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Gardening :

THE GARDEN MAGAZINE - May 1917 pages 235-236+





May 1917
Front Cover / Inside Front
Inside Back / Back Cover


211 Spring Time is Lilac Time AD
More Crops from Your Garden ADs
215 Manure, Catalog ADs
216 Nursery, Bulb ADs
217 Irrigation, Greenhouse ADs
218 Nurseries, Portable Houses ADs
219 Table of Contents
220 The President to the People (Wilson's plea for gardens)
221 Among our Garden Neighbors
222 Papaya, Opal Anchusa, Cotton, Japanese Knotweed
223 Gordonia, Building a Better Home, Letters
224 The Month's Reminder
225 Summer Flower-Roots for Present Planting - Gladiolus
New Deutzias Better than Old
230 The Rockery Idea in Edgings
231 Home Vegetable Gardens A Patriotic Duty
How the Modern Lilac Came to Be
234 Victor Lemoine, Plant Hybridist
The Evolution of My Garden
237 The New Race of Hardy Astilbes
Prepare in May for Winter Flowers
Novelties in Summer Flower-roots and Bulbs
243 Flower Ads
244 The Fruit Garden -
Crown Grafting
245 Nursery ADs
How to Pot A Plant
247 Gladiolus, Evergreens, Trellis ADs
249 Lawn Mower, Nurseries ADs
250 Insurance by Protection
251 Flower ADs
252 Watermelon Stem End Rot
253 Lawn Mower, Flowers ADs
254 The Indigoferas for Late Flower
255 Shrubs, Rudyard Kipling, Humas ADs
Coming Events Club & Society News
257 Book ADs
259 Greenhouse, Birdhouse, Portable Houses, Flag Poles ADs
261 Pottery, Greenhouse, Stoves, Wire Cloth ADs
262 Companions for Larkspurs
263 War Air Generator, Listerine, Stanley, Birdhouses ADs
264 Chicken Chowder, Fence, Portable Poultry Runways, Oregon & California Railroad Co. Land Grants for Sale (2,300,000 acres)ADs


The Evolution of My Garden MRS. GREENLEAF CLARKE


FROM personal experience I can tell those who look with longing eyes on a neighbor's lovely garden with its dainty and welcome blossoms heralding the advent of spring and on through to the rich and gorgeous blossoms of May, June, and July, into the gay annuals of August and September until the Japanese Anemones and Chrysanthemums bid us farewell in October and November, that this is all possible for you without the aid of a gardener and even with no experience, provided you are willing to become acquanited with the plants through personal contact, the glory of success, the sorrow of failure, a little patience and some work.
  The garden of which I tell is located on an ordinary city lot, 60 x 120, which also includes the house. It started with a row of Sweet Peas, the trench being made with a trowel, little or nothing known about flowers, until as year by year has passed (seven in all), the lure of the garden has become more and more alluring, and I now am deep in the throes of "gardenitis."
  The sixty-foot border of Sweet Peas, which was first made to separate the main lawn from a very good sized vegetable garden, has gradually widened, first taking one row of beans, then another, then robbing the cucumber patch!—Who does not know the symptoms?—until finally this year the vegetables had to go and a Rose and Chrysanthemum garden takes its place. We no longer eat!
  The house, with the lawn surrounding it, occupies about one half the lot; the garden has the rest. Across the back of the lawn runs a border 60 feet long, with a 4-foot path taken out, not in the middle, but divided 'according to the ratio of 2 and 1. The 4-foot path runs directly to the back of the lot across which is planted an Ibota Privet hedge 6 feet high. This hedge encloses the back and sides of the garden. The border 20 feet and 35 feet long is 2 feet wide. It is bordered on the garden side with Box edging, and in it are planted Darwin Tulips. Those wonderful Tulips with their pastel colorings, accented here and there with a rich, dark neighbor, during their season are. the queens of the garden. After they have gone, I plant in between them (for I have left the bulbs in the ground with good success) pale pink and white Petunias, and mixed Drummond's Phlox, with a border of white Verbenas next the Box edging, and the other side a border of blue Ageratum with white Sweet Alyssum. This sounds like a woeful mixture and would never appeal to one of asthetic taste! But actually it is charming, and I came upon it quite by accident. Previous years a hedge of mixed Zinnias had been planted there, which were most satisfactory, but having had the Zinnias for some years and desiring a change I thought I would try the Phlox. An ounce of seed planted in a cold frame was a failure. Obtaining a few plants only from the seed planted, I bought from the florist four dozen Petunias, two dozen white and two dozen Rosy Morn. These (true to color of course) were planted in between Phlox already raised with some old seed sprinkled in. The border of white Verbenas had been planned, having seen it at the S. A. F. Convention Gardens in Boston a few years ago. Two packets of seeds furnished me enough plants. The Ageratum and the Sweet Alyssum sowed itself. I expected a conglomeration of disappointment, and I was disappointed—but happily so. Such a dainty, cool, lacy, delicate border!
  Next this narrow border outlining the lawn, running parallel with it, is a 60 foot path, 4 feet wide, set with stepping stones and grassed. These stones I set myself. A great feat done one March when the spring breezes were spring breezes and the lure of the garden called to me. Along this path is my real perennial border; the original one beginning with four. feet, and widened every year until now it is 7 feet wide, with one strip 35 feet long, a path four feet wide, and another strip 20 feet long. Then comes another path parallel with this border 60 feet long.
  An arch separates the perennial border from the Rose and Chrysanthemum garden, which was formerly a vegetable garden, and in this garden too I have an opportunity to enjoy a few special annuals and Gladiolus.


