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Full text of "Miniature and window gardening"

Qass^ 
Book. 






V 



Miniature 

AND 

Window Gardening 



Digitized by tine Internet Arcinive 
in 2010 with funding from 
Tine Library of Congress 



littp://www.arcliive.org/details/miniaturewindowgOOalle 



Miniature 



Window Gardening 

BY 

Phoebe Allen and Dr. Godfrey 




■> > ; 1 ' J 



NEW YORK 

JAMES POTT & COMPANY 

1902 






Press of J. J. Little & Co. 
Astor Place, New York 



CONTENTS 



CHAP. PAGE 

I. What to Grow ...... 9 

II. How TO Grow Perennials and Annuals 17 

III. On the Sowing and General Arrange- 

ment OF Borders 22 

IV. Bulbs . 28 

V. Rockeries, Arches, Screens, etc. . . 36 

VI. Roses, Creepers, etc 45 

VII. Hedges, Paths, Grassplots . . .51 

VIII. Window Gardening 59 

IX. Window Boxes 6g 

X. On Cuttings, etc 80 

XI. A Few General Hints . . .88 

XII. Of Gardeners' Friends, Foes, etc., and 

OF Tools 95 



INTRODUCTION 

*' Gardens were before gardeners, and but Intro- 
some hours after the earth," says the quaint duction 
old author of " Medico Religio," and in- 
deed, from all time, love of gardening, in 
some form or another, has prevailed amongst 
men. 

** The suburban gardener is a latter-day- 
creation," declares a writer of to-day; we 
would like to remind him of many and sun- 
dry Londoners of two centuries ago, who 
were enthusiastic horticulturists in their 
** close-by-town " residences. But whether 
of ancient or modern creation, there is no 
class of flower-growers with whom we feel 
a greater sympathy than with those dwellers 
in cities and suburbs, to whom a ** plant of 
my own growing," a ** shrub of my own 
rearing," mean a whole world of pride and 
enjoyment. 

5 



Intro- > " Sow labor and patience upon stones and 
duction roses will spring forth," runs the Eastern 
proverb, and without undertaking to rival 
this performance quite literally, we do main- 
tain that with industry and perseverance, 
not merely roses, but all manner of " faire 
flowres" may be produced. 

And this, we hold, is possible, even in a 
miniature garden, where every inch of the 
soil, every brick of the walls, and every 
available window of the house must be 
pressed into the service of horticulture. 

The suburban gardener's greatest external 
foes are, no doubt, the fogs of winter, the 
dust and glare of summer, and destructive 
winds pretty nearly all the year round. As 
to his minor trials, in the shape of invading 
dogs and cats, possibly even fowls, all these, 
and many more, are probably so present to 
our reader's mind, that we forbear to dwell 
further upon them. 

But what may be called the ** foes of his 
own household," are generally the miniature 
gardener's want of space, coupled frequently 
with want of knowledge. There is so much 
he would like to plant and sow, and so little 
6 



room to do it in, and he is so painfully aware Intro- 
of his ignorance as to how to make the most duction 
of that little, that it is with a view to help- 
ing this heavily-handicapped horticulturist, 
that we have attempted to compile this little 
book. 

7 



Miniature Gardening 



CHAPTER I 



WHAT TO GROW 



" I HAVE a tiny slip of ground — a neighbor "Toy 
unfeelingly describes it as a * toy garden * — garden" 
with a small patch of grass and three very 
narrow borders. With this amount of 'pleas- 
ure ground ' at my disposal, I am told that 
I could, with proper treatment, secure a 
good display of flowers. But I'm so igno- 
rant, I don't know the very A B C of gar- 
dening, and so ashamed of my ignorance 
that I don't want to expose it by asking any 
foolish questions. Pity such a distressed 
ignoramus.'* 

The above confession reached us not so 
long ago, and (lamentable as such a plight 

9 



Over- may seem to those who have always enjoyed 

crowding the luxury of a garden as a matter of course) 

it is by no means such a very uncommon 

one amongst dwellers in cities and city 

borders. 

And so it is with the needs of the " dis- 
tressed ignoramus" very present to our 
minds that we begin this chapter. 

In every undertaking, it is well to know 
clearly what object we wish to attain, and 
then set about discovering the best means 
of attaining that object. 

Now the great ambition of the miniature 
^ gardener is, we take it, to make the utmost 
of the limited space at his command. 

It is always a great temptation to the 
amateur to overcrowd his borders, for where 
room is so precious and so scarce, it seems 
a sin to allow space for even a caterpillar to 
walk between the plants. 

But overcrowding is a grievous mistake. 

Plants require light, air, and elbow-room 
as much as we do. 

Another pitfall, into which the unlearned 
often stumbles, is in the selection of his 
plants. He generally soars too high. 

lO 



Now the list of both perennials and an- Annuals, 
nuals include so many lovely and fragrant biennials, 
blossoms, that to produce an abundance of and per- 
gay flowers, there is no need to aspire to ennials 
those plants which cannot be sown in the 
open ground, and which may require more 
than quite ordinary care and soil. 

There are several ways of making a gar- 
den pretty. Besides the cultivation of bulbs 
— we shall speak of them later — there are 
what are termed ** bedding-out plants.'* 
These are Geraniums, Verbenas, Fuchsias, 
etc., but these are (comparatively speaking) 
expensive, and though we do not go so far 
as to place them altogether beyond the reach 
of our readers, we strongly advise them — at 
starting, at any rate — to give the preference 
to perennials, biennials, and annuals. 

** But what do you mean by perennials 
and annuals?" we hear our "distressed 
ignoramus " ask. 

By annuals, we mean those plants that 
last for one year only. They blossom, seed, 
and then die down. 

Biennials are plants that last for two years, 
making leaves the first year, and flowers and 

II 



Hardy seed the second. Sweet Williams and Holly- 

and half hocks are biennials. 

hardy Perennials last for many years in succes- 

sion, but, like the biennials, do not flower 
the same year in which they are sown. 

Again, there are hardy annuals and half- 
hardy annuals, hardy perennials and half- 
hardy perennials. 

In garden seed lists, you see the letters 
h.a. and h.h.a., placed against the two 
former, and h.p. and h.h.p. against the lat- 
ter. And these indications are very valu- 
able to the unlearned, because the seeds of 
hardy and half-hardy plants require, of 
course, different treatment. Now hardy an- 
nuals, such as Mignonette, Larkspur, Pop- 
pies, and Lupins, Marygolds, Cornflowers, 
Nasturtiums, and many others — to be men- 
tioned later — may be sown fearlessly in the 
open ground in April and May. 

(Some hardy annuals, indeed, as we shall 
show later, may be sown ** overnight for the 
summer," as a quaint old gardener used to 
say, by which he meant might be put in the 
ground in the late autumn for early spring 
blooming.) 

12 



To the half-hardy annuals belong Asters, Sowing 
Stocks, Balsams, Lobelias, Phlox, Linum — 
that pretty scarlet-flowered Flax — and many 
others. 

The seeds of these, being only half hardy, 
must never be sown out of doors until the 
beginning of June, or at any rate, till all 
fear of frost is over. 

Folks who are the lucky possessors of a 
tiny hot-bed may sow half-hardy annuals in 
pots and boxes as early as March, so as to 
have stout young seedlings for planting out 
in June. 

Hardy perennials, such as Pansies, Cow- 
slips, Double Daisies, Pinks, Polyanthus, 
Lavender, and others, may be sown in the 
ground any time from March to September, ' 
whilst the same rules for sowing the seeds 
of half-hardy annuals apply to those of half- 
hardy perennials. 

Heliotropes, Petunias, Salvias, Verbenas, 
Begonias, are some of the latter. 

Now there is no doubt that hardy peren- 
nials are by far the most satisfactory plants 
for little gardens. 

In the first place — and this is an important 

13 



Grouping consideration with most miniature gardeners 
— the expense incurred in growing perennials 
is very small. When the seeds have once 
been bought (they can mostly be obtained 
for ten cents a packet), all expense attach- 
ing to their cultivation is hardly worth the 
mention. 

Secondly, they are permanent. 

Thirdly, owing to the natural grace of 
their growth, no class of plant lends itself 
so well to grouping, and there is scope for 
grouping even in the smallest slip of ground. 

Fourthly, perennials are better than any 
other plants for supplying flowers for cutting. 

It has been aptly said that ** Hardy per- 
ennial gardening is equally open to the mil- 
lion and the millionaire." 

Still, we would by no means exclude an- 
nuals. If ** variety is the spice of life," it 
certainly is needed to make the charm of 
even little gardens complete. Therefore, 
where most of the ground is devoted to per- 
manent plants, a sprinkling of bright an- 
nuals, here and there, is a very welcome 
form of variety. 

Where should we be without our gorgeous 

14 



Poppies, our flame-colored Nasturtiums, our Variety 
dainty Sweet Peas, our fragrant Mignonette, 
and a dozen other favorites ? 

Only let these "annual fireworks '* be used 
in a much smaller proportion to the peren- 
nials. And in laying out our little borders, 
it will be well to regard them in the light 
of those guests that tarry but a season, and 
to devote our best attention to the peren- 
nial residents. 

Now here are the names of some peren- 
nials that are specially suitable for a town 
garden border. 

Pansies, Double Daisies, Carnations, Poly- 
anthus, Stocks, Phlox Drummondi, Asters, 
Canterbury Bells, Lily of the Valley, Japa- 
nese Anemones, Iris Germanica, Paeonies, 
Sweet William, Verbenas, Wallflowers, Snap- 
dragon, Chrysanthemums. 

As an actual border flower for a town gar- 
den, none is better than the old-fashioned 
Pink ; whilst the Double Daisy, either red or 
white, beloved of cottagers, makes a charm- 
ing edging to a border, and being perennial, 
when Daisies have once taken root, they are 
permanent. 

15 



Border The Thrift too, with its pretty heads of 

plants pink blossoms, makes a capital border plant 

for a town garden. 

In almost every town garden the following 
annuals will do well and give little trouble: 
Sunflowers, Nasturtiums, both tall and 
dwarf; Cornflowers, Marygolds, Sweet Peas 
— if the border be sunny enough — Mignon- 
ette, Lupins, Nemophilas, etc., etc. 
i6 



CHAPTER II 

HOW TO GROW PERENNIALS AND ANNUALS 

With a view of ensuring a bright spring gar- Prepar- 
den, it is well to sow, either in September ing the 
or early in October, those seeds which are border 
sufficiently hardy to stand wintering in the 
open ground. 

Before putting in your seeds, however, 
you must prepare your border. Set to work 
to dig it over rather deeply, breaking up all 
the clods. Pick up every stone and pull up 
every weed and burn it. Don't follow some 
folks' advice and dig the pulled-up weed into 
the soil. If you do, they will most surely pay 
you out by reappearing to blemish your 
flowers. Fork in a dressing of manure, either 
hot-bed manure or decayed leaf-mould, or, if 
you can get them, road sweepings. These 
latter are especially good for your purpose, 
as they contain sand and grit. Beware, how- 

2 17 



Over- ever, of overdoing the manure. In many 

manuring cases plants do better in poor rather than rich 
soil, and the result of over-manuring is seen 
in too profuse foliage and scanty blossoms. 

