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“All is fine that is fit.”

                                                                                — Old Proverb. 

ONE of the most essential points in successful gardening is that the plants employed should be well suited to the soil and situation, for however well the garden is conceived and carried out we get but a sorry effect unless there is a wholesome luxuriance of growth and an appearance of permanence and peace. Besides, it is cruel to require a plant to struggle for existence in an environment totally unsuited to it when there are others which will do the work far better because they are at peace with the surroundings. One has but to observe nature to realize that for every situation, however unlikely or uncompromising, there is some green thing which will find in it a congenial home and will gratefully clothe its barren surface with bloom and verdure. Constantly in garden making we are confronted with conditions under which most of the well-known hardy herbaceous perennials and gay annuals may not thrive, and it often requires much expense and experiment before the right plants are found. The following notes have been made over a period of many years from nature, from many gardens visited, and from constant experimenting in my own, and while they do not pretend to be exhaustive by any means, may be of some assistance to those whose horticultural enigmas are similar to my own.

The problems chosen are those which seem to me most often met with.


Many times I have heard people say: “We cannot have a garden; our place is too shady.” Now this is not at all true, for, while to many of us the word “garden” signifies a sunny space, gay and sweet with Roses, Pinks, Poppies, Sunflowers, and brilliant annuals, to which shade is a serious menace, one may still have a garden of great beauty, charm, and fragrance beneath the spreading boughs of trees.

One point the owner of the shaded gardens must keep in mind — that the roots of trees rob the soil of both food and drink, and so nourishment in extra quantity must be given the plants, and water also, for a shaded situation does not by any means imply a damp one.

I know of no annuals that do really well in shade, and there are not so many highly coloured flowers, but one will have instead a softly charming harmony. All the lavender, purple, and blue tones assume an especial quality of tender loveliness in shadowy places, and white is much purer than in full sunshine.

By a shaded garden we of course do not mean one which is so densely shadowed as never to be reached by the sun. Few plants would thrive under such conditions. Beds of ferns make a delightful setting for the many spring bulbs possible in the shaded garden. Plants marked * will stand only light shade.

Asters (hardy)
Aconitum, in var.                   Monkshood
Anemone japonica       
        Japanese Anemone
“      sylvestris                Wood           "
*     “     Pulsatilla                Pasque Flower
nemorosa                Snowdrop Anemone
"    Hepatica                 Liver Leaf
rula odorata                Sweet Woodruff
“      hexaphylla
Arenaria balearica      
       Mountain Sandwort
Aquilegia, in var.                   Columbine
Campanula, in var.                Bellflower
Cimicifuga, in var.                 Snakeroot
Corydalis lutea             
"       nobilis                 Noble Fumatory
Chionodoxa                         Glory of the Snow
Dicentra spectabilis      
     Bleeding Heart
"      eximia
Dicentra Cucullaria      
     Dutchman’s Breeches
Digitalis purpurea         
grandiflora            Yellow Glove
Doronicum, in var.                 Leopard’s-bane
Daffodils, in var.
Funkias     “  “                       Day Lily
Fritilaria     “  “                      Fritilary
Galanthus  ”  “                       Snowdrop
*Geranium Ibericum
Geranium san guineum 
     Wild Geranium
Helleborus niger                  Christmas Rose
Iris foetidissima                   Foetid Iris
Iberis sempervirens             Candytuft
Lilies, in var. except candidum and marsh-dwellers
Lythrum Salicaria            
Linaria Cymbalaria         
  Kennelworth Ivy
Lunaria biennis                
Meconopsis cambrica      
  Welsh Poppy (protect)
Myosotis, in var.                   Forget-me-not
Mitella diphylla                
Narcissus, in var.
Primroses, in var.
Pansies, in var.
Polemonium, in var.               Jacob’s Ladder
*Paeonies, in var.
*Papaver orientale           
  Oriental Poppy
* “ nudicaule                       Iceland
Polygonatum bifiorum       
Solomon’s Seal
Pulmonaria, in var.                Lungwort
Phlox divaricata                
Canadian Phlox
* “ tall growing
*Rudbeckia speciosa          
Ruta graveolens                
Spiraeas, in var.
Scillas,      “   “                       Squills
Sanguinaria canadensis      
Senecio, in var.                      Groundsel
Saxifrage umbrosa              
London Pride (protect)
Trilliums, in var.                     Wakerobin
Thalictrums, in var.                 Meadow Rue
Tiarella cordifolia                
Foam Flower
Tradescantia virginica         
Vincas, in var.                         Perriwinkle
Violets and Violas, in var.
Winter Aconites



 Oak, Ash, Birch, and Horse-chestnut trees, the roots of which go deep into the earth, are less a tax upon the upper soil than such as Maples, Elms, Beeches, and Sycamores, whose roots prowl along the surface. The ground beneath Pines is particularly hard to clothe, but it is said that the indomitable little Periwinkle can find a living even here.

