The Value of Finish in Garden Work - "Cheap and Nasty" Accessories - The Advantages of Oak for Garden Structures - Labels and How to Make Them

That quality in the garden which a great horticulturist has not inaptly termed

" finish," is largely achieved by attention to minor details. " Finish " is not merely the antithesis to untidiness, but it implies also thoroughness.

Every garden accessory should be cunningly adapted to its purpose.

The gardener who* is content to stake his rose standards with bamboo rods at three a penny will discover, to his cost, that they have rotted through at the soil-level before the next season has come round, and have bleached to a conspicuous whiteness.

Square oak rods, rough from the saw, may cost more than double the price of bamboos, but they will last ten times as long, and the older they become the more charming the colouring they will assume. Who has not remarked on the harmonious tints of some old park fence ?

Oak - just plain sawn oak, neither painted nor varnished - is an ideal wood for stakes, arches, trellises, pergolas, and many other garden structures.

A neat and permanent type of garden label, made of galvanised iron wire and Willesden rot proof paper

A neat and permanent type of garden label, made of galvanised iron wire and Willesden rot-proof paper

Do not be afraid of its yellow colour when new; that will disappear in a season, giving place to a silvery grey which is inimitable and ever in harmony with the flowers and foliage.

As regards labels, avoid those white-painted abominations usually sold in shops. You do not want to see a regiment of them staring at you from the flower borders. Here is something less conspicuous, more permanent, and, if made at home, more economical.

Buy some stout galvanised iron wire, and with the pliers make

An inconspicuous and durable label for a standard rose

An inconspicuous and durable label for a standard rose. It is of Willesden paper and attached behind the rose stake by a copper tack driven through a perforation. It can be raised easily by the fingers in semaphore style, and should be inscribed in waterproof Indian ink" from it a number of skewer-like supports, as shown in the illustration A. Obtain some stout "Willesden" rot-proof paper, and cut up into labels, say, three inches by one inch. Perforate the ends, and attach them to the wire eyes with small brass curtain rings.

Such labels are inconspicuous upon the border, and have the merit of being very durable, especially if the plant names are written on with waterproof Indian ink.

Here is another label dodge for the rose standards. The same material is used for the labels. They are similarly shaped and perforated, and then attached behind the rose stake at the top by means of a copper tack driven through the perforation.

Never use iron nails for oak. They cause inky stains.

The name of the rose is written on the side adjacent to the stake, and, as a rule, will be eclipsed by the latter. As, however, the label hangs loosely, it may be raised with the fingers so as to stand out semaphore - wise whenever the rose-grower wishes to consult it. The rest of the time it is, as it should be, inconspicuous.

A label cut from thin sheet lead with scissors. The tail, being flexible, can be bent round the branch and will give with the growth of it. The inscription can be made with a sharp steel point

A label cut from thin sheet lead with scissors. The tail, being flexible, can be bent round the branch and will give with the growth of it. The inscription can be made with a sharp steel point

In illustration B the normal position of the label is indicated by dotted lines.

C shows a label cut from thin sheet lead with the scissors. The flexible tail may be bent around the branch of a tree or shrub, and will give with the growth of the branch. It may be written on with any sharp steel point.