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Title: A Garden with House Attached

Author: Sarah Warner Brooks

Release Date: July 9, 2012 [EBook #40183]

Language: English

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front cover

title page

The Hollyhock Bed The Hollyhock Bed

A GARDEN WITH HOUSE ATTACHED

BY

SARAH WARNER BROOKS

AUTHOR OF "MY FIRE OPAL," "POVERTY KNOB," ETC

"I never had any desire so strong, and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be master at least of a small house, and a large garden."—Abraham Cowley.


BOSTON: RICHARD G. BADGER
The Gorham Press
1904

Copyright 1904 by Sarah Warner Brooks
All rights reserved

PRINTED AT
THE GORHAM PRESS
BOSTON, U. S. A.


TO MY SUMMER CHILD


CONTENTS

Page
CHAPTER ONE
A Garden with House Attached
5
CHAPTER TWO
The Man with the Hoe
10
CHAPTER THREE
The "Lady's" Conservatory
14
CHAPTER FOUR
The House Garden, The Selection, Arrangement, and Culture of House Plants
20
CHAPTER FIVE
At Easter-time
35
CHAPTER SIX
Burglar-proof
37
CHAPTER SEVEN
Perennials
40
CHAPTER EIGHT
Hollyhocks and Violets
68
CHAPTER NINE
The Rose
74
CHAPTER TEN
Border Bulbs
84
CHAPTER ELEVEN
Annuals
88
CHAPTER TWELVE
Climbers
94
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
Gardens "in Spain"
99
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
The Cerebral Processes of Plants
108
CHAPTER FIFTEEN
"Auf Wiedersehen"
115

A GARDEN WITH HOUSE ATTACHED


[5]

CHAPTER I

"A Garden with House Attached"

When, by an unlooked-for sequence of events, I became manager of "The Garden with House Attached" (as an important preliminary) along with "The Third Son"[1] I went over from Cambridge to take account of its possibilities. And here be it stated that from the time of his first trousers "The Third Son" had been my assistant gardener; and in all my horticultural enterprises, might still be counted in as "aider and abettor."

"Mother," said this astute young person—on our return from this inspection—"It is a big job; but there is yet another week of my vacation. Let us make a beginning."

In shaping the ground plan of this quaint old garden, its long-dead projectors had shown a capability which came within an ace of genius itself! Hence, so far as laying out went, there was absolutely no call for improvement.

All had been so well and effectively outlined, that the landscape gardener himself must have approved.

[6]

The long South walk—leading past the front door of the "Mansion House"—passing orchard and kitchen garden on its way up the long, gradual ascent towards the western boundary of the estate, and then turning a corner, followed the low stone wall hedged with sturdy purple lilacs (free to all the country round) and making a second turn, skirted the low northern ledge, where in June the locust hangs its tassels of perfumed snow, and, in autumn time, the wild barberry perfects its coral clusters. There, all summer long, the wind blows cool and sweet, and, resting on low, mossy boulders, you may sight, on the left, Middlesex Fells, and, across the blue distance, glimpse Tufts College on its broad, grassy hill, with the Mystic River (if the tide be in) creeping leisurely between you and that ancient seat of learning.

Following the walk down the lazy declivity, you take a turn with it beneath two aged pines, with the big lily-of-the-valley patch nestling in their shade; and (hard by) the well-appointed triangular flower plot, from time immemorial "bedded out" with "The Lady's" house plants. Turning on your track, you take a stroll through "The Lover's Walk"—a little, lilac-embowered pathway—and turning, follow, past the back of the house, the long, rocky ledge, with its glorious crown of white lilac trees—their tall tops touching the very ridge-pole of the roof.

There orange toadstools, like fairy parasols, push up through the damp mosses. There a giant Norway [7]spruce drops its cones and spreads its brown carpet of needles; and in summer-time you may dream away the hours upon the cool stone steps and, harkening to an ancient pine singing its slow song, may

"Eat of the lotus, and dream, and forget."

The rough wagon road on the East takes you from the high road to the big old-fashioned barn, beneath whose eaves, year after year, the punctual swallow nests; while, high among the rafters within, immemorial pigeons rear their toothsome squabs.

The flower-borders of this garden—anciently edged with box (which, of late, gave up, piece by piece, the long struggles of existence)—had, no doubt, in their prime, been well worth seeing. Lovely blue-eyed Periwinkle yet wandered among the tangled shrubs. A persistent Day-lily and a stunted Flowering Almond still held their own; and in May-time a single root of double English Violet made shift to perfect a scented flower or two,—"dim, but sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes."

Thrifty old-time shrubs still flourished in the wide borders. Alicanthus sent far and wide its fruity odor. Yellow Globe flowers straggled here and there. Waxberry bushes stoutly thrived, and, in early springtime, an aged Pyrrhus Japonica put on its blaze of scarlet bloom. Big domes of Tartarean Honeysuckle—all rosy pink with bloom—yet held their own. Creamy Syringas made sweet the summer air, and as for Lilacs (white [8]and purple) they were like "the rats of Bingen," everywhere—dominating the entire grounds!

It was a blessed day for us all when, in the sixteenth century, this darling Persian shrub was introduced into English gardens. In Persia they called it the "lilag" (which means simply a flower) and from this we have our word Lilac. Surely, "by no other name"—save by the dear country one of laylock—would it "smell as sweet."

The native West Indian has a pretty superstition in regard to this familiar flower. He holds that lilac branches, when in blossom, if hung up around the room, protect from malignant influences. He believes that the "jumbies," or evil spirits, will not enter a house where there are lilac blooms. I like to borrow from the pagan this harmless belief; and, each morning throughout their flowering time, I cut big "bowpots" of blown lilacs, and setting them about the house, idly fancy that—thus kept at bay—no evil thing "with spell or charm" may enter the dear home. And, further to guard it, I have named our place "The Lilacs."

A garden is hardly complete without the restful shade of trees—the loveliness of interchanging sunshine and shadow.

Therefore was it good to find trees, many and thrifty, hobnobbing together in our new holding.

A big sturdy hornbeam, with song-birds nesting high among its branches, shaded the eastern lawn, while close beside the kitchen porch a graceful rose-acacia [9]reared its slender trunk, and every May-time wove its garlands of rosy bloom.

All about us grew maple and ash trees. Tall pines to hold the song of the wind among their boughs. Spruces and Arbor Vitæs (these absolutely upon their last legs, but still persistent), and, fairest of them all, two glorious tulip-trees towering upward, like sturdy masts, towards the blue heaven, flinging to the winds their high leafy boughs, like pale green pennants, picked out (in blooming time) with shapely miracles of color.

Here and there an apple or a pear tree had strayed from orchard to lawn; and in the very midst of things a huge cherry tree rendered its yearly tale of juicy blackhearts—enough and to spare for neighbors and robins, and for our own preserve jars. On a bleak northern rise behind the house, an ancient juniper (like another "Cleopatra's needle") stood slenderly against the sky—as perfect a pyramid as if shaped by the gardener's shears, instead of the keen-edged winter wind.


[10]

CHAPTER II

"The Man with the Hoe"

As before our advent at the "Mansion House" the man-of-all-work—after a long administration of its out-door affairs in the soft service of an easily-gratified mistress (the dear "Lady of the Wheeled Chair") had been abstracted from the family circle, the first step in our gardening was to call in the local "Man with the Hoe." This useful personage (let it here be said) was not—like Mr. Markham's terrible hero—"Brother to the ox." His "jaw" and "forehead" were all right, and, owing to the use of a hoe with proper length of handle, "The Weight of the Centuries" had not disturbed the contour of his back. One could not swear that he knew his "Plato" (alas, how few of us do!) and as to "The Swing of the Pleiades," it was not his immediate concern.

His it was, rather, to interest himself with the hoeing and edging of graveled walks, the weeding of kitchen and flower-gardens, the pruning of shrubs and vines, and the "making of two" lilies "grow where but one grew before." And so far from being (like Markham's man) "fraught with menace to the universe" our "Man with the Hoe"—in that small section of it within his immediate radius—was considered a positive blessing! Was it not on his good right arm that we—"the deserving poor"—to whom [11]Providence had apportioned vegetable patches, flower-borders, and bits of lawn with intersecting graveled paths, and denied the luxury of a resident "hired man"—depended for the presentability of our "outdoors"? Poor Millet! one fancies his astonishment at Markham's terrible presentation of his peasant model! Himself of their guild, he painted his brother peasants in all honesty; and being neither pessimist nor anarchist, but working simply from the standpoint of the artist, has so made them immortal.

But to return to our own undertaking—our first task was the dislodgment of the stubborn tangle of persistent thimbleberry vines, sturdy saplings of ash and chestnut, and long-established waxberries. This done, we made, on the south, facing the "king's highway" and near enough to give delight and perfume to the foot-passenger, a brand new flower bed. In the middle of each square of lawn a raised circle, edged with stone, was made for the spring hyacinths and tulips (these to be succeeded later with cannas and bright summer flowers). Relegating the kitchen garden to a less conspicuous place, we prepared the cabbage-patch for our little rose-garden. All this heavy work done—"The Man with the Hoe" was, for the time, discharged.

Our Cambridge home had, for nearly two decades, been the property of one who in the Harvard Botanical Garden had "a friend at court" and had thus found it possible to secure for his grounds many choice shrubs [12]and hardy herbaceous plants. Himself a skilled and enthusiastic horticulturist—after twenty years of painstaking cultivation, his garden close, with its mellow low-lying site and unobstructed southern exposure, had become a miracle of productiveness.

It had not, like the Medford garden, been "laid out." Flowers, fruit, and vegetables, were all in a riotous jumble; yet each the perfection of its kind. The marvel was that one small garden could carry such a load of growth!

Pears, early and late, of the juiciest and sweetest; big yellow quinces, currants, white and red, raspberries, thimbleberries, and blackberries by the bushel! And (crowning glory of all) a huge gravenstein with fruit fair as the famous golden apples tended by the "Daughters of the Evening Star." To this garden, for many years, my good husband had devoted his leisure hours. Two years before our removal to "The Garden with House Attached" he had left us for the far-off Unknown Land; and it was therefore with tender touch that we uprooted the shrubs and plants of his care—together with the flowers that I had tended. The cold frame was full of thrifty seedlings—Primroses, Iceland poppies, and other beauties. In the open, there were Lilies, Peonies—rose-pink and creamy white—big Drummond Phloxes, and Roses ad infinitum—two heaped cartloads in all—carried over by "The Third Son," and before the earliest frost, so [13]well bestowed by his able hands, as to have rooted themselves in the mellow soil of the new garden.

Not one of these succumbed to the perils of transplantation—not even the five-year-old peach tree, whose certain dissolution all had prophesied, but which bravely withstood the risk of removal, and now, each spring, puts on its crown of pink splendor, which duly turns to juicy fruit beneath the sun that shines upon the grave of him whose hand, long years ago, planted its tiny stone.

Later on, we put in the tulip and hyacinth bulbs, and, when at last the entire garden, beneath its warm coverlet of dressing and leaves, composed itself for a long winter nap—like the poet's "goose-woman"—we

"Blessed ourselves, and cursed ourselves,
And rested from our labors."

[14]

CHAPTER III

The "Lady's" Conservatory

Meantime, the dear "Lady" (who had anticipated our coming to the Mansion House, by a sudden resolve to commit her burden of housekeeping to younger and abler hands—and retain of her old establishment but a single personal attendant—as faithful friend, companion, and amanuensis) wheeled into the very thick of action—had watched with anxious eyes this removal of ancient landmarks—this general upheaval of things. An almost helpless invalid—wheeled daily through eight patient summers into her beloved garden—she had sat with her beautiful silver hair arranged in careful curls, a big white sun-bonnet shading her kind old face, to receive her friends (both gentle and simple) with a cordial hospitality, and an old-time courtesy in fine keeping with herself and her surroundings.

Innately conservative, the Lady was scarce in touch with innovation of any sort. A passionate lover of flowers, but scantily endowed with horticultural talent, and without a spark of creative genius, she smiled with dubious complacency on this awful devastation—comforting herself with the sweet anticipation of spring tulips and summer roses, in her very own garden! Dear Lady—her absolute trust in my gardening ability was indeed touching! One must "live up to the blue china" of one's reputation; so I did my very best; and [15]when all was done, and the out-door darlings nestled safely beneath their winter coverlet, came the pleasure of looking after the house-plants—(by this time well-recovered from the vicissitudes of repotting and removal) and the bestowal of each in its winter quarters; and this leads me to a description of "The Conservatory."

In a warm southwestern angle of "The Mansion House" there nestled a narrow piazza-like structure—opening, by long French windows, from both drawing and sitting room, and leading by a short flight of steps into the old garden.

This erection—having been enclosed by sash-work of glass—and furnished with rugs, a big easy chair, a round table, and a penitential hair-cloth sofa, and supplied with rocking chairs, was, when the temperature permitted, the favorite lounging place of family and guest.

Though warmed only by the sun, it had always been known as "The Conservatory" (probably because herein every autumn, the Lady's geraniums and fuchsias, taken in from the early frost, stood on the corner table, recovering from the fall potting on their way to winter quarters on the broad ledge of a sunny south window of her own bed chamber). Through the winter this unwarmed place was neither available for plant or man.

Long before the possibility of ever moving to the Mansion House had entered my head, I had looked [16]upon this conservatory with loving eyes, and, in fancy, pictured it, warmed and filled all winter long with lovely flowering plants.

A Conservatory had been the dream of my life! And when this fell to my lot, and, abolishing the stuffy cylinder stoves that had, heretofore, warmed the Mansion House, we put in a big furnace, I had directed the leading of a roomy pipe to this glass-enclosed quarter, and the out-door work well over, I pleased myself with arranging this new winter home for my darlings. The light sashes—warped by Time—had become "ram-shackly." I wedged them securely, and stuffing gaps with cotton batting carefully listed the outer door against

"The west wind Mudjekeewis,"

and when all was done delightedly watched the vigorous growth of my well-housed darlings. Alas! short and sweet was my day of content.

One fatal January night the mercury dropped suddenly to zero, and (as luck would have it) the furnace fire followed suit, and, in the morning, I awoke to find my precious plants stark and stiff against the panes.

We promptly showered them with ice-cold water ("a hair of the dog that bit you" advises the old proverb). In vain! The blighted foliage stood black and shriveled in the morning sunshine!

"All the King's horses and all the King's men
Couldn't bring Humpty Dumpty up again!"

All that could be done was to clip away the frost-bitten [17]members, mellow the soil, and await a fresh supply of sap from the uninjured roots.

As a matter of course the slowly recuperating plants could no longer be left to the random winter gambols of tricky "Mudjekeewis," but must be relegated to the old-time safety of window-seat and flower-stand.

Thus ended my day-dream of a conservatory!

Under this dispensation I consoled myself by nursing the invalids back to health and comparative prosperity, and, in late February, they amply repaid my care by abundant leafage and wealth of bloom.

Meantime, the Freesias, and Narcissi, the Hyacinths and Tritelias, came one after another from the dark cellar, to sit in the sun, and cheer our wintry days with odor and bloom, and give delight to the dear invalid Lady.

And here let me say that of all winter gardening I have found the house cultivation of bulbs most interesting and repaying.

First there is the eager looking over the autumn catalogues and the well-considered selection of your bulbs. If your purse is long enough to warrant it, you may put on your list the costly named varieties of your favorite colors among the hyacinths; if otherwise, you may still have the satisfaction of making a dollar or two go a long way; since after putting on your list a few choice bulbs, you get, at the department store, oceans of five-cent hyacinth bulbs, and, taking your [18]chance as to color, have the added pleasure of the surprises thus secured.

As the other desirable bulbs are comparatively inexpensive, you can finish your list from the catalogue, and thus have as many as you desire.

The Oxalis has, presumably, been saved over from last winter's stock, and so, too, have the best of the Freesias. These are, no doubt, well-started about the first of September.

