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Of Flowers, and of Ornamental Gardening in General.
326. My reasons for making Flowers a part of my subject, have been stated in Paragraphs 6 and 97. However, if the American Farmer have no taste for flowers, his wife and daughters may; and this part of the book can, at any rate, do him no harm.
327. Under the head of Flowers come flowring trees and shrubs; and, therefore, I must, in this place, say a little of these and of ornamental gardening. It is by no means my intention to attempt to give an account of all the flowers that come into the florist's catalogue. That catalogue, with only a very short description of each flower, would fill ten volumes, each surpassing this in bulk. I do not blame the taste of those who study botany, and who find pleasure in the possession of curious trees and plants; but, all that I shall attempt, is, to speak of those flowers that stand most prominent as to their capacity of making a beautiful show and of sending forth fragrance.
328. As to the spot for flowers, the smaller kinds, and even small shrubs, such as roses, dwarf honeysuckles, and the like, may be planted by the sides of the broad walks in the kitchen garden, or, a little piece of ground may be set apart for the purpose. In cases where there are what are usually called pleasure-grounds, large shrubs, and, if the grounds be extensive, lofty trees come in. And, in the placing of the whole of the trees and plants, the most lofty should be farthest from the walk.
329. As to the manner of sowing, planting, transplanting, and cultivating, what has been said of fruit trees and of garden vegetables and herbs applies here. The ground must be good, well tilled, and kept clean, or the plants and flowers will not be line.
330. Before I proceed to the Alphabetical List, let me again observe, that I merely give a selection, such as appears to me to be best calculated for gratifying, at different seasons, the sight, or the smell, or both. That there is a great deal in rarity is evident enough; for, while the English think no thing of the Hawthorn, the Americans think no thing of the Arbutus, the Rhododendron, the Kalmia, and hundreds of other shrubs, which are amongst the choicest in England. The little dwarf brush stuff, that infects the plains in Long Island under the name of "Kill-Calf," is, under a fine Latin name, a choice green-house plant in England, selling for a dollar when not bigger than a handful of thyme. Nay, that accursed stinking thing, with a yellow flower, called the "Plain-Weed" which is the torment of the neighbouring farmer, has been, above all the plants in this world, chosen as the most conspicuous ornament of the front of the King of England's grandest palace, that of Hampton-Court, where, growing in a rich soil to the height of five or six feet, it, under the name of "Golden Rod," nods over the whole length of the edge of a walk, three quarters of a mile long and, perhaps thirty feet wide, the most magnificent perhaps, in Europe. But, be not too hasty, American, in laughing at John Bull's king; for, I see, as a choice flower in your gardens, that still more pernicious European weed, which the French call the Coquelicot, and the English, the Corn-Poppy, which stifles the barley, the wheat, and especially the peas, and frequently makes the fields the colour of blood.
331. This is quite sufficient to show the power of rarity in affixing value on shrubs and flowers. The finest flowering trees and shrubs in England have been got from America. The Wild Cherry, which they call the bird-cherry, which here grows sometimes to the height of a hundred feet and one of which I can now see from my window more than seventy feet high; the Locust, most beautiful of trees and best of timber; the Catalpha, blossoms far more beautiful than those of the horse-chestnut, broad and beautiful leaves that do not scorch in the hottest sun; all the beautifully blowing Laurel-tribe; the Rose of Charon (as it is called here) and the Althea Frutex; the Azalia of all colours; Roses of several kinds. But, there is one shrub of the larger kind, abundant here, that I never saw there, and that is the thing which some call the Morning Star. It has six leaves in its flower, which is in the form of the flower of the single rose. The whole flower when open, is about three times the circumference of a dollar. Some of the trees bear blossoms quite white, and others blossoms of a whitish peach blossom colour. These blossoms come the earliest in the spring. They are out full, in Long Island, in the first week in May, which is rather earlier than the peach blossoms. In England, they would be out full, on an average of years, in the last week of February, which is an anticipation of all their shrubs. The trees, which is a great quality, thrive well under other trees, which, indeed, seems to be their nature. You see, from a great distance, their bright and large blossoms, unaccompanied by leaves, shining through the boughs of the other trees; and some of them reach the height of forty feet. This, therefore, is a very fine flowering tree; and yet I never have one of the kind in England. How beautiful a grove might be made of this tree, the wild-cherry, the Locust, the Catalpha, and the Althea-frutex! And here they are all, only for the trouble of sowing; for from the seed the tree will surely come.
