By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Book of Old-Fashioned Flowers - And Other Plants Which Thrive in the Open-Air of England
Author: Roberts, Harry
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Book of Old-Fashioned Flowers - And Other Plants Which Thrive in the Open-Air of England" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


generously made available by the Google Books Library Project

      Images of the original pages are available through
      the Google Books Library Project. See

Transcriber's note:

      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

      Small capitals have been converted to all capitals.

Handbooks of Practical Gardening--Iv

Edited by Harry Roberts




And Other Plants Which Thrive in the Open-Air of England



Author of "The Chronicle of a Cornish Garden"

With Numerous Illustrations Reproduced from Drawings by Ethel Roskruge

John Lane: The Bodley Head
London and New York. MCMI

Turnbull & Spears, Printers, Edinburgh.


"_The precious metals are not often found at the surface of the

"_I speak with the lowliest of the meadow flowers as readily as with
the highest fir-trees._"--HEINE



  THANKS                       xiii



  A GARDEN BY THE SEA            12

  COTTAGE GARDENS                24

  THE GARDEN IN WINTER           28

  THE GARDEN IN SPRING           37

  THE GARDEN IN JUNE             48

  HOW TO GROW ROSES              52

  THE GARDEN IN JULY             57

  NIGHT IN THE GARDEN            62

  THE GARDEN IN AUGUST           69

  THE GARDEN IN AUTUMN           73

  SHELTER AND SHADE              81


  MANURES                        94


  LAYERS AND CUTTINGS           101

  WEEDS                         103


  POINTS                        111




  POPPY ANEMONES                       13

  FRITILLARIES                         29

  COLUMBINES                           41

  HONESTY                              53

  MACARTNEY ROSES                      65

  WHITE WOOD LILIES                    75

  FOXGLOVES                            89

  SHIRLEY POPPIES                      99


To that distinguished and generous gardener, Canon Ellacombe, I wish to
express my appreciation of his kindness in giving me the freedom of his
collection of old garden books, though few are so good, interesting,
or useful as his own "Plant Lore of Shakspere" and "A Gloucestershire

To Mr Folkard I am obliged for the loan of his interesting book on
"Plant Lore and Legend."

To the Editors of the _Morning Leader_, _Gardeners' Chronicle_ and
_Gardeners' Magazine_ I am obliged for the right to republish such
parts of the following book as have appeared in their several papers as
essays from my pen.

To Messrs Kelway, of Langport, I am indebted for many presents of
beautiful Delphiniums, Pæonies and Pyrethrums, which they grow as few
others can.


Many years ago an ingenious writer compiled a book dealing with
a subject with which he had no practical acquaintance. The whole
of his alleged observations were second-hand, being derived from
previous writings on the subject. In order, however, to hoodwink the
public, this author laid great stress on the uselessness of mere book
knowledge, saying that an ounce of experience was worth a stone of

Like many other foolish sayings, this one has been regarded as
an inspired utterance, and has been copied by nine-tenths of all
subsequent writers of handbooks. As a matter of fact, whilst a certain
amount of practical experience is absolutely essential to the proper
understanding of nearly all subjects, an intelligent reader can
learn more in an hour from a sensible book than from many weeks of
intercourse with merely "practical" people, and many weeks of so-called

This little book, forming one of a series of handbooks with an aim
purely practical, has itself an entirely practical object. This object
is to teach those who are comparatively new to gardening the general
principles which they must observe if they wish to grow successfully
those flowering plants which are able to live their whole lives in the
open air of this country. By old-fashioned flowering plants are meant
those which we may class with the herbaceous, bulbous and other hardy
plants which one always expects to find in the old cottage gardens, old
vicarage gardens and old farmhouse gardens of romance, and occasionally
in those of reality. One is continually discovering fresh old-fashioned
people, and in like manner we are continually having additions made
to our list of old-fashioned flowers. Many newly discovered or newly
introduced plants, therefore, are treated of in this book, which is not
intended merely as a "Book of Old Flowers." Still, as a matter of fact,
most of the flowers named in these pages are old favourites, and have
long been grown and sentimentalised over by English gardeners and poets.

No attempt has been made to render this a complete handbook of hardy
flowers. In the first place, the pages at disposal would barely serve
even to enumerate them, and, in the second place, the compilation of
a reference encyclopædia of hardy flowers has been done, and done
admirably, by our greatest gardening writer, Mr William Robinson, whose
book, "The English Flower Garden," is in many ways the most important
work on gardening which has appeared since the time of Parkinson.

The flowers here named are but a few of those which are worth growing,
for to the present writer nearly every plant, when allowed to develop
freely and naturally, is full of interest and full of beauty. Everyone
should decide for himself what he will grow in the particular
environment he may have to offer, for, once the art of properly growing
the flowers here named has been mastered, little difficulty need be
anticipated in growing such other hardy plants as may be thought
desirable additions to the list.

In the matter of garden arrangement, I have neither given dogmatic
advice nor stated fixed rules which must be followed; for it is as
undesirable that gardens should be stereotyped copies of one another,
as it would be in the case of their owners. I have, instead of
dogmatising on the rights and wrongs of garden design, described one
or two gardens which have yielded me delight, though I fear that I
have not been able to conceal my own point of view. What that point of
view is I have stated in my "Chronicle of a Cornish Garden," but I am
sufficiently broad-minded to recognise that other styles of gardening
appeal to other gardeners who are quite as competent to form opinions
as myself.

A garden should, as I believe, be an emanation from the spirit of its
owner, and, just as some men are formal and some informal, some prim
and some Bohemian, some careful and some rash, so should their several
gardens vary in style and feeling.

I have laid down no laws as to the arrangement of flowers with a view
to producing "colour schemes," for I have never seen colour schemes
which surpass those chance effects of the hedgerow and the meadow, or
of those pleasant gardens where the gardeners' sole aim is to grow
plants from the plants' point of view, that is to say, with the sole
aim of growing them healthily and well. Of course, occasionally,
a bad colour shows itself, but the remedy is simple and obvious.
Occasionally, also, a colour discord will be perceived in bed or
border, but a spade will cure the trouble in five minutes. Indeed,
there is some small risk at the present moment that the individuality
of beautiful plants and flowers may be too frequently sacrificed to the
production of "effects." This was the deadly fault of the "bedding"
system, and should be guarded against. The bedding system has made such
beautiful flowers as geraniums, calceolarias and lobelias stink in the
nostrils of some of us; just as the disgusting invention of Dr. Gregory
has been successful in making raspberry jam a source of nausea to tens
of thousands of English boys and girls.

Let us as gardeners beware of being too clever and "artistic"; Nature
may be a hard mistress, but she is not a fool.


Strictly, of course, the term is indefinite, for old-fashioned
flowers and old-fashioned gardens mean to different people different
things. Probably to most people--at all events to the present
writer--old-fashioned gardening means that system which is in direct
opposition to prim geometric beds and to the imitation of carpet
patterns by arrangement of flowers. By an old-fashioned garden, the
present writer means an informal "garden of all sorts of pleasant
flowers which our English ayre will permit to be noursed up," as
Parkinson put it; and by old-fashioned flowers he means sweet williams
and gilly flowers, mignonette, sweet peas, roses and honeysuckle,
"daffodils, fritillaries, jacinthes, saffron-flowers, lilies,
flower-deluces, tulipas, anemones, French cowslips or bearseares,
and such other flowers, very beautifull, delightfull and pleasant."
After the severe, monotonous, formal arrangements which still too
often constitute the gardens around our finest houses, how interesting
and restful it is to stroll round a delightful garden such as Canon
Ellacombe's "Vicarage Garden" at Bitton, where the shape of the beds or
borders is not prearranged, where all the soil is occupied, where every
plant looks healthy and at home, where every yard brings one a surprise
and a fresh interest, where the old walls have growing from their
crevices such plants as the Cheddar Pink, Sedums and Sempervivums;
where, too, every plant in its glory hides the decay of its predecessor
in bloom and shelters the birth of its successor.

There is a class--and a very large class--of folks who are so
constituted that continual prize or applause hunting are essentials
to happiness. For such, the topiary-victimised trees, the glaring
carpet beds, and the flower show are useful and comparatively harmless
instruments for the indulgence of their little weaknesses. But it goes
sorely against the grain to give to such the honourable and historic
title of gardener, just as one hesitates to describe as a gardener the
issuer of that curious "catalogue of greens" which Pope satirically
described in No. 173 of _The Guardian_:--

"Adam and Eve in yew; Adam a little shattered by the fall of the tree
of knowledge in the great storm; Eve and the serpent very flourishing.
Noah's Ark in holly, the ribs a little damaged for want of water.

"The tower of Babel not yet finished.

"St George in Box; his arm scarce strong enough, but will be in a
condition to stick the dragon by next April.

"A green dragon of the same; with a tail of ground-ivy for the present.

"_N.B._--Those two are not to be sold separately.

"Edward the Black Prince in Cyprus....

"A Queen Elizabeth in Phyllirea, a little inclining to the green
sickness, but of full growth.

"An old maid of honour in wormwood.

"A topping Ben Jonson in Laurel.

"Divers eminent modern poets in bays."

As a matter of fact, what we understand as old-fashioned gardening has
never been a fashion at all. When Addison wrote in _The Spectator_
that he would "rather look upon a tree in all its luxuriancy and
diffusion of boughs and branches, than when it is cut and trimmed into
a mathematical figure," and that he fancied that "an orchard in flower
looks infinitely more delightful than all the little labyrinths of the
most finished parterre," he was declaiming against--not with--the
fashion of his day. In truth there is no escape from the fact that
in old times, as they are at present, real lovers of plants and of
flowers for their own sakes were few indeed. In the time of Elizabeth
and thenabouts, however, the gardening spirit seems to have been purer
and more wholesome than during the succeeding centuries. John Lyly,
for instance, was, in sentiment at least, a genuine "old-fashioned"
gardener:--"Heere be faire Roses, sweete Violets, fragrant Primroses,
heere wil be Jilly-floures, Carnations, sops in wine, sweet Johns, and
what may either please you for sight, or delight you with savour."
At that time also was written what is perhaps the greatest or at
any rate one of the most important pronouncements on gardening ever
written--the essay "Of Gardens," by Lord Bacon. Here, indeed, is the
real touch, the genuine gardening spirit: "I do hold it in the Royal
Ordering of Gardens, there ought to be Gardens for all the Months
in the year, in which, severally, things of Beauty may be then in
season;" and again, "because the Breath of Flowers is far Sweeter in
the Air (where it comes and goes, like the warbling of Musick), than
in the Hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that Delight, than to
know what be the Flowers and Plants that do best perfume the Air.
Roses, Damask and Red, are fast Flowers of their Smells, so that you
may walk by a whole Row of them and find nothing of their sweetness;
yea, though it be in a morning Dew. Bays likewise yield no smell as
they grow, Rosemary little, nor Sweet-Marjoram. That, which above all
others, yields the sweetest smell in the air, is the violet, especially
the white double Violet, which comes twice a year, about the middle
of April, and about Bartholomew-tide. Next to that is the Musk Rose,
then the Strawberry Leaves dying with a most excellent Cordial Smell.
Then the Flower of the Vines; it is a little Dust, like the Dust of
a Bent, which grows upon the cluster at the first coming forth. Then
Sweet-Briar, then Wall-Flowers, which are very delightful to be set
under a Parlour, or lower Chamber Window. Then Pinks, especially the
Matted Pink, and Clove Gilly-Flower. Then the Flowers of the Lime-Tree.
Then the Honey-Suckles, so they be somewhat afar off.... But those
which perfume the Air most delightfully, not passed by as the rest, but
being Trodden upon and Crushed, are three: that is Burnet, Wild-Time,
and Water-Mints. Therefore you are to set whole Alleys of them, to have
the Pleasure when you walk or tread." The essence of "old-fashioned"
gardening is here expressed.

Our modern "florists" are wont to sneer at the lack of variety
possessed by the old gardeners, but they must be curiously unfamiliar
with the writings of such men as Gerard, Gilbert and Parkinson. To
give but one or two examples, the last named writer, in his "_Paradisi
in Sole Paradisus Terrestris_," gives a descriptive list of twelve
distinct varieties of Fritillaries, eight varieties of Grape-Hyacinths,
and no less than twenty-one varieties of Primroses and Cowslips, whilst
of Lilies and of Roses the kinds described are even more numerous.

The greatest joy which a garden can yield is a feeling of restfulness
and peace, a feeling which no garden of staring beds and ostentatious
splendour can afford, but which is yielded--as by nothing else in the
world--by a garden of happy, homely, old-fashioned flowers.

To most people, and more particularly to most women, one of the
chief uses or functions of a garden is to provide flowers to be cut
for the decoration of rooms. But I hold that a flower cut from its
plant and placed in a vase is as a scalp on the walls of a wigwam--a
trophy showing how one more beautiful plant has been defeated and
victimised by its powerful and tasteless owner. The cut flower is no
longer part of a manifestation of the will of nature; rather it is a
slave--beautiful, it may be, but branded and soul-destroyed.

Regarded as decoration, I consider cut flowers in a house much as
fashion now looks on shell ornaments, or picture-frames made of acorns,
as things inappropriate and childish. Of course, in a town there is
some excuse for them, for even cut flowers carry the mind to beautiful
associated conditions; but cut flowers in the country seem ludicrously
like lumber, just as bedsteads and toilet-services and cruet-stands
placed in a garden would be lumber too.

The love of cut flowers is really but another manifestation of the
spirit which hankers after "yews carved into dragons, pagodas,
marmosets," and the other tree-monsters scoffed at by Rousseau, who
added that he was convinced that "the time is at hand, when we shall
no longer have in gardens anything that is found in the country; we
shall tolerate neither plants nor shrubs; we shall only like porcelain
flowers, baboons, arbour-work, sand of all colours, and fine vases full
of nothing."

Indeed, there is in many quarters even now a growing desire for the
kind of "new garden," which old William Lawson advocated: "Your
Gardiner can frame your lesser wood to the shape of men armed in the
field, ready to give battell: or swift running Greyhounds: or of well
sented and true running Hounds, to chase the Deere, or hunt the Hare.
This kinde of hunting shall not waste your corne, nor much your coyne.
Mazes well framed a man's height, may perhaps make your friend wander
in gathering of berries, till he cannot recover himselfe without your

Of course, the cutting of flowers is a long way from this; still it
is difficult to see where a line can be drawn once the worship of
"gardeners' gardens" has begun.

Through the open windows of house or cottage the eyes should be able
to feast on the beauty of freely growing flowers quite as easily as if
they were cut and stuck in glass or porcelain vase like so many heads
of traitors on the city gates.

It has been said that all children are born scientists, but that only
a small number of them ever pass on to the condition of artists; and
it has always seemed to me that there is much truth in the statement.
Children are ever putting the eternal "why?" to the great confusion
of their parents, pastors, and masters; and it is the curious, the
gigantic, the rare, which always calls forth their attention and
admiration. Struwelpeter is more to a child than all the beauties of
a Charles Robinson, and to few men or women is it given to derive
as much pleasure from beauty as from that which is usually called
"interesting." Hence, the ordinary criticisms of gardens; hence, also,
the usual aims of gardeners. So many people desire the gaudy, or the
unique, or the curious, that we are apt to look upon gardens merely as
appliances for the production of quaint or monstrous flowers.

The analysis of beauty has ever a dissecting-room-feel about it; still,
as he who would become a skilful surgeon must be first a practical
anatomist, and as he who would be a painter must first study his
materials and the "dodges" of his craft, so must the would-be artist
in gardening dissect the beauty of perfect gardens, and study such
apparently dull materials as earth and manure, and practical garden

I have said that the beauty of an old-fashioned garden is due largely
to the feeling of repose and settled-down-ness which it yields. Every
plant looks as though it "belongs" (as we say in Cornwall) to be
where it is, as though it always was there, and as though there is
no intention of shifting it in a week or two to some glass-house,
store-room, or other site. The plants in most gardens look as though
they have merely come to pay an afternoon call, dressed exactly _à la
mode_, speaking always "cumeelfo"--like the people of Troy Town, and
elsewhere--giving one the certain knowledge that they will only say
the right thing, look the right thing, and leave at the right time,
unregretted and unmissed. The "comfortably-at-home" effect is produced
mainly by three causes--firstly, the presence of abundant deciduous
trees and shrubs, giving infinitely varied effects of light and shade;
secondly, the arrangement of the plants in bold groups of single
species; and, thirdly, the provision of each separate plant with depth
of suitable soil, and space to develop its individual form. There is
plenty of background, and not too much episode.

Country people often think that the way to enjoy London is to spend day
and night in one continuous round of "sight" seeing. In like manner,
people often have an idea that the perfect garden is a continuous sheet
of wonderful flowers. How great is the fallacy contained in this idea
it should be needless to point out. Leaf and stem, light and shade and
fragrance, these are quite as essential parts of a garden as are the
"blooms" of the gardening showman.

An eye for beauty is largely a product of training and experience.
A soul and a brain there must be as a basis, but "taste" is to a
large extent cultivated. One must have read much before one is able
to appreciate the style of a Ruskin or a Pater, a Maeterlinck or a
Le Gallienne; one must have studied many pictures before being able
to realise the beauty of the works of the great artists; and in
like manner one must needs have loved and watched plants long and
steadfastly before the beauty of winter twig and summer leaf comes home
to him.

Many a man with a garden looks upon winter as a season to be got
through as soon as possible, as a season when nothing short of
necessity shall drag him into the garden. I am sure that even in the
very heart of December, one should find in the garden more of real
beauty than ninety-nine gardens out of a hundred contain in June. I
recall in particular one little heather path bordered by large bushes
of blue-grey Lavender and green-grey Rosemary, in the bays being great
Mullein plants and clumps of Pink and Alyssum. Ferns, Periwinkles,
Holly, Satinleaf, Hellebores, Winter Aconites and Barberries are but a
few of the plants which help to make this walk bright and pleasant even
in the depths of winter; but most important of all in the Christmas
display are the Furzes, single and double, than which, according to Mr
Alfred Russell Wallace, the tropics can produce nothing more brilliant
or more beautiful.

