Phlox is one of the most useful as well as the most beautiful of hardy plants. It has many qual-ities to recommend it besides its hardiness; it is easy to grow from seed; it multiplies rapidly; its growth is rampant and it is free from most insects and blights. All these qualities are crowned by its free blooming proclivities and the length of its flowering season. In the old gardens of the last century two colours were to be found, white and the homely purple-red which so detracts from the beauty of other blossoms; but of late years new colours of the softest yet most dazzling brilliancy have been introduced by growers who have made this plant their specialty. It is found in many shades of pink and light lavender; white, and white with a red eye or a pink eye; red, scarlet, crimson, carmine. Large clumps of Phlox give brilliancy and colour to the garden from early July until October, an effect and brilliancy that can be obtained with no other plant. Some of the new shades have an exasperating way of "throwing back" to the original purple-red, and these flowers should be plucked and the plant labelled to take out in the Fall, for purple-red puts the whole garden out of tune.
Although the blooming time of Phlox is long it may be lengthened by pinching back a few flower heads in each clump, and gathering some of the stalks when they have come into bloom. Blotches of different shades may be scattered through the garden. The colours of Phlox may be laid on with a lavish hand, for by the time the blooms appear there is not much else to clash with them. Plant many clumps of the white variety, Pearl, which is late and does not flower until the vigour of the pinks and reds has been spent; then it settles over the garden like a mantle of snow, suggesting coolness when the heat of August is at its height. Besides being scattered through the garden beds, clumps of Phlox should be placed along the paths between the Iris and Hoses, to carry the colour through the enclosure.
Phlox and Funkia.
Phlox is increased readily by dividing the roots, and this is better than raising it from seed as the colour of seedlings is uncertain. Large clumps should be broken up or their brilliancy will fade and very often revert to the original colour. Every Fall the Phlox in the garden should be thoroughly overhauled and the purple clumps removed and new stock of good shades added. The variety, Miss Lingard, should not be used with the other Phloxes , as it is much earlier and its character quite different. The following list includes the colours with which the best results can be had:
Athis; salmon; very tall.
Bacchante; crimson, carmine eye; dwarf.
Beranger; rosy white.
Comet; rich crimson.
Eugene Danzanvilliers; light lilac, white eye.
Henry Murger; pure white, rose centre; dwarf.
H. 0. Niger; pure white, crimson eye.
La Vague; pink, red eye.
Inspector Eipel; pink, red eye.
Miss Cook; white, pink eye; early.
Mrs. Dunbar; white, rose eye.
Defiance; bright red.
Margaret Slack; bright pink.
Sunshine; salmon pink, rose eye.
Caron D'Ache; cherry-red.
Rosalie; white, blush centre.
Springdale; deep pink.
Pearl; pure white; very late.
Boule de Feu; bright red, dark-red centre.
Jeanne d 'Arc; white; late.
Bridesmaid; white, crimson centre.
White Phlox in the Garden; August.
When buying Dahlias be sure to get good, sound, field-grown roots, and not seedlings. Mice seem to have a particular liking for these plants and it is hard to bring up seedlings in the garden. You will have to use your judgment in planting Dahlias; put them where there is good space and distribute them in different parts of the beds to take the place of Hollyhocks and Delphiniums. Some of the Show Dahlias are very free blooming, much freer than the Cactus, and are useful for cutting. Plant a few of each sort in early June, but keep most of them back until about the first of July. The bloom will not be needed, and Dahlias do better and bear more flowers if started late in the season. Disbud them freely, for the strength of the stalk should go into only two or three flowers on each stem; and cut away some of the lower branches so the growth of the upper ones will not be stunted. Dahlias need a great deal of water, and if the season is dry the hose should be freely requisitioned. Saturate the ground thoroughly, for the bulbs drink greedily; and spray the foliage.
Lily bulbs should be planted at the end of October or the first of November, except candidum, which should be put in the ground about the fifteenth of September as it makes a growth in the Fall. This Lily is somewhat fickle; it will do well in one garden under certain conditions, and very poorly in another where the soil, location and treatment are exactly the same. L. superbum, L. Canadense, L. candidum need not be planted at a greater depth than equals three times the height of the bulb, as they root only from their bases; but L. Philadclphicum, L. umbellatum, L. tigrinum, L. spcciosum,, L. auratum, L. longiflorum should be planted at least six inches deep, as they root also from the stems. Lilies begin to sprout very early in the Spring and may be injured by the late frosts if some protection is not given; they should be placed where the foliage of other plants will shelter them. Lilies seem to do better in the shade, although many authorities differ on this subject. In England they are planted in the neighbourhood of trees and large shrubs, and it would be better to establish them in some part of the garden that is out of the sun for the better part of the day, under a high-branching tree or in the shadow of a shrub or some thick-growing plants.
Cover the bulbs with a good top-dressing and remove it carefully in the Spring so the tender shoots will not be broken. The bulbs should not come into contact with manure, and should be fertilized from the surface with a rich mulch that must be kept soaked in dry weather. It is safer to set them in a handful of sand so that drainage will be provided, for Lily bulbs are very delicate and susceptible to rot, especially those that are constructed of scales. To keep down the mice, scatter "rat biskit" liberally on the surface of the bed among the young plants, for mice are very fond of the succulent green shoots. To afford shelter for Lilies and to provide a good base of foliage for the long stems, Funkias may be planted in the bed near them. Funkia grandiflora alba, which bears a sweet-scented white blossom, flowers in August and carries its broad, rich foliage unblighted until the end of Summer. Funkia yrandiflora has the same foliage, with a blue flower that blossoms at the same time as alba, but is carried on a much longer stem.
There is another Funkia, caerulea, that comes into flower the first of July, but it is not desirable to use with Lilies as the leaves turn rusty, and mildew as soon as the bloom is past.