332. I shall now proceed to give an Alphabetical List of such flowering Trees, Shrubs, and Plants, as I think worthy of cultivation; or, rather; that I myself would wish to have about my house, or in my garden. As I go on I shall state some particulars here and there relating to propagation and management: but, to be very particular would be superfluous, seeing that such full directions have been given in the former parts of the work, as to the sowing of all seeds, great as well as small; as to the raising of trees and plants from cuttings, slips, layers and suckers, and as to cultivation and tillage. Flowers are divided into annuals, biennials and perennials. The first blow and die the year they are sown; the second blow the second year and then die; the third sometimes blow the first year and sometimes not, and die down to the ground annually, but spring up again every spring I have not made separate lists; but have included the whole in one Alphabetical List. There are sixty trees, shrubs and plants altogether; and, if properly cultivated, these will give a grand bloom from May to November.
333. ALTHEA FRUTEX. It is raised from seed, or from suckers. There are several sorts, as to colours. They should be mixed to make a variety. Save the seed in November or December. The pods are full. Sow in the spring. Seed produces the handsomest shrub; and it is to be got almost any where.
334. ANEMONE. This is a very beautiful flower, and worthy of great pains. It is raised from seed, or from pieces of the roots. Sow the seed in spring, The plant does not blow the first year. The root, which is tuberous, is taken up in the fall, dried in the sun, and put by in the dry till spring, when it is put into the ground again. And, during the summer, it sends out young roots, which must be taken off and planted out, to become blowers. There is a great variety of colours and of sizes of this flower.
335. ARBUTUS. A pretty ever-green, as well known as the oak tree; and is to be got every where.
336. ASTRE (China.) Astre is French for star, and this flower, in its shape, resembles a star to our view. It is annual, bears great quantities of seed, and is sown early in spring. An infinite variety of colours, and great quantities of blossoms. It gives no smell; but a clump of it furnishes a great mass of beauty to the sight.
337. AURICULA. This is one of the flowers, the sorts of which are distinguished by having awarded to them the names of famous men and women, famous cities, and famous battles, and so forth. It may be raised from seed; but the flowers proceeding from plants so raised, do not resemble the flowers of the mother plant, except by mere accident. It is a chance if you get a fine flower from a whole sown bed. Now-and-then one of this description comes, however, and this adds to the list of names, if it happen to be one of the like of which has not made its appearance before. Auriculas are, therefore, propagated by parting the roots, and every root sends out several young plants annually. When sown, they do not blow till the second year; but the old root lasts for many years. Some of these should be potted, and kept to blow in the green-house. If planted in the natural ground, they ought to be covered a little in the winter. There are many hundreds of sorts with names. So many indeed, that the godfathers in England have been so put to it for great personages to baptize the flowers after, that they have been compelled to resort to the heroes and heroines of Romance; accordingly they have Don Quickset and Sancho. However vanity supplies the florists, as well as the shipowners, with a great store of names, and auriculas, like ships, are very frequently honoured with the names of the original proprietor's wife or daughter.
338. AZALIA. That little American Honeysuckle that impedes our steps when shooting on the skirts of woods. It however, blows profusely, though it has no smell like the English honeysuckle.
339. BALSAM is an annual and a most beautiful plant, with great abundance of flowers. Sow where you sow Melons, at a distance of four feet; leave only one plant in a place; let the ground be rich and kept clean; it will blow early in July, and will keep growing and blowing till the frost comes, and then, like the cucumber, it is instantly cut down. I have seen Balsams in Pennsylvania 3 feet high, with side-branches 2 feet long, and with a stem much bigger than my wrist, loaded with beautiful blossoms. Plant, branch, leaf, flower; all are most elegantly formed, and the colours of the flower extraordinarily vivid and various. There are however, some more double than others, and some variegated. The seed of these should be sowed, and it comes in great abundance. The flower of the Balsam has no smell.
