sun-power. Several mats or lengths of
woollen material, canvas, etc., stretched along outside will save expense,
and be a more natural way of preserving the plants.

=One great advantage that a greenhouse has= over a conservatory is this:
that any climbers can be planted out, whereas tubs have to be used where
the floor is tiled. =Cucumbers and tomatoes= do very well in a small
house, and an abundance of these is sure to please the housekeeper. Seeds
of the cucumber should be sown about the first week in March on a hot-bed;
if in small pots all the better, as their roots suffer less when
transferred to where they are to fruit. Do not let the shoots become
crowded, or insects and mildew will attack them. In the summer, "damp
down" pretty frequently and give plenty of air, avoiding anything like a
draught, however. "=Telegraph=," though not new, is a reliable cucumber of
good flavour and a first-rate cropper. =Tomato seed= should be sown about
the same time and the plants treated similarly, giving plenty of water but
no stimulant in the way of guano till they have set their fruit, which can
be assisted by passing a camel's hair brush over the flowers, and thus
fertilising them. Of course, out of doors the bees do this; their
"busyness" materially aiding the gardener.

As to =storing plants=, a box of sand placed in a dry corner where no drip
can reach it, is best for this, burying the roots of dahlias, etc., fairly
deep in it, and withholding water till the spring, when they may be taken
out, each root examined, decayed parts removed, and every healthy plant
repotted. The pots should be placed under the shelves till they shoot
forth, when they can be gradually brought forward to the light. This
reminds me that =the dark parts of a greenhouse= should never be wasted,
as, besides their use in bringing up bulbs, ferns can be grown for
cutting, and such things as rhubarb, may be readily forced there. =Frames=
are very useful and fairly cheap, though it is best to get them set with
21-oz. glass, or they will not last long. Seedlings may be brought up in
them with greater success than if in a greenhouse, and a supply of violets
may be kept up in them during the coldest weather. The mats they are
covered with during the night must never be removed till the frost is well
off the grass, say about 11 a.m., as a sudden thaw makes terrible havoc.

=The great point to remember= when about to indulge in a greenhouse is
this: unless sufficient time and trouble can be given to make it worth
while, it is better to spend the money on the outdoor department, which to
a certain extent takes care of itself. Where there is leisure to attend to
a greenhouse, however, few things will give more return for the care spent
on it.



CHAPTER VI

The Tool Shed and Summer-House

     _Spades and the Bishop--Weeding without back-ache--The indispensable
     thermometer--Well-made tools a necessity--Summer-houses and their
     adornment._


Though it is true enough that the best workmen need little mechanical aid,
yet =a well-stocked tool-shed= is not to be despised. Sometimes it may
only be a portion of a bicycle-shed which can be set apart for our
implements, or the greenhouse may have to find room for a good many of
them, but certain it is that a few nicely-finished tools are an absolute
necessity to the would-be gardener. Of course a good many of them can be
hired; it is not everyone, for instance, who possesses a =lawn-mower=, but
if the owner of a garden is ambitious enough to wish to do without a
gardener altogether, a lawn-mower will be one of the first things he will
wish to possess himself of. In that case he cannot do better than invest
is one of Ransome's or Green's machines. Their work is always of a high
standard and the firms are constantly making improvements in them. The
newest ones are almost perfection, but it is better to get a second-hand
one of either of these firms than a new one of an inferior make. A
=roller= is useful too, but, as these large implements run into a good
deal of money, it may be as well to state that, on payment of 2d. or so,
any of them may be borrowed for an hour or two. Ladders can be had in this
way; also shears, fret-saws--anything that is only wanted occasionally.

A =spade= is a daily necessity, however. Has not one of our most learned
divines exalted the art of digging by his commendation thereof, and who
shall say him nay? It is expedient to wear =thick boots=, however, during
this operation, not only on account of the earth's moisture, but also
because otherwise it is ruinous to our soles. To preserve the latter, a
spade with a sharp edge should never be chosen, but one which has a flat
piece of iron welded on to the body of it. Digging is good because it
breaks up the earth, and exposes it to the sun and also to the frost,
which sweetens and purifies it; care must be taken however, in doing it,
as so many things die down in the winter and are not easily seen. The
ordinary hired gardener is very clever at =burying things so deep that
they never come up again=!

Most people abhor =weeding=, yet if done with a Dutch hoe it is rather
=pleasant work=, as no stooping is required. After a few showers of rain
the hoe runs along very easily, and the good it does is so patent that I
always think it very satisfactory labour indeed. These hoes cost about 1s.
6d. each.

=Raking= is easy work, and very useful for smoothing beds or covering
seeds over with soil. English made, with about eight or ten teeth, their
cost is from two to three shillings. One of the most necessary implements
is a =trowel=, in particular for a lady, as its use does not need so much
muscle as a spade; their price is from 1s. 6d. to 2s. 6d. each.

Where there are many climbers =a hammer= is wanted, not a toy one of
German make; these are sometimes chosen by amateurs under the mistaken
idea that the lighter the hammer the lighter the work. One of English
make, strong and durable, is the kind of thing required, and costs about
2s. or 2s. 6d. =Wall-nails=, one inch long (the most useful size), are 2d.
a pound, and may be had at any ironmongers. The =shreds of cloth= may be
bought too, but anyone who deals at a tailor's can procure a mixed bundle
of cloth pieces for nothing, when there is the light labour of cutting
them into shreds, work of a few minutes only.

In choosing =watering-cans=, see that they are thoroughly good tin, as a
strong can will last for years; moreover, when it begins to leak it will
bear mending; they cost from 3s. upwards, the roses should be made to take
off as a rule, and a special place assigned to them on the shelf of the
tool-shed, as they readily get lost. =Syringes=, much used for washing off
insects, are rather expensive, consequently are not to be found in many
small gardens; a more fortunate friend will sometimes lend one, as there
is a good deal of freemasonry amongst people who indulge in the hobby of
gardening.

A thing everyone must have is =a thermometer=, in greenhouses they are
indispensable; the minimum kind are the most useful, telling one as they
do exactly the degree of frost experienced during the preceding night.
They may be bought at a chemist's for 1s. each, and must be re-set every
day; the aforesaid chemist will show any purchaser the way to do this--it
is quite simple.

=Raffia=, or =bass=, for tying flower-sticks, and =labels= are minor
necessities which cost little, though sticks may run into a good deal if
bought prepared for staking. Personally, I dislike both the coloured kinds
(never Nature's green) and the white. Both show far more than the
=unobtrusive sticks= obtained by cutting down the stalks of Michaelmas
daisies, for instance. =Galvanised iron stakes last practically for ever=,
and if they are of the twisted kind, no tying is required, greatly
lessening labour. It is a curious fact that though =arches made of iron
set up electrical disturbance= and injure the climbers, these stakes seem
to have no bad effect whatever. At the end of the autumn they should be
collected, and stored in a safe place till summer comes round again. Thin
ones suitable for carnations, etc., may be procured from A. Porter,
Storehouse, Maidstone, for 1s. a dozen, carriage paid. The thicker ones
can be made to order at small cost at any ironmonger's.

A handy man can often make =frames= himself, especially if they are not
required to be portable, and really these home-made ones answer almost as
well as those that are bought. Good frames can sometimes be had at sales
for an old song, and only require a coat of paint to make them as good as
new.

Here I will end my list, only reiterating that, however few tools you may
have, it is foolish to get any but the best.

A =summer-house= need not necessarily be bought ready-made. I have seen
many a pretty bower put together in the spare hours of the carpenter of
the family. There is one advantage in these =home-made summer-houses=,
that they are generally more roomy than those which are bought, and can be
made to suit individual requirements.

=HOW TO COVER A SUMMER-HOUSE.= Of course, it is more necessary to cover
these amateur and therefore somewhat clumsy structures with creepers, but
that is not difficult. Even the first summer they can be made to look
quite presentable by planting the =Japanese hop=. The leaves are
variegated, and in shape like the Virginia creeper. Messrs. Barr, of Long
Ditton, Surrey, told me it grew 25 feet in one season. It can be had from
them in pots, about the first week in May, for 3s. 6d. a dozen. Then there
are the =nasturtiums=, always so effective when =trained up lengths of
string=, with the dark back-ground of the summer-house to show up their
beautiful flowers. If the soil in which they grow is poor and gravelly,
the blossoms will be more numerous. The =canary creeper= is another plant,
which is so =airy and graceful= that one never seems to tire of it. Get
the seeds up in good time, so that when planted out they are of a fair
height, else so much of the summer is lost.

There are so many =uncommon climbing plants= which should be tried,
notably _eccremocarpus scaber_, _cobea scandens_, and _mina lobata_. The
last two are annual, and the first can be grown as such, though in mild
winters and in sunny positions it is a perennial. It =flowers whenever the
weather will let it=, and its blossoms are orange-yellow in colour, very
curious and invariably noticed by visitors. Reliable seeds of all three
can be had from Messrs. Barr, at 6d. a packet. The _cobea_ bears pale
purple bell-shaped flowers, and is a quick grower. _Mina lobata_ is
generally admired, and though of a different family bears a slight
resemblance to an _eccremocarpus_, both in the shape of its flowers and in
the way they are arranged on the stem. It is only half hardy. Clematis
_jackmanni_ and _montana_ are good for this position too. _Jackmanni_ is
the well-known velvety purple kind, and must be cut down to the ground
every autumn, and well mulched; that is because it flowers on the new
growth of each year. _Montana_, however, flowers on the wood of the
previous year, and therefore must be cut back about the end of June, if at
all, as May is the month it blooms.

The Dutchman's pipe, or _aristolochia sipho_, is not to be altogether
recommended, as =its huge leaves always seem to make small gardens appear
smaller still=, which is not desirable; otherwise, it is a splendid plant
for covering summer-houses, as it is a rapid climber. It is wise to plant
some of the =decorative ivies= as well, so that, if the flowering plants
fail, it will not be of so much consequence. The =varieties with pointed
leaves= are exceedingly elegant, and are much more suitable than the
common sort for decorating churches and dwelling-house, and cost no more
to buy.

=FRAGRANT ODOURS.= At =the base of the summer-house= there should be
quantities of sweet-scented plants, as this will make the time spent there
all the pleasanter. There are lavender, rosemary, thyme, bay, sweet peas,
stocks, and mignonette, besides the oak-leaved geranium, tobacco plant,
marvel of Peru, and, of course, roses, though the latter do not give off
scent quite so much as the other plants mentioned.

The =position of the summer-house= is important. I have seen some divided,
but where there is no partition it should generally face west. It is
delightful on a fine evening to sit and watch the clouds change from glory
to glory, as the sun gradually sinks to its rest, and the stars gleam out
in the darkening sky.



CHAPTER VII

Roses for Amateurs

     _Teas--Hybrid perpetuals--Some good climbing varieties--Treatment and
     soil--Rose hedges--Pillar roses._


The reason for the heading given to this chapter is that growing roses for
show will not be mentioned, as it is quite a separate branch of the art
and would require a book to itself to do it full justice. =Blooms of a
fair size, but in abundance= during five months of the year, that is what
most amateurs need, for, after all, the amount of disbudding that has to
be done when growing roses for show quite goes to one's heart! We want
fine, well-coloured, healthy flowers, and to attain that end a =good soil
is absolutely necessary=. This is especially the case with =Hybrid
Perpetuals=, but Teas will often do in a light soil, if manure is given
them, and plenty of water in the dry season. The H.P.'s, as gardeners call
them, =must have loam and clay= to do them properly; where the soil is not
improved by adding these ingredients, it is advisable to rely chiefly on
Tea Roses.

=THE ADVANTAGES OF TEAS.= For many reasons Tea Roses are the best for
small gardens, as they like the shelter found there. They =flower more
continuously= and in much greater profusion, are not so troubled with
green fly, and are far =more decorative= in habit of growth and colour of
leafage than most of the other species. In their particular shades of
colour they cannot be equalled, though for cherry reds and dark maroons we
have to look to the Hybrid Perpetual, at least, if we want flowers of fine
form, and also for that =lovely fresh pink= of the Captain Christy type
(though this is now termed a Hybrid Tea by rosarians). The name Perpetual
is apt to give =a false idea= to those who are not experienced. Most of
these roses are not at all continuous, many only lasting six weeks or so
in bloom, and some even less, if the season is hot; that is one great
reason why they are being superseded by Teas, at least in the suburbs of
London and the South of England. In the Midlands and North the =hardiness
of the H.P.'s= is greatly in their favour.

=Teas will stand the closeness= of a garden surrounded by houses and trees
much better than the Perpetuals, which are very apt to become mildewed in
such positions. Of course, many remedies are given for this, but often
they are =worse than the disease=; flowers of sulphur, for instance, to
take the best-known remedy, disfigures the whole plant terribly.

=Teas= are much the =best for planting in beds= which are very
conspicuous, for, as I said previously, they are always ornamental. Where
standards are placed down each side of the lawn, it is rather a good plan
to place all the =Hybrid Perpetuals on one side and the Teas on the
other=, giving the greater amount of sun to the latter.

=GOOD CLIMBERS FOR WARM WALLS.= When covering a very hot wall, too, it is
best, in the South of England, to stick to the tender roses, as the others
become almost burnt up. I will name here five of the =best climbing Tea
roses= for a south or west wall. William Allan Richardson the beautiful
orange variety so much admired; Bouquêt d'or, a daughter of Gloire de
Dijon, but prettier in the bud than the old variety; Madame Berard, fawny
yellow, very floriferous; L'Idéal, and Gustave Regis. =L'Ideal is a most
beautiful rose=, its colouring almost defying description--a peculiar
yellow, streaked with red and gold, like a Turner sunset. Gustave Regis,
though often classed as a bush rose, easily covers a low wall, and is one
of the best kinds there are, as it is covered with bloom the whole of the
season. The buds make =lovely button-holes=, and are creamy yellow, long,
and pointed. They are just like water-lilies when fully open, and on a
warm sunny day exhale a perfectly delicious fragrance, unlike any other
rose with which I am acquainted.

Another good climbing =tea-rose= is Duchesse d'Auerstadt. Though
introduced as long ago as 1887, this variety is =not often heard of=,
perhaps on account of its shy blooming qualities. This however need deter
no one from growing it, as its =lovely foliage= makes it quite a picture
at all times: bronze, crimson, rich metallic green, its shoots and leaves
are a pleasure to look at. Its flowers, too, when they come how splendid
they are! =great golden goblets= full to overflowing with the firm, rich
petals and with a scent to match; they are indeed worth waiting for!
Anxiously is each bud watched, for they take so long to come to perfection
that the anxiety is not ill-founded. I have known a bud take four weeks to
come out, but then it had to stand a lot of bad weather, and came through
it safely after all. All these rose-trees may be had from Benjamin R. Cant
& Sons, Colchester, at 1s. 6d. each. This firm always sends out good
plants, with plenty of vitality in them, and as these old-established
rose-nurseries are by no means in a sheltered spot, you may be sure of
each tree being hardily grown and thoroughly ripened, great points in
their future well-being.

=CLIMBERS FOR COOL WALLS.= East, or better still E.S.E., is a good aspect
for Hybrid Perpetual and Bourbon roses on walls. I have frequently noticed
that they have a great dislike to the very hottest of the sun's rays, and
that is the reason I have advised those places to be reserved for Teas.
Some good climbing varieties for cool aspects are:--Mrs. John Laing, a
satiny pink of lovely form and sweet scent. Jules Margottin, cherry-red,
globular in shape, sweet-scented and very floriferous. Prince Camille de
Rohan, =one= of =the best dark roses= to be had, as they are generally so
difficult to grow--it is blackish-maroon in colour, and flowers
abundantly. Boule-de-neige, a Bourbon, with white flowers in great
abundance. Madame Isaac Pereire another Bourbon; it is a quick grower and
=most abundant flowerer=, the flowers are bright rose crimson.
Souvenir-de-la-Malmaison, one of the best Bourbons we have; does
particularly well on cold walls, even on those facing north. Its flowers
are very large, somewhat flat in form, and blush-white; it =blooms
abundantly in autumn=, and is rarely subject to blight.

