« ZurückWeiter »
around the front and the two sides, which may serve for a footpath, and which should always be kept well shaven. A neat trellis should be placed between the two parlor-windows (which will be about the centre of the garden), against the house; and some woody climbers should be planted to cover this. For this purpose, the wistaria, the Virginia creeper (Ampelopsis), the trumpet flower (Bignonia), or the Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia), are most suitable. But, in a future article, we propose to give a list of many plants that may thus be used. Herbaceous plants are not generally suitable; for, though showy for a time, by the end of summer the foliage becomes ragged and unsightly, and the general effect is impaired. We must therefore depend mainly upon bedding-plants, annuals, and bulbs.
Of bedding-plants, almost the whole class is serviceable, as they continue to grow until cut off by the frost, and flower profusely. The point to be especially looked to is, not to plant too many or tall rank growers.
Annuals should be carefully selected. A large proportion of them remaining only in perfection a few weeks, those only should be chosen which grow and bloom during the whole season, and which thus are always ornamental, either in foliage or flower.
Bulbs may be used most effectively. The foliage is good, and the flowers very showy: the only care necessary is to cut off dead flower-stalks and withered leaves, and to so plant that the flowers may seem to spring from a mass of green, as the foliage of most bulbs is erect and reedy, and never covers the ground. Some low-growing annual (such as mignonette) or bedding-plant (such as a low-creeping verbena) should be employed to cover the ground.
Where the bulbs are plants in large clumps, this may not be necessary. Tuberoses (Polianthes tuberosa) and tiger-flowers (Tigridia) make .grand masses, and the foliage is good.
Trees should never be planted, for the simple reason that they grow too large; and shrubs, if not wholly discarded for the same reason, should be those only which are ornamental in foliage as well as in flower. As a rule, fine foliage is to be preferred to fine flower: some few shrubs combine both, and are very ornamental. In planting annuals, it is better to buy young plants already started in a frame than to sow seeds, as thus spaces are more easily calculated, and crowding avoided.
Bedding-plants can always be obtained from florists in small pots. In planting, they should simply be turned out of the pots, the ball of earth crumbled away a very little, and the collar of the plant set a trifle deeper than when in the pot, the earth carefully pressed around the plant, and a gentle watering given at night from the fine rose of a water-pot.
Bulbs should be planted rather deep: lilies, three to four inches, according to the size of the bulb;i tiger-flowers, two inches; tuberoses, two inches; Jacobean lily (Sprekelia), two inches; and gladiolus, three inches. These rules admit of exception, and larger bulbs require to be planted deeper than small bulbs of the same species. Lilies, contrary to the generally-received opinion, may be safely transplanted in spring, care being taken not to break the shoot or small roots. All planting should be finished by the 20th of May; and, if the hot sun causes the ground to become parched, water should be given at night.
The following plans show proposed laying-out of city gardens :—
The plants used in the above plan are all easily obtained, and would give a profusion of flowers from June, until killed by the frost. The tuberoses and salvias' would be especially effective in September. The bedding-plants should be set in single plants. The alyssum and mignonette may be sown, or plants set out, four inches apart; the portulaca shou'.d be sown in a ribbon, or broad band; the China roses should be set out in clumps of three, nine inches apart.
The bulbs of Tigridias should be planted. Tuberoses and Calocasia will do better if turned out, having been started in pots.
For a display of tropical plants for a warm, southern exposure, let us take a garden of the same interior dimensions, — nine by eighteen feet.
Here we must bear in mind that luxuriant foliage, and not flower, is the object; and that all the plants used, though small when planted, attain great dimensions in a few months: they should, therefore, not be crowded, but each allowed to develop symmetrically.
To cover the ground, a sowing of portulaca and sweet alyssum may be made broadcast all over the bed.