In sowing your seeds dont bury them. 

The largest seed should never be put in at 
a greater depth than one inch, whilst some 
of the smaller seeds should be merely dusted 
over. An excellent plan is to have a little 
soil previously prepared, and, after scatter- 
ing your seeds on the surface of your border, 
to sift this soil over them. 

For autumn sowing, here is a list of the 
seeds we should specially recommend for a 
town garden : 

Mignonette, Larkspur, Nemophila, Venus* 
Looking-Glass, Cornflower, Esscholtzia, 
Candytuft, Erysinium — the well-known 
orange variety of Candytuft — Sweet Wil- 
liam, and Virginia Stock. 

This latter is especially valuable for town 
gardens, as no amount of smoke seems to 
affect its growth. Moreover, it can be sown 
at any time in the year, so as to ensure a 
succession of bloom, and its red-rose or 
white flowers are very effective. 

i8 



All these plants must be so familiar, even Autumn 
to the ** distressed ignoramus," that it is sowing 
needless to attempt any description of them. 

(The seeds of all can be obtained at any 
seedsman's at the rate of ten cents a packet.) 

In addition to the above-mentioned flowers, 
we recommend the following for autumn 
sowing, and these having less well-known 
names, we will give a few particulars with 
each, so that when sowing their seeds our 
readers may know what they may expect to 
be the result in each case : 

Alyssum Compactum — height, 9 inches; 
flower, bright yellow. 

Godetia — i foot, white or crimson. 

Collinsia Bicolor — i foot, purple and white. 

Viscaria — kind of Corncockle — 9 inches, 
bright rose. 

Whitlavia Grandiflora — i foot, dark pur- 
ple. 

Xeranthemum — 2 feet, hardy everlasting, 
purple and white. 

Ditto — crimson cerise variety, very beau- 
tiful. 

Scabious — 18 inches, purple, scarlet, or 
white. 

19 



Aspect Calliopsis — 2 feet, yellow, maroon, crim- 

of your son. 

borders Leptosiphon Densiflorous — i foot, rosy 

purple. 

L. Albus — pure white, the most profusely 
blooming annual. 

Calendula Marigold — i foot, yellow and 
orange, and pure white. 

Clarkias — i foot, white, rose, red. 

Clarkias are specially suited for autumn 
sowing. If the seed is put in in September, 
it flowers quite early in May, and is one of 
those early growers which never fail to bloom 
freely. Make the second sowing for succes- 
sion in April. 

All the other hardy annuals and perennials 
may be sown, as we have said before, in the 
open ground, in April and May ; the hardy 
perennials from March to September; the 
half-hardy annuals and perennials not till 
the end of May. 

In sowing your seeds consider tJie aspect 
of your borders. For, whereas for some 
flowers a sunny position is almost a neces- 
sity, others will really only do well in a com- 
paratively shady one. 
20 



For instance, Sweet Peas love the sun, so Sun and 
do Cornflowers, Annual Chrysanthemums, shade 
Scarlet Flax, Sweet Alyssum, Mignonette, 
and many others. 

On the other hand. Foxgloves, Prince's 
Feather, Solomon's Seal, Oriental Poppies, 
Godelias, Marigolds, Love-lies-bleeding, 
Nasturtiums, and others, do far better if 
sown in the shadier part of a border. 

We once saw a shady border with a north 
aspect very successfully treated. No con- 
dition could be much more unfavorable to 
flowers, so the owner of that unpromising 
border was justly proud of his achievements. 

He started by planting ferns, just the 
hardiest sort, taken from a country hedge, 
together with the common blue Periwinkle 
and some Foxgloves, both of these wild re- 
cruits also from a shady wood. As these did 
well, he became bolder, and added London 
Pride, Solomon's Seal, Creeping Jenny, and 
Musk, until this border, which his friends 
had assured him was practically useless to 
cultivate, became quite one of the prettiest 
little strips in his very tiny garden. 

21 



CHAPTER III 

ON THE SOWING AND GENERAL ARRANGEMENT 
OF BORDERS 

Lines or Now there are two ways generally in use of 

masses sowing a border. 

Seeds are either sown in lines or in masses. 
Where space is sufficiently abundant to 
make the possible failure of one border of 
little account, the sowing of different colored 
flowers in rows, so as to produce a ribbon 
border, is a very pretty experiment, and 
may result in a very good effect. But we 
would never counsel the owner of tiny gar- 
dens to attempt it. The lines are so apt to 
be broken, owing to the failure of some par- 
ticular seed, or to the ravages of slugs or 
other garden pests, that the risk of having 
a spoiled border for a whole season is too 
great in their case. 

22 



A single row of, say, Double Daisies, or Color 
Clove Pinks, or Thrift, at the edge of a bor- effects 
der is well enough, and gives a character to 
the rest of the border, but let the remainder 
of the seed-sowing be done in masses. 

Dont sow in little dabs. However narrow 
your border may be, don't let any plot meas- 
ure less than six inches in diameter (where 
you can manage it, one foot is the best); 
and don't repeat the same plant at intervals 
along your border. If you do, you will 
probably destroy what is of great importance 
in grouping flowers, namely, color effect. 
Even in a miniature garden, good effects, as 
well as harmony in color, should be aimed 
at. 

For, just as a room, no matter what its 
size, may be pretty, or the reverse, by the 
choice and disposal of its furniture, so the 
whole beauty of a border may be made or 
marred by the arrangement of its flowers. 
Given two people with the same seeds and 
the same ground at their disposal, one may 
sow the border so as to make it a perfect 
little picture, whilst the other may compass 
such violent contrasts in color that the 

23 



Harmony result is either absolutely vulgar or gratingly 

rather hard. 

than con- Again, others, with the object of avoiding 

trasts formality, will sow the seeds more or less at 

haphazard, with the natural result that the 
border looks, at best, a meaningless jumble. 
" Monster effects in grouping," and 
** splendid harmonies in color," as the land- 
scape gardeners have it, are, of course, quite 
out of the question for any ordinary small 
garden; still, there are certain elementary 
rules in this direction to which even a " dis- 
tressed ignoramus " would do well to adhere 
at starting. 

(Very soon, we feel sure, the knowledge 
gained by his own experience would be 
enough to guide him on that point.) 

First of all — though tastes may differ on 
this point — we would advise our readers to 
aim at securing harmony in their color ar- 
rangements rather than contrasts. 

All warm colors, such as the different 
shades of red, crimson, scarlet, rose, pink, 
etc., are easy to deal with, such as we find 
in the Phloxes, which include scarlet, crim- 
son, rose, and salmon tints; and Sweet Wil- 
24 



liams, Balsams, Poppies, Carnations, Pens- Blending 
teums, and many others. These all har- colors 
monize. So are the varying hues of yellow, 
primrose, sulphur, orange, and creamy- 
whites. The yellow and orange Daylily; 
the sulphur and golden Violas ; the orange * 
and yellow Nasturtiums, Marigolds (both the 
lemon-colored and the red-gold), the deep 
yellow and lemon-colored Polyanthus and 
Auriculas will all group well together. 

All these will blend and mix well. But 
blue, purple, or lilac tints are best grouped 
together, or if brought into the neighbor- 
hood of scarlets or pinks, it is well to inter- 
pose patches of sulphur or silvery white — 
the Achillea is excellent for this purpose ; so 
is the Dwarf Double Bronze Wallflower, or 
the old-fashioned cream-colored Stock — or 
a rich bronze between them and the warmer 
coloring. 

As regards the treatment of blue flowers, 
the greatest care is needed. The soft azure 
tint of the Nemophila, and some of the vari- 
eties of the Forget-me-not, as well as the 
rich purple blue of the Salvia, may be more 
fearlessly dealt with ; but it is extraordinary 

25 



Whites in what absolutely hideous effects may be pro- 
the border duced by the use, for instance, of the full 
blue of the Lobelia. 

Who cannot recall to his mind's eye some 
border where a mass of glaring scarlet Gera- 
nium, edged with full blue Lobelia, has made 
our eyes positively ache with its crude hard- 
ness ? 

The combination of violet tints with blue, 
however beautiful the flowers may be in 
themselves and by themselves, may thus pro- 
duce quite distressing effects. 

Whereas, mix blue, sky blue, turquoise, 
full blue, hyacinth blue, with pale yellows, 
rosy whites, and even faintest pinks, and 
the result is lovely. To give blue, as artists 
say, its full value, let it stand by itself with 
only a setting of rich foliage. 

Dead whites, too, such as the Candytuft 
and Stocks, require management. One or 
two, at the most, patches of white are quite 
enough for a small border. 

We would advise a beginner to settle in 

his own mind exactly what perennials he 

means to have in each border, and having 

made his choice with due regard to the re- 

26 



spective seasons for flowering, to proceed Permanent 
next to the consideration of his annuals that residents 
he means to intersperse amongst them. Let 
him regard the perennials as his permanent 
residents, and group the annuals around and 
about them. 

27 



CHAPTER IV 



BULBS 



Soil It has been truly said that bulbs are the 

citizens' friends. 

They will do equally well in the smokiest 
town garden as in any country one, and 
almost any soil will suit them. 

Winter Aconites, Crocuses, Snowdrops, 
Hyacinths, Daffodils, Anemones, Ranuncu- 
lus, Narcissus, Tulips, and Scillas will all 
flourish, provided they be properly planted, 
and at the right time. 

October and November are on the whole 
the best months for putting bulbs in the 
ground. 

(Daffodils may be put in in September.) 

Prepare your border as advised in Chapter 
II., but in digging in the manure be careful 
not to allow any particle of it to come 
actually in contact with the bulbs. 

28 



As regards the planting of the bulbs, we Planting 
reverse the advice that we gave concerning bulbs 
perennials, for we recommend planting them 
in rows. In fair-sized beds and wide bor- 
ders, beautiful color effects can be obtained 
by forming masses of Crocuses, purple, white, 
and golden, or by grouping other bulbs to- 
gether in handsome plots; but the owners 
of narrow borders do better, in our opinion, 
to content themselves with the row system. 
For tiny beds, also, a better display can be 
made by planting the bulbs in rings or geo- 
metrical patterns than by clumping them. 

Three great essentials to their future suc- 
cess must be kept in mind when bulbs are 
to be planted. 

First, put them in the ground early. Bulbs 
planted too late in the season are very liable 
to rot in the ground. 

Secondly, they must be planted closely 
together. 

Thirdly, the soil below them should be as 
light as that above them. 