=CLIMBERS REQUIRE VERY LITTLE PRUNING.= It is a case chiefly of cutting
out all dead wood, and snipping the decayed ends of those that are left.
=When planting rose-trees= of any description, choose mild and if possible
calm weather, for it is better to keep the trees out of the ground a few
days rather than plant them in frosty weather. =The soil should be
friable=, so that it crumbles fairly well, and when the plant is in
position it is advisable =to cover the roots with potting-soil= for two or
three inches. Spread the roots out like a fan, and be sure not to plant
the tree too deep. =Look carefully for the mark= showing the union =of
graft and stock=, and be careful not to cover this with more than two
inches of soil. Tread down the soil well to make it firm, and thus induce
the rose-trees to make fresh roots. In =planting out climbers=, carefully
tack all loose shoots to the wall or fence behind it, else the wind may do
much harm. When all is finished give a good mulching of strawy manure,
which should be dug in when March comes; and if there is a likelihood of
frost, protect the branches with bracken or any light covering.

=BUSH ROSES OF THE H.P. TYPE.= I will now give a few of the best Hybrid
Perpetuals of the bush type; many of the varieties I shall name, however,
=make very good standards= though they are more expensive. The "dwarfs,"
as rosarians call them, only cost from 9d. to 1s. each at Messrs. Cant's,
except in the case of =novelties=; and where these are concerned, it is
well to wait a year or two, as they rapidly go down to the normal price.
Duke of Teck, bright carmine scarlet, of good form, and occasionally
blooms in the autumn. Dupuy Jamain, =one of the best H.P.'s ever
introduced=, the flowers are almost cherry-red in colour, sweet-scented,
and come out in succession =the whole of the summer=: it is a quick
grower, and does well in a somewhat shady position. Heinrich Schultheis
flowers of a true rose-pink touched with silver, very prettily shaped and
exceedingly fragrant. Unfortunately, this variety is =subject to attacks
of mildew=, though this does not seem to affect the beauty of the flowers
but spoils the leaves.

Baroness Rothschild, a faultless rose as regards form and colour, which is
a beautiful pale pink, but utterly =devoid of scent=, a serious fault in
my opinion. Comtesse de Bearn, large, dark, and very floriferous. Madame
Gabriel Luizet, light silvery pink, quick growing, and free blooming.
Ulrich Brunner, always given an excellent character in the catalogues, and
indeed it is a good rose, cherry-red in colour, sweet-scented, and of fine
form: it =rarely ails=, mildew and rust passing it by altogether. It is
exceedingly vigorous, and makes therefore a good pillar-rose. Pride of
Waltham, a =rose little heard-of= yet most lovely; its blossoms are of the
brightest pink, sweetly scented, and beautifully cupped. Charles Lefèvre,
beautiful crimson with dark shading; also very good at Kew (and
continuous). Abel Carrière, another dark maroon of fine form, and Queen of
the bedders, producing carmine flowers so freely that it must be
disbudded; it is subject to mildew.

So many roses formerly classed as Hybrid Perpetuals are now called Hybrid
Teas. The dear old La France is one that has undergone this change; it is
=a rose no-one should be without=, and should be grown both as a standard
and a bush; its silvery pink flowers have a most exquisite scent and
perfect shape (that is, when nearly wide open; it is not a good
button-hole variety). Another Hybrid Tea rose that has come to the fore
lately is Bardou Job, a =splendid bedding variety=, with flaming roses
almost single in form, but produced in prodigal profusion; it pays for
feeding. Queen Mab is a somewhat similar rose but has apricot flowers,
tinted pink and orange, borne in the same generous manner. It is a china
rose; neither of these kinds attain a great height, nevertheless beds
entirely composed of them are exceedingly effective and may be seen some
distance off; they require very little pruning.

=PILLAR ROSES.= Having mentioned pillar-roses, I will add a few more names
especially calculated to do well in such positions; perhaps =one of the
best= is Paul's Carmine Pillar, with its sheets; of lovely flowers
covering the stems the whole way up, with plenty of healthy foliage to set
them off. When better known, I should imagine it would be a rival even to
Turner's Crimson Rambler, magnificent as that is when grown to perfection.
At Kew recently a bed of the Carmine Pillar was quite =one of the sights
of the garden=. A close investigation of the bed in which they were
planted revealed the fact that every alternate rose-tree was a Gloire de
Dijon, but each one was a sorry failure, and instead of scaling the
heights, crouched low at the foot of its iron stake, as though unwilling
to compete with the other blushing occupants. The "glories" were not very
youthful either, that one could see by their thick hard stems; plenty of
time had evidently been given them to do the work, but for some unknown
reason they had shirked it. I have known several cases of this sort with
the much-loved "glory de John," as the gardeners broadly term it. Madame
Plantier is =a good white pillar-rose=, doing well in any situation, and
Cheshunt Hybrid is also most accommodating, and blooms well even in poor
soil, though it well repays good cultivation. Its flowers, cherry-carmine
in colour, are large and full, and the petals are prettily veined and
curl over at the edges. The foliage is rich, and the tree =never seems
attacked by any disease=; it is a Hybrid Tea. Aimée Vibert, a noisette, is
very good as a pillar-rose and extremely hardy: it also does well on
arches; the flowers are small and white, with pink tips to the petals; it
is very free, and flowers continuously.

=ROSE HEDGES.= Hedges of roses are quite as effective as pillars, and make
a very pretty screen for two-thirds of the year. The =ever-green roses are
best= for this purpose, and of these Flora is by far-and-away the nicest
rose. It has sweet flowers, small, full, and of the loveliest pink; they
are borne in clusters, each one looking just ready for a fairy-wedding
bouquet. They have a delightful scent, too, their =only fault being their
short duration=; in one summer they will grow from five to ten feet, and
are so free-flowering as almost to hide the leaves. Dundee Rambler, Ruga,
Mirianthes, and Léopoldine d'Orléans are all equally suitable for hedges.

=DWARF TEAS.= I will now name a list of the best dwarf Tea-roses; to begin
with, Alba Rosea is a dear old rose-tree, moderate in growth, bearing
numbers of flesh-white blossoms, good in form though small in size. These
have a faint, sweet scent, and are very pretty for cutting. One day last
August, I cut a whole branch off with about six open flowers upon it, and
put it in a tall vase just as it was; they arranged themselves, and were
much admired. The tree is decidedly dwarf and moderate in growth, and the
leaves are very dark green, thus making a beautiful foil to the roses.
Catherine Mermet is somewhat of the same type, but the flowers are larger
and more deeply flushed with pink; it is =a good green-house rose=. Madame
de Watteville resembles a tulip, having thick firm petals of a
creamy-white colour, distinctly edged with pink. It is a strong grower and
free in flowering. Madame Hoste is a pretty lemon-yellow colour, one of
the easiest to grow in this particular shade; the flowers are of good
form, and if well manured are large and full; it has a sweet scent. Madame
Lambard is =a rose no one can do without=, it is so free-blooming and
continuous; the colour is not constant, sometimes being mostly pink, at
others almost a fawn, but as a rule it is a blend of those two shades.

Marie van Houtte is another =indispensable variety=; the roses are lovely
in form, of a pale lemon-yellow colour, each petal being flushed with pink
at the edges, and the whole having a soft bloom, as it were, over it. This
carmine-marking, however, is not constant; weather and position seem to
have a good deal to do with it. Meteor is one of the darker Teas, being
carmine-crimson shaded with blackish-maroon; the roses are not full though
of good shape, consequently they =look best in bud=. This tree wants
feeding to do well, and is not a vigorous grower. Grace Darling is =a gem=
which everyone should have; the blossoms are large, full, perfect in shape
and exquisite in colour, which is generally a peachy-pink, the reverse of
the petals being a rich cream, and, as these curl over in a charming
manner, the effect is unique and extremely beautiful. The foliage is
abundant, of a ruddy tint, and keeps free from blight; indeed, =this
entirely fascinating rose= has only one fault, it is altogether too
unassuming.

A bright, pink rose of fine form is the Duchess of Albany; it is often
called =a deep coloured La France=, as it is a "sport" from that famous
rose. The Marquis of Salisbury is another dark tea-rose; it is small but
well-shaped though thin, and the blooms are abundant; it is strictly
moderate in growth, being somewhat like the Chinas in habit. A fine rose
=in a warm summer= is Kaiserin Friedrich, as it has large, very full,
flowers, which take a good deal of building up; it appears to dislike cold
and rainy weather.

=Sunrise is a new kind= that is making a considerable stir in the
rose-world; its flowers vary from reddish-carmine to pale fawn, and the
tree has glorious foliage.

=THE TIME TO PLANT.= October and November are the best months to plant
rose-trees, except in very cold parts; February is then a safer time,
especially for the tender sorts. =Their first season they require a great
deal of looking after=; their roots have not got a proper foot-hold in the
earth, and this means constant watering in dry weather. At blooming-time,
an occasional application of guano does a great deal of good, making both
flowers and leaves richer in colour. =Dead blooms, too, must be sedulously
cut off=, as, if left on, the tree is weakened.

=PRUNING.= Do a little pruning in October, though March and April are the
chief months. In the autumn, however, the shoots of rose-trees should be
thinned out, the branches left can then be shortened a fourth of their
length with advantage, as the winter's howling winds are less likely to
harm them. Standards especially require this, as when "carrying much sail"
they are very liable to be up-rooted.

When the spring comes, look the trees carefully over before commencing
operations, remembering that =the sturdier a tree is the less it needs
pruning=. The knife must go the deepest in the case of the poor, weak
ones. Always prune down to an "eye," that is an incipient leaf-bud; if
this is not done the wood rots.

Evergreen roses need scarcely be touched, save to cut out dead branches
and snip off decayed ends.

For Teas and Noisettes also, little actual pruning is necessary. H.P.'s
require the most. As a general rule for roses, if you want quality, not
quantity, prune: hard, but to enable you to "cut and come again," only
prune moderately.

=Dis-budding= is a certain method of improving the blooms if it is done
=in time=. It is little use to do it when the buds once begin to show
colour; start picking off the superfluous ones when they are quite small,
and the difference in size and shape is often amazing.



CHAPTER VIII

Enemies of the Garden

     _Slugs, and how to trap them--Blight or green fly--Earwigs--
     Wireworm--Snails--Mice--Friends mistakenly called foes._


=The best garden as a rule has the fewest insects=, indeed, no foe is
allowed to lodge for any length of time without means being taken for its
extermination. Some enemies are more easily got rid of than others; for
instance, green fly, or _aphis_ (to give it the scientific name), rarely
attacks healthy plants to any extent; it goes for the sick ones, therefore
=good cultivation will speedily reduce their numbers=. When any is seen, a
strong syringing of =soapy water= will generally dislodge them, or, if
this is impracticable, a dusting of =tobacco-powder= is a very good
substitute. Tait and Buchanan's Anti-blight, to be had of most seedsmen,
is a reliable powder; it is also efficacious in preventing mildew in
potatoes, chrysanthemums, etc.

In some gardens, especially those inclined to be damp, =slugs are very
troublesome=; their depredations are usually carried on by night, so that
it is rather difficult to trap them; many things are sold for this
purpose, but =hand-picking= is the surest method. In the evening, sink a
saucer a little way in the border, and fill this with moist bran; =it is
irresistible to the slugs=, and when twilight comes on they will steal out
from their hiding-places and make a supper off it. Then comes man's
opportunity. Armed with a pointed stick and a pail of salt and water, they
must be picked off and popped into the =receptacle=, there =to meet a
painless death=; one can squash them under foot, but where they are
plentiful this is rather a messy proceeding. Snails may be trapped in
exactly the same way; =salt or sand= should be placed in a ring round any
plant they are specially fond of, or else in a single night they will
graze off the whole of the juicy tops. Young growths are their greatest
delicacy, hence they are most troublesome in the spring.

=Wireworm= is another tiresome enemy well known to carnation growers, and
more difficult to get rid of than the slug, owing to its hard and horny
covering which resists crushing; salt again, however, is =a splendid
cure=. It should be well mixed with the soil though not brought too close
to the plants. =Earwigs= are horrid insects to get into a garden; they
often come in with a load of manure, simply swarms of them imbedding
themselves in such places. Dahlias are the plants they like best, and, if
not kept down with a watchful eye, they will completely spoil both flowers
and leaves. Hollow tubes, such as short straws, put round will collect
many, or =the old plan= of filling an inverted flower-pot with moss is
also useful, though somewhat disfiguring, if perched on the tops of the
stakes supporting the dahlias.

=Mice= are dreadfully destructive, too, especially in the country, and
being so quick in their movements they are troublesome to catch. Traps
must be baited with the daintiest morsels, to make them turn away from the
succulent tops of the new vegetation. Owls and other large birds are most
effectual in doing away with these troublesome little animals, a fact
which should be taken into account. =Many people from ignorance= destroy
birds or insects which may be urgently required to keep down annoying
pests--take, for instance, =ladybirds=--the pretty creatures are
=invaluable= where there is much green fly, yet how often are they doomed
to death by some well-meaning gardener, and it is the same with birds. =A
robin or sparrow will eat hundreds of aphides in one day=, so that,
unless there are many fruit-trees in the garden, it is most unwise to
shoot the dear little songsters; and even in the latter case, if
protection can be afforded, by all means save the birds! A while ago some
farmers had been so enraged by the devastation made by the sparrows and
starlings that they determined to kill all the old birds. The consequence
was that they were so over-run the next season by insects of every
description, that they had to import birds at great trouble, to take the
place of those they had killed. Foes are often mistaken for friends, but
occasionally the reverse is the case!



CHAPTER IX

The Rockery

     _A few hints on its construction--Aspect and soil--A list of
     Alpines--Other suitable plants._


A well-constructed rockery filled with a good selection of Alpine plants
is a =never-failing delight= to anyone fond of a garden. Yet how rare a
thing it is! most of the erections one sees are mere apologies for the
real thing. The truth is not one gardener in a hundred knows how to make a
rockery, though he does not like to say so! =An artistic mind is needed=
to construct one that will be pleasing to the eye, besides a knowledge of
draining, water-supply, and so forth. An educated person is not actually
necessary, but one with common sense, who would not dream of making it
merely another back-ground for gorgeous bedding-plants which are all very
well in their right place, but absolutely =unsuited to a rockery=.

=As regards aspect=, one that is built on each side of a narrow path
running north and south, does very well, but as this may be impossible in
a small garden, =a corner rockery= built high in the form of a triangle
and facing south-east, can be made extremely pretty, as I know from
experience. Where the rockery is in the shade, no overhanging trees must
be near, if choice Alpines are expected to live there.

=The material= may be either slabs of grey stone as at Kew, or the more
easily obtained "clinkers." =Clinkers= are really bricks spoiled in the
baking, having all sorts of excrescences on them which unfit them for
ordinary building purposes; they should always be ordered from a strictly
local contractor, as carriage adds considerably to the cost.

=The soil= should be a mixture of peat, sand, and loam; no manure should
be incorporated, the ="pockets"= for special favourites and plants that
have individual wants can be filled in at the time of planting. =One
advantage= pertaining to a rockery is that many plants which quite refuse
to thrive in a border will grow and flourish there, and the attention they
need is less troublesome to give; in fact, it is =a delightful form of
gardening=, especially for a lady, as there is no fear of the feet getting
dirty or wet, and a trowel, not a spade, is the chief implement used. A
small piece of turf, just a few feet wide, at the bottom of the corner
style of rockery, is =a great set-off=, and a vast improvement on a gravel
path.

=SUITABLE PLANTS FOR A ROCKERY.= The following are some of the best
flowers for a rockery. The _aubrietias_ are very pretty little plants,
having creeping rosettes of greyish-green leaves, and a perfect sheet of
mauve or lilac bloom about April. The effect is greatly enhanced when
=planted so as to fall over a stone= or brick; indeed, it is for those
things which are so easily lost sight of in a border that a rockery comes
in; they can be closely inspected there without much stooping.

The _arabis_ is a pretty plant, somewhat like the _aubrietia_ in habit and
time of flowering; hence, where only a small selection can be made, it
might be left out, as it is =a trifle coarse=. Such a term could never be
applied to the _androsaces_, which may be numbered among =the= _élite_ =of
rock plants=; they are evergreens, and do not exceed six inches in height;
they bear tiny but very bright flowers, varying from rose in some species
to lavender in others.

