Part 7 out of 10
nightfall and wither and die when the light strikes them next morning.
They are very easily grown, either in pots or planted in the natural
soil in the conservatory. The only special care they need is good
drainage at the roots, so that the soil will not become soggy.
The epiphyllum, or lobster cactus, or crab cactus, is one of the best of
the family, easy of culture. It bears bright-colored blossoms at the end
of each joint. When in flower, which will be in the winter months, it
requires a richer soil than the other cacti. A suitable soil is made of
two-thirds fibrous loam and one third leafmold; usually it is best to
add sand or pulverized brick. In fall and early winter, keep rather dry,
giving more water as the plant comes into bloom.
Opuntias, or prickly pears, are often grown as border plants through the
summer. In fact, all the family may be planted out, and if a number of
kinds are set in a bed together, they make a striking addition to the
garden. Be very careful not to bruise the plants. It is better to plunge
them in the pots than to turn them out of the pots.
CALADIUM.--Tuberous-rooted, tender perennial plants used for
conservatory decoration, and also for subtropical and bold effects in
the lawn (Plate IV). The plants commonly known under this name are
The roots should be dormant in the winter, being kept in a warm cellar
or under a greenhouse bench, where they are not liable to frost or
dampness. The roots are usually covered with earth, but they are kept
dry. Early in spring the roots are put into boxes or pots and are
started into growth, so that by the time settled weather comes they will
be 1 or 2 feet high and ready to set directly into soil.
When set out of doors, they should be protected from strong winds, and
from the full glare of direct sunlight. The soil should be rich and
deep, and the plants should have an abundance of water. They do well
about ponds (see Plate X).
Caladiums are most excellent plants for striking effects, especially
against a house, high shrubbery, or other background. If they are
planted by themselves, they should be in clumps rather than scattered as
single specimens, as the effect is better. See that they get a good
start before they are planted in the open ground. As soon as killed
down by frost, dig them, dry the roots of superfluous moisture, and
store till wanted in late winter or spring.
CALCEOLARIA.--The calceolarias are small greenhouse herbs sometimes
used in the window-garden. They are not very satisfactory plants for
window treatment, however, since they suffer from dry atmosphere and
from sudden changes of temperature.
The calceolarias are grown from seeds. If the seeds are sown in early
summer and the young plants are transplanted as they need, flowering
specimens may be had for the late fall and early winter. In the growing
of the young plants, always avoid exposing them to direct sunlight; but
they should be given a place that has an abundance of screened or
tempered light. A new crop of plants should be raised each year.
There is a race of shrubby calceolarias, but it is little known in this
country. One or two species are annuals adaptable to cultivation in the
open garden, and their little ladyslipper-like flowers are attractive.
However, they are of secondary importance as annual garden flowers.
CALLA (properly _Richardia_), Egyptian lily.--The calla is one of
the most satisfactory of winter house-plants, lending itself to various
The requirements of the calla are rich soil and an abundance of water,
with the roots confined in as small a space as possible. If a too large
pot is used, the growth of foliage will be very rank, at the expense of
the flowers; but by using a smaller-sized pot and applying liquid
manure, the flowers will be produced freely. A 6-inch pot will be large
enough for all but an exceptionally large bulb or tuber. If desired, a
number of tubers may be grown together in a larger pot. The soil should
be very rich but fibrous--at least one third well-rotted manure will be
none too much, mixed with equal parts of fibrous loam and sharp sand.
The tubers should be planted firmly and the pots set in a cool place to
make roots. After the roots have partially filled the pot, the plant may
be brought into heat and given a sunny position and an abundance of
water. An occasional sponging or washing of the leaves will free them
from dust. No other treatment will be required until the flowers appear,
when liquid manure may be given.
The plant will thrive all the better at this time if the pot is placed
in a saucer of water. In fact, the calla will grow well in an aquarium.
The calla may be grown through the entire year, but it will prove more
satisfactory, both in leaf and flower, if rested through part of the
summer. This may be done by laying the pots on their sides in a dry
shady place under shrubbery, or if in the open slightly covered with
straw or other litter to keep the roots from becoming extremely dry. In
September or October they may be shaken out, cleaning off all the old
soil, and repotted, as already mentioned. The offsets may be taken off
and set in small pots and given a year's growth, resting them the second
year and having them in flower that winter.
The spotted calla has variegated foliage and is a good plant for mixed
collections. This blooms in the spring, which will lengthen the season
of calla bloom. The treatment of this is similar to that of the
CAMELLIAS are half-hardy woody plants, blooming in late winter and
spring. Years ago camellias were very popular, but they have been
crowded out by the informal flowers of recent times. Their time will
During the blooming season keep them cool--say not over 50 deg. at night
and a little higher by day. When blooming is done they begin to grow;
then give them more heat and plenty of water. See that they are well
ripened by winter with large plump flower-buds. If they are neglected or
kept too dry during their growing season (in summer) they will drop
their buds in fall. The soil for camellias should be fibrous and
fertile, compounded of rotted sod, leafmold, old cow manure, and
sufficient sand for good drainage. Always screen them from direct
sunlight. Do not try to force them in early winter, after the growth
has ceased. Their summer quarters may be in a protected place in the
Camellias are propagated by cuttings in winter, which should give
blooming plants in two years.
CANNAS are among the most ornamental and important plants used in
decorative gardening. They make fine herbaceous hedges, groups, masses,
and--when desirable--good center plants for beds. They are much used for
subtropical effects (see Plate V).
Cannas grow 3 to 10 feet or more high. Formerly they were valued chiefly
for their foliage, but since the introduction, in 1884, of the Crozy
Dwarf French type with its showy flowers, cannas are grown as much for
their bloom as for their foliage effects. The flowers of these new kinds
are as large as those of gladioli, and are of various shades of yellow
and red, with banded and spotted forms. These flowering kinds grow about
3 feet high. The older forms are taller. In both sections there are
green-leaved and dark coppery-red-leaved varieties.
The canna may be grown from seed and had in bloom the first year by
sowing in February or March, in boxes or pots placed in hotbeds or a
warm house, first soaking the seeds in warm water for a short time or
filing a small notch through the coat of each seed (avoiding the round
germinating point). It requires two years to raise strong plants of the
old-fashioned tall cannas from seed. Sow in light, sandy soil, where the
earth may be kept at 70 deg. till after germination. After the plants have
got well up, transplant them to about 3 or 4 inches apart, or place in
pots 3 inches wide, in good rich soil. They may now be kept at 60 deg..
The majority of cannas, however, are grown from pieces of the roots
(rhizomes), each piece having a bud. The roots may be divided at any
time in the winter, and if early flowers and foliage are wanted, the
pieces may be planted in a hotbed or warmhouse in early April, started
into growth, and planted out where wanted as soon as the ground has
warmed and all danger of frost is over. A hardening of the plants, by
leaving the sash off the hotbeds, or setting the plants in shallow boxes
and placing the boxes in a sheltered position through May, not
forgetting a liberal supply of water, will fit the plants to take kindly
to the final planting out.
Plant out roots or started plants when there is no longer danger of
frost. For mass effects, the plants may stand twelve to eighteen inches
apart; for individual bloom twenty to twenty-four inches or more. Some
gardeners plant them not closer than twenty to twenty-four inches for
mass beds, if the soil is good and the plants strong. Give them a warm
The old (foliage) sorts may be left out late to ripen up the fleshy
root-stocks. Cut the tops off immediately after frost. The roots are
safe in the ground as long as it does not freeze. Dig, and dry or "cure"
for a few days, then winter them like potatoes in the cellar. It is a
common mistake to dig canna roots too early.
The French sorts are commonly thought to keep best if kept growing
somewhat during the winter; but if managed right, they may be carried
over like the others. Immediately after frost, cut off the tops next the
ground. Cover the stumps with a little soil and leave the roots in the
ground till well ripened. Clean them after digging, and cure or dry them
for a week or more in the open air and sun, taking them indoors at
night. Then place them away from frost in a cool, dry place.
CARNATIONS are now among the most popular florists' flowers; but it
is not generally known that they be easily grown in the outdoor garden.
They are of two types, the outdoor or garden varieties, and the indoor
or forcing kinds. Normally, the carnation is a hardy perennial, but the
garden kinds, or marguerites, are usually treated as annuals. The
forcing kinds are flowered but once, new plants being grown each year
Marguerite carnations bloom the year the seed is sown, and with a slight
protection will bloom freely the second year. They make attractive house
plants if potted in the fall. The seeds of these carnations should be
sown in boxes in March and the young plants set out as early as
possible, pinching out the center of the plant to make them branch
freely. Give the same space as for garden pinks.
The winter-flowering carnations have become prime favorites with all
flower lovers, and a collection of winter house-plants seems incomplete
Carnations grow readily from cuttings made of the suckers that form
around the base of the stem, the side shoots of the flowering stem, or
the main shoots before they show flower-buds. The cuttings from the base
make the best plants in most cases. These cuttings may be taken from a
plant at any time through the fall or winter, rooted in sand and potted
up, to be held in pots until the planting out time in the spring,
usually in April, or any time when the ground is ready to handle. Care
should be taken to pinch out the tops of the young plants while growing
in the pot, and later while in the ground, causing them to grow stocky
and send out new growths along the stem. The young plants should be
grown cool, a temperature of 45 deg. suiting them well. Attention should be
given to spraying the cuttings each day while in the house to keep down
the red spider, which is very partial to the carnation.
In the summer, the plants are grown in the field, and not in pots, being
transplanted from the cutting-box. The soil in which they are to be
planted should be moderately rich and loose. Clean cultivation should be
given throughout the summer. Frequently pinch out the tops.
The plants are taken up in September and potted firmly, and well
watered; then set in a cool, partially shaded situation until root
growth has started, and watering the plant as it shows need of water.
The usual living-room conditions as to moisture and heat are not such as
the carnation demands, and care must be taken to overcome the dryness by
spraying the foliage and setting the plant in a position not exposed to
the direct heat of a stove or the sun. In commercial houses, it is not
often necessary to spray established plants. Pick off most or all of the
side buds, in order to add to the size of the leading flowers. After all
is said, it is probably advisable in most cases to purchase the plants
when in bloom from a florist, and after blooming either throw them away
or store them for planting out in the spring, when they will bloom
throughout the summer.
If conditions are right, the rust should not be very troublesome, if the
start was made with clean stock. Keep all rusted leaves picked off.
CENTURY PLANTS or agaves are popular plants for the window-garden
or conservatory, requiring little care and growing slowly, thus needing
repotting only at long intervals. When the plants have outgrown their
usefulness as house-plants, they are still valuable as porch
decorations, for plunging in rock-work, or about rustic nooks. The
striped-leaved variety is the most desirable, but the normal type, with
its blue-gray leaves, is highly ornamental.
There are a number of dwarf species of agave that are not so common,
although they may be grown with ease. Such plants add novelty to a
collection, and may be used through the summer as noted above or plunged
with cactus in a bed of tropical plants. All succeed well in loam and
sand in equal parts, with a little leafmold in the case of the small
The more common species are propagated by suckers from around the base
of the established plants. A few kinds having no suckers must be grown
As to watering, they demand no special care. Agaves will not stand frost
to any extent.