Continuous beauty all the year through, rather than a continuous
display of flowers, is a goal at which gardeners might wisely aim, for
not only is the result far more restful and suggestive of reserved
force and becoming modesty, but also the individual plants are far more
likely to have a fair chance of development at the hands of one who
appreciates beautiful leaves and healthy growth, than when cultivated
by one who looks at plants merely as flower-making machines.


It is fortunate that we are not all provided with equally favourable
sites and soils. How monotonous would gardening become if one knew that
he had but to act, deed for deed, as his neighbour in order to attain
exactly the same garden result. We should feel disposed to throw down
our spades and trowels if the end of our efforts might be foreseen
by looking over our neighbour's boundary. If the difficulties to be
overcome could be formally catalogued, the whole art of gardening
would be reduced to a wooden system in which there would be little
room for surprise or pleasure. But Fate has decreed that our gardens
shall differ in spite of the apish copying spirit which still fills
so many of our breasts. Our sites vary, our soils vary, and our
atmospheric conditions vary to such an extent that any gardener, if
he is to produce a result of any worth, must perforce use his native
intelligence in order to overcome the specific difficulties peculiar to
his plot of earth.

[Illustration: POPPY ANEMONES]

Gardening readers will remember Dean Hole's story of the enthusiastic
flower-loving navvy who, obtaining the post of gatekeeper on the
railway, was provided with nothing but a barren gravel pit as apology
for a garden. "Twelve months afterwards," says the Dean, "I came near
the place again--was it a mirage which I saw on the sandy desert? There
were vegetables, fruit-bushes and fruit-trees, all in vigorous health;
there were flowers, and the flower-queen in her beauty, 'Why, Will,'
I exclaimed, 'what have you done to the gravel-bed?' 'Lor' bless
yer,' he replied, grinning, 'I hadn't been here a fortnight afore I
swopped it for a pond!' He had, as a further explanation informed me,
and after an agreement with a neighbouring farmer, removed with pick
and barrow his sandy stratum to the depth of three feet, wheeled it to
the banks of an old pond, or rather to the margin of a cavity where a
pond once was, but which had been gradually filled up with leaves and
silt; and this rich productive mould he had brought home a distance of
two hundred yards, replacing it with the gravel, and levelling as per

That man's garden was a real living creation: it was indeed a "great
work." And it is in everything true that great natural possessions,
though they may render life more comfortable and possibly more
apparently successful, yet make the battle the tamer and less
interesting. Indeed the greater the odds to be overcome, the more
magnificent will every victory appear, and the gardener who creates a
flowery Eden out of a piece of bare and starving desert has scored a
greater success than his who but grows beautiful flowers and delicious
fruits where soil and site and surroundings have been entirely on his

I am writing in a garden which is as remarkable an example of
difficulties overcome as was the garden of Dean Hole's navvy. Those who
are familiar with the sand-dunes or towans which form so pronounced a
feature of much of the northern coast-line of Cornwall, will realize
that these scarcely afford ideal spots for easily made gardens. A thin
coating of poor grass, reeds, wild thyme and occasional sea-hollies
form the only drapery for the blown sand which makes up the whole body
of soil.

Yet it was on such a spot that a friend of mine pitched his camp, or
rather built his cottage, and set to work to create a garden. His
aim in life being to kill care, he desired nothing more eagerly than
to be constantly occupied. For three years he spent fully one half of
his days in bringing into his territory leafmould and soil, clay and
manure. He soon had a good protective screen of pines, euonymus, privet
and hazel, and only then did he seriously begin to plant his garden. He
had, during those three years, raised crops of clover, trifolium and
the like, digging them again into the newly created soil from whence
they came.

He read all the gardening books on which he could lay hands, he saw
all the gardens within walking distance, and he studied the wants of
every flower before he sowed or planted it, just as though it were an
honoured guest whom he were inviting. He had no rule-and-compass scheme
before his eyes, and planted his shrubs and flowers in those situations
where they might most healthily yield their beauty and their fragrance.
Such paths as his garden has are merely gravelled developments of the
beaten tracks which usage indicated as necessary or convenient; and
I am afraid that they would meet with the disapproval of that great
authority, Mr Reginald Bloomfield, who has said that a garden "should
be laid out in an equal number of rectangular plots where everything is
straightforward and logical."

My friend is nearly twenty years older than when he began to create his
garden, and it has already acquired much of the character of an old
house to which successive additions have been made. The year through,
the earth is draped and decorated with beautiful plants, Aconites,
Snowdrops, Crocuses, Primroses, Violets, Fritillaries, Columbines,
Pinks, Roses, Lilies, Sunflowers and all the host of old-fashioned

The great problems of "architectural" gardening, "landscape" gardening,
and the rest, did not interest him. So simple and unpretentious was his
little house that an attempt at terraces, clipped evergreens, and the
like, would have struck a jarring note at once. Therefore, it is quite
in keeping that beautiful flowers and beautiful shrubs border one's way
right up to the entrance door; nor does Nature end there, for over all
the outer walls are trained lovely and fragrant climbers--Clematis,
Rose, and Honeysuckle--which give the idea that the cottage does indeed
"nestle" in the garden.

Through the open windows also, at almost any time of the year, pours
the delicious scent of leaf and flower--of Winter Sweet, Violets, or
Sweet Peas; of Stocks, or Mignonette; of Wallflowers, or Roses. Just to
name a few of the plants whose scent fill the rooms, what glories are
thereby called up:--Honeysuckle and Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Lilac
and Narcissus, Carnation, Syringa and Heliotrope, Thyme, Bergamot,
and Aloysia! These, and a hundred other fragrances mingled together
in infinitely varying combinations, give sensuous joys which even the
most jaded can but appreciate. For there is probably no pleasure so
democratic as that which is yielded by the fragrance of flowers and
leaves. The colour and form of plants require a little attention for
their appreciation, but their odour overwhelms our senses whether we
attend or no. The variety of perfumes yielded by plants is almost as
great as their forms, for blossom of Apple and of Jonquil, leaf of
Strawberry, Currant and Sweet Gale gives each an æsthetic pleasure
peculiar to itself.

In Elizabethan times, a royal visit seems to have been preceded by a
process of sweeting the house, which consisted in filling the rooms
with scent of crushed leaves and flowers, scattering also extracts and
essences of fragrant plants. This sweeting of the rooms is a continuous
process through the open windows of the cottage, and no queenly visit
would induce any augmentation of it.

Through the trees, which now have grown to moderate size, may always
be seen the most beautiful setting which a beautiful garden can
have--the ever restless sea. The contrast is good and effective, and is
calculated to prevent any undue development of horticultural vanity.

I thought of Ruskin's statement that "the path of a good woman is
indeed strewn with flowers, but they rise behind her steps, not before
them," when one day I sat on a quaint old seat under a pear tree in
this little flowerful garden; for it is literally behind his steps, not
before them, that all the beauty of my friend's garden has sprung up.
Each beautiful leaf and stem and flower are products of his labour and
care almost as much as of sun and rain. Yet to a stranger the garden
shows no sign of human fingers, human muscles, or human interference.

To many, possibly to most, there is attractiveness in a garden of
well-kept, straight-bordered paths, of tidy beds symmetrical beyond
reproach, of plants arranged like soldiers under review; but to me
such gardens--however pleasant to look at--seem unsuited to repose and
impossible to sit and dream in.

This garden is very different. It has no trees cut to the shape of
peacocks or wind-mills, no hideous collection of stakes and raffia,
which goes by the name of "the carnation bed" (after the manner of
Thackeray's "library where the boots are kept"). It is merely a bit
of enclosed and humanised natural beauty, a place where one may
quietly enjoy delightful flowers and delightful fragrance without
the jarring condition of viewing behind the scenes all the time that
the performance is being enacted. Every flower in the garden was
originally planted by my friend, and has been regularly watched over
and tended by him ever since, yet not one but looks as though it had
been planted at the creation of the world and had been subject only to
the forces of Nature all its life. There is a suggestion of woodland,
a suggestion of hedgerow, a suggestion of hillside, yet, of course,
the garden differs from them all. It is the absence of bare earth--for
scarcely one inch of soil lies undraped by plants--which partly gives
the garden that feeling of settled-down-ness. A half-dressed person, a
half-papered wall, a half-filled bookcase, a half-finished house--all
these things hinder the feeling of repose. So it is that nearly all
gardens, looking, as they do, to be in a state of preparation and
incompleteness, make restfulness out of the question. But in this
garden repose seems the natural emotion, and to sit there beneath a
tree and read or chat is always the appropriate thing.

It is not, however, that the earth is all draped which alone causes
the feeling of rest. This is due very largely to the fact that the
garden is not a "show-garden," was not created for show, but for the
satisfaction of its creator.

The "comfortable feel" of the garden is largely assisted also by the
nature of the flowers and plants which he has elected to cultivate:
Gilly-flowers, Pinks and Purple Columbines, Sweet Carnations, Daffodils
and lovèd Lilies. To quote Korumushi, a poet of the race which has the
spirit of flower-worship in its heart--

    "No man so callous, but he heaves a sigh
    When o'er his head the withered Cherry-flowers
    Come fluttering down."

And no man is so devoid of feeling as to be unmoved by the sight of
the flowers associated with the ideals of the race--the flowers which
Chaucer loved, and Shakspere.

I have seen a beautiful garden, containing none but flowers mentioned
by Shakspere. This, however, was after all but a piece of pretty
pedantry, and necessitated the absence of Foxgloves, Forget-me-Nots,
Snowdrops, and other beautiful flowers. It is indeed strange that he,
the greatest poet of gardens as of other things, never mentions these
flowers, although they must have been well known to him. Speaking of
the Snowdrop, Gerard, who was a contemporary of Shakspere, said: "These
plants doe grow wilde in Italy, and the parts adjacent, notwithstanding
our London gardens have taken possession of most of them many years
past." This rather indicates that the Snowdrop then held a very
different place in the gardener's heart, from the place which it since
has won; and doubtless the same holds good of the other flowers which
Shakspere left unmentioned. If Shakspere were writing now, using the
names of flowers as he used them--"not to show his own knowledge,"
but because the particular flowers supplied the appropriate simile or
key to sentiment--he could scarcely fail to mention the Foxgloves or
Lady's Fingers, the sweet Forget-Me-Nots, and, more beautiful still,
the chaste, unflinching Snowdrops. A flower takes time--generations
even, it may be--really to eat its way into the heart of man; for it is
not enough that it be merely beautiful or merely fragrant--attractive
to our senses though these properties are--in order that we may really
become incorporate with a flower. But it must, in addition, be full of
association, and have been long watched and lovingly studied. There is
one book, difficult now to obtain, containing a record of the truest
appreciation and most careful study of flowers, and of the beauty of
flowers, which we have in the language. That book is called "Flowers
and Gardens," by Dr Forbes Watson, and the following passage from its
pages beautifully explains the sentiment of the gardener who grows
mainly old-fashioned flowers, or, at any rate, flowers with which he
has been long familiar--

"We make the acquaintance of any individual existence under an immense
number of different aspects, and it is the sum of all these aspects
which constitutes that existence to us. A Snowdrop, for instance, is
not to me merely such a figure as a painter might give me by copying
the flower when placed so that its loveliness shall be best apparent,
but a curious mental combination or selection from the figures which
the flower may present when placed in every possible position, and in
every aspect which it has worn from birth to grave, and coloured by all
the associations which have chanced to cling around it. To the bodily
eye which beholds it for the first time it might be of no consequence
what lay within the petals, though even then the imagination would be
whispering some solution of the secret; but to the eye of mind, when
the flower has been often seen, that hidden green and yellow which is
necessary to complete the harmony becomes distinctly visible--visible,
that is, in that strange, indefinite way in which all things, however
apparently incompatible, seem present and blended together when
the imaginative faculty is at work. The common Star of Bethlehem
(_Ornithogalum umbellatum_) is a good illustration of the working of
this principle. When I look at the beautiful silver-white of the inner
surface of the petals, my mind is always dwelling upon and rejoicing in
the fact that their outer side is green, though of that green outside I
cannot see a hair's breadth. Again, we find the same principle at work
in the feeling which compelled the old sculptors to finish the hidden
side of the statue. They said, 'For the gods are everywhere.'"

There are people of whom we say (indeed, it is possibly true of
everyone)--_à bas_ the cynics--that the more intimately we know them,
and the longer we know them, the more we see to love and admire. So it
is with a really beautiful plant, and for this reason they who would
obtain all the possible pleasure and beauty from their gardens should
become, not gardeners only, but also botanists and students of poetry
and of beautiful form.

In spite of Shakspere's omission, then, I advise everyone to grow
many species of Snowdrops; indeed, for a week or two in February, my
friend's sea-side garden seems to be all draped with their green leaves
and serene green-white "drops," yet not one podgy, graceless double
flower is there among them all. For he agrees with Forbes Watson that
the "doubling" of beautiful flowers generally results in deformity and
the destruction of all beauty and meaning. Double Roses, Pinks, and
Carnations, he grows of course; for their fragrance, their history,
and, in the case of Roses, their continuous bloom compensate to some
extent for the loss of character in the petals, and for the "pen-wiper"
appearance which has only too often been given to the individual

To return to the Shakspere garden, one finds that Shakspere's floral
year practically began with the Daffodil.

    "When Daffodils begin to peer,
    With heigh! the doxy o'er the dale,
    Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year."

The yellow Crocus seems to have been introduced into English gardens
whilst Shakspere was writing his plays, and there was then, alas, no
_Gardeners' Chronicle_ to bring him the news. Gerard describes it as
having "flowers of a most perfect shining yellow colour, seeming afar
off to be a hot glowing coal of fire. That pleasant plant was sent unto
me from Robinus, of Paris, that painful and most curious searcher of
simples." What pictures are summoned before our minds' eyes even by the
few words just quoted: "pleasant plant;" "sent unto me from Robinus
of Paris;" "that painful and most curious searcher of simples." Each
phrase shows a type of mind or a view of life.

The garden of my friend is a "pleasant" garden, and he, too, is a
"curious searcher" of beautiful and pleasant plants. That is why his
garden seems to be an old-fashioned garden, and not because it is at
all like Shakspere's garden, or Mary Arden's garden, or the hideous
Elizabethan gardens pictured in the "Hortus Floridus," published in
1614. His, though not by any means a Tottenham Court Road product, is
no Wardour Street garden, but is old-fashioned in the sense that some
of Heal's bedsteads are old-fashioned, or that beautiful English prose
is old-fashioned as contrasted with the English of the yellow press.

He would not be without his Snowdrops, and quite as emphatically
would he not be without his Crocuses. Great clumps everywhere, among
the shrubs, at roots of trees and by the path-sides, radiate light
and beauty like so many fairyland flashes. First come the violet
cups of Crocus imperati, often before January has passed; then the
brilliant array of yellow Crocus luteus (overwhelming the Snowdrops,
by then well past their chief beauty and chief interest), followed by
Crocuses of every shade of purple, lavender, and white. These, like
the Snowdrops, are left quite undisturbed year after year, and if
there be some little falling off in the size of the flowers, which is
doubtful, there is more than compensation in the added beauty which
the resulting gradation of colour and natural grouping yield. When
I think of these glories, I can but reflect on how much beauty that
academic "Shakspere-garden" goes lacking. Indeed, we shall all do well
to steer clear of formulas and rigidity, as well in our lives as in our


The term "cottage garden" is an elastic one, and may be made to include
all that big class of gardens where, in the words of the flower-show
schedule, "no regular gardener is employed." But I think that most
people, when they think of cottage gardens, picture to themselves those
little wayside plots attached to the homes of working folks which cheer
the passer-by nearly as much as they cheer their owners. One thinks
of Rose and Clematis climbing over the doorway, of Sweet-Williams,
Pæonies, Hollyhocks, Sunflowers and Pansies flowering in bed or border.
Old-fashioned herbaceous plants are those which one associates with
these cottage gardens, and nearly the year through one expects to find
something of interest and of beauty.

Such is the ideal; sometimes such is the reality.

In some of our rural districts, where the local squire is of the
resident benevolent feudal school, the cottages are surrounded by
little paradises of flowery beauty. Those who have travelled through
the Porlock Estate of the Acland family will know what I mean. In many
places, however, little pride or interest is taken in gardening, and
the yards fronting the cottages are dull and dismal from January to
Christmas. Indeed, there are few districts where pretty cottage gardens
are the rule.

Yet it were as easy to create a lovely picture within an area of twenty
square yards as in the space of a palace garden, though possibly not
so imposing or valuable an one. The size of the canvas is a detail;
the other limitations are, however, more important. In a little plot
we must often do without those lovely backgrounds of tree and shrub
and those lovely foregrounds of grass or other dwarf herbage which are
such helps in creating great garden pictures. It is at a sonnet that we
small gardeners must aim and not at an epic or great narrative poem.
Yet I often feel that brevity is of the very essence of fine poetry,
and it is possible that limitation of space may be contributory to the
finest expression of gardening. At all events, it affords a greater
test of one's skill and taste as a gardening craftsman, for, whereas,
in a big place, trees, shrubs and lawn almost create a beautiful garden
of themselves, in a little garden we have to practise more selection
and more rejection, and to exercise greater judgment and care in
arrangement, since here every detail counts and every fault jars.

The cottage gardener has usually to employ the simplest flowers
wherewith to express himself, but it is probable that this limitation
is helpful rather than a source of increased difficulty. He may say, in
the spirit of Lewis Carroll:--

    "I never loved a dear gazelle,
      Nor anything that cost me much:
    High prices profit those that sell,
      But why should I be fond of such?"

And these old common plants thrive as well and flower as beautifully
in the garden of the shepherd as in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The
wind blows from the same quarter, the rain falls equally, and the frost
is as severe in the one as in the other.

