This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The many beautiful effects that may be produced by Coleus and other leaf plants, are not to be overlooked; but the pleasure which hardy flowering plants give is more fully recognized with each succeeding year, and our readers value lists of such things as will do in the full sun, as well as of those which will flower or in otherways look ornamental under the shade of trees, where above all other places the American loves to have his Summer garden. A large number of beautiful plants do not like the hot sun; at least they do not mind the hot sun so much on their leaves and flowers, but they do not like the parched and sun burnt earth. If only the soil be shaded with moss or branches, many will do, that otherwise would not grow at all. But there are some kinds which do not care how hot the sun shines on the ground. They thrive for all, and we write this with a vivid remembrance of some we have seen the past hot July. Among these Delphinium formosum and Spiraea lobata were particularly handsome. All kinds of Cen-taurea thrive; and the Lilies, if only the soil is cool enough, they will be among the loveliest of Summer-blooming plants. It is best to save a few seeds of the most desirable of hardy plants. The frequent dividing of the main roots is not favorable to good bloom.
Lilies should be reset as soon as they have done blooming, and the leaves have begun to fade, and this is true of all hardy Summer-flowering bulbs.
If the trees can be had near home, and not have to be brought from a distance to dry the roots, the latter end of August is one of the best seasons of the year to transplant evergreens. The young growth of the past season has got pretty well hardened, so as to permit of but very little evaporation, and the earth being warm, new roots push with great rapidity, and the tree becomes established in the ground before cold Autumn winds begin. The chief difficulty is that the soil is usually very dry, which prevents much speed with the operation; and the weather being usually very warm, the trees have to be set again in the ground almost as fast as they are taken up; so that it is not safe to bring them from a distance. It is as well therefore, to make all ready in anticipation of a rain, when no time may be lost in having the work pushed through. Should a spell of dry weather ensue, which in September and October is very likely, one good watering should be given, sufficient to soak well through the soil and well about the roots. A basin should be made to keep the water from running away from the spot, and to assist it soaking in.
After being well watered, the loose soil should be drawn in lightly over the watered soil which will then aid in preventing the water from drying out soon again.
Towards the end of the month, and in September, evergreen hedges should receive their last pruning till next Summer. Last Spring, and in the Summer, when a strong growth required it, the hedge has been severely pruned towards the apex of the cone-like form in which it has been trained, and the base has been suffered to grow any way it pleases. Now that, in turn, has come under the shears, so far as to get it into regular shape and form. It will not be forgotten that to be very successful with evergreen hedges, they ought to have a growth at the base of at least four feet in diameter.
It is a pleasure to note the growing style of gardening favors a distinctively American one. Europeans cannot have the things we have, and we may as well avail ourselves of these, as to be copying inferior ideas from them. We are quite sure that much more satisfactory gardening than this can be made out of nice green grass and comfortable shade trees - clusters of clematises and other flowering vines that defy our heats, and masses and designs of shrubs and dwarf colored-leaved plants, with hardy herbaceous plants mixed. And then there is the great American idea underlying all this - most beautiful grounds maintained at little cost. It is a very good time to think of these things. Autumn will soon be here, when they can be put into shape for the next season. Even where one's gardens are small, and there may be room for but few things, these few will be the more beautiful for a little care in selection, and a little taste in arrangement. It is this care which is the chief pleasure in the art of gardening.