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partial cutting down of stems is advantageous to some; they throw out fresh and vigorous shoots when the season of growth returns. It is from want of attention to these conditions that so many of our beautiful green-house and drawing-room favourites are constantly dying out ; nor is there any reason for the attempt to keep them in perpetual growth for the sake of ornament, since different plants flower at different seasons, and thus afford an agreeable and varied succession.
In regulating the amount of heat, light, moisture, &c., attention must be paid to the peculiar conditions of the plant at certain periods of its growth. Thus, slips, while they are freely provided with heat and moisture, should not be too much exposed to light and sunshine. The evaporation which takes place from the leaves must not exceed the moisture which the root is capable of absorbing from the soil ; if it does so, the plant will speedily languish and die. It will be necessary, therefore, to keep young slips partially in the shade until they are thoroughly rooted, and begin to send forth leaf-buds, which are sure symptoms of their new vitality. Particular attention should also be paid to the manner of watering our domestic favourites. Though plants may occasionally be showered with the watering-pot, in general the best mode is to give them their supply by the flats or saucers and under-soil, and to take care that this be as regular and gradual as possible. Drenching them to-day, and forgetting them for the remainder of the week, is decidedly hurtful; and watering the surface has a cooling effect upon the soil, at the same time that it is objectionable on the score of cleanliness. But care must be taken not to give any plant more water at a time than its roots can quickly take up : water standing in the saucer is always injurious. "The great desideratum in the atmosphere of domestic apartments is moisture ; and this can be partially supplied by placing shallow tin flats on the flower-stand, from which the water can evaporate among the leaves and branches of the plants. In transferring plants which have become too large for their original pots, it is generally necessary to remove part of the old matted root, the fibres of which surround the ball of earth, to open it up, as it were, so that it may speedily obtain nutriment from the new supply of soil. Nothing can be more absurd than to transfer a ball of fibres and exhausted soil to a new pot, under the idea of not injuring the root. The absorbent portions of the fibres are their tips or spongioles ; and if these cannot be kept entire, a new and vigorous growth of them will be much sooner sent forth from a pruned root than from one clogged with old soil and decayed fibres. In filling pots with soil, care should be taken not to press it too firmly, but merely to give it sufficient consolidation to retain moisture and steady the plant. It is also of importance, for almost all plants, to place a layer of broken earthenware or sifted gravel next the bottom, with some turf or moss above, to facilitate drainage, or, as old gardeners express it, 'to keep the soil sweet.'
Another direction to be borne in mind is, never to transfer a plant from one situation to another of a widely different character without some previous preparation. Vegetables no doubt possess wonderful powers of accommodation, but there is a limit to this principle ; and a plant nursed and reared in the hothouse will no more endure the exposure of an open pot, than the animals of India could live and propagate in Iceland. Thus, many of our rarest exotics are permanently injured by sudden removal from the stove to the open stand, or from the open air and conservatory to the drawing-room. Plants intended for transferences of this kind should either be taken at the period of their repose, or immediately before their breaking out into blossom, if their flowers be the object in view. For example, is it wished to bring some showy orchidaceous plant from the stove to the drawing-room-it ought to be kept as dry as its actual wants will permit, some time previous to its Aowering, and to be removed to its destination as soon as the first flowers make their appearance. On the other hand, it should not be returned to its original destination till the flowers have withered, and even then not till the soil has become pretty dry. Such are a few directions applicable to vegetation in general; we shall now point out the various modes in which domestic culture may be practised, and also enumerate some of the plants most suitable to its peculiar situations.
