The Project Gutenberg EBook of Garden Ornaments, by Mary H. Northend

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Title: Garden Ornaments

Author: Mary H. Northend

Release Date: January 8, 2011 [EBook #34885]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Book Cover











Copyright, 1916,

by Duffield & Co.

I Dedicate This Garden Book

to My Friend

Ekin Wallick


I.The Garden Path and Border
II.The Pergola and Arch
III.The Tea House in the Garden
IV.The Garden Steps
VI.Bird Baths
VII.Garden Seats
VIII.Garden Pools
IX.The Sun-dial in the Garden
X.The Fountain


Tall Poplars Lend Dignity to a Garden Setting
Let Gutters of Cobblestones Line Your Path
A Successful Grass Path
A Brick-paved Path Flanked by Many-hued Iris
The Sunlight Sifts Through the Sheltering Vines of the Pergola
Build Your Pergola with Cobblestone Supports and Rustic Top
The Moss Grows Between the Stone Walk
A Tea-house
Stepping-stones in a Grass Path
Lily Ponds in a Formal Garden
Stone Steps Attractively Planned
A Fountain that Serves as a Background for a Lily Pond
Marble Steps Leading to the Water in a Formal Garden
An Old-fashioned Garden Is Often Entered Under an Arch of Latticework
A Fine Decorative Iron Gateway
A Successful Entrance to a Formal Garden
The Central Feature of the Garden May Be a Bird-bath
A Well-placed Bird-bath
An Ornament Delightfully Used to Mark the Opening of Paths Through Woods
A Formal Garden Seat
A Simple and Attractive Garden Seat
Stately Lilies Add Charm and Dignity to a Gravelled Walk
A Pond-lily Pool of a Very Attractive Shape
A Lily Pond that Fills Charmingly a Corner of a Garden
There Is an Ever-changing Beauty to a Garden Whose Paths Are Broken Here and There by Pools
Grassy Paths Lead Pleasantly to the Sun-dial
The Sun-dial Is a Feature in Itself
An Old Well Used Effectively as a Decorative Feature
Narcissus Stands in the Heart of the Fountain
A Roman Fountain Placed Against a Very Appropriate Background
An Artistic Fountain Particularly Well Placed
This Wall Fountain with Its Shell Background and Basin Is Most Fittingly Placed


Doubtless we have all realized the allurement of the garden, as we walk between the beds, drinking in the sweet perfume of the many flowers, or as we watch the birds perched on the branches or lazily swinging on the flowers, twittering to their mates as they sip the nectar or prune their plumage, after bathing in the sparkling water of the pool.

There is more than enjoyment that comes to the garden lover through his life among the plants. He grows broader and becomes forgetful of the trivial cares and prejudices of every-day life as he watches their development. He comes to the garden for inspiration and finds it among the flowers.

We are by nature garden lovers, and though with some the feeling has not as yet been developed, yet deep in the depths of their soul is a yearning for intercourse with Nature and her lessons—taught through the cultivation of flowers. It spells Contentment, Happiness and Love.

It is a delight to visit gardens, and study the character of the designer. It is no hard matter to read through varied planting likes and dislikes in the owner. It brings us closer together, this mutual love of floriculture, and it is in discussion of this theme that we forget the sordid phases of life.

Visit the gardens with me, listen to the anthem of the birds sung at morn and eventide. Learn their habits, and make them friends, so that they will nestle into your often lonely life, bringing with them a gladness that is not only delightful but alluring.

Many a love story has been told among the flowers, many a real story has been developed as one sat gazing at some flower-laden field. Joy and sadness has been our varied lot since we began our garden work, but as the years go on, gladness predominates. We grow to look forward with a tender longing for the coming spring. We hang lovingly over the opening buds of the early flowers. We are glad that we, too, have grown to know the flowers, that we have learned through their poetic language solace for the wounded soul, and how to live better lives, through intercourse with them.

To my many friends who have made it possible for me to visit their gardens, and to reproduce their carefully thought out schemes in pictures, I extend my hearty thanks. It has done much to make not only my life but other lives happier. It is with the hope that others may find the same enjoyment in this work that I have that I send it forth to perform its mission and with the hope that it may encourage others to start gardens of their own and to give to them a happiness they have never known before. If I have accomplished this I have met the desire of my heart.


[Pg 3]




"All the world's a garden and we are garden lovers in it." This is not a new theme, for it has been in existence ever since the planting of the early flower plots, those that were in evidence in our grand-dames' time. There is a distinct atmosphere connected with those simple one-path gardens that is most delightful. It lies not only in the gravel paths and the stiff box-borders, but in the fragrant old-fashioned flowers that were grown promiscuously inside the trim line of box. Perchance some dainty line of cinnamon pinks whose delicate blossoms when we find them in the twentieth-century gardens, carry us back vividly to the Colonial days when they so often formed a part of the garden scheme.

Great changes have taken place in the evolution of the posy beds, for, with the passage of time, they[Pg 4] have developed into wide expanses of floral landscape, subtly moulded into charming pictures and fascinating vistas.

In the planting and the planning of the flower beds of the present day many of the general motives of the older gardens have been retained. They have, however, been enlarged upon and developed until they are perfected in every detail. The landscape architect of to-day realizes that the achievements of yesterday can be interwoven with the possibilities of to-morrow.

As we saunter leisurely through the twentieth-century garden, we come occasionally upon a simple box-border, much more scientifically treated than those of long ago. This special feature of garden culture should be planted in the early spring that it may obtain deep rooting, so as to resist the ravages of the winter season. The plants should not overcrowd but be set three inches apart in narrow, shallow trenches, with plenty of mulching to insure the best results. Unlike those found in the gardens of Colonial days, they should be carefully clipped, sometimes for topiary effects.

Here and there, we come unexpectedly upon old-time flower plots, showing a box-border, not like[Pg 5] those of the present day, carefully trimmed, but scraggly and unkempt, preserved for sentiment's sake. They still line the central walk, much as they did long years ago. In those days there was no laying-out of gardens or creating odd designs, but, instead, there was a simple, narrow, dividing line, worked out by the removal of turf and filling in with earth.

Few realize that garden culture can be divided into periods, each one of which is well defined, so that it is possible to determine where the old-fashioned ideas left off and the new-fashioned ones began. The earliest period has a straight, simple path, about six feet in width. These gardens came into existence when our shipping was greater on the sea and the merchant princes demanded large and more elegant houses with gardens laid out in the rear. Many of these were planned by the mistresses of the stately homes, while some were designed by English or German gardeners, who in their planting reproduced the gardens across the seas. There are a few only that deviate from the general plan of the single walk dividing the beds and ending in a summer house, vine-clad, where the Colonial dames during the summer months held[Pg 6] afternoon teas. These garden houses were the nucleus of the garden furniture that has come into fashion with the passing of time.

One of the distinctive features connected with these gardens is the border. This varies in width with the size of the plot and the flowers enclosed. It must be borne in mind that the gardeners of those days knew little of the theory of color schemes, yet the results were pleasing to the eye, so much so that to-day the old-fashioned garden stands in a class by itself.

With the evolution of gardens, new ideas sprang into existence. All landscape architects realize the importance of giving particular attention to the laying-out of the path. Here the bit of garden demands a straight path, yonder to bring gardens into unity a grass path should be laid, while level stretches demand charming floral treatment, wrought out through proper use of flowers in the borders.


Every ambitious gardener realizes that during the summer months, his particular garden will be on dress parade, and must be always at its best. Therefore, he gives special attention to the trimming of the borders, the smoothing of the path and[Pg 7] the right coloring in beds, so that no discordant note be found. Every part must be kept in good condition, for there are no closed doors for untidiness to skulk behind. This he knows means constant and unremitting care and that he may avoid sameness, he changes the flower scheme every year, to give a fresh note to the planting of his own particular plot.

The greatest care must be taken that borders are properly balanced, for any deviation from this rule results in lop-sided effects that spell failure. No walk in any part of the garden but should be planned to serve a definite purpose, either to connect other paths or at its end to bring out some carefully laid plan that will lend a picturesque effect to the finished design.

Let us take as an instance a curved path. First of all, we must realize that it is not following any haphazard plan but has a definite aim. Perchance it has been most carefully laid out to avoid the felling of a tree that is needed for picturesque effect, but whatever the object may be, it is fulfilled by the design of this particular path.

There are to be found, quite frequently on large, extensive grounds, grass paths that cut the lawn,[Pg 8] connecting separated gardens. In any case like this, how much better to introduce English stepping stones. There is a picturesque coloring in their soft, gray hue, contrasting pleasingly with a line of grass between. They also break the monotony given by a solid mass of green and lend to this particular part of the ground an old-world aspect.

Have you ever stopped to think when planning for your next year's garden that designs can be easily varied to bring out some new thought and make a change that is alluring? It is the careful introduction of these novel ideas that gives zest to garden culture. Every person has a different idea of what is right in garden culture and unconsciously treats the old plan in an individual manner. A little touch here and there goes a great way in producing odd effects.

Among the many materials that can be used for this feature of the garden is brick, and of this there are many kinds. For the old-fashioned garden the second-hand brick gives a Colonial atmosphere. For the gardens of to-day it is generally better to use the hard, burned brick—these can be laid in straight lines or herring-bone fashion as fancy dictates,[Pg 9] and should show a line of straight brick or headers as they approach the border. This feature should be used generally in formal types of garden landscape. Great care should be taken, however, that the brick be laid perfectly dry and cemented in mortar.

If you are looking for novelty, why not try cobblestones? They are very inexpensive, particularly if you live in a seaport town where the beaches are strewn with them. Be sure to pick out those that are nearest the same size and shape, for this gives a better effect. There is nothing that gives a better backing for earth beds, especially as they are easily kept weeded. If the cobblestones prove too conspicuous for the scheme of the garden, it is a comparatively easy matter to plant as a background a flowering plant that will in time fall over them and hide them from view.

A turf walk is, properly speaking, the most effective path. It also has many advantages, chief among them the fact that it is not hard to keep up and can be replaced with very little trouble, save the cutting of new sod. Be very careful not to make the mistake of laying old sods that have been piled for a considerable length of time and have[Pg 10] thus lost much of their vigor. In order to have them at their best they should be freshly cut and laid carefully in a rich foundation, the pieces joined as closely as possible together and the crevices filled in with either grass seed or dirt. Plenty of watering means success; still one should not be impatient, for it is not until a second season that grass comes to its own. One difficulty in a border like this, which can, however, be easily remedied, is that it needs constant cutting to keep the grass from overrunning the beds.

If you are planning a garden of the English type, it is well to carry out the idea of introducing irregular stones for the walk. It is desirable that the stones should not all be of the same size, otherwise there will be no chance for grass and moss to grow between them and give them the old-world aspect. In gardens of this type such a path is really imperative, for the flowers crowd against the dividing line and would be much less interesting if stones were not introduced.

Bear in mind, in dealing with this particular subject that the width of the walk depends in a great measure on the size of the garden. Here a narrow path is all that is necessary to carry out[Pg 11] the scheme; there, a wide one seems to fit appropriately into the plan. It is not always possible to have gardens large enough to allow a wide path, yet the effect of one can be produced by a little contriving; for instance, if you use grass for the central feature with an earth border on either side.

If you desire a successful garden you should seek for variety, not only in the cutting of the walk, but in the planting of the borders. To-day everybody is striving for originality and to work out odd ideas that still are practical. One should remember, too, that no two gardens are exactly alike, any more than two faces bear an exact resemblance.

In describing the border, one might liken it to the setting of a gem. Doubtless, it might be said to be artificial but so is the planting of the flower plot. It is not nature's work, but designed by the hand of man and in it harmony should be developed in the highest degree.

Let us take as an example the damp garden. This is usually laid out in one corner of the estate. If we should treat it with a gravel walk, what would be the result—dampness and disappointment. Now, let us change the whole plan and place stringers on which boards are laid, so nailed that[Pg 12] they can be lifted during the winter season and stored away in a friendly barn or cellar. Watch the result and you will find it is always dry and practical for usage. Better still, if wearing properties do not have to be taken into consideration, use cedar boughs that resemble in contour miniature logs. They fit into place as if put there by nature, all the more if they are bordered by ferns. If you build at the further end a rustic summer house, it gives a refreshing touch.

Many garden lovers delight in collecting wild flowers, digging them up in the neighboring woods to blossom in their cultivated garden. Why not give them a home by themselves in a rough rockery? This can easily be built from stones found on the estate. Here we deviate from the stilted idea of paths and introduce stone steps. These should be large and rough enough to fit in with our plan. Hardy ferns should be planted on either side and rock plants between the steps. You will then see the wisdom of creating a path like this which is in sympathy with the general idea of the garden.


Landscape gardeners are at the present day endeavoring to work out results that are in harmony[Pg 13] with any period that they are called upon to reproduce. Occasionally they come upon a subject that is very difficult to treat, such as the concrete walk. This is an absolute necessity in some locations. Yet, when finished, it presents a bare appearance and demands special treatment. Very successful results are produced by bright borders of flowering plants, and if in addition to this an arch of wire or rustic boughs is made for the entrance and covered with rambler roses, of which to-day there are many varieties, a happy solution will be found to the perplexing problem of a colorless path. During the time of blossoming, the touch of brightness adds to the effect while later on the bright green of the leaves relieves the cold gray of the concrete.

The late Joseph Jefferson, in speaking of gardens and their borders, once said, "They are all expectation." And so they are from the early spring when the first bulbs come into bloom until the falling of the late chrysanthemum. As we con the seedman's list to prepare for the spring gardening, we go through the procession of the seasons noting the colors and finding a joy in anticipation that is exhilarating.[Pg 14]

In order to give correct handling to your paths, the color scheme of the borders should be taken into consideration. Different kinds of gardens demand varied treatment, and for this, the situation on the grounds and the type of the walk, should be carefully thought out.

For earliest bloom, one should use bulbs. To have them at their best they should be planted in the fall, about six weeks before the hard frost sets in. Trenches are first dug, from twelve to eighteen inches deep, enriched and topped with a layer of sand, to insure the bulbs touching nothing else. Each bulb should be planted six inches deep and the same number of inches apart. They should be covered with from four to six inches of straw, dead leaves—hardwood ones being best for this purpose—or pine branches. Great care should be taken that these are not removed too early in the spring. Years of careful experiment have developed better colors and more strength in bulbs and have succeeded in producing a greater variety, both single to double. This evolution in bulbs makes it possible to choose suitable varieties for any border work.

Snow drops are the first to poke their tiny heads[Pg 15] up through the cold, hard earth. They rise above the snow, bringing gladness in their train. Then comes a procession of dainty bulbs including the hyacinth with its many hues, and the tulips, that stay by us until late in May, clothed in Dolly Varden gowns, or simple Quaker garb. It is a good plan to plant pansies among the bulbs, so that they will show their painted faces before the last bloom has disappeared. Many people in such borders use sweet alyssum for the outer row, but this, while it is decorative, is not always satisfactory for it grows so high that it is apt to shadow the major scheme. Bulbs can be left in the ground for a second year's blossoming or if new varieties are desired they can be carefully lifted and replaced by potted plants, such as the scarlet geranium or the dusty miller, whose soft gray sheen makes an interesting note of color as a foreground for the bed that stretches down to touch it, a solid mass of one-toned flowers.

Within the last few years iris has become a popular accessory for border use. One reason for this is that it stays in bloom from the time of its first opening until the hot blast of the August sun touches its closed head. Well may this be termed[Pg 16] the "fairy's favorite flower," it is so dainty in its hues.

The rose moss or portulaca is a valuable border plant. It grows luxuriantly in sandy soil, where no moisture is retained, and seems to draw sufficient sustenance from the dews that fall at night, rather than from the unkindly sand which touches its tiny roots. One advantage in its use is that it grows quickly from seed, that is, if it is planted in a dry spot. The needle-shaped foliage is inconspicuous, while the blossoms are as brilliant as poppies and are produced in large numbers. A serious fault, however, is that it closes during the afternoon. If one decides to use portulaca, choose solid colors rather than to mix a mass of varied ones.

For a shady bit of garden, why not try out delphiniums? They are not expensive, the roots costing about a dollar and a quarter a dozen, but they are so graceful that they are effective for use of this sort.

The plants chosen must be in harmonious contrast to those that fill the beds, otherwise one shudders as they view the completed scheme and wonders how it is that the gardener is so color-blind. Hardy borders or annuals are used very often.[Pg 17] Each of them having a distinctive charm, some gardens demanding one, and others another, so that one cannot dictate to the owner of a garden which kind is best for his use, it lies with his own whims and fancies, to develop beautiful combinations, and to work out variations of the last year's scheme, so that the gardens of yesterday may differ essentially from those of to-day.

It may be that long borders of bright-eyed verbenas greet our eyes as we gaze upon the vari-colored beds, or perchance gorgeous Sweet Williams, vieing in hue are shown. Tall rosy spikes of lythrum lift their heads, while stately hollyhocks uncurl their silky petals, shaking out the[Pg 18] tucks and wrinkles of the bud like newly awakened butterflies stretching their wings. There is a busy hum of bees as we saunter down the garden path, stopping now and again to watch their flight as they light on flowers to sip their nectar, furry with golden pollen dust.