Early in October some of the newly bought Freesias and some of all the other bulbs may be planted. The remainder may be potted in instalments, two or three weeks apart, the last as late as December. You may use for hyacinths, at a pinch, quite small pots—say four-inch ones; but success is more certain in the five or six-inch sizes. The smaller bulbs may be planted in clumps in such sized pots as you like, about two inches apart. You may use prepared soil furnished very reasonably by the florist, or, if preferred, prepare it yourself after this formula: one-half mellow garden loam, one-quarter well-rotted cow manure, and for the remainder use leaf-mold, well-pulverized peat, and a good trowel-full of fine beach sand. Bulbs, though needi[19]ng rich food, should never come directly in contact with their manure supply.

In potting the larger bulbs leave about quarter of an inch above ground, but entirely bury the smaller ones.

The big bulbs should be pressed firmly down, as they have a way of working up from the covering soil.

Water well, and set in a cool, dark cellar. The oxalis and freesia sprout more quickly, and must not be left to send long pale shoots up in the dark, but the hyacinths and narcissi, though promised in six weeks, are often two months, and even longer, getting ready to come into the light.

This should be done with caution, as they must first be greened in a shaded window, and not until later exposed to the direct beams of the sun. They may be given water in moderate supplies, and I have sometimes found a weekly allowance of "Bowker's Flower Food" desirable.

My own selection of house bulbs usually comprises oxalis, freesia, the narcissi, hyacinth, and tritelia; many other desirable ones are to be had, but with a good supply of the above-named varieties, including a generous number of such inexpensive bulbs as the Paper-white Narcissus, and the Yellow "Daffies," one may count on a sweet succession of bloom from Christmas to May-time.

In this connection I add a reprint of a paper long ago published in the "American Garden."

It was originally prepared by me for the "Cambridge Plant Club," whose members were so kind as to assure me that they found it helpful and entertaining. It was copied from the "Garden" by the Cambridge Tribune, but may, nevertheless, be new to the present reader:


[20]

CHAPTER IV

The House Garden. The Selection, Arrangement, and Culture of House Plants

Apart from that æsthetic satisfaction which house plants afford, the principle of growth, which they exemplify, has its own strong and almost universal attraction. Thus it is that we behold in dust-blurred windows of squalid tenements rows of dented tomato cans, desolately holding their stunted geraniums, fuchsias, and other feeble bits of greenery. Such half-pathetic attempts at floriculture are, indeed, "touches of nature" that "make us kin" to the forlorn inmates of these shabby, ill-conditioned dwellings who, amid poverty and its possible degradation, have still courage for, at least, one fine endeavor.

The sole purpose of this paper is to impart some simple knowledge gained through a long and earnestly-loving experience in the beautiful art of plant-culture. Our first step is the choice of our plants; and we shall do wisely to select such as will best accommodate themselves to the somewhat adverse conditions of furnace-heated and gas-lighted rooms such as most of us occupy. First and foremost in our collection should stand sweet-scented plants; not only because these impart to our rooms a delicious air of summer, and etherealize the atmosphere of our homes, but also because of their sanitary value, medical authority having distinctly declared [21]that the perfume of growing flowers, exhaling on the in-door air, tends to neutralize fever and other disease-germs. For delicacy of perfume and continuity of bloom the heliotrope may take the first rank among odorous house plants. Its very name—derived from two Greek words, Helio, the sun, and trope, to turn—is charmingly suggestive of summer-time. The plant does not belie its name. It cannot have too many sun-kisses. As a cut-flower it is perishable and unsatisfactory, but its growing bloom lasts long, and holds its odor even in decay; it is delightful up to its very last breath.

To secure good winter bloom from the heliotrope, begin in early summer with the plant while in the ground, and by repeated pinching-back make it sturdy and robust. This done, choose some cloudy afternoon, about the middle of August, for potting. Your soil should be thus prepared: one-third good loam, one-third leaf-mold, and one-third well-rotted manure; a few pinches of soot may be added, and enough white sand mixed through the whole to keep it light and dainty. Pot carefully, and with as little root disturbance as may be. Water thoroughly, and keep the plant in shade until its leaves recover their tone. After this it may stand in the sun, if given plenty of water, for a week or two, while the buds get under way.

Be sure to house before the faintest suspicion of frost, as this sun-lover is extremely tender, and the slightest nipping harms it. Give it a southern exposure [22]in your room, and place close to the glass; and if you have not a double window, leave the fly-screen in to save the leaves and blossoms from immediate contact with frosty panes. A heliotrope should never once become wholly dry, and should have a weekly drink of manure-water, which must be about the color of moderately strong coffee. For insect pests, dust the leaves with a light feather-brush, and then wash thoroughly. This process must be repeated as often as the insects appear.

The odorous sacred lily of China we all, no doubt, grow yearly in water, with a bottom layer or two of pebbles. It is well to make incisions lengthwise of the bulb with a sharp knife before planting, and there should be lumps of charcoal among the pebbles to keep the water sweet. A single bulb, thus treated, will give one seven flower-stalks. The old-fashioned plant, the calla, though less common than it was twenty years ago, if grown in an artistic vase and given an entire window, is beautiful.

It has been said of the calla that "it needs water like a mill, heat like a furnace, food like an army, and absolute rest during the summer." "Keep its feet in water," says the florist. In its native habitat it is in water to the depth of a foot or more, in broad open sunlight, and in soil as rich as decayed vegetation can make it. Soon after flowering season the water subsides, and the soil becomes as dry as it is possible to get in the tropics. Here, nature teaches us how to [23]cultivate the calla. The canna thrives admirably as a house plant, and has a happy way of accommodating itself to circumstances, which makes it especially desirable for decorative effect. In a sunny window it will flower all winter if given abundant heat. In a north window of the same room it will give one beautiful foliage, and it will, "at a pinch," take a back seat and hold its own in the shade, grouped with the statuary and screens, where, with its large, handsome leaves, it will impart to the drawing-room a certain air of oriental languor and magnificence. The canna should be lifted early in September and placed in rich loam, in a large, well-shaped pot or vase, and kept for a week or two in the open, in partial shade, and well watered. It must be carefully housed before the lightest frost appears. Its vigor and beauty are increased by the addition of wood soot to the soil.

All the begonias thrive well as house plants. My experience with the new and choice varieties has not been sufficient to enable me to give valuable advice in regard to their culture. I had formerly supposed that a north window might suit a begonia. It was a mistaken impression. The plant, I find, needs sunlight and a warm atmosphere. It must be regularly and carefully watered, and I have found it best to give the small-leaved begonia its water from the saucer. The smooth-leaved begonias are said to affect a Sunday morning cup of coffee by way of gloss to their foliage. I have seen a superb one thus treated, but have never [24]tried the experiment. The plant likes an occasional watering with soot tea while making its summer growth in the garden.

The coleus, as a window plant, affords fine color effects, but the plant is too tender to be agreeable for house-culture. It requires an invariably high temperature, a fair amount of sunlight, regular moisture, and very rich soil. This given it will grow superbly, but if overtaken, in some unguarded hour, with the slightest chill, it loses its beauty and vigor. The house coleus is almost sure to become infested with mealy-bugs. These may be picked off, and thereafter the plant should be given a careful wash of kerosene water, which must be repeated as often as the pests appear. The formula for this spray, which is used for roses at Mount Auburn, was thus given me by an expert. It is simply one wine-glass of kerosene oil to a gallon of water.

Ferns, as decorative plants, are beautiful and easily grown, though all do not succeed with the maidenhair. All ferns should have an abundance of light, but not too much sun. I have found an eastern exposure the very best possible. Ferns should be placed in the full light of a window, given a high temperature and watered evenly, but not too much. The soil should be partially renewed annually, and care should be taken with the roots, which do not like disturbance; especially is this to be observed with the maidenhair, which, if possible, should never be transplanted, and should have its stated period of [25]entire rest, during which it should be kept almost dry. The fuchsia is, properly, an out-door bloomer, but with care can be brought to flower in winter. To this end, pinch back in summer, and in September house, and place in a north or east window. Give much light, water freely with warm water, and give liquid manure and soot tea about twice a week. If given an entire window both flower and foliage will be superb, with this treatment. Time would fail me to enumerate all the desirable plants for house-culture; there is the orange tree, the costly palm, the delicate asparagus, the achyranthes, anthericum, and curculigo, the aspidistra, cyclamen, and many more equally beautiful and practicable, and last, but not least, the inevitable rubber plant, a little stiff and heavy perhaps, but as a single plant decidedly effective. In arranging a table or stand of mixed plants, care should be taken to give each its proper growing place without marring the general effect. Heliotrope, that ardent sun-lover, should have the front row, close to the window-glass. Beside it should sit a begonia or two, and some flowering geraniums. A petunia and a bridal-rose might come next—the petunia twined among the others to hide its scraggy limbs. A nicotiana, well in the light, might make the evenings sweet with its perfume, and if the room be not over-warm, a pot of mignonette might sweeten the air by day, and at night be removed to cooler quarters. In the "middle aisle" an achyranthes or two may stand with sunlight sifting through its [26]fiery leaves, which have thus all the color-effect of blossoms without their perishability. Further back, anthericum may flourish, with curculigo spreading queenly its fluted palm-like leaves, and always craving moisture. And in the "pauper's pew" Wandering Jew will contentedly sit, like charity, kindly covering the entire defects of staring pots that needs must hold its betters; and on the floor, at the foot of all, aspidistra may seem to "choose darkness rather than light." If you need a growing amaryllis or two to eke out your foliage display, they will take a shady place, though to bring them into flower you need a strong, steady sunlight.

Nicotiana, or tobacco plant, is another fragrant and desirable plant. It thrives in about the same soil as the heliotrope, but needs an entirely different exposure, being one of the few plants that flower perfectly in a sunless window. Experimenting with the nicotiana as a house plant, I found that in a south window the plant was not robust, was scant of bloom, and the flowers quite perishable in comparison with the blossoms in a north window, where the plants grew to a height of more than five feet, and, together, produced one hundred and fifty-six flowers. Through the entire winter no ray of sunlight reached them. They were trained on stout strings quite close to the glass of a double window, kept moist, and given an even temperature of from sixty-five to seventy degrees, and were watered well with liquid manure.

The Circle on the Lawn The Circle on the Lawn

[27] At evening the blossoms expand, and all through the night it is as if the room were

"Perfumed from an unseen censer, swung by angels."

Among the sweet-scented tribe mignonette ranks high as an out-door plant, and as a window bloomer it is exquisite. It rarely outlives transplanting, but may be sown in pots about mid-summer, and pinched back for the house. Another method is to obtain the plant from the florist when in bud. The cost is trifling, and if kept cool and in a sunny window, it will continue in bloom for weeks. Mignonette needs much sunlight, but not too high a temperature, and the plant is much weakened by a single day's omission in watering.

Another—now almost obsolete—fragrant house plant is the night-blooming jasmine. Its odor is peculiar and intense, and—as its name implies—is only emitted by night. Its foliage is not especially delicate, but nothing can be more dainty than its slender spikes of pale, greenish-white bloom. It is a thrifty plant, making in a single summer a growth of five or six feet. It is a shrub, but one could fancy that, ages ago, it must have been a "sport" of a climber, so slender and rapid is its habit of growth. After flowering-time, which begins late in July and continues until late in October, it drops most of its foliage, which is soon replaced by young, delicate shoots and fresh leaves and buds.

The Daphne odora, which combines in its small clusters of bloom the exquisite perfume of many sweet flowers, may not be lightly passed by. It is not an easy plant [28]to manage, and often drops its buds just as they seem ready to open. By placing it in the sunny window of a cool room, and watering evenly and not too copiously, it may be brought into flower; and then nothing can be finer than its fragrance.

The more homely and familiar hyacinth is not only delightful in form, color, and odor, but may be recommended as a "safe investment," as it seldom fails to flower and needs comparatively little care.

The mahernia is another desirable fragrant plant. It is very effective in a hanging-basket. It comes in flower about the first of February, and its tiny yellow cups are brimful of delicious odor. A home-bred mahernia makes fine foliage, but seldom blooms abundantly; it is, therefore, best to procure the plant from the florist when fully budded. It will then flower well in a sunny window, and for three or four weeks one's room will be as sweet as summer. The wax-plant, though properly a summer blooming plant, sometimes flowers in winter. Its blossoms are very odorous, especially by night, and in structure and color they are exquisite. It is a long-lived plant, easily raised and tended, and, being a climber, may be tastefully trained on a trellis, where, with its glossy, rubber-like leaves, it is very effective. The petunia, as a window plant, blooms freely, and the white variety is fragrant—especially by night. The plant is rather ungainly in its habit of growth. To conceal its scragginess of structure twine its stems among other foliage on your [29]stand, and place it close to the glass, and you will find it pretty and effective. And now that sweet-smelling plants are under consideration, may I not give you the details of an experiment with the common lilac as a house plant? It was made some fifteen years ago, and before I had the slightest knowledge of lilac-forcing, which is now quite common among our florists.

Early in December a stout, low bush of the hardy purple variety was, with the aid of a pickaxe, dislodged from the frost-bound earth, and with its frozen ball of sod still adhering, thus treated: a large nail-keg, having an auger-hole in its bottom on which some bits of crock were strewn, was filled to about half its depth with warm stable manure; on this the dry leafless bush, with its frozen soil, was set, and the keg filled in with mellow loam. After a good watering, the keg was placed in a deep pan, which was then filled with boiling water, and the whole set near a huge hall stove. The hot water was daily renewed at the bottom, and before many days leaf and flower-buds began to swell on the hard, bare stems of the bush. When these were well formed and the tiny buds quite distinguishable among the pale green foliage, the lilac was removed from its dim corner beside the stove, and given an entire east window in the long hall, where the temperature ranged from forty to sixty, and sometimes as high as seventy degrees. In about two months from the time of housing fourteen large and perfect clusters of pearl-white lilacs rejoiced our eyes. These blossoms were far more [30]delicate in odor than out-door lilacs, and made a delightful atmosphere of spring-time in the homely old farm-house which was then our dwelling-place. We had, too, the novel pleasure of surprising our friends with clusters of fresh lilac in February.

French florists, who give much attention to lilac-forcing, lay great stress upon the necessity of keeping the bush in the dark in order to bleach the flowers—white lilacs being most marketable, and the common purple lilac most available for forcing on account of its superior vitality. Fortunately I stumbled upon the right treatment, and mine seemed to come white of their own sweet will.

