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blossoms, oftener two, or even one; but its erect and rich sepals, narrowing at the base into mere threads, form a beautiful open-work cup of rare elegance. Though not so readily yielding to garden treatment, it may be subdued to the purposes of ornament; and it, is probable that raising from the seed would prove highly advantageous. The NorthAmerican lilies have been for many years known and appreciated abroad, as may be familiarly seen in the orange lilies of the Dutch catalogues, which, so far as we can perceive, differ in no respect from the southern red lily of the Southern States but in the minute markings on the interior of the petals. We have found no difficulty in raising both, and even crossimpregnating the garden hybrids by the original, or Lilium Catesbcei, which is indigenous to the South. The superb lily, too, has been sent to this country, with other bulbs, from Holland; and travellers speak of its culture there, in beds or masses, of great beauty, and even magnificence, when in full flower.
The lily tribe is represented in our North-American flora by a variety of interesting plants. We well recall the pleasure we derived from seeing the wild hyacinth (Scilla (Camassia) esculenta) on the clayey hills of Ohio, and have succeeded in raising it from the seed; and a friend assures us that it grows readily in his garden from bulbs brought from the Western States. Among the Indians, it is known as the quamash, and very well represents the Scillas of the garden. The star of Bethlehem, or sleep-atnoons, so pretty with its starry, white flowers, is fast becoming naturalized, and is to be noticed in orchards and meadows ; none the less pretty because of a weedy character; hardly a native, coming to us from abroad, but adopting our northern climate for its home. We cultivate it in a very thin, gravelly soil, and with success. Who does not know, and who denies merit to, the lily of the valley? yet, according to Gray and Chapman, it grows spontaneously on the Alleghanies, and is in no respect distinct from our garden kind. In like manner, the garden Solomon's-seal proves identical with our own found in the Northern United States, — a fact of sufficient importance, if known, to banish it from some collections, because not entirely a foreigner; but, for our part, we shall adhere to it still, despite its running, subterraneous root-stalks, which make it a little weedy. It is accommodating, and grows where scarcely any thing else would.
With the brief notice of a few other and very beautiful native plants, we we bring this article to a close. We refer to the Trilliums, which we will principally enumerate, as they occur in New England, and therefore are more readily obtained by any one disposed to cultivate them. The nodding Trillium, or wake-robin, though the least conspicuous, is by no means uninteresting. It may be found in rich woods, especially if they are moist; and we have seen it growing quite near the margin of brooks in such places. Its leaves are large and broad, while beneath them the pure white flower hangs suspended on a short and declined stalk. It grows readily in the garden, and increases. In the cool, damp woods near Burlington, Vt., we have found the painted Trillium, — a beautiful species, and so called from a few faint crimson stripes upon the upper surface of the petals: it deserves cultivation. The purple Trillium, or birth-root, grows, usually, between the crevices of rocks, in mountain glens: we have noticed it at the base of Mine Mountain, at Chesterfield, N.H.; and since, in quite a different locality, — a wet, rich maple-swamp in this State. Its flowers are conspicuous, and of a deep, dull purple color, and emitting a very disagreeable perfume: its admirer must be content with its color, and not venture beyond. A young friend who discovered it in this situation has since found the curious greenish-yellow-flowered variety growing there also. Plants removed thence to my garden, yearly produce an abundance of showy and early blossoms; and, under the culture of a gardener in this city, even the yellow variety, which is quite attractive, flourishes equally well; it being brought several years since from the woods of Temple, N.H. We have seen also dried specimens of the dwarf white Trillium, from the rich woods of Ohio, appearing in April, with its pretty white blossoms, of snowy purity. Another small and dwarf species is known as the Trillium sessile, with dark-purple flowers, and varying, likewise, to greenish flowers; rhomboidal, sessile leaves, elegantly mottled and blotched, and found in the woods of the West. Still another, of a similar character, points to the Western and Southern States for its occurrence, and known as the recurved Trillium, with rich, dark-purple flowers. The South is represented in this beautiful native plant still further in two or three other species, of which I know nothing but the enumeration in descriptions. The finest by far, however, and the gem of the garden, is
the T. grandiflorum of New England, of surpassing loveliness. Thirtythree years ago, I brought four tubers of this species from Burlington, Vt., and planted them in my garden. Some of their descendants, from onsets and seedlings, remain in the precise spot where they were first planted. This clump yearly gives me a large amount of flowers; and others still, distributed among friends, succeed equally well. In May, nothing can surpass it in beauty: its three broad, pure-white petals, supported by the green sepals, also three in number as well, rising from the bosom of three broadly rhomboidal leaves, supported on a stout herbaceous stem, and crowded into a mass of forty or fifty flowers, strikes every visitor with delight. As the petals are about to fade, they become of a pale violet-purple tint, which creates a pleasing variety of color. The seeds are numerous, and fall soon from the fleshy capsule, germinating readily, and appearing as young plants during the next spring, and, in two or three years, blossoming. As yet, I have noticed no variation from the original type of color or form: a double sort would be a veritable monster, and another color would not be desirable.