I like each garden to contain some one feature of special and unique
interest--some well-grown plant which is not much cultivated in the
neighbourhood, or some brilliant floral pageant peculiar to the
particular garden. Thus, one garden which I know is always associated
in my mind with a little thicket, about ten feet in height, of the
White-stemmed Bramble (_Rubus biflorus_), which, on a moon-lit
evening, is a most impressive sight, and even in winter is very
beautiful. In another little garden I always look for its show of
beautiful Pansies, of which its owner--a fisherman--is very naturally
and rightly proud. Of course, a special feature of this kind need not
interfere with the perennial interest which every garden, even the
smallest, should possess. For instance, in the garden with the Nepal
Bramble (which, by the way, is surprisingly little known when one
recalls the fact that it was introduced many a hundred years ago) are
Poppies and Roses, White Musk-Mallows and Columbines, Canterbury Bells
and Michaelmas Daisies; and my friend of the Pansies has the earliest
Crocuses and Snowdrops in his village, and relies on a hedge of
Chrysanthemums and Rosemary to brighten his plot when the Pansies are

If our suburban villas were fronted by unpretentious plots cultivated
frankly as cottage gardens and bordered by simple palings, how very
different would be their aspect, and how much more pleasant would a
suburban walk become. For there are numerous plants of great beauty
which would thrive even in the suburbs of London, given care and a
little knowledge as to the correct preparation of the soil.

In the country, very much may be done by those who care to do so.
Country squires, doctors, parsons and others who have money, or time,
or influence can very materially alter the appearance of their district
by encouraging the gardening spirit among working folks, by helping
with advice if they are themselves gardeners, by helping with surplus
plants, seeds and cuttings, and by organising competitions and offering
prizes for the best kept cottage gardens.

Small gardens are the largest which are at the disposal of most of
us, but we need not bemoan our fate on that account. Fully as great
pleasure may be extracted from a tiny plot as from broad acres,
and a few plants well grown are as productive of satisfaction as
is the largest collection. "It was a singular experience that long
acquaintance which I cultivated with beans," said Thoreau, "but I was
determined to know beans." That is the true gardening spirit, and with
that as a possession one may pluck as much joy from the cultivation
and study of Thistles or Brambles, or even Docks (as Canon Ellacombe
reports a friend as growing--his acquaintances, of course, laughing
at him for making a Dock-yard), as from the rarest Orchids of the

One of the greatest gifts of a perfect garden is the gift of solitude,
and that is generally beyond the power of the little cottage plot to
offer; but, as a source of infinite pleasure to its owner, as a source
of pleasure to all those who pass by, as a cheering feature of English
landscape, and as a great force tending towards contentment and peace,
the cottage garden is beyond price.


When the last of the Michaelmas daisies and of the out-door
chrysanthemums have cast their blooms, many gardeners are apt to think
that the interest and beauty of the garden are over, and that for three
months there is nothing to be done but to dig and enrich the soil, and
to wait patiently for the onset of spring. This is a narrow and an
ill-informed view, for, though through the months of winter we cannot
hope to see many or gaudy flowers, we may yet have our gardens bright
and interesting with evergrey and evergreen shrubs and herbs, with the
delightfully-coloured barks of willows, dog-woods and other trees,
and, not less interesting, with the often beautiful stems of the last
season's growth of herbaceous plants, usually sacrificed to the tidying
spirit of those who would tidy the floor of heaven itself. Moreover,
even in winter, flowers of no mean rank may be had in the open borders
of English gardens.

[Illustration: FRITILLARIES]

The Christmas and Lenten Roses or Hellebores alone can be so used as
to make a border interesting during the whole of the winter months,
for not only do they all possess handsome foliage, but their flowers
also are very beautiful and varied in colour. They are easy of
culture, liking a deep, fairly stiff and rich, though well-drained,
soil, and thriving best in dense shade, under trees or on the north
side of a hedge or wall. The Hellebores are impatient of disturbance
and meddlesomeness. The flowers, coming as they do in the rainy
season, should be saved from being soiled with splashes of mud by
having moss placed on the earth beneath them. Of the many species and
varieties, the old Christmas Rose (_H. niger_) is by far the most
valuable. Its large white flowers, appearing at the end of the year,
when most flowers have succumbed to numbing cold or blighting winds,
stir the imagination in the same way as does a beautiful face in the
Bow Street dock or a butterfly in a foundry. The so-called _Helleborus
niger maximus_, or _H. altifolius_, has larger flowers, which,
moreover, appear earlier than those of _H. niger_, but the colour is
not so pure, many of the flowers being tinged with pink. The crimson
_H. abchasicus_, and _H. colchicus_ with flowers of darkest purple, as
well as some of the hybrids derived from them, should be grown in every
garden. The green and inconspicuous flowered varieties, such as _H.
fœtidus_, _H. lividus_, which came from Corsica about the beginning of
the eighteenth century, and _H. viridus_, are well worth growing for
their foliage, and indeed for their flowers also, if there be any shady
moist corner where few plants will thrive.

A plant somewhat related to the Hellebores, though smaller in every
way, is the pretty little Winter Aconite (_Eranthis hyemalis_), which
brightens the ground early in January with its yellow cups resting on
the daintiest of green ruffles. It looks its best when it has become
well established and naturalised in grass, or among trees and shrubs.
Long after the flower has fallen, the beautiful foliage continues to
drape and decorate the earth during the early months of the year. In
warm, sheltered situations, two species of Scilla often produce their
flowers in January:--_Scilla bifolia_, which sends up spikes of dark
blue bells, the spikes being about eight inches in height, and the much
smaller and somewhat later _S. siberica_, with flowers of peculiarly
intense blue. Some of the anemones often begin to flower in winter,
especially the Blue Wind-flower of Greece (_A. blanda_), and in warm
situations the old _A. coronaria_ itself. In any case the foliage of
anemones, and beautiful foliage it is, is one of the ornaments of the
hardy winter garden. Some of the species of crocus, also, belong to
the section of winter bloomers, notably the mauve _C. imperati_, and
the pale lilac _C. pulchellus_. In sheltered shady spots, where it can
enjoy well-drained leafy soil undisturbed, the round-leaved Cyclamen
(_C. coum_) and its white-flowered variety (_C. hyemale_) produce
abundance of welcome little flowers often quite early in January. Those
who fear the assaults of evil spirits should remember a couplet quoted
in Folkard's "Plant Lore, Legends and Lyrics":--

    "St John's Wort and fresh Cyclamen she in her chamber kept,
    From the power of evil angels to guard him while he slept."

Its potency as a drug was so thoroughly believed that Gerard fenced
round all his cyclamens, and also laid sticks over them crosswise lest
any unfortunate individual might tread on the corms, and so bring about
the direst results.

In wild waste spots, or under trees where few things will thrive,
the fragrant Winter Coltsfoot is well worth growing. It spreads at a
terrible pace, and must therefore not be introduced into the mixed
borders. The common primrose and its garden varieties, as well as many
other species of primula, are of the utmost value in the winter garden,
both for their foliage and for their flowers, which in some cases begin
to appear soon after Christmas. One of the very earliest is the purple
Caucasian Primrose (_P. amœna_), which bears its umbel of flowers often
in the very depth of winter. All the primroses like shelter, partial
shade, deep moderately-rich soil, and "peace and quietness."

But of all the flowers of winter, the most beautiful is the fragrant
_Iris reticulata_. No description can convey a tithe of its effect.
Two grass-green sheaths drape the lower part of the flower-stalk,
the sheath on the convex side becoming at its margin so thin and
transparent as to seem to melt into the stem itself. The flower-stalk
up to this point is of a curious green colour veined with purple,
but gradually, as the flower is reared, the purple increases so as
to colour the whole surface of the stem; and, indeed, at the root of
the petals the stem becomes almost black. Nor is the flower itself
unworthy so dainty a support, for the colouring and form are exquisite.
The falls, which are coloured on the outside a dull purple with
centrally some green spotting, turn at about one quarter way from their
extremities suddenly outwards almost at a right angle, thus forming
horizontal landing-places. The inside of the fall is of a rich light
violet colour, running up the centre from the claw's root being a
white patch with yellow and dark purple markings, terminating at the
horizontal blade in glowing orange. The effect is slightly reminiscent
of that produced by a leopard's skin. The standards are bright violet
with relief of yellow pollen just below the centre, above which are
little stigmatic ledges which brush pollen from entering insects. The
flower stalk is definitely arched as though the flower were too heavy
for its strength, but near the flower itself the stalk becomes erect,
thus giving the whole an appearance of health and vigour. The early
Irises are not difficult to grow in moderately light and well drained
soil, but they should usually be afforded a warm and sheltered site.
Other fragrant species which bloom in winter or very early spring are
the soft blue _Iris stylosa_, of which there is an equally beautiful
white variety, and the purple and rose _Iris histrio_, somewhat
resembling _Iris reticulata_ in habit and colouring.

The flowers which usher out the winter and announce the near approach
of the spring, the winter gilliflowers or snowdrops, have long been
among the treasures of English gardens. Naturalised in grassy lawns or
orchards, or grown undisturbed in shrubbery borders, the single and
double common snowdrops (_G. nivalis_) almost invariably thrive and
increase. The common snowdrop is on the whole the most important and
most valuable, but in light warm soil the handsome _Galanthus Elwesi_
should be grown, and in any soil the broad-leaved _G. latifolius_, and
a fragrant hybrid derived from it, _G. Alleni_, with large flowers and
leaves almost like those of the tulip.

Several of the periwinkles, notably the lilac _Vinca acutiloba_,
bear flowers during the months of December and January, and in warm
sheltered spots violets and roses may often be picked in the open air.

Among the shrubs, several of the most beautiful bear their flowers in
the depth of winter. The fragrant yellowish flowers of the Winter Sweet
(_Chimonanthus fragrans_), which is one of the many gracious gifts
of Japan, are among the best of winter blossoms. The Chimonanthus is
worth a place against a warm wall facing south. After flowering, the
young shoots should be pruned back to the old branches. The variety
known as Grandiflora bears somewhat larger flowers. The scarlet flowers
of _Cydonia japonica_ (the Japan Quince), are familiar to everyone
although it is but a nineteenth century introduction into this country.
Other species and varieties of Quince, however, are equally well
worth growing. _C. Mauleii_, with orange-red flowers freely produced
seemingly over the entire plant, _C. nivalis_, with large white
flowers, and _C. cardinalis_ are all good.

When the climate is mild, and the soil not too heavy, the Laurustinus
(_Viburnum tinus_) is of great value in winter and early spring. The
yellow Jasmine and the shrubby Honeysuckles, _Lonicera fragrantissima_
and _L. Standishi_, are easy to grow, and should be seen in every
open-air winter garden, as also should the old Daphne Mezereon, single
and double, the double Furze (_Ulex Europaeus flore pleno_), and the
evergreen _Garrya elliptica_ with its hardier variety _Thuretii_.
The Garrya is hardy enough in many gardens, but in exposed or cold
situations profits by being afforded the shelter of a wall or other
screen. Many other winter flowering shrubs and flowers might be named,
but I must refer readers to the list of winter bloomers which forms an
appendix to my "Chronicle of a Cornish Garden."

Great, however, as is the importance of growing as many as possible
of the plants which bear flowers through the months of winter, the
value of evergreen and evergrey foliage must not be overlooked.
Among the latter may be named Lavender, Rosemary, Pinks, Carnations,
Mulleins, Alyssum, Lavender Cotton, Stachys chrysantha, Achillea
umbellata, Achillea moschata, Silene maritima, Hieraceum villosum,
H. gymnocephalus, Cistus (of sorts), Artemisia lanata, Agrostemma,
Senecio leucophyllus, Teucrum aureum, Cerastium tomentosum, Arabis
variegata, Gypsophilum repens, Festuca glauca, Sedum Turkestanicum,
Olearia insignis, Agrostemma coronaria, Onopordon arabicum. To give
a list of useful evergreen plants would require much more space than
I have to spare, but the following names may possibly be of some
help. Of evergreen trees and shrubs, Yew, Hollies, Box, Tree Ivies,
Pernettyas, Ruscus racemosus, the silver-edged Euonymus radicans
variegatus, Berberis aquifolium, Aucuba Japonica (and other kinds),
Kalmia latifolia, Rhododendrons, Ericas, Sand Myrtles, Dwarf Partridge
Berries, Andromedas, Skimmias, Olearia Haasti and Phillyrea Vilmoriana,
are among the most useful and interesting. The number of valuable
evergreen border plants is almost infinite; the following list includes
some of the best:--

  Saxifrages, kinds numerous.
  Sedums,         do.
  Sempervivums,   do.
  Gentiana acaulis.
  Gentiana verna.
  Primulas, kinds numerous.
  Helleborus,     do.
  Dwarf phloxes.
  Thymus, of sorts.
  Iris, kinds numerous, especially valuable being I. fœtidissima with
      brilliantly red seeds.
  Omphalodes, of sorts.
  Violas and Violets.
  Asarum, of sorts.
  Cyclamen, of sorts.

Evergreen ferns should be grown in gardens much more than they usually
are. The following are a few of the hardiest kinds:--

  Asplenium angustifolium.
  Asplenium ebenum.
  Aspidium Floridanum.
  Camptosorus rhizophyllus.
  Dictogramma Japonica.
  Lastrea marginalis.
  Lastrea Standishi.
  Lastrea aristata.
  Lastrea corusca.
  Lastrea fragrans.
  Lomaria alpina.
  Niphobolus lingua.
  Polystichum acrostichoides.
  Polystichum setosum.
  Phygopteris alpestris.
  Woodsia alpina.

The British species of Asplenium, Blechnum, Ceterach, Polypodium,
Polystichum and Scolopendrium are often useful and always available.


The dividing line between the seasons is, of course, quite arbitrary,
for Nature progresses evenly, gradually, unceasingly, and not in
the jerky way which our clumsy divisions of time imply. Still it
is convenient, almost necessary indeed, to adopt some such broad
classification of the periods of the year as that into the four seasons
which has done duty for so many centuries. One may take the flowering
of the snowdrop to indicate the onset of spring, though itself
belonging more especially to winter. Yet the Dutch Crocus seems to be
the earliest real spring flower, and a brighter little herald of the
glories to follow could not be selected. The parents of most of the
Dutch Crocuses are two species which grow wild in South-Eastern Europe,
_C. aureus_ and _C. vernus_. The latter is sometimes considered to be a
native British plant, but in all instances of its discovery in English
hedges or meadows its presence is most likely due to removals of garden
soil or garden rubbish.

There are nearly seventy distinct species of Crocus known to botanists,
and most of these are well worth growing, though more bloom in the
autumn than in the spring. Even in the seventeenth century, Parkinson
described as many as thirty-one kinds, but probably some of these were
merely garden varieties.

_Crocus imperati_, found wild near Naples, is one of the earliest
species to flower as it is also one of the most beautiful, the inside
of the petals being coloured a deep purple, whilst the outside is of a
lightish brown, the stigma standing as a brilliant orange lamp in the
centre of the flower's cup.

The Crocuses will grow and prosper in almost any good soil, especially
if it rest on chalk or other porous subsoil. The commoner kinds may
advantageously, especially in soils not too heavy and wet, be left in
the ground undisturbed for many years, and there are few floral sights
more beautiful than that afforded by a skilful grouping of yellow
crocuses naturalised in grass either under deciduous trees or in the
open. The very early species should be grown in a warm and sheltered
position, where the winds and frosts of January will not be able to
destroy their beauty. Almost as valuable as the crocus, and even
more easy to grow, are several of the species of scilla, a bulb long
cultivated in English gardens. Two of the species, which are especially
worth growing on account of their beauty and extreme earliness, are the
dark-blue _S. bifolia_ (with its varieties, _præcox_ and _taurica_)
and _S. sibirica_, with its intense, vivid blue colour, as of some gem
resting on the dark green leaves. Later, larger and sturdier, though
scarcely so valuable, are the well known light blue Spanish Scilla,
_S. campanulata_, and the numerous varieties of our beautiful wild
bluebell, _S. nutans_. Scillas, like crocuses, should be planted in
bold natural groups among other plants, or naturalised in woodland
glades or shady lawns and meadows. Somewhat resembling the Scillas,
though even more beautiful, are the recently introduced Chionodoxas
(_C. Luciliae_, _C. Sardensis_, and _C. grandiflora_), which exhibit
every shade of purest blue, mingled in varying proportions with white.
In light soils they increase very rapidly both by division of bulbs and
by seed.

A stately flower, which formerly held a much more respected place in
the garden than it now occupies, is the Crown Imperial (_Fritillaria
imperialis_). In rich, deep, garden soil, or in a rich shrubbery
border, it usually thrives; and when well established is an interesting
and showy plant, growing upwards of four feet to the top of its
flower stalk in April or May. There are varieties displaying various
combinations of red, yellow and orange. Parkinson placed it "before
all other Lilies," and Chapman referred to it as "Emperor of Flowers."
Valuable as it is, one is not disposed to place it on quite such a
pinnacle to-day. Most of the other Fritillaries are dwarf bulbous
plants, which thrive in rich, light soil, preferably in the partial
shade of deciduous trees. The commoner kinds are very suitable for
naturalisation in grass or woodland. Most of the Fritillaries produce
sombre-coloured, curiously-chequered, snaky-looking, pendulous flowers.

Even in the seventeenth century Parkinson describes twelve varieties,
but since his day numerous species have been discovered. Among those
best for growing are _F. Meleagris_ and its varieties; _F. Moggridgei_,
an Alpine species, with yellow bells beautifully marked with brown
and red on their inner surface; _F. aurea_, and the brilliant, though
somewhat tender, _F. recurva_. The Fritillary was so called because of
its chess-board-like markings, and for the same reason Gerard spoke of
it as the Ginnie-hen flower.