=APENNINE GEMS.= Some of the alpine anemones are lovely, notably _A.
appennina_, which has sky-blue flowers that open out flat on very short
stalks, surrounded by pale green denticulated foliage. _A. blanda_ is much
the same, save that it flowers a month or so earlier; they are
spring-blooming plants, and like moisture and shade, and will not do at
all if subjected to much hot sun. These and many similar plants can often
be planted on a =rockery facing south-east= (which aspect suits so many
sun-loving plants), by arranging bricks, stones, or small shrubs, so as to
shelter them from its hottest rays. _Aquilegias_, mentioned in the list of
border plants, look quite as well on a rockery, if moisture can be given
them, as their flowers are so delicate, and the leaves so fragile and
prettily coloured, especially in the early spring. The blue and white _A.
cærulea_, from the Rocky Mountains, is =a gem=, and the scarlet kinds are
very effective.

=For forming close green carpets=, _arenaria balearica_ is most useful; it
creeps over rocks and stones, covering them completely with its moss-like
growth, and hiding any hard, unlovely surfaces. The _campanula_ family is
=a host in itself=, many of the smaller varieties looking better on a
rockery than anywhere else. Some of these tiny bell-flowers have, however,
the very longest of names! _C. portenschlagiana_, for instance, is only
four inches high, and =a charming little plant= it is, and flowers for
months, beginning about July. The blossoms are purple-blue in colour, and
continue right into November, unless very hard frosts come to stop it. _C.
cespetosa_ is another variety well suited to rock-work, as it is even
smaller than the last.

=The alpine wall-flower=, _cheiranthus alpinus_, is a very choice little
plant; it has creamy-yellow flowers, borne on stalks a few inches high,
and, though each individual plant is biennial, they seed so freely that
they are practically perennial. A light, dry soil and a sunny situation
suits them; they will even grow on old walls, and very picturesque they
look perched up on some mossy old ruin.

=An attractive rock plant=, though rarely seen, is _chrysogonum
virginianum_; its flowers are creamy-yellow, and grow in a very quaint
manner; this plant =blooms the whole season through=. Plants of this
character should be noted carefully, as they help to give a rockery =a
well-furnished appearance=, so that one always has something to show
visitors.

For warm, dry, sunny nooks =rock-roses= are the very thing; where other
plants would be burnt up, the _cistus_ flourishes, for it requires no
particular depth of soil. _C. florentinus_ (white) and _C. crispus_ (dark
crimson), are two of the best.

=One of the most exquisite and interesting rock-plants= I have ever seen
is _clematis davidiana_, a plant only introduced of recent years, but
noticeable wherever seen; it is not a climber, as its name might lead one
to suppose, for =it only grows two feet high=, and generally trails along
the ground; the flowers are curious in shape, and of a metallic blue-grey
colour; the foliage is very neat and pretty; it blooms about July, and
should be planted so that it can be examined closely.

=The fumitories= are elegant plants, and nearly always in flower; the
blossoms are small, yellow, sometimes white, and borne in profusion
amongst the finely-cut foliage, which, =the whole summer through=, is a
bright clear green. With one plant of _corydalis lutea_ a stock can soon
be obtained, as this variety seeds freely. All the fumitories prefer a
light soil and a sunny position.

Dwarf evergreen shrubs greatly improve the appearance of the rockery in
late autumn and winter, especially when they add berries to their
attractions. The _cotoneasters_ are evergreen, and when about a foot high
are very suitable for such a position. _C. horizontalis_ and _C.
micicrophylla_ bear scarlet berries, and are altogether very choice; they
must not be allowed to get too large, but taken up when little over a foot
high, and others substituted for them.

=Various bulbs=, which we generally plant in the border, find a prettier
background in the rockery; here each bulb is made the most of, and, where
very small, is seen to greater advantage; even if ever so insignificant,
it cannot get buried away under a spadeful of soil, nor get splashed with
mud. You must often have noticed how crocuses get blown over and spoilt by
the wind, but in a cosy nook of the rock-work, planted fairly close
together, and in a "pocket" surrounded by bricks, they find a happy home,
and can be inspected without any difficulty. Personally, I do not care for
=crocuses in a line=; one cannot see their pure transparency, and only get
an idea of a broad band of colour; close at hand, their dewy chalices,
exquisitely veined and streaked, seem far more beautiful, particularly
where the finer sorts are selected. =All crocuses do not flower in
spring=; some of the prettiest species bloom in autumn, though many
people, seeing them at that time, imagine they are _colchicums_; the
latter, though certainly very decorative when in flower, are followed by
such coarse leaves that the crocus is decidedly preferable.

The =hardy cyclamen= are very suitable for a rockery, as, being beauties
in miniature, they are apt to get lost in a mixed border. _C.
neapolitanum_ has marbled foliage and pretty pink flowers, and _C.
europeum_ (maroonish crimson) is also well worth growing; they must be
placed in a shady part, yet where the drainage is perfect; stagnant
moisture kills them.

The =hardy orchids= should be tried too, especially the _cypripedium_; it
is not generally known how handsome some of them are; they like shade and
moisture; indeed, through the summer the peat they are growing in should
be a regular swamp, or they will fail to produce fine flowers.

Another plant that likes peat is the little _daphne eneorum_. This is =an
evergreen=, and produces its pink fragrant flowers every spring; it will
not do in very smoky places, but, like the heath, must have a fairly pure
atmosphere.

=The alpine pinks are treasures for the rockery=, and do well in town
gardens; they flower nearly all the summer, and are not particular as to
soil and position, though they prefer plenty of sun.

=The gentians= look very well on rockwork, but like a stronger soil than
most alpines, loam suiting them best. Water should be generously given
during spring and summer. _G. acaulis_ is the best for amateurs.

The red shades found in the =geum tribe= are very uncommon, being neither
crimson, scarlet, nor orange, but a mixture of all three, with a dash of
brown thrown in. They =flower continuously=, and have dull green woolly
foliage, which sets the flowers off well. They need a light, well-drained
soil. _Geum chilense_, or _coccineum plenum_, is a good kind, and so is
_G. miniatum_; both are about two feet high, but require no staking
whatever. Of course, it will be understood that sticks, except of the
lightest kind, are =quite inadmissible= on a rockery.

=Helianthemums=, or =rock roses=, are charming little evergreen plants,
with wiry prostrate stems, and small flowers, which are freely produced
all the summer. They may be had in white, yellow, pink, scarlet, and
crimson, and either double or single; the variety named Mrs. C. W. Earle
is a very effective double scarlet, and quite a novelty.

=Iris reticulata= is =a very fascinating little bulbous plant=, well
adapted for a rockery; it blooms in the early spring, and very beautiful
the flowers are, being rich violet-purple, with gold blotches on each
petal; they are scented, too; when in blossom, the stems reach to about
nine inches in height.

One of the most lovely plants that can be imagined for a rockery is
=lithospermum prostratum=, and yet how rarely one sees it; the glossy
green leaves always look cheerful, and the flowers are exquisite, they
are a bright full blue, and each petal is slightly veined with red, it is
not difficult to grow, a dry, sunny position being all it requires; it is
of trailing habit and an ever-green. Everyone knows =the creeping jenny=,
but it is not to be despised for rock-work, especially for filling up odd
corners where other things will not thrive. It blooms best where there is
a certain amount of sun.

=St. Dabeoc's Heath= is a pretty little shrub, very neat and of good
habit; its flowers are the true pink, shading off to white, and of the
well-known heath shape. Somewhat slow-growing, it prefers peat.

=Plants that flower the whole season through= are most valuable on the
rockery. =OEnotheras= may be depended on to present a pleasing appearance
for several weeks, especially if all dead flowers are picked off. The
dwarf kinds are the most suitable, such as _Oenothera marginata_,
_missouriensis_, _linearis_, and _taraxacifolia_. The last-named, however,
is only a biennial, but has the advantage of =opening in the morning=,
while most of the evening primroses do not seem to think it worth while to
make themselves attractive till calling-hours.

=The most fairy-like little plant= for filling up narrow crevices in sunny
quarters is the dear old =wood-sorrel=. It has tiny leaves like a shamrock
in shape, but of a warm red-brown colour, and the sweetest little yellow
flowers imaginable; they are borne on very short stalks, and only come out
when the sunshine encourages them; the whole plant does not exceed three
inches in height; it spreads rapidly, seeds freely, and thrives best in a
very light soil; it will also do well on walls.

The =alpine poppies= are so delicate and graceful that they seem made for
the rockery. They only grow six inches high, and continue in flower at
least four months; they may be had in a great range of colours, and are
easily brought up from seed. Nice bushy plants can be had of these
poppies for about four shillings a dozen, and it is needless to say they
require plenty of sunshine. The word _phlox_ conveys to many people the
idea of a tall autumn-flowering plant, with large umbels of flowers,
individually about the size of a shilling. But these are not the only
species; the alpine varieties are just as beautiful in a different way,
though some are not more than a few inches high, and each flower no bigger
than a ladies' glove-button. In spring and early summer they become
=perfect sheets of bloom=, so that the foliage is completely hidden; when
out of flower, they are soft green cushions of plants, and serve to cover
bare bricks well.

The =alpine potentillas= are pretty, and keep in flower for a long time.
_P. nepalensis_ is a good one, but the merits of _p. fruticosa_ are much
exaggerated, its dirty-looking yellow flowers are by no means
prepossessing.

=No rockery is complete= without several specimens of the family of
_saxifrages_. One cannot do better than make a beginning with them, as
they are so fine in form and diverse in style. _S. aizoon compactum_ is
one of the best rosette species, and _S. hypnoides densa_ of the mossy
tribe; other kinds well worth growing are _S. burseriana_, which has
pretty white flowers on red hairy stems in early March; _S. cunifolia_,
with charming fresh pink blossoms, and of course _S. umbrosa_, the sweet
old-fashioned =London pride=. A dry sunny situation suits the _saxifrages_
best.

The =House leeks= are somewhat similar in appearance, but like drier
situations than the last-named plants. The _sempervivums_ delight to creep
along a piece of bare rock, and one marvels how they can derive enough
sustenance from the small amount of poor soil in which they are often seen
growing. The =cobweb species=, called _arachnoideum_, is most interesting,
and invariably admired by visitors; it has greyish-green rosettes, each
one of which is covered with a downy thread in the form of a spider's
web. A kind more often seen is _sempervivum montanum_, and certainly it is
a =very handsome species=, with curious flowers supported on firm
succulent red stems. It is to be seen in broad clumps at Kew, and very
well it looks.

There are no better carpetters than the =dwarf sedums=, or =stone crops=.
_S. glaucum_ has blue-grey foliage, and spreads rapidly; _S. lydium_ is
the variety most in use, and can be had very cheaply. The tall, old
variety, _sedum spectabile_, has been improved upon, and the novelty is
called _S. s. rosea_. Another novelty is _shortia galacifolia_; it is a
native of North America, and has white, bell-shaped flowers supported on
elegant, hairy stems, the leaves are heart shaped, and turn almost scarlet
in autumn; thus, the plant has =two seasons of beauty=, as it blooms in
the spring. A peaty soil, with a little sand added, suits it well, if the
drainage is good; and it likes a half-shady position.

=Plants that are sadly neglected= are the airy-fairy Sea-lavenders or
_Statices_, with their filmy heads like purple foam; _S. gmelini_ and _S.
limonium_ are two of the best. When cut, they last a long time, and are
very useful for giving a graceful appearance to =stiff bouquets=.

The dwarf _thalictrums_ are =good rockery plants=; they are =grown for
their foliage=, which bears a striking resemblance to the maidenhair fern.
_T. adiantifolium_ and _T. minus_ are very pretty; their flower-heads
should always be cut off, so as to promote the production of their fine
fronds, which have the property of lasting well when cut.

The =aromatic scent of thyme= is very pleasant on a rockery; not only
should the silver and golden varieties be grown, but also those bright
kinds which give us sheets of purple, pink, and white blossom during
summer; to thrive they must be exposed to full sunshine, when =they will
attract innumerable bees=. The new kind, _T. serpyllum roseus_, is
splendid, the tiny flowers coming in such profusion as to completely hide
the foliage. All are low-growing, having the cushion habit of growth.

_Veronicas_ are not often seen, yet they are exceedingly pretty, and
continuous bloomers. =Amateurs should not begin with the shrub tribe=, as
these are somewhat tender, but if _V. incana_, _V. longifolia-subsessilis_,
and _V. prostrata_ are obtained, they will be sure to please. The first
and last are low-growing, but the other is two feet high, and has long
racenes like soft blue tassels, which hang down in the most charming way.

=A few words on some more bulbs= that look well on rockeries, besides the
crocus and dwarf iris before-mentioned, may not be amiss: the =winter
aconites= are most appropriate so placed, and show to greater advantage
than in the level border. Their golden flowers, each surrounded by a frill
of green, come forth as early as January, if the weather be propitious.

The _chionodoxa_, called also =glory of the snow=, is very fresh and
pretty, with its bright blue flowers having a conspicuous white eye. If
left undisturbed they will spread rapidly, and come up year after year
without any further trouble; they are =very cheap=, and will do in any
soil.

=Snowdrops= are charming on rock-work, and may be placed close to the
_chionodoxa_, as they bloom almost together.

The =grape-hyacinths= have very quaint little flowers of a bright
dark-blue colour, on stalks about five or six inches high; they flower for
some weeks, and must be massed together to get a good effect.

=The early-flowering scillas= resemble the _chionodoxas_, but last much
longer in bloom. They are very =easy to manage=, and rarely fail to make a
good show. _S. siberica_ is the best-known variety, and can be obtained
very cheaply.

=The miniature narcissus= is the sweetest thing imaginable; _N. minus_, is
only a few inches high, and when in the open border is apt to get
splashed, but amongst stones in a sheltered position on the rockery they
are charming. All these dwarf bulbs look so well in such positions,
because =their purity remains unsullied=.

Here I will leave the rockery, merely intimating that =early autumn is the
best time for planting=, and that if pains are taken to construct it
properly at first, a great amount of trouble will be saved in the end.
Most of these plants and bulbs may be had of Messrs. Barr & Sons, 12, King
Street, Covent Garden. Their daffodil nurseries at Long Ditton, near
Surbiton, Surrey, are famous all the world over, but they also go in a
great deal for hardy perennials and rock plants, of which they have a
splendid stock; their prices are very reasonable, too, when you take into
consideration that everything they send out is absolutely true to name.
Their interesting catalogues will be sent post free on application.



CHAPTER X

Trees, Shrubs, and How to Treat Them.

     _Some good plants for growing beneath them--Selection of hardy
     shrubs--Enriching the soil--Climbers._


Forest-trees in a small garden are somewhat out of place, but as they are
often found in such positions, I will deal with them here. It is to be
remembered that though they give most grateful shade, not only do they rob
everything beneath them of sunshine, but also =take so much out of the
soil=, that, unless constant renewals are made, very little can be grown
in their immediate vicinity; the class of plants that will do best beneath
their branches also find the soil they are growing in best renewed by the
leaves which fall therefrom. For the sake of tidiness, these of course are
swept away, but they should be kept for two or three years, and then
brought back, converted into =leaf-mould=; if this is not done, the
quality of the soil will steadily deteriorate, instead of getting richer,
as it does in woods; and this is one reason why so many wild plants fail
to thrive when brought into cultivation; manure is no substitute, but
often distasteful to them.

=SOMETHING BESIDES IVY.= Trees must be divided into two broad sections,
=deciduous and ever-green=. Very few plants will do well under the latter,
but as regards the first, =ivy= is not by any means the only thing that
will grow, though it is often a good plan to use it as a foundation, and
work in plants here and there afterwards. There is no need to choose the
large kind; those elegant varieties with long pointed leaves are =more
ornamental and just as easy to grow=. Their roots must be restricted when
other plants are near, or they will soon take up all the room. =Ferns=
will do very well under trees, if they are plentifully watered during the
dry season. Here also a few of the choicest kinds should be grown, for
though some of them may not do so well as in a shady open spot, most of
them will give a fairly good account of themselves. Always plant them with
the rhizome above ground, not forgetting that when each fern has its full
complement of fronds, it will take up a considerably larger space than it
does at the time it is set out.