Bulbs placed on too firm a basis will fre- 
quently fail to strike root. Each one will 
like to arrange his bulbs to his own taste, so 

29 



Protection we will only give a few directions as to the 
from frost actual planting of the different kinds. 

Hyacinths and Tulips should be planted 
from four to six inches apart, according to 
size of bulb, and the crown should be put in 
the soil from two to four inches below the 
surface. 

Daffodils, Narcissus, and Jonquils should 
be planted four inches deep, and the same 
distance apart. 

Crocus, Scillas, and Snowdrops should be 
put in two inches deep, and Winter Aconites 
should be planted one inch deep and one- 
and-a-half apart. 

Plant Anemones and Ranunculuses two 
inches deep and three inches apart. 

Litter to the depth of two or three inches 
should be strewn over the surface of the bor- 
der, after the bulbs have been put in, to 
serve as a protection from the frost, but 
should be removed in spring, as soon as the 
first leaves have pushed their way through 
the soil. It must be replaced again at night 
during frosty weather. 

As regards aspect, it must be borne in 
mind that whilst Snowdrops, Hyacinths, 

30 



and Aconites do equally well in sun or shade, Summer 
Crocus and Tulips must have plenty of sun, display 
and Daffodils and Narcissus do better on the 
whole in the shade. 

Besides these bulbs, which are so indis- 
pensable for spring flowering, there are 
others, which, when space will allow, may 
be grown for summer display. 

There are very few town gardens where 
Lilies will not grow, while the lovely purple 
German Iris — though, strictly speaking, this 
is not a bulb — seems positively to thrive and 
flourish in the smokiest parts of smoky cities. 
Nor does even a miniature garden seem quite 
complete without at least one clump of 
Dahlias. 

As, however, Dahlias raised from seed 
require to be sown in a hotbed, our readers 
will have to beg or buy their plants. A 
great variety of these may be had at fairly 
moderate prices — fifteen cents a bulb or 
$1.50 a dozen is, perhaps, the lowest sum. 

Any garden soil will suit Dahlias, but in 
buying them for spring planting out of doors, 
be sure to ask for "green plants." What 
are known in the Dahlia trade as " dry 

31 



Lilies roots " are those which must be grown on 

heat. May and June are good times for 
putting in Dahlias to ensure autumn flower- 
ing. Place them from three to five feet 
apart, and, if possible, put a spadeful of 
manure under each bulb, remembering, how- 
ever, our caution not to allow it to come in 
direct contact with the bulb. Water them 
"well, and as soon as each plant puts out its 
leading green shoot, tie it to a stake. In 
November, lift the bulbs out of the soil, cut 
off all the shoots, and store out of reach of 
the frost. Don't choose either too damp or 
too dry a place for storing, as the bulbs must 
neither be allowed to shrivel or grow mouldy. 

The German Iris is so easy of culture and 
must be so familiar to every town dweller, 
that beyond advising our readers to plant 
the bulbs in November, and to remember 
that Irises do best in sunny spots, it is need- 
less to say more. 

We now come to speak of Lilies. 

For stateliness of habit, beauty of form, 
and variety of coloring, they are without 
rival among bulbous plants. Many of the 
species are delightfully fragrant. 

32 



Considering to what perfection the hardier Culture 
kind of Lilies may be brought, even in a 
tiny back city garden, how, with common 
care, they will grow and flourish in ordinary 
soil, and considering, too, what a variety 
may be found nowadays amongst the ro- 
buster kind of Lilies, it is really marvellous 
that their culture is, comparatively speak- 
ing, so neglected. 

Prepare the soil as already advised for the 
bulbs, and put them in the ground in the 
autumn, from September to November is 
the best time. Be careful to choose dry 
weather, both for preparing the soil and for 
planting the Lilies. If possible avoid giving 
Lilies a full southern aspect, as they do bet- 
ter if protected from the full mid-day sun. 
Though they may really be called hardy, it 
is well to protect them against frost in win- 
ter by a covering of ashes or litter. They 
all prefer a partial shade, and the taller 
sorts must have protection from high 
winds. 

Put the large bulbs in at a depth of six to 
eight inches, the smaller ones from four to 
two, according to size. The distance to be 
3 33 



Slugs and left between the bulbs would also vary from 
other pests six to twelve inches. 

As a rule medium-sized bulbs, neither too 
large nor too small, are best for plariting. 

Slugs are mortal enemies to the young 
green shoots, and will devour them merci- 
lessly as soon as they appear above ground. 
At the first sign of these marauders, dust 
the soil with soot, or put a ring of unslaked 
lime round the bulbs. It is also wise to stir, 
not dig, the ground between the bulbs con- 
tinually, in order to disturb the haunts of 
these garden pests. 

Here are the names of some Lilies, which 
we consider the best for town gardens, and 
which are most likely to prove successful 
in the hands of a beginner in town or 
country: 

The Scarlet Martagon Lily. 

The Davuricum — purple, orange, or crim- 
son. 

The Auratum — white, spotted with ma- 
roon; fragrant. 

The Panther Lily — scarlet and rich yel- 
low, spotted with brown and purple. 

Canadense — bright yellow, spotted red. 

34 



Longiflorum — large, pure white, trumpet- What to 
shaped flowers. choose 

Trigrinum Splendens — scarlet, with black 
spots. 

Harrisii (Bermuda Easter Lily). 

The Candidum — the tall white Lily. 

One last hint to the unlearned in the mat- 
ter of choosing bulbs. 

Never take dried-up, shriveled, crinkled- 
looking bulbs; choose only those that are ^ 
quite firm and plump to the touch. 

35 



CHAPTER V 

ROCKERIES, ARCHES, SCREENS, ETC. 

The Even in a miniature garden there is some- 

shaded times a spare spot for a little rockery. It 
corner may be only an ugly shaded corner in a back 
yard, or there may be an odd angle in some 
sunny border, where with a little manage- 
ment a small colony of rock -loving plants 
may be established. 

We are, of course, aware that often in the 
hands of the unlearned, attempts at rockeries 
prove dismal failures. This is probably be- 
cause they have not set about making them 
properly. Some people fancy that to estab- 
lish a rockery all that is needed is to collect 
together a confused heap of rubbish, broken 
pots and pans, smashed crockery — the more 
disorderly the debris the better — and then 
sprinkle this unsightly jumble with a little 
soil. 

36 



But here the old, commonplace axiom Ferns 
that there's a right way and a wrong one for 
doing everything, holds good. The above 
method is certainly the wrong one. 

The following plan is what we should ven- 
ture to advise as being the right one, or at 
any rate the one that, so far as our experi- 
ence goes, may lay claim to giving satisfac- 
tory results : 

If you have only a shady corner at your 
command, make up your minds to grow only 
ferns. These will repay you best, not only 
by always looking green, but they also make 
a very pretty finish to cut flowers, and thus 
supply a constant want in a small garden, 
where suitable foliage for nosegays is gener- 
ally scarce. (Stonecrop, Primroses, Snow- 
in-Summer may sometimes succeed tender 
ferns.) 

However damp and dark a back yard may 
be, ferns will flourish, but they will also 
thrive well in the driest and lightest situa- 
tion. 

To make a rockery, start by forming a 
mound of soil, the size that your space may 
allow. Bank the earth up well together, so 



How to as to make it as firm as possible. Then, 
make the and not before, put in your rockery work, 
rockery As a rule avoid using any burrs, clinkers, 
fragments of old crockery, or vitrified mate- 
rials of any sort. Use just a few broken 
stones, and be careful in arranging those that 
are to appear on the surface, not to allow 
any vacuum to exist between the soil and 
the stones. Let them be firmly fixed in the 
soil. Also beware of allowing any cracks in 
your surface. Fill these in with earth as 
soon as you observe them. When you have 
embedded all your stones, cover them lightly 
with a little soil. Then set about putting in 
your ferns. March is a good time for plant- 
ing hardy ferns, and we strongly advise our 
readers to content themselves with the com- 
mon but very pretty wild sorts, which are 
easily obtainable. If you have country 
friends, ask them to send you plants of 
Hart's Tongue, Lady Fern, Male Fern, 
Shield Fern, and Buckler Fern. 

You should also have a Boston Fern, one 
of the most useful and ornamental of the 
** Sword Ferns." It is excellent for plant- 
ing in shady borders, and is also a fine plant 

38 



for hanging pots or baskets on the piazza in Flowers 
summer and window in winter. specially 

To make a fern rockery in a sunny spot, suitable 
after constructing it on the plan already sug- for rock- 
gested, sow Rock-roses, Rock-cress, Stone- work 
crop. The Yellow Stonecrop is a hardy 
perennial defying all city smoke and dust, 
the Sedum Fabaria, bearing its blossoms in 
rose-colored heads, the old-fashioned House- 
leek, the Wallflower — the yellow and blood- 
colored make a pretty contrast — the Cowslip, 
Sweet Alyssum, and the Alyssum Compac- 
tum, Golddust, beautiful yellow, the Au- 
bretia, blue rosy lilac and deep purple, are 
all specially suitable for rockwork. All the 
Candytufts, crimson, scarlet, and orange, 
are suitable, besides Hepaticas, and the dear 
old-fashioned trailing Periwinkle, blue and 
white, Creeping Jenny, etc. Nor should the 
London Pride be forgotten; its feathery 
plume of blossom will thrive everywhere, 
and is always pretty to see. 

Always be careful in watering rockeries to 
do so gently ; otherwise, the soil gets washed 
off the upper stones. 

Another form of garden ornament which 

39 



Use of may beautify an ugly little spot is the trunk 

the wire of an old tree, sunk in the ground, and filled 

arch in with soil. A few hardy geraniums planted 

in this look very effective, while Sweet Peas, 

Convolvulus, and Nasturtiums will climb 

and creep over it grandly. 

Another pretty feature maybe introduced 
into the most limited space, and that is a 
wire arch. In using galvanized wire it is 
better to give it a coating of paint, for it is 
injurious for the young shoots of creepers 
to come in contact with the galvanized wire 
unless painted. 

It is wonderful how really beautiful these 
arches may be made, by sowing a mere hand- 
ful of seeds of some hardy creeper on each 
side of it. On the principle of having two 
strings to one's bow, it is always better to 
put in at the least two different creepers, on 
each side of the arch, so that if one fails to 
grow satisfactorily, the other may be liter- 
ally ** on the spot " to hide the deficiencies. 
The common Hop takes very kindly to 
wire ; so do the Canary creeper, Nasturtium, 
Convolvulus, and some of the hardier Cle- 
matis. The Jackmani, with its graceful foli- 
40 



age and rich purple blossoms, makes a very Privacy 
lovely drapery for arch or arbor. Planted in the 
at one end of an arch, with a Madame Ber- garden 
ard rose planted at the other, the Jackmani 
is very effective. 

If the arch is to be an evergreen one, noth- 
ing is really prettier or more likely to prove 
a success in the long run than Ivy or Euony- 
mus. 

