Of the Autumn flowering bulbs, Colchicum autumnale, the Meadow Saffron or Autumn Crocus, is perhaps best known. The flowers very much resemble Crocuses. The bulbs should be planted in July and August, in clumps, not too set looking, in the front of the borders. They may be had in white, lilac and blue.
The Red Hot Poker plant, or Tritoma, may be classed among the Autumn flowering bulbous plants worthy of a place in all hardy borders. The orange, coral red and yellow flowers are very striking. Some of the newer kinds have early, free, and continuous blooming qualities, and succeed in an ordinary garden soil. Tri-tomas are not altogether hardy in some locations and, for safety, should be lifted in the Fall and wintered under cover, buried in sand in a cool cellar or shed.
The Montbretia is a hardy bulbous plant that should be in every flower border. The flowers are brightly colored, mostly orange red, and on stems from two to three feet high. They should be planted in an open, sunny position. Bulbs may be set in the Autumn or very early Spring.
Very often the effect of perennial beds is marred by allowing too much bare soil to show, particularly along the edges. This may be overcome by planting cover plants, or in the new border by planting an assortment of annuals. As hardy cover plants the Candytuft, Creeping Phlox, early blue Phlox, Plumbago, Rock Cress, and many similar varieties, are splendid. Of the annuals many kinds are suitable for border planting; among the best are Sweet Sultan; Silene, Coreopsis, Larkspur, Balsam, Zinnia, Dianthus, Eschscholt-zia, Aster, Godetia, Clarkia, Snapdragon, Calendula and Poppy. Annuals are very easily grown. If wanted early, the seeds should be started indoors in flats. Many kinds may be quickly and easily grown by sowing in the open ground when danger of frost is over.
Really, the material for hardy beds is inexhaustible and a selection may be made for a constant succession of bloom through the entire season. If they are planned carefully, remembering that it is the contents of the beds and not the outline that is attractive, and with the idea of permanency before us, such borders will continue for years with but little care.
Every one knows how satisfactory the Rose is for outdoor decoration and for cutting, but it does not receive all the consideration it deserves in our gardens. No garden is complete without some of this queen among flowers.
Fig. 166. - Better effects may be secured in hardy border through planting in clumps rather than scattering single plants all through the border. Note turf edge between walk and bed. - See pages 197, 204.