So we stand wondering what our grand-dames would say could they view, with us to-day, the transformation of the old-fashioned garden, into a magnificent show of rare plants in a well-developed design.[Pg 19]

[Pg 20]


[Pg 21]




"I have made me a garden and orchard, and have planted trees and all kinds of fruit." Thus spake the wise Solomon who in all his glory found time to enjoy his flowers. Nowadays, blossoming plants are intermixed with marble fragments, and the garden contains many interesting features that were then unknown. Sir William Temple, on his return from a visit to Holland, where he went for garden study, tells us that he found that four things were absolutely necessary in order to complete a perfect garden. "Flowers, Fruit, Shade, and Water."

Originality is to-day the key-note in every garden design. Gardens have been developed with the passing of time so that instead of one type we find an infinite variety of styles, each one of them so distinctive that one need have little fear of repetition in results. Here we find the formal, the Italian garden while over yonder is the wild, and the[Pg 22] rambling one. They are carefully designed to bring out some individual scheme. Unlike the little posy plots of long ago with their unobtrusive green arbors, now we come upon a large space which has been laid out for picture effects. This is the work of the landscape architect, who takes as much pride in his garden structures, as does the architect in the design of his house. He vies with his rivals in producing odd effects with marble fragments and artistic combinations in his color scheme.

Each one of the many types, that are shown at the present day, shows distinctive features. These appear and disappear in endless variety, and among them are the pergola and the arch, the latter a grandchild of the green arbor that was in evidence in our grand-dames' time.

Unlike those seen in the old-fashioned gardens, it is not always built of wood. Sometimes it is so placed as to define the terraces, leading with its shadowy treatment to delightful glimpses of vistas beyond, well laid out for this very purpose. Again we find it shadowing the garden at one side, where it makes a covered walk, under which one can pass, and view the garden pleasantly.[Pg 23]

Simple and unostentatious were the early gardens, for not until 1750, was there found any trace of garden architecture in the North. It was about that year that one Theodore Hardingbrook, came to this country bringing with him a fund of information to strengthen and enlarge this line of work. He gathered around him a faithful, interested little band of students, and taught them new ideas, and awakened an ambition for new designs in Colonial flower plots. Then was evolved the little summer house with its cap of green, which stood generally at the foot of the garden path ending the central walk and it was then that the green arbor came into existence, spanning the centre of the little plot. Covered with vines it made a pleasant break in the otherwise straight lines of the old-fashioned garden, and it also gave a touch of old-world gardens to the new-world plan.

This was not the commencement of pergola construction, which had its origin in the vineyards of sunny Italy. They were not like those of to-day, wonderfully beautiful in design but rude and rustic, roughly put together as a support for the vines. Through the intersecting crevices fell glorious clusters of pale green and royal purple grapes, to ripen[Pg 24] in the glimmering shade. These rough arbors, shadowed by hardy vines, graced the Italian hillsides, when Columbus as a wool comber's son frolicked the summer days away long years before he discovered the new country that lay across the sea.

The birth of this feature was not romantic but plebeian, for it was built for practical use only. The hardy Italian grape growers had come to a realizing sense that their fruit throve better if held aloft, and so they conceived the idea of a supporting arbor. As the bright sun filtered through the vines, the picturesqueness caught the attention of gardeners on large estates and from this was evolved the long pillared pathways over which cultivated vines were twined, casting their long shadows far over the path beyond in Roman gardens.

When larger and better gardens were demanded to meet the architecture of the large, square, Colonial homes, green arbors were popular. They were crudely put together, often the work of the village carpenter, simple and unconventional in their treatment yet prettily draped with vines. During the summer months they were especially picturesque and inviting, with their little wooden seats placed on either side. To the garden came the gallant,[Pg 25] dressed in knee breeches and wearing powdered wig, there to meet his lady love, bending low he plucked from the branches of the trailing vine a flower to deck his fair beloved's hair.


These green arbors gave a distinct individuality to the old-time garden. Over them were carefully twined the Dutchman's pipe. It showed nestled away beneath its leaves, tiny, almost invisible little green pipes that were coveted by the little ones for "Let's pretend smoke." Invariably, the yellow and white Baltimore Belle rose sometimes known as the Seven Sisters, lent their charm, boldly peering out from under the vine to watch the lovers seated on the simple seats. They gave them a welcoming nod as they swayed to and fro in the passing breeze, mingling their blossoms, with a dainty Scotch rose and the pink moss, that seemingly grew on the same stem. It is the former rose that was the greatest favorite, for it lasted longer, giving dashes of yellow like sunshine to light the dark, autumnal days.

Now and again, we come unexpectedly upon a garden such as this. It lies in the heart of a Colonial city, hidden away from passers-by behind a high paling fence.[Pg 26]

The twentieth century pergola in the modern garden lends itself to a great variety of treatment. It is an important feature and should be properly treated in order to bring out the right effect. Often the amateur, when dabbling with garden culture, neglects this feature on his grounds and gives it a wrong setting.

It must be remembered that the mere setting out of a garden does not always bring about the best results. It should be done with some definite aim in view, such as color or suitability to situation. In this way only can one obtain perfection. There should be taken into consideration the formation of the different beds, especially those that are in close proximity. It cannot be a successful experiment unless carefully planned.

If you have never tried to form combinations that will intensify the loveliness of the grounds by a happy gathering of right colors, you have missed a delightful experience. This idea does not come quickly to the amateur floriculturist, but once he fully grasps it, he turns as if by instinct to the structural part of the garden plan. It is then that he realizes that while he has not seemed to have progressed during his first year's work, yet[Pg 27] he has laid a solid foundation that will stand him in good stead. In the midst of his garden he rears a house of flowers, placing it in a situation where he can watch the growth and maturing of the plants. Each corner of the garden is given separate treatment. In some gardens, where the space is small, it would be impossible to carry out the pergola scheme. Then it can be simplified and condensed into the child of the pergola, the arch, excellent for decorative effects. This means for flower showing can be made of wire, simply fastened to posts, bent into shape, or of wood and painted white; either of these methods is satisfactory and can, if properly used, be most successful.

The arch, to fit in with the garden plan, should span the entrance. Over it should be trained either a blossoming vine or many, to work out a succession of bloom. Sometimes it will be the wisteria with its drooping clusters of lavender, or the rambler rose found in such a variety of colors to-day. These two with the clematis, are especially adapted for this purpose, if one is willing to use proper fertilizer and depth of planting.

In order to insure better and more prolific growth, the vines should be cut back to about six or[Pg 28] eight inches in height when first set out. It must be remembered in dealing with them that they are like little children, each one requiring individual care. We must also be sure that the soil is frequently stirred to avoid caking.

Properly placed, the curved trellis is a joy. It gives a decorative setting to the garden proper. As the eye travels down the path, it greets a charming bit of color in the bed of solid green that tops the roof.

The arch would not be a proper note of setting for every garden. There are only certain kinds with which it blends. The narrow path demands it, for it needs a break to show it at its best. A judicious fashioning of a series of arches, extending here and there along the entire depth of the walk is sometimes attractive. They serve to break the monotony and add a flower note that is delightful. In the planning of these, great care should be taken that they are set at proper intervals. They should be on the same level and correspond in width, otherwise the result would be a wavy line that is most distressing.


The color scheme depends on garden planting. If lavender is chosen it should be reproduced all[Pg 29] through the line. Do not be so foolish as to choose one vine only but plant them in order to make a succession of bloom. One does not wish to view a spot of color now and a mass of green later on.

There are so many different kinds of vines that can be planted for this use, each one of which is admirable, that it is hard to choose. Commencing with the earliest why not take the American or the loose-cluster wisteria. It has many advantages over other vines, in that it is a strong grower and bears an abundant cluster of flowers resembling the sweet pea in formation.

One can reasonably assert, that the wisteria is the leading flower for the pergola or arbor. It dons a rich and graceful foliage and unlike other vines, has two distinct seasons of bloom. It is especially good if one wishes to carry out a one-tone color scheme, making lavender the key-note, and using this particular vine for the early bloom in May, at which time the luxuriant clusters of drooping flowers show their wonderful shading as they peer through the arches dropping down below the leafy growth and making a note of exquisite beauty. In August, when they show their second season of bloom, the flowers are less abundant.[Pg 30]

They should be followed by the Clematis Jackman. This vine, if it reaches maturity, is most effective, but it has the distinct disadvantage that though it starts right, and sends out shoots, they are apt to blight early and disappoint the gardener by dying before putting forth its wonderfully beautiful flowers. June, the month of roses, is a suitable time for one to watch for the blossoming of this vine.

Many people avoid the Cobœa Scandens on account of the large, conspicuous flowers it produces. They make a decided mistake when they shun this particular vine, for it has good qualifications for pergola covering. No vine grows more rapidly, as it reaches often from twenty-five to thirty feet in a single season. It bursts into blossom in July, in rich, purple, trumpet-shaped flowers.

For the successful growth of vines many things have to be considered but principally the soil. The amateur makes a mistake in starving the ground, and thus losing half the quality it would otherwise have had. In order to obtain the best results, put plenty of barn-yard manure, or bone meal, at the foot of the trellis, and this should be plentifully renewed at the commencement of each year.[Pg 31]

Rambler roses are one of the most effective treatments for arbor or pergola growth, and the most popular of these are the white, yellow, crimson and pink. Each year new varieties are put upon the market and if one wishes to follow the new ideas they will be forced to constantly change the plants.

In some cases, the pergola is used to form a trellised pavilion or summer house to shelter a marble statue and again with carved setting to outline a bed, as the central feature around which the flowers are arranged. Thus the simple vineyard trellis has been transformed into a gem of graceful construction, and we find it to-day, with its slender marble columns, supporting a delicately carved marble roof of slabs, over and through which the green of the vine, and the glint of the flower hover, dipping down between the intervening sections, in festoons of green and color.

It can well be called a distinctive summer structure, for with the sun streaming through its mass of vines, it shadows the walks from May until late October. In the long winter months boxed in it stands like a sentinel guarding the long, bare paths, and showing a leafless network of interlacing vines.[Pg 32]

The pergola of to-day is not like that of yesterday. When first introduced into our gardens it was taken up on many small estates, and so badly designed that it combined badly with the garden. It was then it fell into disfavor and was pronounced a failure for use in our garden plan.

But landscape gardeners, with an eye to the unique, felt that it was a necessary rounding-out of the garden design, and rescued from ignominy, it took its place in right surroundings, in the heart of the garden with a border of elaborate flower designs. Garden seats were placed inside and when it fronted on an Italian garden, a fountain was often introduced, the musical tinkle of the spouting water giving a special charm.

Among the many designs the simplest is a simple rustic frame structure, appropriate for small or wild gardens. It is formed of cedar posts driven four feet into the ground, and reaching to the height of eight feet. This is covered with a beam or a slab roof structure over which is trained the morning glory, the California creeper, or the grape. This latter is much used, the picturesqueness of the ripening fruit adding to its attractiveness. These[Pg 33] pergolas are generally eight feet wide and have for a flooring irregular flags through which peer grass or moss.

This type of garden furniture is perfectly well adapted to Italian, English, or Colonial types of architecture, and is constructed often of marble. It is not merely an ornament but a useful adjunct to a garden, and can be made of concrete, or cobblestone, if one does not wish to go to the expense of using marble.

There is a modern form of this feature that is a development from century-old customs, the porch-pergola which is fast supplanting the old covered porches of yesterday. This is designed with an open, vine-covered roof. It gives an added charm to the exterior of the house and furnishes a shady nook for sunny days, without the drawback of the old porch whose roof darkened the house in winter by withholding the sun.

No one, no matter how small their grounds, need deny themselves a pergola. It is such an important feature and so decorative that it is almost a necessity. For the little backyard it may be simply a rustic porch planted in the middle of the garden. Properly laid out, it can be used as an out-of-doors[Pg 34] living room. Across the end a hammock can be swung, while table and chairs can be fitted in at one side.[Pg 35]

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There is a delightful imaginary intimacy that seemingly exists between we garden lovers who live in the twentieth century and those of early days. So closely are we connected by a common band of sympathy that we eagerly scan their books to glean here and there some important bit of garden lore that can be introduced into our work of to-day. It is this pleasant mingling of old and new-world gardens that gives to present-day designs such a delightful atmosphere.

One of the old-time floriculturists, John Lyle, tells us in his old-fashioned way, about the flowers that bloomed ages before our grand-dames were born. "Gentlemen," he says, "what floure like you best in all this border? Here be fine roses, sweete violets, fragrant primroses, gille floures, carnations, sops of wine, sweete John, and what may please you at sight." Surely we see in retrospect, the gardens of that early day, and we come[Pg 38] more and more to realize that all through the ages, the hand of Man has fashioned nothing more beautiful than a garden of flowers. The most famous poets have not found any more ideal trysting spot in which to place their lovers.

Each individual part of the flower garden has its own distinctive charm. It lies not solely with the flowers that bloom so profusely in the beds nor with the marble fragments, for the romance of it all is centered in the little summer house, as it was quaintly named by our ancestors in the long ago. In these little tea houses, built in a retired part of the garden, the mistress loved to spend a pleasant summer afternoon, seated inside knitting flower thoughts into a shapely bag or reading some delightful book, which dropped from her hand, as she sat dreamily watching the unfolding of some favorite flower.

Let us enter one of these gardens, rich in its summer garb, walk slowly down the path, stopping now and again to view some bud slowly unfold its petals one by one, disclosing a new specimen to be added to the ever-increasing number that are comprised in the floral scheme, and waving a welcome as it is tossed to and fro by every passing breeze.[Pg 39]

Over there against the white paling fence stands the stiff hollyhock nodding his satiny head to greet the dainty heliotrope who glances coquettishly up to meet his eye. Nearby is a dialetrea or bleeding heart, the pet of the little ones, who pluck them to form tiny boats with snow white sails to float down the lily pond. Bursting into bloom behind the stiff box border is the old-time "piny," sending bits of color into the sober green.

None of the old Colonial gardens were considered complete without an ever varying assortment of bloom. There were the Sweet Williams, Bouncing Bet, and perky little Johnny-jump-up, sending greetings to his comrades nearby. Flowers are everywhere, they peer out at us from hidden corners, swing their heads in very ecstasy of enjoyment of their being.

Simplicity was the key-note in the construction of those summer houses that came into existence during the latter part of the seventeenth century. They stand for the first type of garden furniture made in our country, coming into vogue after the close of the grim struggle for existence made by our Puritan forbears. Then when the tide turned, and money flowed into the colonies, houseowners had[Pg 40] more time to devote to garden culture. Behind the large Colonial houses sprang into existence gardens devoted to flowers, the owners doing the best they could with the material at hand. These delightful little plots secluded from the world outside by high paling fences were the homes of the old-fashioned flowers, many of them descendants of the originals, brought over in the ships that first touched our shores.

They were not like the twentieth-century ones constructed of marble or concrete clothed with vines and standing in a wealth of up-to-date blooms, showing slender marble columns and carved capitals supporting the marble roof.

Rather are they covered with plain, every-day vines, such as the Dutchman's Pipe with its heavy leaving, clambering roses and the Bitter Sweet or Roxbury Waxwork, whose drooping bunches of yellow and red poke their heads through the lattice work, making a bit of bright color all through the winter months. This when the ground is covered with snow livens up the surroundings. On either side are planted a wealth of timely flowers, these include the Sweet William, the Hooded Larkspur, and the many-colored Phlox.[Pg 41]

Many of these little garden houses show such a variety of form that they are interesting, fitting into their surroundings as if they had always been there. Some are square, formed like a large box, depending for their picturesqueness on their coverings of vines. Others are round, and still again we find oblong summer houses, each one fitted up with seats and sometimes a rustic table.

Occasionally, we come upon a more pretentious one that is two stories in height. They were planned in the early nineteenth century, some of these are still standing and among them we find that of Elias Haskett Derby, designed by Samuel McIntyre, Salem's noted architect and wood-carver. For years it stood on the grounds of the summer home of Mr. Derby and to-day is so well preserved that it seems as if it had been recently built. Exquisite carving is a feature of this particular tea house, where rural images top the roof.

It is only in the gardens of the rich, that elaborate tea houses are found, simple designs grace the little gardens and are in harmony with their surroundings. The rustic summer house has its own mission to fulfill. Its cost can be determined by conditions. Some are finished in elaborately decorative[Pg 42] designs while others show plain treatment.

The best kind of wood to be used for this purpose is the red cedar which has wonderful lasting qualities. It is more expensive than the locust but out-wears any wood on the market. Great care should be taken that the supports be placed deep enough to avoid throwing by the heavy winter frost. Holes should be dug at least four feet deep, and squares of stone or cement pounded into the bottom to prevent its coming in contact with the earth and rotting. This makes a solid foundation, and durable. Do not have the roof made flat, so that water can stand upon it and rot it, but raise it slightly and either shingle or thatch it.

This last is an old-time handicraft that has recently been revived. Following the old English rule, reeds are more endurable, while straw is admissible. An advantage of its use is that it grows handsomer with age. In its second year it has collected moss, weeds and plants, and these, matted down and weather-beaten, give it the hue of a gray lichen. If properly treated it will last for years.


