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Annual Flowering Plants Pansy Culture

Annuals flower the same season the seeds are sown, perfect their seeds, and then die. "There is," says James Vick, "No forgotten spot in the garden, none which early flowering bulbs or other spring flowers have left unoccupied, that need remain bare during the summer. No bed but what can be made brilliant with these favorites, for there is no situation or soil in which some of these favorites will not flourish. Some delight in shade, others in sunshine; some are pleased with a cool, clay bed, while others are never so comfortable as in a sandy soil, or burning sun. The seed, too, is so cheap as to be within the reach of all, while a good collection of bedding plants would not come within the resources of many, and yet very few beds filled with expensive bedding plants look as well as a good bed of our best annuals, like Phlox, Petunia, or Portulaca, and for a vase or basket many of our annuals are unsurpassed. To annuals, also, we are indebted mainly for our brightest and best flowers in the late summer and autumn months. "Without the Phlox and Petunia, and Portulaca and Aster, and Stock, our autumn gardens would be poor indeed, and how we would miss the sweet fragrance of the Alyssum, Mignonette, and Sweet Pea, if any ill-luck should befall them, or deprive us of these sweet favorites!" Annuals are divided into three classes, hardy, half-hardy, and tender. The hardy annuals are those that, like the Larkspur, Candytuft, etc., may be sown in the autumn, or very early in the spring in the open ground. The half-hardy annuals should not be sown in the open ground until all danger of frost is over. The Balsams and Marigolds belong to this class. The tender annuals generally require starting in a green-house, or hot-bed, to bring them to perfection, and should not be set in the open ground until the weather is fine and warm, some time in June. From a perplexing number to be found in plant catalogues, we select the following twelve sorts of annuals as being the most desirable for the garden; they are a galaxy of gems, indeed: Asters, Balsams, Phlox Drummondii, Double Petunias, Pansies, Double Sweet Alyssum, Double White Pyrethrum, Dwarf Ageratum, Verbenas, Salvias, Double Stocks, Celosias (Coxcomb). Sow the seed in the open ground the latter part of May, and the first of July most of the sorts will be in bloom, and they will continue to bloom until arrested by frosts.

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