The common varieties of Iris are well-known favourites of the border, and the whole family have claims on the attention of amateurs, on account of their excellent faculty of taking care of themselves if properly planted in the first instance. The tuberous or

bulbous rooted kinds do not require a rich soil; a sandy loam suits them, and they thrive in peat. Such beautiful species as Reticulata, the Chalcedonian, and the Peacock are worth growing in pots placed in frames or in a cool greenhouse. The English, Dutch, and Spanish varieties should be planted in clumps in front of a shrubbery border, where they may be seen to advantage. The crown of the bulb must not be more than three inches below the surface. From September to December will answer for planting, and the roots may be taken up when the flowering period is over, or if the space is not wanted they can be allowed to remain for the following season. Bulbs of the English class should never be kept out of the ground longer than can be helped, but they ought not to be grown in one spot for more than three years; after that time the clumps must be divided and a fresh position found for them. IXIA and SPARAXIS These attractive Cape bulbs are hardy in favoured districts, and may be left out for years in a sheltered border. In places where none but the hardiest plants pass through the winter safely, they must be grown in the greenhouse or the frame, and any good sandy soil will suit them, whether peat or loam. They should be potted early in the autumn, and have plenty of air at all times when the weather is favourable, especially when they are growing freely in spring. If carefully managed, they may remain two seasons in the same pots. Use the 48-size, and plant four or five bulbs in each. A dry, deep, sandy border under a wall in any of the warmer western and southern districts might be furnished with such plants as Ixias, Sparaxis, Alstroemerias, Oxalis, Tritonias, Babianas, and the choicest of the smaller kinds of Iris. It would constitute a garden of the most interesting exotics.


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