For a hanging-basket use the oxalis, of which there are many beautiful varieties. It flowers abundantly, but as the season advances, must be stimulated with repeated applications of liquid manure and soot tea, that its foliage may not lose its vigor and become straggly. Wandering Jew, though structurally coarse, is a good hanging plant, and will accommodate itself to any exposure, really doing its very best in a north window. Ivy geranium is another hanging plant, beautiful in structure, and with its double rose-pink blossoms, as in the improved varieties, most fair to see. It demands strong food, much moisture, and oceans of sunlight. Madeira vine and German ivy both make effective hanging-baskets. The latter is too alluring to the green fly to make its house-culture easy or satisfactory. Smilax, if trained on strings, in a sunny window, [31]is exquisitely delicate, and its blossom is odorous. The English ivy, as in-door greenery, is delightful. I have attempted its culture, but my experience being but a series of ignoble defeats, is not commendable. I wish it were! The odious scale has at last compelled me to abandon the field. I must also confess to repeated failure with in-door geraniums. Mine have not bloomed well, and a geranium without its blossoms is a poor affair (not including the scented varieties). Last autumn, after having tried many methods with many kinds, I turned over a new leaf in geranium culture. All my best geraniums were consigned to an upper room, where no furnace heat could reach them, and where, in cold nights, the temperature falls perilously near to freezing point. The plants have a southern window, and through the day the room is moderately warmed from the ascending heat of the kitchen. Geraniums (and fuchsias and nasturtiums as well) have taken kindly to this low temperature, the geraniums blooming as finely as in the open during summer. Many of us have, no doubt, seen floating about in print, the little story of that pot of geranium which was the sole bequest of a dying man to his family, who carefully tended this precious, though not pecuniarily valuable legacy. When spring came the pot was reverently committed to the cemetery lot to summer close beside the grave of the buried husband and father. On removing it in autumn, the plant was found to have outgrown its quarters, and was tenderly dislodged for [32]repotting. To the great surprise of these good people a hollow false bottom was found in the original pot, and on its removal a little fortune in bank notes was disclosed, which, as the story ran, had obligingly kept themselves intact for the heirs in this odd storing-place. This tale has been cited of late by a scientific floriculturist, as evidence of the deplorable ignorance of the common mind in regard to absolutely necessary conditions for growth demanded by a plant. "A geranium," he authoritatively tells us, "cannot exist without drainage, hence an account which asserts that one has for months survived the ordeal of a tight-bottom pot can have no foundation in fact." So we have been taught, but, alas for the infallibility of time-honored theories! In the material world new discoveries are continually upsetting old conclusions; and we are now told that our geraniums and fuchsias have a natural affinity for tight-bottomed tomato cans! The finest geranium in my present collection has the proud distinction of growing in a water-tight lard kettle. Though a young and blooming plant, it was held in light esteem by its owner because of a vicious tendency to magenta, and in the autumn, no pot being at hand, was given this apparently thin chance of survival. Not only has it carried its buds and blossoms straight on through the entire winter, but it has graciously overcome its perversity in the matter of color, changing from a glaring magenta to a deep and lovely rose. In the same group is a large white geranium three years old, which, after [33]blooming all summer in the garden, has never once, throughout the winter, been out of bud and blossom. This well-behaved plant grows in an old butter tub which stands squarely on its "own" sound "bottom," unmutilated by gimlet or auger. The plant had, in late winter, ten clusters of bud and bloom, while its small neighbor of the lard kettle had six. A nasturtium, in the same window, flowers abundantly, and a fuchsia beside it is a paragon among plants. All these have had weekly applications of manure water and soot tea, and have not been kept over-wet. Especially is this true of the geraniums—which may, perhaps, partly explain their dispensing with drainage. The finest hyacinth I have ever grown in the house perfected in a handleless fancy pitcher which had no outlet at the bottom. Having no pot of the right size, some lumps of charcoal were thrown into this make-shift affair, the soil tossed in, and the bulb, not without serious misgivings, carefully planted. It flowered late, but its foliage was abundant and its bloom exquisite. It gave me five perfect rose-colored spikes. These all, in common with my other plants (excepting ferns and aspidistras) were well fed with liquid manure and soot tea, and, in potting, a little wood ashes was added to the soil.

That very old-fashioned plant, the bridal-rose, is a free winter bloomer, and has a kindly way of sending up a perpetual supply of shoots for one's neighbors and friends. But, taking roses altogether, they are not [34]profitable house plants. The constant battle with insect pests is fatiguing, and one cannot spray and fumigate and spray and fumigate incessantly, as the florist does. Now and then, after hard labor, virtue has its reward in the shape of an exquisite rose or two, but even then, "the play is scarce worth the candle."

The same may be said of carnations, which not only teem with insects, but require a much lower temperature than we have in our living rooms, as also do winter violets.

As to the finer uses of house plants, I have but time to suggest, in conclusion, that whoever cultivates them from sheer material satisfaction in their growth, from mere pleasure in their structural perfection, or with an eye single to their market value (as a florist naturally must), overlooking their poetical—I had almost said their religious side—has grasped but a small portion of the delight to be derived from floriculture, and has wholly missed that divine inspiration, that mental help, which emanates from "a thing of beauty" and makes it "a joy forever."


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CHAPTER V

At Easter-time

April was two weeks old. Already Passion-week had come. Easter-time would soon begin. Crocuses dotted the short new grass on the lawn. Mated robins chose nesting places in the old orchard, and the big cherry tree had put on its crown of snow-tipped buds.

On that cheery spring morning—wheeled out for her daily airing—"The Lady" looked expectantly at the bulbs' circles, where the newly uncovered hyacinths and tulips—pushing vigorously up for the sun's warm kisses—already showed bud and leaf of pale tender green.

Dear patient Lady! Would that God had spared her to see another "Spring put on its bloom," but ere the day had done He called her to the

"Immortal gardens where angels are the wardens."

With scarce a pang, her tired old heart ceased beating.

It had been the fancy of this dear cousin of my husband to select me among her relatives as the superintendent of her funeral—to "lay her away," as she quaintly expressed it—and it had long been impressed upon me that I must "save myself" for that responsible trust. Often when I came over from Cambridge to share her mid-day meal, she looked compassionately [36]at my tired face, as I arranged the big basket of flowers brought for her vases (among which she especially doted on the pansies, with their charming variety of color), and holding up a warning finger, said discouragedly: "Cousin, you over-work. Take more rest, or you will pass on before me, and then, who will lay me away?"

And so it was, that on Easter Sunday—not altogether without that "pomp and circumstance" which, from time immemorial, had attended the Mansion House funerals—I arranged her burial. With the sweet spring air coming in at the open sunny window—flowers perfuming and brightening the house and clasped loosely in her folded hands, and with so sweet a smile upon her lips that it half seemed a welcome to the neighbors and friends who looked their last upon her benignant face, still untouched by "the finger of decay"—I gave her grudgingly to the cold dark grave, where among her dear kindred (in a self-chosen site) we laid her—"ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

The simple head-stone appointed by herself marks the spot; it holds this tender legend, prepared by one who knew her:

"Her life was sweet with charity and patience."

I like to fancy her "homing shade" still, in the long summer afternoons, haunting the old garden of her love; watching, as of old, the flitting of butterflies, listening to the glad singing of birds, and marking upon the lawn the lovely shadows lengthen in the west'ring sun.

"Only the forgotten are dead."


[37]

CHAPTER VI

Burglar-proof

That strain in the New England make-up which manifests itself in "taking care of things" ran in the blood of the dear Lady.

Her provident forbears—intent upon "getting the best" of any burglar bent upon the acquisition of the family silver—had protected many of the first floor windows with prison-like bars of iron. Later on, when the "Conservatory," with its long southern exposure of glass, had been added to the Mansion, there arose the necessity of some invincible protection of that quarter from midnight prowlers.

To this end, Jacobs—the family carpenter—was called in. This good man having constructed six stout wooden trellises—all precisely alike—they were set along the southern flower border, giving upon the exposed glass stretch of conservatory.

In front of these trellises were planted six thrifty young "Akebia Quinata" vines—funereal of flower, and dense and clover-like in foliage. These greedy feeders, gradually crowding out the more dainty flowering perennials, were ultimately joined by a tangled growth of coarse encroaching shrubs and vigorous self-sown saplings, the whole interlaced by a strong poison-ivy vine.

Meantime, the outer door of the conservatory had but the protection of a common lock, at which, as we [38]all know, any enterprising burglar would derisively snap his capable fingers. Be that as it may, the dear Lady found in this leafy barricade her chief defense against midnight robbery.

Now that the conservatory was to be widened and made into a piazza—early one May morning, during the "Third Son's" week of vacation, he put his capable shoulder to the wheel, along with that of the "Man with the Hoe"—who, like the Sexton in Cock Robin, equipped with "his little spade and shovel," fell upon this tangled border.

Although in most respects a very lion of valor, the "Man" would run like a frighted girl from a troop of Yellow Jackets—and before Poison Ivy he "shook in his shoes."

So work was delayed while he went for his pruning gloves, and thus armed and equipped, came stoutly to the onset.

And now carefully removing the few bulbs of Japan Lily that year after year found strength to hold their own on the outskirts of this jungle, the two fell mightily on the trellised vines, the shrubs, the young trees, and the insidious ivy, and when the town clock that day told the hour of noon, the "burglar barricade" was among the things that had been, and were not; and the unharmful ashes of poison ivy lay blackened on its funeral pyre. Since the dear Lady had gone where the burglar ceases from troubling, we held it no disrespect to her honored memory to demolish the "barricade" [39]preparatory to the widening of the old conservatory, and the turning of the whole into a roomy piazza—where, all summer long, one may take after-dinner coffee and naps, may read, write, and sew, have afternoon tea with friend or neighbor—breathing, meantime, invigorating out-door air.

And now began the earnest work of "putting to rights" the entire garden; and if in this little account of that undertaking (without adding one iota to the reader's botanical knowledge) I may furnish some useful hints to the amateur, and may, incidentally, entertain with such various bits of information in regard to the works and ways of flowering plants, the origin and fitness of their names, and their relations to human life, as come of the "reading of many books," and so encourage in my fellow-woman that habit of spending much time "with body and with spirit," in "God's out-of-doors," which is one of Van Dyke's beautiful steps "in the footpath of peace," my end in making this book will be well attained.


[40]

CHAPTER VII

Perennials

To begin with the hardy perennials—which, to be effective, should be in a border of their own. At the outset, this should be made free of stones, then mellow the earth as far down as two feet. At the bottom put in about one foot of well-seasoned manure. Now add leaf-mold, a little peat, a sprinkling of wood ashes, and a top layer of sifted garden loam. If the soil be clayey, add some fine pure sand, to keep it friable.

Seeds of perennials are naturally slow in germinating—their time of coming up being a period varying from one week to two months. It may here be stated that all perennial plants undergo a period of rest. It is not certain that this "rest" is in any sense a recuperation. It is supposed to be a hereditary trait induced by natural environment—a means by which the plant resists untoward circumstances of climate. In the tropics, plants rest during dry seasons, in much the same manner as during our Northern winters.

Investigations—so far—show that this hereditary trait has not been entirely overcome by culture. Any attempt of the cultivator to ignore this resting period is apt to injure the plant, from the fact that any energy used in abnormal development may be subtracted from subsequent growth or development.

Before I had taken this "old-time garden" in hand[41]—fashioning new borders, and freeing the old from encumbering jungles—many plants, both annual and perennial, had, no doubt, found place in it as before stated. Groups of blue-eyed periwinkle still held their own among usurping forces. A discouraged day-lily looked forlornly out of the tangle, where year by year a courageous double English violet shyly perfected a blossom or two. Here and there a straggling bush of blush roses reached out for the June sunshine, and, to my delight, I found—half strangled among the over-growth—my old acquaintance, a pink flowering almond. The dear old thing was "on its last legs." We carefully removed it to kindlier quarters.

Straightway it took heart, and sending up new green shoots, gave us, that very year, upon "the parent stem" a tuft or two of rosy bloom.

Now, after ten years of high living, it has become an illustrious shrub; and to sit in the old garden in the May-time while the shadows and sunshine dance together on the lawn and vernal odors sweeten all the air, watching the long pink wreaths of flowering almond sway in the south wind, is to lend one's self to the divine gladness of spring, and know that simple joy in living, that is the birthright of all God's creatures in this—His beautiful and perfect—world.

The flowering almond has been often divided, and all about the garden its rosy wreaths may now be seen.


Here, too, was another old friend, the Yellow [42]Globe flower—a shrub too large and straggling of habit to find a home in the perennial beds. It has taken a front seat among the tall shrubs and repeated itself many times. It has a long period of blooming, and is a most satisfactory inhabitant of the garden.

And now, as a possible help in the selection and arrangement of the perennial border, let me tell you what I have learned in regard to those under my care, in respect to their habit of growth, their treatment, and characteristics.


The Rose is, as we know, crowned queen of the flowers, and has her own separate place in the garden; but as the Lily kindly fraternizes with all her sister-flowers, and is easily Queen among the social perennials, I give her the first place in this catalogue of my border favorites.

The Lily—we are told—derives its name from the Celtic word li—signifying whiteness and purity. Quick to seize upon symbolic accessories to their art, the old painters put in the hand of the angelic messenger who brought to the Virgin Mary tidings of her divine motherhood, this chaste and exquisite flower. Hence the Lilium Candidum was known as the "Lily of Annunciation" and as the Madonna Lily, which last is, I think, the more poetic and beautiful of the two names.

As the genus lilium embraces about fifty distinct [43]species one may not aspire to a large show of lilies in a moderate-sized garden.

"It does not seem necessary," says Mr. C. L. Allen (an expert in lily cultivation) "to improve, or rather, to attempt an improvement on that which is already perfect, as the lily is, wherever found in its natural habitat. It seems to us that nature has exhausted her resources in the perfection of the species, and regards as an interference all efforts of man to improve her work."

"L. Candidum," says the same authority, "is older than history, as the first notice made of plants speaks of it as a 'well-known plant.' It is the loveliest, as well as the oldest, and if we were to have but one lily Candidum would be the one." I quite agree with this decision. The Madonna has ever been the lily dearest to my heart. Although its native habitat is the Levant, the Candidum has adapted itself to our colder temperature, and is easily perfected in our temperate climate, and in the hardy garden.

Some twenty years ago this lily was extensively forced for the Easter market.

In the present decade the Bermuda Lily (L. longiflorum) is almost exclusively forced for the Easter trade, and popularly known as the "Easter Lily." Its cultivation for that April festival has now become one of the established industries of that lovely clime. The bulbs—there grown in wide flowery fields—are, [44]early in autumn, received by our florists and directly potted for the Easter harvest.

A lady passing the winter in Bermuda brought from that island some bulbs of L. longiflorum, which finally coming into the possession of Mr. H. K. Harris of Philadelphia, he honored the flower by bestowing upon it his own name, and as L. Harrisii, brought it into prominent notice among our florists, who now force it for Easter-time. The Bermuda-grown bulbs are preferred by them to the Dutch-grown ones, as they are earlier ripened and come into bloom quicker.

For myself I prefer the Madonna, with its more open flower, to the trumpet-like Bermuda. It is, too, an old acquaintance, has a more delicate odor, and hangs its sprays more gracefully. The Bermuda needs much coaxing to live through our bleak Northern winters, but the Candidum is absolutely hardy.

The Madonna holds to her corner with the tenacity of a family cat—she is a long time settling herself in a "strange garret."

Mine had undergone the vicissitude of three moving days before settling in their present quarters. I distributed them well through my sunniest border. Their next neighbors were some elderly Bee Larkspurs. The first and second year the lovely blue Delphiniums did most of the blooming.

After that the Lilies and Larkspurs punctually celebrated together the "great and glorious Fourth"—the tall Madonnas (some years in throngs of two [45]hundred) leading the fair procession—the Larkspurs like swarms of blue butterflies flitting about among the snow of the lilies. Then, for a time, every friend in the neighborhood had a dainty spray of summer lilies for decorative uses. Finally, it befell that the coarser perennials elbowed the lilies too closely. They grew chary of bloom, and sometimes the bulbs quite gave up the struggle for existence. Then it was that, calling in the aid of "The Man with the Hoe," I made for my "Queen Lilies" a new home, with better drainage.

The Madonna after her July flowering takes a rest. Her favorite moving day is about the last of July.

I have not an extensive knowledge of lily-culture, having but few varieties of this lovely plant in my garden.

All, excepting the Japanese (Lilium auratum) take kindly to my borders, and "increase an hundred fold." My list includes a few plants of the Japanese found here in the purlieus of the old "burglar barricade." I am indebted to Mrs. Ely for this information in regard to L. auratum: "As soon as planted in this country a microbe disease attacks the bulb and they gradually disappear under its ravages." This, no doubt, accounts for the unhealthy appearance of my few L. auratums, their scant tale of blossoms, and their sad tendency, year by year, to "grow beautifully less." America, after all, is but the step-mother of this charming flower, and Nature somewhat repudiates this much calumniated tie.

[46]

In English gardens they are said to thrive well, which may, in part, be due to better climatic conditions.

In my borders the Candidum takes the front seat. Here and there I make place for L. Tigrinum (the well-known tiger-lily). In shady places sits the Day Lily. I have a single plant of the tall Nankin-colored Lily, variously named (Lilium Excelsum, Testacum, Isabellinum). The stalk is sometimes nearly five feet high, and produces from three to twelve reflex flowers of a dainty Nankin hue—delicately shaded and fragrant. In flowering it immediately follows the Madonna. The Excelsum is not of Japanese origin. How, when, or where it was born is yet unknown.

