Directly a plot of ground has been bedded out with pot subjects, all the pots should be collected carefully together and stacked in an out-of-the-way corner, where no harm can befall them. The crocks that have been used should also be collected and stored away for safety till required for further use. It is far better to take the trouble to save one's crocks than to have to break up sound pots to make a fresh supply when another season comes round.
Obviously, the best time of all for bedding-out is in showery weather, but where this is not possible the plants should be " puddled ' in - that is to say, the holes in which they are to be placed should be filled with water before the roots are actually inserted. If dry weather continues, regular watering for three or four days will probably be necessary.
Delphinium. This delightful perennial, so popular in the herbaceous border, is gradually finding its way into our flower markets, particularly the light, metallic blue varieties. When firmly established, it, throws a flower spike nearly six feet long, and on account of the massive heads of bloom, stout stakes are required. The plants should be set a yard apart in a sunny spot, and if they can be sheltered from the north so much the better.
March is the best month for bedding-out plants, and seed should. be sown in light, sandy soil in May and June, the resulting plants blooming the following season. A synonymous term for the delphinium is perennial larkspur.
The proper way is first to tie the bast to the stake and then secure the stem of the plant
Dielytra. A very pretty flower is the dielytra, or bleeding heart, still known to a few old-fashioned people as the lyre flower. It may almost be called a cousin to the paeony, for it blooms at the same time, and grows from a tuberous root.
The pink, lyre-shaped flowers that hang pendulously from a curved stem are very attractive and are certain to sell. The roots should be planted in September away from trees and in an open spot, and the soil should be well worked and liberally manured. Every third year or so it is necessary to lift and divide the roots.
Doronicum. Like all members of the daisy family, the doronicum sells well, and as it blooms in late spring and early summer, it is especially acceptable. The roots may be planted about eighteen inches apart, either in autumn or spring, in a sheltered, though open, spot, and the flowers should be cut with long stems. The plants are increased by root division every third season.
Eryngium. This is a hardy perennial commonly known as the sea-holly, and it is sold in the majority of flower shops, its chief beauty being the lovely tintings of the foliage and curious flower. Planting may take place in a warm spot in autumn or spring, or seed may be sown in the spring, the seedlings being afterwards transplanted as one treats an ordinary perennial.
Eschscholtzia. This is a hardy annual that is sometimes grown for cut blooms, but more frequently for effective display in the borders of a pleasure garden, the fact that the petals drop so quickly being against the flower as a marketable subject. The seed is sown very late in March or in early April, and the plantlings thinned till they are seven inches apart.
Forget-me-not. The writer has seen three acres of forget-me-nots under cultivation, but there is not the demand there was for this simple, homely flower. At the same time, a little will be sure to sell, especially if it is a good colour, the true blue of the family.
The best plan is to sow the seed in April or early May, and to thin the seedlings till they are three inches apart. The young plants may be bedded-out in late summer in their permanent quarters. Myosotis - a Greek word meaning literally forget me notis the botanical cognomen for this interesting perennial.
Foxglove. The humble foxglove of the hedgerows and the cultivated variety are two different subjects, but it is doubtful if even the-best flower-spikes are worth growing for market. However, private customers will probably welcome a few of the handsome heads of flower, and the seed should be sown in June, the plants blooming the following spring. Many seedsmen catalogue the foxglove as digitalis.
A geranium in the open with plenty of root run seldom makes the same quality flower-heads as one that is more or, less pot-bound, and when growing for profit, glass is almost essential. The geranium is propagated by slips or cuttings taken during the summer, the cuttings being the short spurs of new season's growth. Geranium cuttings are brought on in sandy soil in shallow boxes, and need assiduous watering and plenty of shade while rooting. Geum. This is a perennial that is becoming more popular, and being bright and pleasing, should be a good seller. The plants should be set out a foot apart in a sunny position, and may be increased in the autumn by dividing overgrown clumps. Seed may be sown in the open in early summer. The tall, scarlet varieties are the most suitable for the purpose of cut blooms.
Gladiolus. These are very valuable plants on the floral farm, and are produced from bulbs, or, more correctly, corms," planted in March and April. The entire flower-spike is cut for market, and large, early supplies will command a ready sale. The majority of our growers use Dutch bulbs, setting them ten inches apart, and three inches deep in a well-dug soil that was heavily manured for the crop of the previous season. All bulbs take harm from contact with fresh manure. The nature of the plant makes it necessary to give the top-heavy flower-spikes the support of a stake just before the bloom opens, and regular watering is essential in a dry season.