Making And Planting Flower-beds
People of the present day can scarcely be contented with tall, waving
timothy in the front door-yard, and the rickety board-fence that
enclosed a scene of almost primitive rusticity--the state of things in
our "forefathers' days."
In place of the timothy growing to hay
in the front yard, we now see
fine, smoothly-cut lawns of refreshing greenness; and fences of pickets,
wire, and rustic iron, have supplanted the ancient board fences. In
place of the tall-growing Sunflower and Hollyhock that sprung up here
and there at random, we now see beds of choice and beautiful flowers
artistically arranged and carefully cultivated by loving hands.
All is system now about the door-yard and premises, where once were
neglect and confusion.
Every home should have one or more beds planted with attractive flowers.
It would be a difficult matter to give specific instructions as to
planting these beds, as every one has his own peculiar tastes in such
matters, which is sometimes governed by surroundings, locality, etc.
There are some general rules however, observed by gardeners in planting
flower-beds that it would be well to observe.
The following notes on planting flower-beds were handed us some time
ago. We do not know the name of the writer, but have strong reason to
believe them to be from the pen of the late James Vick.
"There are a great variety of opinions as regards the most effective way
of planting flower-beds. Some prefer to mix plants of different colors
and varieties, others prefer the ribbon-style of planting, now so
generally in use in Europe. If the promiscuous style is adopted, care
should be taken to dispose the plants in the beds, so that the tallest
will be at the back of the bed; if the leader is against a wall or
background of shrubbery, the others should graduate to the front,
according to the hight. In open beds, on the lawn, the tallest plants
should be in the centre, the others grading down to the front, on all
sides, interspersing the colors so as to form the most effective
contrast in shades.
"But for grand effect, nothing, in our estimation, can ever be obtained
in promiscuous planting, to equal that resulting from planting in
masses, or ribbon lines. In Europe lawns are cut so as to resemble rich,
green velvet; on these the flower-beds are laid out in every style one
can conceive of; some are planted in masses of blue, yellow, crimson,
white, etc., separate beds of each harmoniously blended on the carpeting
"Then again, the ribbon-style is used in large beds, in forms so various
that allusion can here be made to only a few of the most conspicuous. In
a circular bed, say twenty feet in diameter, the bordering can be made
of blue Lobelia, attaining a hight of six inches; next plant Mrs.
Pollock Geranium, or Bijou Zonal Geraniums, growing about nine inches
high. If you plant Mrs. Pollock, on the next row to it plant Mountain of
Snow (silvered-leaved geranium), next a circle of Red Achyranthes; there
are several varieties of this plant. Next Centaurea candidissima (Dusty
Miller); the centre being a mound of Scarlet Salvias.
"Narrow beds along the margins of walks can be formed of low-growing
plants, such as the White Lobelia, Gypsophila, or Silvered Alyssum, for
the front line, followed next by the Tom Thumb Tropaeolum; then as a
centre, or third line, Fuchsia Golden Fleece; as a second margined-line
on the other side, Silver-leaved Geraniums with scarlet flowers,
followed by a line of blue Lobelia.
"Shaded stars have a fine effect on a lawn; cut a star and plant it with
either Verbenas, Petunias, Phlox Drummondii, or Portulaca. The ends of
the stars should be white, and shaded to the centre."
A whole volume might be written on the subject of gardening, without
exhausting its variety or interest, but we take it for granted that our
readers will exercise their own tastes, or call on some competent
gardener to give advice in the premises.
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