One should, if possible, when planning the garden, include a summer house. There is no more[Pg 43] enjoyable feature that can be constructed on the grounds. Its design, size, situation and type, must correspond with the period of the garden. A formal lay-out should, in order to be correct, receive entirely different treatment in its setting from the Italian, while the rambling depends upon simpler characteristics to produce correct results. Rustic tea houses fit into this project appropriately. They would be entirely incongruous if placed in Italian gardens elaborate in their plan and full of wonderful bits of marble fragments transplanted from foreign lands.

Fortunately for us, there are so many different types of gardens that one is not continually finding a repetition. Garden houses, covered with bark, fit into simple plans, such as the rambling and the wild gardens, their rustic effect being in harmony with the flowers and beds.

It is one thing to plan a summer house but quite another to pick out a suitable situation. It should not be placed in the heart of the flowers more especially where there are tall blossoms. Let the beds in the foreground be low and show quiet colors, shading the height and brightness as they go farther afield, the most conspicuous being used[Pg 44] for the extreme edge. Here, like a beautiful picture, they fit into the landscape and produce correct effects.

Level stretches do not always bring about right results. If your ground slopes to the garden edge why not design a rustic tea house to fit into the hillside? Should you visit it of a clear afternoon, seat yourself on the wooden settle and glance around you, you will be delighted with the view obtained. Below is the garden rolled out like a carpet brightly patterned at your feet, smooth stretches of lawn between rest the eyes as they gaze off to the horizon when the blue of the sky seems to melt into the masses of waving bloom.

Do not start this feature of the garden unless you have first planned situation, size and cost, otherwise you will be disappointed, and may feel it is more expensive than you wished. If you do not care to bed it underneath, you will be sorry. Every house of this sort should have a hard ashes or cement foundation in order to keep out the dampness. This is a serious fault which if not carefully watched results in quick rotting of the wood and constant expense. It is better to start right and in the end it will cost less. Posts used for supports[Pg 45] should be made of cedar or locust, driven four feet into the ground and resting on stone supports, used as preservatives. They can be elaborately designed or simple in finish and if plenty of air and light are wished for, trellis supports can be used, but if it demands shade, shingles or canvas painted, are advisable, the former better for rounded effects and the latter when a flat surface is used.

Marble is used prominently in Italian gardens, whose elaborate setting demands striking effects. Give the tea house a cover of soft green vines, dotted here and there with a bit of color and it will be a joy forever, taking on a dignity that is in keeping with its surroundings. Cement, no matter where it is used, is always effective. In coloring and lines it seemingly fits into the elaborate landscape scheme and it improves with age. There is an advantage in the use of cement, in that it costs nothing for repairs, is fireproof, does not collect vermin, and is never shabby. With its clinging vine cover, it is a desirable material for use in the construction of tea houses when wood and marble are not suitable.

There is a romantic charm in vine-clad tea houses. The clinging vine lends a picturesqueness[Pg 46] to the slender columns and the slanting roof emphasizes the beauty of it all.

There are so many decorative vines that are suitable for its use that it would be impossible to name them all.

For marble, delicate, tender climbers are the best. For concrete a larger leaf can be used to give more stable effects, while for rustic tea houses, the large, hardy vines and stronger climbers are more suitable. Each one has its own use, and appears at its best in congenial environment. The tiny canary-bird vine would make little show if allowed to clamber over rustic supports, while the Boston or Japanese ivy are especially adapted for this treatment. This is on account of the small, flat leaf that clings to the side, helping out the design without a deep massing of leaves.


Some summer houses depend upon hardy vines for their cover and others on tender climbers whose delicate tendrils wind in and out clouding but not hiding the exterior coloring. It is the wise man who is able to provide a suitable over-spread for houses of this description. It must be remembered that it is not the cover alone but the planting that surrounds it that aids in the picturesque effect.[Pg 47] There is as much need of careful thought here as there would be in any part of the scheme. For right coloring, height, and time of blossoming help or mar the plan.

There is as much difference in the growth of vines as there is in children. Some to be at their best require a very rich soil, while others will do equally well if it is poorer. The important thing, if you wish successful results, is to give them plenty of food, plenty of water and look out for a proper insecticide, in order not to retard their growth. A general rule that is permissible for almost any grounds is to dig a ditch from three to four feet deep and put in the bottom a foot of rotted manure. This can better be attended to in the fall, leaving time for it to get well soaked into the ground and ripen before planting. Fill in alternate layers of soil and manure until the trench is even with the ground. In clay soil, it is better in order to lighten it to mix in a little sand.

For a rustic summer house, where heavy planting is needed, a honeysuckle is effective. The scarlet or Sempervirens is a very decorative variety and this differs greatly from the Japanese one, bearing tubular scarlet flowers that continue in[Pg 48] blossom all summer. Of the many varieties this is the freest and the best. Its leaves are a blueish green which make a pleasing contrast with the coral color of the flower.

The Clematis is always effective and is the best vine of medium growth in existence. Its small, white, star-shaped flowers, deliciously fragrant, cover the vine completely in August. The Japanese Clematis or Paniculata is most attractive. It prefers a sunny position, the foliage is handsome and at the end of August it bursts into a wonderful mass of fragrant, pure white, star-like flowers that last nearly a month.

For shady places, the Helix or English ivy is advisable. This well-known, small-leafed ivy is perfectly hardy in this section and is much used for covering the ground in shady places where grass refuses to grow. Young growth sometimes gets winter killed, but this is due to sunburn rather than frost.

For tea houses painted white and for concrete, wisteria takes a prominent place. It grows equally well in city and country, being able to withstand the smoke of cities. Of these the Multijuga loose cluster is advisable. It is not so strong a grower as[Pg 49] the Chinese varieties but distinguished from them by long, loose clusters of purple flowers sometimes obtaining a length of two feet.

The Crimson Glory Grape Vine, Coignetiae, is a strong grower, showing large, heart-shaped leaves, ten inches long, deep rich green on top and bright yellow beneath, which assume a brilliant scarlet in autumn. The grapes are black and form a pleasing contrast to the bright colors of the leaves.

The Canary Bird Vine is suitable for either this kind of a tea house or a marble one. It is a beautiful, rapid, annual grower and when in blossom, the charming little canary-colored blooms bear a fancied resemblance to a bird with wings half expanded. Do not forget the Cardinal Climber which is a cross between the Cyprus Vine and the Star Glory. It attains a height of thirty feet or more with a beautiful form like laciniated foliage and is literally covered with a blaze of circular fiery cardinal red flowers from midsummer until frost. The flowers are about one and one-half inch in diameter and are borne in clusters from five to seven blossoms each. Wherever it has been grown it has attracted favorable comments. It delights in a warm sunshiny situation and good soil.[Pg 50]

The Kudzu Vine or Peuraria Thunbergiana is very popular. It came from Japan and is still rare. Its flowers are large clusters similar to a white Hydrangea and when in flower during July and August make a wonderful display. It is one of the best of the flowering vines to plant against a wall as it clings naturally to any rough surface.

The plants selected for either side of the tea house need as much care in choosing right colors as do the vines.[Pg 51]

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The air was laden with the sweet fragrance of flowers. They wafted a delightful welcome to the hardy explorers, who, worn with the long voyage, viewed for the first time the rocky shores of New England. Their soothing influence brought heart to the wearied men, as they revelled in the spicy odors that brought in their train pleasant thoughts of the wonderful gardens they had left behind them. From the sandy coast of Florida to the bleak New England shores they felt its enticing power. So pungent was the perfume, that it touched the heart of Barlow, one of the commanders of Raleigh's expedition who wrote on landing on the newly discovered shore, "We smelt so sweet and strong a smell, as if we had been in the midst of some delicate garden. The woods were not such as we find in Europe, barren and fruitless, but the highest and reddest cedars, pines, cypresses, and many others of excellent quality. Of grapes we[Pg 54] found a plenty climbing over every shrub and tree down to the waters very edge. I think in all the world there is not the like in abundance."

Among the earliest settlers, came a colony of Spaniards choosing for their home the sunny shores of Florida. Here in the heart of the woodland they made clearings, laying out extensive grounds that followed no set plan, but with semblance of the old-world garden. Here they planted for coolness and shade, vines and trees, laid out their grounds with walks, paved like mosaic with vari-colored stones. In these gardens no semi-tropical plants, such as abounded on every side, were planted. It has always been man's way when warring with the wilderness that lay beyond his door, to gather into the enclosure flowers and plants that had been dear to his heart in his far-away native land, to re-establish the atmosphere of his old home in new surroundings.

The colonists who settled on the southern shores of Virginia, were men of rank, wealthy men, who had left stately homes to settle in this unknown land. In the lay-out of their gardens they introduced the Elizabethean style of floriculture, following the fashion of the English gardens of that[Pg 55] day. These old gardens showed terraces, steps, leading from walk to walk, paths laid at right angles, through which one walked to view the spaces intricately designed with "knotted" beds and mazes, each one of which conformed to details in the buildings of their stately homes.

There were the first steps laid out in gardens in America, a novel feature that has been evolved into elaborate designs with the passing of the years. To-day no garden is complete that does not show some form of steps or terrace.

Rockeries have come into vogue not only in large, elaborate garden plots but in simple little home grounds. They are approached by steps of stone that correspond with the rough, rural aspect of this feature of garden culture. Shy wild flowers peep timidly out from their homes between the crevices of the rock. Here in the early spring we find the cup-shaped crocus with its yellow tongue nestled contentedly in among the brown furred fern fronds, that soon will unfurl in dainty loveliness. Leading from the steps are grass banks and low walks, surrounding the rockery and affording pleasant promenades, from which to view the garden in its entirety.[Pg 56]

Like every other plan contrived by man, the garden step should be fashioned to fit into its proper place, adding and not detracting from the general picturesqueness. It depends upon the personality of the creator as to its success, for steps while seemingly a minor detail, can add or detract from a garden's beauty materially.

One should never swerve from the thought that practicability should be the motive in planning stepping stones to connect different levels of your garden. They should not be added just for appearance sake, any more than one should wear a showy gown to attract attention. They should carry out some well-thought-out plan.

It would be bad taste to introduce rustic steps into a formal garden, as much so as it would to place delicately wrought slabs of marble in the heart of a thicket. One should, that is if they wish to excel other creators in the introduction of original ideas, think out each individual part of the ground assigned for garden purposes and determine where each feature can make the best showing. It is then and then only that we come to a realizing sense not only of the kind of material that should be used but the shape and the setting.[Pg 57]

There should be a definite purpose in the use of this particular feature and the most important one is that it should be so arranged that one can reach different levels easily. There should be no precipitous pitch that makes one feel while ascending that they are performing tiresome gymnastic feats. This necessitates that they should be constructed on a gradual incline, thus making the ascent so easy that one is hardly conscious they are walking always upward until they have reached the top, and stand on level ground. This is often not enough considered and yet is most important.

In laying the stepping stones, there should be definite proportions thought out between the risers, breadth of the treads and the height between. Any variation would produce awkward results. Great care should be taken in choosing slabs either of stone or marble that are of the same size.

If the steps connect different parts of the garden scheme or lead to a rock garden, they should be cunningly introduced into the side of the ascent, placed so that they will add to the picturesqueness of the effect. They should break the hillside pleasingly, so that when completed they will form a pleasant picture, delightful for the eye to gaze[Pg 58] upon. More than this, there should be planting, not only between the risers but on either side, and this requires careful thought, for a stately hollyhock rearing its gorgeous stock of rich coloring would be entirely out of place while delicate ferns or humble rock plants emphasize the desired effect.

If the height of your step should be low, then risers, six inches in height would be in good form, and the treads in order to correspond must be twelve and a half inches in width. Should, however, five inches be the height needed, then an additional inch and a half should be added to the treads. This point is such an important one that garden owners and landscape architects should see that it is properly carried out, if they wish to get the right results.


Ramping steps, if successfully developed, brings about an additional ease in mounting. This can be accomplished by placing the tread so that it shall imperceptibly slope downward. This is not an easy matter to accomplish successfully. It requires much care, so that the steps shall not slope too noticeably and yet enough to add to the comfort of the garden lover who walks from path to path[Pg 59] using the steps to aid him in reaching the upper level of the ground. This idea of ramping is not original, for it has been carried out in the old Italian gardens for centuries, but it is only within recent years that it has been successfully developed by landscape gardeners in our country.

Two important things connected with these stairways are ease and comfort. There is no doubt but within the last few years, marvels have been accomplished by introducing them into steep hillsides. In this way they connect the lower level and the terrace, making it practical to develop unused land for flower purposes.

The placing of steps cannot be determined by cast-iron rules, rather should good taste predominate. Nothing can give such an awkward look to your garden or terrace as a series of narrow, cramped stairs. If, however, you should in the same place introduce a flight ample in proportion, then even if it is a small space there will be imparted to it an agreeable air of breadth.

Be sure that each step should extend farther to the side than the one above it. They should be rectangular so that the outline of the stair mass is pyramidal or circular in formation. If stone is[Pg 60] used, a very good result is brought about through the use of carefully selected field stone or cobble. There are sheltering crevices in which to plant tiny roots which when grown add much to the general appearance of the whole. If the garden is a formal one, a design in which architectural features play an important part, one should take great care in the arrangement of this flight. There is nothing that gives such a delightful atmosphere as a well-planned stairway. It conveys a much better picture than does a vista of successive flights of steps that ascend to higher grounds.

The principal use for a feature such as this, is found to be in informal or unpretentious lay-outs, yet, fashioned in marble it is shown in the most elaborate Italian gardens found in this country. It takes on such a variety of forms and is available for so many purposes that it is fascinating to study where it will give best effects. Sometimes it helps out in the making of a garden pool. Here it is specially alluring, forming as it does, a step from one little world into another.

If you wish originality in your work, do not attempt to copy from the plans of others. Surely there is no lack of material from which to draw and[Pg 61] there is no reason why steps cannot be placed in any sort of a garden nook. The material depends on the style of garden, but wooden steps are not generally advisable on account of their rotting, which makes them need constant repair. It is far better to use stone, slabs of granite, concrete or marble, for each one of these has the lasting qualities that make them durable.

Measure the space carefully before the work is commenced. You should make allowances for crevices between each step so that suitable planting may be carried out. It is a very good idea to have the wide spreading plants placed near the bottom, graduating to those of more moderate growth at the top. Careful consideration should also be given to the right planting on either side. Low plants should border the step with a background of taller ones. They may, if you like, be used to express the idea of balusters on either side and are much more picturesque than real ones.

Do not forget that rich soil should be employed, for the plants need it to grow successfully. They require sustenance just as we need meat to feed our bodies. In many cases it can be rich loam taken from the woods, in other instances rotted[Pg 62] manure can be used for a foundation with a heavy soil covering. Great care should be taken to make proper planting, for delicate growth near hardy is disastrous, the stronger plants absorbing the strength of the weaker ones and doing permanent harm. Do not flatter yourself that once planted nature will do the rest. This part of the ground demands continual care, for weeds—plants' enemies—will intrude and must be carefully removed lest they feed upon the soil, taking away the richness and starving the plants. Water is a necessity, for plants like human beings grow thirsty all the more when exposed to the dry heat of the summer season. For best effects a sprinkler should be used and it should be borne in mind that the plants should be thoroughly soaked and not given merely a surface treatment. The importance of this cannot be over-estimated, or through lack of proper drink the plants will be in no condition to put out their full strength during their season of blossoming. Better results will be obtained if each fall before the winter sets in, they should be given a heavy top dressing of grit. There is nothing that plants enjoy as much as this and it provides them with strength during the next year's growth.[Pg 63]

Concrete may not find favor with many garden lovers. It covers the surface so thoroughly that there is no place to introduce growth, but a little ingenuity and common sense removes this difficulty. Holes can be bored through the cement, and these should be large enough to allow the plants full scope to grow.

Many people for step planting prefer a succession of blossoming plants while others care for growth only. If the former plan is worked out, a charming early bloomer is the Alpine Anemone. Of these the Pulsatilla, or "Pasque Flower," is effective. It shows rich purple blossoms, which rising above the green leaves with their downy, feathery collarette of green, develop into handsome seed heads, which are decorative. They nestle into the crevices of the rocks, sending forth their exquisite blossoms nine inches in diameter during the months of April and May.

Variety is always delightful. For this decorative purpose why not use crocuses, "The Heralds of Spring." They thrive in any soil or situation, but in order to obtain the best growth, they should be planted in rich, deep, sandy loam. One of the choicest kinds is the Baron von Brunow.[Pg 64] It is free flowering, putting forth large blossoms, dark blue in coloring. These can be mingled with a stripe variety such as La Majestueuse, which shows large, violet markings, exquisite in shading. The Giants, of which the Mont Blanc is a favorite, put out large, snow-white blossoms, forming an effective foil for the dark blue flowers of the other assortments.

