Sow seeds of Cowslips and hardy Primroses early in the month, either in a cool, shady border or in boxes in a cold frame where they should be kept shaded from sunshine until germination. Seedlings, well-grown, generally give better results than those propagated by division of the roots. As soon as the young plants are large enough to be handled, prick them out in a shady, well-sheltered border in a light soil, giving them plenty of water; plant them in their permanent quarters in September or October where they will give fine effects during the following Spring.
Annuals, the seeds of which were sown some weeks ago in the flower-border and other vacant spaces, should now receive attention in the way of thinning, in order that they may not become crowded. Before thinning, give the ground a good soaking with water so that the roots may be the more easily drawn from the soil. Should there be any danger of loss from slugs or other insects, it would be safer to defer the final thinning until the young plants are at least three inches high. It is well however to err on the side of excessive thinning, as crowded annuals always look poor and insignificant and bloom for only a short time. After thinning, mulch lightly with old manure about half an inch deep.
A further sowing of any subject which will come into flower late in the Autumn is now in order. This might include Sweet-peas, Poppies, Corn-flowers, etc.
Border Carnations should have their flower-stems tied loosely to neat stakes painted brown or green, and the soil of the beds should be hoed after each watering, never being allowed to crack or become baked.
Bedding-out of all the tenderer species such as Alternan-thera, Coleus, Cock's-comb, Iresine, etc., should be finished this month, cloudy days or the later hours of the afternoon or evening being selected for the work.
Should the planting of the hardier subjects, such as Pentste-mons, Antirrhinums, Gaillardias, Dahlias, Lobelia cardinalis, etc., have been delayed, they must be planted out as early this month as possible; select favorable weather, avoiding cold days or days on which the wind is strong or the sun very hot. Plant them in the evening and give them a thorough watering immediately. It is necessary to give the soil a good watering a few hours before starting to plant, and on no account plant out young bedding stock when the soil is at all dry even if it be so only on the surface.
Begonias, started some weeks ago, will now require larger pots; allow two sizes larger where the plants are in vigorous growth; pot in soil composed of loam, leaf-mold and sharp sand, with a sprinkling of bone-meal or old cow-manure mixed through it for the tuberous section; for the fibrous division of the family, add a little peat to the mixture.
Give additional pot-room, as required, to all soft-wooded or fine-foliaged plants; also tie, prune or stake as required to keep the plants in good shape.
Prick off seedlings of Primula sinensis, Cinerarias and Calceolarias in pans or small boxes, planting them in soil composed of leaf-mold and silver-sand with a little fibrous-loam added. Place the plants in a close frame and shade them during the hot sunshine, avoiding cold draughts of dry air.
The tubers of the handsome, Winter-blooming Gesneria should now be started. Place five or six tubers in a six-inch pot, in soil composed of two-thirds fibrous loam and one-third peat, with a little leaf-mold and sand to keep the soil open. Cover the tubers to the depth of half an inch; place them in the warmest corner of the greenhouse and give them water as required at the roots but avoid sprinkling the leaves as that will spot them.