340. BRIAR, (Sweet.) A well known shrub of the rose kind. Bows of it carefully planted and pruned make very good hedges, and it will grow in almost any ground, though fastest in good ground.
341. CAMILLIA. This shrub, which is of the laurel-tribe, has lately been introduced in England from Japan. It bears a flower, which, when open, resembles a good deal a large full-blown rose; and these flowers, on different plants, are of different colours. It is raised, doubtless, from seed; but it may be grafted on the Hawthorn; and, I dare say on the Crab. Some of the plants have been sold at 20 or 30 pounds each, By this time they are probably sold at a dollar. The plant as well as the flower are handsome; and certainly cuttings for grafting may easily be brought from England. They will stand the winter as well as any of the American laurels.
342. CARNATION. Here is beauty and fragrance, and both in the highest degree. There are various sorts, distinguished, like those of the Auricula, by names; and, what is said of the seed oi the Auricula applies here. If sown, the carnation does not blow till the second year. It is usually propagated by layers. While it is blowing, it sends out several side shoots near the ground. These are pinned down, in August, to the earth with a little stick with a hook at the end of it. A little cut, or tongue, is made on the under side of the shoot; and thus the head of the shoot is brought upright. The part that touches the ground is well covered with earth; and roots come out here before the fall. Then the stalk, which connects the young plant with the old one is cut off; the young plant is transplanted, and the next year it blows. The old root does not stand another year well; and, therefore, its branches are thus made use of to keep up the race and the sort. Carnations are rather tender as to frost. And must be well covered in this country to live through the winter. It is best to put them in large pots to give room for laying; and to keep them in a green-house in winter, or in some house, where they can have sun and air However, they merit all the pains that can be bestowed upon them.
343. CATALPHA. That beautiful American tree mentioned in Paragraph 329.
344. CLOVE. Is only a more handy and less esteemed sort of Carnation, which see. It may be propagated like the Carnation; or, by cuttings, which is the easier way. Instead of laying down the side shoots, you cut them off. Then you cut away the hard part of the shoot, strip off three or four of the bottom leaves. Tip the rest of the leaves; make a little split in the butt of the shoot, and, then, with a little smooth pointed stick, plant the cutting in the ground. This is to be done early in August. The young Cloves will have roots in the fall; and you may transplant them into the open ground or into pots to blow the next year. The old Clove plant will, however, blow for many years. I should think, that, with good covering, such as directed for spinach, Cloves would live out the winter in this country.
345. COLUMBINE. A perennial. Very common; but very pretty.
346. COWSLIP. This is one of the four flowers, without which English pastoral poetry would be destitute of that which awakens the most delightful ideas. The Cowslip, the Primrose, the Violet, and the Daisy, are of endless recurrence in that species of writing. They all come early in the spring; and are all beautiful. Neither of them is seen here, and they all might; for they will bear any severity of weather. The Cowslip is of the Polyanthus tribe. It is of a delicate yellow colour and sends forth many blossoms from the same stem which rises about six inches from the ground. I may easily be propagated from seed, which it bears in great abundance, but, when you once have a plant the easiest way, is to propagate from offsets. The plants raised from seed do not blow till the second year. The plant is perennial. The flower has a delicate sweet smell, and also sweet taste, as a proof of which, cart-loads of the flowers, plucked from the stalks, are sold in London to make "wine" with; that is to say, to furnish drinkers with an apology for swallowing spirits under the specious name of Cowslip-wine. The leaf of the flower very much resembles in shape the under lip of a cow, whence, I suppose, our forefathers gave the plant the name of cowslip.