Next to securing a good display of flowers 
comes the wish to secure as much privacy 
in our gardens as possible. To enjoy the 
feeling that we cannot be overlooked each 
time we step out into our little pleasure 
ground is a great desideratum. 

As a rule the judicious use of wire netting 
covered with hardy creepers will achieve this. 

Here, again, if an evergreen screen is de- 
sired, nothing beats ivy. It will grow in 
any soil and adapt itself equally well to a 
damp or dry situation. The best adapted 
for screen purposes is the Irish Ivy. It is 
a self-climber and requires very little atten- 
tion. 

The Giant Ivy is also good. 

The propagation of common Ivy is a sim- 

41 



Ivy pie process, and for those wishing to practise 

it we give a few plain directions elsewhere. 
But if the screen to be covered is a fairly- 
large one, the most satisfactory way, cer- 
tainly the quickest, of starting it, is to buy 
a stout young plant and set it in the ground 
at the foot of the screen. 

Provided the weather be fairly favorable, 
any time in the early spring will do for plant- 
ing ivy. It pays well for manure, and if 
watered plentifully in dry weather will make 
prodigious growth. 

In trimming ivy, April is the best time ; 
cut the straggling shoots off close to the 
main stem, where it is attached to the wall, 
or screen. For the making of merely sum- 
mer screens the same creepers that we ad- 
vised for arches are suitable. Sweet Peas, 
if the situation be sunny, may be reckoned 
on for producing a lovely effect ; the Com- 
mon Clematis — "Old Man's Beard" — also 
answers splendidly. You may purchase 
strong plants of this at any nursery for 25 
cents a piece, but if you have a country 
friend who will send you some good rooted 
plants from a hedge, so much the better. 

42 



The Canary creeper makes an excellent Creepers 
screen plant. Though it does prefer the for screen 
sun, it will also thrive in the shade. April 
is a good time for sowing the seed. Any 
ordinary soil will suit it, and you may always 
depend upon it for being a very rapid grower. 
In good soil it will sometimes reach a height 
of fifteen feet. In its earliest stages of 
growth it requires a little care in the way of 
tying and training the young shoots. If 
these are neglected, their very luxuriance 
will stifle their development, for they will 
run into tangled masses, with the result that 
you will see bunches of foliage in some 
places and a length of bare stems in others. 

If you have to suit a north aspect, sow 
the Tropoelum Speciosum, the fire-colored 
variety of the Canariensis — this does ad- 
mirably if given plenty of water. 

The Convolvulus Major is also good as a 
screen plant, and often grows ten or twelve 
feet high. 

Our concluding suggestion for a good 
screen creeper for a town garden will sound, 
no doubt, very homely ; namely, the common 
Scarlet Runner bean. And yet there is 

43 



Small cost nothing, perhaps, which is grown so exten- 
of seeds sively, because so successfully. 

And no wonder ! 

For not only does its fresh green foliage, 
its brilliant blossoms, and its peculiarly effec- 
tive habit of growth make the Scarlet Run- 
ner most ornamental, but it can also be made 
very useful. 

Give the Scarlet Runner only a little good 
soil and a position where it can enjoy a little 
sunshine during some part of the day, and 
it will yield a plentiful supply of beans as 
well as blossoms in the most unfavorable 
surroundings. 

Note. — The seeds of all the creepers we 
have mentioned in this chapter are very 
cheap. Most of them can be bought for 
five cents a packet, and a packet is an ample 
allowance for one season's sowing. 

44 



CHAPTER VI 

ROSES, CREEPERS, ETC. 

No one would consider even a ** toy-gar- What sort 
den * ' worthy of its name if it did not hold to select 
at least some roses. 

Roses, of one kind or another, if rightly 
selected, will lend themselves to most situ- 
ations and treatment. The great point is 
to know what sort to select, especially for 
a town garden and a beginner's cultivation. 

For though there are many beautiful vari- 
eties that will do well in or near a town, 
there are also many that will not. 

Here are the names of some that are 
known to thrive in town gardens. They 
are all hybrid perpetuals, which do well 
planted in the open ground, and need no 
protection in the winter. They also possess 
the great advantage of blooming freely from 
June to November: 

45 



When and Jules Margolin, a bright cherry red ; Marie 
how to Baumann, a h'ght crimson ; Prince Camille 
plant de Rohan, a deep crimson ; Magna Charta, 

a bright pink; Madame Lang, pure white; 
Marquis de Castellani, an exquisite rose, 
pure pink, very large ; Mdlle. Vercier, a car- 
mine; General Jacqueminot, a rich crimson, 
of fine shape and exquisite fragrance ; Mad- 
ame Plantier, a pure white ; Augustine Gui- 
noisseau, a unique shade of flesh white; 
John Hopper, a bright rose with carmine 
centre. 

Any of these may be had for about fifteen 
cents apiece as dwarf standards, which we 
should advise for growing in a little garden. 

Standards and half standards are more 
expensive. 

Roses should be put in the ground from 
\ October to March, the earlier in the autumn 
the better. 

Dig the ground to the depth of eighteen 
inches, and fork in manure with the same 
precautions as already advised with respect 
to bulbs. 

Moss Roses generally do well in town gar- 
dens. Three lovely varieties are Blanche 

46 



Moreau, a pure white ; Marie de Blois, bright Climbing 
rose; and Luxembourg, a dark crimson, roses 
They flower during May, June, and July, 
and are very fragrant. They like close prun- 
ing and are the better for plenty of manure. 
They cost about 15 cents each. 

For climbing roses to cover walls, the vari- 
ous Tea Roses are undoubtedly the best. 
They require no protection during the win- 
ter, and are really the true perpetuals 
amongst roses. 

Here are some of those we recommend 
for a town or suburban garden : 

Gloire de Dijon, too well known to need 
description; Madame Berard, clear pink; 
Belle Lyonnaise, lemon; Cheshunt, cherry, 
carmine, a grand autumn climber. 

To cover an east porch or wall, Madame 
Berard is excellent. The Gloire de Dijon 
does well on a north wall. 

Amongst other climbing roses, not Tea 
Roses, we should recommend Lord Pen- 
zance's Briar, perfectly hardy, with very 
fragrant foliage and brilliant fruit, which 
makes it very lovely in autumn ; it does well 
on a N.E. wall. 

47 



pruning For a S.E. wall, nothing could be better 

than the Crimson Rambler, the Amadis, a 
deep purple crimson ; or the Ayrshire Rose, 
either white or pink. 

Cheshunt answers well on the east wall, 
whilst for a west wall. Noisette Roses, 
either pale pink or deep crimson, are good. 

February and March are good months for 
pruning roses ; the weaker shoots should be 
cut back rather closely, and the stronger 
ones left longer. 

In very dry weather roses should be wa- 
tered. 

As regards other creepers, very much can 
be done in the way of beautifying the walls 
of a town house or garden by sowing a few 
suitable seeds. A mere handful of the Cana- 
riensis seed sown yearly at the foot of a 
wall, some tall growing Nasturtiums as well, 
will do admirably together, and make a most 
pleasing effect. 

Virginian Creeper will grow where every- 
thing else fails. No amount of impurity in 
the atmosphere seems to hurt it or affect the 
permanence or abundance of its growth. It 
does well on the same wall as a Clematis, or 

48 



climbing rose, but care must be taken that Varieties 
it is not allowed to smother either. suitable 

Besides the Virginian Creeper, the Am- for walls 
pelopsis Hedera and most ivies may be fear- 
lessly planted against a north wall, and being 
self-clinging climbers, are to be specially 
recommended. Pyrocanthus and Coton- 
easter Microphylla are also suitable for a 
north wall, both being evergreen and bear- 
ing red berries in winter. They should be 
put in in February. 

For a N.W. wall, Ampelopsis Veitchi and 
Raegner's Ivy are good. 

Clematis, Jackmani, and C. Montana do 
well on a south wall ; whilst for a S. E. wall 
Jasmine Nudiflorum is a most charming 
climber for winter, as it flowers freely, and 
is a very rapid grower. 

For a shady aspect, the Crataegus Lae- 
landi, bearing red berries in winter, is very 
effective. 

For a whitewashed wall, either variegated 
ivy or the Escallonia Macrantha, with its 
pink wax blossoms and glossy foliage, are 
excellent. 

The American Allspice, with its fragrant 
4 49 



Training, deep maroon flowers, will sometimes do well 

tying, and on a north wall. 

thinning For porches, nothing equals the graceful 

climbers drapery and rich coloring of the Clematis 
Jackmani. A passion-flower — the P. Caeru- 
lea — will sometimes do on a south wall or 
porch, but it needs a warm atmosphere. 

The Common Honeysuckle, flowering from 
spring to autumn^ and the sweet White Jes- 
samine are too well known to need descrip- 
tion. (One drawback to the former is its 
fatal liability to green-fly. In Germany it 
is called the * * green-fly's sanctuary. ' ') Both 
these, as well as ** Old Man's Beard," do 
well in an exposed position. 

The shoots of Clematis and other climbers 
need much attention in June, in the way of 
thinning and tying, so as to prevent them from 
growing in tangles. June is also the right 
time for nailing Clematis and Honeysuckle. 
Again in September they should be care- 
fully trained. 

One last bit of advice. If you are plant- 
ing climbers in a shady position, choose only 
those which are good for foliage, and leave 
the flowering ones alone. 

50 



CHAPTER VII 



Although a very few remarks on each of Garden 
these subjects will suffice for our present boundaries 
purpose, yet we feel that our volume on 
miniature gardening would be incomplete 
without some allusion to them. 

To begin with hedges. 

Every garden must be bounded either by 
wall or fencing of some kind, either of which 
can be improved, sometimes even super- 
seded, by a good evergreen hedge. 

In small town gardens, nothing answers 
so well as Evergreen Privet. It is very 
hardy, will lend itself to any soil or situa- 
tion, and is a very rapid grower. Moreover 
— and this is a great point where space is 
limited — its growth can be easily restrained 
by clipping. The young plants of Ever- 

51 



Evergreen green Privet can be put in the ground at any 
hedge time between September and April. Plant 

them about a foot away from the wall or 
railing, and leave six inches between each. 

Don't prune them for the first year, and 
don't over-manure them. If, in your zeal 
to hasten their growth, you neglect the lat- 
ter caution, your young plants will sicken 
and die. The best time for clipping Privet, 
after the first year's growth, is April and 
May. 

Young plants of Evergreen Privet cost 
about 50 cents a dozen. 

If you want to secure a high evergreen 
hedge in the shortest possible time, plant 
Thuia Lobbi. 

Not only is its foliage extremely pleasing, 
being a rich green in summer and showing 
beautiful bronze tints in autumn and winter, 
but it is a very rapid grower, and will stand 
any amount of pruning to suit the size of 
either a broad or narrow border. 