For carpeting the ground when grass has given up the attempt to spread its green carpet, we should be grateful to the following plants:

Vinca minor                      Periwinkle
Hypericum calycinum             
St. John’swort
Pachysandra terminalis          
Allegheny Mountain Spurge
Ajuga reptans                 
Lysimachia Nummularia         
Lamium maculatum                
Dead Nettle
Hedera Helix                 
Aegopodium Podagraria        
Scillas, in var.                            Squills 

Many of these small subjects have variegated varieties (especially the Goutweed) which are very useful in lighting up shadowy corners. It must be borne in mind that plants set out in such an uncompromising situation must be well looked after and watered until well established.



Actinidia polygama                   Barberries, in var.
Akebia quinata                 
         Symphoricarpus racemosus
Virginia Creeper                         Rhus cotinus
Honeysuckles, in var.                  Euonymus Japonicus
Clematis large flowered (partial Forsythia shade)
Clematis virginiana                 
  Philadelphus coronarius
Tecoma radicans                         Daphne Mezereum
Euonymus radicans                      Andromeda floribunda
Ivy — English                              Box
Celastrus scandens                      Rhododendrons, in var.
Cornus florida                             Azaleas, in var.
Cersis canadensis                        Amelanchier canadensis
Laburnum vulgare                        Kalmia angustifolia
Ribes aureum and sanguineum      Hypericum Moserianum (protect)
Lonicera fragrantissima                Ligustrum Japonicum
Berberis aquifolium 


If such banks occur in parts of the place where it is desired that great neatness prevail, they are best sodded and kept in order with the rest of the lawn, but if in more informal localities where grass grows upon them only in untidy whisps, a charming feature may be made of such a bank by the employment of some of the creeping plants, which will easily find a footing upon its sloping surface and finally form a sort of turf.

They will, of course, need care and water until thoroughly established, and the bank must be kept free from weeds until the little plants have fairly covered the surface.

The plants may be set out about a foot apart each way, and will soon cover the space between. All the plants listed are easily raised from seed, so the large number required may be acquired at little expense. Some of them also seed themselves freely, those marked * are especially prolific. All are trailers save the Sea Pink and the Maiden Pink, which latter, I think, might be termed a semi-trailer.

Thymus serpyllum, in var.                   Wild Thyme
*Dianthus deltoides.                           Maiden Pink
Armeria Maritima                               Sea Pink or Thrift
Crucinella Stylosa                               Crosswort
*Callirhoe involucrata                         Poppy Mallow
Lotus corniculatus                              Bird's-foot Trefoil
Armeria latifolia                                  Thrift
Ajuga reptens                                     Bugle weed


The clay bank presents greater difficulty, as this soil by reason of its density shuts the plants off from their proper share of air, besides, owing to the slope and the frequently baked condition of the top soil, much of the surface water runs off before the thirsty roots have an opportunity to enjoy it. It is easy to see that many plants would fail under such trying conditions, but much may be done by choosing only such plants as are able to meet the situation with equanimity. If the slope is a long one trees and shrubs may be employed, and of those perhaps Elms, Norway Maples, and Oaks are the best. The American Thorns, Crataegus, may also be used and:

Robinia hispida                        Rose Acacia
Citysus scoparius                 
    Scotch Broom
Common Privet
Euonymous atropurpurea      
Sumachs, in var.
Pyrus aucuparia                 
     Bird Cherry
Crataegus Crus-galli              
Cockspur Thorn
Viburnum acerifolium            
Maple-leaved Viburnum
"       dentatum                Arrow Wood
Rosa rugosa                
             Japanese Rose
Symphoricarpus race
mosus    Snowberry
Rosa canina                 
            Dog Rose
Wichuraina, in var.           Japanese Trailing Rose
Honeysuckle, in var.
Tecoma radicans                 
    Trumpet Vine
Clematis virginica                
   Traveller’s Joy
"       vitalba                      Virgin’s Bowe
Artemisias, in var.
Achilleas     “   “                        Yarrow
Sea Hollies  "   "
Globe Thistles, in var.                Mullein
Verbascums, in var.
Aster Novae Angliae, in var.      Michaelmas Daisy
Polygonum cuspidatum              Knotweed
“         compactum 

Such a bank is best planted in the fall and the plants kept well watered in dry weather. Young plants are best employed, as these are more vigorous and establish themselves more quickly, and broad, natural-looking groups of the kinds used are most effective.