347. CROCUS. A bulbous rooted plant, very well known. It is recommended by its earliness. It is perfectly hardy. The only thing to do when it is once planted, is to take care that it does not fill all the ground near it. There are yellow, blue, and white Crocuses. And they are pleasant when nothing else is in bloom, except, at least, the Snowdrop, which departs soon after the Crocus begins to appear.
348. DAISY. I cannot say, with Dryden's damsels, in one of his fine poems, that "the Daisy smells so sweet;" for it has very little smell; but it is a most beautiful little flower, and blows without ceasing at all times when the grass grows, how r ever little that may be. The opening of the Daisy is the sure sign that there is growth going on in the grass; and these little flowers bespangle the lawns and the meadow's, the green banks and the glades all over England. Their colours present an endless variety; and those grown in gardens are double. The field-Daisy is single, and about the size of a York-Sixpence. Those in the gardens are sometimes as broad as a quarter of a dollar. And there is one other sort called the Hen-and-chicken Daisy, that has a ring of little flowers surrounding the mair flower. This plant may be raised from offsets or seed, in which last case it blows the second year It is perennial.
349. GERANIUM wants hardiness only to make it the finest flower-plant of which I have any knowledge. Some give us flower with little or no leaf; others have beauty of leaf as well as of flower, but give us no fragrance; others, like the rose, give us this added to beauty of flower and of leaf, but, give us them only for a part of the year. But, the Geranium has beautiful leaf, beautiful flower, flagrant smell from leaf as well as from flower, and these it has in never-ceasing abundance; and as to variety of sorts, as well as in leaf as in flower, it surpasses even the flower of the Auricula. How delightful the country, where Geraniums form the underwood, and the Myrtles tower above! Softly, my friends. Beneath that underwood lurk the poisonous lizards and serpents, and through those Myrtle boughs the deadly winged adders rustle; while all around is dry and burning sand. The Geranium is a native of the South of Africa; and, though it will not receive its death-blow from even a sharpish frost, it will not endure the winter, even in the mild climate of England. But, then, it is so easy of cultivation, it grows so fast, blows so soon, and is so little troublesome, that it seems to argue an insensibility to the charms of nature not to have Geraniums if we have the means of obtaining earth and sun. The Geranium is propagated from seed, or from cuttings. The seed, like that of the Auricula, does not produce flower or leaf like the mother plant, except by chance. It is easily saved, and for curiosity's sake, may be sown to see if a new variety will come. But, a cutting, from any part of the plant, old wood or young wood, stuck into the ground, or into a pot, will grow and become a plant, and will blow in a month from the time you put it into the ground You must have plants, indeed, to cut from; but these may be, in small number at any rate, in a window during winter. When the spring comes, cut them up into cuttings, put these in the ground where you wish to have plants during the summer. They will be in bloom by July, and, before October, will be large as a currant tree. Take off cuttings from these during September, put them in pots, and they are ready for the next spring. If you have a Green-house, you have Geraniums in full bloom all the long dreary winter.
350. GUELDER-ROSE. This is called here the Snow-ball tree. It is raised either from layers or suckers. Its bloom is of short duration; but, for the time, makes a grand show in a shrubbery. The suckers of it ought to be dug clean away every year
351. HAWTHORN. This tree has been amply described in Chapter I, under the head of Fencing. Sometimes it is called Hawthorn, and sometimes White-thorn.
352. HEART'S-EASE, or Pansey. A beautiful little annual, which has great varieties, and all of them pretty. It blows all the summer. It may be sown in the fall, without any care about covering the ground; but, it must not come up, in this country, till spring.
353. HEATH. The common English heath is hardy, but ugly. The Heaths from Africa are of infinite variety. Insignificant in flower, however and must be housed in Winter. They are propagated from seed, or from slips, and will last a long while. A few in a green-house are pretty; and they look gay in winter.
354. HOLLYHOCK. This is a fine showy plant for a shrubbery. There are double and single, and none but the double should be cultivated. It may be raised from seed, or from offsets. If the former it docs not blow till the second year. I will remain in the ground many years, and is perfectly hardy.