When the head throws up its great stem and blooms, it may exhaust itself
and die; but this may be far short of a century. Some species bloom more
CHRYSANTHEMUMS are of many kinds, some being annual flower-garden
plants, some perennial border subjects, and one form is the universal
florists' plant. In chrysanthemums are now included the pyrethrums.
The annual chrysanthemums must not be confounded with the well-known
fall-flowering kinds, as they will prove a disappointment if one expects
large flowers of all colors and shapes. The annuals are mostly
coarse-growing plants, with an abundance of bloom and a rank smell. The
flowers are single in most cases, and not very lasting. They are useful
for massing and also for cut-flowers. They are among the easiest of
hardy annuals to grow. The stoniest part of the garden will usually suit
them. Colors white and shades of yellow, the flowers daisy-like; 1-3 ft.
Amongst perennial kinds, _Chrysanthemum frutescens_ is the well-known
Paris daisy or marguerite, one of the most popular of the genus. This
makes a good pot-plant for the window-garden, blooming throughout the
winter and spring months. It is usually propagated by cuttings, which,
if taken in spring, will give large blooming plants for the next winter.
Gradually transfer to larger pots or boxes, until the plants finally
stand in 6-inch or 8-inch pots or in small soap boxes. There is a fine
yellow-flowered variety. The marguerite daisy is much grown out-of-doors
The hardy perennial kinds are small-flowered, late-blooming plants,
known to many old people as "artemisias." They have been improved of
late years, and they are very satisfactory plants of easy culture. The
plants should be renewed from seed every year or two.
In variety of form and color, and in size of bloom, the florists'
chrysanthemum is one of the most wonderful of plants. It is a late
autumn flower, and it needs little artificial heat to bring it to
perfection. The great blooms of the exhibitions are produced by growing
only one flower to a plant and by feeding the plant heavily. It is
hardly possible for the amateur to grow such specimen flowers as the
professional florist or gardener does; neither is it necessary. A
well-grown plant with fourteen to twenty flowers is far more
satisfactory as a window-plant than a long, stiff stem with only one
immense flower at the apex. The culture is simple, much more so than
that of many of the plants commonly grown for house decoration. Although
the season of bloom is short, the satisfaction of having a fall display
of flowers before the geraniums, begonias, and other house-plants have
recovered from their removal from out of doors, repays all efforts. Very
good plants can be grown under a temporary shed cover, as shown in Fig.
268. The roof need not necessarily be of glass. Under such a cover,
also, potted plants, in bloom, may be set for protection when the
weather becomes too cold.
Cuttings taken in March or April, planted out in the border in May, well
tended through the summer and lifted before frost in September, will
bloom in October or November. The ground in which the plants are to
bloom should be moderately rich and moist. The plants may be tied to
stakes. When the buds show, all but the center one of each cluster on
the leading shoots should be picked off, as also the small lateral
branches. A thrifty bushy plant thus treated will usually have flowers
large enough to show the character of the variety, also numbers enough
to make a fine display.
After blooming, the plants are lifted from the border. As to the
receptacle into which to put them, it need not be a flower-pot. A pail
or soap-box, with holes bored for drainage, will suit the plant just as
well, and by covering the box with cloth or paper the difference will
not be noticed.
If cuttings are not to be had, young plants may be bought of the
florists and treated in the manner described. Buy them in midsummer
It is best not to attempt to flower the same plant two seasons. After
the plant has bloomed, the top may be cut down, and the box set in a
cellar and kept moderately dry. In February or March, bring the plant to
the sitting-room window and let the shoots start from the root. These
shoots are taken for cuttings to grow plants for the fall bloom.
CINERARIA is a tender greenhouse subject, but it may be grown as a
house-plant, although the conditions necessary to the best results are
difficult to secure outside a glasshouse.
The conditions for cinerarias are a cool temperature, frequent
repotting, and guarding against the attacks of the greenfly. Perhaps the
last is the most difficult, and with one having no facilities for
fumigating, it will be almost impossible to prevent the difficulty. A
living room usually has too dry air for cinerarias.
The seed, which is very minute, should be sown in August or September to
have plants in bloom in January or February. Sow the seed on the surface
of fine soil and water very lightly to settle the seeds into the soil. A
piece of glass or a damp cloth may be spread over the pot or box in
which the seeds are sown, to remain until the seeds are up. Always keep
the soil damp, but not wet. When the seedlings are large enough to
repot, they should be potted singly in 2-or 3-inch pots. Before the
plants have become pot-bound, they should again be repotted into larger
pots, until they are in at least 6-inch pots in which to bloom.
In all this time, they should be grown cool and, if not possible to
fumigate them with tobacco, the pots should stand on tobacco stems,
which should be moist at all times. The general practice, in order to
have bushy plants, is to pinch out the center when the flower-buds show,
causing the lateral branches to start, which they are slow to do if the
central stem is allowed to grow. Plants bloom but once.
CLEMATIS.--One of the best of woody climbing vines, the common _C.
Flammula, Virginiana, paniculata_ and others being used frequently to
cover division walls or fences, growing year after year without any care
and producing quantities of flowers. _C. paniculata_ is now planted very
extensively. The panicles of star-shaped flowers entirely cover the
vine and have a pleasant fragrance. It is one of the best of all
fall-flowering vines, and hardy north; clings well to a
The large-flowered section, of which Jackmani is perhaps the best known,
is very popular for pillar or porch climbers. The flowers of this
section are large and showy, running from pure white, through blue, to
scarlet. Of this class, a serviceable purple is Jackmani; white, Henryi
(Fig. 266); blue, Ramona; crimson, Madame E. Andre.
A deep, mellow, fertile soil, naturally moist, will suit the
requirements of clematis. In dry times apply water freely, particularly
for the large-flowered kinds. Also provide trellis or other support as
soon as they begin to run. Clematis usually blooms on the wood of the
season: therefore prune in winter or early spring, in order to secure
strong new flowering shoots. The large-flowered kinds should be cut back
to the ground each year; some other kinds may be similarly treated
unless they are wanted for permanent bowers.
The clematis root disease is the depredation of a nematode or eel-worm.
It is seldom troublesome in ground that thoroughly freezes, and this may
be the reason why it so often fails when planted against buildings.
COLEUS.--The commonest "foliage plant" in window-gardens. It was
used very extensively at one time in ornamental bedding and ribbon
borders, but owing to its being tender has lost in favor, and its place
is largely taken by other plants.
Coleus is grown with the greatest ease from cuttings or slips. Take
cuttings only from vigorous and healthy plants. It may also be grown
from seed, although the types have not become fixed, and a large number
of differently marked plants may be had from the same packet. This would
not be a drawback in the window-garden, unless a uniform effect is
desired; in fact, the best results are often secured from seeds. Sow the
seed in gentle heat in March.
Grow new plants each year, and throw the old ones away.
CROCUS (see _Bulbs_).--Crocus is one of the best of spring bulbs,
easily grown and giving good satisfaction either in the border or
scattered through the lawn. They are also forced for winter. They are
so cheap and lasting that they may be used in quantity. A border of
crocuses along the edges of walks, little clumps of them in the lawn, or
masses in a bed, give the first touch of color as the spring opens.
A sandy soil suits the crocus admirably. Plant in the fall, in the open,
3 to 4 inches deep. When they show signs of failing, take up the bulbs
and reset them. They tend to rise out of the ground, because the new
bulb or corm forms on the top of the old one. They run out on lawns in
two or three years. If best results are desired, it is well to renew the
bed occasionally by buying new bulbs. Crocus beds may be filled later in
the season with quick-growing annuals. It is important that only the
best flowering bulbs be secured.
They may be forced with ease, planted in pots or shallow boxes, put away
in a cool place and brought into the house at any time through the
winter. A low temperature will bring them into bloom in perfection in
about four weeks from the time they are brought in. They can be had in
the window-garden in this way, opening in the sunshine.
CROTON.--Under this name many varieties and so-called species of
Codiaeum are grown for conservatory decoration, and latterly for foliage
bedding in the open. The colors and shapes of the leaves are very
various and attractive. The crotons make good window-garden subjects,
although they are very liable to the attack of the mealy bug.
The plants should be given an abundance of light in order to bring out
their fine colors; but it is usually advisable to screen them from the
direct rays of the sun when they are grown under glass. If the red
spider or the mealy bug attack them, they may be syringed with tobacco
water. Plants that are propagated indoors in winter may be massed in
beds out of doors in summer, where they make very striking effects. Give
them strong deep soil, and be sure that they are syringed frequently
enough on the underside of the leaves to keep down the red spider. If
the plants have been gradually subjected to strong light before they are
taken out of doors, they will stand the full sunlight and will develop
their rich colors to perfection. In the fall they may be taken up, cut
back, and used for window-garden or conservatory subjects.
Crotons are shrubs or small trees, and they may be transferred into
large pots or tubs and grown into large tree-like specimens. Old and
scraggly specimens should be thrown away.
Crotons are propagated readily by cuttings of half-ripened wood any time
in winter or spring.
CYCLAMEN.--A tender greenhouse tuberous plant, sometimes seen in
the window-garden. The Persian cyclamen is best for the
house-gardener to grow.
Cyclamens may be grown from seed sown in April or September in soil
containing a large proportion of sand and leafmold. If sown in
September, they should be wintered in a coolhouse. In May they should be
potted into larger pots and placed in a shaded frame, and by July will
have become large enough for their flowering pot, which should be either
5-inch or 6-inch. They should be brought into the house before danger of
frost, and grown cool until through flowering. A temperature of 55 deg.
suits them while in flower. After flowering, they will need a rest for a
short time, but should not become very dry, or the bulb will be injured.
When they start into growth, they should have the old soil shaken off
and be potted into smaller pots. At no time should more than half the
tuber be under the soil.
April-sown plants should be similarly treated. Cyclamens should bloom in
about fifteen months from seed. The seed germinates very slowly.
Tubers large enough to flower the first year may be purchased from the
seedsmen at moderate prices; and unless one has facilities for growing
the seedlings for a year, purchase of the tubers will give the best
satisfaction. Secure new tubers, for old ones are not so good.
The soil best suited to the cyclamen is one containing two parts
leafmold, one part each of sand and loam.
DAHLIA is an old favorite which, on account of its formal flowers,
has been in disfavor for a few years, although it has always held a
place in the rural districts. Now, however, with the advent of the
cactus and semi-cactus types (or loose-flowered forms), and the
improvement of the singles, it again has taken a front rank among late
summer flowers, coming in just in advance of the chrysanthemum.
[Illustration: XVIII. Cornflower or bachelor's button. _Centaurea
The single varieties may be grown from seed, but the double sorts
should be grown from cuttings of young stems or from division of the
roots. If cuttings are to be made, it will be necessary to start the
roots early, either in a hotbed or house. When the growths have reached
4 or 5 inches, they may be cut from the plant and rooted in sand. Care
should be taken to cut just below a joint, as a cutting made between two
joints will not form tubers. The most rapid method of propagation of
named varieties is to grow from cuttings in this way.