Get some good young plants, about three 
feet high, and after preparing your ground 
with a little manure, put them in eighteen 
inches apart. They frequently make a 

52 



growth of three feet in one year, and their Paths 
increase in denseness is equally satisfactory. 
February and March are good months for 
planting Thuia Lobbi. 

Plants of about three feet high cost about 
$i.oo the dozen. 

The Euonymus Jap. forms a capital hedge 
near the railings of a town garden, but it is 
a very slow grower, though most satisfac- 
tory when grown. 

Whilst we are on the subject of shrubs, 
Persian Lilac, the Ribes, the White and 
Yellow Broom, the Weigelias, and the hardy 
Ghent Azaleas are all suitable flowering 
shrubs for little gardens in or near towns. 
They are very ornamental, are easy of cul- 
ture, and not costly to buy in the first in- 
stance. Good-sized plants of each may be 
had for about 25 cents apiece. 

We now come to paths. 

When a gravel walk is once made, it is 
easily kept in order. But to keep it in order 
is very necessary. 

No matter if the path be on such a small 
scale that it only shows like a tiny thread, 
yet the single gravel walk in a miniature 

53 



Eradica- garden is a very important feature. If it is 
tion of ill-kept, sloppy, or weedy, it is enough to 
weeds spoil the effect of your garden. 

The old axiom that the first trouble is al- 
ways the least, applies to the treatment of 
weeds on gravel. Pull up every weed you 
see. 

Never leave a weed long enough to flower 
in your pathway. If you do, seed is formed 
as a natural consequence, and in the place 
of the one weed of to-day, you will shortly 
have a whole colony. 

Many gardeners confidently recommend 
the use of patent weed killers, to be easily 
obtained at any druggist's. 

But in the hands of the amateur they may 
do more harm than good, if they are not 
very carefully applied ; if, for instance, they 
are suffered to come in contact with flower 
borders or turf, destruction to either is cer- 
tain. To the owner, therefore, of a minia- 
ture garden we should recommend the sys- 
tematic and merciless eradication of every 
weed. 

Sprinkling salt on paths answers well some- 
times as a weed killer ; but if your path is 

54 



liable to be damp or sticky, avoid salt— it Mending 
will make it ten times worse. An applica- and keep- 
tion of salt is really advisable only where the ingingood 
paths are very dry, and, even then, it should condition 
only be used in quite dry weather, for ap- 
plied in rainy seasons, salt acts like manure 
upon weeds. 

There is a troublesome little moss, which 
IS often apt to invade paths and disfigure 
them. To get rid of this it is a good plan, 
during the severe frost, to scrub the path 
violently with a hard broom. 

If you want to mend a gravel path be 
careful to choose wet weather, and, after 
adding a little fresh gravel to the worn place, 
beat it firmly down with the back of your 
spade, and roll it well. 

To avoid those puddles which are caused 
by the settling of rain water, be sure that 
your path slopes upwards on each side 
towards the centre. 

For a back yard or garden, where appear- 
ance may be sacrificed to comfort, there is 
nothing like a good cinder path for ensuring 
a dry and pleasant walk. 

These are made easily enough, at very 

55 



Preparing little cost. They are composed of Macadam 
the lawn and ashes, with a coating of hot tar. Once 
made, they will last for years, will always re- 
main dry, and never be weedy. In severe 
frost the surface should be looked to, and if 
cracks are found in it, a fresh application of 
tar, with a little sand or grit, should be 
made. 

Grassplots. — Some owners of even quite 
small gardens prefer the enjoyment of turf 
to flowers, and are content to turn all the 
tiny space at their command into what we 
should call, perhaps, a grassplot, rather than 
by the ambitious word ** lawn." 

Here are a few hints which may prove 
useful to this class of ** lovers of the turf." 

If you wish to make your grassplot in 
the cheapest and easiest way, sow grass 
seeds. March is the best time for this 
operation. 

Before sowing your seeds, however, dig 
over the ground deeply, breaking the soil 
thoroughly, and getting your surface per- 
fectly smooth and even. The soil ought 
not to be too rich, as a rapid growth is not 
wanted in the grasses of a lawn; but the 

' 56 



surface should be as much alike in quality How to 
as possible. Choose a dry day for sowing sow the 
your seed, and, above all, a calm one. seed 
Otherwise the seeds, being very light, are 
liable to be blown far afield. The seeds 
should be raked in, and then lightly rolled. 

After sowing them, the next point is to 
protect your seeds from sparrows and other 
feathered marauders. This is best done by 
tying threads across the freshly sown ground, 
with scraps of paper or rag attached to serve 
as scarecrows. 

As soon as the first blades appear, roll 
constantly to keep down the worm casts. 
When the grass is rather older, frequent 
sweeping with a hard birch broom is also 
good for the same object. 

Whenever you detect a bare place, gently 
loosen the soil with a rake and put in fresh 
seed. 

For a miniature lawn you would probably 
require at the most one quart of seed, which 
is usually sold for 25 cents a quart. 

A sprinkling of soot, or sand and cinders, 
in the spring, is good for checking worms 
and destroying weeds. 

57 



Cutting All turf-forming grasses are improved, 

both in vigor of root-growth and in fineness 
of texture, by frequent mowings. It is im- 
possible to say just how often the grass 
should be mown, as that depends upon the 
rate at which it grows. Too close cutting 
should be guarded against, however, espe- 
cially during the hot summer months, when 
the roots require some top-growth to pro- 
tect them from the burning sun. A good 
top-growth is also necessary to protect the 
roots from severe winter frosts. Mowing 
should therefore be discontinued in time to 
let the grass grow pretty long before winter 
sets in. 

58 



CHAPTER VIII 

WINDOW GARDENING 

It has been said that every one who can call Of remote 
a window-sill his own may be a gardener. antiquity 

And that people have found this to be the 
case in various times and places, one cannot 
deny, for there is ample proof that the taste 
for window gardening is both universal and 
of very remote antiquity. 

In his " Gleanings from Old Gardens," 
Mr. Hazlett reminds us of a story in " Pas- 
quile's Jests" (1604), where a landlady of 
a country inn tells her customers of a new 
art that a stranger in London had taught to 
the citizens ** of taking in their gardens every 
night at their windows, and letting them out 
again in the morning." 

These rustics agreed to go up to town 
to judge for themselves of the truth of this 

59 



marvellous tale, and after traversing divers 
parts of the city, the story goes on to tell 
how at last in a little lane they did see a 
widow putting out of a garret casement a 
box, in which she arranged pots of Gilly- 
flowers, Carnations, and herbs. 

Now that our choice of window plants is 
so far more extensive than was that worthy 
widow*s of nearly three centuries ago, it is 
marvellous what can be done by flower lovers 
in the way of window gardening to brighten 
their homes, both inside and out. 

For window gardening means literally the 
growing of plants in rooms, on window-sills, 
in window boxes, and plant cases, either 
inside or outside. 

To be successful in this line must involve a 
certain amount of constant care and trouble, 
but it need not necessarily involve much 
expense. 

To ensure the welfare of pot plants, we 
must be careful to select those that are 
specially suitable to that form of cultivation, 
and we must also learn what is specially 
beneficial to them, and what the reverse. 

One great essential to their success is to 

60 



avoid using over large pots. Plants never Great 
flower so freely as when their roots are some- essentials 
what cramped. to success 

Another is to be careful to have the 
soil well pressed down round the roots of 
the plants ; a third is to give them regular 
and systematic treatment. By this we mean 
avoid violent changes from heat to cold, 
from light to darkness, water them regu- 
larly, not by fits and starts, and don't starve 
them of air. Plants kept without air grow 
tall and weakly. The majority of indoor 
plants are the better for being in a room 
where the window is kept open about an 
inch from the top. 

An easy and very effectual way of pro- 
tecting window plants from frost is to put a 
sheet of brown paper between the pots and 
the glass. 

Another great point is to keep the leaves 
clean with soap and water. Sunlight soap 
answers well, being a good insecticide. 

The pots should each one be turned a little 
every day, so as to allow every part of the 
plant an equal share of light and sun. 

The culture of bulbs in pots and glasses 

6i 



Bulbs IS so simple that many directions on this 

grown in subject will be needless, 
fibre Perhaps some of our readers may not 

know how excellently well bulbs answer 
when grown in cocoa-nut fibre refuse. 

Cocoa-nut fibre can be obtained from any 
seedsman for about 30 cents a bushel. 

Any ordinary jardiniere or bowl filled with 
the fibre will answer the purpose. Indeed, 
bulbs grown in this way require no drainage, 
and as the cocoa-nut fibre makes no stain, 
a china bowl may be used fearlessly. 

Ordinary flowering bulbs, notably Hya- 
cinths, Narcissi, and Tulips, do remarkably 
well under this treatment. 

Put the bulbs into the fibre in the autumn 
and keep them in the dark, being careful to 
push the bulbs down firmly as soon as the 
roots show signs of growth. When they 
have grown about an inch, they may be ex- 
posed to the light, but very little water should 
be given until the flower stems appear. 
Then give as much as the fibre will absorb. 

Very pretty effects may be obtained by 
planting Crocuses in shallow saucers filled 
with cocoa-nut fibre. 

62 



To secure a display of Roman Hyacinths Varieties 
for Christmas, put the bulbs, in September, specially 
in six-inch pots — not more than six bulbs in recom- 
each — and cover them over either with fibre mended 
or ashes. Keep them in the dark for a 
month. 

After that, they can be brought into the 
room, but it is well to shade them for a few 
days at first, by keeping a reversed pot over 
them till they have become accustomed to 
the light. 

Besides the ordinary bulbs, such as Crocus, 
Snowdrop, etc., those we should specially 
recommend to our readers are the following : 

Early double white Tulip, and scarlet 
ditto ; these are very hardy and most orna- 
mental. 

Scilla Sibirica; beautiful blue flower. 

Glory, of the Snow; also blue and white. 

Winter Aconite ; bright golden. 

When the bulbs have done flowering, if 
there is no spare space in your gardens 
where they can be temporarily placed, keep 
them in a box filled with mould till their 
growth is quite finished. Water them as 
long as their leaves last, but as soon as these 

63 



Window die down, take the bulbs up, dry them, and 
plants. stow them away in some cool dry place till 

Cactus the autumn. 

Amongst the flowering window plants, 
those that last the longest and require the 
least attention, are Geraniums, Fuchsias, 
Balsams, Begonias, Primulas, Myrtles, Cac- 
tus, and Musk. 

All of these, with rare exceptions, will do 
well if the commonest care is bestowed upon 
them. 

The increasing of Geraniums and Fuchsias 
by cuttings is a very interesting branch of 
window gardening. 

We refer our readers on this subject to 
Chapter X. 