355. HOLLYHOCK (Chinese.) This is a more tender and far more beautiful kind than the common. It is raised from seed only; blows the second year and only that year. It is, therefore, a biennial.
356. HONEYSUCKLE. This, amongst all English shrubs, is the only rival of the Rose; and, if put to the vote, perhaps as many persons would decide for the one as for the other. Its name indicates its sweetness of taste, and the smell is delightful almost beyond comparison. The plant is also beautiful: it climbs up houses and over hedges; it forms arbors and bowers: and has a long-continued sue cession of blossoms. It grows wild in all parts ol England, in many parts covering the hedges and climbing up the trees. There is little variety as to sorts. That which is cultivated has a larger and deeper-coloured bloom, but the wild has the sweetest smell. It may be propagated from seed; but always is from cuttings; put into the ground in the spring, and treated like other wood-cuttings. See Paragraph 275.
357. HYACINTH. This is a bulbous-rooted plant, and, like all the plants of that class, is perennial. It may be raised from seed; but, as in the case of the Auricula and many other plants, it is many chances to one, that, out of a whole bed, you do not get a good flower; and, perhaps, it is a hundred to one that you do not get a flower to resemble the mother plant. Therefore, none but curious florists attempt to raise from seed. The roots are propagated from offsets; that is to say, the mother root, while it is blowing, sends out, on its sides, several young ones. The old root, young ones and all, are put away in a dry place, out of the reach of severe frost, till spring. Then, when you plant the old one out to blow again, you take off the young ones and plant them also. They do not blow the first year, and, if weak, not the second. But, in time, they do; and then they produce offsets. This is the way the Hyacinth is multiplied. It is a fine and fragrant flower; it blows early, and will blow well even in glasses in a room; but better in earth. A fine flower for a green-house, where it would be out in full bloom while the snow was on the ground.
358. JASMIN. Has the merit of a very delightful smell, and that only. Its leaf and flower are insignificant. It climbs, however, and is good to cover bowers. It is easily raised from cuttings. See Paragraph 275.
359. JONQUIL. An elegant and sweet smelling bulbous rooted plant. Propagated, and cultivated, in all respects, like the Hyacinth, which see.
360. KALMIA. An evergreen shrub of great beauty, and of several varieties, great quantities of which are seen in most of the rocky woodlands of this country.
361. KILL-CALF. Mentioned in Paragraph 328, which see. It is a dwarf shrub, and may be raised from seed, or from suckers. It is very pretty. When in bloom it resembles a large clump of Sweet Williams. It is so pretty that it is worth having in the green-house, where it would blow, probably in April, in Long Island.
362. LABURNHAM. This is a tall and beautiful shrub, loaded, v/hen in bloom, with yellow blossoms, in chains; whence it is sometimes called the Golden Chain. I sent one out to Pennsylvania in 1800; but, though alive now, it has never got to any height, and has never borne blossoms, being continually nipped by the winter. That it will grow and thrive in this country is, however, certain; for I saw two very fine trees in grand bloom in the garden, between Brooklyn and the Turnpike gate, last spring. It is raised from the seed as easily as Indian Corn is.
363. LARKSPUR. An annual of no smell, but of great variety as to colours, and when in a clump, or bed, presenting a great mass of bloom. There is a dwarf and a tall sort. The dwarf is the best. There is a branching kind, which is good for nothing.
364. LILAC. Desirable for its great masses of fine large bunches of bloom. There is the White, the Blue, and the Reddish. It is propagated from suckers, of which it sends out too many, and from which it should be kept as clear as possible. It is an ugly shrub when out of bloom. The leaves soon become brown. Therefore, there should be but few Lilacs in a shrubbery.
365. LILLEY OF THE VALLEY. This the only Lilley that I should like to have. It is a pretty little dwarf plant, that thrives best in the shade, where it produces beautiful blossoms of exquisite sweetness. It is a bulbous root, and propagated from offsets.
366. LOCUST. Well known, and sufficiently noticed in Paragraph 329. It may be raised from suckers; but best from seed, which always makes the straightest trunk.