In growing the plants from roots, the best plan is to place the whole
root in gentle heat, covering slightly. When the young growth has
started, the roots may be taken up, divided, and planted out 3 to 4 feet
apart. This plan will insure a plant from each piece of root, whereas if
the roots are divided while dormant, there is danger of not having a bud
at the end of each piece, in which case no growth will start; the roots
are sometimes cut into pieces while dormant, however, but one should be
sure that a piece of old stem with bud is on each piece.
One objection to the old dahlia was its lateness of bloom. But by
starting the roots early in a frame, or in boxes that are covered at
night, the plants may be had in flower several weeks earlier than usual.
They may be started in April, or at least three weeks in advance of
planting time. Little water will be required till they start. When they
begin shooting up, the plants should have the full sun, and air, on all
mild days. They will then make a slow, sturdy growth. All forcing should
be avoided. These plants, set out when there is no longer danger of
frost, and well watered before completely covering the roots, will grow
right on, and often begin blooming in July.
Dormant roots may be set out in May. The roots, unless small, should be
divided before planting, as a single strong root is usually better than
a whole clump. The roots of all but the Dwarf should be set about 3 feet
apart, in rows. In poor soils none but the first class will need stakes.
The dahlia flourishes best in a deep, loose, moist soil; very good
results can be had on sandy soil, provided plant-food and moisture are
furnished. Clay should be avoided. If the ground is too strong, they
will probably bloom too late for the northern latitudes.
If the plants are to be grown without stakes, the center of each plant
should be pinched out after making two or three joints. By doing this
the lateral branches will start near the ground and be stiff enough to
withstand the winds. In most home gardens the plants are allowed to
reach their full height, and are tied to stakes if necessary. The tall
kinds reach a height of 5 to 8 ft.
Dahlias are very susceptible to frost. After the first frost, lift the
roots, let them dry in the sun, shake off the dirt, trim off tops and
broken parts, and store them in a cellar, as for potatoes. They may be
placed in barrels of sand, if the open cellar is not usable. Cannas may
be stored in the same place.
The tree dahlia (_D. excelsa,_ but cultivated as _D. arborea_) is grown
more or less far South and in California. It has not been much improved.
FERNS.--The native ferns transplant easily to the garden, and they
make an attractive addition to the side of a house, or as an admixture
in a hardy border. The ostrich, cinnamon, and royal ferns are the best
subjects. Give all outdoor ferns a place that is protected from winds,
otherwise they will shrivel and perhaps die. Screen them from the hot
sun, or give them the shady side of the building. See that the soil is
uniformly moist, and that it does not get too hot. Mulch with leafmold
in the fall. It is not difficult to colonize many of the native ferns in
shady and protected places where trees do not sap all the strength from
Probably the one fern grown most extensively as a house-plant is the
small-leaved maidenhair fern (or _Adiantum gracillimum_). This and other
species are among the finest of house plants, when sufficient moisture
can be given. They make fine specimens as well as serving the purpose of
greenery for cut flowers. Other species often grown for house plants are
_A. cuneatum_ and _A. Capillus-Veneris._ All these do well in a mixture
of fibrous sod, loam, and sand, with ample drainage material. They may
be divided if an increase is wanted.
Another fern for house culture is _Nephrolepsis exaltata._ This is no
doubt the most easily grown of the list, flourishing in a sitting-room.
A variety of _N. exaltata,_ called the Boston fern, is a decided
addition to this group, having a drooping habit, covering the pot and
making a fine stand or bracket plant; and there are now several other
forms of it suitable for the best window-gardens.
Several species of pteris, especially _P. serrulata,_ are valuable
house ferns but require a warmer place than those mentioned above. They
will also thrive better in a shady or ill-lighted corner.
Perfect drainage and care in watering have more to do with the
successful growing of ferns than any special mixture of soils. If the
drainage material in the bottom of the pot or box is sufficient, there
is little danger of overwatering; but water-logged soil is always to be
avoided. Do not use clay soils. Ferns need protection from the direct
sunshine, and also a moist atmosphere. They thrive well in a close glass
box, or window-garden, if the conditions can be kept equable.
FREESIA.--One of the best and most easily handled tender
winter-flowering bulbs; height 12 or 15 inches. The white form _(Freesia
refracta alba_) is the best.
The white or yellowish bell-shaped flowers of freesia are produced on
slender stalks just above the foliage, to the number of six to eight in
a cluster. They are very fragrant, and last for a considerable time when
picked. The bulbs are small, and look as though they could not produce a
growth of foliage and flowers, but even the smallest mature bulb will
prove satisfactory. Several bulbs should be planted together in a pot,
box, or pan, in October, if wanted for the holidays, or later if wanted
at Easter. The plants bloom from ten to twelve weeks from planting,
under ordinary care.
No special treatment is required; keep the plants cool and moist through
the growing season. The soil should contain a little sand mixed with
fibrous loam, and the pot should be well drained. After flowering,
gradually withhold water and the tops will die down, after which the
roots may be shaken out and rested until time to plant in fall. Care
should be taken to keep them perfectly dry.
The bulbs increase rapidly from offsets. Plants may also be grown from
seed, which should be sown as soon as ripe, giving blooming plants the
second or third year.
FUCHSIA.--Well-known window or greenhouse shrub, treated as an
herbaceous subject; many interesting forms; late winter, spring
Fuchsia is readily grown from cuttings. Soft green wood should be used
for cuttings, and it will root in about three weeks, when the cuttings
should be potted. Take care not to have them pot-bound while in growth,
but do not overpot when bloom is wanted. Given warmth and good soil,
they will make fine plants in three months or less. In well-protected,
partially shady places they may be planted out, growing into miniature
bushes by fall.
Plants may be kept on from year to year; and if the branches are well
cut back after blooming, abundant new bloom will come. But it is usually
best to make new plants each year from cuttings, since young plants
commonly bloom most profusely and demand less care. Fuchsias are amongst
the best of window subjects.
GERANIUM.--What are commonly known as geraniums are, strictly
speaking, pelargoniums. (See _Pelargonium._)
The true geraniums are mostly hardy perennials, and therefore should not
be confounded with the tender pelargoniums. Geraniums are worthy a place
in a border. They may be transplanted early in the spring, setting them
2 ft. apart. Height 10 to 12 in. The common wild cranesbill _(Geranium
maculatum_) improves under cultivation, and is an attractive plant when
it stands in front of taller foliage.
GLADIOLUS.--Of summer and fall-blooming bulbous plants, gladiolus
is probably the most widely popular. The colors range from scarlet and
purple, to white, rose, and pure yellow. The plants are of slender,
erect habit, growing from 2 to 3 feet high.
Gladioli dislike a heavy clay soil. A light loam or sandy soil suits
them best. No fresh manure should be added to the soil the year in which
they are grown. They should have a new place every year, if possible,
and always an open sunny situation.
The corms may be covered 2 inches deep in heavy soils, and 4 to 6 in
light soils. They may stand 8 to 10 inches apart, or half this distance
for mass effects. For a succession, they may be planted at short
intervals, the earliest planting being of smaller corms in the early
spring as soon as the soil is dry enough to work; later the larger are
to be planted--the last setting being not later than the Fourth of July.
This last planting will afford fine late flowers. The plants should be
supported by inconspicuous stakes.
The successive plantings may be in the same bed among those set earlier,
or they may be grouped in unoccupied nooks, or portions of the border.
The plants may stand as close as 6 inches from each other. The earlier
planting may be a foot apart to admit of later settings between.
Late in the fall, after frosts and before freezing, the corms are to be
dug, cleaned, and dried in the sun and air for a few hours and then
stored away in boxes about 2-1/2 inches deep in a cool, dark, and dry
place. The tops should be left on, at least till completely shriveled.
The varieties are perpetuated and multiplied by the little corms that
appear about the base of the large new corm which is formed each year.
These small corms may be taken off in the spring and sown thickly in
drills. Many of them will make flowering plants by the second season.
They are treated like the large corms, in the fall.
Gladioli are easily grown from seed also, but this method cannot be
depended on to perpetuate desirable varieties, which can be reproduced
only by the cormels. Some of the best flowers may be cross-pollinated,
or allowed to form seed in the usual manner; the seed sown thickly in
drills, and shaded till the plantlets appear, then carefully cultivated,
will afford a crop of small corms in the fall. These may be stored for
the winter, like the other young corms, and, like them, many will flower
the second season, affording a great variety and quite likely some new
and striking kinds. Those that do not flower should be reserved for
further trial. They often prove finer than those first to flower.
Early-flowering varieties of gladioli may be forced for late winter or
For bouquets, cut the spike when the lower flowers open; keep in fresh
water, cut off the end of the stem frequently, and the other flowers
GLOXINIA.--Choice greenhouse tuberous-rooted, spring and
summer-blooming perennials, sometimes seen in window-gardens, but really
not adapted to them, although some skillful house-gardeners grow them
Gloxinias must have a uniform moist and warm atmosphere and protection
from the sun. They will not stand abuse or varying conditions.
Propagated often by leaf-cuttings, which should give flowering plants in
one year. From the leaf, inserted half its length in the soil (or
sometimes only the petiole inserted) a tuber arises. This tuber, after
resting until midwinter or later, is planted, and flowering plants
Gloxinias also grow readily from seeds, which may be germinated in a
temperature of about 70 deg.. Flowering plants may be had in August if
seeds are sown in late winter, say in early February. This is the usual
method. After the bloom is past, the tuber is partially dried off and
kept dormant till the following season. It will usually show signs of
activity in February or March, when it may be shaken out of the old
earth and a little water may then be applied and the amount increased
till the plant is in bloom. The same tubers may be bloomed
Success in the growing of gloxinias is largely a matter of proper
watering. Keep the dormant tuber just dry enough to prevent shriveling,
never trying to force it ahead of its time. Avoid wetting the leaves.
Protect from direct sunlight. Protect from draughts on the plants.
GREVILLEA.--The "she oak," very graceful greenhouse plant, suitable
also for house culture. The plants grow freely from seed, and until they
become too large are as decorative as ferns. Grevilleas are really
trees, and are valuable in greenhouses and rooms only in their young
state. They withstand much abuse. They are now very popular as
jardiniere subjects. Seeds sown in spring will give handsome plants by
the next winter. Discard the plants as soon as they become ragged.
HOLLYHOCKS.--These old garden favorites have been neglected of late
years, primarily because the hollyhock rust has been so prevalent,
destroying the plants or making them unsightly.
Their culture is very simple. The seed is usually sown in July or
August, and the plants set where wanted the following spring. They will
bloom the same year in which they are transplanted--the year following
the seed-sowing. New plants should be set every two years, as the old
crowns are likely to rot or die after the first flowering, or at least
to become weak.
HYACINTHS (see _Bulbs_) are popular spring-flowering bulbs.
Hyacinths are hardy, but they are often used as window or greenhouse
plants. They are easy to grow and very satisfactory (Fig. 262).
