Principal of Glynde School for Lady Gardeners in Sussex The Ornamental Garden - The Forecourt and the Paths - Advantages of Coloured Pottery
Interest in gardens steadily increases, and everybody wishes to improve the surroundings of th ir houses. How can this be achieved with. least expense? How can it be done with ideas that are somewhat different from those of our neighbour?
As the train speeds through the suburbs of London, we look down upon many "garths," or enclosed spaces, each of which belongs to a little house, one of many in a road. Each strip of ground is the same size, but it need not be the same in design or feeling.
I have often thought what a pleasant occupation it would be for a lady-gardener to study various old and modern designs, applicable to small gardens. In a suitable neighbourhood, she could make quite a nice little income by submitting plans and ideas for small gardens. If she could afford to keep a nursery garden of her own, moreovcr, she could raise a number of plants for these little gardens.
The variety of plans would be endless; they could be adopted from every nation - one would be Japanese in feeling, another house might need stately, formal surroundings, a small orchard could be irregularly planted in imitation of an Italian hill-side, a sunk garden in Dutch style would shelter bulbs. In short, no two would be alike.
Many owners know what they wish to have, but are unable, through lack of imagination, to convey it to others; others have no ideas at all, and sit down hopelessly and helplessly with a strip of lawn and a few geranium plants to await the help of Providence. A small piece of ground can be made more perfect than a large piece, because the paths, the beds, the lawns, being small, only a little money is required to make a big show. Many hundreds of pounds often go towards the labour and upkeep necessary to a large garden, and there remains but little to expend upon the ornamental part, which is so essential to the beauty of the whole.
In the suggestions that I am about to give, only the ornamental garden is considered, not the cabbage patch. More and more are we acquiring from other countries a taste for out-of-door life. How to make the garden habitable, therefore, is becoming an important censideration, so that when we are not living in the rooms of our house, we may be living in the sun, shade, shelter, and sweet scents provided by the garden.
In Part 1 of Every Woman's Encyclopedia 1 treated of a covered-in loggia for sitting under in all weathers. I shall assume that this has been thought out and placed in a suitable spot adjacent to the house. Other parts of the small garden must also be kept gay and bright at all times of the year. The smaller the ground, the more important is this consideration of endeavouring at all seasons to have colour.
We will take a house placed in the centre of its own ground, looking out one side upon the road and the other windows overlooking the rest of the garden. An effective approach to such a house from the road is essential; our plan will perhaps afford a suggestion. It will be quite possible to make all ornamental details either simpler or more costly than these shown in the plan according to personal requirements.
The main path is five feet wide, so that two people can walk comfortably abreast. The gate is simple in style, standing between red brick pillows, each of which carries a grey stone ball. Should it be advisable for any reason to hide the road, this can easily be done by building a higher wall than the one shown here. In this case the wall is only four feet six inches high. A great deal depends upon the aspect of this small forecourt, and also upon the amount of money and work that can be spent upon it. Should in proportion to the house. All the lines should correspond with those of the building. As a rule, a garden round a house looks best with a formal arrangement. Winding walks or irregular shrubberies should be carefully avoided. There is a want of restfulness about them.
Care must be bestowed upon the paths. The main ones must, above all, be wide, stately, and evenly paved; the smaller ones should be of width proportionate to these.
A paved path has many advantages over gravel. It is more pleasant to walk upon, a more pleasing background to flowers, the mowing machine does not suffer, as it so often does when gravel from the paths gets carelessly swept on to the turf, and once the paving is down there is no further expense in renewing it. Gravel or shells have often wanted, beds con be cut in the turf at E and filled with bright, gay flowers. If a quieter garden be needed, F will be the best side to take ideas from; it consists only of turf and a few pots.
A plan to ilustrate and explain the suggestions given in this article for converting the patch of ground in front of the ordinary town of suburban house into an ornamental cot garden most of the ground get the full force of the sun during the greater part of the day, and if expense is of no consideration, our plan especially the E side of it, may be copied exactly in detail. Should more colour be
If the wall D is in shadow, only shade-oving creepers should be selected to run up it, or if for any reason creepers are not liked plant corydahs in the chinks, or sow antirrhiums and plant valerian and pinks in the interstices of the wall.
Whichever plan you follow, see that due attention is paid to laying out the forecour" to be renewed. In or near a town it is not expensive to obtain either the disused paving stones, which are usually York slab or old red tiles or bricks can be bought from a builder for very little. The town surveyor is usually the right person to make a want of this kind known to. Should there be little gaps or intervals in the paving these can be filled by little rock plants. Many are often deterred from gaining the old-world charm that comes with use of these materials by a dread of the excessive cost. I think, however, if they make application in the quarter 1 have mentioned, they will find that they can easily obtain stone at a moderate price
Considerable novelty of design and additional depth of colour is obtained by standing Italian or English potteryware in various parts of the forecourt, as suggested in the sketch. Here you will see some charming ornamental square or oblong red terra-cotta flower-boxes or pans on the top of the wall. There are tall oil jars, acting sentry on cither side of the main path, and smaller round vases mark out the corners of the garden - one or two in the centre of the circles, as at H, give pleasing variety.
Then, again, little flowerpots look well surrounding a flower-bed, or should the owner be ambitious and wish to achieve a water-lily tank, he can place them as at M on a two-foot-high brick wall.
Advantages of Coloured Pottery
I have great belief in the bright colour of the pots. They look well in all positions, either in the centre of flower-beds, with flowers growing at their feet, or standing on grey stone paths, or seen against dark-green foliage or grass. In any case, it is necessary to stand the pot upon level ground, where drainage is secured. In Italy, where these are used greatly for ornamental purposes, they usually stand upon tiles or upon a piece of stone. Often a groove is carved crossways on the stone, to allow of water from the pot running away freely. There need be no fear of leaving these pots out in the winter. It has often been tried, and long as they are filled with soil and the drainage is sufficient, they will not suffer. The plants should be chosen according to the requirements of the place. Dark evergreen shrubs look well, such as clipped box or laurustinus. If more colour be wanted, fuchsias, Cupid sweet-peas, forget-me-not, wallflowers, climbing canary creeper all look well.