Diploma of the Royal Botanic Society

The Flower Garden and Shrubbery - Conservatory and Greenhouse - Stove-house - Vegetable

Garden - Fruit Garden - Fruit Under Glass

Special attention must be given this month to preserving neatness in the flower garden. As flowers begin to fade they must be removed, and the borders cleared and trimmed.

The Flower Garden

Borders required for spring bedding may be made ready and planted as soon as convenient.

Dahlia shoots will require thinning, and the branches should be tied out so as to show the flowers to the best advantage. Keep earwigs at bay by trapping with inverted flower-pots filled with moss or hay.

Early-flowering chrysanthemums can be transplanted up to the moment of blooming, and will make the garden bright for the autumn season.

Cuttings should now be taken of bedding plants, notably heliotropes, geraniums, lobelia, alternanthera, and iresine. These will strike in gentle heat. Be careful to allow plenty of air on all fine days. Houses should have been cleaned and painted where needful during the preceding month.

Tender plants - e.g., Plumbago capensis - which have been used for bedding, should be lifted towards the end of the month, and brought indoors again. Palms and dracaenas should also be brought in sufficiently early to avoid danger.

Cuttings may be struck in the open of flowering shrubs and roses. Layers of shrubs can also be set this month. Cuttings of cerastium and santolina may be struck under hand-lights. Carnation layers will now be ready for planting out, or nearly so. When possible, it is better to plant pinks at the present time than to move them in the spring.

Seeds of flowering plants will now be harvested. Each sort should be kept on a separate paper, marked with its name, height, colour, and any other observations.

Live edgings - e.g., of box or saxifrage - may be made or repaired this month. Make the soil very firm by beating with the spade, to meet the danger of loosening by frosts.

Hardy annuals may be sown this month, if it is found by experience that autumn sowing brings success. Among suitable kinds may be mentioned saponaria, nemo-phila, godetia, clarkia, gilia, silene, collinsia, lininanthes, and sweet-peas.

Grass-seed can be sown if the weather is fairly moist.

The Conservatory And Greenhouse

Place azaleas under cover, also other hard-wooded plants. These will benefit by spraying with some insecticide first. Tree-carnations will be housed, keeping the atmosphere sufficiently moist after the change. Auriculas should be taken from outside and stood in frames or pits. Chrysanthemums should be housed by the end of the month.

Keep cinerarias cool, and fumigate the plants if greenfly, to which they are much subject, is prevalent. Take up salvias, and put in pots, syringing the plants until they become established. These will serve to decorate the conservatory, and look well if combined with white chrysanthemums.

Zonal pelargoniums will be coming into bloom, and should be kept cool and damp.

Shift small ferns into larger pots for spring furnishing. Pterises of the stronger class are excellent for room decoration in the house.

Batches of bulbs should be potted every week or ten days, and plunged under fibre or ashes. One good watering before plunging will usually suffice. Single hyacinths do excellently if placed one to five in a pot. Tulips should be potted four to five bulbs in a pot, or they may be planted in boxes for putting into pots and bowls on coming into flower.

Creepers on the roof should be shortened back where these have finished flowering, leaving, of course, those which have not finished. Keep the ventilators of the conservatory open until there is danger of frost. Fire-heat will not be needed as yet. Remove shading this month as required.

Sow seeds of biennials for a spring display as pot plants. The chimney campanula should do well if treated thus. (See illustration.)

The Stove-house

A brisk temperature of 65° to 68° should be maintained, and the fires kept steady by day. Crotons and other coloured - leaved plants will need to be placed in full light. Ferns must still be shaded a little. Poin-settias should be brought on at a brisk temperature and plants for winter blooming should be brought into light. The leaves and pseudo-bulbs of the majority of orchids may have a good cleansing with the sponge this month.

The Vegetable Garden

Thorough hoeings will be needful to keep autumn crops clean, and plots planted with winter greens should be kept hoed for the sake of aeration, whether weedy or not.

Winter spinach should be thinned to five or six inches apart, and turnips to eight or more inches.

The chimney campanula can be grown with advantage as a pot plant in the conservatory, in which it is most decorative

The chimney campanula can be grown with advantage as a pot plant in the conservatory, in which it is most decorative

Photo, Messrs. Sutton & Sons

Gather vegetables for pickling, and clear the ground of all spent crops.

Earth up celery in fine weather. Draw the remaining crops of onions and store them. Any onions with thin necks should be used first. Be careful not to bruise any of those picked. Tie them in bunches as soon as perfectly dry, and hang them in an airy place.

Cabbages which were sown in August should be pricked out about three inches asunder, in order to check the growth and render them more hardy. Plant out cabbages of an earlier sowing.

August - sown cauliflowers may be pricked out in pots or boxes, and put under cover later on. They may also be wintered in cucumber-frames. In very mild climates, it may be worth while to let young cauliflowers stand through the winter, and protecting them with fern-leaves.