For winter flowering, the bulbs should be procured early in the fall,
potted in October in soil composed of loam, leafmold, and sand. If
ordinary flower-pots are used, put in the bottom a few pieces of broken
pots, charcoal, or small stones for drainage; then fill the pot with
dirt, so that when the bulb is planted, the top will be on a level with
the rim of the pot. Fill in around the bulb with soil, leaving just the
tip showing. These pots of bulbs should be placed in a cold pit, cellar
or on the shady side of a building. In all cases, plunge the pot in some
cool material (as cinders). Before the weather becomes cold enough to
freeze a crust on the ground, the pots should have a protection of straw
or leaves to keep the bulbs from severe freezing. In about six to eight
weeks the bulbs should have made roots enough to grow the plant, and the
pots may be placed in a cool room for a short time. When the plants have
started into growth, they may be placed in a warmer situation. Watering
should be carefully attended to from this time, and when the plant is in
bloom, the pot may be set in a saucer or other shallow dish containing
water. After flowering, the bulbs may be ripened by gradually
withholding water until the leaves die. They may then be planted out in
the border, where they will bloom each spring for a number of years, but
will never prove satisfactory for forcing again.
The open-ground culture of hyacinths is the same as for tulips and other
The hyacinth is the most popular of the Dutch bulbs for growing in vases
of water. The narcissus may be grown in water, and do just as well, but
it is not as attractive in glasses as the hyacinth. Glasses for
hyacinths may be had of florists who deal in supplies, and in various
shapes and colors. The usual form is tall and narrow, with a cup-like
mouth to receive the bulb. They are filled with water, so that it will
just reach the base of the bulb when placed in position in the cup or
shoulder above. The vessels of dark-colored glass are preferable to
those of clear glass, as roots prefer darkness. When the glasses have
been filled, they are set away in a cool, dark place, where roots will
form, as in potted bulbs. Results are usually secured earlier in water
than in soil. To keep the water sweet, a few lumps of charcoal may be
put in the glass. As the water evaporates, add fresh; add enough so that
it runs over, and thereby renews that in the glass. Do not disturb the
roots by taking out the bulb.
IRIS includes many handsome perennials, of which the blue flag is
familiar to every old-fashioned garden. They are favorites everywhere,
for their brilliant spring and summer bloom; and they are easy to grow.
Most irises thrive best in a rather moist soil, and some of them may be
colonized in the water in margins of ponds.
Gardeners usually divide them into two sections--the tuberous-rooted or
rhizomatous, and the bulbous. A third division--the fibrous-rooted--is
The common and most serviceable species belong to the tuberous-rooted
section. Here is the beautiful and varied Japanese iris, _Iris
loevigata_ (or _I. Koempferi_), which is among the most deserving of
all hardy perennials. Most of these irises need no special care. They
are propagated by division of the rootstocks. Plant the pieces one foot
apart if a mass effect is desired. When the plants begin to fail, dig
them up, divide the roots, discard the old parts, and grow a new stock,
as before. The Japanese iris needs much water and a very rich soil.
Readily grown from seeds, giving bloom the second year. _I Susiana,_ of
this section, is one of the oddest of irises, but it is not quite hardy
in the North.
Of the bulbous section, most species are not hardy far North. The bulbs
should be taken up and replanted every two or three years. The Persian
and Spanish irises belong here. The bulbs give rise to but a
LILY.--Under this name are included bulbous plants of many kinds,
not all of them being true lilies. It has been said of this family of
plants that it has no "poor relations," each of them being perfect in
itself. Many of the choicest kinds are comparatively unknown, although
easy to cultivate. In fact, all of the lilies may be grown with
comparative ease in regions where the given species are hardy.
A light, fertile, well-drained soil, mellow to the depth of at least one
foot, a handful of sand under each bulb if the soil is inclined to be
stiff, and planting so that the crown of the bulb will be at least 4
inches below the surface, are the general requirements. One exception to
the depth of planting is _Lilium auratum,_ or golden-banded lily. This
should be planted deeper--from 8 to 12 inches below the surface--as the
new bulbs form over the old one and soon bring the bulbs to the surface
if they are not planted deep. Deep working of the ground is always
desirable; 18 inches, or even 2 feet, will be none too deep. _L.
candidum_ and _L. testaceum_ should be planted in August or September,
if possible; but usually lilies are planted in October and November.
For all lilies it is safer to provide good winter protection in the form
of a mulch of leaves or manure, and extending beyond the borders of the
planting. This should be 5 inches to a foot deep, according to the
latitude or locality.
While most lilies profit by partial shade (except _L. candidum_), they
should never be planted near or under trees. The shade or protection of
tall-growing herbaceous plants is sufficient. In fact, the best results,
both as to growth and effect, may be secured by planting amongst low
shrubbery or border plants.
Most kinds are the better for remaining undisturbed for a number of
years; but if they are to be taken up and divided, or moved to other
quarters, they should not be allowed to become dry. The small bulbs, or
offsets, may be planted in the border, and if protected, will grow to
flowering size in two or three years. In taking up bulbs for division it
is best to do so soon after the tops die after blooming. At least this
should be done early in the fall, not later than October, giving the
plants a chance to become established before freezing weather.
As pot-plants some kinds of lilies are very satisfactory, especially
those that may be forced into bloom through the winter. The best kinds
for this purpose are _L. Harrisii_ (Easter lily), _L. longiflorum,_ and
_L. candidum._ Others may be forced with success, but these are the ones
most generally used. The winter culture for forcing is practically the
same as for hyacinths in pots.
Some of the best kinds of lilies are mentioned below:--
_L. candidum_ (Annunciation lily). White; 3 to 4 feet high; it makes an
autumn growth, and should, therefore, be planted in August; set the
bulbs from 4 to 6 inches deep.
_L. speciosum_ (_L. lancifolium_), var. _proecox._ White, tinged with
pink; bears several flowers on a stem about 3 feet high.
_L. speciosum,_ var. _rubrum._ Rose color, spotted with red.
_L. Brownii._ Flowers white inside, chocolate-colored outside; the stems
grow about 3 feet high, bearing from 2 to 4 tubular flowers; not
difficult to manage with good protection and drainage; the bulbs are
impatient of being kept long out of the ground; after planting, they
should not be disturbed as long as they flower well.
_L. maculatum (L. Hansoni)_. Dark yellow; stems 3-4 feet high, each
producing 6 to 12 flowers.
_L. testaceum (L. excelsum, L. Isabellinum)_. Rich buff color, with
delicate spots; plants about 3 to 5 feet high, with 3 to a dozen flowers
on a stem; plant the bulbs in September.
_L. longiflorum._ White; large tubular flowers, 2 to 8 on a stem;
height, about 2-1/2 feet.
_L. Batemanniae_ (a form of _L. elegans_). Apricot yellow; 6 to 12
flowers on stems 3 to 4 feet high.
_L. auratum_ (Japanese gold-banded lily). Immense white flowers banded
with yellow and dotted with red or purple, from 3 to 12 on a stem;
height, 3 to 4 feet; the bulbs need thorough protection, good drainage,
and should be planted 10 or 12 inches deep (Fig. 258).
_L. tigrinum_ (Tiger lily). An old favorite, with many drooping bright
red spotted flowers; var. _splendens_ is specially good; 3 to 5 ft.
_L. tenuifolium._ Rich scarlet flowers nodding in a raceme or panicle;
1-1/2 to 2 ft.
_L. Maximowiczii (L. Leichtlinii)_. Flowers clear yellow, with small,
dark spots, 10 to 12 on a stem; height, 4 feet.
_L. monadelphum._ Yellow tubular-shaped flowers in clusters of 6 to a
dozen or more; stems 2-1/2 feet tall.
_L. elegans (L. Thunbergianum_), var. _Alice Wilson._ Lemon-yellow;
stems 2 feet high, bearing 2 to 8 flowers.
_L. elegans,_ var. _fulgens atrosanguineum._ Dark crimson; height, 1
LILY-OF-THE-VALLEY.--A perfectly hardy little perennial, bearing
racemes of small, white, bell-shaped flowers in early spring; and also
much forced by florists.
For ordinary cultivation, sods or mats of roots may be dug from any
place in which the plant is colonized. Usually it thrives best in
partial shade; and the leaves make an attractive mat on the north side
of a building, or other shady place, in which grass will not grow. The
plants will take care of themselves year after year. Better results may
be expected from good commercial roots. The "pips" may be planted any
time from November on, from 3 to 6 inches apart.
For forcing indoors, imported roots or "pips" are used, as the plants
are grown for this particular purpose in parts of Europe. These roots
may be planted in pots, and treated as recommended for winter-flowering
bulbs. Florists force them in greater heat, however, often giving them a
bottom heat of 80 deg. or 90 deg.; but skill and experience are required in
order to attain uniformly good results in this case.
MIGNONETTE.--Probably no flower is more generally grown for its
fragrance than the mignonette. It is a half-hardy annual, thriving
either in the open or under glass.
The mignonette needs a cool soil, only moderately rich, shade part of
the day, and careful attention to cutting the flower-stalks before the
seeds are ripe. If a sowing be made in late April, followed by a second
sowing in early July, the season may be extended until severe frosts.
There are few flowers that will prove as disappointing if the simple
treatment it needs is omitted. Height, 1 to 2 feet.
It may be sown in pots late in summer and be had in the house in winter.
MOON-FLOWERS are species of the morning-glory family that open
their flowers at night. A well-grown plant trained over a porch trellis,
or allowed to grow at random over a low tree or shrub, is a striking
object when in full flower at dusk or through a moonlit evening. In the
Southern states (where it is much grown) the moon-flower is a perennial,
but even when well protected does not survive the winters in the North.
Cuttings usually give best results in the Northern states, as the
seasons are not long enough for seed plants to give good bloom.
Cuttings may be made before danger of frost and wintered in the house,
or the plants may be grown from seed sown in January or February. Seeds
should be scalded or filed just before sowing.
The true moon-flower is _Ipomoea Bona-Nox_ white-flowered; but there
are other kinds that go under this name. This grows 20 to 30 feet where
the seasons are long enough.
NARCISSUS (see _Bulbs_).--Daffodils, jonquils, and the poet's
narcissus all belong to this group, and many of them are perfectly
hardy. The polyanthus section, which includes the Paper-white narcissus
and sacred lily or Chinese joss-flower, are not hardy except with
unusually good protection, and are, therefore, most suitable for
It is common to allow the hardy sorts to take care of themselves when
once planted. This they will do, but much more satisfactory results will
be had by lifting and dividing the clumps every three or four years. A
single bulb in a few years forms a large clump. In this condition the
bulbs are not properly nourished, and consequently do not flower well.
Lifting is preferably done in August or September, when the foliage has
died down and the bulbs are ripe.
The narcissi are well suited to partially shaded places, and will grow
and please wherever good taste may place them. They should be freely
used, as they are fragrant, bright of color, and easily managed--growing
among shrubbery, trees, and in places where other flowers would refuse
to grow. They should be planted in clumps or masses, in September or
October, setting the bulbs 5 to 8 inches apart, according to size, and 3
or 4 inches deep.