As regards the cultivation of the Cactus, 
few indoor plants are so ornamental or so 
easily grown. Being dormant during the 
winter, all that they need is protection dur- 
ing the frost. From November to March 
they should be kept very dry. From that 
time onwards, however, they require just 
the reverse treatment. Water them plenti- 
fully with tepid water, and place them as 
near the glass as possible, so that they may 

64 



have abundance of light. They will then The 
develop buds quickly and will soon show a hanging 
magnificent display of their lovely scarlet or basket 
creamy tassel-like blooms. 

The surface of the soil in the pots should 
be stirred occasionally with a stick, and a 
little fresh soil added. A periodical water- 
ing with thin soot water is also good. 

Of the simplest possible culture also is the 
dear old-fashioned Musk. 

All it needs is ordinary soil and abundance 
of light and water. 

Cuttings are easily rooted in spring, and 
will do splendidly if planted in the bowls of 
cocoa-nut fibre, when the winter bulbs are 
taken out of it. 

The Scarlet Musk and tall Orange ditto 
are very handsome varieties, and do well in 
pots, but they have no fragrance. 

Walnuts may be easily grown in pots 
placed in a sunny window, and their rich 
colored foliage make them very handsome 
ornamental table plants. 

A hanging basket makes a very pretty 
ornament suspended in a window. 

It may be filled with bulbs for the winter, 
5 65 



The and afterwards planted with ivy-leaved Pelar- 

India- goniums, Creeping Jenny, and Lobelias, 

rubber The Fuchsia Procumbens, bearing large ma- 
plant genta crimson berries through the winter, is 
good for baskets, if the room be kept fairly 
warm. 

Also the Alba Campanula, pure white, 
trailing, is good. 

Do not attempt ferns ; they rarely answer 
in a basket. 

In order to keep the soil moist, dip the 
basket bodily into tepid water about every 
third day. 

Of course, under the head of window 
plants, we should mention the well-known 
Indiarubber plant, the Aspidistra — the par- 
lor palm — a grand foliage plant for rooms, 
as it needs very little attention, and is in- 
jured, apparently, neither by gas nor drafts. 

They may be had for about 25 cents each. 

The New Zealand Aloe, with its zebra- 
striped sword-shaped leaves, the Dracenias, 
all ornamental foliage plants, are excellent 
for rooms. 

The Indiarubber plant is more often 
wrecked by carelessness in watering than 

66 



from any other cause. In winter, it should Palms 
be kept fairly dry, and never at any time 
allowed to stand in water. 

The Aralia Sieboldi Var — called some- 
times, but wrongly, the Castor Oil plant — 
is well suited for indoors* culture. 

The foliage of the true Castor Oil plant is 
far more handsome than the Aralia, and is 
sometimes grown indoors with success ; but 
it should never be exposed to gas, or it will 
languish at once. 

For those who may wish to aspire to 
palms, the Kentia Belmoreana, Kentia Fos- 
teriana, and Latania Borbonica we would 
recommend as being most useful half-hardy 
palms, and all very effective ones. 

In conclusion, we repeat our advice to 
keep indoor plants scrupulously clean. Be- 
sides keeping the foliage well washed with 
warm — not hot — soap and water, pick off 
every dead leaf, and suffer not an insect to 
live! 

** Don't be persuaded,** says a writer in 
the Amateur Gardenings ** to water your 
plants with cold tea, coffee, beer-dregs, or 
any other nastiness. By so doing you make 

67 



Care of your soil sour, and as a natural consequence 
the foliage your plants become unhealthy." 

To make the foliage look glossy, it is 
sometimes good to sponge the leaves over 
with milk and water; but we do not person- 
ally commend the use of lamp rags — impreg- 
nated with paraffine — for the same purpose. 
No doubt it may make the foliage glossy, 
but we leave it to our readers to decide as 
to the fragrance which must result from this 
proceeding ! 

When pot plants look pale and sickly, a 
rusty nail put in the water of the saucer is 
good. 

68 



CHAPTER IX 

WINDOW BOXES 

We come now to outside window-sill gar- Yhe fur- 
dening. nishing 

The furnishing and subsequent maintain- and main- 
ing of window boxes requires care and con- taining of 
sideration, but will repay all trouble amply. 

Here again the choice of suitable plants 
for different aspects is of the first impor- 
tance. 

In a window facing either due south or 
south-westerly, the heat in summer — owing 
to the masonry surrounding the window — is 
often so great as to prove fatal to some 
plants, whilst for the sill of a window facing 
north, sunshine is so scarce all the year 
round, that flowers are far better left alone, 
and only foliage plants cultivated. 

But first, as regards the actual boxes. 

69 



Simpller Of these there are a great variety, some 

ones pre- being very decorative. 

ferred For our own taste, we prefer the simpler 

ones. Those faced with virgin cork are 
nice, or painted with some sober color, which 
will preserve it against weather, and will not 
offend the eye. 

We once remember seeing the houses of 
a tiny Dutch village decorated with window 
boxes of a flaming red color, and a more 
hideous effect it would have been hard to 
produce. 

The least ambitious form of window box 
we have ever seen, and which, we are bound 
to say, answered its purpose perfectly, was 
constructed out of an old wooden box ob- 
tained from the grocer's, and faced with 
pieces of rough bark. These — * * tell it not 
in Gath '* — the owner had annexed to him- 
self, to use no stronger term, during certain 
predatory excursions amongst the trees of 
a neighboring wood. 

The whole cost of this box was under lo 
cents. 

But this was altogether an unorthodox 
way of proceeding. Indeed, we only men- 
70 



tion it for the encouragement of those of Drainage 
our readers who may not, perhaps, be in the 
way of getting anything better in the shape 
of a sill garden. 

A good plan for securing drainage for the 
plants, and, at the same time, securing a 
due amount of moisture, is to line the 
wooden box with zinc, and then to have an 
inner zinc tray, perforated, to fit in at the 
top. This allows the water to filter through, 
but keeps a damp subsoil for the plant. 

Window boxes should always be movable. 

Another plan, recommended in Amateur 
Gardenings is to fix rough cork on to the 
boxes — this keeps the roots cool — and to 
cover the surface soil with moss. This should 
be kept continually damp by watering with 
a rosed watering-pot. 

For winter, that being the time when, of 
all others, we appreciate greenery, window 
boxes are specially valuable. 

Even in smoky towns, hardy wallflowers 
will make a brave show along with various 
Conifers, Euonymus, and Variegated Ivies. 
Beside these, such shrubs as the Aucuba 
Japonica, with its large carmine fruit, and 

71 



Good soil, broad, handsome foliage ; the Japanese 

Necessary Cypress, and the Skimmias and Pernettyas, 

watering both bearing bright berries, and costing each 

about 25 cents, are all suitable for winter 

window boxes. 

But these shrubs should not be turned 
out of their pots for the winter. It is bet- 
ter, in putting them into the box, to sink 
them either in sand or soil up to the rim, 
and cover over the surface with moss. 

A very pretty effect may be produced by 
putting in small, hardy bulbs, such as Snow- 
drops, Crocus, etc., in the intervals between 
the pots, which often come into flower about 
Christmas time. Roots of primroses, planted 
between the pots to flower in early spring, 
also look charming, their pale, silky petals 
showing well against their mossy setting. 

Good soil is necessary, but judgment must 
be used as to the amount of watering neces- 
sary. If window boxes are kept too moist, 
they are sure to suffer from the frost, so 
that, on the whole, it is safer to keep them 
too dry in winter than the reverse. 

In very severe weather it is well to lift the 
boxes indoors for the night, or, at any rate, 
72 



to give them protection by covering them Winter 
with brown paper or matting of some sort, shrubs in 

Do not neglect your winter shrubs in the the sum- 
summer. Put them out of doors in a fairly mer 
sunny position, so that they may harden 
their wood, and whilst the buds are forming 
give them plenty of manure. 

For spring planting, nothing is more effec- 
tive than bulbs. 

They should be planted very thickly in 
October and November ; and here the arrange- 
ment affords grand scope for the display of 
taste. Exquisite effects can be produced 
by the mingling of Snowdrops and scarlet 
Tulips, and golden-flowered Daffodils, toned 
down into a harmony of color by the intro- 
duction of the different shades of Hyacinth, 
which contribute nearly every imaginable hue. 

When the glory of the bulbs decline— you 
will remember the directions already given 
for treatment of bulbs after flowering— it is 
time to think of summer flowers. 

Here there is such a wide field for choice 
that we shall mention but a few of the very 
many plants that our readers might safely 
cultivate. 

73 



Suitable For town windows in the summer, noth- 

for sum- ing, perhaps, answers better than the ivy- 
mer boxes leafed Pelargonium. Not only do their suc- 
culent leaves defy heat, but the habit of 
their foliage being to hang well over the 
box, they keep the latter cool, and thus 
serve as a protection to the roots. The 
semi-double blossom is the most effective 
of the many varieties. 

For a house with gray walls, Madame 
Thibaut's clear rose blooms very well; the 
white variety of Joan D'Arc suits red bricks ; 
whilst Gordon's Glory, a deep red, looks 
magnificent against stone walls. 

The middle of May is a good time for 
putting them into the boxes. It is well to 
syringe them frequently before they actually 
come into flower. 

Lobelias, blue and white ; Musk, Mignon- 
ette, Calceolaria, ten-week Stocks, Petunias, 
dwarf Asters, and Mimulus Tigrioides — 
monkey flower — are all most suitable for 
summer boxes. So also are the very bril- 
liant blossoms of the crimson Jacobaea, the 
American groundsel. 

The French Marguerite — the pure white 

74 



and the rich yellow — are most effective, Shady 
especially when mixed with the Henry Ja- windows 
coby, which latter is the only zonal Pelar- 
gonium which we would advise beginners to 
grow. (Geraniums love the sun, remember, 
so that a window which only gets the morn- 
ing sun is not suitable for Geraniums.) 

The Salvia Patens, with its exquisite blue 
blossoms, and the Salvia Coconiea, with its 
brilliant scarlet bloom, are both good for 
boxes. The latter is a half-hardy annual, 
the former a half-hardy perennial. 

For a window where there is not much 
sun we recommend Fuchsias. 

Like Musk, Fuchsias always last longest 
in bloom in the shade. f 

Fuchsias have been rightly called " every- 
body's flower," for they are so easily raised, 
either by cuttings or by seed. Zonal Pelar- 
goniums may also be raised by seed. 

To raise Fuchsias by seed, fill a shallow 
box or well-drained pot of good, light mould, 
moisten well with tepid water ; the temper- 
ature of an ordinary living room will do, say 
from 55 to 65 degrees. 

March is a good time for putting in the 

75 



ir 



Fuchsias seed, so that by the summer the plants may 
and flower freely. A good plan for producing 

Begonias those long, trailing sprays of Fuchsia which 
produce such a pretty effect, drooping down 
from boxes, is to procure an old plant and 
cut it down almost to the soil in February, 
and then, directly the first new shoots show, 
re-pot it in good soil. 

The best kinds for window boxes are, we 
have found, "Aurora Superba," "Elm 
City," " Charming," " Avalanche," " Abun- 
dance," " Frau Emma Topfey," and " Er- 
nest Renan." 