367. LUPIN. A species of pea or tare, and frequently cultivated in the fields, and eaten in soup and otherwise, by the Italians, and in the South of France. It grows, however, upon a stiff stem, and is upright, and branches out, like a tree in miniature. There is a great variety of sorts, as to colour of flower as well as to size of plant. The Yellow dwarf is the best, and it smells very sweet. This plant is, of course, an annual.
368. MAGNOLIA. One of the finest of the laurel tribe. It can be raised from seed, or from layers. A very fine shrub indeed. There are several varieties of it.
369. MIGNONETTE. An annual that bears abundance of seed. The plant and the flower do not surpass those of the most contemptible weed; but the flower has a very sweet smell. It may, if you have a green-house, be had at any time of the year. The plants may stand at four or five inches asunder; but, if they stand thicker, the bloom is inferior, and does not last so long.
370. MORNING STAR. This fine shrub has been sufficiently described in Paragraph 329. It can be raised from seed, or from layers.
371. MYRTLE. The Myrtle is a native of climates where it is never cold. It will not endure even November all out, in Long Island. To have it, therefore, it must be housed in winter. It may be raised from seed, cuttings, slips, or layers. The leaf of the Myrtle has a fine smell; and, when the tree is in bloom, it is pretty. But, it is a gloomy looking shrub. One Geranium is worth a thousand Myrtles. The broad-leaved Myrtle is the best in every respect, and especially because it is easily brought to blow.
372. NARCISSUS. A bulbous-rooted plant, managed precisely like the Hyacinth, which see. It blows early, is very beautiful, and has a delightful smell. Nothing is easier than the propagation and management of flowers of this tribe, and few are more pleasing. The Narcissus is a very nice thing for a parlour, or a green-house.
373. PASSION-FLOWER. So called because the flower has a Cross in the middle, and rays, resembling a glory, round the edges of it. It is a singularly beautiful flower. The plant is also beautiful. It is a climber, like the Honeysuckle; and, like that, has a succession of blossoms that keep it in bloom a long while. It is raised from cuttings, which, treated as other cuttings are, easily taken root.
374. PONY. A perennial that may be raised from seed or offsets. A grand flower for shrubberies. Each flower is usually as big as a tea-cup, and one plant will sometimes produce twenty or thirty.
375. PEA (Sweet.) There are a great variety in the annual sorts as to colour of blossom, and, there is a perennial sort, called everlasting pea. This stands, of course, year after year. The others are sown and cultivated like the common garden pea, They should have some sticks to keep them up. This is a very showy flower, and remains in bloom a long while.
376. PINK. This flower is too well known to need describing here. There are a great variety of sorts, as to the flower; but all are cultivated in the same way; exactly as directed for the Clove, which see. The Pink root will last a great many years; but, the flower is seldom so fine as the first year of the plant's blowing.
377. POLYANTHUS. Every thing that has been said of the Auricula (which see) maybe said of .the Polyanthus. It is a very pretty flower, and universally esteemed. It blows finest out of the hot sun. Polyanthuses are best in beds; for a great part of their merit consists of the endless variety which they present to the eye. The Polyanthus has a delicately sweet smell, like that of the Cowslip.
378. POPPY. A very bad smell, but still is to be sought for on account of its very great variety in size, height, and in flower; and on account of the gayness of that flower. The seed pods of some are of the bulk of a three pound weight, while those of others are not so big as even a small pea. The smallest, however, contains about a thousand seeds and these come up, and the plants flourish, with very little care. A pretty large bed, with two or three hundred sorts in it, is a spectacle hardly surpassed in beauty by any thing in the vegetable creation. It is an annual, of course. It is well known as a medicinal plant; but, it is not so well known as a plant from the seed of which sallad-oil is sometimes made! The Germans, on the Rhine, cultivate whole fields of it for this purpose. It may be as well, therefore, for us to take care not to use German Sallad-Oil, which, however, can with great difficulty be distinguished from oil of olives.