Several species and numberless varieties, both double and single, are
grown. A few good types only can be mentioned (Fig. 260):--
_Daffodils, or Trumpet narcissus (Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus_ and
_Single-flowered, Yellow._--Golden Spur, Trumpet Major, Van Sion.
_White and Yellow._--Empress, Horsefieldi.
_Double-flowering, Yellow._--Incomparable fl. pl., Van Sion.
_White._--Alba plena odorata.
_Poet's narcissus (N. poeticus_). Flowers white, with yellow cups edged
crimson. Very fragrant.
_Jonquils (N. Jonquilla_). These have very fragrant yellow flowers, both
double and single, and are old garden favorites.
_Polyanthus narcissus (N. Tazetta_). These include paper-white, Chinese
sacred lily (var. _orientalis_), and others.
_Primrose Peerless (N. biflorus_).
Narcissi may be forced into flower through the winter, as described on
p. 345. A popular kind for winter bloom is the so-called Chinese sacred
lily. This grows in water without any soil whatever. Secure a bowl or
glass dish, about three times the size of the bulb; put some pretty
stones in the bottom; set in the bulb and build up around it with stones
so as to hold it stiff when the leaves have grown; tuck two or three
small pieces of charcoal among the stones to keep the water sweet, then
fill up the dish with water and add a little every few days, as it
evaporates. Set the dish in a warm, light place. In about six weeks the
fragrant, fine white flowers will fill the room with perfume. The
Paper-white, closely allied to this, is also forced, and is one of the
few good bulbs that may be bloomed before Christmas. The Van Sions,
single and double (a form of daffodil), are also much forced.
OLEANDER.--An old favorite shrub for the window-garden, and much
planted in the open far South.
While there are many named varieties of the oleander, but two are often
seen in general cultivation. These are the common red and white
varieties. Both these, as well as the named varieties, are of easy
management and well adapted to home culture, growing in pots or tubs for
several years without special care. Well-grown specimens are very
effective as porch or lawn plants, or may be used to good advantage in
mixed beds of tall-growing plants, plunging the pot or tub to the rim in
the soil. The plants should be cut back after flowering. They should be
rested in any out-of-the-way place through the winter. When brought out
in the spring, they should be given sun and air in order to make a
Propagation is effected by using well-ripened wood for cuttings, placed
in a close frame; or the slips may be rooted in a bottle or can of
water, care being taken to supply water as evaporation takes place.
After being rooted, they may be potted, using soil with a large
proportion of sand. Well-established plants may be repotted in good loam
and well-rotted manure. They should bloom the second year.
OXALIS.--A number of hardy species of oxalis are excellent plants
for rock-work and edging. The greenhouse species are very showy, growing
without extra care, and blooming freely through the late winter and
spring months and some of them make excellent window-gardening subjects.
The house species are mostly increased by bulbs, a few by division of
the root. _O. violacea_ is, one of the commonest of house-plants. Give a
sunny window, for the flowers open only in sun or very bright light. The
bulbous (tuberous) kinds are treated much as recommended for _Bulbs,_
except that the bulbs must not freeze. The tubers are started in August
or September for winter bloom. It is best to use deep pots, or the
tubers will throw themselves out. The crown should be near the surface.
After flowering, the bulbs are dried off and kept until new bloom
The "Bermuda buttercup" is _O. lutea_ and _O. flava_ of gardens
(properly _O. cernua_); it is a Cape of Good Hope species. Its culture
is not peculiar.
PALMS.--No more graceful plants for room decoration can be found
than well-grown specimens of some species of palms. Most florists' palms
are well adapted for this purpose when small, and as the growth is
usually very slow, a plant may be used for many years.
Palm plants thrive best in partial shade. One of the frequent causes of
failure in the culture of the palm is the overpotting and subsequent
overwatering. A palm should not be repotted until the mass of roots
fills the soil and preferably when it is active; then a pot only a size
larger should be used. Use ample drainage in the bottom to carry off
excess of water. Although the plants need a moist soil, water standing
at the roots proves injurious. Withhold free use of water when the
plants are partially dormant.
A soil composed of well-rotted sod, leafmold, and a little sand will
meet the requirements.
Under ordinary living-room conditions, palms are subject to much abuse.
Water is allowed to stand in the jardiniere, the plant is kept in dark
corners and hallways, the air is dry, and scale is allowed to infest the
leaves. If the plant begins to fail, the housewife is likely to repot it
or to give it more water, both of which may be wrong. The addition of
bone-meal or other fertilizer may be better than repotting. Keep the
plant in good light (but not in direct sunlight) as much as possible.
Sponge the leaves to remove dust and scale, using soapsuds. When a new
leaf begins to appear, add bone-meal to make it grow vigorously.
Among the best palms for house culture are arecas, _Cocos Weddelliana,_
latania, kentia, howea, caryota, chamaerops, and phoenix. Cycas may also
be regarded as a palm.
The date palm may be grown from seed of the common commercial date. Seed
of the other varieties may be purchased from leading seedsmen; but, as
the seed germinates only under favorable conditions, and the palm is a
very slow-growing plant while young, the best plan is to purchase the
plants from a dealer when wanted. When the plants become weak or
diseased, take them to a florist for treatment and recuperation, or
purchase new ones. Sometimes the florist places two or three small palms
in one pot, making a very satisfactory table piece for two or
It is well to set the palms out of doors in the summer, plunging the
pots nearly or quite to the rim. Turn or lift the pots occasionally so
that the roots will not strike through into the earth. Choose a
partially shaded place, where the hot sun will not strike them directly
and where the wind will not injure them.
PANDANUS, or screw pine.--The screw pines are stiff-leaved
saw-edged plants often grown in window-gardens and used for porch
The _Pandanus utilis_ and _P. Veitchii_ (the latter striped-leaved or
white-leaved) are exceedingly ornamental, and are well adapted to house
culture. The singular habit of growth, bright glossy leaves, and the
ability to withstand the dust and shade of a dwelling room, make them a
desirable addition to the house collection.
They are propagated by the offsets or young plants that grow around the
base of the trunk; or they may be increased by seed. If by the former
method, the offsets should be cut off and set in sand, at a temperature
of 65 deg. or 70 deg.. The cuttings root slowly and the plants for a time
make very slow growth. The general cultural treatment is that of palms.
Give abundance of water in summer.
* * * * *
PANSY (Fig. 244) is without doubt the most popular hardy spring
flower in cultivation. The strains of seed are many, each containing
The culture is simple and the results are sure. Seed sown in August or
September, in boxes or a frame, will make plants large enough to reset
in November (three or four inches apart) and bloom the following March;
or they may be left until March in open seed-beds before setting out.
Also, if they are sown very thinly in the frames, they may remain
undisturbed through the winter, blooming very early the following
spring. The frames should be protected by mats, boards, or other
covering through the severe cold, and as the sun gains strength, care
should be taken to keep them from heaving by alternate thawing and
freezing. Seed sown in boxes in January or February will make fine
blooming plants by April, taking the place of those blooming earlier.
The pansy is generally mentioned with plants suitable for partial shade,
but it also thrives in other localities, especially where the sun is not
very hot nor the weather very dry. The requisites for satisfactory pansy
culture are fertile, moist, cool soil, protection from the noonday sun,
and attention to keeping plants from going to seed. As the ground
becomes warm, a mulch of leafmold or other light material should be
spread over the bed to retain moisture and exclude heat. Spring and fall
give the best bloom. In hot summer weather the flowers become small.
* * * * *
PELARGONIUM.--To this genus belong the plants known as
geraniums--the most satisfactory of house-plants, and extensively used
as bedding plants. No plants will give better returns in leaf and
flower; and these features, added to the ease of propagation, make them
general favorites. The common geranium is one of the few plants that can
be bloomed at any time of the year.
There are several main groups of pelargoniums, as the common "fish
geraniums" (from the odor of the foliage), the "show" or Lady
Washington pelargoniums, the ivy geraniums, the thin-leaved bedders (as
Madame Salleroi), and the "rose" geraniums.
Cuttings of partially ripened wood of all pelargoniums root very easily,
grow to blooming size in a short time, and, either planted out or grown
in a pot, make fine decorations. The common or fish geraniums are much
more satisfactory when not more than a year old. Take cuttings from the
old plants at least once a year. In four or five months the young plants
begin to bloom. Plants may be taken up from the garden and potted, but
they rarely give as much satisfaction as young, vigorous subjects; new
plants should be grown every year. Repot frequently until they are in
4-to 5-inch pots; then let them bloom.
The show pelargoniums have but one period of bloom, usually in April,
but they make up in size and coloring. This section is more difficult to
manage as house-plants than the common geranium, needing more direct
light to keep it stocky, and being troubled by insects. Still, all the
trouble taken to grow the plants will be well repaid by the handsome
blossoms. Take cuttings in late spring, after flowering, and blooming
plants may be had the following year. Good results are sometimes secured
by keeping these plants two or three years. Cut back after each
For house culture the geraniums need a fertile, fibrous loam, with the
addition of a little sand; good drainage is also an essential.
PEONY.--The herbaceous peony has long had a place in the garden; it
has now been much improved and constitutes one of the very best plants
known to cultivation. It is perfectly hardy, and free from the many
diseases and insects that attack so many plants. It continues to bloom
year after year without renewal, if the soil is well prepared and
fertile. Fig. 250.
Inasmuch as the peony is such a strong grower and produces so many
enormous flowers, it must have a soil that can supply abundant
plant-food and moisture. The old-fashioned single and semi-double
comparatively small-flowered kinds will give good results in any
ordinary ground, but the newer highly improved sorts must be given
better treatment. This is one of the plants that profit by a very rich
soil. The place should be very deeply plowed or else trenched; and if
the land is in sod or is not in good heart, the preparation should
begin the season before the peonies are planted. A deep moist loam suits
them best; and as the plants grow and bloom, add bone meal and top-dress
with manure. When making their growth and when in bloom, they should not
be allowed to want for water.
In purchasing peony roots, be careful to secure only well-grown and
selected stock. Cheap stock, job lots, and odds and ends are likely to
be very disappointing.
The plants may be set in fall or spring, the latter being preferable in
the North. Cover the crown bud 2 or 3 inches, being careful not to
injure it. If the best blooms are desired, give plenty of room, as much
as 3 x 4 feet. Peonies grow 2 to 3 feet or even more in height. Strong
roots of some varieties will give bloom the first year; considerable
bloom will come the second year; but the full bloom on most varieties
should not be expected before the third year. The flowers may be
brightened and their duration prolonged by partial shade while in bloom.
If old plants become weak, or if they drop their buds, dig them up and
see whether the roots are not more or less dead and decayed; divide to
fresh parts and replant in well-enriched ground; or purchase new plants.
Peonies are propagated by division of the roots in early fall, one good
strong eye being left to each piece.
The peony has merit for its foliage as well as for its bloom,
particularly when the soil is rich and the growth luxuriant. This value
of the plant is commonly overlooked. The peony deserves its popularity.
PHLOX.--Garden phloxes are of two kinds, the annual and perennial.
Both are most valuable.
