This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
It is a matter of surprise that the Lily is not more appreciated by our flower gardeners. By a judicious selection they may be had in bloom all the summer season. Last year we saw a selection of this sort. The first to flower was Lil-ium Canadense, one of our native kinds. This was open and made a grand display by the end of June. After a couple of weeks they were on the decline, and the white L. candidum followed, then followed L. bulbiferum, next L. super-bum, next L. auratum, bringing up with L. lancifolium about the middle of August. By this simple list the beautiful Lily was continuously in bloom for three months. It is proper to note this now, because the fall is the proper time to plant Lily bulbs.
Hyacinths, Tulips, Crocuses, and hardy, Dutch Bulbs generally, must have immediate attention. Crocuses and Snowdrops are often planted out in the grass on the lawn; the former is not very objectionable as the leaves have so close a grasslike appearance; but the last should never be so employed, the foliage giving, the whole summer afterwards, a very coarse and weedy appearance to the lawn.
Hyacinths and Tulips may be set out in the beds devoted to summer-flowering bedding-plants, as they will, in a great measure, be out of flower before the bedding-time comes around, when they can be either taken up and transplanted to an out-of-the-way-place to ripen, or the bedding-plants can be set in between where the bulbs grow, without either much interfering with the success of the other.
As a manure for these bulbs, nothing has yet been found superior to well-decayed, sandy cow-manure; but where this is not conveniently at hand, well decomposed surface-soil from a wood will do as well.
Herbaceous hardy border flowers are often propagated in the Fall by dividing the roots; but, unless it is convenient to protect the newly-made plants through the winter, it is better to defer this till Spring, as the frost draws out of the ground and destroys many. Where it is now resorted to, a thick mulching of leaves or litter should be placed over the young stock when transplanted.
Few things are more valued in winter than a bunch of Sweet Violets. A few may now be potted, and they will flower in the window towards Spring; or a small bed of them may be in a frame, which should be protected by a mat from severe frost. To have Pansies flower early and profusely in Spring, they may be planted out in a frame, as recommended for the Violet.
Many kinds of hardy annuals, flower much better next Spring, when sown at this season of the year. A warm, rich border should be chosen, and the seed put in at once. Early in Spring they must be transplanted to the desired position in the flower border.
Dahlias, Gladiolus, Tuberoses and other plants that require winter protection for their roots in cellars, should be taken up at once on their leaves getting injured by the first white frosts. The two latter should be pretty well dried before storing away, or they may rot. Dahlias may be put away at once.
We like planting trees early. There is no occasion to wait for the fall of the leaf; as soon as the leaves are yellow go to work. It is often a question whether best to plant in Fall or Spring. If a very hot, dry Summer, set in after Spring planting; there may be losses, and so if there is an early and severe Winter after Fall planting. Last Winter around Philadelphia was rather open, and planting was very brisk up to Christmas. There never was such success. We doubt whether five per cent. of the enormous number set out failed.