  When the perennial border was first started seeds of Foxglove, Larkspur, Sweet William, and Canterbury Bells were planted with roots of Phlox and Coreopsis. Nothing had been thought about color schemes, "well considered" planting, height, or anything of that sort. They were just plain "planted." But the ground had previously been enriched for vegetables, was good to begin with, and what was not was made good with fresh loam, and the plants grew and grew like Jack's beanstalk; they grew to heaven. The blue of the sky kissed the blue of the Larkspur. Is there any blue so heavenly as the Larkspur! I will never forget those twenty or thirty great plants as big as a bushel basket, with those glorious light and dark blue spikes. They were magnificent. I remember that summer I had a border of white Candytuft in blossom at the same time, which looked like great white drifts nestling against the base of the Larkspur. Verily the clouds dropped down to earth and visited my garden! I would stand enraptured before those wonderful plants.

But alas! one night a thunder storm came and with it a heavy wind, and it was then I commenced to learn. I wonder if we always have to learn life's lessons by thunder storms. Alas! in the morning on running to the window to feast my eyes on that sea of blue—blue and clear as the bluest sky—they lay striken on the ground like so many fallen soldiers, not dead, but brought low. Oh the wreck of it all! With long stakes in my hands, I went into the garden and tied up the broken, brittle plants, so glorious the day before, so ingloriously brought low. My heart ached—but I learned my lesson. I then commenced to read, study and observe. And from that time, I have striven to give my plants their best and most propitious setting. I then began to realize after the Larkspurs were cut down the awful gap it made, and year by year I have been learning what to have and what to omit in order to have color as well as the things one loves best. That is one reason an old garden has such charm. It has been years in the making by loving hands and eyes.


  The fall following disaster to the Larkspur the plants were distributed through the perennial borders which I commenced to remake. At the sides of the garden and in the corners by the Rose garden Heleniums and white Boltonia were planted. These blossom in the early fall and continue until cut down by frost. The garden is one mass of gold and white in September, so graceful and airy—a picture to behold. In front Larkspur and white Foxgloves are planted at intervals, which are glorious in late June and July and beneath and below is a hedge of pink and white Asters and bordering the paths Box edging. Here and there are German Iris with now and then a group of auratum and speciosum Lilies. Pyramidal Arbovitae trees are used to some extent in this garden as accents. At the base of one of these trees, where is the stump of an old apple tree, a few rocks have been piled on which rests a bird bath. At the foot of the old tree is planted a Boston Ivy which weaves itself in and out among the rocks and up on to the bird bath, making a lovely picture as well as a welcome spot for the birds.
  In the springtime yellow Narcissus borders the walks, rising between the little box plants. Blossoming at the same time are groups of the dwarf border Iris of purple. The garden is then one glory of purple and sunshine. Harmonious combinations of Darwin Tulips are planted through the garden, so when the Narcissus are gone the Tulips are there to greet us, and these in turn lapse over until the German Iris is there in all its richness and beauty. I sometimes cannot tell which I love most; the German Iris or the Larkspur. The German Iris is scattered through the borders in great quantity, overflowing into the rose garden and a neighboring lot. Then come the Larkspur among which are planted groups of Madonna Lilies, the blue and white being most effective.