Excepting the petunia, no plant will give the profusion of bloom with as
little care as the annual phlox _(Phlox Drummondii_). For clear and
brilliant colors, the many varieties of this are certainly unrivaled.
The dwarf kinds are the more desirable for ribbon-beds, as they are not
so "leggy." There are whites, pinks, reds, and variegated of the most
dazzling brilliancy. The dwarfs grow ten inches high, and bloom
continuously. Set them 8 inches apart in good soil. Seed may be sown in
the open ground in May, or for early plants, in the hotbed in March.
They may be sown close in the fall if sown very late, so that the seeds
will not start till spring.
The perennial phlox of the gardens has been developed from the native
species, _Phlox paniculata_ and P. _maculata._ The garden forms are
often collectively known under the name of _P. decussata._ In recent
years the perennial phlox has been much improved, and it now constitutes
one of the best of all flower-garden subjects. It grows three feet tall,
and bears a profusion of fine flowers in heavy trusses in mid-summer to
fall. Figs. 246, 248.
Perennial phlox is of easy culture. The important point is that the
plants begin to fail of best bloom about the third year, and they are
likely to become diseased; and new plantings should be made if the
strongest flowers are desired. The plants may be taken up in fall, the
roots divided and cleaned of dead and weak parts, and the pieces
replanted. Usually, however, the beginner will secure more satisfaction
in purchasing new cutting-grown plants. This phlox propagates readily by
seed, and if one does not care to perpetuate the particular variety, he
will find much satisfaction in raising seedlings. Some varieties "come
true" from seed with fair regularity. Seedlings should bloom the
Fertile garden soil of any kind should raise good perennial phlox. See
that the plants do not want for water or plant-food at blooming time.
Liquid manure will often help to keep them going. If they are likely to
suffer for water when in bloom, wet the ground well every evening.
If the leading shoots are pinched off early in the season, and again in
midsummer, the bloom will be later, perhaps in September rather than
PRIMULAS, or primroses, are of various kinds, some being border
plants, but mostly known in this country as greenhouse and window-garden
subjects. One of them is the auricula. The true or English cowslip is
one of the hardy border plants; also the plants commonly known as
Common hardy primulas (or polyanthus and related forms) grow 6 to 10
inches high, sending up trusses of yellow and red flowers in early
spring. Propagated by division, or by seed sown a year before the plants
are wanted. Give them rather moist soil.
The primula of the winter-garden is mostly the _P. Sinensis_ (Chinese
Primrose), grown very extensively by florists as a Christmas plant. With
the exception of the full double varieties, it is usually grown from
seed. There is a popular single form known as _P. stellata._ The seed of
Chinese primulas sown in March or April will make large flowering plants
by November or December, if the young plants are shifted to larger pots
as needed. The seed should be sown on the flat surface of the soil,
composed of equal parts loam, leafmold, and sand. The seed should be
pressed down lightly and the soil watered carefully to prevent the seed
from being washed into the soil. Very fine sphagnum moss may be sifted
over the seed, or the box set in a moist place, where the soil will
remain wet until the seeds germinate. When the plants are large enough,
they should be potted separately or pricked out into shallow boxes.
Frequent pottings or transplantings should be given until September,
when they should be in the pots in which they are to bloom. The two
essentials to successful growth through the hot summer are shade and
moisture. Height, 6 to 8 inches. Bloom in winter and spring.
At present the "baby Primrose" (_Primula Forbesi_) is popular. It is
treated in essentially the same way as the Sinensis. The obconica (_P.
obconica_) in several forms is a popular florist's plant, but is not
much used in window-gardens. The hairs poison the hands of some persons.
Culture practically as for _P. Sinensis._
All primulas are impatient of a dry atmosphere and fluctuating
RHODODENDRONS are broad-leaved evergreen shrubs that are admirably
adapted to producing strong planting effects. Some of them are hardy in
the Northern states.
Rhododendrons require a fibrous or peaty soil and protection from bleak
winds and bright suns in summer and winter. A northern or somewhat shady
exposure, to break the force of the midday sun, is advisable; but they
should not be planted where large trees will sap the fertility and
moisture from the ground. They protect each other if grown in masses,
and also produce better planting effects.
[Illustration: XIX. Pyracantha in fruit. One of the best
ornamental-fruited plants for the middle and milder latitudes.]
They require a deep, fibrous earth, and it is supposed that they do not
thrive in limestone soils or where wood ashes are freely used. While
rhododendrons will sometimes succeed without any special preparation of
the ground, it is advisable to take particular pains in this regard. It
is well to dig a hole 2 or 3 feet deep, and fill it with earth
compounded of leafmold, well-rotted sod, and peat. The moisture supply
should be never failing, for they suffer from drought. They should be
mulched summer and winter. Plant in spring.
The hardy garden forms are derivatives of _Rhododendron Catawbiense,_ of
the southern Appalachian Mountains. The Pontica and other forms are not
hardy in the North.
The "great laurel" of the northern United States is _Rhododendron
maximum._ This has been extensively colonized in large grounds by being
removed from the wild in carload lots. When the native conditions are
imitated, it makes unusually good mass planting. Like all rhododendrons
it is impatient of drought, hard soil, and full exposure to midday sun.
This species is valued for its foliage and habit more than for its
bloom. The wild form of _R. Catawbiense_ is also transferred to grounds
in large quantities.
ROSE.--No home property is complete without roses. There are so
many kinds and classes that varieties may be found for almost any
purpose, from climbing or pillar subjects to highly fragrant teas, great
hybrid perpetuals, free-blooming bedders, and good foliage subjects for
the shrubbery. There is no flower in the growing of which one so quickly
develops the temper and taste of the connoisseur.
Roses are essentially flower-garden subjects rather than lawn subjects,
since flowers are their chief beauty. Yet the foliage of many of the
highly developed roses is good and attractive when the plants are well
grown. To secure the best results with roses, they should be placed in a
bed by themselves, where they can be tilled and pruned and well taken
care of, as other flower-garden plants are. The ordinary garden roses
should rarely be grown in mixed borders of shrubbery. It is usually most
satisfactory also to make beds of one variety rather than to mix them
with several varieties.
If it is desired to have roses in mixed shrubbery borders, then the
single and informal types should be chosen. The best of all these is
_Rosa rugosa._ This has not only attractive flowers through the greater
part of the season, but it also has very interesting foliage and a
striking habit. The great profusion of bristles and spines gives it an
individual and strong character. Even without the flowers, it is
valuable to add character and cast to a foliage mass. The foliage is not
attacked by insects or fungi, but remains green and glossy throughout
the year. The fruit is also very large and showy, and persists on bushes
well through the winter. Some of the wild roses are also very excellent
for mixing into foliage masses, but, as a rule, their foliage
characteristics are rather weak, and they are liable to be attacked
There are so many classes of roses that the intending planter is likely
to be confused unless he knows what they are. Different classes require
different treatment. Some of them, as the teas and hybrid perpetuals
(the latter also known as remontants), bloom from new canes; while the
rugosa, the Austrian, Harrison's yellow, sweet briers, and some others
are bushes and do not renew themselves each year from the crown or bases
of the canes.
The outdoor roses may be divided into two great groups so far as their
blooming habit is involved:
(1) The continuous or intermittent bloomers, as the hybrid perpetuals
(blooming chiefly in June), bourbons, tea, rugosa, the teas and hybrid
teas being the most continuous in bloom;
(2)those that bloom once only, in summer, as Austrian, Ayrshire, sweet
briers, prairie, Cherokee, Banksian, provence, most moss roses, damask,
multiflora, polyantha, and memorial _(Wichuraiana)._ "Perpetual" or
recurrent-blooming races have been developed in the Ayrshire, moss,
polyantha, and others.
While roses delight in a sunny exposure, nevertheless our dry atmosphere
and hot summers are sometimes trying on the flowers, as are severe
wintry winds on the plants. While, therefore, it is never advisable to
plant roses near large trees, or where they will be overshadowed by
buildings or surrounding shrubbery, some shade during the heat of the
day will be a benefit. The best position is an eastern or northern
slope, and where fences or other objects will break the force of strong
winds, in those sections where such prevail.
Roses should be carefully taken up every four or five years, tops and
roots cut in, and then reset, either in a new place or in the old, after
enriching the soil with a fresh supply of manure, and deeply spading it
over. In Holland, roses are allowed to stand about eight years. They are
then taken out and their places filled with young plants.
_Soil and planting for roses._
The best soil for roses is a deep and rich clay loam. If it is more or
less of a fibrous character from the presence of grass roots, as is the
case with newly plowed sod ground, so much the better. While such is
desirable, any ordinary soil will answer, provided it is well manured.
Cow manure is strong and lasting, and has no heating effect. It will
cause no damage, even if not rotted. Horse manure, however, should be
well rotted before mixing it with the soil. The manure may be mixed in
the soil at the rate of one part in four. If well rotted, however, more
will not do any damage, as the soil can scarcely be made too rich,
especially for the everblooming (hybrid tea) roses. Care should be taken
to mix the manure thoroughly with the earth, and not to plant the roses
against the manure.
In planting, care must be taken to avoid exposing the roots to the
drying of sun and air. If dormant field-grown plants have been
purchased, all broken and bruised roots will need to be cut off smoothly
and squarely. The tops also will need cutting back. The cut should
always be made just above a bud, preferably on the outer side of the
cane. Strong-growing sorts may be cut back one-fourth or one-half,
according as they have good or bad roots. Weaker-growing kinds, as most
of the everblooming roses, should be cut back-most severely. In both
cases it is well to remove the weak growth first. Plants set out from
pots will usually not need cutting back.
Hardy roses, especially the strong field-grown plants, should be set in
the early fall if practicable. It is desirable to get them out just as
soon as they have shed their foliage. If not then, they may be planted
in the early spring. At that season it is advisable to plant them as
early as the ground is dry enough, and before the buds have started to
grow. Dormant pot-plants may also be set out early, but they should be
perfectly inactive. Setting them out early in this condition is
preferable to waiting till they are in foliage and full bloom, as is so
often required by buyers. Growing pot-plants may be planted any time in
spring after danger of frost is past, or even during the summer, if they
are watered and shaded for a few days.
Open-ground plants should be set about as deep as they stood
previously, excepting budded or grafted plants, which should be set so
that the union of the stock and graft will be 2 to 4 inches below the
surface of the ground. Plants from pots may also be set an inch deeper
than they stood in the pots. The soil should be in a friable condition.
Roses should have the soil compact immediately about their roots; but we
should distinguish between planting roses and setting fence posts. The
dryer the soil the more firmly it may be pressed.
As a general statement, it may be said that roses on their own roots
will prove more satisfactory for the general run of planters than budded
stock. On own-rooted stock, the suckers or shoots from below the surface
of the soil will be of the same kind, whereas with budded roses there is
danger of the stock (usually Manetti or dog rose) starting into growth
and, not being discovered, outgrowing the bud, taking possession, and
finally killing out the weaker growth. Still, if the plants are set deep
enough to prevent adventitious buds of the stock from starting and the
grower is alert, this difficulty is reduced to a minimum. There is no
question but that finer roses may be grown than from plants on their own
roots, withstanding the heat of the American summer, if the grower takes
the proper precautions.