In planting your steps do not forget to have plenty of bulbs introduced among the other plants. The graceful dwarf anemone seemingly fit into this early scheme, their delicate blossoms giving a touch of daintiness. For the best results these should be planted in the fall six inches apart and three inches in depth. Few bulbs exceed in loveliness the Blanda-Blue, Winter Wind Flower. This is matchless in coloring, originating in the hills of Greece, and has been naturalized in this country, where it takes kindly to the soil and produces flowers of charming hue. A feature of this special plant is that it blossoms during the winter months as well as the early spring. You make no mistake if you place it in every development of steps in your garden. It naturalizes best in grassy places in warm soil, and it can be distinguished by[Pg 65] its round, bulb-like roots. Should you, however, wish to have more than one variety, why not try the Bride, that puts forth a single white flower, or the single Fugens, "Irish Anemone," which is semi-double, found in shades of scarlet, blue and purple.


Anyone can carry out their own idea as there are so many plants to draw from, each one of which is permissible for decorative effects. In our choosing let us not forget the Lily of the Valley. It is surely one of the most useful of our many spring flowers, pure white in coloring and delicately scented. For best development it should be planted in open ground, where it quickly spreads so that unless you wish masses of it, it will have to be separated almost every year. The Dutch Valley is an excellent kind to choose, as it sends forth so many flowering pits. This dainty little plant is a general favorite with everyone. Its sprays of drooping, white, wax-like, fragrant bells give a bit of color that is picturesque.

If you are looking for evening bloom there is the Ænothera or evening Primrose; this has the advantage of blooming all through the summer months. There are so many kinds, each one so[Pg 66] beautiful that it is a difficult matter to pick out the most decorative. Of these the Arendsii is very popular, showing, as it does, a profusion of lovely rose-colored flowers, and it is to be preferred to the Speciosa. Then there is the Pilgrimi with its glorious golden clusters that seem to light the garden during the twilight hour.

In your planting do not forget the Acre, or golden moss. This is a creeping variety and especially suitable for rock work. Its delicate growth makes it particularly appropriate for this use. The Vinca Minor can be mixed with this. This is evergreen, and excellent for covering or rockery, and can be combined with the Moss Pink, sometimes known as creeping phlox. This latter is in bloom in May or June. It shows broad sheets of rosy pink, white or lavender flowers, and an evergreen foliage. As it grows either in sun or shade, it is a very decorative plant to be used for step treatment.

For the border can be used as a setting low, old-fashioned, hardy perennials, which are particularly adapted for grouping. In their planting use good soil, let them be placed where there is a reasonable amount of sunshine, keep them free from[Pg 67] weeds and give them an occasional surface cultivation.

It is better to set these out in the fall, so that some of them will blossom during April and May. The late blossomers, however, can be saved until early spring, like Asters, and Heleniums. In making the selection, consideration should be given to those that grow in certain settings, as while some will flourish luxuriantly in ordinary garden loam, others are not dependable unless very rich soil is given to them.

For the outer border why not use hardy Candytuft (Iberis Sempervirens), which sends forth a profusion of white flowers in April or May, showing a spreading foliage that is evergreen and very attractive. With this can be grown the Rock Cress or Arabis Albida, which from April to June sends out sheets of pure white, fragrant flowers. Back of this one can plant the Fleur-de-lis. They should be given a sunny position in any kind of soil. As they come in all sorts of colors, there is no trouble in getting them to carry out the scheme that you have in hand. The Silver King, which is a silvery white with lavender shading, can be placed with the Florantina, which is light lavender, and the[Pg 68] Pallida Dalmatica, which is lavender bloom. If you wish to carry out this color scheme further, why not try the Purpurea, which with its rich, royal purple, will make during the season one of the handsomest displays possible for a setting to the low growth decoratively used in steps.[Pg 69]

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We view our flower-plots at their best, gazing at them through the vine-clad entrance, as we glance down the gravel walk bordered on either side by masses of brilliant flowers. Involuntarily, our eyes wander along farther afield till we meet the background of trees clad in verdant foliage, a fitting setting for the picture laid out in patches of color, fitting into the canvas with a well-defined plan. We can but feel as we stand looking down on this paradise of flowers that we are thankful for the thought that first created gardens.

When they came into existence it is hard to determine, for mention is found of flowers and the traditions of wonderful gardens, laid out long before man had chiseled the hieroglyphics depicted on Egyptian tombs. The love of flowers is a heritage handed down from generation to generation.

Homer, when speaking of Laertes, trying in vain[Pg 72] to find consolation in his flowers, while mourning the departure of Telemachus, goes on to show us that great men turn to gardens to heal sorrow. Philosophy was taught by Epicurus surrounded by his beloved pupils among the flowers.

From the early Greeks the Romans took their first lesson in floriculture. It was after their invasion of Brittany that they introduced certain flowers and fruits, like grapes, roses and violets, into English gardens. The art of gardening advanced steadily, reaching its zenith in good Queen Elizabeth's time, when there were in England many pleasing gardens, formal and stiff, to be sure, but a fit setting for the architecture of that day.

While the garden designs abounded in beautiful walks and flowers, yet the entrance to the grounds formed as it were the key-note to it all.

Has it ever occurred to you, as you stood hesitating at the portals of the gardens, that these were suggestive of some well-thought-out plan, as like grim sentinels they stand guarding the flower treasures? There is as much contrast in this part of the plan as there is in the design itself. Here we find a narrow, forbidding entrance, giving no glimpse of the flowers within; again we come to a[Pg 73] wide, welcoming one, beckoning, as it were, for us to pass through the portals and gaze with delight on the beauties hinted at beforehand and now disclosed to the eye.

For Colonial treatment there is nothing more dignified or stately than the square wooden posts, inclosing a locust inner one. They are built of white pine, one of the most lasting woods to be found in our country, and are Colonial or Georgian in design. Many of them are ornamental, topped with balls, urns, or torch devices and with elaborate hand-carving, so wonderful in its design that architects copy them in their modified Colonial houses of to-day. This was the work of one of the most noted wood-carvers in our country, Samuel McIntyre, whose name is a household word to architects and landscape designers all over the country.

There are two ways of treating the entrance. One of them is by adding an ornamental gate, corresponding in type with that of the posts. The other is to leave the posts gateless; while both are correct, yet the former way is more often used as it lends an air of privacy to the ground. It also helps out the effect planned by giving a touch of picturesqueness[Pg 74] that would be otherwise lacking. A much too common mistake is the introduction of Southern architecture into Northern gateways; the lines and details do not always conform with the type of the house.

Most of these gates are hung by iron or brass hinges, but the earliest ones use the strap hinge, which carries out the Colonial idea. The difficulty with the strap hinge is that it is not always strong enough to hold the gates without sagging, and the wider the entrance the heavier the strain. While the design varies, yet rarely do we find one constructed in the seventeenth century that is not simple and with picket effects. The pickets have pointed tops and are sometimes irregularly spaced, while the brace often shows an artistic curve.

Occasionally, we find the posts yoked, through a connecting arch. This is often latticed and if rightly designed adds to the ornamental effect. An old lantern is sometimes an attractive feature. The arch should be painted to match the color of the posts, a very good combination for this use is pure white lead, or zinc, combined with linseed oil. If you do not care to mix it yourself it can be bought ready for use. For the best effects, a thin[Pg 75] coat should be used at first and it depends upon how easily it is covered as to how many coats to apply. If you wish to give a better finish, have an excess of turpentine over linseed oil in the last coat. There is more economy in covering it properly at first, as otherwise it will have to be re-painted each year.

With the evolution of garden culture has come a similar change in the design and material used to form our entrances. On the large estates of to-day, rarely if ever, do we find the ornamental Colonial. It would be as much out of place as if the mistress of the house affected silken brocades with wig and patches.

The white paling fence, unless for simple cottages, has entirely gone out of style and in its place we find cement walls. Often these are topped with a coping of limestone. The gate-posts, being formed over strong locust posts that have been driven firmly into the ground, are supported by brick or cement foundation.

Where the mansion shows in exterior brick, often with trimmings of limestone, the same idea is worked out in the wall. In cases like this an ornamental iron gate, hung on staples, supercedes the[Pg 76] simple Colonial ones of former days. Occasionally, the name of the estate is interwoven in the ornamentation, or sometimes it is carved on the stone entrance posts.

Natural material is coming more and more to be used and we find a rubble wall, constructed from stone and boulders picked up on the grounds, left often rough, and again filled in with red cement to make it more stable. The rubble wall is generally topped with cement laid perfectly flat. The entrance posts follow this same line of treatment and while they are often left hollow for several inches down, these are packed solidly inside with small rocks to keep them in place. The excavation is filled in with rich soil and bright blossoming plants introduced. This gives a bit of color scheme that is very effective as a foil for the cold gray of the stone. Vines are often planted at the foot of the posts, the turf being dug away for several inches, and rich loam introduced to better insure their growth. It depends entirely upon how heavy one wishes the covering to be as to the kind of vine planted. If it is the idea to hide it effectively from sight and produce massing of green, an entirely different planting should be made than if it was[Pg 77] intended to have a delicate coloring of green that would only enhance the color of the background.


Right combinations are very important in this line of work. It would be foolish to use woodwork combined with heavy stone or iron. It is sometimes in better form to have wide slabs of granite or cement defining several layers of brick. The height and width naturally depend upon what it intends to imply.

Low piers of masonry capped with a pointed effect should stand by themselves without any planting, as the latter often disfigures architectural effects. It is not always necessary that this feature of the exterior should be conspicuous, more particularly if the posts are constructed of wood. Treat them to a light creosote stain, thus giving a picturesque background for the overlapping vines. Sometimes combinations work out well in producing artistic results. With a rough stone pillar, it is sometimes in good taste to introduce gateways of oak, which while effective under certain conditions, are very bad under others. These are much more attractive the second year, when they have weathered to a picturesque pearly gray. This color harmonizes delightfully, not only with the walls but[Pg 78] with the flowers and their foliage. An important thing that should not be forgotten is the use of wooden pegs and copper nails, neither of which are injured by rain. If you choose to use a wire fence, let the gate-post and gates correspond for it is far better than to combine materials inharmoniously. They are not only practical but light and in their construction there is a chance to work into the scheme ornamental designs. Do not finish this with a square box top, rather give it a bit of ornamentation such as a ball or a lantern. There can be had to-day so many ornamental lanterns, constructed of wrought iron, that they can be purchased in almost any type desired. It is far better not to cover the posts with vines and thus conceal the beauty of the work. The most effective way would be to build up wire arches and plant rambler roses back of the posts for them to run on.

The Sweet Briar, if one is looking for perfume, is desirable. They can be purchased in single and semi-double flowers, created through the developing and crossing of the old-fashioned variety. Rambler roses are always in good taste. It is better to plant three or four kinds that show harmonious coloring. There is the Lord Penzance, a[Pg 79] soft fawn, turning to lemon yellow in the center. This is particularly adaptable for covering arches as it is a strong grower and abundant blossomer. The Meg Merrilies fits into this color scheme, putting forth gorgeous crimson flowers during the six weeks of its flowering. Combine with these the Brenda, and you will find that this mixture lends a brightness that is very effective. Many people object to roses on account of their many enemies. One of the most common is the powdery mildew. This is easily distinguished by a powdery growth of white that is found on both leaves and shoots. Use sulphur very freely, and you will find it disappear. The stem cancer is a serious disease, and it is found on both the cane and the branches. In dealing with this the grower must not be afraid to use the pruning knife vigorously, so that the diseased parts can be thoroughly removed, in this way preventing spreading and the ruin of the vine. From the time of its planting the rambler needs constant attention, but it brings its own reward, in that there is no vine that can equal it in beauty. The advantage of having a variety of colors instead of one is readily seen, for it prevents a large mass of one individual color.[Pg 80]

There is a pleasure indescribable felt by lovers of plants when designing any feature of their grounds. This is particularly true with the gate and the planting. They must bear in mind, however, the true purpose of gates and their proper use on country estates. It is designed as a means of ingress, and as such, should be suited to the type of mansion. Therefore, into its plan should be worked the atmosphere of the residence as well as the characteristics of the surrounding country. For instance, a wooden fence and gate-post would be entirely inappropriate if one were dealing with a beautiful summer estate where the house was to be built of brick.

Compositions should not be carelessly used and it should be remembered that there is great danger in our zeal for producing something unique, of going to the other extreme and giving an over-ornamental creation. One cannot be too particular in making the entrance and the adjoining fence accord with the idea one is trying to bring out in the whole plan.

The driveway is of fully as much importance as the entrance. It should be kept scrupulously neat and free from weeds. To have it at its best it[Pg 81] should be thoroughly under-drained, and for this the open-joint drain tile is advisable. It should be laid under ground and connected, if possible, with the sewer. Properly attended to, this keeps the road-bed dry and in good condition. The bed itself should be dug down for several feet, a foundation of earth from six to ten inches should be laid, over which can be thrown a layer six inches thick of either broken limestone or chopped trap rock. Cover the whole with a screening of limestone and finish it with gravel. Have it rolled hard and you realize the advantage as the season ends.

The drive should be sufficiently wide for carriages to pass through without besmearing your gate-posts with mud and dust. One should realize that the driveway is in reality a foot-path enlarged, and should always be kept immaculate. The gate, if you wish to prevent its sagging, should open in the center. A two-part gate gives often a better effect than one long one. Nothing equals iron, which can be treated in so many different ways that there is little danger of repetition in design.

The capping is as important as the post itself. Simple square box treatment is advisable in some cases. Balls fit into the scheme on some estates,[Pg 82] while Colonial urns are in keeping with wooden posts and lantern effects belong to iron gateways. The latter, of course, are effective for lighting at night. Gas pipes can be laid under the roadway, connected with the ornamentation in such a way that they can be turned on from the house.

In many entrances, side gates, similar to the main ones have been inserted, which relieve the main entrance from use by pedestrians. They can be so laid out as not to interfere with the use of the motor cars. They should be separated from the main driveway by a turf border and covered with gravel.

Planting is very effective for this feature of the ground, and trees, that is if the right sort are chosen, are admirable, used in this connection. White birches lend a picturesqueness that cannot be equaled, but they are short-lived. The elm with its graceful branches seems to fit into every landscape scheme. Do not plant them too near the posts. If you do, their roots will reach out often causing upheaval and creating havoc. For best effects the trees should be used outside rather than inside the entrance. In the latter case they are too apt to cut off the view.

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Many people prefer a hedge and this can be planted either with or without a fence. Arbor-vitae is practical for such use as is the Buckthorn and the Berberis Thunbergii (Thunberg's Japanese Barberry). This is a Japanese hedge with round, drooping habit. It leaves out in a fine brilliant green during the summer months and from autumn until December takes on a wonderful showing of color. During the winter months the branches, loaded with scarlet crimson berries, make an effective contrast with the white of the snow. Its value as a hedge is because it is impenetrable and thickly set with spines, never growing bare. The most popular shrub for hedge treatment is Privet-Ligustrum. It is very ornamental with a rich dark green foliage that is nearly evergreen and remains on the plant until late winter. It is a good grower under the most adverse circumstances. In order to form the most effective hedge it should be planted from ten to twelve inches apart and pruned back during the first two seasons.

The Ampelopsis Arborea woodbine is useful for entrances. It is a distinct variation from the other forms, making a spreading bush rather than a strong climber. Its leaves are dark green and comparatively[Pg 84] coarse, and its autumn coloring is superb. The Boston Ivy clings even to wood, its fine shoots cover walls and while it requires some covering during the first two or three winters of its life, yet it pays. In the fall, nothing can be so gorgeous as the varied colored tints of its foliage.

The Clematis Paniculata should never be forgotten. It is a rapid and vigorous climber and can be depended upon to clothe large spaces quickly. Originally, it was introduced from Japan and is allied to our native Virgin's Bower. The flowers are effective, borne in long panicles which are white and their fragrance is perceptible a long distance away. They open the latter part of August, staying in bloom for nearly a month. Combined with this should be the Clematis Coccinea (Scarlet Clematis), whose showy bell-shape, brilliant scarlet flowers are produced in great profusion.

The Wisteria is adapted to almost any purpose and can be used picturesquely on many types of entrances. The Wisteria Magnifica is admirable and resembles Frutescens, but it varies from it in that the clusters are larger and denser while the yellow lilac colored flowers have yellow spots.

Among the other vines it is well to plant some[Pg 85] that will give a touch of color during the dark, cold days of winter when the vines lie barren and bare, their leafless branches swaying in the wind. Why not use for that the Celastrus Scandens (Bitter Sweet or Wax Work). It is one of our native climbing plants and can be found in almost any part of the New England woods, a rapid grower, with attractive, light green foliage and yellow flowers, followed by bright orange red berries that are cheering in the fall and lead us to forget the shedding of the foliage by the other vines.