The Grape-Hyacinths, or Muscari, do not seem to have developed in
popularity, as their beauty in colouring and hardiness would have led
one to expect. In rich, deep, sandy soil, in the rock garden or border,
these bulbs thrive and multiply. Parkinson enumerated eight varieties,
which he called "The Ash-Coloured Musk Grape Flower, the Red Musk Grape
Flower, the White Musk Grape Flower, the Dark-blue Grape Flower, the
Sky-coloured Grape Flower, the Branched Grape Flower, the White Grape
Flower, and the Blush Grape Flower." The varieties which are most
worthy of garden cultivation are _M. racemosum_, with its fruit-scented
purple flowers and long drooping leaves; _M. botyroides_; _M.
armeniacum_, which blooms later than most other kinds; and _M.
moschatum_, with little fragrant yellow bells. The allied Feather
Hyacinth, _M. comosum monstrosum_, is equally well worth growing for
the beauty of its feathery lilac blooms.

The Snowflakes, or Leucojums, are again becoming popular and better
known. They have not the characteristic grace of the Snowdrop, the
stems being sturdier, the arch being quite different in character, and
the petals being all of the same length; but they have much beauty of
their own and are easy to grow. Most of the Alliums are interesting,
and should be planted where there is space at disposal, as also should
_Tritelia_, or _Milla uniflora_.

But more important than most of these are the various Anemones, both
the "fair and frail" wild species which is found in our own woods
(_A. nemorosa_) and the numerous kinds--all beautiful--which have
been introduced into our gardens from Southern Europe. The old Poppy
Anemone (_A. coronaria_) is a favourite with everyone, blooming as
it often does during all the early months of the year. It is easy to
raise from seed sown in light soil in the open during March, April or
May. The seedlings should be pricked out in September, and that is
also the month for planting the roots, should that method of obtaining
plants be adopted. In warm soils _A. coronaria_ lives on from year to
year if left undisturbed, but in other soils it is sometimes necessary
to raise fresh plants annually. The Scarlet Anemone (_A. fulgens_)
is the most brilliant flower of early spring, whilst _A. Apennina_,
_A. blanda_ (two species with flowers of the loveliest sky-blue), _A.
sylvestris_ (the Snowdrop Wind-flower), and _A. ranunculoides_ (a
charming yellow-flowering kind), are all beautiful and hardy plants in
most garden soils.

[Illustration: COLUMBINES]

Anemones are not bulbous plants, but their tubers are usually listed
in the florists' catalogues with bulbs, and in many ways this is a
convenient arrangement; but of all bulbous plants those which have most
attracted the attention of florists and hybridists are undoubtedly the
Tulip and the Daffodil. The Daffodil has won the heart of the poet as
well as of the florist, and English verse is full of references to the
"darling Daffodils" (as Marvell called them) and "faire Narcissus."
Keats named these graceful flowers as an example of those things of
beauty which are joys for ever, and Shelley, whose garden of the
Sensitive Plant contained many beautiful flowers, referred to the
Narcissus as "the fairest among them all."

Perdita's description of Daffodils,

    "That came before the swallow dares, and take
    The winds of March with beauty,"

is familiar to all who read their Shakespeare. The daffodil is indeed
an old-fashioned flower, for dry specimens of Narcissus Tazetta have
been found in Egyptian mummy cases dating back nearly four thousand
years. Mr Burbidge thinks that many species of Narcissus were
introduced into England by the Phœnicians when they came to Cornwall
for tin, "and, as Cornwall has a climate and soil eminently suited to
daffodils, these have been there perpetuated." Daffodils will grow in
almost any garden soil, but in many gardens, especially in very rich
soils or in soils which are badly drained, they tend to disappear in
the course of one or two seasons. A little shade from the heat of
the sun is desirable, as also is a little shelter from cold winds.
Stiff loam of moderate richness is suitable for most varieties of
daffodil, and the bulbs should be planted by the end of August. After
being planted they should in suitable soils be left undisturbed for
from two to six years; and when lifted they should be placed to ripen
in a shady place, and replanted in the course of a month. The bulbs
should be planted from four to six inches apart, and from four to
six inches deep, according to the size of the bulb and the lightness
of the soil. Where all the varieties are beautiful it seems hopeless
to select. To a beginner, perhaps, the following list may be of some
help:--Poeticus-ornatus, Obvallaris, Emperor, Leedsii Minnie-Hulme,
Empress, Golden Spur and Grandee; to which should be added the sweet
Campernelle Jonquil.

For naturalising in grass, the poet's and star narcissi, as well as
some of the trumpet daffodils, are particularly suited.

In the whole history of the craft, few things have occurred so
calculated to throw ridicule on gardening and gardeners as the
celebrated outbreak of Tulipomania in the seventeenth century, though
at times the contemporary Daffodilmania threatens to rival it. The
Tulip was introduced into England towards the end of the sixteenth
century, and but half a century later Parkinson describes a hundred
and forty varieties. Apart from the various species which the florist
has not as yet seriously taken in hand, the bulk of the tulips
commonly grown in gardens are of two great classes, the short stalked
April-flowering tulips which are descended from _T. suavolens_, and
the taller May flowering descendants of _T. Gesneriana_ which are
known as "Florist's Tulips." These garden varieties are of every shade
of colour and do well in any rich well-drained garden soil. It is
advisable to lift them every year, or in light soils every three years,
as otherwise they tend to become crowded and poor. The bulbs should be
planted in October, about four inches deep and four inches apart, and,
like all other bulbs, if grown for decorative effect, should have the
earth between them carpeted with some dwarf surface-rooting plants as
elsewhere suggested. Far better for ordinary garden decoration than any
of the florists' striped or feathered varieties is the parent of the
race, the brilliant red or crimson Gesner's tulip. Its effectiveness
is much increased by the great dark brown blotch at the bottom of its
cup, and this is even more marked in the variety _spathulata_. Many
of the self-coloured Darwin tulips are also delightful and vigorous
growers. The early dwarf species, _T. Greigi_, with its brilliant red
flowers and quaintly marked leaves, is well worth cultivating either
in small groups or bold masses, as also is the native species, _T.
Sylvestris_, with pale yellow flowers of great beauty. Among other
species and varieties specially worthy of a place in the garden
are _T. Elegans_, _T. retroflexa_, _T. australis_, the dwarf _T.
kolpakowskyana_, _T. viridiflora_, _T. clusiana_ (introduced early in
the seventeenth century), _T. vitellina_, and the kinds known as Golden
Eagle, Picotee, and Bouton d'Or. To modify the observation of a writer
of the seventeenth century, "The tulip is a queenly flower, and asketh
a rich soil and the hand of a lover." And indeed given these conditions
tulips may be easily and successfully grown.

The bulbs already named are but a few of those worth growing for
effects of beauty in the spring garden, for a complete enumeration
would occupy many times the amount of space at disposal. There is,
however, one other bulbous plant which should be included in any
collection of spring flowers, the Erythronium or Dog's Tooth Violet.
The beautiful European species, _E. dens-canis_, has been grown in
England for nearly three hundred years, and, in light soil and an
open sunny site, produces its rose coloured flowers with freedom. The
more recently introduced American species are equally worth growing.
Spring is the great season for the flowering of bulbous plants for
the very obvious reason that only plants with an accumulated store
of last season's solar energy can produce flowers so early in the
year. For like reason it is that the thick-rooted primroses and other
species of primula are such early bloomers. The hybrid primroses
(mostly descendants of _P. acaulis_ and _P. altaica_) often produce
their variously coloured flowers long before the native _P. vulgaris_
begins to bloom. The primroses rejoice in moderately rich soil and
partial shade. It is well to divide and replant every two or three
years--especially in the case of the pretty _P. rosea_. In July it is
a good plan to top-dress them with a fine and well rotted mixture of
manure, leaf mould and loam. Most of the primroses are easily raised
from seed, sown as soon as ripe in light soil kept shaded and slightly
moist. The old double primroses cannot of course be raised from seed,
and are by no means so vigorous as the single kinds. They require
partial shade, and are somewhat intolerant of frequent interference.

Oxlips, Cowslips and Polyanthuses are all beautiful and easily grown.
Among other species of Primula which are easily grown and worth growing
are _P. denticulata_, with long stems surmounted by large mauve flower
heads, _P. d. Cashmeriana_, similar to _denticulata_ but with yellow
centres to the flowers, _P. cortusoides_, with beautiful rose-coloured
flowers, and the many varieties of the handsome _P. japonica_, which
specially likes moisture and shade.

Given a well-drained, yet not too dry, situation, the various Alpine
Auriculas are not difficult to grow, and include varieties with many
beautiful colours.

The charming _Hepatica Angulosa_ and _H. triloba_, in its many kinds,
are lovers of shade, leaf-mould, moisture and non-interference. Of the
Gentians, the two species best worth cultivating are the little _G.
verna_ and the old Gentianella (_G. acaulis_), both bearing flowers of
the purest blue. They are not plants which thrive everywhere, but they
like well-drained soil, an open situation, and moisture in summer. The
Gentian of Pliny was probably the medicinal _G. lutea_, which is not
very valuable for garden decoration.

Candytuft, Violets, Doronicums, Aubrietia, Alyssum, Adonis vernalis,
Double Daisies, Thrifts, Lilies of the Valley, Wallflowers, Dog's-tooth
Violets, Asphodels, Trilliums, Dodecathons, Veronica prostrata,
Saponaria ocymoides, Lithospermum prostratum and some of the species of
Trollius are but a few of the very many beautiful spring flowers which
may be grown in the open borders of English gardens.

To give the names of trees, shrubs and climbing plants which flower
in spring is unnecessary, for everyone must be well acquainted with
the blossoms of Apple, Pear, Plum and Cherry, of Hawthorn, Wistaria,
Guelder Rose, Syringa, Lilac and Laburnum. There are, however, a few
good shrubs which are not grown nearly as much as they should be. Those
who can afford warm and sheltered sites should certainly try to grow
the magnificent Magnolias, especially _M. conspicua_ and _M. stellata_;
and everyone may grow _Forsythia suspensa_, with long sprays of yellow
flowers in April and May, _Spiræa Thunbergii_, the leaves of which turn
a crimson in autumn, as also do the leaves of _S. prunifolia_, which is
covered with white double-daisy-like flowers in spring, and _Exochorda
grandiflora_ (The Pearl Bush), which likes plenty of sun and hates
being cramped or cut.


The flowering of the Columbine is the beginning of summer. Tulips and
Double Narcissi and stray Anemones may still afford bright colour or
sweet fragrance, but they do not charm us any longer, for they are of
the spring, and the spring is past. What a beautiful old flower it
is--"the Columbine commendable," as Skelton called it four hundred
years ago! Indeed, all the old garden writers mention it, its vigour
and grace having always earned it a secure place in the English garden,
where it has been grown for centuries "for the delight both of its form
and colours." The Columbines of our ancestors were all varieties of
the wild English species (_Aquilegia vulgaris_), and so vigorous and
handsome do some of these plants become under garden cultivation, that
it is questionable if any of the newer kinds surpass them in beauty.
However, the various species of Aquilegia which have from time to time
been added to our garden flora are to be counted with the most valuable
of plants, among the best of them being the very curiously coloured
red and orange species known as _A. Skinneri_, the tall golden _A.
chrysantha_, and, perhaps most beautiful of all, the Rocky Mountain
Columbine, _A. cærulea_, with its quaint green "horns of honey."

This is the month when the Pyrethrums and Pæonies, of which such
splendid varieties have been raised by Messrs. Kelway and others, are
in their glory, as also are the Snapdragons, Bride Gladioli, Pansies,
Ranunculuses (of which the old _R. asiaticus_, though somewhat tender,
may be easily grown in rich light soil if planted in February at a
depth of two inches and kept well watered during the growing period),
Madonna Lilies (which must be planted in good garden soil and left
alone), _Lilium elegans_, and _L. longiflorum_, with its beautiful
varieties (which like well-drained spongy soil containing plenty of

If asked what was the typical garden flower of June, I suppose that
nearly everyone would name the Rose. As a matter of fact, however,
the great bulk of the Roses now grown in gardens--that is the members
of the two great classes known to gardeners as Hybrid Perpetuals
and Tea-Roses--are not seen at their best before July. But it is in
June that the Wild Dog Roses of our English hedgerows are in their
glory, as also are most of the Briars imported from other countries,
together with the old Provence and other "Summer Roses." And, with the
possible exception of some of the Teas, it may well be doubted if any
roses surpass in beauty such "unimproved" species as the deliciously
fragrant Macartney Rose (_R. bracteata_), the trailing Rosa Wichuriana
with its pure white cups, or the sweet Eglantine. Speaking of the
Eglantine, one is reminded of the lovely hybrids derived from it, known
as the Penzance Briars, which combine the fragrant foliage of the
Sweet-briar with various beautiful blossoms according to parentage.
Perhaps the most beautiful of all of them is the variety known as
Lady Penzance--descended from the Austrian Copper Briar and the
Eglantine--which has single flowers of the most delicate blend of pink,
yellow and orange. One great advantage which these single-flowered
briars, as well as most of the June-flowering roses, have over the
Hybrid Perpetuals is that they may be left practically unpruned, and so
display the naturally graceful habit which is as important a part of
the beauty of the Rose as is the flower itself.

Of all the flowers of June, I should myself crown the Pink (or
Pentecost flower--for such is said to be the source of its name) for
its fragrance, the Spanish Iris for the beauty of its flowers, and the
Rose for its grace. The Flower-de-luce, or Iris, is of nearly a hundred
species and of many hundred varieties, among which are some of the most
beautiful flowers which can be grown in the open air of England. Many
of the irises, however, require the expenditure of much knowledge and
skill that they may prosper, but the so-called Spanish Irises, which
are among the most wonderfully formed and coloured of all, may be grown
by anyone who can grow ordinary hardy plants. They rejoice in sun,
shelter and a light, well-drained soil.

The Iris is well named, for nearly every shade given by the rainbow
is represented in one or other of its kinds, though there is none of
the gaudy glaringness, commonly--though wrongly--attributed to that
phenomenon. Spenser appreciated the unique quality of the beauty of the
Iris, although he had not met with many of the splendid kinds which
everyone may now grow.

    "Strow mee the grounde with Daffadown-Dillies,
    And Cowslips, and Kingcups, and lovéd Lillies;
              The Pretty Pawnce
              And the Chevisaunce
    Shall match with the fayre Floure Delice."

June is a great month for old-fashioned flowers--the flowers of
sentiment, as time and literature have made them--"gold-dusted
Snapdragon," "Sweet William with his homely cottage smell," "Woodbine
hanging bonnilie," "Foxglove cluster dappled bells," Pæony, Lilac,
Laburnum and "fresh Hawthorne," each full of tender associations, and
each very beautiful in itself.

In June a spirit of indolence begins to come over the gardener who
grows his flowers in the open air. All through the months of spring,
the garden contains--or should contain--numerous objects of beauty and
numerous objects of interest, but not until June does the garden become
swamped by a great sea of beauty, in the presence of which the modest
gardener can but stand aside and gaze with wonder and enjoyment.


Roses are lovers of pure air and are therefore difficult to grow in
large cities, though even there beautiful specimens are occasionally
to be seen. They require the shelter of a high hedge on the north
side, and also dwarfer shrubby screens at a little distance on the
east, south and west in order to break the force of winds from those
quarters. Yet these screens must not be sufficient to shade the plants,
for roses are great sun lovers.

Like other hardy plants, they rejoice in deep, rich, well-drained soil
containing plenty of humus derived from the decomposition of stable or
farm-yard manure. Most of the hybrid perpetuals do best in a rather
heavy soil, though sandy loams are often to be preferred for the
culture of Tea roses.

Purchase roses grown on the briar stock or on their own roots, and
insist on the plants having plenty of fibrous roots.

[Illustration: HONESTY]

Order from a reliable florist early in October, requesting that the
roses may reach you early in November. The ground having been trenched
and manured some weeks previously, the roses should be carefully
planted immediately on their arrival. For each rose should be dug a
hole about a foot square, and of such a depth that the planted rose
shall have the junction of its stock and scion about two inches below
the surface of the soil. In this hole the plant should be placed, and
its roots (which may with advantage be dipped into a pail of water
just before being planted) carefully spread out and covered with a
few inches of fine soil. This should be firmly trodden in and the hole
then filled with the ordinary soil. If the weather be dry, yet not
frosty, it is well to settle the soil above the roots by means of a
heavy watering. If the roses are to form a bed, they may, if dwarfs, be
planted at an average distance of about eighteen inches apart.

But a bed of roses, beautiful as it is, is but one expression of the
culture of these precious flowers. Over walls, trellises, arches and
arbours they should be allowed to trail and climb at will, showing
the graceful curves of briar stem, as well as the beautiful flowers
themselves. Many roses, too, can be used to form hedges either alone,
in the case of such varieties as the Ayrshires and Evergreens, Rosa
Brunonii, the Crimson Rambler, the Scotch Briars and some of the
Penzance Sweet Briars, or with other shrubs in the case of more leggy
and straggling kinds.

In the April of each year, cut out all weak sappy growths, and, in the
case of hybrid perpetuals, cut back to about eight inches from the
surface of the ground the strong shoots which remain. Teas, if required
for garden decoration, need only be thinned out, any dead wood being
removed at the same time, and similar treatment is applicable to most
of the summer roses.

It is difficult to select a few varieties as specially worthy of
cultivation where so many are excellent. The old Provence, Gallic and
Moss Roses bloom only in June and July, but are well worth growing
for their fragrance, beauty and associations, as are also such summer
bloomers as that vigorous hybrid China known as Blairii No. 2, and
the very floriferous white Madame Plantier. The hybrid sweet briars,
notably Lady Penzance and Anne of Geierstein, are of the easiest
culture, but a warm sheltered situation is required by the beautiful
Austrian copper briar, which is not everyone's rose.

Easiest of all roses to grow are the Climbing Evergreen and Ayrshire
varieties, of which Bennett's Seedling bears white flowers, most of the
other kinds producing flowers of sundry shades of pink. The Japanese
roses (_R. Rugosa_) are almost equally vigorous and rampant, and are
specially valuable for their scarlet fruits which help to brighten the
garden in late autumn.