If the _Osmunda regalis_ is tried--=the royal fern=--it is necessary to
get a good established turf of it; strong clumps cost about 1s. 6d. each;
plenty of water must be given it in the summer. I have seen it in splendid
form under a tree in a very small garden.

Perhaps the =St. John's worts= come next to ivy and ferns in their
usefulness for planting under trees, as they are =always decorative, being
ever-green=. In the spring, the foliage is a most lovely soft apple-green,
and in summer when the golden cups filled with anthers issue forth from
the axils of the leaves, the effect is beautiful. _Hypericum calycinum_ is
the Latin term for these plants, and though they will do on the dryest
bank and in the poorest soil, being very tough and wiry, if they are grown
in good loam and manure is occasionally given them, they will repay with
far finer flowers, which will be produced for a longer season.

=A good breadth of woodruff= makes a very pretty picture for several
weeks, and has a delightful scent; here and there bulbs can be planted
amongst it, neither being harmed by this plan. The _aubrietias_ =flower
with unfailing regularity= under trees, even when the aspect is north, and
no gleam of sunshine reaches them; their greyish-green rosettes resist
drought splendidly, and though these plants do not give us so much blossom
in unfavourable positions, still they make a very pretty show.
_Aubrietias_ can be easily propagated by division; every morsel grows.

=BANKS UNDER TREES.= The white _arabis_ also does well under similar
conditions; both are useful for draping perpendicular surfaces, such as
the steep side of a bank or hedge. A raised border, with facing of bricks,
is rather a nice way of growing plants under trees, and the work of
tending them is pleasant, less stooping being required.

The =mossy saxifrage= droops over the edges, and mingles well with the
_arabis_, but it must be more carefully watered, as it is apt to die out;
pieces should constantly be taken off, and dibbled in so as to fill up any
gaps. The =periwinkles= meander charmingly over the roughest stones, and
in the most dreary spots; their glossy ever-green leaves, and fresh bright
little flowerets =always looking cheerful= whatever the weather. They
creep quickly, rooting every few inches as they grow; on the perpendicular
face of the rock, succulent plants like =echeverias= can sometimes be made
to grow (those little green rosettes, having each leaf tipped with red,
which can be bought so readily in May for about twopence each).

=Many things will do for a time=, that want renewing each year, even if
hardy. Cowslips, primroses, polyanthus, wallflowers, all will make a fair
show if planted out just before flowering, but, unless a few hours' sun
daily shines on them, they will not retain enough vitality to produce
seed, and being biennial soon die out, leaving not a trace behind.

=A great many bulbs do admirably under deciduous trees=, especially those
which blossom before the new leaves on the branches above them have
reached any appreciable size.

=Scillas= bloom in the same place year after year; snowdrops also do
fairly well, and lilies of the valley ring out a few of their dainty
bells every spring (a rich vegetable soil suits them best). =Tulips= only
do well when planted afresh every autumn; but, as they are so cheap, that
is not a great matter. The _megaseas_, mentioned in another chapter, give
forth many of their fine leaves, but they refuse to turn colour, owing to
the want of sun. Fox-gloves, also, grow and flower, seeming to enjoy their
position.

=If the aspect of the space to be filled is a cold one=, such things as
geraniums will only give a few poor flowers, and then succumb. Even
pansies wilt and gradually fade away under trees, for their soft, weak
stems and leaves soon get drawn up for want of light, though they will do
well enough on an _open_ border, facing north.

=Hard-wooded plants= will be generally found to do best; indeed, some of
the shrub tribe succeed very well, particularly barberry, _pernettyas_,
the early _daphnes_, whortleberries, _gaultheria shallon_ and
_cotoneaster_.

While on the subject of =shrubs=, it may be as well to mention several
attractive kinds which may be planted in place of the =eternal box= and
Portugal laurel; of course, these two have almost every good quality; they
will do in any soil, are ever-green, and resist smoke, dust and dirt well;
but, in places where poor soil and a soot-laden atmosphere are absent,
=substitutes might occasionally be found for those shrubs=, which will
have the added charm of novelty. One of the nicest for small gardens is
_cotoneaster microphylla_; this is a joy to look at, all through the
winter months, when it is at its best; the branches grow in an uncommon
manner, and are of somewhat prostrate habit; they are thickly clothed with
dark, small leaves the whole way up the stem, and shining amongst them are
the pretty crimson, almost transparent berries. It is quite distinct from
the ordinary berry-bearing shrubs, as there is =nothing stiff about its
gracefully-curving sprays=, which look well cut and wedged in the
Japanese fashion. Shrubs of this variety may be had as low as sixpence,
but it is better policy to get a larger one, costing about eighteen pence,
as they will sooner be of a presentable size; they are shrubs, too, that
do not altogether show their capabilities when at a very youthful stage.

=A GOOD ALL ROUND PLANT.= _Berberis aquifolium_ is another shrub which has
a great deal to recommend it; it is ever-green, and will do in almost any
position; it bears lovely yellow flowers in spring, purple powdered
berries in August, and the foliage turns a rich red in October. Always
ornate, it is one of the easiest shrubs to grow, and =just the thing for a
small garden=.

=The myrtle=, though liable to be killed in a very hard frost, can often
be grown to a great size in a sheltered garden; I have seen bushes eight
yards round, in an exposed position near the river Thames, which must have
been braving the storms for many a year past. They should not be planted
out till March or April, though November is the month for most other
shrubs. The old _pyrus japonica_ =makes a good bush=, though most often
grow on a wall; its bright flowers, carmine-scarlet in colour with yellow
anthers in the centre, appear early in April, a week or two later than the
climbers, which of course are protected. When grown in bush form, it =is
sometimes pruned out of all recognition=; this is especially the case in
public gardens, and is quite an affliction to any one who knows how lovely
it can be! The knife should be restrained, allowing the _pyrus_ to take
its own shape as much as possible; it is often sold under the name of
_cydonia japonica_, as that is really its rightful title.

=One or two of the _araucarias_ make very good shrubs for a small garden=;
they should not be grown in cold, wind-swept places, as their branches
soon turn brown if exposed to continued frost and furious blasts. There is
a magnificent specimen in the nurseries of Messrs. Veitch, Kingston Hill,
Surrey, planted about 1865; its ornamental appearance is greatly due to
the number of young branches springing out from the main trunk and almost
completely covering it; they nestle under the larger branches, and produce
a very picturesque effect. Small plants of this variety may be had for
three or four shillings.

Messrs. Veitch have a splendid selection of shrubs, all in the best of
health; their hollies are well grown, and include all the good sorts; a
variety that bears fruit when quite young is _ilex glabrum_, of which they
have a large stock; these trees are such slow growers, that it is
advisable to get one that will look attractive almost at once.

=Pernettyas are ornamental little shrubs=, not so much grown as they
deserve; in winter, when most things look drooping and unhappy, these
American visitors to our gardens are bright and cheerful. =The dwarf erica
carnea=, both pink and white, show their buds as early as November, and at
the turn of the year present a very pretty appearance; they look well as
edgings to rhododendron beds; their price is about sixpence each.

=Another charming winter shrub= is _cornus sanguinea_; its beauty lies in
the red glow of its leafless stems, which makes it visible some distance
off.

_Spirea Anthony Waterer_ is a =fine plant in late summer=, having pink
umbels of flowers and a habit somewhat like the valerian. =The snow-berry=
is good in autumn and winter, having large white berries which hang on a
long time; it is deciduous, and likes a rich soil.

Messrs. Veitch have a splendid collection of conifers for all aspects and
positions; their small junipers are most fascinating little trees, with
flat spreading branches of the loveliest shade of green, and their
seedling firs are well balanced. They sell a great variety of lilac trees
too.

=GRAFTED LILACS.= A note on lilacs will not be amiss; if you notice that
any lilacs you may happen to have flower sparsely, and are poor in size
and colour it will be as well to examine the stems close to the soil, and
you will probably find a fine crop of suckers; all these must be cut away
as sedulously as those on your rose-trees, for =nearly all lilacs are
grafted=, very few kinds being sold on their own roots.

The _forsythias_ are =pretty climbers or shrubs=, according to the variety
chosen, much like the yellow jasmine, with its golden stars on leafless
stems. Just as the latter, however, is going out of flower the
_forsythias_ are coming on, and therefore give a succession of very pretty
blossoms.

Originally from China, =the wigelias= have now taken a place in many
English gardens, by reason of their fresh pink and white flowers and easy
cultivation. They bloom late in spring, and should be placed by preference
=against a dark wall=, as their flowers, being surrounded by pale-green
foliage, do not stand out sufficiently on a light one.

=THE DELICATE CEANOTHUS.= The exquisite summer-flowering _ceanothus_ has
been mentioned before, but I notice it here again because it is one of
those =shrubs that should not be overlooked= on any account; its leaves
are somewhat like those of a heliotrope, and its flowers are bluish-mauve
in colour and borne in trusses; it blooms for many weeks and has a most
delicious scent, and should be planted out in the spring.

=A neglected but really remarkable shrub is the= _rhus cotinus_--=the
smoke plant.= In early August it is a striking sight, with its curious
inflorescence quite impossible to describe. At Hampton Court there are two
or three fine species.

=WINTER SHRUBBERY.= It will be observed that shrubs presenting a
decorative appearance in winter are made much of; this is because
soft-wooded plants always look miserable then, whereas with a few
berry-bearing shrubs and a nice selection of bulbs, we may have a =pretty
garden all the year round=. Once planted, however, they should not be left
entirely to take care of themselves; the soil must be enriched
occasionally, if we wish for good results, and great care taken to =train
them in the way they should go=, by pinching out shoots which would tend
to give a lop-sided effect. Such things as firs must be unobtrusively
staked till they are able to support themselves, as =symmetrical growth=
is part of their charm, and we must remember that "as the twig is bent,
the tree is inclined." =Standard rhododendrons= require to be very
carefully staked until they have a fair hold of the ground, or their big
heads are caught by the wind, and this loosens the soil to such an extent
that it is impossible for fresh roots to be made. Generally, some of the
=bush rhododendrons= should be grown amongst the standards, and if these
are dotted about with clumps of lilies the effect is very rich. _Lilium
tigrinum splendens_ is =one of the best for this purpose=, and is most
brilliantly beautiful during August and September; they are six feet in
height, and the flowers are a rich orange red, with black spots on each
petal; they can be obtained for half-a-crown the dozen.

=A lily suitable for placing amongst azaleas=, as it is only three feet
high, is _lilium speciosum album_; it has glistening pure-white flowers,
and a graceful habit. The shade of the shrub is most beneficial to the
lilies, as they dislike strong sunshine, and of course they are also
protected from cold in winter. The same soil, a mixture of peat, loam and
sand, suits both.



CHAPTER XI

=The Ins and Outs of Gardening=

     _Planting--Watering--"Puddling"--Aspect--Shelter--Youth and age in
     relation to plants--Catalogue defects--A time for everything._


Now that we have seen what to plant, it will be advisable to learn =how to
plant it=.

Perhaps the most important point to be taken notice of is the necessity of
=firm planting=. Watch how a clever gardener presses the earth well round
the roots of everything he puts in, where the plants are large, treading
the soil down with his foot. =Loose planting is ruinous= (except in a few
isolated cases), and yet it is a favourite practice with amateurs, who
call it treating their flowers tenderly! But, as with the human kind, =a
judicious mixture of firmness and tenderness= is the happy medium to be
aimed at, and which alone insures success.

=A good watering= helps to make the soil settle as much as anything;
therefore, when put into the ground the plants should be well soaked,
after which they should be left for a few days, with the exception of
=overhead watering=, which is most refreshing. In very hot weather, it is
often possible to transplant with perfect safety, if the roots are put
into "puddle."

=PLANTING IN "PUDDLE."= "Puddle" is a very expressive gardening term,
which signifies soil mixed with so much water as almost to have acquired
the consistency of a paste. =Operation 1=--well water the plant to be
removed; =operation 2=--dig the hole which is to receive it; =operation
3=--fill the same with water up to the rim; =operation 4=--carefully take
up your plant with plenty of soil round it; =operation 5=--gently place it
in hole prepared, the walls of which will then be thoroughly soaked;
=operation 6=--fill in with the "puddle" above referred to; =operation
7=--tread gently but firmly down; and, lastly, scatter a little dryer soil
on the top. Flowers planted in this fashion can be taken up even during
June, July and August; and, if properly looked after, will scarcely flag
at all.

=EFFECTS OF ASPECT.= The influence of aspect on plants is an interesting
study; we all know that a shrub on a south wall is practically in a
different climate to a shrub on a north wall. One reason why tender plants
do so well on a =south or west aspect= is because the sun does not reach
it till some hours after it has risen and warmed the air. The =sun shining
on half-frozen buds= often has a disastrous effect on plants climbing
walls with an eastern aspect; consequently, a north wall is often better
for a delicate plant, if the warmest aspect cannot be given it; camellias,
for instance, when outside prefer it to any other. =If a succession of one
kind of flower is desired=, a group facing each corner o£ the compass will
often accomplish this, sometimes as much difference as a month being
noted. Certain unimpressionable plants refuse to alter their season of
blooming, but, as a rule, it is a sure method of attaining this object.
=Colouring is also vastly influenced by aspect=; such things as pansies,
for example, never show such rich markings under a hot sun, but require an
east border to bring out their true beauties. Scotland suits them
admirably, with its cool summer nights and moist atmosphere.

=THE IMPORTANCE OF SHELTER.= Shelter has a great deal to do with success
in a garden; in the ordinary town garden, the builder has generally been
only too obliging in this respect, but in bleak hilly spots it might
almost be called the gardener's watchword. Few things except Scotch firs
and the like will stand a =long-continued high wind= with impunity; not
only does it wrench the plants out of the soil, but, if it comes from a
cold quarter, both flowers and leaves curl up at its approach and refuse
to thrive; they become nipped in the bud, as at the touch of frost.
Everyone has experienced the meaning of shelter when out in a cold
nor'-easter; how it bites one, making the blood stand still with its fury!
then, all at once, we round the corner, and hey presto! all is changed;
the air is quite caressing, and the blood tingles to our very finger-tips
from the sudden reaction. With due regard to shelter, then, =climates can
be "manufactured" without glass=. In extensive grounds, these wind-breaks
are made by planting lines of trees, but in smaller spaces it may be done
differently. The construction of =light fences=, not over five feet in
height, run up inside the compound, accomplish a good deal, as may be seen
by any visitor to the nurseries of Messrs. Barr, at Long Ditton; they are
=not ugly if well clothed=, and make an effectual break in a much shorter
time than would be the case if fruit-trees were planted, though there is
nothing prettier than a row of apple or pear trees, grown espalier
fashion, if time is no object. Many things will nestle beneath them, and
flower beautifully for months together, for, though these fruit-trees are
deciduous, the force of the wind is considerably lessened by them, on the
same principle that =fishing-nets are such a protection from frost= to
wall-climbers; and this again may be compared to the veils which ladies
use to protect their skin. Though of wide mesh, the fishing-nets will keep
off five or six degrees of frost, and in certain cases are better than a
closer protection, like tiffany, which sometimes "coddles" the trees too
much.

=A few words on the respective qualities of youth and age= may not be
amiss. Amateurs are so often disappointed in their garden purchases,
because they will not allow the plants sufficient time to demonstrate
their capabilities. =Catalogues are much to blame= in this respect; an
enticing description of a shrub is given, and the confiding amateur orders
it, believing that in a year or two it will fulfil its character. How can
he be expected to know that that particular variety never bears any
flowers worth speaking of till it is at least seven years old! In the long
run, I think nurserymen will find it pay to tell the whole truth regarding
each plant they send out, not merely in a negative way either. If an
alpine, for example, like _linnea borealis_, is extremely difficult to
grow and flower in this country, it is only fair to say so; to place it
amongst a lot of easily-cultivated plants without a word of warning is
=not straightforward dealing=, moreover is apt to make people disgusted
with the whole thing. Some plants bloom much the best when in their first
youth; this is the case with many of the soft-wooded plants, which soon
give signs of exhaustion, especially in a light soil. When it is noticed
that the outside flowering stems produce finer blossoms than those from
the centre, it is generally =a sign that division is required=, and that
the soil wants enriching.