In order to hide the base of the vine, ferns can be planted. It is better to use the hardy varieties rather than the more tender ones, although a combination of the two is always attractive. Take, for instance, the Adiantum Croweanum, which is one of the hardiest of the maiden hair species. This, like every other of its kind, should be well watered and fertilized, grown in a rich, open soil, with plenty of leaf mould. There is nothing difficult in their culture and they need absolutely no attention after planting. The Polypodium Vulgare, which is evergreen, showing smooth, shiny fronds resembling the Boston fern, is another that is adapted for this purpose.[Pg 86]

With these can be combined the Comptonia, or Sweet Fern, a native plant with fern-like, dark green scented foliage, very useful for foliage massing on rocky, barren places, and thriving best in dry, sterile soil. There are many more varieties and it would be impossible to mention them all. They are, each and every one, suitable for adding to the beauty of private gardens and estates.[Pg 87]

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John Burroughs, in his description of a garden, has told us that "To love the birds, to appreciate their place in the landscape," is one of the most important things. It does much to bring happiness into our lives. In the forming of a perfect garden, many things are requisite and among them are birds, flowers, bees, and the flashing butterfly who darts joyously from flower to flower, a thing of beauty and perishable as the day. Should anyone doubt the truth of these assertions, let him seat himself in some retired spot during a beautiful day in the month of roses. He can then listen to the song of the birds, caroling as they sway on the branches of the trees above our heads, nestling at our feet, or hidden away deep down in the heart of the flower beds. Birds are everywhere, they flit in and out of the garden, sipping sweet nectar from the blossoming plants, and flaunting their bright colors when catching the sunshine as they swing by.[Pg 90]

God made nothing more interesting than birds and man should care for them, giving them a distinctive place in his garden, realizing that through their industry they free the plants from harmful insects and slugs. The birds can be coaxed into anyone's garden, that is, if care is taken in proper planting, giving to the plots trees and plants that they love. Under the rose bushes place a bath, where they can come and preen their plumage, but if possible have it placed beyond the reach of intruding cats.

When the custom of providing drinking cups to quench the thirst of our native birds first came into fashion, it is hard to determine. Perchance, it was in the early days when in 1621, the colonists built rail fences, to enclose their separate lots. Over these they trained the wild morning glory and sweet-scented honeysuckle, the perfume of which doubtless carried them back to the beautiful English gardens that still existed in their native land.

Doubtless, during the life of William Penn, when he encouraged the laying out of old English gardens, he included in the design a planting to attract bird life. This was still further encouraged when the first botanical garden came into existence[Pg 91] in 1728 through the thought of Bertram Bartran, of Philadelphia. He was a man who had traveled much and was thoroughly versed in the art of floriculture. In his garden he planted rare and practical seeds partly for the mere joy of carrying out his own whims. This garden, like many others, was individual in its planting, a quality that lent to it an additional charm.

During the early seventeenth century there were imported into seaport towns principally at Salem, Massachusetts, unique bird baths. They came packed in among the cargo that was stowed away in the holds of the slow sailing ships that plied continuously between Singapore and the New England shores. Many of these were the result of orders given by the ship owners who wanted to set them in their posy beds, laid out at the rear of their stately homes. Rare were these shells with their fluted framework, and hard to find, yet so spacious that a whole colony of feathered songsters could hold concourse within their pearly depths.

Underneath the shade of the drooping lilac, they peered out at us from the time the melting of the snow released the snow drops from their icy cover, thus allowing them to lift up their pure white heads[Pg 92] as if in rejoicing to be free, to be followed later on by the gay little crocuses, clad in their gowns of many hues. Few of these baths are still in existence. We come across them occasionally, however, in old-fashioned gardens where they are treasured for sentiment's sake.

Just as the rustic bird houses, constructed of weathered boards, and with floor covering of powdered sawdust or ground cork, have become a necessity in the twentieth-century garden, tempting the summer sojourners to rest their weary wings; so we must strive to create a homelike atmosphere so attractive to the little songsters that they will delight in revelling among the many flowers that are planted here. A barren waste of land has no pleasure for them, neither has a garden shorn of their favorite plants.

There is no need of being deterred from using a feature such as this. A bird bath need not be expensive, just a simple box, zinc-lined and painted to correspond with the surroundings. The birds are not fussy as to the exterior of their outdoor bathroom; all they wish is comfort and a cooling drink during the hot summer days, when the dew has faded from the grass, and the sun hangs high in the[Pg 93] heavens. It is then that all nature is panting from excessive heat.

A simple zinc pan, large and wide enough, filled with fresh water daily, is as satisfactory to them, as a marble pool standing in the heart of the garden and surrounded by a bed of brilliant flowers. Place this pan in the heart of a grassy knoll, at the edge of the garden proper and watch results. You will not have long to wait before softly tripping through the grass or dropping from their leafy covert, one by one, they show their gratitude by revelling in the bath thus placed for their use.

The most common type, if you wish to buy a bird bath, is the cement one. It can be modeled in any shape and to follow any line of treatment that you prefer. The simple, plain, low-lying ones are suitable for placing under the shadowy bush or tree. Hand carving would be as much out of place on a bath such as this, as if one used an expensive silver bowl for their benefit. To be sure a little ornamentation, simply worked out, makes them more artistic. This can be accomplished through proper planting. A delicate fern unfolding its fronds and drooping until it almost touches the water is appropriate, as is a low-lying pine that adds a bit of[Pg 94] shade which is truly appreciated by your little visitors who perch on the curb, after shaking off the dust from their wings in the water below, and pour out their gratitude in a melody of song.

For ornament why not use a cement bath that is shaped like a large vase. It makes an interesting feature in your twentieth-century garden, and gives a chance to depict a favorite flower from which the garden takes its name.

Rising stately and dignified from their floral bed, showing wonderful and delicate carving, are marble baths exquisitely shaped and resting on a shaft of the same material. These are fitting for an Italian or a formal garden. They seem to blend in with an elaborate architectural scheme such as we find in the planning for the decoration of a large area.

There is no particular place where they seemingly do not fit in. They are effective used as a central figure and surrounded with a circle of well-chosen blossoming plants and they harmonize in the landscape scheme even if used apart from the main gardens or designed to occupy a niche in the wall. Here they are just as enjoyable as if they stood prominently forth, the main axis around which the rest of the garden revolves.

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They can be made much more picturesque if one trains over their side a delicate vine whose tendrils cling to the foundation and bring out the color effectively. Plant for the birds' enjoyment and combine with this feature decorative beds, using not the strong colors, but the delicate, dainty, pink, blue, white and lavender, of the many varieties that are suitable for this purpose.

Do not let the base of your expensive bird bath rest on the earth, rather place under it a pedestal of marble, granite, or cement. It need not be conspicuous, a growth of turf, the planting of an ivy or some other vine, will add much to its attractiveness, making an artistic foundation for it.

Whoever lays out his garden plot with a thought of thorough enjoyment, he who looks forward to sitting under the vine, will take special thought of the birds. He will endeavor even if he is an amateur not to make an ugly muddle in his planting, but aim for picturesque garden vistas, and have his flowers properly balanced so they will show harmonious massing of colors. One should be as careful not to give sun-loving plants a shady place, as to put the shy little flowers in the glaring sunlight.[Pg 96]

It is a necessity if you are a bird lover, or if you wish to rid your plants of insects and your grounds of worms, to attract the birds. This can be accomplished by giving them not only proper planting but the right place where they may enjoy their daily bath. If you wish the best results, seek shade rather than sunshine. Our little friends prefer shelter to warmth, so cater to their taste in the placing of their drinking pool.

It is rather important that you seek a spot, just near enough to the grounds to be companionable, there to place a mulberry tree. There is no fruit that is more to their mind than this and it will be a source of delight to watch the shyest birds reward you by flaunting their colors before you as they flit in and out, feeding off the berries so temptingly displayed for their exclusive use.

It is a mistake to look upon the robin as common and a pest. This fact has been firmly fixed in our minds through his thieving qualities. When you consider that he has been known to devour as many as seventy worms a day, and multiply that by the voracity of his mate and his children, you will then commence to realize what a benefit he is to your garden. Try and cajole him into being[Pg 97] a friend, and entice him to nest in the heart of your flower patch. Listen to his song; there is a mellow quality to his voice and he can put more expression into his music than any other bird. There is a flash of color and a burst of sweet melody, listen—there is a scarlet tanager, singing love songs to his mate. He is a veritable bird of Paradise and once sported fearlessly among our trees, but has now grown shy through being used as a target for the sportsman's gun. Cultivate him by all means. Toll him into your garden.

Darting in and out of the garden one finds the humming bird, so tiny that he measures only from three and a half to three and three-quarters inches, the smallest bird in our country. There is a glint of color as he dashes fearlessly from flower to flower, his brilliant metallic throat and breast sparkling in the sunlight like a precious gem. The trumpet flowers with their deep cup-shape blossoms are his special delight, although he never scorns the sweet-scented flowers that he finds on every side. For a moment he poises in the air motionless, sighting his flower, then winging his flight, he drains the nectar, uttering a shrill little squeak of delight, as he spies some especially fat aphides[Pg 98] on the garden foliage. These he shoots off like a streak of lightning rapidly searching for more food.

How to attract the birds is a question that all bird lovers are seeking to answer. It is such a simple matter that you do not have to look far afield to obtain what you wish. There are many fruit-growing shrubs each one of which is suitable for his majesty's needs. These should be planted somewhere in the garden. If you prefer them surrounding the bird bath, you will have more chance for bird study, but they will come without that if you give them a chance and plenty of edible berries all the year round. The red berried elder is one of their favorites, as is the Canadensis or common elder, which flowers in June, and shows reddish purple berries during the autumn; then there is the Arbutifolia or red chokeberry. This is a native dwarf shrub, which is particularly tempting to the feathered tribe. When planning for this feature, one should remember that these bird-attracting shrubs should not be planted with only one idea in view. They should be made to form a part of the decorative plan, and the situation chosen should be among flowers that would bring[Pg 99] out its artistic value, far more than if they were grouped in a mass. One is apt, in their enthusiasm in arranging their garden for the birds' benefit, to forget that attractive color schemes must be worked out, otherwise it will be a heterogeneous mass that will be an eye-sore rather than a pleasure.


There is very little choice as to what kind of flowers to mix with the shrubs. Take it all in all, the perennials stand first. The reason for this is that they are more suitable for this purpose than annuals, which have to be re-planted every year. Like the shrubs the perennials die down in the fall and re-appear when the breath of spring sweeps over the land, in greater profusion and showing added vigor through having conserved their strength by resting during the winter months.

You are very foolish if you have taken no thought for the future life of your shrub or perennial. Once planted they do not take care of themselves and if neglected it only means the survival of the fittest. Different species require different treatment, and a great many kinds need to be subdivided every two or three years. The scarlet and crimson Phlox, Spirea, and many other varieties[Pg 100] should never be left longer than two years, they should then be carefully gone over and an experienced hand should determine how much should be left and what removed. If you have planting of Iris, Shaster daisies, and Veronicas, they can readily wait until the third year.

The ground is of just as much importance as the planting. Just because you wish to grow flowers and shrubs, you must remember that they must have food to live on, that this food must be properly prepared and contain plenty of nourishment, otherwise you will have spent money and time for naught. First of all comes fertilizing. Doubtless, in some part of the ground you can find a corner that will be the proper place for the compost heap. In its selection, it is better that it should be concealed by shrubs or trellis, vine covered. It would be a blot in the landscape if you treated it otherwise.

Every time you rake over the lawn or weed the garden, throw into a large basket the refuse and let it form part of the compost heap. The foundation for this should be plenty of manure and this, to be at its best, must be well rotted and mixed in with other material to lighten and bring about better[Pg 101] results. You will be surprised, that is if you have never tried it, to see how quickly it grows. Almost before you know it you have enough to use in the garden next year. No matter how rich it is, a liberal amount of coarse bone meal added will pay in the end.

Your fertilizer ready, as early as possible in the spring dig your ground to the depth of eighteen or more inches. It is better if the earth is pulverized; some people go so far as to sift it. Next put in your fertilizer, mixing it with the earth previously removed. Give it time to settle before planting and you will never be dissatisfied with results.

Opinions vary as to proper time for planting perennials. Many people feel that the spring is the safest. It is foolish to follow this plan unless it can be accomplished as soon as the frost is well out of the ground. Many of them are likely to die. Therefore, if you pot them in the fall, and winter them under glass, the result will be much more satisfactory. It is simply the working out of the garden lover's idea as to what is correct and what incorrect as to the time of planting.

Many kinds are better massed. This applies to the Sweet William, the Hollyhock, Delphinium,[Pg 102] and other varieties, that seemingly belong to the same family. The hardy Asters, which are late flowering, are invaluable for massing. They burst into blossom at a period when the early frosts have lolled the more tender plants, making their bright hues a dominant feature in the garden. It is better to shade colors than to plant one variety. For September and October blossoming why not use the Abendrote or Evening Glow? It has a bright rosy red flower and is a very free bloomer. Mix with that the Glory of Colwall, which is ageratum blue, showing double flowers, grown on stout, erect stems. The pink of the blossom contrasts admirably with the rosy red. The White Queen will mix with these two colors very effectively. This is a pure, splendid[Pg 103] white and comes into blossom at the same season of the year.

A very interesting way of treating the defining line of the garden proper is by a low hedge. Many of these are berry bearing, thus working into the bird scheme. The Hawthorn Oxyacantha is well suited for this purpose. It is used in England for hedges and during the time of its[Pg 104] blossoming shows a pure white, sweet-scented flower followed by a scarlet fruit. The Berberis is excellent for hedging. It blooms in the summer and is succeeded by a bright colored fruit that lasts into the winter.

Once interested in this feature of garden culture, by careful study one will realize what an inexhaustible theme it becomes. Color shades in berries often help out landscape effects in winter, therefore it is best not to plant promiscuously.[Pg 105]

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The ever-changing tide of fashion brings in its wake a constant development of new and original ideas in the furnishing of our garden plots. Flowers have been with us ever since the first settlement of our country and so has a love for life in the open. This is an inheritance that has deepened with the passing years. So rapidly has this developed that to-day it demands our gardens as living rooms. It is this aspect of garden life that develops new and unusual features in equipment.

While we may flatter ourselves that we as garden lovers have originated this idea, yet it is of ancient origin. History relates that in the gardens of the early Romans and Greeks, garden seats were found. With the changing of styles in floral-culture the ornate came into existence, much used during the Italian Renaissance. Reproductions of their ideas are found in replica in many of the formal gardens of the twentieth century.[Pg 108]

Logs, carelessly thrown on the ground, may have been the first seats used by our garden ancestors. Later on with the development of the one-path posy bed, seats were hollowed out of old trees. They formed a picturesque bit, clothed during the summer months in their garments of green, for trailing vines were encouraged to run rampant over their sides. These with the green arbor or pergola and the vine-clad summer house were the three styles of seats favored by the Colonial dames.

Styles and usage of furniture in this special way are as clearly defined as in interior decoration. The modern garden equipped with English, American or Italian furniture, gives a pleasing variety. The principal materials necessary for manufacture are stone, marble, terra cotta or wood. Of these, the latter suggests less expense, while the former can be purchased at any sum you wish.

Stone or marble are absolutely necessary in formal or Italian gardens, as they provide a proper medium for expression that nothing else would satisfy. Look at the gleam of the white marble shown up by its background of green trees and see what a charm it has in the furnishing of your garden plot. Take it all in all, it is the only right[Pg 109] setting for an elaborate garden, partly on account of its being a descendant of the Italian Renaissance period which makes it desirable in designs that follow out the character of that period. Rarely, if ever, do we find this simple in form, but rather elaborately carved with representations of animals or figures. As an ornamental feature, it cannot be excelled, but as a garden seat it is not practical, being cold and hard to sit upon. Properly speaking, it should be placed at the head of a walk or topping the garden steps. This is on account of its decorative character and the necessity of making it fit into the floral scheme. The price is prohibitive except to the rich, although it varies with the elaboration of the carving.

Terra cotta, while not as often used, has its advantages. It can be moulded readily into any form desired. While it is not always suitable, yet its warmth of color, which is either buff or red, makes it admirable when one desires to bring out certain effects in the planting of beds. It is, perhaps, the least used of any of the materials. A seat four feet in length can be purchased for from forty dollars upwards.

Concrete seats are the kind that are most commonly[Pg 110] used for formal and informal gardens. We should remember, however, that we must not mix formal and informal furniture promiscuously, otherwise the result will be disastrous. One should bear in mind in treating this subject that formal pieces resemble well-bred people. They fit suitably into any place in their surroundings. It is far different, however, with informal pieces which are entirely wrong and out of place in formal settings. This fact applies to concrete which is suitable for almost any occasion for it possesses almost endless possibilities as far as form is concerned. Rightly mixed, it can be moulded into almost any shape that you desire, which accounts for the fact that in its designs many of the elaborate garden seats are copied. This makes it popular and constantly in demand, on account of its less cost. To all intents and purposes, it is quite as durable as stone or marble. It has still another advantage, in that its neutral gray tint harmonizes picturesquely with almost any setting of shrubbery or flowers.

The least expensive of any of the materials that is used for this purpose is wood. It has this advantage, that it can be formed in such a great variety[Pg 111] of shapes that there is always found some piece that is suitable for every taste and occasion. If you contrast it with marble or stone, you will realize that it has the advantage of being lighter in weight, and capable of being carried around from place to place with little or no trouble. Take it all in all, the best place for it to be at home in is the informal garden.