It is said to be easy of culture, and this season I intend to remove mine to a less crowded situation, as I should long ago have done, but for dread of taking chances with the one plant.

There may be a garden where Nankin Lilies are "thick as blackberries," but it has been my fortune to see but one plant, and I have found that the flower is a stranger to all who have met it in my border.

The Nankin Lily came from our Cambridge garden, and presumably was originally grown in the Harvard Botanic Garden. I have, too, the old-fashioned, sweet-scented, early-blooming Yellow Lily. I have never known it by its Latin name, but believe it to be Hansoni—a Japanese lily, as it answers in every particular to the description of that plant.

Were the flower more lasting it would be more [47]desirable. Its bloom, which comes in clusters, has, singly, but the short life of a day.

With delight I found this dear lily of my far-away childhood in one of these old-time borders.

It is perfectly hardy, and wonderfully prolific in bulbs. My garden has now scant room for all its Yellow Lilies, and this after friends and neighbors have kindly relieved me of some of this "embarrassment of riches."

The Lilies-of-the-valley must be kept to their own beds, where they double and treble themselves incontinently. Last, but not of least place in my heart, comes that flower thus charmingly vended by "Perdita"—in "Winter's Tale"—

"Lilies of all kinds—the Flower de Luce being one."

The familiar old-time Flower de Luce, a vigorous clump of which I found in the "Attached Garden" (growing along with the Yellow Lily and the "live-forever" plants), is with us a native product, and absolutely hardy. The smaller varieties grow wild in swamp and meadow, and are, I think, invariably, blue as the noon-day heaven. These are sometimes known as "Flags." The cultivated hardy Irises are of several colors. Mine is a lively blue, shading off to bluish white. In these days we grow in our gardens many lovely foreign Irises—some of them so beautiful that they have been called "the connecting link between the Lilies and the Orchids." The flower of the Spanish [48]Iris is very lovely and of various colors, quite fragrant, and appears in June. It is classed by Dutch bulb growers as perfectly hardy, but in our trying climate needs to be protected by a slight winter covering.

The (so named) English Iris is a native of the Pyrenees, but, as we are told, has been common in English gardens since 1571. The flowers are of varied color—blue, white, lavender, crimson, and yellow.

L. Germanica, or German Iris, is one of the most valuable of the early-flowering sorts for the herbaceous border. This Iris is bulbous-rooted, easily propagated, and (though classed as hardy) is greatly benefited by a light winter covering of leaves. In color the flowers are blue, bright yellow, purple, of all shades, and white.

Japanese Iris (I. Kæmpferi) is with us fully acclimated, a gross feeder, and a strong grower, and an abundant bloomer. Its flowers are from six to ten inches in diameter, in various shades of color—pure white, dark purple, porcelain blue, maroon, violet, plum, and so on—all with very distinct pencilings and marblings, and exquisitely beautiful. I have no Japanese Irises in my garden, but a kind neighbor sends me superb cut-blooms from his perfect Iris border. Mr. Allen says that the well-cultivated seedling of Japan Iris "has no superior in the floral world."

Iris is named from Iris, the goddess of the rainbow—in classic mythology the swift-footed Olympian messenger.

[49]

The root of the Florentine Iris is fragrant. It has a charming violet-like odor, and is the well-known sweet Orris root (the name corrupted from Iris) of commerce.

In Shakespeare's day the Iris and the Daffodil were both included among the lilies. Some species of Iris have from early times been called Fleur de lis, or in English, Flower de luce. The Fleur de lis adopted by Louis the VIIth of France as the emblem for his shield during the Crusades was, probably, the White Iris. Older monarchies in Eastern countries, considering the Iris an emblem of power, used it—in a conventionalized form—as an emblem, on their scepters, and in this form the manufacturer still patterns it on table-linen.

In the mysterious representations of antique Egypt the Iris was placed on the brow of the Sphinx. Altogether considered it is a most desirable ornament of the garden, and a flower "of mark and likelihood."

It is recorded in the Greek legends that the physician Pæon cured Pluto of a wound with the common Peony; hence it is called after him in almost every country in Europe.

The ancient Greeks are said to have held the plant in high repute, believing it to be of divine origin, and an emanation from the moon. Pagan superstitions die hard, and in our Christian civilization still hold their own among the ignorant masses.

Mrs. Pratt tells us that in England "the lower classes turn beads of the Peony root, which form necklaces [50]for their children, and are supposed to aid dentition, and prevent convulsions."

We learn from her that at the end of the 16th century the double red Peony—at that time introduced into Antwerp from Switzerland—was too expensive a flower for any but the rich man's garden, a single plant selling for twelve pounds! "The Mongols," she tells us, "use the seed of the wild Peony in tea, and flavor their broth with its roots."

Among ourselves no garden is complete without this lovely hardy perennial.

From my childhood the big red Peony—coming in late May-time—has been, to my mind, the very embodiment of Spring! Of all the Peonies this flower of my early love is most precious—beloved less for its dear blowsy self than for its sweet associations—memories of by-gone springs when life and joy went hand in hand, and grass was not greening on the graves of my dead.

I have in my borders but four colors of this fine flower—red, white, pink, and pink with white center—this last a single variety, and an indefatigable bloomer. The red, white, and rose pink are all the doublest of their kind, and the two latter are deliriously odorous. Of late, Peonies of many colors are to be had from the seedsman—pink, purple, and salmon-colored varieties of exquisite form and color.

The Peony is greatly disquieted by removal, and, though sturdily tenacious of life, refuses for a year or [51]two after transplanting, to "do its level best." It is increased by division of tubers, or may be propagated by seed. The division and replanting should be done in October, and one should see that there is, at least, one eye on each tuber.

The Peony may be commended to the perennial grower, not only as a lovely flower, but as a plant to "tie to." It never gets winter-killed, blossoms punctually, and has no pernickity notions in regard to situation. It will grow in any soil, but to do its best requires to be well fed and to have the loam about it kept loose and friable, the same as for the rose.


The Foxglove (Digitalis) beautifully repays one's care. Unhappily it has a tendency to succumb to the harshness of our climate, and often gets winter-killed; surviving this ordeal, it is—with its charming spikes of white, purple, and pinkish lilac bloom—the pride of the garden. Four years ago I had, in the western end of a southward-facing border, a superb clump of this lovely biennial. Many times a day I went to look at these exquisite flowers. As I stood before them in admiration a friend often joined me, and while we stood admiring them, I thought of the Persian flower-worship—an account of which I had come across in my reading and stored in my collection of "Useful Clippings." Here it is. I cannot now recall the name of its author:

[52]

"A Persian saunters into a garden and stands and meditates on each flower before him, as in a half vision.

"When the vision is fulfilled, and the ideal flower sought for found, he spreads his mat and sits before it until the setting of the sun, then folding his mat he goes home.

"The next night he returns with friends—in ever-increasing troops, and they sit before it playing the lute, or guitar, and then all together join in prayer.

"After prayer they still sit before it sipping sherbet and chatting late in the moonlight, and so again every evening until the flower dies."

This oriental vein of plant and flower-worship seems to have been found in all Persians—even in royalty itself! It is related of Xerxes the Great that he lost a battle by delaying a whole day with his army under the shade of a gigantic plane tree, which so charmed him that he caused it to be adorned with a golden circlet.

But, to return to the Foxgloves—five or six years ago one in my border made a new departure. It "sported"!

It should perhaps be explained that to sport is to produce a flower, or a shoot, of abnormal growth. Long ago I read a most interesting paper "On Sports."

I do not remember the name of its writer, nor of the English magazine in which I found it, and after an exhaustive search in our town library have not been able to find a second paper on the subject, or to obtain [53]further information in regard to this curious tendency from any botanist.

I remember that the English article stated that this tendency in plant or shrub to ignore Nature and take things into its own hands, was sometimes utilized by the horticulturist as an opportunity to propagate from the "Sport" a new variety of the normal plant, or shrub. Here then was my chance! From the seed of this enterprising digitalis (which bore at its apex a flower almost as flat as a daisy) I would develop a new variety—a radiate Foxglove.

I confided my ambition to a friend who, although himself a teacher of botany, had never included in his research the subject of "Sports." This botanical expert took great interest in my "Sport"—watching it with me from day to day.

Alas, vain were my hopes of giving to the world a new flower!

The radiate Foxglove declined the honor of reproduction; dropping its mottled petals, and slowly shrinking away without forming a seed pod!

A queer characteristic of the "Sport" was thus asserted in the English article before mentioned: "When a plant sports, all plants of its kind, wherever growing, also sport." Now one may admit the fact of a single plant having (as it were) flown in the face of Mother Nature, but when it comes to the whole family—"all the aunts and cousins," from Dan to Beersheba, [54]joining in the frolic, one can but wonder and doubt the Munchausen-like statement.

Calling that summer on a Cambridge friend (a member of our Plant Club, whose flower-garden is a miracle of beauty):

"One of my Foxgloves has sported," I proudly boasted. "So has one of mine," she said, "and it is the first sport I have ever seen."

So the magazine statement was, after all, believable! Yes, away across the Atlantic, in English gardens, the Foxglove—obedient to this marvelous natural impulse of its being—was trying its hand at a radiate flower! I find it well that my sport did not germinate, since the regularly formed Foxglove suits the tall spike "to a T," and is far lovelier than any freak of a flower could be.

Since making a record of my Foxglove sport I have learned that this flower often produces at the tip of its blossom stalk an abortive radiate flower. I wonder if the Foxglove did not originally start out as a radiate, and if this freak is not a wild tendency of the plant to escape that evoluted form (which is its civilization) and lapse into its primitive barbarism?

The Foxglove comes in bloom late in June and continues flowering about four weeks.

Though classed as a biennial, it sometimes lingers on through a third summer, and continues flowering.

It is named from its finger-shaped corolla. The [55]dried leaf of Digitalis Purpurea is a specific for disturbance of circulation, and is used in heart disease.

Its colors are pure white, white mottled with pencil-color, purple, lavender, from the palest to the deepest shades—some almost pink—all curiously mottled on the inside of the flower, which grows in tall spikes.

Sow Foxgloves in seed bed about last of April, and, late in September, transplant to their permanent place. They will bloom the following year.

Both Foxgloves and Canterbury Bells sow themselves profusely if stalk is left to perfect its seeds.

The self-sown plants are said to be stronger than the hand-sown ones, and may be transplanted for the next year's blooming.


CANTERBURY BELLS, Campanula medium

It has been suggested that "the name of Canterbury Bells may have been given to the giant species of Campanula from its resemblance to the hand-bells which were placed on poles, and rung by pilgrims while proceeding to the shrine of Thomas à Becket."

Chaucer, in his "Canterbury Tales," has described in detail these processions to the tomb of the "blisful martir."

The Canterbury Bell is, like the Foxglove, a biennial, and may be sown in the seed bed at the same time, or the self-sown plants may be used.

[56]

It needs winter protection (not too heavy), for it is easily winter-killed.

I have, at times, had in my garden most lovely Campanulas—both double, single, and "cup and saucers." The most beautiful variety is the single.

In color mine were white, purple, and lavender, of many shades, but the pride of my heart was a rose-pink Canterbury Bell.

"Beautiful as a dream!" said the garden visitor, moved to admiration at the sight of these pink beauties.

Lovely as they are, Canterbury Bells have not the grace to die nicely.

Their dead blossoms cling, withered and unsightly, to the parent stem, and unless one has time and patience to go among the plants daily and remove the dead bells it is, for this reason, well to cultivate them in inconspicuous beds apart by themselves.

Another most desirable plant for the perennial border is Phlox (from the Greek flame). Time was when we had but the white and purple, the latter tending to that odious color magenta, which some one has happily said is "a color that has no right to be." The above varieties I found in the old border, growing amicably together. It is not without touches of remorse that I deliberately uproot anything that bears the name of flower, but, since I could remember, there has been a deadly feud between purple Phlox and myself. I keep a single root for old-time sake, which it gives me a megrim to look at. The white has been transplanted [57]and has grown apace, until there are oceans of it in my borders.

I have, too, some of the fine varieties of "Phlox Drummondi." One of them, a deep salmon red, with a dark eye, is literally a bit of "flame." There are pinks with maroon-colored eyes, whites with pinkish eyes, pure white, lilac shaded with carmine, and light salmon with wine-colored eyes. I love best the pure white and dark salmon pink, but scarce could spare any of these from my color-scheme. The Phlox is the hardiest of herbaceous perennials, easily propagated by division, or from seed. With me, the seed-grown Phloxes have not come true in color. It is, I think, wisest to select plants in flowering time among varieties in a florist's collection, and order them at once. They are so tough that any moving day suits them, and one can scarce have too many, as they begin blooming in early August, when the border is somewhat forlorn, and last until frost.


Day-lily is the common name of a species of the Asphodelus. The ancients planted Asphodels near graves to supply the manes of their dead with nourishment. The poets, probably taking their cue from this, have celebrated the Asphodel in song as the flower of the immortals. I have thought that the bloom of the Day-lily, exquisite in form and odor, needs but the added charm of immortality to fit it for

"Angel gardens,"

[58]

but alas, its only defect is its evanescence—a single day bounds its life on this planet.

Its foliage is very ornamental, and for grouping with perennials it is a plant greatly to be desired. It is easily propagated. From one sickly root found in the old garden I have grown for my own garden Day-lilies ad infinitum, and easily spared many for those of my neighbors. It needs to be well fed, and will accept any respectable situation, and, though doing well in the sun, is most eligible for shady spots where other plants refuse to grow.


The Sweet-William—Dianthus—is hardy enough and perennial enough, profuse of bloom, and gay in color, yet nevertheless from the show places of my garden I have banished it "for good and all," because of its tendency to sprawl about the borders after flowering time, wan and withered, and making faces at the freshly-gowned Foxgloves and Canterbury Bells, then thronging the borders.

The Sweet-William has quietly taken a back seat, and, owing me no grudge, contentedly blooms on, as if to "blush unseen" were its special province.

With those tough little members of the Dianthus family, China Pinks, I have been most successful. It is a perennial, but too low-growing to make any marked show among the taller flowers. It is prettily varied in color, but lacks the odor of the Clove Pink. It is a profuse bloomer, and makes a desirable pot-plant for the window garden.

The Man with the Hoe

[59] "The flower of the family" is the old Clove Pink, to which the parentage of our Carnation is by some accorded. The Elizabethan poet Drayton calls these sweet-smelling flowers "Cloves of Paradise," and Lawson—at the close of the sixteenth century—thus extols it: "Of all the flowers save the damask rose they are the most pleasant to sight and smell." "Their use," continues he, "is much in ornament, and comforting the spirits by the sense of smelling."

A syrup made of Clove Pinks (with the probable addition of some stimulant) and called by our English forbears "Sops-in-wine," because of its use in giving flavor to the festive cup, gave to this flower its rather material appellation of Sops-in-wine. Thus sings Spenser:

"Bring Carnations and Sops-in-wine
Worn of paramours" (lovers—wooers).

Bacon informs us that "Sops-in-wine, quantity for quantity, inebriate more than wine itself."

A precious Clove Pink of Botanic Garden origin, for a time bloomed in my border. It has, long since, died of old age.


Shakespeare says in Othello:

"Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou had'st yesterday."

[60]

Keats and many others have immortalized it in their verse.

Burns thus points a moral with the flower:

"Pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed."

The Papaver family has wrought much ill in its day. It is from P. somniferum, one of its members, that the opium of commerce is collected. It is the milky juice of the capsule, or of any other part of the plant which exudes from incisions in the cortical part. This juice, scraped off, is worked in the sun's heat till it is of a consistency to form cakes.