=THE CALENDAR.= That there is =a time for everything in gardening= is
almost a truism; the calendar is considered one of the most important
parts of a technical book on this subject. It is advisable for an amateur
gardener to =have a note-book=, in which he jots down what he has to do
several weeks or months in advance; so often some fault easily remedied is
left over from year to year, because perhaps it is only observed in the
summer, and cannot be mended till winter. Recently, the calendar has not
been given quite so much prominence; gardeners find out more and more that
the weather is not governed by it, and that though one year it may be best
to sow a certain seed at the beginning of February, another season may be
so cold that it will have to go in at least a fortnight later.
Nevertheless, taken roughly, this diary of events, as the dictionary calls
it, holds good for most years, and it is wise to stick to it as far as
possible.



CHAPTER XII

The Profitable Portion

     _Fruit--The best kinds for a small garden--Avoidance of size minus
     flavour--Vegetables--Herbs._


If a small garden has room for any fruit-trees, =apples are the most
useful= kind to grow; they can be so trained as to take up little room;
for instance, in _espalier_ fashion, down each side of a sunny walk. These
=apple-hedges= are a lovely sight in spring and also in the autumn, when
the ruddy fruit is waiting to drop into the outstretched hand. Though
names can easily be given, it is generally a good plan to =make enquiries
in the neighbourhood as to the best varieties= to grow, for so much
depends on soil and position. Colloquial names are often given, which
require identifying with existing varieties; this can be done by sending
up a specimen of the fruit to the manager of a correspondence column in
some reliable gardening magazine. These gentlemen are generally able to
give the desired information, and no charge is made. =A surer method=
still is to send the fruit which it is desired to identify to some
well-known nurseries, such as those of Messrs. Rivers at Sawbridgeworth,
Hertfordshire; they have acres upon acres of splendid fruit-trees of every
kind, and my readers cannot do better than purchase all they require from
them. Having such wide experience, they can recommend varieties suitable
for all kinds of soil and all sorts of positions. For small gardens,
apple-trees grafted on =the paradise stock= are much to be recommended, as
they are compact in habit, taking up but little room and =begin bearing
almost at once=. Messrs. Rivers guarantee their trees on this stock to
continue in full-bearing for many years. "Plant pears, and you plant for
your heirs" is the old saying, but this is all changed now that the
=quince stock= is used so much. _Cordon_ pears on wire fencing bear
first-rate crops, and are particularly good for small gardens; the
diagonal cordon is perhaps the best. =Cooking pears= can be grown on north
walls, but it is not advisable to try dessert varieties on such a cold
aspect.

=STONE FRUIT.= To grow stone fruit successfully, =the soil must contain a
fair quantity of lime=; moreover the trees, especially if trained against
walls, must be kept well-watered at the stoning period. After the fruit
has been picked, less moisture is required.

=Standard plants are very profitable=, as crops of currants and
gooseberries can be grown beneath them; this double system of cropping the
ground being a great advantage where space is a consideration. =Plums=
require little pruning, and are also not so liable to attacks of birds as
other fruit. When ordering, =do not get too many trees of one variety=, a
good selection will give a long succession of fruit; this applies to all
kinds of fruit-trees.

=Currants are a very manageable fruit=, as they do well in almost any
position; heavy crops can be secured from bushes planted on north borders,
the =black currant= thriving though it only gets a minimum of sunshine;
=gooseberries= are not exacting either, and will give a good return for a
small amount of labour. Both may be propagated by cuttings, and are very
reasonable in price, only costing about four shillings a dozen. Messrs.
Rivers' stock of =maiden peach-trees= and =nectarines= is unsurpassed, and
many of the best kinds obtainable have been raised by them, and are of
worldwide fame. Regarding that oft-debated question of protecting the
blossom in spring, they do not advise anything in the nature of bracken to
be used, this often doing more harm than good. If possible, =a glass
coping= should be placed along the top of the wall, from which tiffany
can depend on cold nights; unless this be done, it is best to leave them
alone. Fine crops are often obtained in the south and west of England
without any protection whatever, the good seasons amply compensating for
the bad.

It occasionally happens that the amateur has an advantage over the market
grower. This is particularly the case where one wants to curtail the
=depredations of birds=; it pays to protect a few yards of fruit, but
where it is a case of several acres, the trees have to take their chance.
=Cherries= have to be watched very carefully in this respect; it is very
desirable to keep the =Morello cherries= hanging long, as they then become
sweeter and make good tarts. These trees do very well on north walls.

=WANT OF FLAVOUR.= One great fault noticeable in fruit-growing of recent
years is that everything is sacrificed to size and appearance, flavour
being at a discount; the shows have had a great deal to do with this; in
the old days, when they were fewer in number, the test of a fruit was its
taste. =Strawberries= in particular have deteriorated in this way, the
huge kinds now seen often being absolutely devoid of the luscious flavour
generally associated with them. Of course we have =better keeping
varieties=, and they can be obtained much later than was once the case. If
the culture of the perpetual varieties is extended strawberries will be in
season many weeks longer, and this will be extremely good news for
invalids, who find it as a rule one of the easiest fruits to digest. =The
cultivation of strawberries is fairly easy=, but their wants must be
regularly attended to. Once in three years the old plants must be taken
up, and new ones (the "runners" issuing from the old) planted instead; in
the summer a good mulching of strawy manure should be placed between the
rows, as this helps to keep the fruit clean, besides enriching the soil.
Plants which are expected to bear a good crop of fruit must have all their
runners cut off as fast as they appear, as it exhausts the plants much to
bear both. =Strawberries are partial to rather a light soil=, but nearly
all other fruit-trees revel in a mixture of loam and clay, with a little
sand to keep it open. This soil does not suffer so much from drought, and,
being firmer, the larger trees can send their roots down and get a far
better hold of the ground than is possible in shingly, poor soils.

=ORNAMENTAL AND USEFUL.= =Vegetables= take up a good deal of room in a
garden if they are wanted all the year round, but a few things can be
easily grown. =Scarlet runner beans=, being ornamental as well as useful,
are some of the best vegetables to grow, as they can be made to form a
convenient screen for a rubbish heap. These can be brought up from seed
sown early in April, and, when a foot high, require sticks; these come
rather expensive if new ones are used every summer, but with care they
will last two and even three seasons, though latterly they become very
brittle. On the rubbish heap, =marrows= can be grown with the greatest
facility, as they revel in the rich warmth there found. They should be
bought when a few inches high, and planted out at the end of May, as they
are only half hardy. When the flower at the end drops off they are ready
to cut; if allowed to get much larger they lose all their flavour. A few,
however, should be allowed to become quite ripe, as they can be used in
the autumn for making apple-tart, two parts apple to one part marrow, and
they also make =a good jam= when spiced with ginger, etc.

=RELATIONS OF THE SUNFLOWERS.= =Jerusalem artichokes= will flourish on a
north border, and come in very nicely during November; they are planted in
exactly the same manner as potatoes, that is, by means of pieces
containing two or three "eyes," which should go in about February. Like
potatoes, too, they can be stored; though so tall, they do not require any
sticks; these artichokes present much the same appearance as the ordinary
cottager's sun-flower (indeed, the botanical name is identical,
_helianthus_), having thick, hollow stems, covered with long, pointed,
hairy leaves.

=Potatoes are rather "kittle-kattle"= for amateurs, but where the soil is
light they should certainly be tried, especially where there is room for a
rotation of crops, as successive planting should not be made in the same
place. Beware of giving rank manure to them, a sure precursor of disease;
artificial manures, such as guano are far more suitable. =No trees must be
allowed near them=, but a sunny open piece of ground be given up to them.
March is the month to plant and the rows should be from fifteen inches to
two feet apart.

=Carrots and turnips= also prefer a light soil and sunny situation. Seeds
of both should be sown in March, when the soil is in a friable condition,
several times subsequently; the seeds must be well thinned out, and the
space between the rows constantly turned by the hoe; the latter operation
is particularly needful in heavy land, as it not only destroys weeds, but
prevents the soil from caking: the rows should be about a foot apart.
Before the turnips are ready, the young green tops make a vegetable by no
means to be despised.

=Herbs=, such as mint, parsley, mustard and cress, should be grown in
every garden, as they take up but little space and are so much dearer to
buy. =Mint= is perennial, and will come up year after year, giving no
trouble whatever; it spreads rapidly and will grow anywhere. To start a
bed, roots can be bought from some market-gardener, or cuttings can be
struck from the bunches bought in the shops.

=Parsley= is a biennial, though generally grown as an annual, because the
leaves from young plants are much the best; the seeds should be sown two
or three times a year, beginning about February, in a sheltered nook;
=this herb likes plenty of sun=; even the curliest varieties degenerate
if placed in a damp shady situation. It prefers light soil, and gives a
better winter supply than where the soil is heavy. Flower-heads must be
cut off regularly to keep the plants in good condition, though just a few
of the best kinds may be allowed to perfect their seed, which should be
sown as soon as ripe. =Mustard and cress= should also be sown several
times during the summer; the cress must be sown three or four days before
the mustard, to obtain them ready for cutting at the same time; both must
be cut almost directly they appear, as, if allowed to grow tall, they
become tough, and their flavour is lost; these seeds require no thinning
out, the exception that proves the rule.



CHAPTER XIII

Annuals and Biennials

     _How to grow annuals--Some good kinds--Some good biennials._


Many amateurs look upon annuals as rubbishy things to grow, and only
suitable for the children's gardens, but that is because they have
generally failed to grow them properly. With the improved kinds now in
cultivation, it is possible to make the portion of the flower-garden
devoted to them "a thing of beauty" if not "a joy for ever." As it is more
satisfactory to bring them up from the beginning, I have described in
Chapter XVI. a method generally successful. =Seed-sowing out-of-doors=
being rather precarious, I have found it advisable to =sow all the smaller
seeds either in a green-house or frame=, however hardy the annual be. This
not only saves endless trouble in the way of protecting the seed from
birds, etc., but is advantageous in that one has an earlier display of
bloom, owing to the growth being quicker under glass. Below is a table of
the choicest kinds:--

ANNUALS.

  NAME.                      LENGTH.         COLOUR.

  Bartonia aurea             1 to 1-1/2 ft.  Golden yellow.

  Celosia plumosa            1-1/2 ft.       Red and yellow.
    (Somewhat after the style of Prince's feather; tender.)

  Coreopsis (or Calliopsis)  2 ft.           Yellow and red.

  Eschscholtzia              1 ft.           Bright yellow.
    (Very pretty grey-green foliage; select.)

  Gaillardia                 1-1/2 ft.       Yellow and red.
    (The "blanket flower"; good for cutting.)

  Godetia                    9 ins.          Red to white.
    (Cup-shaped; showy.)

  Mesembryanthemum           1/2 to 1 ft.    Ice plant.
    (Grown for its foliage, which glistens beautifully; must have sun.)

  Ionopsidium acaule         2 to 3 ins.     Pale mauve.
    (Miniature plants for filling up crevices in rockwork.)

  Linum coccineum            1 ft.           New scarlet variety.

  Lupinus arboreus,
    "Snow-queen"             3 to 4 ft.      Pure white.
    (A very stately plant; new.)

  Nemophila grandiflora      1/2 ft.         Beautiful blue and white.
    (Remind one of the eyes of a child.)

  Phlox drummondi            1 ft.           All shades of red to white
    (Half-hardy; must be massed.)

  Shirley poppy              1 ft.           All shades of pink.
    (Very graceful and free; light soil.)

  Portulaca                  1/2 ft.         Mixed colours.
    (The most effective of all annuals; half-hardy; must have plenty of
     sun and a light soil.)

  Salpiglossis               1-1/2 ft.       All shades.
    (Very fragile flowers, veined and marked in exquisite fashion; must
     be massed.)

  Silene pendula compacta    1/2 ft.         Bright pink.
    (Flowers shaped somewhat like a Maltese cross.)

  Stocks, double, ten-week   1 ft.           Various.
    (When thinning, only keep the weakest seedlings, as those are the
     double ones.)


BIENNIALS.

These, if sown one spring, will not flower the following summer, but do so
the year after.

  NAME.                      LENGTH.         COLOUR.

  Fox-gloves                 3 to 4 ft.      White and coloured
  (White, most picturesque; all do well in shade; unless seed is required,
   cut out main stem, when side shoots will flower.)

  Lunaria biennis            1-1/2 to 2 ft.  The old "honesty."
  (Much prized for its silvery seed-pods.)

  Polyanthus                 1/2 ft.         Mixed colours.
  (Admirable for shady places; water well.)

  Japanese pinks             1 ft.           Deepest crimson to white.
  (Fringed petals; a whole bed of this is lovely.)

  Sweet Williams             1 ft.           Mixed shades.
  (Auricula type, the best; there is a novelty, blackish-maroon in shade,
   which should be placed amongst some of the crimson varieties.)

  Snap-dragons               2 ft.           Varied.
  (Flower from June to November; eschew reds of a mauve hue.)

  Wallflower, "Ruby Gem"     2 ft.           Reddish violet.

The seeds of all these, true to name and ripe for germination, may be
obtained from Messrs. Barr, Long Ditton, Surrey, who sell sixpenny packets
of all these kinds; small quantities of the well-known sorts only costing
threepence. This is a =great advantage to owners of small gardens=, as one
does not wish to give 1s. 6d. or 2s. 6d. for perhaps two thousand seeds of
one variety, when only two or three dozen are required. Penny packets of
seeds may be had from the One and All Company at most greengrocer's, and
are really wonderful value for the money.



CHAPTER XIV

Window Boxes

     _How to make them--Relation of box to residence they are intended to
     adorn--Suitable soil--Window plants for different aspects._


Where gardens are small, one seems to need window boxes more than where
there is land and to spare. They add to the number of one's flowers, and,
if carefully looked after, decidedly =improve the appearance of a house=.
That is a large "If" though, for unkempt boxes only make it look untidy.

=FLOWERS FIRST, BOX SECOND.= Though the tiled sort obtain a good deal of
patronage, nothing really looks much better than boxes covered with virgin
cork, if constantly renewed, for it acts as =a foil to the flowers=,
whereas patterned tiles are rather apt to take one's attention away from
them. In summer, certainly, they have the advantage of preserving the
earth in a moist condition, and in smoky towns they help to give a bright,
clean look to the houses so decorated. Old-fashioned houses, however,
should always have their window boxes made in the virgin cork style, as
they accord better with their surroundings.

When strong wooden boxes have been procured, it is quite easy to tack on
the cork one's self, provided one has a sharp knife and a good supply of
long nails, and it is =most fascinating work=; it is advisable to wear
gloves during the process, as the hands may become rough otherwise. Seven
pounds of the cork may be had for a shilling of any seedsman, and three
lots will do two boxes of the average size. =The soil should be fairly
light=, like that used for potting, but before the boxes are filled,
several holes, bored with a red-hot poker, should be made in the bottom,
and a thin layer of "crocks" spread over them; do not quite fill the box
with soil, but leave an inch or two free to allow of watering, and even
more if a layer of moss or =cocoa-nut fibre= is used to cover the surface
of the soil; this is certainly an improvement till the plants get large
enough to cover it themselves. Only =artificial manures= must be used to
fertilize the roots, and even those must not be given too often, but only
in the hot weather, when growth is quick, as they are stimulating to a
great degree.

=Constant renewals are necessary=, if the boxes are to look gay all the
year round; even the best gardeners acknowledge this. If continuous
bloomers are chosen, however, the cost is considerably modified. Perhaps
the =winter shrubs= are the most expensive item; yet they are often chosen
without much regard to cheerfulness; indeed, the favourite kinds present a
most funereal appearance.

=Aspect= has always a good deal to do with the selection of plants, but in
the case of windows facing north and east, it is the cold winds more than
the absence of sun which restricts the choice. Shelter is a great factor
in their well-being.