Any soil is good for Fuchsias, but they 
should be taken indoors and stored before 
the frost comes on. 

Fibrous-rooted Begonias, Nasturtiums, 
Convolvuluses, and Canadensis do all well 
in boxes. 

The Begonia, however, with its pink blos- 
soms and very handsome foliage, requires 
shading in great heat, otherwise its flower 
becomes quite pale. Nasturtiums answer 
well, if a few seeds are put in at the end of 
each box, to climb up the sides of a window 
and form a miniature archway. 

76 



Here are some simple directions for pro- Window 
ducing a very effective window drapery: drapery. 

Sow the seeds at either end of the box, Chrysan- 
then train the creeper up a stout string, themums 
which should be fastened to the wall with 
rather long nails, so as to keep it a fair dis- 
tance off the wall. A nail should also be 
put into the centre of the stonework over the 
window, two nails on either side, about a 
foot from the top of the window, and two 
more nails on either side of the stonework, 
just above the box. 

When the summer flowers are going over, 
Asters, Chrysanthemums, and the Helich- 
rysums — everlasting flowers, golden, white, 
and crimson — come in very well. 

The double white and double yellow Chry- 
santhemums are both hardy annuals, and, 
with Asters — these require treatment as half- 
hardy annuals — do excellently for autumn 
boxes. The Chrysanthemum Burridgi is 
very beautiful, having white petals with 
bright crimson ring. It is quite hardy. The 
Chry. Carinatum is also a capital dwarf an- 
nual for box culture. 

For quite late autumn boxes, when we 



Fertilizers, are on the threshold of winter, nothing is 
Insect prettier for town windows than the Laures- 

extermi- tinus, with its pretty bunches of pink and 
nators white blossoms, or the Barbaris Darwini, 

with its scarlet berries. We add a few gen- 
eral remarks in conclusion. 

Remember that however much rain may- 
fall, very little usually reaches the window 
boxes; consequently, they must be always 
well watered. 

Good soil is also necessary for the main- 
tenance of so many plants in such a limited 
space. The plants last longer in flower if 
some stimulant, such as soot water, is ap- 
plied to their roots about twice a week. We 
give directions for this most valuable and 
easiest home-made fertilizer elsewhere. 
Ready prepared fertilizer can be obtained, 
however, at little cost, of any seedsman. 

Beware of allowing any insect pests to 
establish themselves in your boxes. In spite 
of all the many and much-vaunted insecti- 
cides, we have found that pure water is as 
effectual an insect exterminator, when prop- 
erly applied, Le., with a syringe, as any- 
thing else. 

78 



Where this fails, however, soft soap, dis- Jadoo 
solved in water — about two ounces to half- 
a-gallon of tepid water — and applied with a 
syringe for several days in succession, will 
answer well. 

Smoking over plants will destroy the 
green-fly, and the old-fashioned dusting with 
snuff is also a good remedy. 

Where rich soil is not easy to obtain, 
jadoo, tightly stuffed into window boxes, is 
an admirable substitute. 

It can be purchased at any seedsman*s at 
the rate of about 25 cents per box. 

79 



CHAPTER X 

ON CUTTINGS, ETC. 

Usual Geraniums, Fuchsias, Carnations, Pansies, 

method and many other plants are usually propa- 
gated by cuttings. 

As the name implies, a cutting is a shoot 
or twig cut off from the parent plant to be 
grown as a separate individual. 

Though taking cuttings is reckoned by 
gardeners a comparatively easy operation, 
yet to do so successfully demands a certain 
amount of skill and painstaking. 

We will suppose that you are going to 
take cuttings from an old plant of Geran- 
ium, which after having bloomed freely has 
become straggling and what gardeners call 
leggy. 

In this condition the plant will furnish a 
number of shoots for cuttings. (The old 

80 



plant will be all the better for being closely Propagat- 
pruned.) With a sharp knife sever the long- ing box 
est shoots from the plant and then proceed 
to divide each of them into cuttings of about 
three to five inches in length. Be careful 
to trim each one to a joint. 

After making your cuttings you will do 
well to let them rest for half a day before 
putting them into soil, so as to allow them 
to get rid of all superfluous moisture. 

If the cuttings are made in, say, August, 
you may fearlessly dibble them into some 
sunny border, watering them well with a fine 
rosed can. After they have rooted, take 
them up and put them into pots before there 
is any chance of frosts. 

If, however, the cuttings should be made 
at the close of the winter, you will be obliged 
to have recourse to a propagating box. 

As we take it for granted that our readers 
have no greenhouse, and only a window at 
their disposal, we are suggesting the sim- . 
plest method of plant propagation to be 
employed under such conditions. 

Provide yourself with a common deal box, 
not less than twelve inches deep and about 
6 8 1 



Manage- eight or nine inches wide. Procure also 
ment of some pieces of glass to lay over the top. 
the pots You need not be particular about these fit- 
ting very closely, as a small aperture at the 
corners is very desirable, in order to allow 
the steam to escape from the box. 

Fill in the bottom of your box to the 
depth of about three inches with a layer of 
well-sifted coal ashes. These ashes must be 
kept damp, so as to promote an artificially 
moist atmosphere. 

A little experience will soon teach you 
how to maintain this by watering enough 
and yet not too much. And remember to 
use tepid water. 

The next point is the management of the 
pots. 

Select pots about five inches in diameter, 
and fill with sandy loam. These should 
hold four or five cuttings. Insert them in 
the soil with the help of a blunt-pointed 
stick, and arrange round the edge of the 
pot. For the first few days very little air 
should be allowed to reach the cuttings, but 
the glass covering them should be carefully 
wiped every morning, otherwise the steam 

82 



formed during the night will run off and Light and 
drop on the young plants, thereby produc- air 
ing mildew. 

Directly you observe that the cuttings are 
beginning to grow, you may feel sure that 
they are making roots, and you must then 
give them a gradual increase of light and air. 

If your window is very sunny you must 
give them shading during the first few weeks. 
A sheet of newspaper spread above the box 
will be quite sufficient protection. 

As your cuttings grow stronger the glass 
may be dispensed with altogether. You 
may begin to pot them singly about April. 

As regards the culture of Geraniums for 
pot plants, you must bear in mind that they 
do better in comparatively small pots, and 
do not require rich manure. 

Fuchsia cuttings can be taken from the 
parent plant when the young shoots are 
about three or four inches long. 

Put about nine such cuttings into a four- 
inch pot and treat as advised for Geranium 
cuttings. As soon as they have rooted, pot 
them off into small pots, with good loam, 
mixed with a little leaf-mould and silver sand. 

83 



Cuttings During their growth keep them near 

from the glass, in order to make them what is 

Pinks and termed short-jointed, a desirable feature 
Pansies in Fuchsias. 

Keep the soil fairly moist, and recollect 
that young Fuchsias require plenty of air 
and light to promote their growth. 

They are all the better for having their 
main stem trained to a stake. 

In taking cuttings from Pinks and Pansies 
— July is a good month for this — be careful, 
in the case of Pinks, to select the bottom 
shoots from the old plants, cutting them at 
the third or fourth joints. 

For Pansy cuttings, take the young shoots 
also that spring from the base of the old 
plants. 

Remove all their lowest leaves, choose a 
shady spot in your garden, and prepare your 
soil by sprinkling a thin layer of silver sand 
on the surface. 

Put the cuttings in, fairly closely together, 
water freely, and cover with a hand-light. 

They will need little more attention until 
they are rooted, when they can be trans- 
planted. 

84 



Pansies, raised from cuttings, make the Layering 
best plants for pot culture. 

Carnations can be raised by cuttings, and 
also by the process known as layering. 

Cuttings should be made early in July, 
but as they require considerable attention 
when rooting, we are inclined to recommend 
our readers to try layering in preference. 

This operation, which should be under- 
taken during August, or thereabouts, is per- 
formed as follows : 

With a sharp knife remove the lowest 
leaves, then cut the stem half through from 
the lower joint, upwards for about an inch. 
Then bend the stem downwards to the soil. 

(Before beginning the layering, you must 
sprinkle a little light soil round and under- 
neath the plants, as this will promote the 
quick rooting of the layers.) 

After bending your stem down, insert the 
kind of little tongue, which was formed by 
your upward incision in the stem, into the 
soil, and pin it down with a crooked peg. 

(Pegs made from the common bracken are 
excellent for this purpose.) 

Care must be taken to avoid two dangers 

85 



Dangers which may beset the beginner in performing 
to avoid this operation. 

One is to cut the stem too deeply; the 
second is to break the joints in bending them 
downwards. 

The layers should be watered through a 
rosed can, so as to settle the soil around 
them, and in dry weather you should water 
them every evening until they have rooted. 

If your layering is successful the shoots 
should be sufficiently rooted at the end of 
about five or six weeks to make it safe to 
detach them from the parent plants. This 
should be done close to the joint from which 
the layering started. 

Be careful to take them up with plenty of 
soil hanging to their roots. If your border 
is fairly sheltered you may transplant them 
to some open border at once, giving them 
protection during frosts in winter; but if 
your climate is a cold one, you will, perhaps, 
do better to keep them indoors till the spring. 

Carnation cuttings should not be more 
than two inches long, and should be dibbled 
into the ground about two inches apart from 
each other every way. 

86 



They will require to be kept under hand- Division 
lights, and need more care and attention in of roots 
the matter of watering and shading from 
light than we think that many of our readers 
may be able to give, so we repeat our advice 
as to the wisdom of selecting the layering as 
the simplest process for beginners. 

In the case of most perennials the easiest 
and best method of propagation is by the 
division of the roots. 

Christmas Roses, Autumn Daisies, Peren- 
nial Sunflowers, Doronicums, and Perennial 
Phlox specially lend themselves to root 
division. 

It should be done as soon after they have 
done flowering as the weather will permit. 

A sharp knife is as good a tool as any for 
the operation, but a new tool that we have 
lately come across, known as the " Cham- 
pion Weed-killer,*' is very handy for this 
purpose. 

Except for the sake of dividing their roots, 
Christmas Roses should never be disturbed 
when they have once been planted. 

87 



CHAPTER XI 

A FEW GENERAL HINTS 

Pot-bound In putting in plants, be always careful to 
plants tread down the soil firmly round them. 

When you are moving a plant from a pot to 
a border, see if the plant has become pot- 
bound. By this is meant the case of a plant 
whose roots, owing to lack of room, have 
been unable to spread themselves out, and 
have therefore become curled and hopelessly 
entangled. 

When this is the case, proceed as follows: 
Start with the main root. Uncurl and 
straighten this out as much as possible, 
grudging neither time nor patience in the 
operation. Then the fibrous side roots 
must be dealt with. Sometimes one's own 
fingers are the only effectual tools ; but if 
not a very desperate case, a blunt-pointed 
stick will be of much service in disentangling 
SS 



the network of fibres, and combing them out, Treatment 
so to speak. for new 

If you neglect these precautions and trans- plants 
fer a pot-bound plant in that condition to 
the soil, it will certainly never thrive. 