379. PRIMROSE. A beautiful little flower of a pale yellow and delicate smell. It comes very early in the spring; and continues a good while in bloom. Of the fibrous rooted flowers it is the next to the Daisy in point of earliness. It is a universal favourite; and, in England, it comes abundantly in woods, pastures and banks. It is perennial like the Cowslip, and is propagated in the same manner. How beautiful a Long Island wood would look in April, the ground beneath the trees being decked with Primroses!
380. RANUNCULUS. Is a flower of the nature of the Anemone, which see. It is propagated and cultivated in the same manner. These two flowers are usually planted out in beds, where they make a very fine show.
381 RHODODENDRON. It never occurred, perhaps, to any American to give this fine name to the laurel with a long narrow leaf and great bunches of blue, pink, or white flowers, the balls, or pods, containing which, appear the year before the flower It is, however, a beautiful shrub, and not less beautiful on account of its frequently covering scores of acres of rocky sides of hills, or on account of English Gardeners believing that it requires bog-earth (though fetched from many miles distance, at vast expense) to make it grow and blow!
382. ROSES. A volume larger than this would not describe the differences in all the sorts of this, which has, for ages, been considered as the Queen of Flowers, the excellences of which to attempt to describe would be to insult the taste of every reader. I shall, therefore, merely speak of the propagation and the management of the plant. All roses may be propagated from seed; but, as the seed seldom comes up till the second year, and as the plants come to perfection slowly, the usual mode of propagation of all sorts, except the China Rose, is by suckers. These come out near old stems, during the summer; they are dug up in the fall and planted out. In the spring they are cut down near to the ground, and, the next year, they blow. The China Rose is so easily raised from cuttings, that little bits, put in the ground in spring, will be trees, and have a profusion of bloom before the fall. This Rose is in bloom, in England, from May till January, if the soil and situation both be good. It is very strange that Mr. MARSHALL should set this down amongst "tender shrubs," and say, that "it will not do abroad, except in the summer months." It stands the winter as well as the oak, and, I have, for years, had it, against the front of my house, blowing finely at Christmas, without any attempt at covering. In America, in the open air, it might not be in bloom at Christmas; but it stands the winter as well as any tree that can be named. It is beautiful for the Green-house; for there it, mixed with Geraniums, blow beautifully all the winter long. As to the management of roses; the ground should be good, and dug every autumn as directed for fruit trees, and should be manured frequently. They should (except when trained against walls or over bowers) be kept cut down low; for, when they get long stems and limbs, they, like peach trees, not only look ugly, but bear but few flowers, and those very mean ones. They should, therefore, be cut to within a foot, or less, of the ground; and all dead or weak wood should be pruned out close, without leaving any ugly stubs.
383. SIBERIAN CRAB. This Shrub is, by some, esteemed for its fruit, of which they make a conserve, more, I imagine, to gratify the sight than to gratify the palate. But, as a tall shrub, it yields, for the time, to very few. There is the red-blossomed and the white-blossomed. The branches of both, when in bloom, present ropes of flowers, while the trunk, the limbs, the branches and the leaves, are all delicate in form and in hue.
384. SNOW DROP. Is the earliest of all flowers. In England it blows in January. Once in the ground it is not very easy to get it out again. Nothing but carrying it away, or actually consuming it with fire will rid you of it. No sun, not even an American sun, will kill a Snow-Drop bulb, if it touch the ground.