The kind of garden that most of us live in and enjoy intimately is the plot where wooden settles and chairs are used. Care should be taken, however, in the selection of material in order that it may have lasting qualities. One reason for its use is that unlike marble and stone it is not cold to sit upon, and is really comfortable. The best kind of wood, if you can afford it, is teakwood, which lasts for centuries. It is the most expensive, particularly the antique pieces. Those of to-day are shoddily put together and cannot resist weathering as do the century-old ones.

Many people prefer pine on account of less cost. This is all right, provided great care is taken to keep it well covered with paint of the glossy kind. The advantage of this over the other is that it can be readily wiped clean before using. Anyone who[Pg 112] is a garden lover will appreciate this fact, for no matter how carefully placed, the seats will accumulate a reasonable amount of leaves and dirt.

Plain settles and benches which belong to the informal type can be placed anywhere, according to inclination. These need not, of necessity, be made of plain wooden strips, but can be varied by making them rustic in design. Use for this purpose limbs of the same size without removing the bark. They require so little work in putting them together that a village carpenter can accomplish this task, or if you are a genius you can do it yourself. An objection which many people offer is that they need repairing often, or replacing. Considering the cost, this is not a serious objection.

For a simple Colonial cottage, such pieces as these would be appropriate for use in your garden and you can add a tea table and a few chairs suggestive of afternoon tea, the position being determined by views, for the placing is of as much importance as the piece itself. If possible, have low-growing trees droop over it to give the required shade.


For the elegant mansion, the home of the wealthy, more elaborate pieces are a necessity. One[Pg 113] thing should not be forgotten in their choice and that is they should be heavy enough to stay on the ground and resist the strong northeast winds that during a heavy rain sweep over your flower-plot.

Flagstone sometimes gives a variety as well as limestone, but there are several other materials that give a pleasing color and texture, such as the pink granite and the red, black and green slates. Of these, the red is most effective when streaked with another color. Do not choose the Quincy granite; the texture is cold in appearance and the weather never softens the color.

A fault that must not be overlooked is to build your seats too high, thirteen inches being the proper height. The back should always be taken into consideration and made tall enough to support the head so that you will be comfortable when you come to view your garden plot.

It is not always possible to have this piece of furniture placed under the shade of a tree or shrubbery. This necessitates the planning of a summer house, arbor or pergola. Over these, vines can be trained, so that in reality it is much more picturesque than if you had used simply the green shade.[Pg 114]

Chairs can be used for this same purpose, in fact, they are very good as they provide a variation of the general theme. They are particularly advisable if it is a backyard garden where a settle might prove too overpowering. Like the garden seat, they can be made of wood. Cedar and locust are preferable if you wish pretty rustic effects. Cypress also is lasting, and if you prefer to give it a coat of paint, it will do service for many years.

For rustic chairs or seats, there is another idea for shelter that is practical. It is to roof it over and shingle the board. It has advantages over anything else in that it affords protection from the summer sun and acts as a windbreak on cold days, besides doing away with the dropping of insects from the leafy tangle of an arbor. No matter how charming a garden may be in its floral arrangement, it requires additions and accessories to display to the best advantage its worth. Just as a house is cozy or barren according to the style of furniture employed, so a garden is beautiful in proportion to the type of ornaments used.

Probably the coming into style of the formal Italian type of garden has done much to develop this feature. Until late years, scant heed was paid[Pg 115] to fitness, and in consequence much of the old-time charm found in the Colonial garden was lost.

When planning for your garden seat or chair, take into consideration the planting. In your choice of colors you should vary the scheme to fit in with the particular seat. A white requires different surroundings from a gray or a rustic type. Wrong coloring brings about inharmonious effects and they should be carefully considered in the making a perfect whole. Another thing should be thought out and that is as to whether there is a shade provided by the over-hanging limbs of a tree or by the trailing of vines.

Vines are always interesting. You can use them in a mass, showing one general effect, or you can combine them. Nothing is so pretty in the early spring as the Wisterias, on account of their being not only hardy, but tall growers. Many people claim the best varieties are those grafted on to specially selected stock, thus making them sure bloomers. The soil should also be taken into consideration, for while they thrive in light, sandy conditions, yet deep, rich earth promotes stronger growth. The Magnifica is, perhaps, as vigorous as any. It is such a rapid grower that it shoots up[Pg 116] from thirty to forty feet in a season. It blossoms rather later than some varieties which show soft, lavender blue blooms. Why not mix this with the Chinese white, whose pure white flowers show long, drooping clusters.

If you are looking for foliage in the early fall, the Vitis Henryana can be used. Its leaves are decorative in effect, being a velvety green with veins of silvery white. It is of Chinese origin and in the fall the foliage turns to a beautiful red. For July and August blossoming, there is the Bignonia Grandiflora or Mammoth-flowered Trumpet creeper. This is a splendid climbing vine, perfectly hardy, giving a growth of from eight to ten feet in a season. Its flowers, which are shown during July and August, are orange red and trumpet-shaped, following as they do after the Wisteria has faded, they bring about an entirely different color scheme. This makes it practical for one to plant a succession of bloom, making each set of flowers correspond with the coloring of the vines.

A very pleasing contrast can be brought out by combining the magnolia-scented White Moon Flower, with a beautiful Blue Dawn. The former is a summer climber, growing from fifteen to[Pg 117] twenty feet in height. It makes a beautiful shade for trellises and bears in the season a profusion of large trumpet-shape snow-white flowers that are richly scented and very beautiful. There is also a heavenly blue that combines artistically with the white. One feature of this vine is its thick, overlapping, glossy foliage, and its nightly scores of immense silky blooms which are of rare fragrance. By actual count a strong vine will bear from one to three thousand blossoms in a season. There has within the last few years been discovered a new variety that opens early in the morning and remains so nearly all day.

The beautiful blue of the Paradise Flower is used when one wishes for this color in decorations. The clusters are large, showing from twenty to thirty at a time and it blossoms continually from the time it becomes established until frost.

For a rustic seat, why not try the wild grape or Crimson Glory vine? It is so strong and hardy, notable for its heavy foliage which makes a splendid shade and in the fall is a mass of rich crimson. We have grown to think of morning glories as a pretty, small flower that grew in our grandmother's garden. Many of us have not realized that they[Pg 118] have been developed until now they show gigantic bloom as large as the moon flowers. They have wonderful coloring, marking and variations of indescribable beauty. As a flowering vine they cannot be surpassed, the flowers being borne by the hundreds and of enormous size, measuring often five and six inches across. Many show a rich combination of shading blended together in an enchanting way, being spotted, penciled, mottled, and variegated in every conceivable manner.


If your garden seat is low, let your planting follow the same line, but if it is high and conspicuous, it can be accentuated by tall plants. Hollyhocks, with their stately stalks, are charming for this particular use. There is the hardy perennial with the foliage dwarf and compact. This is found in the Heuchera, which is easily grown from seed and reaches a height of eighteen inches. Of this variety, the Sanguinea is admirable, being the finest of all the red varieties, the flowers taking on the shade of coral red. If you wish, instead of a solid color, to make a combination, why not use the Sanguinea, Sutton's Hybrid, which is found in pretty shades of pink, as well as creamy white, rose and crimson. These blossom in July and August, their[Pg 119] stately, well-filled cups, giving a distinction to the seat that could not well be missed.

Fleur-de-lis, sometimes spoken of as the Fairy Queen's home, is always satisfactory and never fails to bloom. No flower can surpass this in delicacy of texture and coloring, and it rivals even the orchids of the tropics in its beauty. They thrive in almost every soil, being one of the easiest plants to cultivate, although a fairly rich earth will materially increase the number and size of the bloom. In planting them, nearly cover the rhizomes. The earliest flowering ones are the Germans, which come into bloom the latter part of May or early in June. These are followed by the Japan variety which follow closely on the former and stay in blossom for a month. Of the German, the Lohengrin is the most vigorous, deep violet mauve in coloring, and the flowers are nearly five inches deep, showing petals two inches across. In direct contrast is the Princess Victoria Louise, light sulphur yellow or rich violet red, edged with crimson, both of which varieties are very handsome.

The double Iris is particularly beautiful for some situations. There is the Antelope with white ground flaked with purple; the Diana, reddish[Pg 120] purple flaked with white; the Mount Fell, grayish white, veined with blue and showing yellow center; and the Victor, white veined, violet blue with purple center. Each one of these is well worthy of cultivation.

Nothing is so beautiful as roses, be they climbing or dwarf. For the former, why not use the Climbing Jules Graveraux, which is one of the most valuable, ever-blooming climbers ever introduced. The value of this is that the blooms are immense in size, being as large or larger than any other rose. It even exceeds the J. B. Clark. These roses are perfectly double, white, tinged with blush pink, with a yellow base. In freedom of bloom, it is superior to either Mrs. Peary or Climbing Meteor. Then there is the Empress of China or Appleblossom rose, a strong rampant grower, and a very free bloomer. The buds are pointed, being soft red, turning to lighter. It blooms from May to December in the open ground.

Tea Roses, distinguished by the delicate tea fragrance, are absolutely ever-blooming. They are carried through the winter even in the northern states with careful protection. The most satisfactory method is the banking up with soil. Of[Pg 121] these, the yellow Souvenir de Pierre Notting is the most beautiful. It has been introduced by one of the foremost firms of France and is not exceeded by any rose sent out from that country. The blossoms are large, well filled, and open easily. The buds are beautiful and elongated. When fully bloomed, they show an apricot yellow, tinged with golden and mixed with orange yellow. One charm of these flowers is that the edge of the petal shades to a beautiful carmine rose. The open flower is full and double, it being an extremely free blossomer.

One of the latest introductions is the Lady Hillingdon, the color being beyond description. Apricot yellow, shaded to orange on the outer edge of the petal, and becoming deeper and more intense as it reaches the center of the bloom. The buds are produced on long, strong, wiry stems, which are placed well above the foliage, thus giving it a slender and graceful effect. It is valuable in both the amateur and professional growers' gardens. It would be impossible to enumerate the different kinds that are used for this purpose.[Pg 123][Pg 122]

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With the revival of old-time garden features that has been brought about through interest in floriculture, fascinating specialties have been evolved. This is particularly true of the garden pool which lends itself to almost every kind of setting. It is no new idea, this introduction of pools into even small gardens.

The ancient Egyptians had great reverence for pools and we read of their interest in bringing into life the sacred Lotus, giving it a prominent place in their gardens. This may be better known to moderns as "the rose lily." In the early days it was used for religious purposes and was a prominent feature in their festivals. It was also used ornamentally for feasts where the walls were decorated with the beautiful blossoms that were repeated in the centerpiece for the elaborately-spread table. Not content with this use for decorative[Pg 126] purposes, it was made in forms of garlands that were thrown over the shoulders of the assembled guests while wreaths of the same flower crowned their brows, great care being taken that a bud or cluster of blossoms was placed in the center of the forehead.

Ever since that period, we read of the constant introduction of water into gardens of every clime. While pools were not commonly used during the Colonial period, they have to-day, with the coming in of the formal and Italian gardens, grown to be one of the most interesting features. The form and the immediate surroundings have been carefully thought out and depend upon the type and the shape of the whole plan.

When the mercury registers at ninety and the whirling dust rises in clouds, parching one's throat as it settles like a dingy pall on sun-burned grass and drooping foliage, it is a pleasure to come suddenly upon a pond where over-hanging plants cast lengthened shadows far over the surface. They shelter the waxen lily cups that gleam like pearls against a background of dark green pods—a perpetual joy and delight to the eye.

There is no doubt but water, be it large or small[Pg 127] in area, holds a charm for us all. How much more if it is inhabited and made beautiful through the use of aquatic plants and fish. These scattered apparently carelessly over the surface of the water add much to its picturesqueness. This is particularly true during the season of bloom when we find varied colored cups, resting on saucers of green, lifting their heads above the surface as if in delight with their surroundings.

Surely when you view a pond such as this you will find a double delight in watching a flutter of wings, a hopping about on the plants and glad dipping of little bills and uplifting of heads. These are the birds that form a part of garden life and who are attracted here by the flowers and the chance of a bath. Splashing and sparkling in the sunlight, they dive into the water below, drying themselves on the large pads that float artistically on the surface. Over yonder is a large gray cat bird calling to its mate. We can but note the fine proportion, the poise of the black head and the beauty of the satin gray coat which is pruned by the hour. There is the Indigo Bird, a delightful symphony of blue and cinnamon red. He sits swinging on a lily while his musical note comes to[Pg 128] our listening ears. The Ruby Throated Humming Bird swings noiselessly over the pond, dipping his long beak here and there to gather honey from the wide-open flowers.

It depends upon the size of the pool, the shape and the finish as to the planting. It is a great mistake to have it so thickly over-spread with leaves that no water is visible. A good rule to be observed is two-thirds water and one-third lilies. This gives a chance to watch the gold fish darting in and out for food. For a small beginning of a water garden, why not try a pocket in the rock? It is a very easy matter to arrange for lilies in a case like this. All you have to do is to cement the hollow, put in your loam and plant one or two roots. It is these diminutive water gardens that attract the birds more than the large pools, and they form a charming vista in the garden scheme. Little pockets of earth can be made to surround them, and here we can plant rock-loving plants that will give a touch of picturesqueness to this cunning little scheme.

The shape of the garden determines that of the pool. A square garden demands square treatment in the lay-out of your design. A round garden, to[Pg 129] be correct, should have a circular formation for the planting of your lilies. Then, too, the treatment of the planting should be determined by the formality or informality of the plan. Great care should be taken that they are not aimlessly placed but form a part of the design. Any attempt to digress from this rule is fatal for correct composition.

Great attention should be paid to the margin. It should not be stiff and formal; it should rather be broken here and there, so that there will be open spaces showing between. Copy nature in this treatment and you will not go far astray.

In order to make this pool successful, one thing should never be forgotten and that is that you are dealing with sun-loving plants to whom shadow is objectionable. There is another reason why the sunshine should fall unobstructed on the pond and that is that it shows reflections that are effective, and bring cheer to your garden plot.

Many people consider that stagnant pools should not exist, as they are mosquito breeders. They do not realize that the stocking of pools with both fish and plants, carefully carried out so that they are properly balanced, results in the water never being[Pg 130] putrid but remaining fresh and sweet, making a delightful water garden that is healthful and not malaria breeding.

There are two essentials if you wish your idea to be successful; first, that the bottom be water-tight and second, that it be proof against frost. While these two things are easy to accomplish, yet many people fail in them. Cement is the only proper material to be used for foundation. Some people have an idea that puddled clay is cheaper. It may be if properly handled, but great care has to be taken that it is thoroughly puddled or it melts away and your work has been for naught.

Cement is the most reliable material if correctly applied. Before putting it on, the pool should be dug out to the proper depth and size. It should then be well packed for several inches with broken stone. Over this should be put Portland cement, using one part of the former to three of sand. Some people cement it for six inches while others prefer to use two coats, each three inches thick. It should never be so high that it will come above the frost line which is two and a half feet in depth.

Water lilies, as well as all kinds of aquatics, will grow in any kind of good garden soil; that is, if[Pg 131] one-fifth well-rotted manure is added to it. Possibly this is not to be obtained and if so, a quart of ground bone allowed to each bushel of soil will bring about the right results. It should be remembered that the plants should be set out so they will get the greatest exposure to the sunlight.


We have supposed that you have chosen a spot for your water garden that obtains the greatest amount of sun, also that it is sufficiently sheltered from the winds. It has been dug down from fifteen to twenty-four inches and then carefully cemented. Now you are ready to plant your pool, the soil being taken into consideration. If, by some chance, you are not able to secure the kind recommended, it can be made of three parts rotted sod and one part cow manure. Remember that it should be thoroughly rotted if you do not wish ferment in the water. Too many people take little care on this subject and then wonder at the disappointing results.

Possibly there is no place for your garden pool. In that case why not use half barrels or tubs? They have the advantage of taking up very little room, can easily be sunk in the ground and are really well worth the trial. Nothing should be used that has[Pg 132] a diameter of less than two feet and the greater the surface space the better will be the result. Tub culture requires two-thirds filling of soil and covering with sand to have it the right depth. If more than one tub is used, why not make a rockery between? It has the advantage of making another feature for your garden, besides adding picturesqueness.

There are two ways of planting as well as two kinds of tubers. They can be put directly in the soil, or they can be planted in tubs or boxes that can be sunk, but the latter recommends itself as more practical. The reason for this is that they are easily removed in winter and the water is kept much cleaner when the earth is free from tubers. It must be remembered that each plant requires from eight to nine square feet of surface room so that it would be bad taste to allow too many for an individual pool. If you wish, you can make the boxes yourself, using pieces of board for that purpose.

Next come the gold fish. For a tub, only two are necessary, but for a pond one hundred feet in diameter, twenty-five should be used. These fish spawn in June and have been known to breed[Pg 133] enough to stock a large pond. There is an old theory,—doubted by many, that the old fish turn cannibals and devour their progeny. These people advise the putting of roots and stock into a tub, this is so the egg may be attached, removed, and hatched separately. In cases like this the small fish are allowed to grow considerably before being returned to the tub.