=SHOWY IN WINTER.= In a cosy box with a western exposure, and protected on
the north, the golden-tipped _retinosporas_ make =a pretty show during the
cold months= of the year, and form a welcome change from the prevailing
dark green tones. _Cotoneasters_, _pernettyas_, and the variegated
_euonymus_ are also very suitable. The polypody ferns, being evergreen,
look very well too, and =will thrive facing all four points of the
compass=. In the spring, =dwarf wall-flowers=, interspersed with different
kinds of bulbs, make the boxes look bright, and the new _pyrus maulei_ is
also very pretty at this season. The =perennial candytuft=, too, is a
splendid flower for late spring, particularly _iberis correafolia_, which
has a neat habit, and bears quantities of snow-white flowers; it likes
sun, and not too much moisture. The =yellow jasmine=, which is so pretty
in winter, looks extremely well when allowed to droop over the edges of a
box, as it flowers in quite a young state. The mossy _saxifrages_ are
suitable for the edges of the box, and are always ornamental; their
charming white flowers, supported on red stalks, appear about May.

Such =bulbs= as the Duc Van Thol tulips are very bright, and mix well with
the shrubs; they should be put in some time in October. =Crocuses= look
well, too, but should not be placed in the same box as the tulips, or too
gaudy an appearance will result. A thick planting along the front of the
box of the Starch hyacinth--_muscari_--is =uncommon=, and an exceedingly
nice thing to have, as the moment the window is open fragrant whiffs,
resembling new-mown hay, pour into the room, especially on a sunny
morning. When these bulbs have to make way for the summer flowers, it is
advisable to plant them out in the garden and use another lot next year,
as the =constant transplantation somewhat weakens them=. Of course, one
could leave them in the box during the summer, if it were not for the
unsightly decaying leaves, which =must on no account be cut off=.

About the middle of May for the South of England, and a fortnight later
for the North, is the time to furnish the boxes for the summer. If the
window is small, low-growing plants and trailers should prevail.

=FOR COLD ASPECTS.= Some good flowers for north and east aspects are
_fuschias_, _calceolarias_, _begonias_, and the lovely white _campanula
isophylla_; the latter thrives best in such conditions, bearing finer
flowers for a much greater length of time than where the sun scorches it.
=These plants accord well with stucco=, which serves to show up their
whiteness more than anything. =Marguerites=, yellow and white, also thrive
in the cooler windows of a house, and are not so exigent in the matter of
watering when so placed. When selecting =begonias= for boxes it is well to
choose the single varieties with moderate-sized blossoms; the big flabby
ones soon become spoilt by rain, and are not produced so freely, nor is
their habit of growth so good.

=For hot situations= the double geraniums are splendid, but they should
not be mixed with lobelias, as they look infinitely better when grouped by
themselves, the shades ranging from dark crimson to the palest
salmon-pink.

=PRETTY TRAILERS.= The quick-growing _tradescantia_ with its many-jointed
stems and glossy bright green leaves, softens =the somewhat formal
appearance of the geraniums=, and will cover all the bare soil in a
marvellously short space of time, and droop over the edges in long
streamers; it is quite distinct from the tall _tradescantias_ mentioned in
a former chapter, and is the easiest thing in the world to propagate, as
any little bits saved over from a bouquet will make roots in a bowl of
water, or they can be "struck" in the ordinary way in a pot under glass.
The variegated _tradescantia_ is =a very choice trailer=, but a little
more tender than the other, and requires a sunny position, while the plain
green variety will do anywhere outside in the summer, even growing well
under trees.

=For autumn= there are the =hardy chrysanthemums=, and if dwarf varieties
with fibrous roots are chosen, a very good show can be made with these
till the middle or end of November. The protection afforded them by the
house keeps them in good condition longer than when they are in the open,
especially when a thin veiling, such as tiffany, is afforded them on cold
nights. Even newspapers will keep out several degrees of frost, and form a
very cheap method of protection.



CHAPTER XV

Table Decoration and Flowers in Season

     _Graceful arrangement--How to manage thick-skinned
     stems--Colour-schemes--Bad colours for artificial light--Preserving
     and resuscitating--Table of flowers in season._


The fashion of decorating tables to the extent now done is of
comparatively recent date. When the duties were taken off the importation
of foreign flowers, they became so much lower in price that the great
middle-class could afford to buy some even in mid-winter. In the British
Isles themselves, too, the carriage of flowers is much cheaper and more
expeditious, though there is plenty of room for improvement still in that
respect. =The manner of arranging= them has much altered, for, instead of
cramming a clumsy vase to its utmost limits with a dozen different flowers
of as many shades, only one, two, or at most three, kinds are now used,
and these are set out in as =graceful and airy= a manner as possible.
=Plain glass vases=, as a rule, show the blossoms off best, though pale
green or ruby occasionally looks very well. The water need not be changed
every day in all cases; it depends on the flower; wall-flowers, for
instance, turn the water putrid very soon, while it keeps fresh much
longer where roses are concerned. =The vases should, however, be filled up
once a day=, as the stems suck up moisture rapidly. Hard-wooded flower
stalks should receive special attention, or they will droop directly.

=STEM-SPLITTING.= Lilac, when cut and placed in water will absorb no more
moisture than a lead pencil, unless the stems are split up; this can be
done either with a hammer or a knife or both. As many leaves as possible
should be left on the stems, for when under water they largely help to
make the blossoms last well; it is only where the stalks are nearly
leafless that the splitting and peeling is necessary.

=Maidenhair fern may be made to last= much longer if the end of the black,
wiry stem is hammered for about an inch up.

It must not be forgotten that =cutting from a plant strengthens it=, and
induces it to continue sending up flower-stalks. People often seem chary
of cutting their roses with any length of stem, I suppose because it has
leaves and shoots all the way up, but this is an error; they should be cut
with about eight or ten inches of stalk; pansies and _violas_ also look
much more natural when a portion of the shoot is cut along with each
blossom.

=BY PARCEL POST.= On hot summer days, when flowers are to be sent by post,
=they should be picked early in the morning=, several hours before they
are to be sent off, and placed in bowls of water; then, if they are packed
close together in tin, wood, or even card-board boxes they will arrive
quite fresh at their destination, where otherwise they would be hopelessly
faded. When a box of flowers is received, the contents should be put =in
luke-warm water= in a dim light for an hour or so; they can then be
re-arranged in the vases they are intended to occupy.

=BLUE--A DAYLIGHT COLOUR.= Some colours respond to artificial light much
better than others. =Most shades of blue are not suitable for decorating
dinner tables=, because they turn almost brown, or at best a dull mauve.
In choosing violets, therefore, for evening wear, it will be found that
the blossoms which have thin, rather washed-out petals of the lightest
purple will look best, the full blue not being nearly so effective. =For
luncheon=, an arrangement of purple clematis in vases on the palest pink
ground is lovely, but does not look quite so well by gas-light, though
here again if the least velvety flowers are chosen for evening, a good
effect can be obtained.

=Yellow is a splendid evening colour=, but must be bright, or it will look
merely cream. A dining-room panelled in light oak, adorned with yellow
marguerites alone, is very pleasing to the eye. In the spring, =laburnum
makes a novel dressing for a dining-table=; care, however, must be
exercised with this flower, as the pods are poisonous. Blue also looks
well with brown in the day-time; larkspurs, forget-me-nots, _plumbago_,
_campanulas_, _nemophilla_, etc., all look very well. We know how artistic
blue porcelain is on oak shelves, and, if the flowers have a white eye or
are veined with white, the effect is somewhat the same. =Scarlet is a good
gas or electric light colour=, but it must be used judiciously, and as a
rule only be mixed with white, just as the ladies at a regimental ball are
generally only allowed to robe themselves in this pure shade.

=SIMPLICITY.= Now-a-days the decorations are rarely made so high that one
cannot see the other side of the table. Though this arrangement might
occasionally be useful in hiding the face of an enemy, on the whole it was
found inconvenient; accordingly they have climbed down; the "bazaar-stall"
fashion is also disappearing, and flat table-centres are used instead, or
none at all. Simplicity is the great cry now, and though of course it may
be costly, a charming effect is obtained with fewer flowers than was
formerly considered correct, and is moreover easily imitated by an
artistic eye in less expensive blossoms.

Some of the flowers to be had in each respective season are enumerated on
p. 86. It will be noticed that where plenty of out-door blossoms are to be
had, the hot-house varieties are omitted.


TABLE OF NATURAL AND FORCED FLOWERS FOR EACH MONTH.

JANUARY.

_Natural._

  Christmas rose.
  Yellow jasmine.

_Forced._

  Carnations.
  Eucharis.
  Gardenias.
  Poinsettias.
  Tuberoses.
  Late chrysanthemums.
  Roman hyacinths.
  Odontoglossum (orchid).
  Tulips.
  Violet, single and double.
  Narcissus.


FEBRUARY.

_Natural._

  Christmas roses.
  Yellow jasmine.
  Daphne.
  Snowdrops.

_Forced._

  White lilac.
  Carnation.
  Hyacinths.
  Tulips.
  Geraniums.
  Marguerites.
  Cattleya (orchid).
  Camellias.
  Roses.
  Dicentra.
  Narcissus.


MARCH.

_Natural._

  Violets.
  Early narcissus.
  Almond blossom.
  Cowslips.
  Polyanthus.

_Forced._

  Freesias.
  Lily of the valley.
  Arums.
  Narcissus.
  Mauve lilac.
  Anemones.
  Lilium Harrisii.
     "   longiflorum.
  Roses.
  Azaleas.


APRIL.

_Natural._

  Daffodils.
  Wallflowers.
  Forget-me-not.
  Tulips.
  Alyssum.
  Anemones.
  Doronicums.

_Forced._

  Sweet peas.
  Roses.
  Carnations.
  Arums.
  Lilies of the valley.
  Alliums.
  Acacia.
  Epacris.


MAY.

_Natural._

  Laburnum.
  Poet's eye narcissus.
  Doronicums.
  Trollius.
  Iris.
  Parrot tulips.
  Lilies of the valley.
  Syringa.
  Lilac.
  Ranunculus.

_Forced._

  Arums.
  Ixias.
  Gladiolus (scarlet and white).


JUNE.

_Natural._

  Sweet peas.
  Roses.
  Pinks.
  Pyrethrums (single).
  Larkspurs.
  Canterbury bells.
  Penstemons.
  Lilies.
  Columbines.
  Flag iris and other iris.


JULY.

_Natural._

  Clematis.
  Montbretias.
  St. John's wort.
  Campanulas.
  Poppies (to be picked in the bud).
  Carnations.
  Cornflowers.
  Indian pinks.
  Erigeron (like an early Michaelmas daisy).
  Gladiolus.


AUGUST.

_Natural._

  Clematis.
  Coreopsis.
  Gaillardias.
  Snapdragons.
  Sunflowers.
  Gladiolus.
  Dahlias.
  Roses.
  Carnations.


SEPTEMBER.

_Natural._

  Michaelmas daisies.
  Pinks.
  Chrysanthemums.
  Lilies.
  Sunflowers.
  Japanese anemones.
  Roses.

_Forced._

  Tuberoses.
  Cattleyas.
  Eucharis.
  Gardenias.


OCTOBER.

_Natural._

  Michaelmas daisies.
  Chrysanthemums.
  Physalis (or Cape gooseberry).
  Violets.
  Single Marigolds.

_Forced._

  Salvias.
  Marguerites.
  Tuberoses.
  Eucharis.
  Odontoglossum.
  Cattleya.
  Bouvardia.
  Roses.
  Carnations.


NOVEMBER.

_Natural._

  Michaelmas daisies.
  Chrysanthemums.
  The gladwin iris (berries).
  Violets.

_Forced._

  Eucharis.
  Geraniums.
  Marguerites.
  Salvias.
  Carnations.
  Chrysanthemums.
  Odontoglossum.
  Cattleya.
  Bouvardia.
  Camellias.


DECEMBER.

_Natural._

  Yellow jasmine.
  Christmas roses.

_Forced._

  Salvias.
  Cypripediums.
  Violets.
  Poinsettias.
  Geraniums.
  Chrysanthemums.
  Lilies of the valley.
  Roman hyacinths.
  Coelogyne (orchid).
  Narcissus in variety.

=The cost of a flower is always in proportion to its blooming time.= If
lilies of the valley are wanted in August, they must be paid for heavily,
as retarded bulbs (those which have been kept in ice) are used to produce
them.



CHAPTER XVI

The Propagation of Plants

     _By dividing--By cuttings--By seeds--By layers._


=Propagation may be affected in various ways=, of which division is
perhaps the easiest. It must be done very carefully, or decay will set in.
Some plants lend themselves to this form of propagation very readily; in
others, the root stock is single and obviously resents division, wherefore
it is better to try another plan. The Michaelmas daisies are good
instances of the first kind; their roots are fibrous, and soon take to the
new soil; it is tap-rooted plants which dislike division so much.

=CAREFUL DIVISION.= It is advisable to divide most plants in the growing
season, which is from spring to early autumn; if it is done in the winter
months, each piece frequently remains quite inert and eventually rots. The
plant should be taken up, with a fork by preference, and then pulled
carefully apart with the hand. =The smallest fragment of the old white
anemone will grow=, but few plants will stand quite so much division. Each
piece should be well watered as it is planted, and if the sun is hot some
shade improvised. Such things as _delphiniums_, _phloxes_, _campanulas_,
and quick-growing subjects in general, should not be left too long without
being divided, or the flowers will dwindle, and the plants become
straggling in habit.

A good many plants which might be propagated by =division= of the roots
are propagated instead by cuttings, as the flowers come finer in every
way, and of course this method suits many plants which cannot be divided.
Chrysanthemums present few difficulties; though the ultimate growth of
this Japanese plant entails a vast amount of labour (if prizes are the
object in view), yet cuttings from them are the easiest things possible to
strike, even easier than a geranium, as there is no damping off. =Cuttings
are generally struck under glass=, this method being the surest, even with
hardy plants. The shoots selected should be well ripened, and the cut made
squarely below a joint and be =taken with a "heel"= if possible, that is,
with a piece of the old wood attached. All but the topmost leaves should
be pinched off, and then the cuttings must be inserted round the sides of
the pot, and the soil well pressed down,--the best cuttings in the world
cannot make roots unless this be attended to. After that a good watering
should be given them, and the pots set in a shady place till they have
emitted roots, which may be known by the fact of their beginning to make
new leaves. Some cuttings root better when the cut is allowed to form a
"callus," which in warm weather only takes a few hours.

=Rose cuttings= root very well out of doors on a north border, and trees
produced in this manner are often very satisfactory, but they take a long
while to come to a flowering stage, somewhat trying the patience of ardent
amateurs.

One can gradually get quite a nice collection of interesting plants, by
striking all the likely shoots in the different bunches of flowers
received from friends, but it is generally best to identify them as soon
as possible, so as to give each the right treatment.

=Propagation by seed= is quite a fascinating employment, and is a
successful method, if pains are taken; though so many amateurs seem to
fail. I have found it the safest plan, with all except the largest seeds,
to bring them up under glass. Even the hardiest can be treated in this
way, and one feels so much more sure of the result. For one thing, birds
cannot get at them, therefore there is no need to make a network of black
cotton to keep them off; neither can the cat meddle with them, and we all
know pussy is a very bad gardener.

=The pans= specially sold for the purpose are the best, but pots will do
very well. Fill them with fine moist soil, and press firmly down; then
scatter the seed thinly on the top, and only cover with a slight layer of
soil, afterwards placing in a dark corner. Where the seed is very small,
do not cover with any mould at all, but, as an extra protection, place a
piece of cardboard over the top of the pot, so that they shall not be
blown away. =Seeds like a still atmosphere=, moisture, warmth, and
darkness. Seeds and seedlings must not be watered in the ordinary way, but
the pan containing them should be placed in a saucer of water, when enough
moisture will be drawn up by capillary attraction. Thinning is extremely
necessary; every plant must be given room to attain its full dimensions;
where this is not done, the result is most unsatisfactory. As regards the
=time for sowing=, of course, spring is the most usual, but in the case of
annuals it will often be found a good plan to sow a few in autumn, as, by
pursuing this method, nice stocky little plants are ready for the garden
quite early in the season, and give flowers long before spring-sown seed
could possibly do so.