In pruning roses, determine whether they bloom on canes arising each
year from the ground or near the ground, or whether they make perennial
tops; also form a clear idea whether an abundance of flowers is wanted
for garden effects, or whether large specimen blooms are desired.
If one is pruning the hybrid perpetual or remontant roses (which are now
the common garden roses), he cuts back all very vigorous canes perhaps
one-half their length immediately after the June bloom is past in order
to produce new, strong shoots for fall flowering, and also to make good
bottoms for the next year's bloom. Very severe summer pruning, however,
is likely to produce too much leafy growth. In the fall, all canes may
be shortened to 3 feet, four or five of the best canes being left to
each plant. In spring, these canes are again cut back to fresh wood,
leaving perhaps four or five good buds on each cane; from these buds
the flowering canes of the year are to come. If it is desired to secure
fewer blooms, but of the best size and quality, fewer canes may be left
and only two or three new shoots be allowed to spring from each one the
The rule in trimming all cane-bearing roses is, _cut back weak growing
kinds severely; strong growers moderately._
Climbing and pillar roses need only the weak branches and the tips
shortened in. Other hardy kinds will usually need cutting back about
one-fourth or one-third, according to the vigor of the branches, either
in the spring or fall.
The everblooming or hybrid tea roses will need to have all dead wood
removed at the time of uncovering them in spring. Some pruning during
the summer is also useful in encouraging growth and flowers. The
stronger branches that have flowered may be cut back one-half or more.
The sweet briers, Austrian and rugosas may be kept in bush form; but the
trunks may be cut out at the ground every two or three years, new shoots
having been allowed to come up in the meantime. All rampant growths
should be cut back or taken out.
_Insects and diseases of roses._
Most of the summer insects that trouble the rose are best treated by a
forceful spray of clear water. This should be done early in the day and
again at evening. Those having city water or good spray pumps will find
this an easy method of keeping rose pests in check. Those without these
facilities may use whale-oil soap, fir-tree oil, good soap suds, the
tobacco preparations, or Persian insect powder.
The rose-bug or chafer should be hand-picked or knocked off early in the
morning into a pan of coal oil. The leaf-roller must be crushed.
The mildews are controlled by the various sulfur sprays.
_Winter protection of roses._
All garden roses should be well mulched with leaves or coarse manure in
the fall. Mounding earth about the root also affords excellent
protection. Bending over the tops and covering with grass or evergreen
boughs is also to be recommended for such kinds as are suspected to be
injured by winter; the boughs are preferable because they do not
North of the Ohio River all the everblooming roses, even if they will
endure the winter unprotected, will be better for protection. This may
be slight southward, but should be thorough northward. The soil,
location, and surroundings often determine the extent of protection. If
the situation is not so favorable, more protection will be necessary.
Along the Ohio, a heap of stable manure, or light soil that does not
become packed and water-logged, placed about the base of the plants,
will carry over many of the tea roses. The tops are killed back; but the
plants sprout from the base of the old branches in the spring. Bon
Silene, Etoile de Lyon, Perle des Jardins, Mme. Camille, and others are
readily wintered there in this way.
About Chicago (_American Florist,_ x., No. 358, p. 929, 1895) beds have
been successfully protected by bending down the tops, fastening them,
and then placing over and among the plants a layer of dead leaves to the
depth of a foot. The leaves must be dry, and the soil also, before
applying them; this is very essential. After the leaves, a layer of
lawn-clippings, highest at the middle, and 4 or 5 inches thick, placed
over the leaves, holds them in place and sheds water. This protection
carries over the hardiest sorts of everblooming roses, including the
teas. The tops are killed back when not bent down, but this protection
saves the roots and crowns; when bent down, the tops went through
without damage. Even the climbing rose Gloire de Dijon was carried
through the winter of 1894-1895 at Chicago without the slightest injury
to the branches.
Strong plants of the everblooming or hybrid tea roses can now be had at
very reasonable rates, and rather than go to the trouble of protecting
them in the fall, many persons buy such as they need for bedding
purposes each spring. If the soil of the beds is well enriched, the
plants make a rapid and luxuriant growth, blooming freely throughout
If one desires to go to the trouble, he may protect these and also the
tea roses even in the northern states by mounding earth about the plants
and then building a little shed or house about them (or inverting a
large box over them) and packing about the plants with leaves or straw.
Some persons make boxes that can be knocked down in the spring and
stored. The roof should shed water. This method is better than tying the
plants up in straw and burlaps. Some of the hybrid teas do not need so
much protection as this, even in central New York.
_Varieties of roses._
The selection of kinds should be made in reference to the locality and
purpose for which the roses are wanted. For bedding roses, those that
are of free-blooming habit, even though the individual flowers are not
large, are the ones that should be chosen. For permanent beds, the
so-called hybrid perpetual or remontant roses, blooming principally in
June, will be found to be hardy at the North.--But if one can give them
proper protection during the winter, then the Bengal, tea, bourbon, and
hybrid teas or everblooming roses, may be selected.
In sections where the temperature does not fall below 20 deg. above zero,
any of the monthly roses will live without protection. At the South the
remontants and other deciduous roses do not do as well as farther North.
The tender climbers--Noisettes, climbing teas, bengals, and others--are
excellent for pillars, arbors, and verandas at the South, but are fit
only for the conservatory in those parts of the country where there is
severe freezing. For the open air at the North we have to depend for
climbing roses mainly on the prairie climbers, and the ramblers
(polyanthas), with their recent pink and white varieties. The trailing
_Rosa Wichuraiana_ is also a useful addition as an excellent hardy rose
For the northern states a choice small list is as follows: hybrid
perpetuals, Mrs. John Laing, Wilder, Ulrich Brunner, Frau Karl Druschki,
Paul Neyron; dwarf polyanthas, Clothilde Soupert, Madame Norbert
Levavasseur (Baby Rambler), Mlle. Cecile Brunner; hybrid teas, Grus an
Teplitz, La France, Caroline Testout, Kaiserin Victoria, Killarney;
teas, Pink Maman Cochet, White Maman Cochet.
The following classified lists embrace some of the varieties of
recognized merit for various purposes. There are many others, but it is
desirable to limit the list to a few good kinds. The intending planter
should consult recent catalogues.
_Free-blooming monthly roses for bedding._--These are recommended not
for the individual beauty of the flower--although some are very
fine--but because of their suitability for the purpose indicated. If to
be carried over winter in the open ground, they need to be protected
north of Washington. In beds, pegging down the branches will be found
desirable. Those marked (A) have proved hardy in southern Indiana
without protection, although they are more satisfactory with it. (The
name of the class to which the variety belongs is indicated by the
initial letter or letters of the class name: C., China; T., Tea; H.T.,
Hybrid Tea; B., Bourbon; Pol., Polyantha; N., Noisette; H.P., Hybrid
Perpetual; Pr., Prairie Climber):--
Marion Dingee, T.
Souvenir d'un Ami, T.
Pink Soupert, Pol.
(A)Gen. Tartas, T.
Mme. Joseph Schwartz, T.
(A)Souvenir de la Malmaison, B.
_White_--(A)Clothilde Soupert, Pol.
_Yellow_--(A)Isabella Sprunt, T.
Mosella (Yellow Soupert), Pol.
La Pactole, T.
Marie van Houtte, T.
_Free-blooming monthly roses for summer cutting and beds._--These are
somewhat less desirable for purely bedding purposes than the preceding;
but they afford finer flowers and are useful for their fine buds. Those
marked (A) are hardy in southern Indiana without protection:--
(A)Pierre Guillot, H.T.
Papa Gontier, T.
_Light Pink_--(A)La France, H.T.
Countess de Labarthe, T.
_White_--The Bride, T.
Senator McNaughton, T.
(A)Marie Guillot, T.
(A)Mme. Bavay, T.
Kaiserin Augusta Victoria, H.T.
_Dark Pink_--(A)American Beauty, H.T.
(A)Duchess of Albany, H.T.
Mme. C. Testout, H.T.
(A)Marie Ducher, T.
_Yellow_--Perle des Jardins, T.
Mme. Welch, T.
Marie van Houtte, T.
_Hybrid perpetual, or remontant, roses,_--These do not flower as freely
as the groups previously mentioned; but the individual flowers are very
large and unequaled by any other roses. They flower chiefly in June.
Those named are among the finest sorts, and some of them flower more or
Earl of Dufferin.
Glorie de Margottin.
Anna de Diesbach.
_Pink_--Mrs. John Laing.
Queen of Queens.
Merveille de Lyon.
_Hardy climbing, or pillar roses._--These bloom but once during the
season. They come after the June roses, however,--a good season--and at
that time are masses of flowers. They require only slight pruning.
_White_--Baltimore Belle, Pr.
Rosa Wichuraiana (trailing).
_Pink_--Queen of the Prairies, Pr.
Tennessee Belle, Pr.
Climbing Jules Margotten, H.P.
_Crimson_--Crimson Rambler, Pol.
_Yellow_--Yellow Rambler, Pol.
_Tender climbing, or pillar roses. For conservatories, and the South as
far north as Tennessee._--Those marked with (A)are half-hardy north of
the Ohio River, or about as hardy as the hybrid teas. These need no
pruning except a slight shortening-in of the shoots and a thinning out
of the weak growth.
_Yellow_--Marechal Niel, N. Solfaterre, N. (A)Gloire de Dijon,
T. Yellow Banksia (Banksiana).
_White_--(A)Aimee Vibert, N. Bennett's Seedling (Ayrshire).
White Banksia (Banksiana).
_Red_--(A)Reine Marie Henriette, T. James Sprunt, C.
_Roses in winter_ (by C.E. Hunn).
Although the growing of roses under glass must be left chiefly to
florists, advice may be useful to those who have conservatories:--
When growing forcing roses for winter flowers, florists usually provide
raised beds, in the best-lighted houses they have. The bottom of the bed
or bench is left with cracks between the boards for drainage; the cracks
are covered with inverted strips of sod, and the bench is then covered
with 4 or 5 inches of fresh, fibrous loam. This is made from rotted
sods, with decayed manure incorporated at the rate of about one part in
four. Sod from any drained pasture-land makes good soil. The plants are
set on the bed in the spring or early summer, from 12 to 18 inches
apart, and are grown there all summer.
During the winter they are kept at a temperature of 58 deg. to 60 deg.
at night, and from 5 deg. to 10 deg. warmer during the day. The heating
pipes are often run under the benches, not because the rose likes bottom
heat, but to economize space and to assist in drying out the beds in
case of their becoming too wet. The greatest care is required in
watering, in guarding the temperature, and in ventilation. Draughts
result in checks to the growth and in mildewed foliage.
Dryness of the air, especially from fire heat, is followed by the
appearance of the minute red spider on the leaves. The aphis, or green
plant louse, appears under all conditions, and must be kept down by the
use of some of the tobacco preparations (several of which are on
For the red spider, the chief means of control is syringing with either
clear or soapy water. If the plants are intelligently ventilated and
given, at all times, as much fresh air as possible, the red spider is
less likely to appear. For mildew, which is easily recognized by its
white, powdery appearance on the foliage, accompanied with more or less
distortion of the leaves, the remedy is sulfur in some form or other.