The Oriental and Iceland Poppy are both perennial. Although like the Irishman, "not born in their own native country," they take kindly to our soil. Ten years ago I carefully sowed some seed of Oriental Poppy. Two of them consented to germinate, and now, from this small beginning, I have in my garden Orientals galore. Last spring these beauties kept my borders all aflame with their splendor. I counted, in a single border, eighty-five buds and blooms, and felt well-repaid for their careful nurture. Nevertheless, Oriental Poppies raised from seed mean much patient care, and many failures, but once thoroughly established they are "real estate," and have a kindly way of sowing themselves. As the Poppy, with its long "tap root," is most impatient of removal, this habit especially commends them to the grower.

The Iceland Poppy, though far less considerable [61]in size, is very hardy, and with its dainty bloom of lemon, orange, red, and white, makes a pretty show in a bed by itself; and the Iceland is one of the few poppies available for one's vases.

Mrs. Thaxter, in the beautiful account of her Isle of Shoals gardening, tells us that by cutting poppies in the dew of the morning, with the right hand, and plumping them straight into water with the left, she had great success with them as cut flowers.

Following her method—unsuccessfully—I am forced to believe that the long and beautiful survival of her cut poppies depended largely on the crisp cool air of her Island home. Here the summer is many degrees hotter, and has far less moisture in its air, and, though morning after morning, tempted by their exquisite shades of color, I gather Shirley Poppies for the house, and like the Persian, fall down and worship them; in their slender vases they scarce outlive the day.

A friend making a pilgrimage to Stratford-on-Avon brought me some seed supposedly from Anne Hathaway's garden.

I sowed Madame Shakespeare's poppies with reverent care, but these English-born seeds patriotically refused to quicken in alien soil. No matter! they may have been but half-wild wind-sown things, and with my Shirleys, Icelands, and glorious Orientals, I can spare them.

With the ancient Greeks, the poppy with its crowded [62]capsules was an emblem of fertility. Cybele, the mother of the gods, wears a crown of poppies.

In Roman gardens Somnus, the god of slumber, was anciently figured as reclining on a mass of snowy poppies, with a posy of these emblems of oblivion in his motionless hand.

Mexican Indians are pictured as returning home after a day of toil, dancing and singing to the music of a guitar, and crowned with wreaths of this "forgetful flower."

In the shops of Constantinople poppy juice mixed with rich fruit syrups is sold as a sweetmeat, or in the form of small lozenges on which are stamped "Mash Allah" (the work of God). Tartar couriers, traveling immense distances, and with marvelous speed and endurance, often, it is said, take no other nourishment than the famous "Mash Allah" of the Turks, in which the juice of hemp is mingled with that of the poppy.


The Columbine (Aquilegia) is a desirable plant for the border. Mine came from choice seed sent the Plant Club from Mr. Childs, a Philadelphia florist. They soon germinated, but were two years coming to bloom.

There are now many beautiful colors to be had. I have but the yellow and white, the purple and white, and pure yellows.

Once well-established, Columbines come to stay, [63]and are most lovely! the garden plants flowering from the middle of May until late in June, and having the same graceful carriage of the wild variety, with flowers double their size, and with elegant long "spurs."

Its name is from the Latin Columbinas (dove-like) so called from the beak-like spurs of its flowers.


In my mention of early-blooming perennials I had forgotten the Crown Imperial. It is a resident of most old gardens, and has the distinction of remote antiquity. Mention is made of it in an Herbal of 1596 for its "stately beautifulness," and the herbalist accords it a "first place in the Garden of Delight."

I have but a single plant of this early flower, which punctually leads off in the spring procession along with its neighbor, the red peony.

The Eupatorium is not, I think, extensively cultivated in the garden. It is one of the hardiest of the later perennials. Mine was raised from seed. Having but one clump of it, I am always meaning to sow and to raise more plants of this dainty white flower, which comes with the Phloxes at the most flowerless time of the borders, but (to borrow an excuse from my slack old colored woman-of-all-work) "I haint jus' fetch roun' to it."

I find the Eupatorium's name in my seed catalogue. It is not, there, classed with the hardy perennials. It grows high enough to make a fair show among the border plants.

[64]

As will be seen, I have not in my borders a large assortment of perennials. My purse forbids a costly collection, and I think it well to undertake no more plants than can be well cared for in my hands, when much extra help cannot be afforded.

To my list let me add a few low-growing beauties.

The Italian peasant twines wreaths of the Periwinkle around the head of the departed infant or young maiden, and calls it Fler di morte (Death's Flower). Because of the laurel-like tint and texture of its glossy leaves the Greek has termed it Daphnoides.

In olden times it was highly valued for its medicinal virtues. Lord Bacon tells us that, in his day, bands of green Periwinkle were bound about the limbs to prevent cramps. By Americans it is often miscalled Myrtle. It carpets finely the bare spaces in borders, especially the shady ones, where other perennials will not thrive.

The Periwinkle is not an "up-to-date" plant. The seedsman of today gives it no place in his catalogue. I have several thrifty clumps of this pretty blue-eyed darling, and delight greatly in its bloom and its glossy trailing foliage.

Periwinkle is one of the oldest flowers of the English garden. Chaucer in describing a garden of the olden time speaks of it as "Fresh Periwinkle, rich of hue," and places it on the same plane with the rose and violet.


[65]

The Forget-me-not is another low-growing perennial which may prettily carpet the bare spots between the taller occupants of the border.

We have all associated the name of this charming little flower with the story of the chivalrous knight who wandered beside a stream with the lady of his love. In the attempt to procure for her some of its much-desired flowers growing on the opposite shore he was borne away by the current while returning to her side with the gathered blossoms, and, making a last effort, threw them on the margin of the engulfing flood, and crying "Forget-me-not," sank beneath the waters.

Miss Strickland gives a less romantic but more probable narrative of the origin of the name. The exiled Henry of Lancaster, whose fortunes are related by Shakespeare in "King John," according to this writer, first gave to the Forget-me-not its emblematic meaning by writing it on his collar with the initial letter of his mot, or watchword, and on his restoration from banishment continued this heraldic use of the flower, adopted in his homesickness, even when raised to the fatal eminence of a king.


Some of the showiest of the annuals may be, in June, transplanted from the seed beds to brighten the borders through August and September, as the Yellow Marigolds, the Zinnias, the Nicotianas, the Cosmos, and the seedling Single Dahlias, which will bloom the first year, and if that dictum of Linnæus ("a double [66]flower is a vegetable monster") may be accepted, are the beauties of the family. They are certainly more lovely for one's vases than the double Dahlias, and the white ones are, as a table decoration, scarce less charming than the white Cosmos.

The Dahlia is named after Andrew Dahl, a Swedish botanist, and is a native of Mexico and Central America.

It shows a natural disposition to sport from its original form (single).

Florists directed their attention to raising new forms of this flower. First attempts finally resulted in semi-double varieties, and early in the 18th century M. Doukelan, botanic gardener at Louvain, produced from seed three perfectly double plants. These are said to be the very first double Dahlia plants ever produced. The Dahlia is decidedly progressive. Its up-to-date achievement is the elegant Cactus variety. I sowed, this year, some seeds of double Dahlia. It is now October and a few of them (some very beautiful and quite Cactus-like) are in bloom.


Once upon a time there were in this garden thrifty borders of Box. These the dear Lady tried hard to keep intact.

Every spring the failing rows were reset with small plants from the ancient stock, and were, first and last, the plague and despair of "the man's" busy life. At first I made the same futile attempt to restore the Box [67]bordering. Now I have given up this idea of repairing the withered sections, but some six or eight large plants still in their beautiful perfection delight my heart. Some there are who object to the odor of Box, to others it is very pleasant and grateful. I am very fond of it, partly, I suppose, from its association with some much-admired gardens that I knew in childhood.

Common Box has but two varieties, one of which is the Dwarf Box, used as an edging for flower-beds—the other (Tree Box) is described as of surprising thickness, and as tall as the beech tree. This tree is of great antiquity. It is mentioned in the Bible, with the fir tree and the pine, as affording wood for the temple of King Solomon. The wood of the Box tree is very valuable and durable. Virgil has thus sung its virtues:

"Smooth-grained and proper for the turner's trade,
Which curious hands may carve, and steel invade."

Mrs. Pratt tells us that "in the North of England the old custom of each mourner carrying a sprig of Box at a funeral and throwing it in the grave still lingers."

Wordsworth thus baldly refers to this practice, in his verse—

"Fresh sprigs of boxwood, not six months before,
Filled the funeral basin at Timothy's door."

In Turkey, the widow, who goes weekly to pray at the tomb of her husband, plants a sprig of Box at the head of the grave.


[68]

CHAPTER VIII

Hollyhocks and Violets

Hard by the Lover's walk, in an old-time bed, a blue Flower-de-luce, some roots of white and purple Phlox, a bunch or two of "Leaf-for-ever," and another of scented yellow Lilies, had long stoutly held their own. Here, every spring-time, the Lady caused to be planted her Dahlia bulbs—by no means the choicest of their kind, but taking amicably to the situation, and every autumn generously contributing their scarlet, lavender, and purple bloom to the color scheme of the big bowpots that adorned the side table in the "Mansion House" hall.

Four years ago, late in July, to deaden the pain of a new bereavement, I prepared this bed for the reception of a few dozen Hollyhock plants. It was the place suggested for this use by him who had left me, and with many tender thoughts of the beloved one I undertook the carrying out of his wishes. Removing to other quarters the old inhabitants of the bed "The Man with the Hoe" dug deep and spared not for manure. This done, on a cloudy day we set the young plants. It seemed a risky undertaking to transplant at midsummer, but, covered for a time from the sun and faithfully watered, they all adjusted themselves to their new home, and have, ever since, thriven to my heart's content. The bed is long and of moderate width. The plants were set in two rows, about one foot apart, and in [69]the space between the outer rows we put, here and there, smaller plants. In late autumn they all had a covering of litter and boughs, and were made snug for their winter nap. As the situation is high and exposed to "all the airts the wind may blow," it was not without misgivings that I waited for the spring uncovering and the after development. In due time the hardy darlings showed their pretty green shoots, and before midsummer they stood up in budded rows, ready to be staked, and about the thirteenth of July the bed burst into splendid bloom. My color scheme called for but two colors, pink and white, and wonderful it was to see the shading of the roseate flowers, varying, as it did, from wine color to such faint pink as lives between the dainty lips of a sea shell.

On some stalks (more than eight feet high) the flowers came double as a cabbage rose; on others they were half double, and the out-and-out single ones had the sheen of satin and the transparency of gauze, and all were more or less creamy or lemon-hued at the center.

I think it must be from the old association of Hollyhocks with village Fourth of July celebrations that the flower has to my mind a distinctly festal appearance. Standing at the end of my bed and looking down the rows of pink and white is to me like watching a holiday procession. Not a commonplace ordinary one, keeping step to the music of a brass band, with doughty policemen hustling the hoodlums in its rear, but one [70]of chaste and joyous maidens gowned gayly in pink and white, such as may of old have been led by "Jephthah's daughter," what time she "went forth with timbrel and dances" to meet her rash, exultant father fresh from his victory over Israel's uncircumcised foes. Yes, the Hollyhock, though lacking the delicacy of the Lily and the fragrance of the Rose, is a flower "most fair to see." The yellows and purples are both beautiful, but for massing give me the reds, pinks, and whites.

Sow in the seed bed each spring and thus have new plants to supply places made vacant in the show bed, and to bestow on neighbors who are starting rows of this fine hardy perennial.

Hollyhock—O E holihoc—"holy mallow"—"blessed mallow"—is probably so named because brought from the Holy Land.


No garden is complete without its Violet bed. Ours was started eight years ago. We selected for it a spot "half in shade and half in shine," with a southern frontage, sheltered from the north by tall shrubs.

Two packets of choice Russian Violet seed were then sown in friable soil, well sifted, and made rich with a bottom layer of old cow manure. The bed had been laid out, prepared, and sown by the dear hands of one whose gardening is now "all done."

After all his care the seed never germinated, and early in the following autumn the bed was set with well-grown [71]double Russian Violet plants bought of the florist. For a year or two these plants throve finely, blossomed abundantly, and increased fourfold. The third year the flowers degenerated in size and beauty, and though still, at May-time, the bloom punctually puts in an appearance, the Russians are, on the whole, far less satisfactory than the single English Violets brought from the Cambridge garden and growing in the end of the same bed. These flower most generously and come into bloom about ten days earlier than the Russians.

The Violet has an obliging way of sowing its own seed, projecting them from its capsule with dynamic force. My English darlings have a lavish habit of scattering themselves about the lawn, in that fashion, and filling in the bare places in the bed. The Russians choose rather to be propagated from runners. Friends I have who grow year after year big velvety Russian Violets. Would that I had the skill to do likewise, but to me heaven denies the power of bringing these beauties to perfection. Yet (such as they are) I hold my Violets dear, and without them spring would scarce be spring.

In all the old floral usages of the English the Violet holds a place next to the Rose. It was used at weddings, and had its place in other and sadder religious ceremonials.

With the Troubadours it was an emblem of constancy. Their prize of a golden Violet to the best [72]versifier of the flower's graces and beauties proves in how much esteem they held this April blossom.


The Pansy, one of the Violas, was much celebrated by the elder English poets, who gave it the charming name of "Heartsease."

Pansies may be easily grown from seed. As they are less troubled by cold than most flowers—being half hardy—the seedlings may be treated as biennials. Transplant them from seed bed in September, and in November cover well with old manure, then add piled leaves and evergreen boughs, and the minute spring opens uncover.

The young plants should not be allowed to flower in the autumn. Pick off the buds as they appear and they will be likely to give you bloom all summer long. I confess to an impatience that prompts to the buying of many baskets of Pansies in May, and thus securing flowers on the spot, besides selecting my favorite colors. These plants will not achieve much after their first season, but will grow "beautifully less" in size, and finally become like Lady's Delights, those pretty plebeian Violas that accept any soil, or situation, and show their cheery little faces among the cabbages, and even in the skimpy soil of the gravel walks.

"There's Pansy, that's for thought," says Perdita, in "Winter's Tale."

Pansy—French pensee, fancy or thought, from penser, to think. Heartsease—ease of heart—tranquillity [73]of mind—is the poet's name of the flower. Of the common names one may choose between "Johnny Jump-up" and the more elegant Lady's Delight.

The Violet, though but a tiny unassuming flower, is (both in verse and prose) often classed with the regal Rose. Both are delightful in perfume, and in that respect equally popular.

Having small knowledge of rose-growing I do not presume to hold forth on "Rose Culture." Books on that subject are many and excellent, and I should but say with "Denis," the "Minister's double," when his turn came to make a speech at the committee meeting: "So much has been said, and so well said, that I will not further pursue the subject." Nevertheless, my next chapter shall be devoted to this "Queen-flower."


[74]

CHAPTER IX

The Rose

The Rose is no mushroom Queen. Her ancestry dates away back to the Garden of Eden, and if Eve did not there gather a rosebud boutonniere for Adam, it was because that primitive young man had not a buttonhole "to his name."

The Rose of all flowers has been most praised by poets. From Isaiah's day to our own they have celebrated its charms. In English history it figured as the badge in the feuds between the houses of York and Lancaster. Among the ancients the Rose was the symbol of secrecy, and was hung up at entertainments as a token that nothing there said was to be divulged—hence the well-known phrase "under the rose" (sub rosa). The Romans at their voluptuous entertainments suspended roses in golden network from the ceiling, which, throughout the feast, fell slowly upon the reclining guest. All day, while the skillful Roman chef busied himself with his ragouts of flamingo tongues, his patés of locusts and honey, and his roasts garnished with "chilled mushrooms," slaves, in garden or forcing-house (as the season might be), wove fresh wreaths of roses for the invited guests, which beautiful youths, with hair in golden nets, waiting at the door of the triclinium, put upon their heads, warning them, as the custom was, to pass the threshold "right foot foremost." One sees, in fancy, the couches of these recumbent [75]feasting voluptuaries, with the roses dropping, dropping, all night long, while the wine cup brimmed and "the hours went by on velvet feet."

The flower-loving Persians held annually a "Feast of Roses," which, we are told, continued the whole time of their remaining in bloom, and still another known as "The Scattering of the Roses." Groups of beautiful children then went through the streets strewing these delicious flowers.

