If wet weather or any other cause has rendered it impossible to carry out the directions given for last month, these should now be proceeded with. This is the best month for planting Eucalyptus, Acacias and other semi-tender trees and shrubs, as directed under their respective headings. All vacant ground should be manured and spaded where required; weeds should be destroyed wherever found, and the ground stirred lightly with the hoe or rake in order to destroy nests of slugs and harmful insects. Ground which was roughly spaded last month should now be hoed and raked when moderately dry. The borders of the shrubbery and other ground, where flowers are to be planted or where seeds are to be sown, should be worked over, levelled and raked preparatory to planting and seeding.
If they have not been already sown, plant seeds of Sweet-peas, Nemophilas and the other annuals recommended last month, sowing them in circular patches in small groups, or in beds or rows where plenty of space is available. Plant out young plants of Carnations, Phloxes, Violets, Pentstemons, Campanulas, Columbines, Japanese Anemones and other hardy, perennial flowering-plants in well-prepared, fairly-rich soil. Plant out also Gladioli and other hardy bulbous roots (including Begonias and Caladium esculentum), mulching among the plants with a light sprinkling of well-rotted manure.
This month is the most favorable for giving the Rockery a little overhauling in the way of arranging such plants as Sedums and Mesembryanthemums. The especially strong-growing varieties will generally be found to have outgrown the space allowed them and should be dug out and replaced by small plants or cuttings, cuttings generally being preferred as it takes only a few weeks for them to root and to begin to bloom again. Cras-sulas, Cactus, Echeverias, Aloes, Auriculas, etc., should be examined, and, where necessary, should receive a top dressing of rich light soil to encourage fresh growth; those having tall flower-stems should be neatly staked in order to support their heavy flower-heads in stormy weather. Arabis, Saxifraga and other Spring-flowering rock-plants should have the ground about them examined and the surface top-dressed, and, as soon as the blooming season is over, their flower-stems cut off, while, when necessary, the plants should be severely cut back to encourage fresh, vigorous flowering-growth for the following season.
When space is available, sow varieties of wildflowers. In any out of the way spot not used for any special purpose, have the ground spaded and sown with seeds of the different strong-growing species such as Lupinus bicolor, Collinsia bicolor, Eschscholtzia, etc., also Shirley and Iceland Poppies, Fox-gloves, the common sweet Mignonette, and Nasturtium both climbing and dwarf, not forgetting the free-spreading sweet Alyssum as it will continue flowering late in the Autumn when most of the others are past.
Alternanthera, Iresine and all bedding plants should receive their final transplanting preparatory to hardening off. The small-growing dwarf species, such as Alternanthera, are better grown in boxes (the dimensions of which should be about fifteen inches in width, twenty-two inches in length and four inches in depth) and should be planted in light rich soil about two inches apart. Boxes of this size are also used in growing Asters, Stocks, Verbenas, Petunias and most of the low-growing annuals. Dahlias, Hollyhocks and all strong, tall-growing, flowering and ornamental plants do better if grown singly in pots.
Continue the work recommended for last month in the greenhouse, keeping up a warm, moist atmosphere to encourage vigorous growth. As the flowering-plants, such as Azaleas, go out of bloom, pick off all the seed-pods and place the plants in a warm, moist atmosphere to induce them to make fresh growth, shading them during hot sunshine. Plants in need of repotting should be attended to as soon as they are fairly started into growth, using good fibrous peat, leaf-mold, a little broken charcoal and coarse silver-sand for the potting. Work the soil firmly and evenly round the old ball with a thin rammer, making it as firm as that of the old ball. Syringe the plants freely with soft water while they are making their growth; as growth progresses give them more air, and, when completed, place them in the open air in a cool shaded situation (avoiding cold draughts) and plunge the pots in ashes to about half their depth.
Caladium plants which were started as advised a few weeks ago will now be ready for repotting in pots two sizes larger than those they occupy. The soil should be composed of one-third loam, one-third leaf-mold and one-third silver-sand with a sprinkling of pulverized cow-manure mixed with the soil. To encourage vigorous root action, warm humid air should be provided; close the ventilators early in the afternoon and conserve the sun-heat; syringe the plants freely with soft tepid water and shade them during the bright sunshine.
Repot Coleus, Begonias, etc., as their pots become filled with roots.
The majority of green house plants may be propagated during this month. As a general rule, those cuttings root most readily which are taken from plants that have formed half-ripe wood. In the case of Begonias or other soft-wooded plants, cuttings may be taken from any portion of the young shoots, provided a clean cut is made immediately below a joint and with a sharp knife.