« AnteriorContinuar »
quality may also be procured by seed, which should be sown in spring or in July, or both, for the purpose of securing succession. Some of the earlier sowing will be found to bloom in the autumn, if it has been made early; and in mild places they will be very welcome then, as they will continue well into winter if the weather is favourable. If the seed is sown in March, a cold frame or hand-glass should be devoted to it, and it may be sown broadcast or in lines, in the frame or in pots, according as the quantity needed, and the convenience in other respects, may determine. In July they may be sown in the open ground in a reserve spot, or at once where they are to flower, but they are better for being transplanted, and on this account a nursingbed and a little trouble in pricking out the seedlings are advisable. Native of Germany and other parts of central and southern Europe.
D. caryophyllus (Carnation or Clove).- This is the parent of the Carnation, Clove, and Picotee in all their splendid varieties, so much and deservedly esteemed for the handsome form, brilliant colours, and delicious fragrance that distinguish them above nearly every other cultivated flower. As seen in nature, this species forms considerable tufts of linear glaucous leaves, with weak straggling stems a foot or more high, and purple or white flowers. But the parent would not be tolerated beside the progeny in gardens; its capabilities for ornamentation would be on trial, indeed, alongside even inferior varieties that have sprung
from it. The varieties are very numerous, many hundreds have been named, but, like all more than ordinarily variable flowers which have received much attention from florists, there is much similarity of feature between the individuals that form large collections; and for the purposes of decoration a few distinct sorts of hardy constitution selected from the different races of Clove, Carnation, and Picotee, will be found more satisfactory than collections of trivially-defined ones. The Cloves, red and white, are the most fragrant, the true Carnations—that is, the bizarres and flakes, as they are named by florists, according to the style of their colouring—and the Picotees are only less sweet, but the great beauty and variety of their flowers compensate somewhat for that deficiency. All these races of the Carnation are rather difficult to cultivate in heavy wet soil. The Picotee is less troublesome to keep up in such than the others, but they are all more liable to perish in winter than when placed in drier sandier earth. means obvious enough can be taken to preserve the old plants even in the worst of soils through the winter, and stock should be made by layers every season to make up gaps that will
inevitably occur under the best management and in the most favourable soils. In summer, when needful, they should receive a mulching of old dung above the roots; and this is especially necessary in dry soils, and in the case of young plants particularly. The Carnation is doubtfully a native of England; it is found growing on old walls, and in other positions in different
rts of the country, but is more abundant on the Swiss Alps and the west of France.
D. cæsius (Grey or Cheddar Pink).-A densely-glaucous species, growing in close symmetrical tufts with short linear blunt and stiff leaves. The flower-stems, 6 or 7 inches high, are very erect, usually one-flowered; the flowers, large, rose-coloured, and sweet, appear in May, June, and July. Native of Britain,—but rare, at least local,—and of other countries of Europe. It is exceedingly impatient of wet, and does not succeed well in the mixed border unless it is so dry as to be unsuitable for most other plants, but thrives well on dry rockwork. In nature it affects old walls and volcanic and limestone rocks, a circumstance suggestive enough of the treatment it should receive in cultivation.
D. cruentus (Bloody Pink).- This species is nearly related to the Sweet-william, but is scarcely so robust in growth. The leaves are narrower and less flaccid, but the dense umbel-like heads of flowers are the same in style, and the colour of the flowers intense dark crimson. It grows from 1 foot to 18 inches high, and flowers in June and July. Native of southern Russia. Best adapted to cultivation in the mixed border.
D. dentosus (Toothed Pink).—This is a very distinct species, dwarf and tufted, with bold glaucous leaves, the stems rising 6 or 8 inches high. The flowers are large, purplish, with a darker centre, the edges of the petals notched. A very beautiful plant, adapted specially for culture on rockwork, but succeeds well in warm dry borders also. Flowers in May, June, and July. Native of Siberia.
D. hybridus (Mule-Pink).—This is supposed to be a hybrid between the Carnation and the Sweet-william ; but whatever its origin, there are a number of beautiful varieties included in the name, and more or less of them should be grown in every garden where cut flowers are much in demand. They may be treated as to soil and propagation the same as other Pinks.
D. neglectus, syn. D. glacialis (Glacier Pink).—A very diminutive but beautiful and rare species, from the loftiest positions on the Swiss and Tyrolese Alps. It is of close tufted habit, with very short grass-like leaves slightly glaucous, and the very
short stems crowned with large pure rose-coloured flowers. Adapted only for culture on rockwork, or in pots.
D. petræus (Rock Pink).-A dwarf tufted species growing about 6 inches high, producing rather dense masses of hard narrow leaves sharply pointed. The flower-stems bear usually but one large pink flower, the margins of the petals being deeply and irregularly cut. Flowers in July and August. Native of Hungary, and adapted to either the rockwork or mixed border in sandy but moist soil.
