Small Gardens

Annuals And Biennials

How to grow annuals--Some good kinds--Some good biennials. Many amateurs look upon annuals as rubbishy things to grow, and only suitable for the children's gardens, but that is because they have generally failed to grow them properly. With the improved kinds now in cultivation,

it is possible to make the portion of the flower-garden devoted to them "a thing of beauty" if not "a joy for ever." As it is more satisfactory to bring them up from the beginning, I have described in Chapter XVI. a method generally successful. =Seed-sowing out-of-doors= being rather precarious, I have found it advisable to =sow all the smaller seeds either in a green-house or frame=, however hardy the annual be. This not only saves endless trouble in the way of protecting the seed from birds, etc., but is advantageous in that one has an earlier display of bloom, owing to the growth being quicker under glass. Below is a table of the choicest kinds:-- ANNUALS. NAME. LENGTH. COLOUR. Bartonia aurea 1 to 1-1/2 ft. Golden yellow. Celosia plumosa 1-1/2 ft. Red and yellow. (Somewhat after the style of Prince's feather; tender.) Coreopsis (or Calliopsis) 2 ft. Yellow and red. Eschscholtzia 1 ft. Bright yellow. (Very pretty grey-green foliage; select.) Gaillardia 1-1/2 ft. Yellow and red. (The "blanket flower"; good for cutting.) Godetia 9 ins. Red to white. (Cup-shaped; showy.) Mesembryanthemum 1/2 to 1 ft. Ice plant. (Grown for its foliage, which glistens beautifully; must have sun.) Ionopsidium acaule 2 to 3 ins. Pale mauve. (Miniature plants for filling up crevices in rockwork.) Linum coccineum 1 ft. New scarlet variety. Lupinus arboreus, "Snow-queen" 3 to 4 ft. Pure white. (A very stately plant; new.) Nemophila grandiflora 1/2 ft. Beautiful blue and white. (Remind one of the eyes of a child.) Phlox drummondi 1 ft. All shades of red to white (Half-hardy; must be massed.) Shirley poppy 1 ft. All shades of pink. (Very graceful and free; light soil.) Portulaca 1/2 ft. Mixed colours. (The most effective of all annuals; half-hardy; must have plenty of sun and a light soil.) Salpiglossis 1-1/2 ft. All shades. (Very fragile flowers, veined and marked in exquisite fashion; must be massed.) Silene pendula compacta 1/2 ft. Bright pink. (Flowers shaped somewhat like a Maltese cross.) Stocks, double, ten-week 1 ft. Various. (When thinning, only keep the weakest seedlings, as those are the double ones.) BIENNIALS. These, if sown one spring, will not flower the following summer, but do so the year after. NAME. LENGTH. COLOUR. Fox-gloves 3 to 4 ft. White and coloured (White, most picturesque; all do well in shade; unless seed is required, cut out main stem, when side shoots will flower.) Lunaria biennis 1-1/2 to 2 ft. The old "honesty." (Much prized for its silvery seed-pods.) Polyanthus 1/2 ft. Mixed colours. (Admirable for shady places; water well.) Japanese pinks 1 ft. Deepest crimson to white. (Fringed petals; a whole bed of this is lovely.) Sweet Williams 1 ft. Mixed shades. (Auricula type, the best; there is a novelty, blackish-maroon in shade, which should be placed amongst some of the crimson varieties.) Snap-dragons 2 ft. Varied. (Flower from June to November; eschew reds of a mauve hue.) Wallflower, "Ruby Gem" 2 ft. Reddish violet. The seeds of all these, true to name and ripe for germination, may be obtained from Messrs. Barr, Long Ditton, Surrey, who sell sixpenny packets of all these kinds; small quantities of the well-known sorts only costing threepence. This is a =great advantage to owners of small gardens=, as one does not wish to give 1s. 6d. or 2s. 6d. for perhaps two thousand seeds of one variety, when only two or three dozen are required. Penny packets of seeds may be had from the One and All Company at most greengrocer's, and are really wonderful value for the money.

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