Nymphaea, Lotus or other water plants should be planted or replanted early in April before the young leaves have made much growth.
If the water cannot be run off the pond, it is a good plan to fill, with loam and old manure in equal proportions, the required number of wicker-baskets (boxes made of laths will answer for the same purpose), plant in each basket a few good crowns, covering the surface with an inch of coarse sand or fine gravel, and then sink them in the desired positions in the water. For strong-growing varieties, such as the Nymphaea Marliacea, Nymphaea alba, Nymphaea chromatella, Nymphaea tuberosa and also the Lotus family, larger bodies of soil are required in order to have them at their best.
In the case of ponds where the water can be run off, mounds of soil, held together by being surrounded with big round stones, should be made, the plants set out and the pond quickly filled.
It should be remembered that a large number of crowns on a plant is not conducive to free-flowering.
In addition to the Lilies themselves, attention should be given to the many beautiful plants which thrive in shallow water or on the banks bordering a pond, either partially submerged or in the adjacent moist soil. For partially submerged spots or shallow water the plume-like Papyrus antiquorum and the Cyperus or Umbrella plant, the Calla lily and all of the Rushes and Water-grasses are recommended, while the Pontederia cordata, the Sagitarias and the Aponogetons all add to the attractiveness of the pond or water-garden. Where occasional flowering takes place, many handsome plants may be grown, any of which can be planted now. These should include the gorgeous Japanese Iris, the Spiraea Aruncus, many of the Bamboos, Funkias, etc.
A number of the bedding plants such as Fuchsias, Geraniums, the earlier Lobelias, Pyrethrums, etc., should now be placed out of doors in sheltered situations, and all other bedding plants, as soon as they are the required size, should be gradually hardened off, care being taken not to expose them suddenly from hot greenhouse or hot frame to the open air. It is advisable to keep them under glass for a week or ten days with the ventilators open both by day and by night, and, for the first few days after being placed out of doors, they should be shaded during bright sunshine by being covered with some light cheese-cloth or similar light shading.
If not already done, Cannas and Phloxes should have their roots taken up and the crowns divided into bunches (two or three stems to each bunch) and planted at once in well-enriched, loamy soil; plant the Cannas about three feet apart and the Phloxes about eighteen inches apart.
If the stock of Dahlias is short, cuttings may still be taken. Pot the cuttings singly in two-inch pots and plunge them into a little bottom heat where they will soon take root. These late stock cuttings make excellent late-flowering effects, continuing well into November. Shrubs which have been transplanted during the last few months should be closely examined, and, if the weather be inclined to the dry side, given a good soaking of water at the roots; then they should be well mulched with old manure. Spray them with water late in the afternoon of dry days to encourage the swelling of buds and the making of fresh growth.
Roses will now be making good growth, and the buds should be thinned according to the strength of the variety. Keep the soil open by stirring it with the hoe, especially after rain or after watering artificially, as this prevents undue evaporation. Should the green fly attack the leaves, spray them with the mixture of whale-oil soap and tobacco-juice in the evening, and hose off the plants the following morning with clear water. Should one application not be effective, spray again the following evening, using the hose again next morning to wash off the soap. Even a third similar application may sometimes be necessary. Some use quassia-extract in place of the whale-oil soap with the tobacco, and apply it in similar way. One of the worst enemies of the Rose is the Rose-leaf Roller, for which the sprayer should also be used. In addition to this, examine the plants daily and squeeze the grubs between the finger and thumb. Should mildew appear, apply flowers of sulphur. The best time to do this is in the early morning while the dew is on the leaves.
Indian Azaleas which have finished blooming, should, as recommended last month, have their seed-pods removed and, if necessary, be given larger pots. This is a good time to put in cuttings of the Autumn favorite Chrysanthemums. Select strong, short-jointed, young wood. Insert the cuttings in sandy leaf-mold and place them in a cold frame, shading them for a few days during sunshine and giving them a slight sprinkling with the watering-pot in the evening before closing the sashes. As soon as the young plants are well rooted, pot them singly in two-inch pots using soil composed of two parts turfy-loam, one part sandy leaf-mold and one part old, well-decomposed horse-manure, with a little bone-meal. Be careful that all the ingredients are well-mixed together and see that proper drainage is afforded. Pot the plants firmly and return the plants to the cold frame; keep them close for a few days and syringe them lightly overhead at least once a day. Should the green fly appear, dip the heads of the plants in softsoap and water.
Begonia Gloire de Lorraine and other fibrous-rooted Begonias will now require attention. Having washed clean a sufficient number of thumb-pots and attended to the drainage, fill each pot loosely with sandy leaf-soil to the rim; make a hole in the middle, insert a cutting and fill the hole with silver-sand, making the soil firm about the cutting; plunge them in a place where they will get a little bottom heat, say about eighty degrees Fahrenheit, standing them closely together. Each cutting being struck singly in a pot, it is not necessary to disturb the roots at next potting.
Sow seeds of Primula sinensis in well-drained, shallow pans filled with soil composed of light loam leaf-mold and silver-sand mixed in equal parts and sifted through a sieve with a half-inch mesh. Having made the soil firm and level, sow the seeds evenly and press them into the soil with a piece of smooth dry wood; cover the seeds lightly with fine particles of sandy leaf-mold; water with a fine rose and cover the pans with a piece of glass on which place a thin layer of moss. Keep the moss damp until the seeds germinate; place the plants in a temperature of about sixty degrees Fahrenheit; shade them during the sunshine and see that the soil does not become dry. Gradually inure the young plants to light and air, and, when they make four leaves, transplant them into shallow pans, an inch or two apart, using the same soil as recommended for the seed.
It is now also the time of year to put in cuttings of Coleus, Acalyphas and other soft-wooded plants. See that the young plants of this class are not allowed to get pot-bound. Acalyphas especially should be given plenty of pot-room as they require good cultivation.
In potting young plants use rich loam, half-decayed leaf-soil and sand, with a good sprinkling of old manure and a little bone-meal; keep the foliage clean by sponging the leaves, as overhead watering is liable to cause the racemes to decay; grow the plants in a warm, moist atmosphere.