=Propagation by layering= is very useful, as cuttings of some plants will
not strike readily. Strong shoots are denuded of their leaves for a few
inches, and their stems slit up and pressed into the ground by means of a
peg; when firmly rooted, they can be detached from the parent plant by
means of a penknife. Carnations are generally reproduced in this way, as
it is the surest method of all.



CHAPTER XVII

The Management of Room Plants

     _Best kinds for "roughing" it--Importance of cleanliness--The proper
     way of watering them._


The majority of English women like to see their rooms, and specially their
drawing-rooms, adorned with =growing plants=.

Nevertheless, a great many do not cultivate them successfully, so a few
hints will not be amiss. =Constant attention= is needed to keep plants in
perfect health, and this is exactly what is so often denied them. A lady
buys two or three ferns that take her fancy, and feels for a while quite
interested in their welfare; but, after a week or so, she leaves them to
take care of themselves, which means to dwindle, and ultimately die. Many
shillings, therefore, are constantly being spent in renewing plants which,
with proper care, should last for years.

All room plants =must be looked after daily=, a few minutes every morning
being far better than an hour once a week, which is all they receive in
some homes.

I will treat first of =palms=, which, though such slow-growing subjects,
seem the favourite of all for home decoration, owing to their grace of
form and good lasting properties. If you observe the roots of most palms,
you will see that, attached in an odd way to the rising stem is =a sort of
bulb=, not unlike a pigmy potato. This excrescence, which should only be
covered by a thin layer of soil, stores up nutriment for the plant's use,
in much the same way as a hyacinth or daffodil does. This accounts in a
great measure for its power in enduring dryness of the soil without
flagging, which property, however, should not be abused. Palms should be
watered as regularly, though not so often, as more sappy plants.

=THE CORRECT WAY TO WATER.= Numbers of people do not know how to give
water in the correct way, whereby the florist prospers! =The golden rule=
is never to water a plant until it requires it, and then to do it
thoroughly. It is fatal merely to moisten the top of the soil, and to
leave the deeper roots dry. First give =a sharp tap to the pot=; if it
rings, water is required; if, on the contrary, a dull sound is given out,
the soil is wet enough. Lifting a pot is a sure test too, as one's hand
soon becomes accustomed to the difference in weight of a moist and dry
pot; the former, of course, being so much heavier. Always see that the
water runs through the hole at the bottom of the pot, then you may be sure
that each particle of soil is wet, and not till then. If you possibly can,
it is best to =use water of a corresponding temperature to that of the
room they are in=; this is most important with delicate plants. Large,
shiny, horizontal-leaved plants require a weekly sponging to remove the
inevitable dust which settles on them. =Gloves should be worn= while this
is being done, as contact with the skin turns the edges of the leaves
yellow; also gloves, of course, help to keep the hands soft and white.
Plants with large leaves should never be watered overhead, unless
immediately wiped dry, as each drop allowed to stand on the leaf turns
yellow, rots, and finally quite spoils the leaf, so that it has to be
removed. Palms will stand gas fairly well, but not so well as
_aspidistras_.

=THE BEST PLANTS FOR DARK CORNERS.= An _aspidistra_ (please note spelling)
is =the best plant there is for roughing it=. The long, thick, dark leaves
seem to stand draughts, gas, dark corners, poor soil, and general neglect
almost with impunity. But here again watering overhead is fatal, as
regards the appearance of these plants.

The =leaves should be washed once a week=, but I will just say here that
where one is in a hurry, and cannot wait to get a sponge and water, a good
polish with a duster is not at all a bad substitute.

There are disputes occasionally as to whether _aspidistras_ ever flower.
Of course, it is an undoubted fact that they do, and I can give a decided
affirmative to any who may question it. My plants flower regularly every
spring, but, as these blooms are a dull, greenish-purple in colour, and
only sit, as it were, on the top of the soil, they are naturally
overlooked.

The modesty of the violet is nowhere when compared with the _aspidistra_!

=Aralias are good room plants=, for they have a bold and handsome form,
and glossy, bright green foliage, very like that of a fig. They do not
stand gas well, however, but, as so many houses are lighted by
electricity, this is less of a drawback than was formerly the case. If not
regularly watered, too, they have a habit of dropping their leaves;
otherwise they are of easy culture. As they grow taller, the lower leaves,
even on a healthy plant, generally drop off.

=LEGGY PLANTS.= It is a good way, when these and kindred plants become
"leggy," to improve their appearance by cutting off the old root, and
making them root higher up the stem. Where the plant is valuable, it is
best to be sure of new roots before throwing away the old, but, as a rule,
_aralias_ have so many joints that they may easily be induced to strike by
just pressing the stem firmly into the soil, then putting the pot in some
dark place, and keeping the soil rather dry, though the foliage must be
kept moist. =To be quite sure of success=, however, it is best to treat
them in the following manner:--Choose a handful of soil with a little loam
in it, and, wetting the stem slightly, press the soil round two or three
of the joints, and bind closely with some raffia or bass, being very
careful to keep the soil always moist, or the plant will fail to make
roots. Some people enclose this part of the stem in two halves of a small
flower-pot, which is a good plan, if the stem will bear the weight, as it
preserves a more even temperature.

=The hare's-foot fern=--_Davallia canariensis_--with its beautiful
blue-green fronds, much divided and elegantly arched, makes the loveliest
room plant imaginable, and, though fairly common, is =not often seen in a
good state of health=. I have found that, on first buying a pot of this
fern, the leaves almost invariably turn rusty and drop off, so that, as
the new fronds sometimes do not appear for some while, an amateur might
really be pardoned for _imagining the plant dead_. This is not so; the
hare's-foot merely resents the change of atmosphere (it has probably been
in a moist green-house), and, like most of us, takes time to settle down.
Once it has acclimatised itself, there is no better plant to be had for
the purpose. It is so essentially decorative that no one can fail to
admire it. Firm potting is important in growing the =davallia=, and it
does not seem so partial to water as most of the fern tribe. It will also
stand gas pretty well, if not shut up for the night in an atmosphere
charged with it, and this is the case with many room plants; they
=strongly object to being left to spend the night in the impure air=,
though a few hours each evening will not do them much harm. The plan of
taking them out at bed-time also prevents so much dust accumulating on
their leaves, an inevitable drawback where a room is thoroughly swept and
dusted.

=Always endeavour to keep your plants well balanced.= In a room, it is
impossible to do this, without constantly turning the pots round, so that
all parts may get the light. In summer, this has to be attended to nearly
every day, but in winter less often, as the sun is, of course, much less
powerful.

As regards =re-potting=, great care must be exercised, or more harm than
good will result. Palms will grow for years in quite small pots, and do
not thrive if over-potted. On the other hand, some plants require it
annually, but, seldom or often, unless for some special reason,
=re-potting should always be done in the spring=. From the beginning of
February until the end of May, a plant may safely be shifted on, as it is
called, because all these months comprise the growing season, when fresh
roots are emitted and new leaves being produced almost daily. See that the
pot is perfectly clean and dry, and the soil in a friable condition; it
should be composed of peat, loam and sand in equal parts; a little leaf
mould, where it is for a fern proper, will be beneficial. A =potting soil=
ready prepared may be had for about a shilling a peck from any seedsman,
which saves time and trouble in mixing. Be sure to put clean crocks in at
the bottom, or the soil will become sour. Shake the pot every now and
again as you fill it up, to ensure no crevices being left; =loose potting=
has caused the death of many a fine plant. When the pot is full, press the
mould down, leaving from half an inch to an inch (according to the size)
bare of soil to the rim of the pot, to allow of watering. It is well to
put a layer, about half an inch thick, of cocoa-nut fibre on the top of
the soil, as this looks neat, and serves to show off the foliage to the
best advantage. Enough of the fibre to cover several dozen pots may be had
for threepence. Guano is good, if supplied to the plants during the warmer
months of the year. The proportions of guano to water can always be seen
on the label pasted on the outside of the tin. It is well to remember that
=guano should never be given to a plant when the soil is dry=, but always
just after it has been watered.

=Saucers or jardinieres should be emptied= as a rule an hour after the
plants have been watered, though where ferns seem to flourish most when
allowed to stand in water, it is well to continue the practice. In very
hot weather, this is undoubtedly of benefit to many plants, but in the
winter the soil of all pot plants should err on the dry side, cold and
damp together often proving fatal.

=GOOD FOR TWO-THIRDS OF THE YEAR.= There are some first-rate plants which
refuse to look well for the coldest part of the year (unless one is
possessed of an hot-house), but which are really =capital for brightening
our rooms= for at least eight months in the twelve. Of these, the
_asparagus_ "fern" is perhaps the most useful. It is a lovely and graceful
plant, which bears cutting, and it lasts so long, both in and out of
water. Being, however, in reality a stove plant, amateurs who have no
warmed green-house must not expect to keep it in thoroughly good health
during the winter, but so soon as the spring appears, new green stems will
shoot up in all directions, and the old fronds will soon be replaced by
bright green feathery plumes of infinite grace.

=Pteris wimsetti= is a charming room plant.

=Young eucalyptus plants= are also very pretty for decorating a room, and
are supposed to be good as a disinfectant. Their habit of growth is
uncommon, and very charming to watch, as they quickly reach to an
effective size, and make large handsome plants to set in the corners of
reception rooms. It is best to bring them up by seed, which should be sown
in February or March. =Spring is the best time to buy room-plants.=



CHAPTER XVIII

Various Hints

     _Artificial manures--Labelling--Cutting off dead flowers--Buying
     plants--Tidiness in the garden, etc._


With far the larger half of our population =the question of cost= comes
into everything. There are so many claims on our purses, that the money
spent on recreations can only be a small part; moreover, is always liable
to be drawn on at any moment. Somehow, the money laid out on a garden
always seems to be grudged, especially when it is for such things as
manure, so that if that item can be reduced, so much the better.

=A "WRINKLE."= One good way of buying it, is to get the boys who sweep the
roads to bring the contents of their cart to your garden instead of taking
it away. Quite a lot can be purchased for sixpence or so, and the mixture
is even more beneficial to some plants than the loads bought from the
contractor. When the neat little heaps are swept up at the roadside,
anyone may take it away. Householders can employ their own errand-boys to
do so, no charge being made whatever.

=Guano and artificial manures= in general are very stimulating, and must
only be given to plants in bud, or at all events full-growth. Sickly
plants or those at rest must never have it. =Soapsuds= form a mild
stimulant for rose-trees in summer, but these things do not come in place
of the manure with which the soil must be dressed in autumn; they are only
additions.

=LABELLING.= There has been much controversy over the labelling of plants;
it must be done very delicately, or the appearance of the garden is
spoilt; the word label usually presupposes a name to be written thereon,
but, in reality, =just a mark to show where a plant is=, often seems all
that is necessary, and this is very important indeed with plants which die
right down every winter. The most unobtrusive tallies must be used, and
they should be of zinc, or they will inevitably get lost. The wooden ones
are all right in the greenhouse, but no good at all outside. For
rose-trees, names are required, and =the "acme" labels are much the best=
ever invented for these, and have now been in use by all rosarians for
years; they can be had at Cant's Rose Nurseries, Colchester, for about 1s.
3d. a dozen, post paid.

=If we would keep plants in good health=, all dead flowers must be cut off
regularly; this is specially important in the case of sweet peas, pansies,
and other free-flowering plants, which become poor, and soon leave off
blossoming altogether, if allowed to form seed-pods. It is =a good plan=
to go round every morning with a basket and scissors, and snip off all
faded blooms, as, when several days elapse, the work becomes long and
irksome.

=As regards buying plants=, this comes somewhat expensive, until a little
knowledge and experience has been gained. After a while, the different
plants are known by sight, and one is able to see directly whether a
flower or shrub is well grown and of good colour. Then, instead of
ordering everything at the large nurseries, one can often pick up, in
one's wanderings, very =good things at small cost=. Until that is the
case, it is wiser to order from some reliable firm who is sure to send out
everything true to name. People who go in for gardening, should always be
ready to learn; there are so many points which cannot be acquired all at
once. One can often gain a "wrinkle" if one keeps one's eyes open, as the
saying is. Constant visits should be made to Kew, Hampton Court, or any
other well-kept public garden, if at all within reach. A stroll round a
neighbour's garden, too, will often give one new ideas, and the
interchange of opinions does a deal of good. A magazine keeps up one's
interest wonderfully, and there are many specially published for amateurs.
One must not be surprised that the advice often seems contradictory. =The
right way of growing a plant is the way that succeeds=, and experience
shows how varied may be the means by which success is attained. I should
like here to warn my readers that before launching out into any great
expense, they first come to a full understanding as to what they will or
will not be able to take away. Greenhouses can be put up as =tenants'
fixtures=, but a very slight difference in the manner of placing them may
result in a good deal of unpleasantness with the landlord, and it is the
same with rose-trees, and other shrubs and plants. Where a shrub has
attained to goodly proportions, it is really the best way to let it
remain, even though the associations connected with it may be pleasant, as
transplanting would probably mean death, in which case neither party would
have gained anything. Of course, in the nature of things, a lover of
gardening is loth to move at all, a rolling stone is not at all in his
line.

=Tidiness is most important in a small garden=, especially in the winter
time; plants may be allowed to get rampant in summer, but in the cold
weather, this wildness tends to make it look miserable. One sometimes sees
the brown, mildewed stalks of sunflowers and other tall plants, left on
right into December, even in a front garden, and it =gives such a deserted
look= to the place, that one longs to "have at them" there and then with a
knife. It is the same way with autumn leaves; in woods they look
beautiful, as they flutter down and make a rich, rustling carpet for our
feet, but, somehow, in the garden the beauty seems gone, and it is
generally the best plan to sweep them away as soon as possible into some
corner, where they can be left to turn into leaf mould. Of course there is
a certain beautiful freedom which is very desirable in a garden, and
which no one could call untidiness. What looks lovelier, for instance,
than the jasmine, with its long sprays hanging down over the window, or
the break made in a straight-edged path by some luxurious patch of thrift
or forget-me-not? these are only fascinating irregularities!

=Winter need not be a time for idleness=; it must be spent in getting
ready for the spring. Tools should be overhauled thoroughly, and new
supplies of sticks and labels prepared. Plans, too, should be made for
filling each different bed, so that when the warm days arrive, and one
scarcely knows what to be at first, everything may be in train.

The faculty of looking ahead must needs be used, if we wish to succeed. I
often think that =living in anticipation constitutes a great part of the
charm of gardening=. When sowing the seed, have we not bright visions of
the time when that self-same seed will bear most exquisite blossoms? When
pruning our rose trees, dreams of what they will become lend added
interest to our occupations, and, indeed, this quality of imagination
turns arduous work into a veritable labour of love, so that its devotees
always aver it is the most delightful recreation in the world.



JANUARY.


_Average Temperature 37._

In frosty weather wheel manure on to ground.

See that every plant which is not quite hardy is well protected from
frost.

Shake off any snow which may be lying on the branches of fir trees, etc.

In mild weather digging may be done.

If it has not already been done cut back all deciduous trees, such as
chestnuts, limes and sycamores.

Prune all except the tender fruit trees, cutting back weak shoots hard,
and strong ones little.

Sow early peas on a warm border.

Do not transplant this month.

Start covering rhubarb with pots or boxes for forcing, and surround them
with manure.

Paths may be relaid with gravel.

The erection of arches, trellis work, or any alteration of this sort may
be attended to.

Keep all plants under glass clear of decaying leaves and anything likely
to cause mouldiness.

Raise temperature of greenhouses as the days become lighter.


FEBRUARY.

_Average Temperature 39._

Begin sowing hardy annuals outside in a sheltered position.

Refrain from pruning rose-trees, or they will suffer later on.

New lawns can be made now, though Autumn is the best time.

See that all trees are securely staked and shoots of wall climbers well
nailed in before the winds of March come.

Prune remaining fruit trees.

Seeds of broad beans, peas, carrots, onions, beetroot, parsley, lettuce,
etc., can now be sown, though the largest sowing should be made next
month.

