This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
A somewhat new and very fine species, with large purple flowers, is likely to be one of our foremost hardy herbaceous perennials. I am not sure that it is quite hardy out of doors, but it winters all right in a cold frame. It is sometimes fickle in behavior, and cannot be coaxed to grow well, and at other times it grows as freely as a squaw weed and blooms as copiously and continuously as a feverfew. It ripens seed very sparingly, and the seeds are chaffy, but from a shilling packet, containing eleven seeds, I have got six nice plants. In the winter time the old plants sometimes loose their crowns, but in spring break forth afresh from the fleshy roots that still survive, as in the case of Acanthuses.
For September flowers, let us not forget the Japanese Anemones, purple and white They are the best of all the Anemones, keep in bloom till October, and are perfectly hardy.
Sedum spectabile is another Japanese plant, and one of the gayest of our hardy herbaceous ones for August and September. Its color is pale rose.
Clematis graveolens is a yellow flowering species from the Himalayan Mountains, quite hardy and a long running vine. Although it blossoms scat-teringly during the midsummer it is not till August and September that it becomes so thickly floriferous. Then in a few weeks the flowers are succeeded by flossy tailed akenes that completely eclipse those of our wild Virgin's Bower, and for winter bouquets of dried grasses, picture festoons or wreaths, are quite desirable.
Leucophytum Brownii is a little, slender, silvery composite, now much used as a "white" in mosaic flower gardening. Some gardeners are ecstatic over its merits, but surely I fail to find them. It always seems to me a miserable, ragged, 8tarved-looking plant. At times it fails to grow, and it often damps off in patches. Mr. Harvey, gardener to Henry P. Kidder, Esq., tells me it was a failure with him last year, the birds picked it to pieces for nest-building purposes.
I cannot call them all stonecrops, because though that name be applicable to the acre group it is not given to the live-for-ever section, and neither name to those little kinds that grow in the woods. Stonecrops, that is, such sedums as acre, sexangulare and album, love exposed and sunny places and a moderately dry footing, and one admirably suited to rock-work. S. dasyphyllum, with its fat little leaves, and S. hispanicum, famous for its neat habit and bluish cast, also delight in open situations, but prefer a sheltered rather than scorching position, and are grateful for slight winter protection. They are now being extensively grown as carpeting and paneling plants in mosaic bedding. Sedum pulchellum is a neat little species that bears a profusion of pink flowers in summer; it loves a free soil and open situation. S. spurium and its varieties and nearest relatives delight in sunny places in borders or rock-work; are evergreen and blossom copiously in spring and early summer, and some of them assume a handsome crimson-bronze leaf tint from fall till spring. S. Sieboldii and its variegated form make neat basket plants, but are perfectly hardy.
They are deciduous, love an open sunny spot, are especially valuable as they blossom in September and October. The best of the "flowering" Sedums, however, is S. spectabile, one of the very best hardy herbaceous plants grown; its flowers are rose-purple and produced in August and September.
But there is a group of which Sedum Nevii and ternatum are representatives, that grow beautifully in sheltered shady places, but refuse to thrive in open sunny spots.
When I use common goblets as flower-vases, I put a cyme of spiraea, milfoil, elder, or the like, into the mouth of the goblet to fill it up, and into that I stick my bouquet blossoms in any fashion I choose. In this way I can make up a prettier bouquet than I can in a narrow-mouth vase. Sand-filled vases I do not like.
Among Lantanas, L. Sellowiana, a squat and small growing species from Brazil, is the freest blooming kind I know of. Its blossoms are self-colored - lilac - and are borne in the greatest profusion all the year round, outside in the summer time and in the greenhouse in winter.
Why we do not use our wild plants in our gardens more than we do has often puzzled me. Just now the Indian turnips are brilliantly in fruit; scarlet berries among the bushes are brighter than blossoms.
Calceolaria aureo-floribunda has borne up bravely, and blossomed gayly with us this summer.
The new strain of perennial larkspurs are an excellent acquisition to our gardens; the blossoms are so large, so bright, and when double, so very double, and too they are arranged as densely as those of a hyacinth on the spikes. They are as hardy and as thrifty as the old-fashioned ones.
As an August flowering plant, no garden should be without a clump of the white day lily. It is hardy, thrifty, copious, and will grow in shady places. Its flowers are fragrant and of the purest white.