The situations usually available for the domestic culture of plants are small front-plots in towns and suburbs ; walls and trellises in front of suburban cottages; balconies, porches, staircases, and other indoor space, where a flower-stand may be placed without interfering with the commodious arrangement of the furniture. To the first of these we need scarcely advert ; for if the plot be of any size, and well exposed to light and sunshine, a pretty show of annuals and evergreen shrubs may be kept up at their proper seasons; and most people in this case are guided in their choice of plants by their own peculiar taste. However, of annuals, the following hardy and halfhardy kinds may be mentioned as worthy of adoption : Hardy kinds-Flos Adonis, candytuft, larkspur, lupines, sunflower, lavatera, poppy, convolvulus, nasturtium, Tangier pea, sweet pea, winged pea, Lobel's catch-fly, dwarf lychnis, Venus's looking-glass, Virginian stock, saponaria, heart's ease and pansies, snap-dragon, mignonette, xeranthemum, purple Jacobæa, Clarkias. Half-hardy kinds--African marigold, French marigold, China aster, marvel of Peru, chrysanthemum, sweet sultan, Indian pink, love-apple, gourds, bottle gourd, convolvulus, yellow balsam, or touch-me-not, amaranthus, ten-week gillyflower, white ten-week stock, and Chinese hollyhock. Many of these are lovely and fragrant blossoms, and some, such as the Virginian stock and saponaria, are admirably adapted for borders, as they keep up an exuberant show of flower from July till late in October. Among biennial plants suitable for ordinary flowerplots, are included the following, each having several varieties :
Canterbury bells, carnation, French honeysuckle, globe thistle, hollyhock, scabious, sweet-william, rose campion, wallflower, lavatera arborea, purple digitalis, and stock gillyflowers. Some of these are very beautiful flowers, and none more so than carnations.
If the plot be limited to a few square yards, it will be better not to attempt the growth of flowers at all, but to lay it down in greensward or clean gravel, with perhaps a variegated holly, box-tree, laurel, flowering currant, sweetbriar, rose, or some other hardy shrub, to enliven it. Nothing, however, can be more wretched than a few sickly plants struggling for a miserable existence amid the dust and smoke of a town; and a person of good taste will never attempt the growth of flowers unless he can command the requisite amount of air and sunshine. Some plants endure a smoky atmosphere much better than others, and where almost every other shrub pines, the Aucuba, or Japan laurel, succeeds well. It is therefore now very common in such situations, but its variegated leaves, although pretty enough in the midst of verdure, have not the charm of green leaves in a suburban front-plot. In laying out little frontplots of this description, circular, oval, oblong, and other simple forms, should be preferred; for nothing looks more ridiculous than the imitation of labyrinths and intricate designs on so small a scale. A few plain forms in keeping with the front of the building and size of the plot, may produce elegance ; but intricate divisions, with lines of gravel between scarcely broad enough for a human foot, are toyish and trilling in the extreme. Neat and simple edgings of box, daisy, Virginian stock, privet, and the like, should be preferred to showy borders, whích are only adapted for large flower-gardens and ornamented lawns. In choosing plants for a front-plot, regard must be had to the exposure ; which if toward the north, will not admit of the successful cultivation of many plants that might be introduced where there is a southern exposure.
When a front-plot is too small even for shrubs or turf, it is often possible to train some pretty climbers on the walls and around the doors and windows. The soil for the growth of these may be found either along the wall beneath, or may be artificially collected, and kept in stone or wooden boxes. Where it is objectionable to fasten plants to the wall, a light trellis-work of wood or iron-wire may be employed; permanently fixed where the climbers are perennial, but movable where they are grown merely for summer purposes. By being removed in autuinn, and kept dry, a wooden trellis, originally of small cost, will last for a number of years ; while its removal, along with the withered branches of the plant, is a positive improvement to the appearance of the dwelling. Nettings of string or wire make very convenient leaders, when other material cannot be had; and these may be woven along the outside of doors and windows, where other frameworks might not be permitted. In trellising, the
lines should be easy and graceful, in order to give scope to the free and rambling habits of the climbers.