But, after all, it is the so-called perpetual bloomers on which most
gardeners will place the highest value, and here the choice of good
varieties is very great. There are seven principal classes of perpetual
or autumnal roses, known respectively as Hybrid Perpetuals, Teas,
Hybrid Teas, China Roses, Bourbons, Noisettes and Hybrid Moss Roses.
From these classes, if I were asked to select eight varieties for a
beginner to "learn on," I should name Madame Berard (Tea), Marie van
Houtte (Tea), Blanche Moreau (Moss), Celine Forestier (Noisette),
Souvenir de la Malmaison (Bourbon), Ducher (China), Prince Camille de
Rohan (Hybrid Perpetual) and Viscountess Folkestone (Hybrid Tea).

A few more names of good roses are these--Among Hybrid Perpetuals:
Fisher Holmes, Ulrich Brunner and Mrs John Laing; among Hybrid Teas:
Mrs W. J. Grant, Bardou Job, La France and Kaiserin Aug. Victoria;
among Teas: Marechal Niel, Hon. Edith Gifford, Niphetos, Madame
Lambard, Belle Lyonnaise, Madame Hoste, Madame Falcot and Souvenir de
S. A. Prince; and, among Noisettes: William Allen Richardson, Aimée
Vibert, Madame Alfred Carrière and l'Idéal. To mention Gloire de Dijon
is, of course, superfluous, though I am inclined to regard its general
utility as somewhat overrated.


A flower with a history, with a name long honoured, full of that blue
blood which a genealogical tree is supposed to imply, the Carnation
needs no apology or recommendation. It was among the most admired of
the flowers used by the Greeks and Romans in the making of chaplets,
and hence derived its name of Coronation by which Spenser and other
early writers knew it. Its generic name, Dianthus, or Flower of
Jupiter, equally points to the high honour in which it was held by
the Latins. It was formerly much used both medicinally, "wonderfully
above measure comforting the heart," and for the flavouring of
liquors--whence it obtained its name of Sops-in-wine:--

    "And many a Clove Gilofre,
        To put in ale,
    Whether it be moist or stale."

The beautiful form of the flowers of the various species of
Dianthus--Pinks, Carnations and Sweet Williams--partly accounts for
its distinguished position, but the characteristic fragrance has been
even more contributory to its reputation. The old name of July-flower,
gilli-flower, or gylofre was but a corruption of caryophyllus--the
nut-leaved clove tree--which name it earned by its delicious spicy
scent. Much more regard was paid to fragrance by the old gardeners and
flower-lovers than seems to be the case to-day, and it is very much to
be regretted that many of the most beautiful of the newer varieties
of carnation are nearly scentless, or as nearly scentless as any
member of the family can be. In ordinary good garden soil most of the
carnations can be easily grown. It is a good plan thoroughly to prepare
and enrich the ground in August, and to raise on it a crop of mustard,
digging in the latter a month later, at which time the Carnations
should be planted. Two varieties which I would recommend to a beginner
are the pure white clove variety, Gloire de Nancy, and the old Crimson
Clove. It should be borne in mind that carnations do not thrive in the
shade, and that they will not tolerate the presence of rank manure.
They are, however, among the plants which can be grown in the muggy
atmosphere of cities.

Blue is the only colour which is not to be found among the carnations,
and indeed it is a colour not very common in the garden flora.
Gentians, Forget-me-nots, Veronicas, Borage, and a few others are the
only blue flowers commonly to be seen, but among these few others
there is one of the stateliest and most beautiful of the ornaments of
the July garden. The Larkspur, Lark's-heels, or Delphinium (Dolphin
flower) is one of those few old fashioned flowers which have been
really improved in every way by the selection and hybridising of the
florist. The varieties raised during the past few years by Messrs
Kelway of Langport and others are more robust and more beautiful than
the original species or than any of the old garden kinds. The sepals
are of every shade of blue and their beauty is enhanced by the white
petals within. The foliage too is very beautiful, and, the plant
being of the same width throughout--cylindrical rather than conical
in form--the leaves, with the exception of those near the ground, are
finely divided in order to allow light to reach the leaves below.
The Delphinium is elaborately equipped with machinery for securing
effective cross fertilisation by its bumble-bee visitors. The stamens
ripen before the pistil, and are so placed that the bee cannot get at
the honey without covering its head with pollen, which it then bears to
another flower. The stigma is not in evidence until the stamens have
died, when it occupies a similarly obstructive position in the road of
the pollen-covered bee. Martagon Lilies, Alstroemerias, Montbretias,
English Irises, Hollyhocks, Lupins, Perennial Peas, Coreopsis,
Scabious, Galega officinalis alba and all the species of Campanula are
among the July bloomers. Pretty as they are, the old blue and white
Canterbury Bells are by no means so graceful as many of the other
Bellflowers. _C. pyramidalis_, _C. persicifolia_ and _C. glomerata_
are among the best of the tall kinds, whilst from the dwarfer species
may be selected _C. isophylla_, _C. carpatica_, _C. alpina_, and _C.

In July also the handsome plants of the Thistle family are at their
period of greatest beauty. _Echinops ruthenicus_, _E. ritro_, _Eryngium
amethystinum_, _E. Oliverianum_, _E. giganteum_ and _E. glaciale_
are among the finest, but those habitants of the kitchen garden--the
Cardoon and the Globe Artichoke--require much excellency in their peers.

July is the month of climax for the gardener who grows only annual
flowers raised afresh each year from seed. A very fine show he
may have, too, during his somewhat brief season. To the grower of
herbaceous plants who aims, and wisely aims, at having flowers all the
year through, July is but one month out of twelve. Spring means for
him not a season for sowing, so much as a very flowery season, full
of Crocuses and Anemones, of Primroses and of Hepaticas; for him even
winter itself is not flowerless, since he has his Hellebores and winter
Aconites and fragrant Coltsfoot. But with annual flowers the case is
different. It is true that, by sowing in July or August, one may obtain
such beautiful flowers as those of Erysimum, Nemophila and Saponaria
calabrica in the spring, but the great bulk of annual flowering plants
are summer bloomers. Many of them are among the most beautiful, and
certainly among the most showy, of our garden occupants. Sweet-peas,
Convolvuli and Nasturtiums are as beautiful as any perennial climber;
and one has but to name Cornflowers, Mignonette, Coreopsis, Escholtzias
and the glorious and gaudy army of Poppies in order to show what a
garden of annuals may offer in the months of summer.

I know of no floral sight more brilliant than that of a garden full of
poppies in full bloom. Each flower is bright almost to gaudiness, yet
with petals so thin and flimsy that no insect can rest on them, and
each cup is accordingly furnished with a substantial alighting stage in
its centre. Shirley poppies in every shade of red; Iceland poppies in
every shade of white, yellow and orange; scarlet Tulip poppies; white
Alpine poppies--one knows not which to prefer. The poets have generally
used the poppy only for its assistance in pointing a moral. Thus, for
example, Burns--

    "Pleasures are like poppies spread--
    You seize the flower, its bloom is shed."

"Faire without and foule within" has generally summed up its popular
reputation, though Ruskin has spoken with appreciation of its beauty
and delicacy.

All the hardy annuals are easy to grow, their requirements being ample
sunshine, deeply dug soil, finely broken up and moderately, though not
excessively, enriched, and ample space for individual development.
Where failure occurs, it may usually be traced to omission of one or
other of these conditions--most commonly, perhaps, of the one last
named. There are few annuals which will thrive in the shade, though
Forget-me-nots, Venus's Looking-glass and Nemophilas will succeed in
damp situations if the shade be not too intense.

Personally, although I should not like to grow annuals alone, I should
regretfully miss my hedge of Sweet-peas, my Poppies, and the soothingly
fragrant, though insignificant, flowers of my Mignonette.

One other annual flower is the prettily and appropriately named
Love-in-a-Mist, with the daintiest of blue flowers enveloped as in a
green cloud. If our poets were wont to look at flowers for themselves
instead of copying one another's natural history, they might be
referred to this delightful plant. Mr Swinburne, I think alone among
poets, has used it as subject for one of his roundels. Fortunately, the
neglect of poets has little influence on the beauty of flowers.


During the heated days of late summer, few but the most enthusiastic
of gardeners care to loiter in the open garden until evening. Then,
the sun having sunk in the west, we venture forth from the shade
of house or of trees, and leisurely walk the round of our paths,
refreshingly fanned by the little rippling breeze which makes the
leaves flutter as it rhythmically comes and passes. The last bees
have reached their hives, laden with the sweet product of their hard
labour. The honeyed flowers, which look to their visits and to the
visits of other sun-loving insects for aid in fertilisation, have, so
far as possible, covered their tempting cups to avoid the damping or
loss of the precious pollen within. Snails and slugs crawl from hidden
caves, prepared to work in darkness the evil which fear of feathered
warders hinders by day. Except for these workers of ill, these foes of
beauty, the garden is apparently going to sleep. But wait. Wherefore
is this increasing fragrance streaming from the honeysuckle trellis
into the cooling air--a fragrance surely not without seductive purpose?
Straight as the course of a homeward bound bee, a hawk-moth flies to
the expanded blossoms and extracts the honey from the narrow tubes,
too deep for bee or wasp to sound. Look, too, at this bed which but
an hour ago showed nothing but a green mass of leaves serrated as
those of dandelions. Great white flowers, three inches or more across,
have now appeared and produce a truly wonderful effect. These are the
flowers of one of the evening primroses (_Oenothera taraxicifolia_),
originally imported from America. Not so pure a white are the larger
blossoms of another evening primrose (_Oe. marginata_) which is just
beginning to send forth from the border a fragrance as of magnolias.
The old double white Rocket (_Hesperis matronalis_), or Damask Violet,
as it was formerly called, smells more strongly as evening draws in,
and its scent now takes on the character of the scent of Violets. Even
more noticeable is the delicious fragrance which begins to be yielded
by the Night-scented Stock (_Hesperis tristis_), a fragrance which
will continue until the commencement of the dawn. In the presence of
these happenings, we begin to realise that the garden is not after all
asleep. Indeed, we see that a part at least of the living beauty of
nature only awakes at the approach of night.

Convention rules over us, and in the most unlikely places we see those
unadaptive, stereotyped results which mark the realms where she is
sovereign. How otherwise can we account for the fact that, although
evening is the best time for enjoying the flowers of our gardens during
the months of July and August, few gardeners ever think of devoting
any part of their borders to the cultivation of flowers which bloom at
night? Yet the pleasure to be obtained from them is very great, and the
possible variety is considerable. Nearly all are fragrant, as otherwise
it would be difficult in the darkness for them to attract the moths
which they mostly desire as pollen bearers.

None of these flowers of night are more remarkable than _Silene
nutans_, one of our native catchflies (so called from their viscid
stems which prevent ants and creeping things from reaching and robbing
the honey stores), which may occasionally be seen growing on limestone
rocks. This plant bears many large white flowers during June and July,
each flower living but for three nights. At about seven o'clock of the
first evening, the flower quickly opens and emits a strong scent as
of hyacinths. Five of its stamens quickly develop, the pollen ripens
and the anthers burst. At three o'clock in the morning, or thereabouts,
the scent ceases to be produced, the five anthers wither, and the
corolla closes. During the following day the flower looks as though
dead or dying. At the same hour as on the previous evening, however,
it again opens and again becomes fragrant. Five more stamens develop
and ripen their pollen, after which the plant again closes as before.
The proceeding is again repeated on the third night, the pistil,
however, now developing instead of the stamens. The stigma having
been fertilised with pollen brought by moths from another flower, the
corolla closes as before in the early morning, and never again reopens.
Other of the Silenes, such as _S. noctiflora_, _S. inflata_, _S.
vespertina_, and _S. longiflora_, also bloom at night and are equally

Almost a shrub in size, the Marvel of Peru (_Mirabilis jalapa_) is
one of the handsomest of night blooming plants, opening its variously
coloured ephemeral flowers at about eight o'clock, and closing them
again for good and all before three o'clock the following morning. It
is a somewhat delicate plant and will only thrive in warm soils and
sunny situations. A plant not often seen in gardens is the fragrant
Sand Verbena (_Abronia fragrans_), a Californian perennial of fairly
vigorous trailing habit, producing a quantity of beautiful flowers of
purest white which open and yield a vanilla-like fragrance at night.

[Illustration: MACARTNEY ROSES]

Although too delicate to be grown all the year through in the open air
of this country, several of the Thorn apples or Daturas can easily be
grown as half-hardy annuals, and during July and August are objects of
great beauty. The mauve-tinged white trumpets of _D. Ceratocaula_ which
open and afford sweet fragrance at night are especially handsome,
but some of the other kinds are almost equally worth growing.

In addition to the evening primroses already referred to, there
are several other very attractive species, some being delightfully
fragrant. They are quite easily grown in almost any soil, and
night-gardeners should cultivate all of them. _Oenothera eximia_, which
likes a light soil, is one of the best of the white-flowered kinds,
its scent somewhat resembling that of the magnolia. _Oe. speciosa_
(white to rose), _Oe. odorata_ (yellow), _Oe. fruticosa_ (yellow), _Oe.
macrocarpa_ (yellow), _Oe. biennis grandiflora_ (yellow), and _Oe.
triloba_ (yellow) are but a few names. Some of the evening primroses
remain more or less open in the daytime, in which case they are usually
visited by bees as well as by their guests of the night.

The catchflies are a family of night-bloomers, and their relative, the
Soapwort (_Saponaria officinalis_), resembles them in this respect, for
its large rosy flowers open and become fragrant much after the manner
of those of _Silene nutans_. The common pinks, too, which are allied
plants, yield increased fragrance during the hours between sunset and
sunrise, and are then frequently visited by moths.

The petunias are not often capable of being grown as hardy perennials
in English gardens, but are easily grown as half-hardy annuals. They
lend much beauty and fragrance to the night-garden, the white _P.
nyctanigiflora_ being especially good. All the scented pelargoniums
are delightful, the night-scented _P. triste_ and _P. atrum_ being as
good as any. The hardy terrestrial orchids, _Habenaria bifolia_ and _H.
chlorantha_, which yield their spicy fragrance at night, are easily
grown in the bog garden, or indeed in any damp shady place if plenty of
leaf-mould be mixed with the soil.

Although usually to be seen only under glass, it would be impossible
to dismiss the subject of night blooming plants without referring
to the ephemeral blossoms of the night-flowering cactuses, _Cereus
grandiflora_--with its vanilla scented brown and yellow flowers, often
measuring a foot across--and _C. nycticalus_, known as the Queen of the
Night. The flowers of these plants open at about nine o'clock and begin
to wither some six hours later.

One might go on adding to the list, but, even from the few plants here
enumerated, it will be seen that the night gardener has a considerable
field in which to work; whilst to those who share Baudelaire's love of
scents, the realm of night-blooming flowers should be a very Paradise.

    "Il est des parfums frais comme des chairs d'enfants,
    Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
    ---- Et d'autres, corrumpus, riches et triomphants,
    Ayant l'expansion des choses infinies,
    Comme l'ambre, le muse, le benjoin et l'encens,
    Qui chantent les transports de l'esprit et des sens."


August is really but July continued, for no important new feature is
peculiar to it. July is very distinct from June, as the latter is from
May, and that again from April, but July and August are essentially
alike. The weather is similar, the flowers are similar, and, as a
result, it is probable that the enthusiasm of gardeners reaches a lower
point in August than in any other month of the year.

Roses and Carnations are still among the most important flowers in
the garden, and the majority of summer blooming annuals and perennial
herbaceous plants are still flowerful.

It is somewhat depressing to observe how the beautiful race of Fuchsias
has gone out of cultivation since it went out of fashion. I do not
know quite when the Fuchsia was introduced into this country, but I
believe it was about the middle of the eighteenth century. The Rev.
William Hanbury, "Rector of Church Langton, in Leicestershire," in a
two volume work in folio, entitled "A Complete Body of Gardening and
Planting," published in 1771, of which I possess a copy, says that in
his time only one species of Fuchsia was known. "This being the only
species of the genus, it is named simply Fuchsia. Father Plumier calls
it Fuchsia triphylla flore coccinea. It grows naturally in most of the
warmest parts of America." Hanbury included it among stove plants,
alleging that it is "very tender at all times," but as a matter of fact
_F. coccinea_ can easily be grown in the open air in most districts of
England, though it thrives best in the milder parts. The scarlet drops
hanging from a tall bush of this plant--and it sometimes reaches a
height of five or six feet, or even more--are very attractive, and one
can but admire the taste of the humming birds which in its native home
the Fuchsia seeks to attract.

Except near the sea and in certain warm situations, Fuchsias can
hardly be regarded as thoroughly hardy plants; but, wherever they will
succeed, they should certainly be grown, for they are amongst the most
beautiful ornaments of the garden in late summer and autumn. Perhaps
the hardiest of all is _F. Riccartoni_, with bright red flowers, but
the old _F. globosa_ is almost its equal in vigour.

_F. macrostema gracilis_ is of taller and, as its name implies, of more
slender habit than the other hardy kinds. It has the further advantage
of producing its pretty scarlet and purple drops somewhat later in the
autumn. A Fuchsia bush rarely looks shabby on account of dead and dying
flowers, for, when their work is done, the petals usually fall before
they have begun to wither.

I am sure that gardeners who study the native flora of England derive
much more pleasure from their flowers than those who focus all their
attention on the cultivated species and hybrids which are grown in
gardens. The hedges and woodlands are full of examples and full of
suggestions, for they show us the habit and manner of life of the
English relatives of our exotic plants. By studying the wild species
with their wonderful grace and simple beauty, indicative of adaptation
of means to ends, we are less liable to become the slaves of the

The hedges, or rather the wayside patches at the hedgerow's base,
are very beautiful just at this season, with the yellow flowers
of two of the Cinquefoils, the silky fern-like-leaved _Potentilla
Anserina_ (Silver weed) and the creeping _P. reptans_. The Cinquefoil
much resembles the Strawberry, producing its honey by means of a
dark-coloured ridge which runs round the tube of the flower near its
base. Its stamens and pistil however develop coincidently, whereas
the stigmas of the Strawberry ripen long before the stamens, and
consequently self-fertilisation is far more common than is the case
with the latter.