 Many plants by reason of their sophisticated and finished appearance are unsuitable for naturalizing in half wild and waste places. Hollyhocks, Paeonies, Phlox, save the old purple, Deiphiniums, Chrysanthemums, Moonpenny Daisies, and Veronicas seem particularly to belong to the tidy garden; and new or rare plants should not be planted in such a situation. The most suitable are those which are native to the neighbourhood, or which are so little fussy about soil and situation and so hardy that they in a large measure reproduce themselves, so that in time there will be really natural thickets and stretches planted without our agency.

The following list includes such plants as seem to me particularly appropriate for naturalizing:


Achilleas, in var.                     Yarrow
Rudbeckias, in var.                 Coneflower
Lupinus                                  Common blue and white
Hemerocallis, in var.               Yellow Day Lily
Doronicums, in var.                 Leopard’s Bane
Campanula trachelium          Throatwort
         "         rapunculus         Rampion
         “         lactiflora             Bellflower
         "        latifolia                      "
Camassia esculenta               
Phlox divaricata                
   Canadian Phlox
“    subulata                       Creeping Phlox (rocky places)
    “    old purple                      Canadian Creeping
Saponaria officinalia              
Bouncing Bet
Hesperis matronatis               
Sweet Rocket
Helianthus, in var.                     Sunflowers
Solidago     “   “                       Goldenrod
Aster                                       Hardy Asters, in var.
Verbascums, in var.                 Mullein
Cimicifuga     “   "                     Snakeroot
Columbine    "    "
Echinops       “   “                     Globe thistles
Eryngiums     “   “                     Sea Holly
Lunaria biennis                
Tussilago fragrans                
Boconia cordata                
    Plume Poppy
Epilobium angustifoliu
m        Willow herb
Geraniums, in var.                     Crane’s Bill
Liatris pycnostachya              
Kansas Gayfeather
m Salicaria                   Purple loosestrife
Hieracium, in var.                     Hawkweed
Anemones  “   “                       Windflower
Digitalis purpurea            
Primroses                                Common
Roses — Wild, or others of Rampant growth.
Lilium tigrinum                         Tiger Lily
    Canadense                     Nodding Lily
       superbum                       Turk’s Cap Lily
    philadelphicum               Huckleberry Lily
Baptisia australis     
              False Indigo
        tinctoria                     Yellow
Any plants native to neighbourhood



Narcissus incomparabilis, in var.
        "      Leedsii               "   "
        "      poeticus             "   "
Muscari — Grape Hyacinth, in var.
Crocus, in var.
Star of Bethlehem, in var.
Fritillaria Meleagris,
Snakeshead Fritillary var. alba.
Scillas, in var., Blue bells or Squills
Eythroniums, in var., Dog’s tooth Violet



English Field Poppy
Borage officinalis,
mone Mexicana, Mexican Poppy
Corn Flowers


 Marsh and water gardening is best carried out upon rather a broad scale — that is, good stretches of one sort of plant, of course regulated by the size of one’s available space. A large majority of marsh plants are rampant “doers” and prosper at such a rate that they quickly crowd out their lesser brethren unless steps are taken to protect them. And so if the space to be planted is of no great size, these enthusiastic colonizers should be omitted and choice made among the more conservative stay-at-homes. If, however, one has a fairly broad marsh or extensive waterside at one’s disposal one may use these larger subjects with fine effect, and with them the moisture-loving trees and shrubs. Most of the marsh plants need little care when once established, spreading or seeding generously, and for this I am devoutly thankful, for I cannot love the marsh and its handsome tenantry as dearly as the landlubbers among my plants. Whether it is that pottering about among them is neither very practical nor agreeable, or whether it is an instinctive aversion to all bog life, animal or vegetable, a dislike of wet feet and oozy places and a mortal fear of snakes, I do not know, but verily am I glad that the marsh folk are able to shift for themselves in a great degree.