Tom Moore tells us that "every part of the city was then as fragrant as if a caravan of musk from Khoten had passed through it."

My own rose garden is not much to brag of, having been made up of such miscellaneous rose bushes as were (without outlay) attainable. The greater part of these had come over with us from the Cambridge garden. Most plentiful of all are the Blush Roses. (Bushels of their scented petals are yearly cured by me for Potpourri.) One or two bushes of it still straggled on in the old-time border, and brought up to their possibilities by transplantation and sufficient food, soon became good to see, as also did the lone rose bush from the edge of the grass-plot, dear to the Lady's heart as the gift of a dead friend, and, summer after summer feeding the delusive hope of bloom, nursed in her optimistic soul. Now there is a second bush of its kind, both bravely blooming.

I have never learned the name of the Lone Rose. It is so very double that I have fancied it might be a [76]descendant of the Persian "Gul sad buk," the Rose of a hundred leaves, a particular species much prized in the Vale of Cashmere. Be that as it may, it is a lovely flower. Its petals are legion, and its buds so rounded and compact as to have the appearance of big pink "alleys." More exquisite still is a single rose rescued from choking in a snarl of waxberry bushes.

It has since taken to itself a big slice of the rose garden, and, enlarged by good living to twice its ancient size, its daintily shaded flowers, for decorative use, are simply perfection. Unhappily their bloom is evanescent. They seldom outlast in water a day and a night.

Among the Cambridge roses was a little half-wild pink darling "unknown to fame." I found it at Farm Hill (Weymouth Town), where it ran riot among the vegetables in a carelessly ordered garden patch, and straggling through the picket fence, held its own among the seldom-trodden wayside weeds and grasses. Its color is bright pink, and it has the size and habit of the Scotch Rose, and is in full bloom when other roses are but buds.

Another early pink rose which we found in the Cambridge garden is the next earliest. It flowers about the 9th of June. I have no clue to its name. It must have been one of the Botanic Garden roses. Its blossom is exquisite in form, but not over fragrant. In habit it is straggling, almost a climber, and does not take kindly to pruning. Then there are the well-known Damask Roses, which must have come long, long ago [77]from the Harvard collection. In their own habitat the Damasks are cultivated for their mercantile value, being, as we are told, the special roses from which the costly foreign Attar is obtained. I had thought that the Damask Rose had in the family three colors, but Bacon sets me right. He says: "It is large, pink, hardy, and has not been known in England (at the time of his writing) above one hundred years." It is by no means a distinguished-looking rose, but seems to have conserved within its sweet heart the perfume of a thousand summers.

A Yellow Scotch Rose takes kindly to my garden. A rose bought of a Cambridge florist for the beloved daughter, gone home to God (whose latest care it was), and now known as "Mary's Rose," bore well its second uprooting. It has come to be a tall bush, bearing abundant clusters of deep pink bloom, and all summer putting forth crisp shoots, with leaves red as a sunset cloud, and lovely as flowers for decorative uses.

A Sweetbriar—rifled years ago from the wildwood—after a fourth transplanting knew three summers of thrifty growth in its latest home, and then gave up, without notice, the experiment of being cultivated. Not so a sturdy wilding brought all the way from Maine, as a dear souvenir of happy seaside "days that are no more." It still accommodates itself to Massachusetts soil and bears with fortitude the exigencies of Massachusetts "culchure."

Last and best is my heart's joy—the white rose of my childhood.

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It has never revealed to me the secret of its botanic name; I simply know it as the "White Rose."

Fifty years ago its sister roses might have been found in many dooryards—side by side with ragged pink cinnamon roses—thriving untended, loaded with bloom, and covering the low fronts of roadside farm-houses. Its flowers are lovely in form, with creamy petals, and just the faint suspicion of a blush at their heart.

Its odor is all its own—a strong, chaste, wholesome scent, yet sweet withal as the "honey of Hymettus."

All my life long it had been the desire of my heart to have a bush of this old-time white rose in my very own garden. Time after time I had bought and planted it, but to watch it die; at last, when half a century of my life had gone, it surprised me in the Cambridge garden! The bush had evidently seen its best days, and when we moved to The Lilacs opinions varied as to the wisdom of transplanting so old a settler. We could but try, and so we tried and succeeded. The big scraggly bush is (ten years after) bravely holding its own, and summer after summer scantily bearing the same dear old roses. A second bush, propagated from the parent root, has been put in our Mt. Auburn burying lot. It is one of my idle fancies to have a white rose tree near my grave. Surely when "petals of its blown roses" fall upon the grass above my head

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"My heart will hear them and beat
Tho' lain for a century dead."

And now it is on my conscience that, in this authentic history, I have not yet confessed my disgraceful failure with Perpetual Roses. In the little bed, started ten years ago, but six decadent specimens now "hold the fort."

I cannot state whether this shameful fact is the result of unfitness of soil, mistaken pruning, insufficient winter protection, or simply the malice of opposing Fate.

Innumerable "Rose-grower's Guides" have been consulted in regard to loam, manure, and phosphates since I made this venture. Naturally, then, the soil cannot be greatly at fault, and as to "winter protection" I have, as directed, stacked the bushes in straw, covered the ground with good manure, topped by a covering of leaves held in place by strips of board. This failing, I have tried omitting the stacking, and using manure, leaves, and boards, and finally have fallen back on manure and leaves as a permanent "winter arrangement." In regard to pruning I have consulted many authorities, but "who shall decide when doctors disagree?"

My Perpetuals have been pruned in early spring, at mid-summer, and in autumn—have been pruned a little and pruned a good deal, and with the same dreary result, and my ultimatum is—prune not at all.

This final decision is in direct opposition to the convictions [80]of "The Man with the Hoe," who, once the pruning shears are in his hand, is prone to emulate the insatiate old fellow of the New England Primer, commended to our childish attention by this awesome couplet:

"Time cuts down all,
Both great and small."

This propensity to "trim things up" is the one flaw in the character of this useful person. On such days as he takes up his shears I follow anxiously in his wake, and with mild remonstrance stay his ruthless hand.

So many Perpetuals have, first and last, lived out their little day in my garden that my poor brain refuses the task of recalling their names. Of the six bushes that still survive, two are Jacques, one an unreliable pink rose (name forgotten), which blooms when "so dispoged," usually drops its shrunken buds right and left, and, if quite convenient, perfects annually two or three lovely flowers of delicate pink and of marvelous size.

Next in order are the two cherished white roses, the gift of a kind neighbor, that, regardless of early frosts, bear their pretty clusters up to the very last days of October. Lastly comes the tall thrifty bush procured years ago along with five sister bushes in the prize collection of a florist; the latter all died young. I cannot recall the name of the survivor, nor tell its color, for never once has it put forth bud or bloom. Hope, however, [81]dies hard in the plant-lover's breast. Like the scriptural proprietor of the barren fig tree I still "dig about and dung" this incorrigible rose.

Last year I sowed Single Dahlias in the bare spaces in this untoward rose bed, and when these and the two obliging white roses blossomed together I looked with complacency upon the effect and thanked Heaven that matters were no worse. Meantime my flower-loving neighbor, summer after summer, is bringing Perpetual Roses into perfect bloom—red roses, pink roses, and roses of waxy whiteness—large, fragrant, and altogether exquisite! To walk among his Tea Roses and sniff the scented air is like going out to "afternoon tea." The fine foliage of his bushes (in itself only less beautiful than their bloom) is the result of neither hellebore, insect powder, nor emulsion, but is simply kept immaculate with pure cold water. At early morning the bushes are vigorously showered. At nightfall the ever-ready hose is again in play. Under this heroic treatment the red spider gives up the fight and hostile insects of every variety hide their diminished heads. For the rest I think this marvelous success (which extends to every plant, shrub, and tree in his garden) is mainly due to a wise understanding of their individual needs, a fond love of them all, and a never-tiring patience. I have never cared for the Standard Roses. Like boys walking on stilts their performance is odd, but unbecoming.

From Isaiah's day to our own the Rose has been [82]well praised by poets. Here are some of the many stanzas, lines, and couplets that celebrate this beautiful Queen:

"The desert shall blossom as the rose." Isaiah.

Before the Hebrew poet sung Eve was thus pictured in paradise:

"Veiled in a cloud of fragrance where she stood
Half-spied, so thick the roses blushing round
About her glowed."
Milton.
"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may;
Old Time is still a-flying,
And that same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow may be dying."
Herrick.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
"But earthlier happy is the rose distilled
Than that which, withering on the virgin stem,
Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness."
Shakespeare.
"Die of a rose in aromatic pain."
Pope.
"The budding rose above the rose full blown."
Wordsworth.
"The rose is sweetest washed with morning dew."
Scott.
"As though a rose should shut and be a bud again."
Keats.

"You may place a hundred handfuls of fragrant herbs and flowers before the nightingale, yet he wishes not in his constant heart for more than the sweet breath of his beloved rose." —Janie.

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There is an Eastern legend telling that when Paradise was fading from earth an angel plucked and saved a single rose, which from that day has transmitted to its kind an immortal fragrance.

No other flower has so many intimate relations to our humanity. It goes to the altar with the bride—to the tomb with the dead. Young happy hearts rejoice at its coming, and aged pulses ("slowed down" by Time's relentless hand) quicken anew with memories of long-past Junes. In the primal garden Eve herself must have given it its lovely, fitting name, and Juliet was wrong—by no "other" would it "smell as sweet."


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CHAPTER X

Border Bulbs

The Salvias, grouped in the perennial border, make a fine color show. Coming when the earlier brightness of the season has passed, their scarlet clumps last from late August to the time of frost. Raised from seed their flowering season is briefer, and, as the plants are comparatively inexpensive, it is well to get their full worth by setting out well-grown Salvia plants in early June.

The Gladiolus is another effective flower, and should find place in the perennial borders. Plant bulbs about the middle of May, and again in July, and thus secure a long flowering time, as a light frost does no harm to the plant. Gladiolus prefers a light loam, or a moist sandy soil. Fresh manure will prove injurious. Mr. Allen tells us, in his book on "Bulbs, etc.," that "flowering bulbs of this plant may be produced from seed with a certainty of a greater variety and a chance for some remarkable forms. There is," declares he, "no other pleasure in gardening equal to that which comes from the growing of Gladiolus from seed." It is claimed for the Gladiolus that if cut for decorative use when the first flower on the stalk opens the spike will develop better in water than if left out in the open sun. I have no experimental knowledge of this assertion. Take up early in October, and store bulbs in cellar.

"The Gladiolus belongs to the genera Iridaceæ. [85]The genus contains about ninety species, nearly all of which are natives of the Cape of Good Hope."

The Tuberose may be used in the garden with the same effect as the Gladiolus. Mexico is the land of its nativity, and two species make up the genus. In a quaint old book published in 1629 and entitled "The Garden of Pleasant Flowers" it is classed with the "Greater Indian Knobbed Hyacinth." "I have," says Parkinson (an old-time author), "thought it best to begin with this Jacinth (Hyacinth) because it is the greatest and highest, and also because the flowers hereof are in some likeness neare unto a Daffodille, although his root be tuberous, and not bulbous, as the rest are. The Indian Jacinth hath a thicke knobbed roote, yet formed into several heades, somewhat like unto bulbous rootes, with many thick fibres at the bottom of them. The toppes of the stalkes," he goes on to inform us, "are garnished with many faire, large, white flowers, each whereof are composed of six leaves, lying spread open as the flowers of the white Daffodille, with some short threads in the middle, and of a very sweet scent, or rather strong and headey."

As may be seen in the above statement the Tuberose was first known as a "Jacinth" (Hyacinth) and was at that time a single flower. The double variety was raised as a seedling by M. Le Cour of Leyden, in Holland, who for many years would not under any circumstances part with a root of it. Even if after propagating a desired quantity, there was a surplus, he would [86]cause every tuber to be cut in pieces and destroyed, in order to be the only possessor of so valuable a plant, and one which he considered the finest in the world.

The Tuberose is a gross feeder, and succeeds best in light loam, but will grow in any moist rich soil.

Its complete requisites are heat, water, and manure. If these are proportionate, no matter how much there may be, the plant will consume it.

And here is an incident in Tuberose culture (backed by good authority) where Nature, scorning slower methods of evolution, "got on a hustle" and produced a new variety on the spot. I copy it verbatim from Mr. Allen's book: "In 1870 John Henderson of Flushing, N. Y. (a Tuberose cultivator), discovered growing in his field a number of plants of strong habit of growth, and with dark broad foliage. These he determined to keep apart from his main stock in order to see what the result would be.

"Cultivating them in the same manner as his other Tuberose bulbs he discovered a distinct type of dwarf habit and much larger flowers. This he at once named the 'Pearl,' and from the then small stock the trade in what is known as 'Excelsior Pearl' is now wholly supplied. The Pearl is the favorite of the buyer, and takes the first place in the seedsman's catalogue."

The Single Dahlia, flowering as it does after the early summer beauties have had their day, is an inexpensive "stop-gap" for the perennial border. One may plant, in late April, kept-over bulbs or propagate [87]from seed sown first of May, and sure to flower the same year. The Nicotiana, though an annual, may be used freely in the perennial border. It is an evening bloomer and opens an hour or two before sunset, and looks and smells its divinest by the light of the full round moon. The young plants take kindly to removal, and may, with care, be changed from seed bed to border while flowering.


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CHAPTER XI

Annuals

A well-ordered garden is, in a measure, dependent upon the annuals, coming in bloom (as they do) after most of the perennials have had their short summer hour.

As February days lengthen the seedsman's catalogues come pouring in.

Turning a resolute back on the allurements and temptations of "Prize Collections" I find it safer to pin my hopes to some well-tried seedsman, and selecting in accordance with experience and the length of my purse, send in an early order. Time was when I anticipated the season by starting, in early March, window boxes of asters, petunias, cosmos, and nasturtiums; experience has since taught me to await the slower seed time appointed for me by wise Mother Nature and sow in the open about the first week in May. The nasturtiums and sweet peas may be soaked over night and put in earlier, the latter the moment frost is out of the ground, the former about mid-April.

If one can command a cold frame still earlier sowing of transplantable annuals is desirable. Seedlings thus raised are hardier than window growths and may be set in the open bed before May is over; with the house-sown annual one loses more of vigor than is gained by "forehandedness."

Most annuals may be sown in the seed bed, which [89]is the necessary appendage to the show beds—indeed, all excepting the cosmos and poppy, which cannot well bear removal. The transplanting may be done late in June, and, indeed, if a cloudy day be chosen for the work, on any afternoon throughout the summer. I have found that not only annuals but herbaceous plants, vines, and even shrubs may be moved at one's convenience without regard to the popular idea which restricts one to spring and fall transplanting. My own method is—first, have a coolish cloudy day, then dig holes and put oceans of water in them. Having made the soil of the seedling quite wet one may keep a little ball of it about the plant. Cover quickly with moist loam, then screen from sun with newspaper, a big basket, or a box in which airholes have been made, and keep well-watered until apparently rooted. A few high-growing annuals, as marigolds, coxcombs, zinnias, and four-o'clocks, may be used with effect in the empty spaces in perennial beds, where Oriental poppies and candidums have died down and have had their stalks cut. For this purpose let not the stiff-necked zinnia be despised. Easy of culture, ready to move at any date, and without a moment's notice and (if one save seed) in such cheap abundance that the undesirable colors and shades may be pulled up as soon as the blossom shows its face and cast aside with the weeds. The dreadful magentas are never once permitted a foothold in my garden; the whites, yellows, true pinks, salmon-pinks, and bright scarlets are all effective.

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That out-of-date annual, dear to our grandmothers, the Four-O'Clock should find a place in the perennial border. As will be inferred from its name, it is an afternoon bloomer. "Motley is its wear," and its color surprises more than repays one for the pains of raising. It has a faint delicate odor all its own, recalling the enchanted gardens of one's childhood, and that time of day when "school was out," and one went skipping home to pull nosegays. I lack space to give here the long list of desirable annuals.