It must have been the quinately leaved _P. reptans_ which was formerly
in favor as a heraldic device. Folkard says that the number of the
leaves answered to the five senses of man. The right to bear Cinquefoil
was considered an honourable distinction to him who had worthily
conquered his affections and mastered his senses.

Many species of Potentilla are valuable garden plants, from the little
Alpine _P. nitida_, whose leaves shine more brilliantly than our Silver
weed, to the showy _P. atrosanguinea_, and the hybrid varieties derived
from it, which are the kinds usually seen in gardens. Among these
hybrids are a number of single and double sorts, nearly all of which
possess good colour--mostly ranging from yellow to scarlet.

Two other races of garden hybrids are of extreme importance in late
summer, the Pentstemons and Phloxes, the latter being among the most
valuable of border plants. In selecting varieties of either of these
flowers one should be careful to avoid the very washy and hateful
magentas and purples which are but too frequently seen. The Pentstemons
are worthy of greatly increased culture, for they often continue to
flower until the frosts of November.

The great race of hybrid Gladioli derived from _G. brenchleyensis_ and
_G. gandavensis_ are now fashionable, as they deserve. The scarlet _G.
brenchleyensis_ is itself very hardy and should be grown in quantity.

The hybrids require some care and should be planted in March at a depth
of three inches and a distance of nine inches apart in deeply dug,
rich, well-drained soil, free from fresh manure. About the second week
in September, before the foliage has died down, the corms should be
lifted and thoroughly dried off in a freely ventilated shed.

But most brilliant of all the flowers of August are the scarlet
Lobelias, _L. cardinalis_ (described by Parkinson), and _L. splendens_
with their varieties. They are not very hardy, but with a little
protection during winter can be grown in most well-drained gardens.
Moisture during summer is essential, so that a slightly shaded position
should be selected.


It is the deciduous trees and shrubs which announce the arrival of
autumn. Green leaves take on a colouring of yellow, brown, or red more
pronounced than the yellows and reds of spring. As the wind blows, a
few of the ripest leaves fall, and one becomes conscious of a feeling
of evening, of the end of a play, or of the end of a beautiful poem. If
it were but by these autumnal colourings, and by the feelings which the
fall of the leaf produces, one would be well repaid for the planting
and cultivating of trees and shrubs.

Because the active life of these larger plants is over for a season,
however, one need not imagine that the well managed garden is suddenly
to become flowerless. Roses and Pentstemons, Potentillas and Phloxes,
Sweet-Peas and Nasturtiums, and a host of other summer bloomers still
remain and often continue to bear flowers till hard frost pulls down
the curtain. But it is not on summer flowers that we need rely, for
there are numerous beautiful hardy flowers peculiar to autumn itself.
Dahlias, Rudbeckias, Sunflowers, Tritomas, Michaelmas Daisies, Japanese
Anemones, Fuchsias and Chrysanthemums are those which immediately rise
in the memory.

The common Torch Lily, or Red-hot-Poker, is almost the hardiest of the
Tritomas--or Kniphofias, as they are now called--and in a moderately
light soil will live year after year with little or no attention.
Often, in neglected cottage gardens at about the end of August, a group
of these Flame flowers, burning red and glowing yellow, arrest the
attention and cheer the landscape. The variety known as grandis is even
more effective, often reaching a height of nine feet or even more.

The dark crimson _Kniphofia Burchelli_ is valuable on account of
its long blooming period, as also is the orange and scarlet _K.
Saundersii_, but all the kinds are good, though not all are distinct.
Considering that it was introduced from the Cape nearly two hundred
years ago, it is somewhat curious that the Kniphofia is still
comparatively a rare flower.

Although it was mentioned by Hernandez in his History of Mexico, as
long ago as 1651, the Dahlia was not introduced into this country until
1789, when Lady Bute brought a plant from Madrid. It is scarcely hardy
in heavy soil or in the northern half of England, and it will generally
be necessary to lift the roots in late autumn, and, having ripened them
in a shed, to store them for the winter in a cool dry place, where the
temperature will not fall below freezing point. In the spring, the
separate tubers may be planted in deep rich soil; or the roots may in
February be placed in a hot bed, and as the young shoots which form are
about three and a half inches long, they may be separated together with
a small piece of the tuber, and potted in small pots which should be
placed in the hot-bed until the young plants are ready to be planted
out. The old double kinds are much inferior to the single and cactus
varieties. Dahlias compass a very wide range of colour, and there are
so many good sorts that each grower may well be left to select for
himself. In choosing Cactus Dahlias, it is wise to select kinds in
which the flowers stand out well beyond the foliage.

[Illustration: WHITE WOOD LILIES]

The vigorous Sneezeweeds or Heleniums are among the easiest of all
plants to grow, and will exist on almost any soil. Like other hardy
plants, however, they pay for deep cultivation and manure. They bear
yellow composite flowers, and grow to a height of five or six feet.
_H. autumnale_ is the most generally valuable.

The Cone-flowers, or Rudbeckias, are also handsome American plants, the
best being _R. speciosus_, which bears orange flowers with dark yellow
centres, and is a very fine bloomer.

But even more useful and important than Heleniums and Rudbeckias are
the various perennial sunflowers, of which _Helianthus multiflorus_
and _H. rigidus_, with their varieties, are perhaps the best worth

All these North American composites are such very vigorous growers
that they should not be placed in close proximity to small or delicate
plants, and it is advisable--except in quite wild places--to take them
up every two years and divide the roots.

The Michaelmas Daisies, or tall-growing Asters, are steadily growing
in favour coincidently with the growth of the popular taste. Deep
cultivation, moderately rich soil, and division every two or three
years, are the conditions of their successful culture. _Aster
ericoides_, _A. amellus bessarabicus_, _A. acris_, _A. Shortii_ and _A.
vimineus_ are a few good kinds.

Both the white and the rose-coloured varieties of _Anemone Japonica_
should be grown, and are of the easiest culture. They may be rapidly
increased by division, and should be allowed to develop into bold
clumps. _Megasea cordifolia_ and the Pampas Grass are among the
autumnal bloomers, as also are the Crocus-like Colchicums, the even
more delicately coloured autumn Crocuses, Sedum spectabile, Sternbergia
lutea, the late-flowering Gladioli, and the beautiful Amaryllis

Quite unlike all other autumn flowers--indeed unlike all other
flowers--the Japanese Chrysanthemum gives us the latest display of
brilliant colouring of the garden year. For border decoration, they may
be treated much as other herbaceous plants and divided in the spring.
Owing to the season at which they flower and the frequent occurrence of
violent storms at that period, it is desirable to grow Chrysanthemums
against a wall or hedge. The varieties are infinite in number, so that
when ordering plants for out-door use it is advisable to instruct the
florist as to the purpose to which you intend to devote them. A few
very hardy kinds are Madame C. Desgrange, Lady Fitzwigram, Roi des
Précoses, and Ryecroft Glory.

The autumn tints assumed by the leaves of many deciduous trees and
shrubs are very interesting and beautiful. Of such, the following short
list may be of a little help:--

  Acer colchicum rubrum.
  Acer platanoides laciniatum.
  Acer Schwedleri.
  Azalea pontica.
  Amelanchier canadensis.
  Berberis Thunbergii.
  Cornus (of sorts).
  Parrotia persica.
  Rhus (of sorts).
  Rubus (of sorts).
  Spiræa Thunbergii.
  Silver Birch.

In one of his most suggestive essays, John Burroughs pointed out that
in autumn the battles of the spring are fought over again. But, whereas
in the spring it is the summer warmth which eventually, in spite of
many mishaps and reverses, wins the victory, in the autumnal ebb it
is the cold which finally gains the day. This constant strife between
succeeding seasons at the points of meeting lies at the root of the
peculiar charm of the English climate and of the English flora.

The following lists are borrowed from my _Chronicle of a Cornish


  Aconitum napellus.
  Aconitum autumnale.
  Rudbeckia maxima.
  Rudbeckia laciniata.
  Doronicum plantagineum excelsum.
  Campanula macrantha.
  Campanula pyramidalis.
  Galega officinalis alba.
  Phlox (in variety).
  Spiræa aruncus.
  Helianthus (in variety).


  Anemone japonica alba.
  Aquilegias (in variety).
  Papaver orientale.
  Iris germanica.
  Lilium candidum.
  Achillea ptarmica fl. pl.
  Dicentra spectabilis.
  Scabiosa caucasica.
  Campanula persicifolia.
  Campanula latifolia alba.
  Campanula Van Houttei.
  Campanula turbinata.
  Primula japonica.
  Helleborus niger.
  Helleborus orientale.
  Adonis vernalis.
  Erigeron speciosus.
  Lobelia cardinalis.
  Geum chiloense.


  Veronica prostrata.
  Veronica saxatilis.
  Veronica rupestris.
  Silene Schafta.
  Silene acaulis.
  Silene alpestris.
  Campanula isophylla.
  Campanula pulla.
  Campanula turbinata.
  Anemone apennina.
  Anemone blanda.
  Anemone coronaria.
  Anemone fulgens.
  Anemone nemorosa.
  Dianthus alpina.
  Dianthus deltoides.
  Dianthus plumarius.
  Gentiana acaulis.
  Gentiana verna.
  Iberis coriaefolia.
  Iberis sempervirens.
  Phlox amœna.
  Phlox subulata.
  Auricula (alpine varieties).
  Cyclamen (various).
  Viola pedata.
  Campanula carpatica.
  Campanula pumila.
  Campanula pelviformis.
  Hepatica (various).
  Aubrietia (various).
  Primula rosea.
  Primula vulgaris.
  Primula Sieboldi.
  Primula nivalis.
  Viola (various, violas and pansies).
  Papaver nudicaule.
  Cistus (various).
  Helianthenum (various).
  Alyssum          "
  Fritillaria      "
  Crocus           "
  Galanthus        "
  Narcissus        "
  Tulipa           "
  Scilla           "
  Iris             "
  Leucojum         "
  Chionodoxa       "
  Eranthis hyemalis.


There are many ways of growing hardy flowering plants, and of growing
them to advantage, but all these different methods have certain
fundamental conditions in common. Of these conditions the most
important are the possession of a suitable site and the provision of
suitable soil. Children are raised in slums and hovels, and even in
besieged and famine-stricken towns; and, in like manner, there is
no site so bad, no aspect so dull, no air so vile, no soil so poor
and shallow but plants may be found which will there exist. But in
order that we may grow any considerable variety of beautiful flowers
we must screen our garden from bitter winds, and so prepare our soil
that it shall be adapted for vigorous plant growth. Wind-resisting
screens may consist either of walls or of suitable trees and shrubs.
Which of these forms of protection should be selected depends on
circumstances which vary with different gardens. In any event, it will
be generally agreed that a garden should be so enclosed (Hortus--an
enclosed space) as to afford not only shelter to plants from the more
strenuous forces of Nature, but also that privacy from the vulgar
gaze which we call seclusion. If the garden is to be enclosed by
walls, let these be of a fair height--not less than ten feet; and let
them be clothed with a variety of the lovely climbing plants now at
the disposal of the gardener. There is considerable room for choice
both among deciduous and evergreen climbers. Among the best of the
former section are the self-clinging Ampelopsis Veitchii, the blue
and the white Passion-flowers, numerous varieties of Clematis, the
winter-blooming Jasminum nudiflorum, Wistaria, Honeysuckles, Bignonia
radicans, and many of the Roses and Vines; whilst against walls facing
north we may grow Tropæolum speciosum, Clematis flammula, the Evergreen
and Boursault Roses and the Virginian Creeper. The Evergreens mostly
prosper with any aspect. Among the best are the various Ivies and
Cotoneasters and Crataegus pyracantha.

The trees and shrubs which may be used are numerous; but for dense
hedges perhaps the most useful are Holly, White Thorn, Privet,
Barberry, Laurel, Box and Yew. Where possible, the straight line of a
long clipped hedge may be broken by groups of shrubs planted within,
unless a formal garden effect be desired. It is well to distinguish
between the use of shrubs or trees as bounding fences or screens and
their use as beautiful individual plants; and, when a dense screen is
required, to obtain it by means of suitable trees and a properly made
and properly shorn hedge rather than by a thickly-planted and therefore
overcrowded "shrubbery." Whether it be trees or shrubs or climbing
plants that we propose to plant, the ground should be deeply trenched
and well manured, so that annual meddling about the roots may not be
required. Whilst a certain proportion of evergreen shrubs, such as the
beautiful hollies and barberries, should be used, it is undesirable to
make too free a use of non-deciduous plants. The ordinary overcrowded
laurel and privet shrubbery is hideous and depressing.

Trees and shrubs, however, are useful not only for the shelter and
seclusion which they yield, but also for their delightful summer shade.
In one of his essays, Emerson quotes an Arabian poet's description of
his hero:--

    "Sunshine was he
    In the winter day;
    And in the midsummer
    Coolness and shade."

That is a beautiful description of a perfect friend, but it might serve
equally as a description of a perfect garden. The flowers of July are
infinite in their number and exquisite in their beauty, yet, if they
are grown in a large, tidy, treeless, shrubless garden, they will yield
but little pleasure. A garden is not a place merely for the exhibition
of floral wonders, but a place wherein to rest, to talk, to read or
to dream. With the blazing sun of July beating on one's unshaded
head, dreaming, resting, and reading are equally uncomfortable and

A shade-giving tree is worth all the flowers of midsummer, though
fortunately one is not called upon to sacrifice either. Trees and
shrubs yield welcome shade, but, quite apart from this, they help to
throw up, and provide suitable backgrounds for, the dwarfer plants
which make up the majority of our garden contents. We have been too
fond of cutting down trees, and many a suburb has reason to regret the
revision of the old forest law of King William: "Gif the forestier or
wiridier finds anie man without the principall wode, but sit within the
pale, heueand dune ane aik tree, he sould attack him."

According to our soil and site, must we select the shrubs and trees
which will be happiest under the conditions we can offer them. When we
have ample space, no trees can surpass in beauty our native deciduous
trees, such as the oak and hornbeam; but it is from the smaller trees
and larger shrubs that owners of more moderately-sized gardens must
chiefly look for shade and backgrounds. Japan has given us many things
of infinite value, but few more precious than the white-flowering
species of Styrax. The dense, bright foliage, the sweetly-scented,
snow-white bells, and the general habit of the tree render Styrax
obassia one of the most valuable constituents of a garden. Japan,
too, has given us a number of Maples which afford a feast of colour
unrivalled by any other group of trees in the world. They are worth
trying in any mild or protected situation, though they should be
planted on a small, experimental scale at first as they do not thrive
everywhere. They seem to like partial shade and a north aspect. Those
who have mild and weather-favoured situations may glory in the fragrant
and--when well grown--handsome Magnolias, though with these again
success is not to be fore-counted a certainty. But few are so badly
placed but they may grow the Lilacs, Laburnums, Hawthorns, Guelder
Roses, Spiræas, Dogwoods, Weeping Birches, Weeping Willows, and
Flowering Currants. As decorative as most, however, and more useful
than any, of the shrubs and trees worth growing in a garden, are the
apples and pears, medlars and quinces, plums and cherries whose flowers
and fruits have always impressed the traveller as a beautiful feature
of English landscape.

Beneath the shade of deciduous trees there are many plants which
will live healthy and flowery lives. In the spring we have for such
situations the great array of bulbs, together with many of the
Primroses, Sweet Woodruff, Hepaticas, Hellebores, Fair maids of France,
Doronicums, and other early bloomers; and, even when the trees are in
full leaf, we may enjoy, if the soil be but properly prepared, such
pleasant flowers as those of the Martagon Lily and Lilium speciosum,
Campanulas, both dwarf and tall, Foxgloves, Knotweeds, and Columbines;
whilst ferns of many kinds, together with several of the Saxifrages
and Megaseas, and such plants as Acanthus mollis and the herbaceous
Geranium, all help to produce the pleasant effect which is yielded by
the draping of the floor of coppice or of forest. When the shade is
so dense and the soil so poor that even these plants will not thrive,
we may fall back on Ivy, Creeping Jenny, and Periwinkle; though, where
the soil is enriched with old leafmould and manure and properly dug, no
shade of trees is too dense for many of the ferns, both deciduous and


Many people imagine that in some mysterious fashion plants eat soil
much as we eat beef-steak; and that, all soil being just "soil," one
has but to make a hole in the ground and thrust the roots of a plant
into it, in order to make the desert bloom as the rose. This idea is
incorrect, just as was the idea of a Devonshire farmer whom I once saw
feeding his month-old baby with cheese and cider. "Feed 'un on milk?"
said he. "I'd zooner gee 'un zope-zuds. Let 'un 'ave summat wi' zum
strength in't."

Soil is to plants not a source of food alone, but is a suit of clothes,
a blanket and coverlet, a cooking-range and a drawing-room fire. It
is a _pied-à-terre_ in its most literal sense, and it is a cellar and
tankard combined. To all the great and beautiful world of flowers, the
soil is indeed mother earth, giving them warmth and nourishment in
their infancy, affording them a root-hold throughout their life, and
offering them sanctuary for their bodies when their earthly life is

He who would grow beautiful flowers must therefore first study the soil
from which he would raise them. He must get to know it, to learn its
wants, and learn also how he may best satisfy them. In time, if he be
indeed a lover of flowers, he will grow also to love the earth and to
understand it. He will become one of those true and happy gardeners so
beloved of the gods that every flower they lovingly plant is made to
flourish and multiply.

First, then, let us think of what this soil is made, and of how it came
into being. Look at the surface of any old stone-built church or house
and you will see how every stone is partly covered by moss or lichen or
other lowly plant. These plants are growing in soil--formed by the slow
action of rain and air on the surface of the walls. Similarly, in the
gradual pulverisation and decomposition of rocks, has all soil taken
its origin. Similarly also, as a rule, have lowly plants been its first
offspring, the bodies of which have been afterwards incorporated with
their mother soil. By the further action of the weather, coupled with
the action of the accompaniments of the decomposition of these early
plants, the soil becomes deeper, and becomes also furnished with dead
vegetable matter, or humus, without which none of the higher and more
developed plants are able to live.