Among the hardy species adapted for this purpose, are honeysuckle, ivy, many varieties of rose, jasmine, the small white clematis, pyrus Japonica, lathyrus, chimonanthus, Virginian creeper, or even the humble hop, where an easily-nurtured and quick-growing climber is wanted. But although graceful and luxuriant in summer, the hop becomes unsightly in winter, by the decay of its stems, which ought then to be cleared away; and on this account, it should not be planted so as to mix with climbing or other shrubs, which, moreover, it is apt to choke. For summer purposes merely, a selection from the following may be made, descriptive particulars being easily obtained in any catalogue : Campanula pyramidalis ; cobæa, several species ; convolvulus speciosus; lathyrus, several ; loasa lateritia ; lophospermum, several ; manettia cordifolia ; maurandia Barclayana; pentstemon argutus; rhodochiton volubile ; thunbergia, several ; tropæolum, several ; passiflora cærulea ; Tweedia cærulea. Two plants appear in the above list, which, though they cannot be called climbers, make a handsome display when fastened to a trellis or a wall; these are campanula pyramidalis, and pentstemon argutus.
From what has been said under this head, the poor indweller of a single apartment must not suppose that the culture of outdoor climbers is a thing beyond his reach. If he has not a trellised wall or porch, he has at all events his little window; and what could be more lively or graceful than to have twiners led around the framework, as in the accompanying illustration, with a basket of
mignonette perfuming the air on the sill beneath. Nor would this display of taste and elegance cost him much: a box-it may be constructed by himself—a few handfuls of soil gathered from the wayside, and the merest trifle for seed, would be the sum-total of the demand.
It has been often remarked, that of all flowering-plants, climbers present the most graceful forms which can be contemplated under
the open sky; but true as this may be, the tender varieties are not less graceful when cultivated in the green-house or drawingroom. Grown in pots, and sustained by appropriate frameworks, they can be trained to almost any shape, be it urn, vase, obelisk, or pillar-a screen of living network, or a fairy arbour. Trellises affixed to the outside of pots can be had of a thousand designs ; and where purchase is objectionable, they may be constructed of wicker, slender painted rods, cord, or varnished copper wire, which is one of the most pliable and durable of materials. By the adoption of this plan, with frequent prunings in particular cases, climbers may be made to clothe a trellis not more than four feet high, and so requiring no larger space than a small shrub; flowering more profusely when of three or four years' standing, than if they had been three times that age, and had covered a sixfold greater surface over an arbour or verandah. Indeed, climbers' are not of difficult culture, for we have seen a cottager's window shaded within by a screen-work of leaves and blossoms more effectually than it could have been by the costliest Venetians.
Balconies, window-recesses, porches, and the like, are, however, the most available situations for domestic culture. Here the plants have proper shelter and warmth, and are not choked by soot and dust; and if the requisites of light and sunshine be but sparingly granted, there are hundreds of plants which naturally love the shade, and can therefore be grown with success and pleasure. Presuming, however, that there is an ordinary amount of light, all of these available positions may be studded with open flower-pots, or with close glass-cases, as the means or fancy of the individual may decide. For indoor growth, if the situation is lightsome and airy, almost any green-house plant may be reared in open pots, although disappointment would probably attend any attempt to rear a heath or an epacris ; and it may be remarked that evergreen shrubs are, in general, less suited to such culture than deciduous shrubs and herbaceous plants. For those who want to keep up a succession throughout the year, the following may be mentioned : SpringSnowdrop, Russian violet, early tulips, crocus, narcissus, hyacinth, heart's-ease, mignonette, ranunculus, anemone, myrtle. Summer Pelargoniums, mignonette, ten-week stock, China roses, Chinese primrose, double wallflower, pinks, carnations, cactus, aloes ; annuals, as nemophila, schizanthus, collinsia, &c.; hydrangea, myrtle, heliotrope. Autumn-Pelargoniums, lobelias, campanulas, salvias, hydrangea, verbenas, fuchsias, petunias, cinerarias, calceolarias, balsam, myrtle, heliotrope. Winter-Chrysanthemums, pelargoniums, heliotrope, myrtle, fuchsias, aloes, cactus. We mention the above as suited for open pots, but there are many others of long and well-established repute to be had from ordinary green-houses, or even in slips from private cultivators. Aloysia citriodora, still popularly known by the first botanical name which it received,