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.
There are few flowers more gorgeous in Summer gardening than the Lily; but it is only occasionally that we see very good success with them. Most people fail through having the roots planted where the ground is hot or dry. The lily plant, that is the top, rather likes an open place to flower in, but the roots love a cool and shaded place. The Autumn is the time to plant them; indeed as soon as possible after the Summer leaves have faded away they should be reset. Almost all bulbs are best set out at this season. The many beautiful bulbs of California have not been found to do well in Eastern gardens, and probably from being set in too hot a piece of ground. The time will probably come when bulbs will be made a specialty by cultivators; then the earth will be especially prepared for them, and everything made just to their liking.
There is scarcely anything more beautiful in Spring than a bed of Hyacinths and Tulips well intermixed. The Hyacinths go out of flower just as the Tulips come in. In the Spring, Gladiolus and Tuberoses can be placed between these; of if desirable, some flowering bedding plants, and in this way the gaiety and interest can be preserved from Spring to Fall. Crown Imperials are capital things for the centre of small beds, and the regular bedding plants can go around them. Narcissuses keep their foliage too long after flowering, as does the Snowdrop. These can hardly be made available where regular bedding is desirable for Summer. They are best in odd patches by themselves. Crocus does well anywhere. It may even be set in the grass about the lawn, as it is generally over before the first mowing takes place. But it would not be admitted into our best kept lawns. The vast tribe of lilies come in rather late for Spring gardening, but few will care to be without them. Besides these there are many little items which are noted in almost all bulb catalogues, from which many interesting Spring blooms can be had. No one will go amiss in looking well to this class of plants. The best time to plant is from now to frost. Mice and vermin are very liable to attack these roots.
Poisoning is the best remedy.
Ornamental shrubs also can be made to enter largely into Spring gardening, and be made to help the bulb in its beautiful work. We need not give lists of these Spring flowers here, as all the leading nursery catalogues now give full accounts of them.
What shall be done with the "Fall Grass " in the lawn is a continual question. Probably there is nothing to do when it once becomes established but to bear with it; and indeed if it were not so late, leaving the ground bare in early Summer would be not wholly unbearable. It is very likely to get control where the lawn is from seed. Perhaps the only way to be sure of excluding it is to sod with tough Blue Grass sod. The practice of watering lawns with the hose, now so common, favors " Fall Grass." It loves a rich and rather damp soil. It seldom gets ahead much in dry places.
While noting Spring gardening one need not overlook how beautifully Fall flowers may adorn. From the time the perennial Phlox opens, about first of August, there is a continual succession of flowers till the Golden Rods and Asters finish the list. We do not know of any-thing more interesting for a specialty than a collection of Fall blooming Aster-like plants.
Another pretty specialty might be a collection of climbing vines arranged as a regular vine garden. These can be arranged in the shape of bowers, arbors, festoons, wreaths, or in pyramids or poles. Some would be regarded for their beautiful flowers and others for their beautiful foliage, while their graceful habit, made perhaps still more pretty by the hand of art, could be made to add an attractiveness to grounds scarcely dreamed of now.
As the planting season arrives, it is as well to repeat what we have often remarked, that the relative advantages of Spring and Fall planting are about evenly balanced. Failures follow all seasons. How to plant is of far more importance than when to plant; and the selection of stock to plant of far more importance than the time when it is done. A tree that has been once or twice before transplanted, and again carefully and intelligently taken up, may be successfully removed at either planting season, with the odds of perhaps one hundred to five in its favor. But a tree never before transplanted - such, in fact, as a tree from the woods, or left standing in the nursery from the seed bed - is very risky at any time, and depends rather on the weather following transplanting for the first few weeks for any probability of success. In selecting trees for planting, then, be very particular to ascertain that they have an abundance of fibrous roots, and are carefully removed. In this region we would plant evergreens at once, after or in prospect of the first good rain.
Deciduous trees we would plant just before the final fall of the leaf, shortening off the ends of those shoots that were not quite mature.