There are two kinds of tubers, the tender and the hardy. The latter require practically no care during the winter months, that is, always provided the water is deep enough to allow no freezing of the crown of the plant. They should be planted about the first of May and both varieties can be given the same treatment, with the exception that the hardy variety do best when planted in soil two feet deep and covered with six inches of water.

All pools should have planting in addition to the tubers of submerged plants. This is to aerate the water and keep it pure and sweet. The best kinds to be used for this purpose are Anacharis Canadensis Gigantea, and Canbomba Viridifolia, ten of them being enough for a large pool. The former is a giant water weed with dark green ovate leaves and light stems. It is a quick grower and[Pg 134] considered by authorities to be one of the best oxygenators in existence. The latter, sometimes known as Washington grass, is also popular. It has brilliant glossy green leaves, fan-shaped and more beautiful than a delicate fern. In addition to this why not use the Ludwigia Munlerti, which is one of the prettiest submerged plants. It shows small ovate leaves that are green on the upper side and pink on the under. This makes it distinct from any other aquarium plant.

A great help in the way of nourishment for these water lilies is the application when first planted or in the early spring of dried blood manure. The proper way of using this is to broad cast it on the surface of the water, using one pound to every ten square feet of surface.

Too many people make the mistake of keeping the water too cold. This necessitates the filling of the pool and the leaving it to grow warm through exposure to the sun for several days before planting. When additional water has to be added, it should be some that has stood in the sun for several days, as cold water injures the growth. The condition for growth is the same for both the tender and the hardy Nymphæas with the exception[Pg 135] that the former should not be planted until after warm weather sets in. It is well, however, to grow them in pots so that they will be of fair size by June first when the weather has become suitable for their outdoor existence.

If the pond is to be large, why not use groups, but if small, single ones will do. For their planting, the hardy variety can be sown in either fall or spring, as one fancies. They should have a small hole cut through the shell of each seed with a sharp knife that they may do better. For the tender kind, do not put them out until they are well started. They should be sown in pots or pans, covering the seeds with one-fourth of an inch of sand, giving them a thorough watering and allowing them to drain for an hour. Then submerge them under two inches of soil at a temperature of seventy degrees. These can be removed into separate pots when they have shown two leaves. This kind is very desirable for cutting, the best for this purpose being the night-blooming varieties.

The Pygmæa hybrid type and the Laydekri, as well, are desirable for hardy variety. The former is the smallest water lily in cultivation, a free bloomer showing white flowers, one and a half[Pg 136] inches in diameter, while the Pygmæa Helvola, yellow in coloring, is very dainty. A combination of these two colors is always interesting, while if you wish the latter kind, why not try the Laydekria Rosea, which is a French hybrid and one of the earliest in introduction. Only a few specimen plants are found cultivated at the present time. The flowers are of delicate pink with a deep golden center that deepens into a dark shade of rose, presenting a novel feature in that it seemingly is one plant showing different colors. Another variety of this same order is the Laydekri Lilacea, three to five inches across, shading from rosy lilac to bright carmine and sending forth a fragrance like a tea rose. The Sultan is also very valuable on account of its free flowering, the plants showing never less than six flowers open daily. These are of good size Solferina red with white shading and yellow stamens. This is very rare and therefore brings a high price.


Of the day-blooming varieties, we find the Capensis with flowers of rich sky blue. This planted in contrast with the Ovalifolia, a new variety from East Africa, produces flowers eight to ten inches across of deep creamy white, faintly tinged with[Pg 137] blue that deepen until the tips are a light corn flower blue with sulphur yellow stamens. The charm of this flower is its petals which are long and narrow, giving it a pretty star shape.

For the night blooming Nymphæas, why not use the Dedoniensis, which throws out large, pure red flowers often showing from twelve to eighteen blooms at a single time, also the Dentata whose white flowers measure from eight to twelve inches in diameter and open out horizontally.

Do not forget in your collection to include the Royal Water Lily. Of these, the Victoria Regia is a well-known species. While the plants are expensive, the seeds can be bought for a much more reasonable price and are more interesting as one can watch them from their start until blossoming. The Victoria Trickeri is also desirable. In good condition its leaves are from four and a half to five and a half feet across, a single plant having from twelve to fifteen leaves and producing three or four flowers in a single week. These flowers are picturesque, being white at the time of opening and changing to deep rose pink, admitting a strong fragrance not unlike that of a ripe pineapple.

In addition to water lilies one should plant different[Pg 138] aquatics, to make a variety. There is the Sagittaria Montevidensis, which attains gigantic proportions, growing four or five feet high with leaves fifteen inches long, the flower towering above, the foliage white with dark blotches at the base of each petal. Then there is the Butterfly Lily, a tender sub-aquatic plant that forms a dense clump three to six feet high bearing masses of pure white fragrant flowers that look like large white butterflies borne in large terminal clusters.

The Water Poppy must not be forgotten. It is a very pretty aquatic plant with floating leaves and large yellow poppy-like flowers, and a continual bloomer.

The border of the lily pond is of almost as much importance as the flowers themselves. Iris makes a good setting. Of these, the Iris Hexagona, or Blue Flag, is interesting from the fact that it is a hardy Southern kind, showing rich purple and blue with yellow markings three to four inches across and resembling the costliest and rarest orchid flowers. The Dalmatica is one of the finest of the German type. It grows four feet high with exceptionally large flowers of fine lavender, the falls shaded blue. The Japanese Iris is the grandest of[Pg 139] all the hardy ones and the best are the double varieties with six petals. Kokinoiro, a rich royal purple with white veining is very satisfactory in growth. Combine it with the Sano-Watashi, which is white with canary yellow center, and the Tokyo, a magnificent large, white flower, and you will find one of the best combinations possible.

Ornamental grasses are very effective for this use. Of these, there are so many varieties it would be impossible to name them all. One of the[Pg 140] most ornamental kinds is the Zebra grass, which has long, narrow green leaves, striped white and feathery plumed. Mix it with the Pampas grass and you will note the artistic result. This grows very rapidly from seed planted in the spring and is useful for decorative purposes. The Feather grass, growing two feet in height, fits into this scheme as does the Tricholæna Rosea, which is rose tinted, making a color scheme when massed with the other ornamental grasses that is most fascinating.

The form and surroundings of the pool, carefully thought out, make it a most desirable feature for both small and large gardens, and everyone, no matter how limited their means, can indulge in one if they wish.[Pg 141]

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The life story of the sundial reads like a fascinating page from some old romance of an early century. The first record of its use was in the eighth century before Christ, when it was employed by the Babylonians for the purpose of marking time. Later on, it came into use in England, attached to public buildings. One of the most interesting was shown late in the sixteenth century on the Belton House, Lincolnshire, England. It was a representation of old Father Time and Cupid cutting stone.

A passing fad at one time was diminutive sundials, so small that they folded and could be used much as watches are to-day. They soon became very popular and attracted the attention of royalty, when Charles I was seated on the throne. His collection was the largest in existence and represented all sorts of odd shapes and forms. The Stuarts were all interested in sundials, and Charles[Pg 144] II had a large one designed and placed in the garden at Holyrood.

While the first invented were crude, yet, as time went on, they became more popular, and different materials were used, such as wood, bronze and metal. The hour spaces were computed to comply with the locality in which they were placed. This required a great deal of thought and it was necessary to employ an expert workman.

Flowers and hedge plants were occasionally used to represent this idea. One of these stood between the "Shakespeare garden" and the "garden of friendship" at Lady Warwick's summer home. The gnomon being of yew while the dial was worked out by the use of box, the lettering was outside and spelled the following motto—"Les Heures Heureuses ne se comptent pas." This, as far as we know, was the first attempt at the use of floriculture in time pieces.

Sundials might be divided into two kinds, the perpendicular and the horizontal. Each one of these has its own special place, the former being used on buildings while the latter was for garden purposes solely. In New York, one of the old perpendicular dials may still be seen on the Dutch Reformed Church.[Pg 145]

The horizontal was extremely popular in both England and Scotland, so much so that no garden of any pretention was considered complete without one or more of these ornamental time-keepers. The high favor in which the "simple altar-like structure," with its "silent heart language," was held in England was well expressed by Charles Lamb, who said of the sundial, "It stood as the Garden god of Christian gardens."

It is the revival of this old-time custom that has given a delightful touch of sentiment to the gardens of to-day, where sundials have become, more especially of late years, a permanent fixture. Many of these have interesting mottoes, some repeating the legends of other days, while later designs bear on their face a modern inscription.

"Let others tell of storm and showers,
I'll only count your sunny hours."

"Time goes you say—ah, no!
Time stays, we go."

[Pg 146]"I mark the time, dost thou?"

"Tyme passeth and speaketh not,
Deth cometh and warneth not,
Amend to-day and slack not,
To-morrow thyself cannot."

By the time the American colonists had leisure to devote to the laying out of beautiful gardens, the day of the sundial was drawing to a close. The introduction of clocks had done away with the necessity of depending upon such fair-weather time pieces, and furthermore, they were no longer popular in other lands. So, despite its charm and value as an ornament, it was not widely adopted in this country. Of late years, however, in the general revival of old-time customs, this interesting feature for gardens has come into favor.

The making of one of these time pieces can be carried out by a village carpenter, but the purchasing of an old one had better be done by an expert as there are so many reproductions placed to-day on the market. All that is essential in order to work out proper results is that the dial should have a firm and absolutely level base to rest on, and that the gnomon should point directly towards the North Star, so that time may be accurately computed.[Pg 147] A stone pedestal is correct, although concrete is often used.

The design depends largely upon the type of garden and the owner's taste. The beautiful, carved pedestals imported from Italy are suitable only for the formal garden, and for our simple, less pretentious ones, wood or stone can be used, although cement has become very fashionable. To soften the lines of a severely simple column, Ivy and other clinging vines can be placed around the base. The location is a matter that requires some thought, as the sundial's charm depends upon harmonious setting. It should be exposed to the sun continuously and placed far enough away from trees or buildings to preclude the possibility of its being shaded.

There is no set rule that can be laid down for its placing. One is usually safe, however, in locating it at the intersection of two paths near a vine-clad pergola or within sight of a summer house or garden seat. Formal gardens use it frequently as a central feature. If, however, a water garden takes this central place, the sundial should be at the end of some alluring path surrounded by masses of bright bloom. The chief fault that we[Pg 148] find in contrasting the sundials of a century ago with those of the twentieth century is that there is now too much sameness. They seem to follow the same lines, more perhaps, than any other form of garden furniture.

This can be overcome by designing them yourself, working out new ideas in the decoration and its motto. Here the gnomons offer a chance for variation for instead of a plain, simple shaft, it can be changed into an ornamental design that helps out in changing it from monotony to originality.

For the simple garden, why not make one yourself? It is not a hard matter, that is if you have any ingenuity. The only thing we must consider is to have it set perfectly even, to be sure the pedestal is carefully laid so that it will not tip and spoil the marking of the hours. There are so many materials that you can construct one from, there is no need of sameness. The most inexpensive is the rustic sundial. This is made from a small tree trunk. It should be about six to eight inches in diameter, tapering at the top, and show branches irregularly cut within three or four inches of the main trunk. There is a reason for this; it adds[Pg 149] picturesqueness to the effect and gives pegs for the vines to climb over. Do not top it with a wooden dial. They are never satisfactory, for they are apt to warp and thus ruin the entire scheme. You need not go to great expense to procure a satisfactory one, for there are many materials to draw from, iron, brass and slate being the most desirable. The latter are not expensive as they cost simply the price of the material and engraving. It takes a piece that ranges from an inch to an inch and a half in thickness and should not be more than a foot square. For this, one should not pay more than seventy-five cents, although if it is cut round it will be a little more expensive. If you prefer to use brass it costs more and needs a machinist who is used to handling this material to put it together for you and burnish the surface. You must remember that this applies to the dial only, the pedestal being a separate proposition.


For a little inexpensive time piece for your garden you can make one of wood, coloring it any shade that you like but so that it will contrast prettily with the flowers. The only thing that you must bear in mind is that care should be taken in its setting. If it is out of plumb it will not keep good[Pg 150] time. Should you, by chance, be able to procure an old mill stone, it serves two purposes, first it is a practical foundation and second it lends an old-time setting that is appropriate. For a simple, every-day foundation, stones can be laid about six inches deep and filled in with mortar. Cement is also appropriate and oftentimes bricks can be used to good advantage.

For a pedestal, a rather good idea is to use second-hand bricks. These can be cemented together with mortar, the red giving a touch of color to the drapery of the sundial that is picturesque. Sometimes a boulder is used for this purpose or a slab of stone.

If you purchase a sundial, you should bear in mind that if it is a genuine antique, it may not be suitable for our latitude. In cases like that it is best to have it looked after by an expert and so placed that it will be a correct timekeeper.

We tire of the same idea continuously reproduced so why not work out a design of your own? This is hard to do, however, unless cement is used, when some floral design or ornamentation that is appropriate for the garden can be introduced. For the dial the gnomon is made much more interesting[Pg 151] if it shows a unique formation rather than a straight shaft, as in the sundial at Didsbury, England, where a harp is introduced, and in another case where a dragon holds the uplifted shaft.

The situation of this feature has much to do with its practicability. As it is a sun-loving formation, its proper place is necessarily in the open, but whether surrounded by lawn or flowers, is something that everyone must decide for themselves. One reason against the flower setting is that it serves to hide the dial's meaning until you approach it closely. The eye is attracted to the bright blooming flowers rather than to the dial itself. This is not so if it has only a sward setting. It then becomes a prominent piece of garden furniture, its pure white surface standing out vividly from its surrounding of soft green grass.

Occasionally, all attempt at floriculture or gardening is abandoned. This is when it stands in the heart of a garden at the intersection of two paths. Then care should be taken that in immediate proximity there should be pure white pebbles picked up on the beach. This may re-act on the shaft, giving it an air of sameness, and in that case different colored stones can be introduced. One can even[Pg 152] go so far as to work out mottos in this way, forming the letters out of highly colored pebbles.

To give it a rural appearance, some people set it in the heart of a bed of ferns. These can be chosen from a single variety such as the Boston fern, which is one of the most popular on account of its graceful fronds and the durability which causes it to keep green for a long time.

Should, however, a lower growth be necessary, there is the Dreyii, which is a dwarf variety of the same species. A much better effect, however, is obtained by planting the dwarf fern as a border to the circle and placing inside the Elegantissima, which belongs to the crested variety and is especially adapted for massing. For a delicate, dainty setting, there is nothing more beautiful than the Adiantum Ruhm von Mordrecht, which is the most beautiful of all the maiden hair ferns and easily cultivated. It is so graceful that it seems to add an almost poetic touch to the foundation on which the sundial stands.

Have you ever considered placing your sundial in the heart of a rose garden? Unconsciously, the sweet perfume of the rose does much to increase the sentiment of this particular feature of garden culture.[Pg 153] It depends in part on the pedestal as to whether low roses or delicate climbing ones should be used. If it is a plain, simple shaft, it can be delicately draped to within a few inches of the dial, but great care should be taken to obtain delicate coloring that will bring out the whiteness of the marble.

One should be very careful not to have the roses grow so high that only the dial is visible. This would spoil the idea which it represents—a sundial in a garden. One of the most artistic ways is to plant low, dwarf roses, near the pedestal just far enough away so there will be several inches of space between. The roses themselves should be planted in heavy clay loam, although light and sandy soil can be used for this purpose. Many people make a mistake in having their rose beds too rich. The fertilizer can be replaced, if exhausted, by fine-ground bone, which can be used only once a year.

The dwarf Polyanthas are a charming class of ever-blooming roses with bushy habits. The flowers are double, delightfully fragrant and borne in large clusters, being covered with a large mass of bloom. For a combination planting, the Baby Dorothy is very effective; it is carnation pink, with the[Pg 154] habit and growth similar to that of the Baby Rambler. The latter is very effective, rosy crimson in coloring, very free flowering, and useful in massing effects. Add to that Catherine Zeimet, which is a great acquisition, to the Baby Ramblers, and produces an abundance of double white flowers.

Directly around the base of the pedestal, you can plant your climbing roses, taking great care to nip them back so that they will only show a tracery of leaves and flowers and allow the white of the sundial to peer through. For these, use the Lady Gay whose delicate cerise pink blossoms fade to soft white, making a most pleasing combination of white flowers, crimson buds and green foliage. In connection with that, why not plant the Source d'Or, which is deep yellow, gradually paling. This bears large clusters of double flowers, and shows fine foliage. For red, the Wall Flower is the best, as it shows a distinct coloring and has vigorous habits. Mix with that the Shower of Gold, a fine coppery gold color with glossy foliage.

For the outer edge of the rose bed, do not forget those used in our grandmother's time. They have lasted long and on account of their sterling qualities are still popular. They have a range of[Pg 155] coloring and are so absolutely hardy, easy to grow and fragrant that they are advisable for this use. The Clothilde Soupert is a good color to choose. It is a strong, vigorous grower, putting forth large, double flowers like a ball of snow. The color blends from soft shell pink to pure satiny white. Mix with these the Souvenir de Malmaison, which blooms well in hot weather, its rich colored flowers being of large size, doubled to the center and produced in abundance.