We earnestly recommend to florists just so much of the study of botany as will make them familiar with the native treasures of our country. We are quite sure that they can find, either quite contiguous to their homes or not very remote, beautiful plants enough to render their gardens the sources of enjoyment and recreation; and familiarity with genera of other plants brought from abroad will surprise them oftentimes that the native habitats and homes of many are American, first collected here, cultivated for a while in Europe, and then imported from foreign nurseries and gardens as novelties of the season: in confirmation of which statement, it occurs to us what a botanical friend told us, — that, among certain new shrubs, almost every one was familiar to him here, but furnished with new names!
John Lewis Russell. FLOWERS IN CITIES.
While the country and the suburbs afford most space for gardens, and the display of floricultural beauty, many flowers may be grown in the city; and the limited space afforded may be used to great advantage. Most city houses have a front plat of ground under the parlor-windows, seldom containing less than two hundred square feet; and all have a back-yard, a portion of which could be advantageously used for a flower-garden.
The city, also, has the advantage of having a longer season. In the country, the danger of frost is not over until the middle of May; and the first frosts of autumn seldom fail to cut off tender vegetation with the full moon of September. In the city, on the contrary, frosts seldom occur after the 20th of April, and thus a month is gained in spring; and tender annuals and bedding-plants are often in full beauty after the first of November; while the large-flowered chrysanthemums often carry the season of flowers to the first of December, thus adding six weeks or more in autumn.
As a general thing, the capabilities for gardening are not improved in the city: the front-yards are sodded, and sometimes contain a few shrubs, and thus look neat and trim, but do not produce the effect of which they are capable. Occasionally we see one planted with flowers; but the selection of species is usually confined to a few weedy annuals, such as petunias, larkspur, and ageratum, which, rank and spreading, give a multitude of blossoms, but produce no effect of neatness, beauty, or order. Some few are, in early spring, gay with early-blooming bulbs, such as snowdrops crocus, hyacinths, and tulips; but in a few weeks they present a rank growth of withering leaves, and the promise of the spring is not borne out by the rest of the year.
Others again are parched with drought after the middle of May, where, in a southern exposure, the heat of the sun is intense, and is aided by the reflection from the brick houses. There is no reason for this, with the abundant supply of water which can be given in large cities; and with plenty of water, and a deep soil, these sunny exposures, while unfit for the more delicate, low-growing plants, might be made masses of tropical vegetation, and thus become most effective.
The exposure, however, has much to do with the capabilities of the front plat for a garden. Where the street runs north and south, there is little difficulty; for the houses receive on both sides an equal amount of sun, and there is little difference in the fitness of the front-yard for flowers, and a garden may also be made in the back-yard.
Where the street runs east and west, either the front or the back yard, as the case may be, will receive very little sun: but the yard having a sunny exposure may be the flower-garden; and that facing the north may be ornamented with such shrubs and plants as thrive best in the shade, some of which are %'ery beautiful.
One primary obstacle to city gardening is the shallow soil of these garden-plats. The yards are generally the depository of all the debris of building; and, while a thin skimming of loam is spread on top in order to support the sodding, the subsoil is a compost of broken brick and stone, lime, bits of wood, and the multitude of other materials used in the building of the house. No wonder that on such a soil nothing grpws, and that the ground is parched with drought, as a deep soil is essential to freedom from drought; and, even with constant watering, a shallow soil will become dry and baked.
Therefore the first step is to prepare a proper soil. The yard should be excavated to the depth of at least three feet, and filled in with a compost of rich loam and well-rotted manure in equal parts, with about one half a part of sharp sand. Such a soil will grow most plants, and, if well prepared, will last for years without manuring. It is well to throw a load of old sods in the bottom of the hole. This preparation may be made either in autumn or early spring: the former is the best season, as spring-blooming bulbs may immediately be planted, and the garden will begin to give flowers in early April.
We will, however, suppose the renewing of the soil to have been made in April, and will give the management of the garden for a year from that time.
About the first week in May, all danger of frost will be over; and, except in exposed situations, seeds may be planted, and bedding-plants set out. The garden should be dug over, and, unless the soil is rich, a few barrows of well-rotted manure spaded in. As the space is small, it should not be divided into beds; but a strip or border of turf a foot wide may be laid
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