D. plumarius (Garden Pink).- This is the reputed parent of the varieties of the florists' Pink, but there is reason to believe that other species have had a share in the production of them; for although the race more especially cultivated for exhibition, and called Pheasant's-eyes by the florists, may be reckoned unmistakable progeny of plumarius, there are many sorts which cannot be classed with these, and seem to have strong relationship to deltoides and other species near it in character and the Carnation. To enumerate varieties and make selections here would be an endless and notavery satisfactory task. These, along with all florists' flowers, have large additions of new claimants for honours annually brought to their ranks, which, whether improvements or not, for a time hold a place, and disturb or displace older varieties in the collections of private growers. It is best for the purpose merely of adorning the mixed border and rockwork to select those that are hardiest, and that grow and flower freely, irrespective of fine flowers, as popularly judged. Among these, the best that I know are the old fringed white and red, very double flowers, and sweet and early, lasting also long, and growing well in almost any kind of soil. Anne Boleyn is admirable for the beauty and fragrance of its flowers where it grows well, but is difficult to manage in heavy wet soil; and there is a race of perpetual-flowering Pinks that are valuable both for their sustained blooming habit and adaptability to forcing. Garibaldi, with the habit ofĂnne Boleyn, is one of the finest of these. D. plumarius, in the normal state, is not worth growing beside most of its varieties. It is a very glaucous diffuse-growing plant, with very few flowers to the stem. The flowers are white, with a dark-purple centre, and the petals fringed on the margins. Flowers in summer. Native of many parts of Europe, and is naturalised in some parts of England on old walls and rocks.
D. superbus (Superb Pink).—This beautiful species is distinguished at a glance by the peculiarity of the petals being pinnately divided for half their length. The stems are erect, 17 foot high, surmounted by a loose panicle of the pecu
liar flowers, which are large, pink, or purplish, and white, and fragrant. Most suitable for the mixed border in very light dry soil, it is impatient of wet in winter, and from this cause liable to destruction. Stock may be kept up by cuttings and by seed; and the latter, in the way recommended for Sweet-williams, is the best method to adopt in order to keep up unfailing supplies. Flowers throughout summer till late. Native of many countries of Europe.
Gypsophila.—This genus is characterised more by grace than striking beauty of flowers. The flowers are small, but produced in great numbers in loose graceful panicles. They are plants that are easily cultivated in any common garden-soil
, and are propagated by division and seeds, the latter in the open ground in spring.
G. fastigiata (Peaked G.)—This species grows from 172 to 2 feet high, the stems upright and leafy, the leaves being linear and somewhat angular. Flowers in loose terminal corymbs small and white, appearing in June, July, and August. Native of many parts of central Europe.
G. prostrata (Trailing G.) - This is a pretty species for rockwork or the front lines of the mixed border. It grows in spreading masses of glaucous leaves, which are linear-lanceolate in form. The flowers, white or pink and small, are borne on very slender stems in loose graceful panicles, and continue to appear from midsummer till September. Native of the Alps generally and Siberia.
G. Steveni (Steven's G.) grows about 18 inches to 2 feet high in diffuse habit, with glaucous grass-like leaves. The flowers are gracefully panicled and white, appearing in July and lasting a few weeks. Native of Iberia.
Lychnis.—This group, though not numerous, comprises some very beautiful plants for the mixed border and rockwork. In cultivation they are best suited with moist, rich, but light loam; some of the species, in fact, delight in moist boggy pastures in nature. Like the varieties of Pink and Carnation, the species and varieties of this family are most beautiful as border plants when two or three years old, either from cuttings or division, and they are all easily managed by division in early autumn or spring Cuttings are not so easily managed, but if they should be resorted to, the best plan is to cut down the flowering-stems before they have become too hard and lost their leaves; then cut them into lengths of two joints, taking care to cut up to the solid of the lower joint, and treat them afterwards as Pink cuttings. They are often slow to strike, but must be waited for.
L. alpina Alpine Lychnis).- A very dwarf species growing in tufted masses about 6 inches high, bearing its beautiful pink flowers in close heads. The leaves are lanceolate and not viscid, and the petals are deeply cut into two. Best fitted for culture on rockwork in sandy loam and peat. Flowers in spring and summer. A very local native of Britain, being found only on the top of Little Kilrannoch in Forfarshire, but enjoys a wide distribution in central and northern Europe and Asia, but only on the loftiest mountains of the former.
L. Bungeana, syn. Agrostemma Bungeana (Bunge's Lychnis). -A very handsome brilliant scarlet species. It grows about 18 inches or 2 feet high. The leaves are broadly lance-shaped, slightly downy. The flowers are large, the petals spreading and deeply cut on the margin: they appear in summer and last a month or two. It likes well-drained yet moist soil, sandy but rich. Native of north-west Asia.
L. chalcedonica (Scarlet Lychnis).—This is a stately and beautiful species, well known in most gardens. It grows about 3 feet high, with broad lanceolate leaves opposite on the stems, which make usually an abortive attempt at branching on alternate sides of the stem. The flowers are brilliant scarlet, in dense crowded heads, appearing in June, July, and August. There is a white variety, which may be grown for variety's sake in large collections, but is worthless as compared with the scarlet. The doubles in both scarlet and white are the best; they are more striking and last much longer. It grows in any good garden-soil, and all the better for biennial removal into a fresh position. Native of Russia.
L. coronaria, syn. Agrostemma coronaria (Rose Campion).-A tall rather coarse plant, scarcely worth growing but in large collections. It is erect in growth, 2 or 3 feet high, with downy stems and leaves, and large reddish purple or crimson flowers solitary on long stalks. There is a white variety and a double crimson, the latter dwarfer and more compact than the type, and a very handsome plant worthy of a place in even select collections. Native of the south of Europe. Flowers from early summer till autumn.
L. flos-cuculi (Ragged Robin).—The double form of this common plant is a charming ornament to the mixed border or rockwork. It should be well known that this Lychnis is abundantly native of our country, and adorns the moist banks of streams and wet meadows with its pretty pink blossoms for a great part of the summer. The double variety is worthy of a place in any garden, both for the continuity of bloom and the bright pleasing flowers so freely produced by it. The