Plants under glass must have more air and more water as they begin to grow
quickly.

Ventilate carefully and close all the houses before sunset.

Give manure to fruit trees.

Look over fuchsias, dahlias, etc.; cut back and place in gentle warmth.


MARCH.

_Average Temperature 41._

Hardy perennials may be planted.

Prune hardy rose trees.

Sow the bulk of flowering annuals.

Cut back ivy during last week.

Free the lawn of plantains and sow grass-seed on bare patches.

Renew or fill up box edgings.

Hoe beds and borders frequently to keep down weeds.

Rose trees may be planted, though Autumn is the best time.

See that bedding plants in frames have plenty of water.

Clear out all dead plants and give a general tidy-up to the greenhouse.

Give plenty of air from top-lights to glasshouses.

Plant out Jerusalem artichokes.

Sow seeds of vegetables of all kinds.

Pick up gravel paths, and give another layer if necessary.

Protect anything newly planted from rough winds.

Mulch bush fruit trees.


APRIL.

_Average Temperature 46._

Make last sowing of annuals and thin out those appearing above ground.

Fill up gaps in the flower border.

Plant out dahlias.

Prune tea-roses during first week.

If rather dry weather ensues keep rockery and all Spring-flowering plants
well-watered.

Beds must be prepared for the tender plants put out next month by turning
the soil well over and thus pulverizing it.

Protect tender fruit trees from late frosts.

Sow seeds of vegetables for succession.

If the weather is hot, shading can be put on greenhouses.

Bedding plants must be gradually hardened off by giving plenty of air.

Mow and roll lawn frequently.

Plant out potato tubers.

Edgings can be planted or filled up.


MAY.

_Average Temperature 53._

Keep a sharp look-out for insects.

Commence bedding out this month and continue all through, reserving tender
things such as coleus till the last.

Hoe well between annuals and keep them well watered.

Carefully train the various climbers or they will grow into an
inextricable mass.

Fill vases and baskets.

Clip evergreen hedges as this makes them break out at the bottom.

Put some strawy manure between the rows of strawberries and keep well
watered.

Sow vegetable seeds for succession.

Plant out gourds, marrows, etc.

If the weather is hot keep everything well watered.

Transplant violets to their cool Summer quarters.

Syringe frequently under glass.


JUNE.

_Average Temperature 59._

If the garden is not altogether dependent on bedding plants it ought to be
looking its freshest and best.

See that everything has enough water.

Continue to thin out flowering annuals as they increase in size.

Carefully stake larkspurs, carnations, etc.

If the leaves of Spring bulbs have turned quite yellow, cut them off, but
not before.

Give copious supplies of water to all wall plants as a slight shower of
rain scarcely touches them.

Give occasional doses of manure to rose trees, and pick off all faded
flowers.

Water rockeries.

Stake runner beans.

Sow late broccoli.

Sow more lettuce.

Water peaches, apricots, etc., copiously.

Mulch all fruit trees.

Protect cherries from birds.

Draw earth up round potatoes.

Water marrows well and often with liquid manure.

Early this month plant out tomatoes on a south or west wall.

Keep greenhouses well ventilated both day and night.

Harden off azaleas before being set outside next month.

Most plants under glass will want watering twice a day or they must stand
in a saucer of water.


JULY.

_Average Temperature 62._

Look out for rose suckers and cut them off.

Syringe rose trees.

Mulch those going out of flower to induce them to make fresh buds.

Keep faded flowers picked off.

Commence propagating carnations.

Take note of gaps in the flower beds and fill up from the nursery garden.

Place azaleas, heaths, etc., outside in a shady place to rest awhile.

Pansies which are blooming well on cool borders should have weak solutions
of guano water afforded them.

Cut down faded spikes of larkspur and mulch and water well.

This month bedding plants are valuable as July is not a good month for
herbaceous perennials.

Stake the later runner beans.

Plant out celery.

Sow more turnip seed.

Syringe both wall fruit and standards.

Make new plantations of strawberries.

Water lawn every day if possible.

Thin out the superfluous wood of fig trees and shorten gross shoots on all
fruit trees.

Keep everything well watered under glass.

Give air all night to greenhouses.

Tie up climbers to roof neatly and frequently syringe.

Damp down several times daily.


AUGUST.

_Average Temperature 61._

Take pansy cuttings.

Stake dahlias, phloxes, etc.

Keep soil from caking by constant hoeing.

Take cuttings of geraniums, fuchsias, etc., and strike them out of doors.

Give copious supplies of water to rose trees and syringe foliage often.

Cuttings of rose trees may be inserted now on a cool border.

Rockeries must be constantly watered.

Disentangle shoots of climbing plants and tie back artistically.

Water lawn daily and do not cut too low.

Cuttings of most plants may be taken now and inserted in a shady border
with every chance of success.

Cut down old raspberry canes to make way for the new.

Protect fruit from wasps and other insects.

Pinch off the tops of runner beans.

Earth up celery and put out more young plants.

Remove leaves which obstruct light on wall-peaches, apricots, etc.

Syringe frequently.

Give air day and night to greenhouses.

Give constant supplies of liquid manure to chrysanthemums.

Cut back climbing plants on the roof.


SEPTEMBER.

_Average Temperature 57._

Begin planting spring bulbs.

Continue to take cuttings of bedding plants, but insert in frames now.

Leave off giving outside plants stimulants.

Sow hardy annuals to flower next Spring.

Plant out rooted layers of carnations.

Thin dahlia shoots and give plenty of water.

Remove rose suckers.

Pluck apples and pears as soon as ripe, and put on dry shelves to keep.
The fruit should not touch.

Prepare ground for new plantations.

On hot days fruit trees can still be syringed to keep down insects.

Plant out cabbages, sprouts, etc., from the seed bed.

Earth up celery.

Dig up and store potatoes.

Towards the middle of the month remove greenhouse shading.

Thin out climbers on roof again.

Save for chrysanthemums guano is little needed now.

Tender plants outside should be housed at the end of the month.

Pot up freesias.

Damp down less often and reduce the amount of air supplied.

Ferns which were not repotted in the Spring can be done now.


OCTOBER.

_Average Temperature 50._

Plant Spring bulbs and the madonna lily.

Take up all bedding plants and house carefully.

Fill the beds with polyanthus, wallflower, forget-me-not and other early
flowers.

This is a good month for planting most things.

Begin putting in shrubs.

Thin out annuals sown last month.

Cut back climbing plants.

Keep hardy chrysanthemums well staked.

Alterations can now proceed.

Continue to pick pears and apples, and go over them daily to pick out
mouldy ones.

Commence planting fruit trees.

Raspberry plantations should now be made.

Mulch strawberry beds after forking lightly between the rows.

Sow early peas in sheltered situations.

Store potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.

Give liquid manure to chrysanthemums under glass.

Ventilate carefully and do not damp down.

Bring September planted bulbs to the light as soon as they appear above
ground.


NOVEMBER.

_Average Temperature 43._

Plant rose trees.

Mulch every rose tree in the garden.

Continue planting hardy perennials.

Cut down all dead stalks of dahlias, sunflowers, phloxes, etc.

Finish planting bulbs.

Roll lawn frequently.

New ones can now be made.

Continually tidy up the garden.

Finish planting shrubs.

Protect fig-trees by mulching and cut back some of the over-luxuriant
shoots.

Plant fruit trees of all kinds.

Trench ground not in use that the rain and frost may sweeten it.

Prune currants and gooseberries.

Hoe frequently between rows of cauliflower and cabbage.

Celery must be earthed up higher.

Any alterations that may be in hand should be completed this month.

See that oil-lamp and other heating apparatus is in good order.

Look over cuttings of geraniums, etc., and remove all decayed leaves,
which should be burnt.

Ventilate all glass houses much less, especially during fogs.


DECEMBER.

_Average Temperature 39._

Give a final glance to tender plants to see that they are well protected.

Cut down faded stalks of hardy chrysanthemums.

Place hand-lights over Christmas roses.

This is a good time for writing new labels, preparing stakes, and making
plans for the following summer.

Roll gravel walks, and if mossy sprinkle with salt.

Planting of fruit trees may continue if the weather be mild.

Thin out gross wood to allow the air to circulate.

Wheel manure on to the ground in frosty weather.

Prepare vegetable seeds for sowing, by separating them from the husk,
drying, labelling and sorting them.

Earth up greens of all kinds with the hoe.

In glasshouses avoid too much moisture at this dead season of the year.

Only ventilate in mild, calm weather.

Keep everything scrupulously clean.

Give as much light as possible to growing things.

Plants at rest should be kept dark.



INDEX


  Aspect, Influence of, on plants, 67


  Conservatory, the--
    Cactus plants for, 26
    Hanging plants in, 26
    How to stage, 25
    Plants suitable for hanging baskets, 26


  Enemies of the garden--
    Earwigs, to get rid of, 45
    Mice, to get rid of, 45
    Slugs, to get rid of, 44
    Wireworms, to get rid of, 45


  Flowers--
    Annuals, 76
    Biennials, 78
    Colours for day and evening use, 84
    Natural and forced procurable each month, 86
    To pack for post, 84

  Fruit, want of flavour in, 72


  Gardens, small--
    Be original in planting, 17
    Beds and bedding, hints for, 14
    Border soil for, 16
    Breaking up the straight appearance of, 11
    Description of a small and lovely garden, 17
    Duty of making experiments in, 17
    Eye for colour needed in, 15
    Fruit for, 70
    General arrangement of, 9
    How not to plant, 12
    Lawns, to keep in order, 13
    Little things that tell in, 12
    Making the most of land, 15
    Ornamental and useful, 73
    Paths of, to keep in order, 14
    Stone fruit for, 71
    The Dell at Chertsey, 18
    To begin well, 9
    Walks, the, 10

  Gardening Hints--
    Art of buying plants, the, 98
    Cut off dead flowers, 98
    Labelling, 97
    Manures, 97
    Tidiness, 99

  Glossary of terms used by Gardeners, 7

  Greenhouses--
    Advantages of, over conservatories, 27
    Artificial heat for, 27
    Climbers in, 26
    Houseleeks, 54
    Storing plants in, 28
    The joys of, 10
    To manage, 26


  Lopping one's neighbour's trees. A vexed question, 11


  Monthly Hints for Gardeners--
    January, 101
    February, 102
    March, 103
    April, 104
    May, 105
    June, 106
    July, 107
    August, 108
    September, 109
    October, 110
    November, 111
    December, 112


  Planting, the art of, 66

  Plants that are neglected but handsome--
    Asters, 20
    Campanulas, 21
    Cape Gooseberry, 23
    Christmas roses, 22
    Columbines, 20
    Coreopsis grandiflora, 21
    Delphiniums (larkspurs), 21
    Erigerons, 22
    Funkias, 22
    Heuchera sanguinea, 22
    Jacob's ladder, 23
    Lobelia fulgens, 22
    Lychnis Chalcedonica, 22
    Penstemons, 22
    Pink flowered anemone japonica, 20
    Potentillas, 23
    Saxifrages, 23
    Tradescantias & Trollius, 24
    Violas, 24

  Propagation of plants.
    By careful division, 88
    By layering, 90
    By cuttings, 89
    By seed, 89


  Room Plants--
    When to buy, 96
    Correct way of watering, 92
    For dark corners, 92
    Good for two-thirds of the year, 96
    Hare's-foot ferns, 94
    To keep them well balanced, 94
    Leggy plants and what to do for, 93
    Management of, 91
    Palms, 91

  Rockery, The--
    Apennine gems for, 48
    Bulbs for, 56
    Hints for the construction of, 47
    Rock roses, 50
    Suitable plants for, 48

  Roses--
    Bush roses of H.P. type, 38
    Climbers for cool walls, 37
    Dwarf teas, 41
    Good climbers for warm walls, 36
    Hedges of, 41
    Pillar, 40
    Pruning, 38, 43
    Tea, 35
    Time to plant, 43


  Shelter for plants, 67

  Shrubs--
    Ceanothus, The delicate, 64
    Good all round, 62
    Lilacs grafted, 64
    St. John's Wort, 59
    Winter shrubbery, 64

  Summer-houses--
    Fragrant odours for, 33
    How to cover, 32
    Position of, 34


  Table, Decoration--
    Hints on, 83
    Maidenhair, To make it last, 84
    Simplicity in, 85
    Stem-splitting, 83

  Time for everything in gardening, A 69

  Tool-sheds, Well stocked, 29

  Trees--
    Bank under, 60
    Good plants for growing beneath, 58


  Vegetables for small gardens, 73


  Window Boxes--
    Flowers for cold aspects, 81
    Flowers for warm aspects, 82
    How to make, 79
    Pretty trailers for, 82
    Showy flowers for winter, 80



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Introduced to meet the demand for a very low-priced Machine of reliable
English workmanship. =9 in., 11 in., 13 in., and 15 in.=

RANSOMES' "HORSE & PONY MOWERS." THE BEST LARGE MACHINES.

New Patterns; New Adjustments; New Patent Spring Handles; Double Angle
Cutters. =Made in Six Sizes, 26 in. to 48 in. wide.=

_SUPPLIED PROMPTLY BY ALL IRONMONGERS._

  CATALOGUES FREE ON APPLICATION TO
  RANSOMES, SIMS & JEFFERIES, LTD., IPSWICH.



[Sidenote: Dobbie's Guide]

[Illustration]

DOBBIE'S CATALOGUE & COMPETITORS' GUIDE.--224 large quarto pages,
beautifully Illustrated Lists of all Flower and Vegetable Seeds, with most
valuable, cultural notes, times of sowing, colours, heights, &c.; also all
the best flowering plants, including our world-famed Collections of
Dahlias, Pansies, Violas, Early Flowering Chrysanthemums, Herbaceous
Plants, Pentstemons, Pyrethrums, Roses, Fruit Trees, &c., &c.
"Indispensable alike to amateur and professional gardeners." Copies per
Parcel Post on receipt of Sixpence.

DOBBIE & CO., THE ROYAL SEEDSMEN, ROTHESAY.


[Sidenote: Alkan]

"ALKAN" cures in =One Minute= by Inhalation. The Effect is Marvellous.

The ONE MINUTE Cure For Headache, Neuralgia, Toothache, Neuralgia of the
Ear. This simple and perfectly harmless remedy has cured instantaneously
thousands suffering from the above complaints. Of all Chemists and Stores,
prices =2/9= & =4/6= per bottle. Sent post paid to any part of the United
Kingdom on receipt of price. Or of the Proprietors, =B. & G. ALKAN=,
_General Depot_, 150, STRAND, LONDON, W.C.


[Sidenote: Vegetable and Flower Seeds]

  SHILLING'S SEEDS ARE THE BEST FOR AMATEURS & GARDENERS
  Because they produce the finest Flowers and Vegetables.

  CATALOGUE SENT GRATIS AND POST FREE.

  C. R. SHILLING, Seedsman,
  WINCHFIELD, HANTS.



[Illustration: "Ill Weeds Grow Apace." Root them out!]

A PRESENT PRECAUTION MAY SAVE YOU GREAT FUTURE TROUBLE.

Work in the Garden is Pleasant Work, But it is Hard Work, and every
invention to lessen labour is an advantage!

WITH THE "GNU"

WEEDING FORK

[Illustration]

FLOWER BEDS, &c. may be kept in perfect order with a minimum of Labour.

The Prongs being very close together it loosens the soil and removes weeds
better and quicker than by hand.

No Stooping or Soiled Hands.

Price complete, with 3ft. handle, =1/3 each.=


DAISY FORK

[Illustration]

Such unsightly WEEDS as DAISIES and PLANTAINS can be COMPLETELY REMOVED
from LAWNS, TENNIS COURTS, &c., QUICKER and BETTER than by any other
method.

Having 3 prongs, close together, and a strong lever, the ENTIRE Root is
removed without exertion or without disturbing the surrounding grass.

Price complete with 3ft handle, =1/6 each.=

Manufactured solely by J. LYTLE, 3 BARTON ROAD, WALTON, LIVERPOOL.



Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

Passages in bold are indicated by =bold=.

Punctuation has been corrected without note.

Inconsistencies in spelling and hyphenation have been retained from the
original.





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