1. Cobca scandens. 6. Canna Nepalensis.
a. Ricinus Bourboniensis arborea. 7- Canna MuhlcriL
j Ricinus Tuniciensis. 8. Ricinus macrocarpus nanus,
4. Canna discolor. 9- Striped Japanese maize.
5. Canna Annsei. 10. Colocasia esculenta.
Thus, from eighteen plants, we should obtain a magnificent mass of foliage. The cobea is a rank-growing vine, with large, purple, bell-shaped flowers. The flowers of the cannas, or Indian shot, are showy, but fugitive; and both they and the Ricinus, or castor-oil bean, are ornamental in fruit.
We propose, in future articles, to show how the same garden may be made effective for spring flowers. Glen Ridge, November, 1866. Edward S. Rand, Jun.
(To be continued.)
THINGS NEW AND OLD.
This age is not reverent. It glories in recent accomplishments, and is dazzled with bright visions in the future. It looks upon past generations with a feeling akin to pity, as it recounts the many discoveries and improvements which belong distinctly to the present age. In making comparisons, it is natural and excusable that we indulge a complacent satisfaction as we note our advance.
Watching the swift revolutions of the steam printing-press, we recall the old lever-press with a compassionate smile. Is it possible that people once travelled in canal-boats and upon corduroy roads? In the mechanic arts, we do not for a moment tolerate a comparison between the past and present. 'Hand-work in spinning, weaving, sewing, knitting, in all directions, is giving way to mechanism. Even in the fine arts, the hand of genius finds a rival in some newly-constructed machine at every turn. And so in husbandry: the changes are equally significant, and comforting to our selfesteem. We like to put on exhibition the rude plough, the hand-rake, and sickle, by the side of modern seed-sowers, mowers, and reapers. At our State fairs, that ox is under weight that does not come up to two tons; that sheep is second-rate that is not worth a thousand dollars; that horse is slow that does not come to the stand at 2.40. Within a score of years, the language of the turf has changed from the "forties " to "low down in the twenties." And, in fruits, who can count the new varieties, or estimate the superior excellence, of these latter-day gifts of Pomona? By the refining process of hybridizing, may we not yet expect to produce an improved nectar for the gods? Thus we reason ourselves into the belief, that, with us, light has come into the world; that the sun rides high towards the zenith; and that the millennium of material things is close upon us. But we undervalue the past, our present boasting is vain, and we delude ourselves in respect to the future.
In taking a calm retrospect, we are inclined to agree with the utterance of the wise man nearly three thousand years ago, that " there is nothing new under the sun." This in a certain sense, of course; for do we not hear of new seedlings in fruits and floweis, without end of names and merit? But of this let us see.
Do the grapes at any of our country fairs exceed in weight the bunch borne from Eshcol, "between two, upon a staff"? Is there any evidence that our prize South Downs are superior to the first of the flock which Abraham offered for sacrifice? And the stalwart Devons—who shall say that they excel the fat and well-favored of Jacob's herd? I fancy, also, that Jehu's span would have made no mean figure upon the Fashion or Riverside course. Does any one imagine that the Tyrian purple would appear dull at the present day? Would not the splendor of Solomon's court be counted respectable, even in this fast age? And, in vainglorious boasting, does our modern Gotham excel the ancient Babel.
In considering these questions, we must come to the conclusion, in the main, that what is has been; that it is the same world now as in the Abrahamic period; that though progress is clearly seen, which seems to go on with accelerated speed, yet there is no probability of a culmination during the present age. Our little span of life may be all-important to us as individuals ; but, with the Sovereign Ruler, "a thousand years are as one day," and he works out the great problems of the world's history by slow processes. We shall be wise to be patient, and to estimate the past ages of slow .preparation according to their true value. There is, indeed, much reason to indulge in great expectations ; but there is also an extreme to which this feeling may be carried. Like prudent men, we are to understand and magnify our work; while, at the same time, we guard against that boastful and hurtful habit of exaggerating our mission, which tends to render our lives a delusion and a vanity.