Most of these are low-growing and look best in their own beds, as Mignonette, Lady Slipper, Escholzia, Poppies, and so on. Centaurea (Bachelor's Button) should especially have an entire bed to itself.

Mrs. Pratt tells us that in Germany it has been brought from the field to the garden bed, and by the gardener's skill has increased the number of its flowerets, and sometimes varied their hue.

"It is the pet of the German ladies, who have given it the pretty name of Bluet. With us it is sometimes known as the 'Corn Flower.'"

The Centaurea, according to Pliny, "is that famous hearbe wherewith Charon, the Centaure, as the report goeth, was cured; at what time having entertained Hercules in his cabin he would needs be handling and tampering with the weapons of his said guest so long, untille one of the arrows light upon his foote and wounded him dangerously."

To this legend the plant may probably refer its name.

Winter Corner at The Lilacs

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Some of the low-growing annuals may effectively border the show beds where late in May the geraniums are set on the removal of spring bulbs, which I find it best to lift and dry off for fall planting.

Clumps of Narcissi and Daffodils may remain permanently in the borders to make their summer growth, and the half-grown bulbs may be put in beds made in some out-of-the-way place for their especial propagation.

In central positions on the lawn build raised circles for show bulbs; border with stone. Avoid turf borders, which imply a continual fight with tough grass roots.

Have good loam, sifted fine, and well enriched with old cow manure. Make holes four inches deep, and put in each a sprinkling of fine sand to prevent the bulb coming in direct contact with manure in the soil. Plant bulbs in October, but do not cover with the final dry leaves and pine boughs until the very last of November, and be sure to uncover in spring as soon as the young sprouts push up for the sun.

In summer, with two or three choice cannas in the center, some bright geraniums, and coleuses next, and a filling out of asters, petunias, and low Drummond Phlox from the seed bed, the circles will make a lovely show of color up to the very last day of summer and all through the month of September, and, on their groundwork of green lawn, be indeed fair to see. In back places of the garden sow seed for flower-cutting; among the best of these is the "White Branching Aster," the [92]single Dahlia, and (if one can bring enough of these beauties into bloom) the white Cosmos.

The yellow Daffodil, although in our climate it does not, as in Shakespeare's England,

"Come before the swallow dares
And take the winds of March with beauty,"

is among the earliest of our spring flowers and laughs our raw east winds to scorn.

"Yellow," says Mrs. Jameson, "symbolizes the goodness of God." We cannot be better reminded of this divine attribute than by the Daffodil's smiling face looking up to us from the edge of perennial beds. The single white variety of Narcissi, known as Poet's Narcissus, must, I think, be the identical flower into which the vain beautiful youth of mythological notoriety (enamored of his own image reflected in a fountain) was changed. The gods did well by him. To this day it makes our May-time sweet, and as a cut flower it is perfection itself. Later, as the plants die down, one can remove its dead tops and sow Shirley Poppies above the bulbs, while they increase beneath and get ready for the next "spring opening."

The Asphodel of the Greek poets, by some declared to be the Day Lily, is by others supposed to be the Narcissus Poeticus.

The Tulip, as a bulb, is historically famous. It was brought to Europe from Persia in 1559 and was cultivated at Constantinople. From this city it found its way over Europe under the name of the Turkish Tulip.

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About a century after its first introduction it became, as we know, the object of commercial speculation. It is said that enormous prices were paid for a single bulb, and that as much as $3,000 was offered and refused in one instance. Speculators were even more excited and reckless than the growers, and many of the Dutch florists were ruined by their ventures.

This mania happily wore itself out and the industry finally assumed a healthy tone. At the present time, according to the statement of Mr. C. L. Allen, to whom I am indebted for the above facts, more than seven hundred acres of Dutch soil are devoted to Tulip culture.

Tulips have been grown from the seed by the millions. The named varieties are so great that it would be impossible to enumerate. One dealer alone boasts of more than eighteen hundred varieties.

The seed bed's important part it is to furnish fresh plants to take the place of such perennials and biennials as are winter-killed or have outlived their flowering time.

It should have light rich soil and, if possible, should have half the day in shade.


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CHAPTER XII

Climbers

The originator of the "Mansion House" was compelled to obey literally the scripture injunction and "build upon a rock." A substratum of that safe "foundation" lay directly beneath the site chosen for his home and must have been hewn or exploded out previous to the placing of its corner stone. Consequently within a good foot or more of the house there is found but a thin layer of soil, where climbers may not obtain a foothold. I had formerly great success with perennial vines and creepers, among them may be counted Bignonia Radicans (Trumpet Creeper), "Baltimore Belle" (rose), Matrimony (now nearly obsolete), which I once trained with yellow Flowering Currant over the entire length and breadth of a veranda. This method of growing the Currant I claim as entirely my own. We latticed the piazza with copper wire, and its combination with the Matrimony (or "Tea Vine") was most effective and made a very dense screen. My Prairie Rose was also a marked success. So was my Hop Vine, my Scarlet Honeysuckle, and a pink climbing rose given me by a neighbor. I cannot recall its name, but well remember how it ran riot over an entire lattice, arched over the long French window in my first parlor, and how the June west wind blew its petals in from the raised window, in scented showers, about the parlor floor.

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Among the annual vines I have had fine Coboea Scandens—climbing like "Jack's bean" to the very top of things. With Moonflower I have failed, although I soaked the big seed over night and sowed with great care. It is an exquisite flower, and I have seen it brought into beautiful bloom. The common native Morning Glory, which "grows and takes no care," as a matter of course does well with all.

Not so the Japanese (Ipomoea Imperialis). Lured by the seedsman's pictures of this wonder, year after year I waste good money on seed packets of that disappointing flower. My seed germinates after a fashion and sometimes I get a flower or two a trifle larger than those on the native vines, but about the same in color. Three summers ago I potted a seedling and gave it a small trellis. To my great delight it bore a few precious flowers of cerulean hue daintily striped with white. Thus encouraged I still include Japanese Morning Glories in my list of annuals, ordering them from one seedsman after another, if, peradventure, I might hit the man who furnishes the marvels which I have read about—the fluted, fringed, and rainbow-hued, the bona fide Ipomoea Imperialis.

When, fifteen years ago, after a long absence, I went for a summer outing to my native town it was the time of Honeysuckles—the evening air was loaded with their perfume, for there not to have a Honeysuckle is to be poor indeed.

Glad was I to walk in the June moonlight and again [96]revel in the dear familiar odor. When I again left my old home I bore with me three thrifty roots of this lovely vine given me by kind friends. These were carefully planted in a sheltered corner of our Cambridge garden. From that hour I have had Honeysuckles to spare. Grown to big precious vines the three came with us to this garden, where they now cover four wooden trellises, a bit of the garden wall, and an irregular arch at the end of our piazza. Their runners have supplied the entire neighborhood with young vines, twelve of which have already come into bloom, not counting one in Malden and another in Chelsea. Last winter in common with many others I suffered a partial loss of my Honeysuckles from winter-killing. The roots were, however, still intact, and, though we missed their full bloom, their foliage is now (middle of August) as fine as ever.

It is but lately that I have learned that the Honeysuckle and the Woodbine of England are one and the same.

The English Honeysuckle blooms monthly; the Japanese Honeysuckle is not a monthly bloomer. It blossoms with the June roses, and sometimes bears a spray or two of bloom in late autumn. It differs in other ways from the English—has not its pink shading nor its dainty scent. Milton, in Lycidas, calls it "the well-attired Woodbine"—perhaps this is because of its continuous flowering. The oriental variety has in this day superseded the English. More rapid in growth [97]and easier of culture it falls in with the hurrying sentiment of the time. It has been my good fortune to possess in my day three English Honeysuckles—now, mine are all Japanese. The poets, from Chaucer down to Wordsworth, have sung the praises of the Woodbine.

The elder poet drew his image of constant affection from the clinging nature of the Woodbine (or "bind") and its enduring hold on the wedded tree. Contrary to the habit of most other vines the Honeysuckle follows, in its windings, the sun.

The Weigelia, a shrub belonging to the Honeysuckle family, was introduced from China, and is named after Weigel, a German naturalist.

Here end my hints in regard to the selection and culture of such everyday herbaceous plants, shrubs, annuals, and vines as are attainable to the garden-lover of moderate means. Many rarer specimens are (as a matter of course) within reach of one with a longer purse, who holds (with me) that Victor Hugo "hit the nail on the head" when he paradoxically asserted that "the beautiful is as useful as the useful, perhaps more so."

To me one of the beautiful uses of flowers is to cut them for interior decoration.

Our grandmothers had no vocation for out-of-door life. A garden was to them a place to "grow things" in, to work and walk in, but to sit in? never! All the same the big "bowpots" were duly filled, and although less artistically arranged than the vases of today, were [98]a part of the housewife's plan of living, and bore witness to the divine truth that "man cannot live by bread alone."

Lafcadio Hearn tells us that "to the Japanese the arranging of a bough of blossoms is a serious act of life. That the placing of flowers is indeed an exact science, to the study of which a man may devote seven years, even fourteen years, before he will be acknowledged a master."

As a rule avoid painted china vases in arranging cut flowers. Let the vase be artistic in shape and well adapted to the flowers it holds, but never so gay in color as to rival them. Single flowers arrange best, and, as a general rule, put each variety in a glass by itself. Roses, Nasturtiums, and Sweet Peas seem especially well-suited to table decoration. They are all "good enough to eat."


[99]

CHAPTER XIII

Gardens "in Spain"

The poorest of us have our "castles in Spain." Why not have our gardens? Such a garden I have "in my mind's eye," but before I make bold to describe this airy creation (which, for lack of leisure and "hard cash," is doomed never to materialize) let me explain that my garden in Spain is not purely ornamental; that its beds and walks, although tastefully laid out, are strictly devoted to "the useful," to culinary and medicinal ends. In earlier times our Materia Medica (including though it did the unsavory pills and potions now become somewhat out of date) pinned its faith largely to Nature's ready-to-hand specifics. "Simples," as these herbs were then called (probably in contradistinction to the complex preparations of the doctor), were even in our own generation zealously gathered by our grandmothers; and I well remember the time when to be without dried herbs—Boneset, Hoarhound, Wormwood, Motherwort, Catnip, and Gentian—was to be shiftless indeed.

In laying out this imaginary garden plot I have covered a good half acre of rich soil, which I have, in fancy, divided into pretty beds of various size and shape, with neat intersecting gravel walks. There I have sown or planted such herbs as once hung in generous bunches, drying leisurely, in all respectable garrets, when such minor ailments as "flesh is heir to" were cured [100]on the spot and only on alarming occasions the doctor, with his pill boxes, his blisters, and lancet, called in.

Various are the uses and virtues of these medicinal herbs. "Gentian," says an old herbalist, "will worke admirable cures for the stomache and lungs. It is also a special counter-poison against any poison, as against the violence of a mad dog's tooth."

Modern physicians find one species of Gentian soporific and use it to procure sleep for the weary sufferer. G. Latea is the Gentian of commerce, and is used as a tonic. The old herbalists commend the Common Centaury as a cure for jaundice and ague, and tell us that an infusion of the plant removes freckles. Of Jacob's Ladder (a plant of the genus Smilax) Pliny tells us that the name by which it is known to us is derived from Polimis (war), because two kings having each claimed the merit of discovering the great uses of the herb had recourse to arms to settle the disputed question.

The old "Simplers" (herbalists) commend Penny Royal tea as a remedy for coughs and colds—"goode and wholesome for the lungs"—and add that "a garlande of the plant worn about the heade will cure giddeness."

Foxglove (Digitalis) was praised by old herbalists for its various medicinal uses, "divers having been cured thereby of falling sickness." Later, skillful practitioners have discovered its power over the action of the [101]heart, and Digitalis has come to be a highly-valued medicine.

Common Vervain rivals the Mistletoe in its occult usages. "Many old wives' fables tending to witchcraft and sorcerie," says Gerarde, "are written of Vervayne."

"The Druids," according to Pliny, often used Vervain in "casting lots, telling fortunes, and foreshadowing future national events." Its gathering was attended with peculiar ceremonies. "It was to be sought for at the rising of the great Dog-star, and when plucken an offering of honeycomb was to be made to the Earth as a recompense for depriving her of so goodly an herb." The ancients believed that "if the hall or dining chamber be sprinkled with the water wherein Vervain lay steeped all that sate at the table should be very pleasant, and make merry more jocundly."

The Romans considered it a sacred plant, placing it in the hands of ambassadors who were about to enter on important embassies; and the floors of their houses were rubbed with Vervain to drive away evil spirits. In England, at a later time, the plant was called "Holy herb," and had its superstitious usages intimating a belief in its magical properties. Of late years it is there tied round the neck as a charm to cure ague.

Vervain is still believed to possess great medicinal virtues, and is described as a remedy for thirty different maladies. It had of old the expressive name of "Simpler's Joy."

[102]

The Verbena tribe of this plant is cultivated in our gardens for its showy clusters of pink, purple, white, and dazzling scarlet blossoms, and the Lemon variety for its delicately fragrant leaves.

According to the old "Simplers" "the roote of the Caraway may be eaten like the parsnip, and helpeth digestion and strengtheneth the stomaches of ancient (aged) people exceedingly, and they need not make a whole meal of them neither."

In some countries Angelica is (we are told) called by a name signifying the "Holy Ghost." In ancient times its leaf stalks were blanched like those of celery and eaten as a salad, or they were dried and preserved as a sweet-meat, "Candied Angelica." The Laplander believes that the use of Angelica prolongs life, and chews it as he would do tobacco.

The Highlanders have the same opinion of the virtues of Lovage. The simplers have advised "gentlewomen" "to nourse it up in their kitchen gardens to helpe their own family and their poore neighbors that are faire remote from phisitions and Chirurgeons." They also affirm that "if a man carry about him Angelica root the witches doe have no power over him."

The nourishment in the roots of wild herbs has often kept the Indian tribes from starvation in times of scarcity of game, when they had to depend on these and on crows, eagles, and devil fish to sustain life while awaiting the "coming of the salmon," that in fishing time leaped in prodigious numbers in their rivers.

[103]

I remember reading of an especially providential instance where in a region desolated by grasshoppers the people were, for the time, sustained on the roots of herbs which these greedy cormorants had, necessarily, left intact.

For an interesting and exhaustive treatment of this branch of botanical information the reader is referred to Anna Pratt's "British Flowering Plants," a work from which much of my own knowledge has been obtained.

"If," says an old writer, "I shoulde set down all the sortes of herbes that are usually gathered for sallets I should not only speake of garden herbes, but of many herbes which grow wilde in the fieldes, or else be but weedes in a garden."

George Herbert, in his "Priest to the Temple," while enumerating the duties of the parson and his family, thus writes: "For salves his wife seeks not the city, but prefers her gardens and fields before all outlandish gums; and surely hyssop, valerian, adder's tongue, melilot, and St. John's-wort, made into a salve, and elder, comfrey, and smallage made into poultice, have done great and rare cures." And he piously adds: "In curing of any, the Parson and his family, use to premise with prayer; for this is to cure like a parson, and this raiseth the action from the Shop to the Church."

Catmint or Catnip is the "New Wine" of the Grimalkin family. It is said that it is not intoxicating [104]to them until its odor is perceptible to their smell by breaking or bruising the plant.

Catnip is fabled to make the most gentle human beings fierce and wrathful, and it is related of a certain pusillanimous hangman that he only gained courage to perform the duties of his wretched vocation by chewing catnip root.

One who experimented with Catnip as an incitement to ferocity assures us that "for 24 hours after a dose of this root she retained a perfect equanimity of temper and feeling."

But enough space has already been given to the healing herbs that plant themselves in my Garden in Spain, and now let me tell you of the dear little imaginary beds devoted to my sweet-scented "pot-herbs." In these I please myself with tending Coriander, Mint, Anise, and Cumin, Dill, Lovage, Thyme, Lavender, Angelica, Sweet Sicily, Rosemary, Comfrey, Fennel, Sweet Basil, Penny Royal, and Balm.

