Gardening Articles

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 of green. "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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Next: Watering Plants

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