It is necessary to pay some attention to the marsh colour scheme, for many of its inhabitants are highly coloured and many wear the beautiful but warring hue known to fame as “rosy magenta.” Luckily, however, there are a fair number of fluffy white flowers to intervene between these and the vibrant swamp Lilies and gay scarlet Cardinal Flower, and only a little care is needed when planting is done in this “broad natural manner.” We excuse Nature of much for which we would condemn the gardener.

In laying out a path along a stream side the planting should be largely done on the opposite bank, as this gives us the opportunity of enjoying a better view.

In planting around a formal pool in the flower garden the choice is best limited to plants of a tidy and rather severe character, and for this purpose nothing is better than the many water-loving Irises and the broadleaved Funkias, with perhaps a few feathery Spiraeas interspersed.


Alnus viridis                                    Green Alder
Azalea nudif
lora                              Pixter Flower
Azalea viscosa                 
                Swamp Honeysuckle
Benzoin benzoin                 
              Spice Bush
Betula nigra                 
                    Black Birch
Cephalanthus occidentalis  
            Button Bush
Clethra alnifolia                 
              Sweet Pepper
Cornus Stolonifera              
            Red Osier
  "    alba                                     White-fruited Dogwood
paniculata (candidissima)     Panicled Dogwood
  "    Amomum                             Swamp Dogwood
Halesia tetraptera               
Snowdrop Tree
Hamamelis virginica           
Witch Hazel
Ilex verticillata                 
    Black Alder
Itea virginica                 
       Virginia Willow
Nyssa sylvatica                 
    Sour Gum
Populus                                  Poplar
Quercus bicolor                 
   Swamp White Oak
Rosa nitida                 
           Northeastern Rose
“    carolina                         Swamp Rose
Salix alba                 
             White Willow
  “    discolor                         Pussy
  Vitellini                         Yellow
Spiraea salicifolia                
Meadow Sweet
tomentosa                Steeple Bush



Acorus Calamus                     Lobelia syphilitica
Althaea officinalis                 
Lysimachia vulgaris
Arundo donax                 
       Lythrum Salicaria
Astilbe, in var.                         Mertensia virginica
Caltha palustris                 
    Mitchella repens (creeping)
Dodecatheon media              
Monarda didyma
Epilobiums, in var.                   Myosotis palustris
Eupatorium purpureum        
Narcissus John Bain
Ferns, in var.                                   “      Sir Watkin
Fritillaria alba    
                           “      P. R. Barr
Funkias, in var.                                “      Beauty
Goodyera repens        
                    “     Stella Superba
Hemerocallis, in var.                        “      Emperor
Heracleum giganteum            Narcissus poeticus
Iris siberica,
in var.                                 albus plenus odorata
aurea                             Parnassia palustris
   “  monspur                               Peltandra virginica
   “  versicolor                            Physostegia virginica
   Kaempferi                            Pontederia cordata
pseudacorus                         Ranunculus, in var.
   “  Monnieri                              Sagittaria variabilis
   “  Delayayi                                     “               “         fl. pl.
   “  ochroleuca (syn. orientalis gigantea)
Lilium pardilinum
                   Senecio, in var.
       "    superbum                      Spiraeas, in var.
“   canadense                      Spigelia marylandica
Lobelia cardinalis
                     Trollius, in var.
Typha latifolia



Wall gardening has become one of the arts and it is not possible to enter into so large a subject in so small a space, but for those who have already a dry retaining wall or two in their gardens the few plants here given, which are so easily established and grow so readily in such a position, may be of use. If the wall is an old one there will probably be soil enough in the crevices to content those plants, but if fairly new, soil must be rammed firmly back into the crack which we intend to plant. If one has a wall to build and wishes to make of it a really successful wall garden, it is advisable to procure one of the many fascinating books which cover the subject. Of those Miss Jekyll’s “Wall and Water Gardens,” and H. H. Thomas’ “Rock Gardening for Amateurs” will be found most helpful.

Seed may be rammed into the soil between the stones, or very small seedlings, or tiny bits of plants with a good root. Large plants are not advisable, as they seldom “take hold” in those narrow quarters.