The flowers of sulfur may be dusted thinly over the foliage; enough
merely slightly to whiten the foliage is sufficient. It may be dusted on
from the hand in a broadcast way, or applied with a powder-bellows,
which is a better and less wasteful method. Again, a paint composed of
sulfur and linseed oil may be applied to a part of one of the steam or
hot-water heating pipes. The fumes arising from this are not agreeable
to breathe, but fatal to mildew. Again, a little sulfur may be sprinkled
here and there on the cooler parts of the greenhouse flue. Under no
circumstances, however, ignite any sulfur in a greenhouse. The vapor of
burning sulfur is death to plants.
_Propagation of house roses._--The writer has known women who could root
roses with the greatest ease. They would simply break off a branch of
the rose, insert it in the flower-bed, cover it with a bell-jar, and in
a few weeks they would have a strong plant. Again they would resort to
layering; in which case a branch, notched halfway through on the lower
side, was bent to the ground and pegged down so that the notched part
was covered with a few inches of soil. The layered spot was watered from
time to time. After three or four weeks roots were sent forth from the
notch and the branch or buds began to grow, when it was known that the
layer had formed roots.
Several years ago a friend took a cheese-box, filled it with sharp sand
to the brim, supported it in a tub of water so that the lower half-inch
of the box was immersed. The sand was packed down, sprinkled, and
single-joint rose cuttings, with a bud and a leaf near the top, were
inserted almost their whole length in the sand. This was in July, a hot
month, when it is usually difficult to root any kind of cutting;
moreover, the box stood on a southern slope, facing the hot sun, without
a particle of shade. The only attention given the box was to keep the
water high enough in the tub to touch the bottom of the cheese-box. In
about three weeks he took out three or four dozen of as nicely rooted
cuttings as could have been grown in a greenhouse.
The "saucer system," in which cuttings are inserted in wet sand
contained in a saucer an inch or two deep, to be exposed at all times to
the full sunshine, is of a similar nature. The essentials are, to give
the cuttings the "full sun" and to keep the sand saturated with water.
Whatever method is used, if cuttings are to be transplanted after
rooting, it is important to pot them off in small pots as soon as they
have a cluster of roots one-half inch or an inch long. Leaving them too
long in the sand weakens the cutting.
* * * * *
SMILAX of the florists is closely allied to asparagus (it is
_Asparagus medeoloides_ of the botanists). While it cannot be
recommended for house culture, the ease with which it may be grown and
the uses to which the festoons of leaves may be put entitle it to a
place in the conservatory or greenhouse.
Seed sown in pots or boxes in January or February, the plants shifted as
needed until planted on the bench in August, will grow fine strings of
green by the holidays. The temperature should be rather high. The plants
should be set on low benches, giving as much room as possible overhead.
Green-colored strings should be used for the vines to climb on, the
vines frequently syringed to keep down the red spider, which is very
destructive to this plant, and liquid manure given as the vines grow.
The soil should contain a good proportion of sand and be enriched with
After the first strings are cut, a second growth fully as good as the
first may be had by cleaning up the plants and top-dressing the soil
with rotted manure. Sometimes the old roots are kept three or four
years. Slightly shading the house through August will add to the color
of the leaves. The odor from a vine of smilax thickly covered with the
small flowers is very agreeable.
STOCKS.--The Ten-weeks and the biennial or Brompton stocks (species
of _Matthiola_) are found in nearly all old-fashioned gardens. Most
gardens are thought to be incomplete without them, and the use of the
biennial flowering species as house-plants is increasing.
The Ten-weeks stock is usually grown from seed sown in hotbeds or boxes
in March. The seedlings are transplanted several times previous to being
planted out in early May. At each transplanting the soil should be made
a little richer. The double flowers will be more numerous when the
soil is rich.
The biennial species (or Brompton stocks) should be sown the season
previous to that in which flowers are wanted, the plants wintered over
in a cool house, and grown in the following spring. They may be planted
out through the summer and lifted into pots in August or September for
winter flowering. These may be increased by cuttings taken from the side
shoots; but the sowing of seed is a surer method, and unless an extra
fine variety is to be saved, it would be the best one to pursue. Height,
10 to 15 inches.
SWEET PEA.--A hardy, tendril-climbing annual, universally prized
as an outdoor garden plant; also forced to some extent by florists. On
any occasion the sweet pea is in place. A bouquet of shaded colors, with
a few sprays of galium or the perennial gypsophila, makes one of the
choicest of table decorations.
Deep, mellow soil, early planting, and heavy mulching suit them
admirably. It is easy to make soils too rich in nitrogen for sweet peas;
in such case, they will run to vine at the expense of flowers.
Sow the seeds as soon as the ground is fit to work in the spring, making
a drill 5 inches deep. Sow thickly and cover with 2 inches of earth.
When the plants have made 2 or 3 inches' growth above the earth, fill
the drill nearly full, leaving a slight depression in which water may be
caught. After the soil is thoroughly soaked with water, a good mulch
will hold the moisture. To have the ground ready in early spring, it is
a good plan to trench the ground in the fall. The top of the soil then
dries out very quickly in spring and is left in good physical condition.
In the middle and southern states the seed may be planted in fall,
particularly in lighter soils.
Frequent syringing with clear water will keep off the red spider that
often destroys the foliage, and attention to picking the seed pods will
lengthen the season of bloom. If the finest flowers are wanted, do not
let the plants stand less than 8 to 12 inches apart.
A succession of sowings may be made at intervals through May and June,
and a fair fall crop secured if care is taken to water and mulch; but
the best results will be secured with the very early planting. When the
plants are watered, apply enough to soak the soil, and do not water
SWAINSONA.--This plant has been called the winter sweet pea, but
the flowers are not fragrant. It makes a very desirable house plant,
blooming through the late winter and early spring months. The blossoms,
which resemble those of the pea, are borne in long racemes. The foliage
is finely cut, resembling small locust leaves, and adds to the beauty of
the plant, the whole effect being exceedingly graceful. Swainsona may be
grown from seed or cuttings. Cuttings taken in late winter should make
blooming plants in summer; these plants may be used for winter bloom,
but it is better to raise new plants. Some gardeners cut back old plants
to secure new blooming wood; this is desirable if the plants grow more
or less permanently in the greenhouse border, but for pots new plants
should be grown.
The common swainsona is white-flowered; but there is a good rose-colored
TUBEROSE (properly _tuber-ose,_ not _tube-rose,_ from its specific
name, _Polianthes tuberosa_).--This plant, with its tall spikes of waxen
and fragrant white flowers, is well known in the middle latitudes, but
usually requires more heat and a longer season than are commonly present
in the most northern states.
The tuberose is a strong feeder, and loves warmth, plenty of water while
growing, and a deep, rich, and well-drained soil. The bulbs may be set
in the garden or border the last of May or in June, covering them about
1 inch deep. Preparatory to planting, the old dead roots at the base of
the bulb should be cut away and the pips or young bulbs about the sides
removed. After keeping them till their scars are dried over, these pips
may be planted 5 or 6 inches apart in drills, and with good soil and
cultivation they will make blooming bulbs for the following year.
Before planting the large bulbs, it may be well to examine the points,
to determine whether they are likely to bloom. The tuberose blooms but
once. If there is a hard, woody piece of old stem in the midst of the
dry scales at the apex of the bulb, it has bloomed, and is of no value
except for producing pips. Likewise if, instead of a solid core, there
is a brownish, dry cavity extending from the tip down into the middle of
the bulb, the heart has rotted or dried up, and the bulb is worthless as
far as blooming is concerned.
Bulbs of blooming size set in the border in June flower toward the close
of September. They may be made to flower three or four weeks sooner by
starting them early in some warm place, where they may be given a
temperature of about 60 deg. to 70 deg.. Prepare the bulbs as above, and
place them with their tips just above the surface in about 3-or 4-inch
pots, in light sandy soil. Water them thoroughly, afterwards sparingly,
till the leaves have made considerable growth. These plants may be
turned out into the open ground the last of May or in June, and will
probably flower in early September.
[Illustration: XX. A simple but effective window-box, containing
geraniums, petunias, verbenas, heliotrope, and vines.]
In the northern states, if planted in the border they will not start
into growth until the ground has become thoroughly warm,--usually after
the middle of June,--making the season before frost too short for their
perfect growth and flower. If any danger of fall frost is feared, they
may be lifted into pots or boxes and taken into the house, when they
will bloom without a check. As with other bulbs, a sandy soil will suit.
Just before frost dig up the bulbs, cut off the tops to within 2 inches
of the apex of the bulb. They may then be placed in shallow boxes and
left out in the sun and air for a week or more, to cure. Each evening,
if the nights are cold, they should be removed to some room where the
temperature will not fall below 40 deg.. When the outer scales have become
dry, the remaining soil may be shaken off and the bulbs stored away in
shallow boxes for the winter. They keep best in a temperature of 45 deg. to
50 deg.. It should never fall below 40 deg..
The Dwarf Pearl, originating in 1870, has long been popular, and is
still so with many. But others have come to prefer the old, tall kind,
the flowers of which, even if not so large, are perfect in form and seem
to open better.
TULIPS are undoubtedly the most prized of all early spring bulbs.
They are hardy and easy to grow. They also bloom well in winter in a
sunny climate. The garden bed will last several years if well cared for,
but most satisfactory bloom is secured if the old bulbs are taken up
every two or three years and replanted, all the inferior ones being cast
aside. When the stock begins to run out, buy anew. The old stock, if not
entirely spent, may be planted in the shrubbery or perennial borders.
September is the best time for planting tulips, but as the beds are
usually occupied at this time, planting is commonly postponed till
October of November. For garden culture the single early tulips are the
best. There are excellent early double-flowered varieties. Some prefer
the double, as their flowers last longer. Late tulips are gorgeous, but
occupy the beds too long in the spring. While tulips are hardy, they are
benefited by a winter mulch.
In working out design patterns, the utmost care should be used to have
the lines and curves uniform, which is only to be secured by marking out
the design, and careful planting. Formal planting is, however, by no
means necessary for pleasing effects. Borders, lines, and masses of
single colors, or groups of mixed colors which harmonize, are always in
order and pleasing. Clear colors are preferable to neutral tints. As
varieties vary in height and season of blooming, only named varieties
should be ordered if uniform bedding effects are desired. See pp. 286
and 345; Fig. 255.
VIOLET.--While the culture of violets as house-plants rarely proves
successful, there is no reason why a good supply may not be had
elsewhere through the greater part of the winter and the spring months.
A sheltered location being selected, young plants from runners may be
set in August or September. Have the ground fertile and well drained.
These plants will make fine crowns by December, and often will bloom
before weather sufficiently cold to freeze them.
To have flowers through the winter, it will be necessary to afford some
protection. This may best be accomplished by building a frame of boards
large enough to cover the plants, making the frame in the same way as