  By the time the candidum Lilies have gone, the regal Lily begins to blossom. What a wonerful Lily that is, with its long, full graceful throat of yellow, its wax white petals slightly turned back, its glorious orange stamens and the outside delicately flushed pink. There is so much substance to the whole blossom; and above all its delicate, delicious odor. That gorgeous Lily I find hardy thirty-three miles north of Boston, and it multiplies. It fills a place when the glory of the July garden is passing, and the Japanese Iris are waning. A very satisfactory combination was found this summer with German Iris, Dr. Bernice, yellow Columbine, and back of this the yellow Day Lily. And who can be without that magnificent Iris, Black Knight, with its rich Pansy-like blossom and glowing orange beard—the very last to blossom with me, blossoming with some of the Larkspur? Both these things are high-priced, but worth it. '
  After the Larkspur leaves the garden then come the Phlox followed by the Lilium speciosum in profusion—all lovely and interesting. A large plot of Japanese Iris occupies the centre of the longer perennial border. In drifts between are planted annuals in solid colors, such as Snapdragons, Scabiosa, Calliposis, Calendula, etc. Back and at the sides of the bird bath is an effective combination of Liatris and Physostegia. They are lovely together.
  Now step through the arch down the Rose walk, I call it. The path is Box bordered as all the paths are, and either side are Roses, for the most part Hybrid Teas. One section is devoted to briar Roses, the lovely yellow, single and double ones. On the trellises are Tauschendschon, and that beautifully decorative Silver Moon. The foliage is clean and of such lovely color that if there were never a blossom that Rose would still be in the garden. These Roses are being trained to run from one trellis to the other on small cable or wire. In between the Roses are planted quantities of Gladiolus.


  I have reached the stage where I discard all plants or 'blossoms that I do not consider lovely. In a small garden one cares to afford space only for the blossoms that are the choicest, so with the Gladiolus I cultivate those I love best. On the farther side of the rose garden is a good-sized border of Chrysanthemums. Annuals border this whole garden. This portion is comparatively new, and it has not yet been worked out to perfection. Last summer I tried Statice in various varieties, with disappointing results. The blossoms are all right, but it takes such quantities to make a show, and for a small garden are impracticable.
  I cannot let the Hollyhocks pass by with-out mention—that garden favorite. They are lovely down in one corner with the hedge for a background; and Sweet Peas! One must have them. They are not picturesque growing, but so sweet smelling and fragrant. For years I have been experimenting and pondering how to plant so as not to spoil the scheme of the garden and yet have the blossoms. Finally I have stumbled upon a plan which I find good for my garden. A dozen to fifteen plants planted separately in rich soil will supply enough blossoms for a handsome display in the house. Plant the seed in February in small pots in the house, 3 seeds to a pot. When they come up, pull out the two weakest plants, leaving one sturdy plant. After it has sent out four to six leaves nip off the top. This causes it to branch. As soon as the weather permits, generally here the last of April or early May, I set these plants out here and there in an open space. Then I transplant near it for the Sweet Pea plant to climb on a single plant of Boltonia. The Boltonia sends out few leaves, two only at intervals up the plant for several feet. The Sweet Pea tendrils work their way in and out up the stalk, and lo, you have blossoms on a live stalk. If the sweet Pea withers all you have to do is to pull off the dead vine and you have a plant to take its place that will send forth a lacy white bouquet in the fall when one wants flowers so much.


  One cannot do without those monarchs of the garden—Peonies. Where pray have these been placed? I have two stunning plants in my 7-foot strip to help out with color in June; then a hedge of them has been placed either side of the lawn, continuing the outline of the Tulip border up toward the house. In front of my porch overlooking the garden is a hedge of Elizabeth Campbell Phlox, back of this white Foxgloves, and in front Columbine. At either end is that lovely single Peony Araeos, which blossoms with the Columbine. With pink and white, it makes a lovely combination. I cannot say good-by to the fall blossoms without mention of the Japanese Anemone, pale pink and pure white. They are so lovely they just pull at the heart strings. I have a hedge of them in front of my cellar window. The lot is so shaped that the garden is on a slope, so at' the rear of the house is a deep brick foundation of, I should say 12 feet. This wall is covered with Japanese Ivy, at the base of which is a Barberry hedge which is kept clipped. In front of the hedge are the Japanese Anemones. It seems to be just the place for them, for they flourish so vigorously. Here in the spring time is a charming border of yellow Pansies, Forget - me - pots, and English Daisies, and rising from the Darwins is Tulip Gesneriana lutea pallida, which is pale yellow. That makes one of the most exquisite borders you would ever care to see.
Such a joy is even a small garden, that home would not be home without these beautiful blossoms, that come to welcome us year after
The trellises and arches help to frame the garden views and focus the sight onto
One cannot do without those proper places. Rambler Roses drape them in June year. It is something any one can
 possess with not too much work, and such work as there is brings with it health, joy, and happiness.


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