According to the nature of the original rock, and according also to
the sort of natural "weathering" or "watering" to which it has been
subjected, so will the resultant soil be mainly sand or mainly clay, or
an equal mixture of the two. Mixed with these will usually be found a
certain amount of little stones or gravel, and a certain amount of dark
coloured humus. In a soil which is nearly all sand, or in one which is
nearly all clay, few flowers will thrive, but in what is called a loamy
soil--that is, one in which clay and sand are nearly equal--nearly all
plants will grow and prosper if other conditions be favourable. The
presence of humus in the soil is important in many ways, for not only
does it contain much that is essential food for plant growth, but also
it assists the earth in retaining that moisture without which life is
impossible. By its chemical activity, also, it produces useful heat
and liberates stores of food from the mineral soil itself. Therefore
it is that we add dead leaves, farmyard manure, sea-weed and the like
to our garden soil. But, though moisture is essential to the health
of plants, the presence of stagnant water is little less fatal than
drought. If we find that a hole dug in our gardens to the depth of two
feet soon contains water not obtained from above, we may usually assume
that drainage is required.

If our soil be too light (_i.e._ sandy) we may improve it by the
addition of dried and powdered clay, meal and organic manure, from
cowshed or stable; if it be too heavy (_i.e._ containing an excess of
clay) we may make it more suitable for our garden use by mixing with it
sand, ashes, lime, gritty road-scrapings, or old mortar.

We all know how very much hotter in summer and colder in winter is a
starched linen shirt than is one made of flannel or of some cellular
open-woven fabric. This is of course due to the fact that the former
is the better conductor of heat. In like manner, a loose, cellular,
"open-woven," porous soil is a much worse conductor of heat than the
caked and baked soil which we often see in ill-kept gardens.

The roots of plants like coolness in summer, but in winter they desire
all the warmth that they can obtain. Hence the desirability of always
maintaining the surface of the ground to the depth of an inch or two in
a loose open condition by means of the hoe. This is of value also in
checking evaporation, for, by keeping the surface inch of soil loose
and fine, the capillary connection between the air and the deeper
layers of soil is broken. Surface mulchings of litter, moss, leaves or
manure act in the same way as does the simpler mulch of hoed soil. Of
course the process of top-dressing with leaves or farm-manure, in order
to add to the soil the food elements which they contain, is quite a
different matter, and cannot be replaced.

[Illustration: FOXGLOVES]

Very few gardeners can be said to make anything approaching
adequate use of the soil which they cultivate. The majority of amateur
gardeners, and not a few professional ones, never get their spade
more than a foot or, at the outside, more than eighteen inches below
the surface. As a matter of fact, all garden soil should be dug to
a minimum depth of two feet, or preferably to a depth of three feet
when possible. In preparing a piece of ground for planting, it should,
therefore, be trenched as deeply as possible, preferably to a depth of
three feet.

[Illustration: Diagram]

This operation may be performed as follows:--

Let _A B C D_ represent the piece of ground to be trenched. Measure
off _A E_, _E G_, _G M_, _D F_, _F H_, and _N H_, each the distance of
one foot. Stretch a line from _E_ to _F_ and notch the surface with a
spade along this line. Proceed in the same way from _G_ to _H_. Next
dig the piece _A E F D_ to a depth of one foot, wheeling this surface
soil to form a heap at _B_. Also dig to the same depth the piece _E
G H F_ and add this soil to the heap at _B_. Next remove the subsoil
from the piece _A E F D_ to the depth of another foot, and wheel it to
_C_. The deeper subsoil in the piece _A E F D_ should then be dug to a
depth of another foot and left in its old position. The subsoil from
_E G H F_ to the depth of a foot should now be placed with the spade
on _A E F D_, and the deep subsoil below it dug and left _in situ_. A
layer of farm-yard manure may next be placed on the _A E F D_, and on
this should be placed the top foot of soil from _G M N H_. The subsoil
from _G M N H_ should next be placed on _E G H F_, on this being placed
a layer of manure covered in turn by fresh top soil. In this the work
should be proceeded with until the last two feet of the patch are
reached. The subsoil from _I B C J_ is to be placed on the deep subsoil
of _K I J L_, on this a layer of manure covered by one half of the
surface soil in the heap at _B_. The heap of subsoil at _C_ and the
remainder of the surface soil at _B_ are to be placed in the space _I B
C L_.

This proceeding may strike the novice much as a problem of Euclid
strikes the mentally lazy, but the importance of deep cultivation
is so great that everyone who would be a successful gardener should
thoroughly understand its practice. By the method of trenching above
described, the three layers of earth called here soil, subsoil and
deep subsoil are maintained in their respective orders of depth, for
nothing is more fatal than to bury the "living earth" of the surface
below the reach of the roots of our plants, bringing to the surface
in its place the barren subsoil devoid of humus and devoid of those
living bacteria so essential to the fertility of the soil. By proper
and continuous cultivation, the actual living soil attains an ever
increasing thickness, so that in time the top two feet may be correctly
described as surface soil and become freely interchangeable throughout
its thickness.


The idyll of manures has been written by the Dean of Rochester, who has
placed on eternal record his devotion to Sterculus, the son of Faunus,
whom he imaged as riding proudly, pitch-fork ("agricultural trident")
in hand, in his family chariot, the _currus Stercorosus_ (_Anglice_,
muck-cart). As I can confess to no such love, I will merely state the
few facts which all plant-growers must bear in memory.

The great and safe manure for hardy flower culture is that of the
stable or farm-yard, which is so valuable, not only for the actual
food elements which itself contains, but also for the mass of straw
and other organic material which by its fermentation sets up chemical
activity in the soil, and so liberates a small continuous supply of the
plant-foods therein contained. This latter property is what gives much
of its manurial value to the mixed "rubbish" of the ash-pit--containing
as it generally does such waste organic matter as cabbage leaves,
potato-peelings, and "bits" of all kinds. Buried weeds, leaves and
"garden refuse" act in a precisely similar way. These organic manures
are, moreover, of the greatest service in keeping the soil open,
porous and friable, in retaining water and so retaining also mineral
plant-foods dissolved therein, and in adding to the warmth of the
soil both by engendering heat in the process of fermentation and by
mechanically rendering the soil a worse conductor.

In the preliminary preparation of borders or beds, provided the soil
be well dug to a depth of two or three feet, a really heavy dressing
of farm-yard manure should be well incorporated--say about a ton to
every two hundred square yards. The manure should not be buried, but
should be intimately mixed with the whole depth of soil. A light sandy
soil will take a heavier, and a heavy soil a lighter dressing than
the average one suggested. The beds should be manured and otherwise
prepared sometime before the planting is to take place, as many plants
and especially many bulbous plants cannot stand the proximity of fresh
and rank manure.

When the ground is thus properly prepared at the start, little more
actual cultivation is needed in the case of most hardy herbaceous
plants beyond annual top dressing with manure, occasional loosening
of the surface soil where not covered by dwarf plants, weeding, and
occasional thinning or division of big clumps. Whenever a plant is
taken up, the opportunity should be seized to add a fork-load of rotten
manure to the spot vacated. Top dressings should as far as possible be
placed round plants in early spring, just before new growth starts, as
the manure is then soon covered and concealed by foliage.

Bone meal, finely-broken bones, small quantities of guano, and even
carefully-applied nitrate of soda (half-an-ounce to the square yard)
have their respective values, but the novice will be wise in placing
reliance on farm-yard manure for the bulk of his plants.


The gardening beginner will be well advised to obtain the greater
number of his perennials as plants; but there are some which are easily
grown from seeds, and seed-sowing is the method by which all the
hardy annuals and biennials are to be raised. In the case of annual
and biennial plants, such as sweet-peas, mignonette, nasturtiums,
convolvuluses, nigellas, and the rest, the seed may well be sown in the
open borders or beds, if the soil be but well dug and finely divided.
It is advisable, however, to mix a little sand and leafmould with the
soil, and to give the seed-bed a good watering on the night previous
to sowing the seeds, if the soil be otherwise dry. At the same time
it is necessary to avoid sowing when the ground is sticky after or
during heavy rain. The seed having been sown in finely-pulverised soil
which is neither too wet nor too dry, it is a good practice to press
the seed-bed, either by the use of a roller, or by patting it with the
flat of a spade. This tends to promote the flow of a continuous supply
of moisture from the deeper parts to the surface of the soil by means
of capillary attraction. As, however, this proceeding also promotes a
continuous loss of soil-moisture by evaporation, the surface should be
loosened by hoe or rake as soon as the young plants appear--indeed,
in the case of the more deeply-buried seeds, such as sweet-peas, the
surface should be slightly disturbed as soon as the sowing and pressing
have been performed. In dry weather, evaporation from the seed-bed may
be checked by shading it with a screen placed about two feet above the

As to the depth at which seed should be sown, much depends on the
variety, as also on the nature of the soil and the season of the year;
but it may be taken as a general rule that small seeds should be
covered by a depth of soil about equal to their thickness, whilst seeds
such as sweet peas should be sown two inches deep. The soil must not be
allowed to become quite dry, but great care is to be taken in watering,
which should be done, when necessary, with a watering-pot provided with
a very fine rose. Those perennials, such as the columbines, campanulas,
poppies, and primroses, which are easily to be raised from seed, may
be sown in open beds, but, as they are somewhat slower in germinating,
it will usually be found more satisfactory to sow them in shallow
earthenware pans containing a mixture of loam, sand and leaf-mould. The
soil in the pans can best be kept moist by occasionally dipping the
seed-pan in a vessel of water, being very careful not to lower it so
that the surface of the soil is below the surface of the water. A sheet
of glass may be placed as a cover to the seed-pan until germination
takes place; but, in order to check evaporation from the surface, care
should be taken not to "damp off" the young seedlings through excessive
moisture and insufficient air.

There is one great rule to be borne in mind in sowing all kinds
of seed, and that rule, printed in largest type, should be placed
wherever gardeners are to be found:--SOW THINLY. Do not rely too much
on subsequent thinning out, but allow space for development from the
first, for at no stage of its career should a young plant be pressed
upon by its neighbour. A knowledge of the size and habit of the mature
plant is therefore necessary in order to estimate the requisite space
between the seeds. It must, however, be remembered that a certain
proportion of seeds will fail to germinate, and that a certain
proportion of seedlings will fall victims to disease and snails. In
the case of plants which are intended to be transplanted from the
seed-bed or seed-pan, it is of course the size of the seedlings at the
transplanting stage which has to be borne in mind in judging of the
correct distance between the seeds. But it is a point which cannot
be too often drubbed into young gardeners--and old ones too for that
matter--that one well-grown plant is better than twenty badly grown
ones. Also it should ever be remembered that a plant starved in infancy
suffers for it throughout its career.

Seeds of hardy plants may be sown at almost any time during spring,
summer, or autumn, provided that due attention be given in the
matter of watering, preparation of the soil and the like. Most of
the biennials and perennials may with advantage be sown in June and
transplanted to their flowering quarters in September. Annuals intended
to bloom in the summer or autumn should be sown in March, April and
May; whilst those intended to flower in the following year should be
sown in August and September.

Most plants may be transplanted at any season of the year if the
operation be properly performed. A dull day or an evening should be
selected, and a ball of earth should if possible be removed attached
to the roots. The ground into which the plant is to be removed, should
be well and deeply dug, and a deep and capacious hole be made with a
trowel or dibbler. Into this the plant is to be carefully placed, its
roots being well spread out and well settled by means of water. For a
day or two after being moved, it should be shaded from the hot sun, and
for the first few evenings should be liberally watered.

[Illustration: SHIRLEY POPPIES]


The division of the rootstock is a method of propagation applicable to
the majority of perennial plants. In the case of most corms and bulbs,
it is necessary, in order to increase the supply, to separate the
young bulbels or cormels and to plant them out in a nursery bed until
they develop to a useful flowering size. But in the division of the
rootstocks of herbaceous plants a certain amount of violence is usually
required, and a strong knife, a cold chisel and a mallet will be found
useful tools. Each plant, if it is to develop into a new plant, must
include at least one eye or bud and must usually also be provided with
a supply of rootlets.

Many plants may be propagated by the process known as layering, which
essentially consists in pegging down a shoot to the ground by means of
a little crotchet stick, having notched with a sharp knife half way
through a joint at the point where the shoot touches the soil, and
covering the pegged down part of the shoot with a few inches of good
gritty loam. In a little while, roots will form at the point of section
and the shoot can be separated from its parent as an independent plant.
The Carnation is usually propagated in this way, the layering being
performed in July and the young plants being separated a few months
later. Roses may be pegged down and layered in a somewhat similar way,
but in their case it is the middle of a branch and not its base which
is cut and pegged beneath the soil.

Another method by which many plants can be increased is that
of cuttage. This is the method usually employed by growers of
chrysanthemums, pansies, and certain other plants. To effect this,
a cut should be made in a slanting direction through the stem to be
severed, just below a joint. As a rule cuttings of herbaceous plants
should be made in the spring. Some cuttings will root readily in light
soil in the open air if a shady position be selected, but usually it
will be found to be desirable to plant the cuttings in pots of sandy
loam and to place in a hot bed, shading from the sun until they are


"Let the painfull Gardiner expresse never so much care and diligent
endeavour; yet among the very fairest, sweetest, and freshest Flowers,
as also Plants of most precious Vertue; ill savouring and stinking
Weeds, fit for no use but the fire or mucke-hill, will spring and
sprout up." So wrote Boccaccio nearly six hundred years ago, and the
truth of his observation has not lost its savour in spite of the
centuries--though I, for one, should be sorry to apply to any plant of
my acquaintance the adjectives of abuse which Boccaccio so naturally

Of course one tries, and must ever try, to keep the garden free from
weeds, but it is a matter for congratulation that we can never entirely
succeed. Probably the earliest gardening memories of most of us are
associated either with weeds, or with that branch of gardening usually
first delegated to children--the operation of weeding. A great deal of
the pleasure of growing flowers is undoubtedly due to the difficulties
which one has to combat, and gardening with no weeds to worry us, with
no snails, slugs, or green fly for us to fight, would be about as
insipid an occupation as that known among the provincial middle-class
as "paying calls." What beauty there is in these much despised weeds!
Few wall plants, for instance, surpass in general "usefulness" the
little Ivy-leaved Toad-flax (_Linaria Cymbalaria_), which bears its
dainty purple snapdragon-like flowers nearly the year through. It
is a tidy little plant, too, for, as soon as its flowers have been
fertilised and are beginning to fade, it bends them aside so that
the seed vessels may rest in some suitable crevice where the ripened
seed may safely be born. The flowers which stand out from the plant,
therefore, always look fresh and attractive.

Not everyone can grow the Gentians, but certainly everyone can
grow--though not all of us can exterminate--those beautiful Veronicas,
the Germander Speedwell and the Field Speedwell, with their brightest
of blue flowers. Merely to name the dandelion, daisy, plantain,
convolvulus, dock, pheasant's eye, and even the groundsel, is to remind
ourselves of the great beauty which our garden weeds possess, and of
the essential place which they occupy in the mental picture of a homely
garden. Yet is there one "weed"--or "good plant in the wrong place," as
a weed has been well defined--more prevalent than all others, hardier
than most, and as beautiful as any. No garden, no road, no wall or
fence even, but grass does its best to drape and to beautify it. And
if gardening has made men blind to the beauty of the grass leaf, so
blind that they needs must roll and cut it for appearance's sake, then
is gardening to be ranked with that spirit of vestrydom, of which Mrs
Meynell says such true, sarcastic things. But gardening need have no
such tendency. Rather should it tend to make its devotees observant and
admiring where plant beauty is concerned. Still, with weeds, be they
ever so beautiful, ever so interesting, must the gardener wage eternal
war. Nature, like the artist she is, abhors bare earth as much as she
abhors a vacuum, and, where she sees a piece of ground uncovered, there
she sows her seeds or projects her roots. One of the best ways of
keeping weeds within bounds, therefore, is to have as little earth as
possible uncovered by plants, for then weeds have small chance of entry
and smaller chance of development. There is a hackneyed saying to the
effect that one year's seeding means seven years' weeding, and there
is wisdom in it; but rare indeed must be the gardens where in some odd
corner weeds do not succeed each year in ripening and scattering their
seeds. As soon as a weed is seen, it should be pulled up, or Dutch-hoed
off, and, if it have not a perennial root, straightway buried in
the garden or used as a mulch round shrubs or herbaceous plants. In
addition to its primary object, the mere pulling up of weeds, or hoeing
off their heads, is of the utmost value in loosening the surface of
the ground, and so checking evaporation and the conduction of heat.
In fighting with weeds, garden flowers will be much assisted by deep
cultivation, rich soil, and a provision of those general conditions
which conduce to their health and vigour. As a rule the annual weeds
are kept under with comparative ease, it usually being the perennials
with spreading roots which give the real trouble. In preparing a piece
of ground, every piece of such root--be it of couch grass, bindweed,
or what not--should be picked out and burnt. Then, if, through several
seasons, every shoot of perennial weed be pulled off directly it is
seen, they will eventually be subdued or even vanquished. For weedy
paths, it is no longer necessary to spend hours or days in hand-weeding
with basket and knife--historically interesting though that practice
is. All that is now required is to water the paths, when dry, with a
solution made by boiling five ounces of powdered arsenic in a gallon of
water, stirring the while, and then adding two gallons of cold water,
and half a pound of soda.

Such is the fate of the man who would be a gardener. He must wage
constant battle with flowers whose beauty he can but acknowledge. He
must be full of zeal for the murder of plants he is bound to love and
admire. It is a little like hitting a woman; and, when one sees the
weed, which has been violently hurled from bed and border, patiently
trying to live its humble life on wall or rubbish-heap, smiling as
sweetly as it may on the "owner" of the soil, one is reminded of that
pathetic--even if fictitious--story of the vivisector's dog.