On receiving plants by mail, or indeed any 
that have been out of the ground for any 
time, lay them in tepid water for an hour at 
least, before attempting to plant them, for 

tu must remember that they require to 

plenish their evaporated moisture. 

Above all things, in the case of planting 
sewly removed plants, avoid the fatal mis- 
take of dosing them with fertilizers or ma- 
nures of any sort. Being more or less in an 
exhausted condition, and having no roothold 
in the ground, they only require water, and 
if given such rich food before they have re- 
covered their powers of assimilation, will 
probably die outright. 

As a cardinal rule, never give sickly plants 
manure. It will ensure their destruction as 
certainly as if you fed a much enfeebled in- 
valid on alderman's diet. 

Never attempt to plant anything when 
the soil is either very wet or frozen. 

89 



Frost After a long frost, look well to your out- 

door plan-ts. You will probably find the soil 
in such a loose condition that it will require 
careful treading round the roots of your 
plants. If you neglect to do this you run a 
good chance of losing them. 

" For the frost," says a quaint old gar- 
dening chronicle of the last century, **by 
separating the particles of soil, doth open 
doorways and passages for the entrance of 
cold air to the tender roots." 

If you happen to have a plant frozen in 
a pot, beware of putting it near heat. Give 
it a cool dark position, and sprinkle it with 
hot water. 

Wait till it is quite thawed before you 
bring it into the warmth. 

Keep weeds under at all costs. 

Our old calendar of 1758 declares that 
June is the best month for extirpating 
weeds, for ** each weed that ripens then will 
breed one thousand." 

In small gardens we recommend weeding 
by hand, or with a small weeding fork. 

If you wish to save seeds from any of your 
plants, say Wallflower, as soon as you see 

90 



the pods are inclined to burst, cut them off Saving the 
and lay them on a sheet of newspaper to seeds, 
ripen on some sunny window-sill. Clipping 

If you have no window available for this 
purpose, put the pods into a bag, and hang 
them up in some sunny place. 

In planting Canary-Creepers, Petunias, 
and Verbenas, be careful to peg them as 
you plant them. 

Otherwise, the wind will make havoc of 
your young plants. 

In staking and tying up the stem of plants, 
remember to allow sufficient room for their 
stem to swell, as they generally increase 
rapidly. 

To protect Snowdrops from being eaten 
by slugs, dust the plants well with soot 
before the flowers open. 

You may clip Box, Yew, Privet, and Ivy 
with hand-shears, but use a knife to trim 
your Laurels. 

Ivy, growing against walls, should be 
clipped back quite close to the stems, dur- 
ing April, to ensure a heavy foliage later. 

In planting Ivy, dig a hole eighteen inches 
deep and three feet wide for each plant; 

91 



Home- mix old mortar and well-decayed manure 
made freely with the soil. 

fertilizer. In staking Sweet Peas, place your sticks 
Cinders perpendicularly; don't follow the usual plan 
of slanting them inwards. The stakes placed 
perpendicularly give the pea shoots a better 
chance of developing, and also afford greater 
scope for air and light to the plants. 

The cheapest and most effectual home- 
made fertilizer is soot water. 

Put a quart of soot into a coarse canvas 
bag, and steep it for three days in a pail of 
water. Put a heavy stone into the bag to 
keep it at the bottom of the pail. At the 
end of three days, throw away the bag, and 
use the soot water as you would ordinary 
water. 

Before applying it to your soil, however, 
it is well to make sure that it is moderately 
damp, by giving the soil a thorough soaking 
with fresh water. 

Make use of your cinders. If properly sifted 
they are most valuable even for a small gar- 
den. 

For protecting dehcate roots during the 
winter, dry, clean ashes are invaluable. 

92 



Moreover, there are very few soils that Flower 
are not the better for having ashes dug into pots, 
them. And even a tiny ash-pit in a small Over- 
back garden is a veritable treasure for receiv- watering 
ing the winter flowering plants during the 
summer. 

And here are a few hints about pots and 
pot plants : 

Always use small pots for small plants, for 
if a plant cannot imbibe all the water poured 
on it, the surrounding soil becomes stagnant 
and sour, and the plant does not thrive 
well. 

Remember that all pots required for use 
must be carefully washed and dried before 
using. 

New pots should be soaked some time be- 
fore filling, otherwise they will absorb all 
the moisture of the soil. 

Overwatering plants in rooms is a com- 
mon and very great mistake. 

To ascertain whether a plant requires 
water, tap the outside of the pot, and only 
if it emits a clear, ringing sound, give water. 

Do not water in dribbles ; give enough to 
soak through the pots. 

93 



Treat- Never leave water standing under pots in 

ment for saucers. 

dropping Rain water is, of course, the best for 

petals plants, but where this cannot be had, water 

that has been exposed for some time to the 
air is the next best substitute. 

In watering Cyclamen in pots, pour the 
water at the sides of the pot, never over the 
corm, and the water should never be left in 
the saucer. 

Single-flowered Geraniums have the great 
drawback as a window plant of dropping 
their petals so quickly. 

To obviate this, it is a good plan to drop 
a little liquid gum at the end of a pointed 
stick in the centre of each single flower 
directly it is opened. 

We have found this plan answers admira- 
bly, also, in the case of cut flowers. These 
will last twice as long in water under this 
treatment. 
94 



CHAPTER XII 
OF gardeners' friends, foes, etc., and 

OF TOOLS 

Remember that large garden spiders, as Slugs and 
well as a certain yellowish slug that always beetles 
carries a small shell, are both to be reckoned 
as the friends of gardeners, and to be re- 
spected accordingly. They prey upon some 
of the most destructive insect pests. 

The spotted Lady-bird is also a valuable 
ally, for she makes war upon the aphides or 
green-fly, so hurtful to roses. 

Again, there is a certain longish, very 
sooty kind of black beetle, popularly known 
as the ** devil's coach-horse "—the Ocypu 
Olems—vf\io renders good service by feeding 
chiefly on earwigs. 

These latter are very troublesome pests. 
They can, however, be caught by trapping 

95 



The best them in inverted pots filled with straw or 
insecticide paper. 

Wood lice may be caught by placing bits 
of boiled potatoes about your flower borders. 

The larvae of the Crane-fly, commonly 
known as Daddy-Long-Legs, are very trou- 
blesome foes. They are about an inch-and- 
a-half when fully grown, and wriggle rather 
than crawl along the soil. 

The best insecticide for these pests is lime. 

A mixture of strong ammonia, containing 
not more than one tablespoonful to a quart 
of water is a very good remedy for slugs on 
flower borders. Not only does it prove fatal 
to all slugs with which it comes in contact, 
but it also serves as a manure. 

Amateurs, however, had better begin with 
a very weak solution, as we have found from 
experience that ammonia as supplied by 
the ordinary druggist varies very much in 
strength. 

Above all other foes make war on the wire- 
worm. It is most mischievous to seedlings. 
It is easy to recognize, being of a yellowish- 
white color, and having three pairs of legs 
near its head. 

96 



It should be trapped by scraps of carrot Other 
or potato put on the end of a stick, which trouble- 
should be inserted just under the soil where some pests 
its presence is suspected. 

Beware also of the red spider — that is, the 
real red one. 

This insect is exceedingly small, to the 
naked eye only measuring one-sixtieth of 
an inch. 

They attack leaves of almost any plant. 
Their presence may be suspected when the 
foliage of a plant becomes pale and seared. 
As a rule they prefer the under-side of leaves, 
and should be hunted for in that position. 

Water, freely applied, will be very effec- 
tual in putting them to flight, but where 
Roses, Carnations, and other flowering plants 
are attacked we have found great benefit by 
dusting the under-side of the leaves with 
flowers of sulphur. 

To get rid of another troublesome pest, 
which besets Fuchsias especially, namely, 
thrips, we have found sponging the leaves 
and stems with fir tree oil most successful. 
It destroys all plant insects without injuring 
the plant. 

97 



Getting In the case of pot plants the earthworm 

rid of is a terrible foe. Their casts on the surface 

earth- of the mould always betray their where- 

worms abouts. 

As soon as you detect them, you must 
get rid of them, for they are most destruc- 
tive. 

Amateur Gardening gives the following 
directions for achieving this : 

** Make lime water by pouring four gal- 
lons of water on two pounds of fresh lime, 
then stir well, and let the liquid stand forty- 
eight hours. 

'* When ready for use, stop up the hole 
at the bottom of the pot with clay or putty, 
and then soak the soil thoroughly with the 
clear lime water only. 

'* The worms will come to the surface, 
and should all be removed. 

** After six or eight hours the putty may 
be removed, but if the worms have been 
working in the soil for any time the plant 
should be turned out of the pot to allow the 
drainage to be cleared and put right." 

To come to foes on a larger scale than in- 
sect pests, but often quite as much or more 

98 



destructive, namely, cats, it is said that Tools 
orange peel thrown on the beds and borders 
will effectually drive them away. Possibly, 
but it is at best a very unsightly remedy, 
and we have found from personal experience 
that a sprinkling of chloride of lime answers 
perfectly, and acts, moreover, as a scare to 
rats and mice. 

And now one last word about tools. 

For window gardening, a trowel, a minia- 
ture hoe, a small three-pronged fork, and a 
pair of garden scissors are all the tools re- 
quired. 

A fine-rosed watering pot is, of course, 
indispensable. 

For outdoor work, besides the spade, rake 
and hoe, and trowel, we recommend the 
Dutch hoe as very useful for working within 
borders and lightening soil, as well as the 
** champion weed-killer " already mentioned. 
Its divided points, with their sharply bev- 
elled edges, are excellent for stirring the sur- 
face soil in planted beds and borders as well 
as, as its name denotes, for spudding up 
weeds. An edging iron is also useful. 

Besides watering cans, a hand-light is al- 
LofC. 99 



"Neat, most a necessity, if you have any intention 
clean, and of pursuing plant-propagation and rearing 
orderly " rather delicate seedlings. 

One about two-and-a-half feet square, and 
costing about a dollar, would be quite large 
enough for your purpose. 

In conclusion, let us remind our readers 
that to be a successful gardener, even on a 
miniature scale, you must be neat, clean, 
and orderly. Never work with dirty tools, for 
you will never do good or satisfactory work 
with them. To avoid this, never put them 
away without cleaning them ; and when op- 
portunity occurs, say a wet day, when no 
work can be done out of doors, it will be 
well spent time if you devote this enforced 
leisure to burnishing up your tools. Rust 
should never be tolerated to settle on them. 
Keep your borders tidy, and never suffer 
dead leaves to remain amongst your pot 
plants. 
lOO 



MAY 23 1902 



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