Here, too, may be found less poetical herbs of solid worth in the cuisine—as Sage, Parsley, Summer Savory, Sweet Marjoram, and so on. Many fragrant pot-herbs are dear to my heart simply from long association, others are widely distinguished by historical eminence.

Coriander has the especial claim of "long descent." Its pedigree dates back to the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs, and it is possibly coeval with the Sphinx and the pyramids. It would seem to have been in common [105]use among the Hebrews at the time of their exodus from Egypt, as Moses, in the Book of Numbers, tells us that Manna was in appearance like Coriander seed. It is said to have been in use by the ancients both as a condiment and a medicine. In our day it forms an ingredient in Curry powder, and is used in confectionery.

Mint, Rue, and Cumin have each a delightful flavor of antiquity. The tithe or tax upon these ancient herbs paid so scrupulously by the Pharisees bears testimony to their commercial value full nineteen centuries ago. To think of these miserable hypocrites having mint-sauce to their "spring lamb" and, possibly, "peppermint creams" to their dessert! It is, however, good to know that the dear little babies of the time were privileged with anise seed tea in the stress of colic. How bitter-flavored cumin served them I cannot say, but it is to be hoped that these "Scribes and Pharisees" (whom even their imitators frankly anathematize) what time they had "spring feelin's" were not let off with homemade decoctions of innocent "Simples," but were mercilessly dosed, by the "Holy Land" doctors, with nasty potions of Senna and Salts.

Lavender, Rosemary, Basil, and Sweet Marjoram have all been celebrated in verse. Keats has sent cold shivers down our backs with his gruesome story of "Isabella" and her flower-pot of Sweet Basil, with its ghastly hiding:

"And she forgot the stars, the moon, and sun,
And she forgot the blue above the trees,
[106]And she forgot the dells where waters run,
And she forgot the chilly autumn breeze;
She had no knowledge when the day was done,
And the new moon she saw not: but in peace
Hung over her sweet Basil evermore,
And moisten'd it with tears unto the core."

Sweet Marjoram in England produces its fragrant blossom at such elevations as to have gained the pretty name "Joy of the Mountains." Shakespeare has added interest to it by making it the password in the tragedy of "King Lear."

In fancy one can see the faithful Edgar with his mutilated father, the duke, climbing to the "dread summit of that chalky bourn," and hear Edgar saying to his father:

"Hark! do you hear the sea?"

"The swete marjoroms," says an old writer, "are not only much used to please the outward senses in nosegaies, and in the windows of houses, as also in swete powders, swete bags, and swete washing waters, but are also of much use in physick, to comfort the inward members."

Caraway calls up the cookies dear to childhood, and a spray of green Fennel brings back, as if by touch of the enchanter's wand—"Minister Garner" in the old meetin'-house under the big "sounding board" (relentless as fate) pursuing his theme to the bitter end, while seated, in the pen-like box pew, beside our devout grandmother, we tone ourselves down to the solemn occasion, [107]with no higher aspiration than the wish to be butterflies sailing gayly in the outside sunshine. Virtue has, at last, its reward. At about the minister's soporific "fifthly" our grandmother catches herself nodding. Opening her roomy black silk workbag she gives herself a saving nibble of fennel and passes a delicious spray of this spicy herb to each of her three grandchildren.

Dear old grandma! a full half century ago her soul went home to God, yet still I recall my childish picture of her angel sweeping with wide wings the blue eternal spaces, with never-withering sprays of fennel in her hand.

One lingers lovingly over these pretty "Herbs O' Grace," of which the half has not here been told. But, already it is time to write finis at the end of this vagary—"My Garden in Spain."


[108]

CHAPTER XIV

The Cerebral Processes of Plants

I find it good to think of plants as mysterious fellow-existences, about which the half is not yet known—to speculate on their psychological properties—on what has been called "The cerebral processes of plants."

Darwin has thus expressed himself on this interesting question:

"It has," he says, "always pleased me to exalt plants in the scale of organized beings, and I therefore felt especial pleasure in showing how many and what admirably well-adapted movements the tip of a root possesses.... It was impossible in accordance with the principle of evolution," he goes on to say, "to account for climbing plants having been developed in so many widely different groups, unless all plants possess some slight power of movement of an analogous kind. This I proved to be the case."

In his "Power of Movement in Plants" he still farther expresses this conviction: "The tips of all young growing parts of the higher plants continually revolve, bowing successively towards every point of the compass." And he declares that "it is hardly an exaggeration to say that the tip of the radicle endowed with such diverse kinds of sensitiveness and having the power to direct the movements of the adjoining parts, acts like the brain of one of the lower animals, the [109]brain being seated within the anterior end of the body, receiving impressions from the sense-organs and directing the several movements."

Great truths gain ground by inches. This assumption of the great scientist is not yet generally admitted, although, as I think, well established by experimental proof. An interesting paper in "Forest and Garden," prepared by T. D. Ingersoll of Erie, Pennsylvania, and entitled "Signs of Intelligence in a Madeira Vine."

I here copy verbatim:

"Two or three years ago I began, without any great seriousness, an experiment on some Madeira Vines, which presently began to prove more interesting than was anticipated. Before this my attention had been attracted to peculiar movements made by this plant in the course of its spiral ascent of a stick. If allowed to grow a few inches above the support the extremity of the plant will sway backward and forward a few hours and then will enter upon a regular revolving movement, always from right to left, or contrary to the direction in which the hands of a watch move. One revolution consumes about three hours. One of my plants began to grow on April first, and at the end of fourteen days was twelve inches tall and showing signs of uneasiness—now bending away from a vertical position and again standing nearly upright. On the 16th it was eighteen inches high, and, being too top-heavy to stand erect, it began to fall away from the pot, which stood upon a table, towards the floor. This was done gradually and [110]apparently with conscious care. It seemed to feel at times that it was letting itself down too fast, when it would stop with a jerk, like a nodding child half asleep. When near the floor it began describing ellipses, about three inches in diameter, with its upturned extremity. On the 19th it was twenty-six inches in length, and would describe a crescent-shaped loop, seventeen inches in length by six inches in breadth, in about two hours. On the 23d it was three feet four inches long, revolving with less regularity, and at times drooped as if weary or discouraged in trying to find something upon which it might entwine itself. Thus far no opportunity had been given the plant to climb, since it was desirable to see what it would do to meet the absence of some support. On the 26th a new route of traverse was undertaken at 6 a.m., and at nine o'clock the extremity, which was near the floor at the left side of the pot, had described a circle six inches in diameter. It then slowly swept around to the right side and made another irregular circle, and then returned to the left side of the pot; these movements occupied just twelve hours. The track of the tip of the vine was carefully traced with a pencil upon a sheet of paper laid beneath it, and the entire line of traverse measured no less than six feet nine inches. During the evening the plant became quiet, and probably remained so all night. At 10 a.m. the next day, however, it began pointing its tip in various directions, and at noon assumed the form of a corkscrew, about four inches long, which posture [111]it retained until night and then straightened out. On May first the vine was lifted and tied to a vertical support—a large thread—where it remained entirely quiescent for two days. Then it began growing again as if it had recovered from what had been for six days a condition near the point of death.

"Another vine was observed carefully during several days of cloudy weather. It uncoiled itself from the stick and reached away toward the light at an angle with the horizon of forty-five degrees. It was carefully recoiled about its stick, but after it had grown some three inches more it unwound itself and stood away toward the window as before. Time after time during the continuance of the cloudy weather it was brought back to its support but invariably left it. Then followed a fortnight of bright sunny weather, during which the vine showed no disposition to escape from its stick or stop its twining growth. Attempts were made to induce another plant to twine in the direction opposite to its normal one, but no ingenuity could deceive the plant as to its proper course. All the experiments seemed to show how much like an animal was the plant in its sensitiveness, not only to changes of light and temperature, but to harsh treatment. Whenever restrained or forced, no matter how tenderly, out of its natural method of growth, all progress was retarded and the health of the vine disturbed in a marked degree. Plants seem to be creatures of feeling and the similarity of movement and apparent purpose between them and the lowe[112]r orders of animals are used to strengthen their theory by those who hold to the doctrine of the identity of life in the two kingdoms."

Dr. Dwight, in his paper in "Scribner's" entitled "Right-handedness" still further develops the theory of brain power in plants. "The spiral growth," says this writer, "of a graceful climbing plant, at first sight, suggests nothing like right or left-handedness, but the analogy when once seen is very striking. As the young plant begins its upward course it is clear that to make the coils which it is its nature to describe, it must either turn to the right or left. It might be supposed that its deviation to either side is the result of an accident, but this is impossible, for, though the individual plants of some kinds do twine indiscriminately to either side, some only curl to the right and others to the left. More remarkable still, some species twist in the opposite direction to that of the larger families to which they belong, and finally, sometimes a particular plant grows the wrong way. This is analogous to being left-handed."

From Mrs. Pratt's "Flowering Plants of England" I take this account of the curious movements of the seed-vessel of the "Musk Stork's Bill."

It is a relation of Mr. Mallet of Dublin of his personal observation of the capsule movements of this remarkable flower. "Each seed," says the writer, "of [113]which there are five to each flower, is enclosed in a carpel, attached by its upper extremity to a tail or awn, which possesses the most wonderful hygrometric sensibility, as, indeed, does every other part of the plant. These five awns lie in grooves in the receptacle of the flowers, and this receptacle is central to and is the axis of all parts of the flower and the fruit.

"When the whole system has arrived at a certain point of aridity the awns, which are provided with an exquisite power of torsion, hoist themselves out from their grooves and at the same moment a number of downy filaments, hidden in the back or inward face of the awns, bristle forth; they all now become detached and fall to the ground. But here they still continue to twist, and from the position in which they always lie keep tumbling over and over, and thus receding from the parent plant until at length they become perfect balloons, ready to be wafted away by every zephyr."

The theory that "plants can see," or, at any rate, manage to find food and support by some special sense, which the unscientific mind cannot better name than to call it sight, has been corroborated in the "Rural Press" by Mrs. King, who thus describes her husband's observation of this interesting habit on the part of a creeping plant in India:

"He was sitting on the veranda, with one foot up against a large pillar near to which grows a kind of convolvulus. Its tendrils were leaning over into the veranda, and, to Robert's surprise, he presently noticed that they were visibly turning toward his leg. He [114]remained in the same position and in less than an hour the tendrils had laid themselves over his leg.

"This was in the early morning, and when at breakfast he told me of this discovery we determined to make further experiments. When we went out into the veranda the tendrils had turned their heads back to the railing in disgust. We got a pole and leaned it up against the pillar quite twelve inches from the nearest sprays of convolvulus.

"In ten minutes they had begun to curve themselves in that direction and acted exactly as you might fancy a very slow snake would do if he wished to reach anything. The upper tendrils bent down, and the side ones curved themselves until they touched the pole, and in a few hours were twisted quite round it.

"It was on the side away from the light, and, excepting the faculty of sight, we can think of no other means by which the tendrils could be aware that the pole had been placed there. They had to turn away from the light to reach it, and they set themselves in motion visibly within a few minutes of the pole's being there."

My own experience with climbing plants has long since convinced me that they have "a will of their own," and that if their will differs from my own no amount of coaxing will induce them to take the path which is laid out for them.

Well, if plants had but tongues they could, no doubt, tell us things well worth hearing in regard to their special mode of existence.


[115]

CHAPTER XV

"Auf Wiedersehen"

It seems but yesterday that the punctual year brought back her Daffodils—that Hyacinth and Tulip pushed up green shoots for the spring sunshine—and now the Syringa bushes are white with bloom.

In one short week midsummer will have come, that beautiful holiday of the summer solstice, whose festal observance is, in England, of great antiquity.

The old practice of lighting bonfires in London and in other towns (and even in villages) is probably a remnant of the pagan rites once observed on that day.

Later, the Christian monks dedicated this festival to one of their saints, and, accordingly, the people on that day made their houses gay with St. John's-wort and other flowers and at evening kept the "vigil of St. John the Baptist," lighting bonfires in honor of this saint. Every man's door was then hung with birch boughs and lamps of glass, whose oil burnt on through the night. An old parish entry—dating so far back as the reign of Edward IVth—thus stands: "For birch at Midsummer VIII d"; and again, "Various payments for birch bowes at Midsummer."

Old English poets commemorate in verse the hanging at this season of birch branches over the sign boards of shop doors.

Perhaps in our increasing demand for holidays we may yet adopt this charming festival of our English forbears, as we have that of their Yule-tide. It would [116]fall at the same season as did that pretty Persian festival, "The Feast of Roses."

Today, in after-dinner "idlesse," with the unread morning paper in my hand, I sit beneath the blossomed Tulip trees, taking in so much of the beauty and perfection of the hour as my limited being will hold. Shadow and sunshine interchange upon the lush green lawn, where today the Syringa sprinkles its first light snow. The breath of blown Peonies scents the summer air along with the languorous odor of the mock-orange flowers. Yonder, in the old pear tree hard by the Lover's bowery walk, a happy thrush sings out his little heart while his silent mate broods patiently the family nest. A distant robin pipes cheerily among the apple boughs, and somewhere among the treetops a gurgling oriole sings—sings as if in this whole wide world of ours there were neither pain nor death, but only life, and joy, and never-ending summer.

Last night a Damask Rose opened in the garden—

"God's in his Heaven; all's right with the world!"

For myself—attuned to the blessed influences of the hour—I am at peace with all mankind. My enemies, one and all, are forgiven on the spot, and I meekly consider the advisability of "turning the other cheek" for a second "smite." For what saith the old herbalist—combining in his ancient book floriculture and ethical instruction? "Flowers, through their beautie, variety of color, and exquisite forme, doe bring to a liberal and gentlemanly minde the remembrance of[117] honestie, comeliness, and all kinds of virtues. For it woulde be an unseemly thing for him that dothe looke upon and handle faire and beautiful things to have his minde not faire, but filthy and depraved."

The Japanese, in their days of heathendom, celebrated with great care their ancient "Festival of Departed Spirits." A fire was then built in front of every house in the empire as a signal or invitation for all the departed members of the house to revisit their old homes.

So tonight, with pulses slowed down to peace, musing in the quiet of this sleepy garden, I keep the "Festival of Departed Spirits," and, signaling to the unseen, hear in the tender silence faint footfalls of the departed along the familiar garden ways.

Said the dear Lady (who at one time in her life was much fascinated by Spiritualism, and wont to map out with great accuracy the "Undiscovered Country" with its pursuits and privileges), referring to that time when this house and garden should no longer know her in the flesh: "I shall not forget my home on earth, I shall still be around."

And thou, "my summer child"[2] (best loved and last to go), born with the roses and gifted with the sunny sweetness of a thousand Junes, but yesterday we trod together these garden paths, whose improvement was thy latest care.

[118] The echo of thy parting footfall yet lingers in this garden, making it "holy ground." "They sin who tell us Love can die."

"Auf wiedersehen," my "summer child."


FOOTNOTES

[1] A nickname suggested by this item in a bill of our German cobbler—which ran thus—"To souling shues for Tird sun 50 sense."

[2] Miss Bremer in "The Home."



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

The following variant spellings are used in this text:

1) midsummer (3 times) and mid-summer (twice)

2) springtime (once) and spring-time (twice)

3) sweetmeat and sweet-meat (once each).

The two occasions on which the œ ligature is used have been rendered as "oe": "Coboea" and "Ipomoea", both on p. 95.

The following amendments to the text have been made:

1) "remaider" changed to "remainder" on p. 18.

2) "Eastern" changed to "Easter" on p. 43.

3) A double quotation mark (") has been added after "shrine of Thomas à Becket" on p. 55.

4) "Stratford-on Avon" changed to "Stratford-on-Avon" on p. 61.

5) A double quotation mark (") has been deleted before "O E holihoc" on p. 70.






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