385. STOCK. There are annuals and biennials of this name; and, if I were to choose amongst all the annuals and biennials, I should certainly choose the Stock. Elegant leaf, elegant plant, beautiful, showy, and most fragrant flower; and, with suitable attention, bloom, even in the natural ground, from May to November in England, and from June to November here. The annuals are called ten week Stocks. And of these there are, with a pea-green leaf, the Red, White, Purple and Scarlet, and, then, there are all the same colours with a Wall-flower or Sea-Green leaf. So that there are eight sorts of the annual Stock. Of the biennials, there are the Brompton, of which there are the Scarlet and the White; the Dutch, which is Red; the Queen's, of which there are the Red and the White; and the Twickenham, which is Purple. As to propagation, it is, of course, by seed only. If there be nothing but the natural ground to rely on, the sowing must be early; the earth very fine and very rich. The seed is small and thin, and does not easily come up in coarse earth. If the plants come up thick, thin them, when very young. And do not leave them nearer together than six inches. They, however, transplant very well; and those that have not place to blow in may be removed, and a succession of bloom is thus secured. If you have a green-house, glass frame, or hand-glass, you get flowers six weeks earlier. The biennials are sown at the same time, and treated in the same way. They blow the second year; but, if there be great difficulty in preserving them, in the natural ground, through the winter in England, what must it be here! Indeed, it cannot be done; and yet, they are so fine; so lofty; such masses of beautiful and fragrant flowers; and they continue so long in bloom, that they are worth any care and any trouble. There is but one way: the plants, when they get ten or a dozen leaves, must be put into flower-pots. These may be sunk in the earth, in the open ground, till November (Long Island,) and when the sharp frosts come, the pots must be taken up, and placed out of the reach of hard frost, and where there is, however, sun and air. When the spring comes, the pots may be put out into the natural ground again; or, which is better, the balls of earth may be put into a hole made for the purpose; and thus the plants will be in the natural ground to blow. In this country they should be placed in the shade when put out again; for a very hot sun is apt to tarnish the bloom.
386. SYRINGA, or Mock-Orange. A very stout shrub, with blossoms much like that of the orange, and with a powerful smell. It is propagated from suckers, of which it sends out a great many.
387. SWEET WILLIAM. A very pretty flower. Makes a fine show. Comes Double by chance; and is very handsome whether double or single. It is propagated from seed, the plants coming from which do not blow till the second year. The Sweet William root does not last many years. It may be propagated by parting the roots; and this must be done to have the same flower again to a certainty because the seed do not, except by chance, produce flowers like those of the mother plant.
388. TUBEROSE. This is a bulbous-rooted plant that sends up a beautiful and most fragrant flower. But, even in England, it cannot be brought to perfection without artificial heat in the spring. If got forward in a green-house, or hot-bed, and put out about the middle of June, it would blow beautifully in America. It is a native of Italy, and the roots are brought to England and sold there in the shops. It is propagated and managed precisely like the Hyacinth, which see.
389. TULIP. Beds of Tulips vie with those of Carnations and Auriculas. They are made shows of in England, and a single root is sometimes sold for two or three hundred guineas. And, why not; as well as make shows of pictures, and sell them for large sums? There is an endless variety in the colours of the tulip. The bulbs, to have the flowers fine, must be treated like those of the Hyacinth. The tulip may be raised from seed; but it is, as in the case of the Hyacinth, a thousand to one against getting from seed a flower like that of the mother plant.
390. VIOLET. This is one of the four favourites of the Spring in England. It is a little creeping plant, that comes on banks under the shelter of warm hedges. The flower is so well known to excel in sweetness, that, "as sweet as a violet" is a phrase as common as any in the English language. There is a purple and a white. Abundance of seed is borne annually by both; and the plant is perennial. If you propagate from seed, the flower does not come till the second year; but, one plant, taken from an old root, will fill a rod of ground in a few years. There is a little plant in these woods in Long Island, with a flower precisely like that of the purple violet; but, the leaf is a narrow oblong, instead of being, as the English is, in the shape of a heart; the plant does not creep; and the flower has no smell.
391. WALL-FLOWER. It is so called, because it will grow, sow itself, and furnish bloom in this way, by a succession of plants, for ever, upon old walls, where it makes a beautiful show. It bears abundance of seed, plants from which produce flowers the second year. Some come double, sometimes. If you wish to be sure of double flowers, you must propagate by slips of double-flowering plants. There are the yellow and the mixed, partly yellow and partly red. All have a delightful smell, blow early, and are generally great favourites. I am afraid this plant, even with covering, will not stand the winter out of doors in America, unless in the south front of a building, and covered too in severe weather; for, even in England, it is sometimes killed by the frosts.