Vigorously growing plants are far less liable than are feeble ones to
the attacks of the various living enemies which the gardener is called
upon to combat. Therefore the most important item in the suppression
of insect or fungoid pests is careful and correct culture. But, even
in the best kept gardens, green-fly and earwig, slugs, snails and
wireworms will appear, and must be dealt with by repressive as well as
by preventive measures.

The green-fly, which is sometimes such a trouble to our roses and
fruits, should be treated with vigorous and repeated syringing or
hosing with water. If this is found to be inadequate, the affected
plants may be washed with tobacco water (made by pouring half a gallon
of boiling water on an ounce each of soft soap and shag tobacco, and
allowing the strained infusion to cool), or with an emulsion made by
stirring well together half a pint of petroleum oil, two ounces of
hard soap, and a quart of nearly boiling water, afterwards adding half
a gallon of cold water, and thoroughly mixing. This last application
should always be applied in the evening.

Wireworms, which are such a foe of the carnation grower, may usually
be destroyed by spreading gas-lime at the rate of two pounds per
square yard over the unoccupied soil in the fall, ploughing or digging
it into the ground a month or two later. If this is impracticable,
the wireworms may often be trapped by burying pieces of potato at
intervals, removing them every few days.

For destroying the fungus of mildew nothing is more effective than
sulphur mixed with soft soap and water in the proportion of one ounce
of sulphur and four ounces of soap to four gallons of hot water.

Earwigs, which so often spoil the Dahlia blooms, may be trapped by
crumpling a newspaper and placing it among the plants, or by filling
a flower-pot with moss and inverting it over a stake--in either case
examining the traps daily and destroying the victims.

Snails and slugs should be caught at night and killed by placing
them in a bucket and covering them with salt. They may be trapped
by placing cabbage or lettuce leaves at intervals about the garden,
examining beneath them each morning; or they may sometimes be destroyed
by watering the plants which they frequent with lime-water (made by
adding a gallon of water to a quarter pound of freshly burnt lime, and

Birds are sometimes harmful, but on the whole they do more good than
harm in a garden, and I am inclined to agree with an old gardener, who,
having caught a blackbird among the gooseberries, was asked by his
master what he had done with it. "Oh," he replied, "I just gave 'im a
warning and let 'im go."


1. Grow no plant which does not strike you as either beautiful or

2. Learn the requirements of every plant as far as possible before
ordering it, and have everything ready before its arrival.

3. Do not overcrowd, but allow every plant to develop and display its
own form of beauty. On the other hand, show as little bare earth as
possible at every season of the year.

4. Have few beds and many and wide borders. It will often, however,
be found convenient to grow in beds such flowers as Carnations, which
require to be frequently replanted, and which will not tolerate the
competition of other plants; but even with Carnations may be planted
many bulbs, such as Crocuses, Tulips, Spanish Irises and Gladioli. In
any case, aim at being a four-season gardener, and make your garden
interesting in every part the year through.

5. The borders should generally be wide--where there is ample space not
less than nine to twelve feet. They should be backed by a plant-covered
trellis or wall, or by flowering and evergreen shrubs.

6. Cultivate the soil to a depth of two or three feet in the manner
described in this book, and in dry weather supply _abundance_ of water,
and keep the surface mulched either with moss or manure, or with loose

7. In arranging mixed borders, avoid dottiness, preferring rather to
plant bold clumps or masses of individual species. Let the surface
of the soil be carpeted by low-growing, surface-rooting plants, such
as the dwarf Campanulas, Aubrietias, Arenarias, Silene acaulis, S.
alpestre, Linaria alpina, Veronica saxatilis and the like. Let the
taller growing plants be mostly towards the back of the border, and the
smaller plants mostly near the front, but avoid primness by allowing
an occasional clump of tall plants (especially those, such as Gladioli
and Lilies, which need special care) to break the front margin, and by
letting the dwarfer carpeting plants spread towards the back of the

8. Keep in a shed or in a corner of the garden a compost heap composed
of two parts sand, one part fibrous loam (such as the top spit of
meadow land), one part of two-year-old leaf mould, and one part of
two-year-old stable manure. Whenever one is transplanting a herbaceous
or other plant, it will be found very helpful to cover the roots with a
few inches of this soil. Mixed with an equal quantity of sand it will
also be useful to place round bulbs when planting them.

9. When planting, always dig a hole sufficiently large and deep to
contain the roots well spread out. Place the plant in position, cover
the roots with a few inches of the compost just named, and give a
bucketful of water to settle the earth. Then fill up the hole with
ordinary soil, firmly pressing with the foot if necessary, though the
liberally watering often does away with the need. In any case the
surface should be ruffled up into a state of looseness in order to
check evaporation.

10. Keep a special garden notebook in which to note things which want
correcting or developing. If not noted when recognised, they are likely
to be forgotten when the season for making the change comes round. Also
note any good plants or good effects which you may see in the gardens
of others.

11. Buy your seeds of the best seedsmen, regardless of price. Buy your
plants from the best nurseries, even though they may be listed a little
cheaper elsewhere.

12. Do not be content merely to copy the "arrangements," "groupings"
and such which you may see suggested in books or practised by your
friends. Study books, study gardens, and study wild nature, but use
your own brains.

13. Make, or remake, one border every year. You will thus always have
sufficient surprise to afford spice or seasoning to the "settled" part
of your garden.

14. It is interesting, in addition to cultivating a large variety of
flowers, to grow one flower or one race of flowers as a specialty.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE most satisfactory Plants for the Garden, and amongst THE MOST
BEAUTIFUL are the following improved varieties of







Collection D--42s. per dozen; 50 for £7 7s.


Collection D--42s. per dozen; 50 for £7 7s.


Collection C--18s. per dozen; 100 for £6 6s.


Collection C--21s. per dozen; 100 for £7 7s.

Nearly all the best new varieties of the above-mentioned important
families ORIGINATED in the Langport Nurseries.

More Certificates and Awards of Merit for improved varieties of Hardy
Plants have been awarded by the R.H.S. to KELWAY & SON than to any firm.

KELWAY'S "MANUAL OF HORTICULTURE" for 1901, by far the best
Horticultural Catalogue and Guide published, will be sent post free
for 1s. 6d. It contains interesting particulars of all the best Hardy
Herbaceous Plants, &c., and of KELWAY'S "ARTISTIC" BORDERS (registered).

133 GOLD AND SILVER MEDALS--London, Paris, Chicago, &c.


Handbooks of Practical Gardening

Under the General Editorship of


Crown 8vo. Illustrated. Cloth. 2s. 6d. net.

  Vol. I.--THE BOOK OF ASPARAGUS. With sections also on Celery,
    Salsify, Scorzonera, and Seakale. By CHARLES ILOTT, F.R.H.S.,
    Lecturer on Horticulture to the Cornwall County Council. Together
    with chapters on the History, Decorative Uses, and Cookery of these
    Vegetables, by the Editor.

  _The Pilot_--"Every point is carefully dealt with, and the book
    should prove extremely useful to scientific gardeners."

  _The Daily Mail_--"The admirable chapter contributed by Dr Harry
    Roberts on the Cookery of Asparagus."

  _The Speaker_--"The work of a specialist. Mr Ilott gives us--for a
    matter of half-a-crown--the ripe experience of a life-time well

  _The Gardeners' Chronicle_--"The author is eminently qualified for
    the task he has undertaken.... In a careful, thorough manner
    the cultivator is instructed in every operation involved in the
    cultivation of the plant."

  _Gardening Illustrated_--"The author has handled his subject in a
    thoroughly practical manner, and is to be congratulated on having
    compressed so much valuable matter into so small a compass."

  _The Scotsman_--"Most serviceable.... The letterpress is beautifully
    and usefully illustrated, while the get-up of the book generally is
    very tasteful."

  _The World_--"This very useful series should by no means be missed
    from the library of the sincere gardener."

  _The Daily Chronicle_--"THE BOOK."

  _The Morning Post_--"Particularly sound advice.... The information
    throughout is treated in a simple and intelligible manner."

  _The Garden_--"Very plain and practical. Many useful illustrations
    from photographs and sketches are dispersed throughout the book.
    The best kinds of Asparagus for decorative purposes are described
    by Dr Roberts, who gives also many interesting details concerning
    the history and cookery of these vegetables. Altogether a very
    readable book."

              NEW YORK: 67 FIFTH AVENUE.

Handbooks of Practical Gardening--_Continued_.

  Vol. II.--THE BOOK OF THE GREENHOUSE. With a special chapter on the
    little Town Greenhouse. By J. C. TALLACK, F.R.H.S., Head Gardener
    at Shipley Hall.

  Vol. III.--THE BOOK OF THE GRAPE. By H. W. WARD, F.R.H.S., for 25
    years Head Gardener at Longford Castle, Author of "My Gardener."

    of "The Chronicle of a Cornish Garden."

  Vol. V.--THE BOOK OF BULBS. By S. ARNOTT, of Carsethorne, near

  Vol. VI.--THE BOOK OF THE APPLE. By H. H. THOMAS, Assistant Editor
    of "The Garden," late of the Royal Gardens, Windsor. Together with
    chapters by the Editor on the History and Cooking of the Apple and
    the Preparation of Cider.


              NEW YORK: 67 FIFTH AVENUE.


The Chronicle of a Cornish Garden



_With Seven Illustrations of an Ideal Garden by_


Crown 8vo. Cloth. 5s. net

_The Outlook_--"A pleasant and instructive account of the manner in
which Mr Roberts transformed a Cornish Wilderness into a garden fair.
He is particular to give the exact names of the plants employed. This
will be found of great assistance to any one who undertakes a similarly
enchanting but difficult task.... Gossipy, instructive; prettily

_The Bookman_--"We have awakened to the charms of garden literature
during the last few years, and this volume, telling of the gradual
beautifying of a neglected, overgrown plot, deserves the attention of
our new enthusiasm. It is written with grace and knowledge, and will
please as well as teach."

_The Spectator_--"Mr Roberts' experiences will be found useful. Useful
or no, they are pleasantly told. A brief preface tells us where and how
he set to work, and then he takes us through the months from January,
and shows us each garlanded with her peculiar flower or flowers."

_The Gentlewoman_--"Dr Harry Roberts carries us to a particular corner
of the kingdom in 'The Chronicle of a Cornish Garden,' a book penned
with much charm by a genuine nature-lover."

_The Daily Mail_--"His book shows that he possesses not only extensive
garden lore, but also a rarer quality, considerable literary style, and
other books from his pen will be welcomed."

_The Manchester Guardian_--"Pleasantly written, and practical without
being tedious.... The illustrations by Mr Griggs of an ideal garden are
in good taste and suggest a quiet, old-world pleasance."

_The Scotsman_--"These papers are not only well founded in knowledge
and observation, but also well written, and such as gardeners will take
a pleasure in going over."

_The Pilot_--"Mr Roberts' knowledge of botany is another merit of his
work. The interest arising from learning the secrets of the plants adds
considerably to the pleasures of a garden. The book certainly should be
included in the excellent list of garden literature which Mr Roberts
gives at the end of his book."

              NEW YORK: 67 FIFTH AVENUE.


  Seven Gardens and a Palace. By "E. V. B.," Author of "Days and Hours
    in a Garden." Illustrated by F. L. B. GRIGGS and ARTHUR GORDON.
    Crown 8vo. Price 5s. net. _Third Edition._

  The Chronicle of a Cornish Garden. By HARRY ROBERTS. With Seven ideal
    Illustrations by F. L. B. GRIGGS. Crown 8vo. Price 5s. net.

  Of Gardens: An Essay. By FRANCIS BACON. With an Introduction by HELEN
    MILMAN and a Cover-design and Frontispiece by EDMUND H. NEW. Demy
    16mo. Price 2s. 6d net.

  A Garden in the Suburbs. By Mrs LESLIE WILLIAMS. With Eight
    Illustrations. Crown 8vo. Price 5s. net.

  Stray Leaves from a Border Garden. By Mrs MILNE-HOME. With Eight
    Illustrations by F. L. B. GRIGGS. Crown 8vo. Price 6s. net.

  My Vicarage Garden. By Canon ELLACOMBE, Author of "In a
    Gloucestershire Garden," &c. With Illustrations by F. L. B. GRIGGS.
    Crown 8vo. Price 5s. net. _In preparation._

              NEW YORK: 67 FIFTH AVENUE.


  In the Garden of Peace. By HELEN MILMAN (Mrs Caldwell Crofton). With
    24 Illustrations and Cover-design by EDMUND H. NEW. Crown 8vo.
    Price 5s. net. _Third Edition._

 "Sincerity is the note of the whole book." (_Globe._)

  Outside the Garden. By HELEN MILMAN (Mrs Caldwell Crofton). With 24
    Illustrations and Cover-design by EDMUND H. NEW. Crown 8vo. Price
    5s. net.

 "'Outside the Garden' fully maintains Mrs Crofton's reputation as one
 of Nature's keenest observers." (_Daily Chronicle._)

  My Roses and How I Grew Them. By HELEN MILMAN (Mrs Caldwell Crofton).
    With a Cover-design by EDMUND H. NEW. Crown 8vo. Price 1s. 6d. net.
    _Third Edition._

 "Pleasantly written.... The book is such that a novice might
 implicitly follow, while the more experienced may find useful hints."

  Flowers and Gardens. By FORBES WATSON. With Photogravure Portrait of
    the Author. Edited, with a Biographical Note by Canon ELLACOMBE.
    Crown 8vo. Price 5s. net. _New Edition._

  Garden-Craft Old and New. By JOHN D. SEDDING. With a Memorial Notice
    by the Rev. E. F. RUSSELL, and nine full-page Illustrations. Gilt
    top. Demy 8vo. Price 7s. 6d. net. _New Edition._

  The Birds of My Parish. By E. H. POLLARD. With Collotype
    Illustrations. Crown 8vo. Price 5s. net.

 "Evelyn Pollard has a very delightful style of writing, and the story
 of the Birds of her Parish is charming." (_Shooting Times._)



  The Natural History of Selborne. By GILBERT WHITE. Edited, with
    Introduction, by GRANT ALLEN. With upwards of 200 Illustrations by
    EDMUND H. NEW. Crown 8vo. Price 5s. net. _New Edition._

 "The attraction lies chiefly in finding the masterpiece so admirably
 illustrated by Mr Edmund H. New. In black and white line work of this
 class he has no equal." (_Country Life._)

 "Mr Edmund New's drawings are not merely artistic, but full of the
 poetry of association." (_Speaker._)

  The Compleat Angler. By IZAAK WALTON and CHARLES COTTON. Edited,
    with an Introduction, by RICHARD LE GALLIENNE. With Photogravure
    Portraits of Walton and Cotton, and over 250 Illustrations and
    Cover-design by EDMUND H. NEW. Fcap. 4to. Price 15s. net.

 "A delightful edition, charmingly illustrated." (_Punch._)

 "Of Mr Edmund H. New's illustrations we cannot speak too highly. We
 have never seen better." (_Spectator._)

 "One of the best editions; one, we cannot help thinking, that Walton
 himself would have preferred." (_Daily Chronicle._)

  All About Dogs. A Book for Doggy People. By CHARLES HENRY LANE. With
    85 Full-page Illustrations (including nearly 70 champions) by R. H.
    MOORE. Gilt top. Demy 8vo. Price 7s. 6d. net.

 "One of the most interesting contributions to the literature of the
 day." (_Daily Chronicle._)

 "Mr Lane's book is worthy of a place on the shelves of any sporting
 library." (_Outlook._)

 "A most interesting, indeed, an entirely fascinating book." (_St
 James's Gazette._)


Flowers of Parnassus

_A Series of Famous Poems Illustrated_

Under the General Editorship of


Demy 16mo (5¾ x 4½ inches). Gilt top

  Bound in Cloth            Price 1s. net
  Bound in Leather      Price 1s. 6d. net

    With Twelve Illustrations by J. T. FRIEDENSON.

    Illustrations by PHILIP CONNARD.

  Vol. III.--MARPESSA. By STEPHEN PHILLIPS. With Seven Illustrations by

    Illustrations by PERCY BULCOCK.

  Vol. V.--THE NUT-BROWN MAID. A New Version by F. B. MONEY-COUTTS.
    With Nine Illustrations by HERBERT COLE.

    Illustrations by PERCY BULCOCK.

    Illustrations by AMELIA BAUERLE.

    Illustrations by HERBERT COLE.

  Vol. IX.--RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYÁM. Rendered into English Verse by
    EDWARD FITZGERALD. With Nine Illustrations by HERBERT COLE.

    Illustrations by AUBREY BEARDSLEY.

    Nine Illustrations by HERBERT COLE.

    Illustrations by GERALDINE MORRIS.

_Other Volumes in Preparation_

              NEW YORK: 67 FIFTH AVENUE.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Spelling has been made consistent with regards to ligatures. Other
inconsistencies in spelling, hyphenation, spacing and capitalisation
have been retained.

Missing and misplaced punctuation in the advertisements at the end of
the text have been silently corrected.

Page 16, "euonynus" changed to "euonymus" (pines, euonymus, privet)

Page 25, closing quote added (fond of such?")

Page 36, "augustifulium" changed to "angustifolium" (Asplenium

Page 39, "The" changed to "the" (Flower, the Dark-blue)

Page 40, removed comma (_Milla uniflora_.)

Page 46, "tribola" changed to "triloba" (H. triloba)

Page 50, "altough" changed to "although" (Iris, although he had)

Page 58, "humble-bee" changed to "bumble-bee" (its bumble-bee

Page 59, "Oleverianum" changed to "Oliverianum" (E. Oliverianum)

Page 69, "coccineo" changed to "coccinea" (triphylla flore coccinea)

Page 95, "herbaceus" changed to "herbaceous" (hardy herbaceous plants)

Page 101, "develope" changed to "develop" (they develop to a)

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Book of Old-Fashioned Flowers - And Other Plants Which Thrive in the Open-Air of England" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.