For a Hybrid, there is nothing more effective than the Killarney, whose color is a sparkling brilliant pink, the buds long and pointed, the petals very large and of great substance, being just as handsome in the bud form as in the full-blown flower. For a soft, pearly white, the Kaiserin Augusta Victoria is advisable, tinting to a soft lemon, its fragrance added to its beautifully formed flowers, make it a joy in your garden.

A rustic sundial requires far different treatment, and only vines that bring forth white blossoms or pale colors should be used. If Clematis is chosen, the Duchess of Edinburgh is suitable as it shows double white flowers that are very fragrant. Mixed with this can be the Jackmania Alba, which is[Pg 156] white, shaded with blue. The Fair Rosamond, if one wishes a combination, fits in with the color scheme, being tinted white with red stripes. The advantage of these flowers is that the blossoms open in masses that bring out the dark of the wood and lend themselves to picturesque effects.

Around the foot of the sundial, why not plant Poppies, making a circle about five inches in width. The Perennial Poppies are among the most brilliant in coloring, the graceful bright-colored, cup-shaped flowers being borne on long stems. Mix with them the Oriental Poppies, which are the most showy plants possible for decorative effects. To fill in the spaces put in a package of Shirley, the combination of the three varieties giving a most fascinating touch of color. For the Shirley, why not use the finest mixed, as it will bring out white, delicate pink, deep crimson, and handsomely striped varieties. The Perennial is advantageous because it comes up every year while the Oriental are magnificent in coloring, more especially the Grand Mogul with bright crimson flower of immense size, the Princess Ena, bearing large, bright, orange-scarlet and the Marie Studholme, which is a delicate shade of salmon with a silver sheen.[Pg 157] Nothing can give better effects for this style of sundial than the clematis with a poppy in the foreground.

Color makes a great difference in proper planting, the white marble or concrete and possibly wood painted white, demands a strong color to bring out effectively the white of the surface. The gray stone is not picturesque unless blues, yellows, or reds are used. These three colors can be blended so that they form a scheme that is most attractive. When it comes to brick you will have to depend upon white, or light blue for coloring. More care should be taken with the planting around this kind of a pedestal than any other. The red of the brick demands more covering than any other type. The Hop vine fits into the scheme, but requires a great deal of trimming lest it overshadows the brick, making a mass of green without any hint of the brick below. The leaves are fine, three-lobed, and rough on both sides while the loose paper-like straw-yellow Hop in the fall hang gracefully from the brick, making a fluffy but attractive covering.

Fragrance is necessary in the planting of a sundial, then why not use the Honeysuckle? The Brachypoda is particularly effective for this purpose.[Pg 158] It shows white flowers in pairs, and sends forth a delicious perfume that attracts one even before the sundial is viewed. The Hall Evergreen Honeysuckle is also good for this purpose, being a strong grower and constant bloomer. The flowers open white, change to buff, and are very delicate in appearance.

This sundial should be set in a circle of green. At the edge of the border plant Iris. This makes a more effective setting than if a whole bed of this should be used. The well-known, beautiful Iris of Japan[Pg 159] displays a great variety of colors, the chief of which is white, maroon, dark blue and violet. Most of them are veined, mottled or flaked with different colors. There are both single and double varieties. The beauty of this plant is that it succeeds in any good soil, that is if well drained and given plenty of water when dry. They can be planted either in the late summer or spring, as desirable, and should be shown in masses, growing from two to three feet in height and lasting in blossom for a month. For double use the Antelope, which shows a white ground flaked with purple. Mix with it the Beauty which is a pure white. Add to it the Mount Hood, light blue, shaded darker in the center. These can be intermixed with the Crested Iris, a dwarf, showing handsome,[Pg 160] light-colored flowers, and the Snow Queen, whose large snow-white blossoms are free flowering.

The planting around the sundial rests with the whim of the owner, though, if out-of-the-way ideas can be evolved, it will add much to the attractiveness of this feature of the garden.[Pg 161]

[Pg 162]


[Pg 163]




Have you ever seated yourself in your garden, more especially on a warm summer day, and dreamily listened to the musical tinkle of the water that flowed from the mouth of the fountain, dripping down from the over-flowing basin into the pool below? It is then you realize what an attractive ornament it is for your garden for it appeals not only to the eye but to the ear. Lowell picturesquely describes his idea of this bit of garden furnishing when he speaks of it as "leaping and flashing," in the sunlight.

While the pergola, the garden seat and the sundial each have their own appropriate use, they serve one purpose only. Not so the fountain, which never fails to convey a delightful impression of coolness, as it gurgles and murmurs, on its way. Surely there is nothing that gives to the garden a more picturesque charm than this, standing like a spot of color in a vivid setting of bright flowering[Pg 164] plants. In the pool below one finds constantly changing pictures of the blue sky, snowy clouds or summer blossoms, each one worthy of its floral frame.

As the garden fountain is merely an accessory and the beauty of the constantly dripping water and the rising of the spray are what constitutes its real charm, the conventional design can be simple or elaborate but it should follow the garden scheme. It depends upon its environment as to whether we make it the central feature in the design or a setting in the wall. Lovely effects can easily be produced if one is careful in trying to work out a right treatment, for the placing is fully as much of importance as the planting. Balance should be the main object.

To the amateur who has had no special training in floriculture, the introduction of even a simple water spout is of interest. He watches its workings with a newly awakened enthusiasm, directing its course so that it falls artistically over the different levels of the rock garden into the home-made concrete pool below. The introduction of this water feature gives a distinctive touch to even the simplest little flower plot. For a larger garden, what[Pg 165] is more alluring than a fountain sending forth a high, vapory stream, bursting into a cloud of filmy spray? This is especially true when it is viewed through a vista or at the ending of a vine-shaded pergola. Around it should be planted a carefully selected combination of flowers or shrubs, great care being taken that they blend harmoniously.

The size of the fountain and the breadth of the pool lend themselves more or less effectively to producing alternating sunshine and shade on the surface of the water. The basin is, in a way, of as much importance as the fountain design. It is generally round, although occasionally an oblong design fits better into the landscape effect. It should be from two to three feet deep and so constructed that the sides slope outward much like the ordinary wooden water bucket. There is a practical reason for this, as it prevents cracking during the winter months. The cost naturally varies, the size materially affecting the price.

The background demands more than passing notice. Nearness of trees is a decided drawback, as the falling leaves, especially in the autumn, mar the surface and clog the outlet and make it necessary to clean the basin frequently.[Pg 166]

The best time to plan for any garden ornament is just before the early fall. The flowers are in their prime and one can better determine placing than in the early spring when the garden lies bleak and desolate.

Many garden lovers with a desire for originality feel confident that they can rely upon their imagination to work out color schemes even during the winter months. Fortunate is he who accomplishes this satisfactorily. There is great danger, however, that his castles in the air may fall to the ground through taking too much for granted. The grounds do not always meet requirements, and the result is not only wrong placing but an ornament that is either too large or too small for its allotted space.

We are far too impatient to obtain results and it is this undue haste that often ruins the composition of gardens. There is a great satisfaction in adding to and improving our grounds, much more so than if the whole work were developed at once. Almost every garden into which careful thought has been placed grows with its years. Few, if any garden lovers, but have felt a keen sense of disappointment at the finished results of their garden[Pg 167] schemes. What was satisfying the first year, has later brought about unhappy combinations. It is this fact that should be impressed on everyone's mind, if they wish a perfect lay-out.


Probably everybody who has become interested in floriculture finds the same difficulty in obtaining exactly what they wish. It is often hard to match ideas with reality. This is another reason for curbing one's impatience. The right things are sure to be found, that is if one is willing to take time.

It is when comparing the gardens of the old world with those of to-day that we are impressed with the atmosphere of the twentieth-century garden, where nature is encouraged to be genuine rather than artificial. This is the height of success, the bringing into harmony of paths, ornaments, and flowers, omitting gaudy effects or over-crowding with marble fragments. Simplicity should be the key-note in arranging this part of our ground, a simplicity that has been worked out by careful thought for it means hard study to obtain natural effects.

There are many materials from which our fountain can be manufactured. The most expensive of these are marble, terra cotta and manufactured[Pg 168] stone, the former leading the list, while the latter is better suited to the moderate purse. This last is, in reality, a composition of marble dust with cement, and the result is most satisfactory, the finished product showing a smooth surface resembling as nearly as possible that of unpolished marble. In rare cases, however, chemicals have been used to produce an antique look. Many people are under the impression that manufactured stone is always white. As a matter of fact, in the finished product, there are as many as half a dozen neutral tints shown. These all incline to a soft, delicate gray, sometimes with a blueish cast.

Terra cotta comes next in cost. A detriment to its use is that, particularly when it is shown in deep bronze coloring, it does not lend itself artistically to landscape effect, through lack of contrast with its surroundings. We find this material with both glazed and unglazed surfaces, the former being more expensive but not as practical as the latter. The most strongly recommended coloring is limestone gray, whose soft, delicate finish brings out the tone of the vines, and emphasizes the color of the surrounding flowers. Next comes the Pompeian red, only to be used under certain conditions on account[Pg 169] of its color. Colonial yellow has also been introduced. The two last colors are rarely, if ever, used for fountain designs, the gray being considered much more advisable.

There are many reasons why cement is considered practical; its cost, its wearing qualities, and its appropriate coloring. All these qualities lend themselves to constructive purposes, and making it decoratively most desirable.

The architect who suits the design of the garden to the type of the house will take advantage of this particular material. He has his ideas concerning the effect that he wishes to bring out, to emphasize the design of the house. He realizes that there is something more than interest in botany to be shown if he wishes to make this part of his plan a success. We have grown to a realizing sense that for the best results it is better to employ a skilled man. No clever result can be brought out through an inexperienced person planning the grounds, that is, unless they have natural ability such as few people possess. We have only to go back to our Colonial ancestors and study effects. It is then we realize the difference between home planting and architectural planting.[Pg 170]

Cost is not the only thing to be taken into consideration when creating garden effects. Character should be considered as well. In order to obtain this satisfactorily, the accessories should be planned by a connoisseur, such as an architect becomes after many years' study of the subject. The fountain is the most important detail and requires more careful thought than any other part of the garden setting. It makes no difference what its construction is, so that it fits in with the scheme.

Great care should be taken not to introduce different periods or materials when placing garden ornaments on our grounds. Take, as an instance, a home-made fountain and place it in close proximity with an imported one and note the result. You will see the lack of harmony. The Italian fountain belongs distinctively to the formal or Italian lay-out, and should never be used, with the exception of making a central feature on a lawn, in any other way. If you place the Greek fountain on a hillside where landscape effects have been worked out through the use of cascades that dash over terraces and under rustic bridges, you will see it is entirely out of place and in the wrong surroundings.

[Pg 171]


Occasionally, we come across an iron fountain painted black or red. This metal is cheap and stock designs can be purchased, but the very best ones are private orders and can never be reproduced. The price varies as with every other bit of garden furniture from a few dollars up to as many thousands. The advantage of this metal is that it fits into places where marble should be avoided.

Pottery fountains have been used within the last few years, and many of them are very graceful, being turned and finished by hand. This type has a special mission in our garden, its proper placing being in New England where the gray rocks, hedges and evergreen predominate. This material is shown in more colors than almost any other. These include gray, brown, green, blue, and many shades of terra cotta. This variation of color makes it adapted to almost any situation. One advantage in their use is that, strongly reinforced as they are by galvanized steel wires, they are climate-proof and practically indestructible.

The location of this special garden ornament demands serious attention. It is often placed where it will attract attention to some special feature that has been carefully worked out in detail. More especially[Pg 172] is this true when it has been inserted as a part of the retaining wall and is surrounded by some choice vine whose flowers accentuate the architecture.

There are so many forms and features connected with this special garden ornament that there need never be any sameness. It is an ideal medium with which to recreate the fauns, satyrs and nymphs of the garden. Animals, too, are often used and so are cupids.

The planting, which is of as much importance as the ornamentation, depends upon the size of the pool and its location. Shade requires far different treatment from sunny exposures, while the heart of a grass plot lends itself to little or no floral embellishment. The finish of the pool influences the arrangement of the flowers. Should it be very ornamental, the planting should be far enough away not to shut off its picture effect in the landscape. If it is simply a curbing, it should have a setting of green or of low-growing plants.

Often an effective treatment is worked out through a border of velvety turf outlined by plants. Peonies never fail to bring out the right coloring of the fountain, that is if they are far enough away[Pg 173] not to cut off the design. They are called rightly the aristocrats of the flower garden. For mass planting, they are most effective, their great gorgeous blossoms, daintily dyed and ranging from white to the deepest red, their wonderful fragrance and their decorative value are unsurpassed. They can either be planted in solid color or in a combination that is artistic. The Couronne d'Or, beautiful white in coloring and showing blossoms of red in the center with a halo of yellow around, makes a picturesque contrast to the deep green of the tree leaves. The large, double, ball-shape bloom of the Felix Crousse intermixed with white, gives one of the most fascinating combinations of red and white. The beauty of peonies is that they grow anywhere although they do best in rich, deep soil and with a sunny exposure. They are perfectly hardy, require no protection and unlike most other plants are not infested by either insects or disease. All they ask for is plenty of water during their growing season.

Grandmother's flowers, which are so fashionable to-day, are particularly desirable as a planting around a fountain. The sweet moss rose trailing through the grass and mixing its blossoms with the[Pg 174] yellow of the Scotch rose is often used for low effects, or where very little coloring is advisable. The amount of planting and the height naturally depend upon the design of the individual fountain. Those that are ornamental are so effective that they need practically nothing to bring out right effects.

Iris is always in good form. We find it to-day so highly developed that in comparison to the little fleur-de-lis that grows unmolested in the neighboring swamp, it seems scarcely a variety of the same flower. As we are able to buy both double and single Irises, we should make a choice and not mingle the two. The double with its flowers averaging from eight to ten inches across, is an artistic foil for the white of the fountain. Commencing with the German, which comes into bloom about the middle of May, we can follow the time of blossoming through the introduction of the Japanese Iris which lasts through July. In their planting, better effects are produced if two colors only are used. This can be supplemented by a third if the coloring is broken by the introduction of a thread of white. For the German, why not use the Honorabilis, which is a golden yellow with outside yellow petals shading to a mahogany brown, or the King of Iris,[Pg 175] which is a clear yellow. The Florentina Alba gives the white coloring, its flowers being very large and fragrant. These two colors can be enhanced by the adding of the Camillian which is a delicate blue with falls tipped a little darker shade. These are more suited for a fountain with a low curbing or for an informal garden where cement is used. They give a very pretty effect, their flowers being pictured in the water below.


Pansies are never out of place. A very pretty idea is to have them massed for as many as eight inches around the curb. Choose for these, bright-colored varieties rather than dark. The tufted pansies, which are one of the most important bedding plants in Europe, are rapidly growing in favor in our country. One reason for this is that they flower continuously for nearly eight months in the year. The flowers are not as large as those of the single pansy, but their bright colors make them a welcome addition to our garden. The rich, golden yellow, the violet with a dark eye and the white, are all three admirable for this purpose.

Pansies love coolness and give their largest and finest flowers in early spring and late fall. They are so easy to grow, rioting in the cool, deep mellow[Pg 176] beds they love, that everybody should use them. They will endure all winter long if protected by a few evergreen vines. The size needed for bedding for your fountain depends entirely upon the width of the bed. The most superb specimens are found among the orchid flowering ones. They take their name mainly from their tints and variation of color resembling the gorgeous shades seen in orchids. These are the most novel and distinctive strain that we have used for years.

Have you ever considered the graceful effect of ornamental grasses? They can be used with telling effects for the margin of the fountain, although care must be taken not to plant those that grow to enormous height. The Euallia Japonica is appropriate. Its long, narrow, graceful green foliage, flowering into attractive plumes, give it a distinctive place for this purpose. Mix with it the Zebra grass, whose long blades are marked with broad yellow bands across the leaf. Intermix with this the hardy fountain grass which grows only four feet in height and has narrow foliage, bright green in coloring, cylindrical flower-heads carried well above the foliage, tinged with a bronze purple and is one of the most valuable of the hardy grasses.[Pg 177]

In the planting of the grasses, to make the best effect give the taller ones the outside row, letting the low ones fall over the water, mirroring in the surface below. One of the advantages in using this is that it attracts birds and butterflies. Nothing can attract the songsters quicker to your fountain than this kind of surrounding.

Occasionally, we find that instead of planting, beds are geometrically laid out to surround this, the axis of the garden design. In cases like this we have to depend upon the borders for effect. These can be hedge-loving plants or they can be a solid, low planting. Scotch heather is very pretty. It should be grown in sunny places with moist surroundings. Its racimes of dark rose pink petals, lasting from July to September, make it very effective for this purpose. The Japanese Barberry can also be included, nothing equals it in artistic value. It requires but little pruning to keep it in shape, while its fruit or berries, assuming rich brilliant colors in the fall, are most effective when used for a setting like this.

If possible, try for flowers that have fragrance. It adds so much to the effect to breathe in the sweet odor as you sit watching the shading of the flowers,[Pg 178] the swaying of the birds, and listening to the musical tinkle of the water as it drips into the basin below.

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