Nepeta Mussini                        Santolina incana
Corydalis lutea                 
        Campanula carpatica
Lavender, Munstead Dwarf        Cerastium tomentosum
Sedum, in var.                            Helianthemum, in var.
Sempervivum, in var.                  Thymus vulgaris
Aubrietia, in var.                         Satureia montana
Alyssum saxatile                 
       Phlox subulata, in var.
Arabis alpina                 
            Achillea, tomentosa
Dianthus, in var.                          Centranthus rubra
Linum perenne                
          Antirrhinum (snapdragon)
Iberis sempervirens                  Veronica repens
Tunica Saxifraga  
                           “       prostrata
Gypsophila repens


 There is much to be said in favour of paved walks and terraces. In small, enclosed formal gardens flagstone walks give a very quaint, old-world air, and they are a charming adjunct to houses of the Pennsylvania Colonial type, or to more pretentious dwellings built after the Elizabethan style. They are permanent and easy to maintain, always dry, and admit of a very interesting type of gardening. The stones, which, of course, must be flat, may be irregular or regular as to shape, and if irregular as to shape may be of various sizes, but small stones, of course, are not suitable. The soil beneath the stones should be a good sandy loam to the depth of several inches, and the cracks between the stones will serve as a lodging place for many a charming creeping or tufted thing.

One must, however, use restraint in this sort of gardening and keep in mind the fact that the path is first of all designed for the pedestrian, and one does not wish to have one’s feelings harrowed at every step by crushing some helpless green thing beneath one’s heel. We do not mind picking our way a bit, though, and if this diminutive tenantry is kept a bit to one side they are in no great danger. Some of the small plants seem quite indifferent to being trod upon. Thyme is one of these and sends up clouds of welcoming perfume behind our lagging footsteps. Only the most diminutive subjects are suitable for the centre of the path, but along the sides, if the path be wide enough, some of the larger alpines may have a place. In planting, seedlings or very small bits of plants should be used, or seeds may be inserted between the cracks. A narrow wooden plant label is a useful tool in setting out the tiny plants, for any real tool known to me is far too large.

One must have the eye of a lynx for weeds in the paved path and slaughter them in infancy, for once well rooted beneath the stones it is a terrible task to get them out. Except for this the path will require little attention, for once settled the small plants have at their disposal the moisture beneath the stones, good food, and a cool root-run, which insures them peace and comfort. Many of them will self-sow, and perhaps after a while the path will become overcrowded, but they will make prettier groups of themselves than we can possibly devise, and thinning them out occasionally is not a very difficult matter.



Acaena microphylla                     Draba aizoides
Erinus alpinus                             Thymus lanuginosus
Arenaria balearica
(shade)               “       Serpyllum, in var.
Antennaria tomentosa                 Linaria hepaticoefolia
Campanula pusilla       
                     “       Cymbalaria
Mentha Requieni


Dianthus caesius                          Tunica saxifraga
"     deltoides                       Arabis alpina fl. pl.
      arenarius                      Arenaria montana
Aubrietia, in var.                            Gypsophila repens
Armeria maritima              
          Hypericum repens
Veronica repens                 
          Phlox subulata G. F. Wilson
Papaver alpinum   
                           “          “        Nelsoni
Silene alpestris                 
             Campanula carpatica
                                           “          rotundifolia
Linaria alpina


Sedum coeruleum                 lonopsidium acaule
       Gypsophila muralis


 The charm and usefulness of plants with gray, hoary, or gray-blue foliage is being more and more realized and appreciated. They make possible many a soft and satisfying harmony, and have the advantage of remaining in good condition the season through. In the late autumn, when most of our flowers have been driven away by sharp frosts, the gray-foliaged plants assume a new interest and keep the garden looking “dressed” until winter has fairly closed down upon us.


 Antennaria tomentosa
Artemisia Stelleriana
                abro anum
Cerastium tomentosum
Pinks in variety
Funkia Sieboldiana and Fortunei
Nepeta Mussini
Elymus glaucus (syn. arenarius)
Centaurea candidissima, Annual
       “          gymnocarpa,    
Cineraria maritima,            "
(Creeping Dusty Miller)
Ruta graveolens
Santolina incana
Lavender — tall and dwarf
Thymus lanuginosus, in var., Creeping
Alyssum saxatile var. compactum
Veronica incan
Eryngium maritimum
Salvia officinalis
Sedum Sieboldii Ewersii and spectabile
Achilea tomentosa
Festuca glauca
Thalictrum glaucum
Stachys lanata

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