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Ornamental Gardening In Florida | by Charles Torrey Simpson



Florida, especially the southern part of it, is really so new that we know but little as to what we can or can not do in the matter of growing ornamental plants, or making and decorating homes within its borders. The writer has had over thirteen years of experience in cultivating plants in Dade County and four in Manatee County and yet he feels that he is not competent to teach. Many things that he once supposed he had learned he has later been compelled to unlearn, and every day new problems are coming up which must be solved, problems for which the books on gardening give no help whatever.

TitleOrnamental Gardening In Florida
AuthorCharles Torrey Simpson
PublisherRumford Press Concord, N. H.
Year1916
Copyright1916, Charles Torrey Simpson
AmazonOrnamental Gardening In Florida

A treatise on the decorative plants adapted to Florida and their cultivation, with suggestions for the ornamentation of florida homes and grounds published by the author

To Mr. Charles Deering who, instead of destroying the hammock, is creating it, this little book is respectfully dedicated.

-Introduction
In the Proceedings of the Florida Horticultural Society for 1912 there was published a paper by the writer entitled Ornamental Plants of Dade County, Florida, giving some account of the native and e...
-Laying Out Grounds And Clearing Land
Any one reading the title of this chapter might think that I had put the cart before the horse, but I feel satisfied that the two headings have been placed in their proper sequence. It is customary in...
-Laying Out Grounds And Clearing Land. Continued
Several years ago a man from the North spent a winter near my home and was a frequent visitor in my hammock. He claimed to be a lover of nature but he wrote atrocious doggerel poetry, and what was wor...
-Formal Or Geometric Gardening
Formal gardening is a sort of compromise between natural gardening and architecture. As I am not an architect I scarcely feel competent to discuss the subject. Edward Kemp, a celebrated English garden...
-Making A Home In Florida
There is a class of people that comes down to Florida merely to escape from the cold and discomforts of winter. Whatever there may be of beauty here does not seem to appeal to such, or only in a small...
-Architecture
Strictly speaking architecture and ornamental gardening are two very different things, and yet, when it comes to making a home, especially in Florida, the two are likely to be intimately connected. I ...
-Soil; Fertilizers
Florida is not only a new country so far as development and settlement are concerned but it is new geologically. No strata are known within its borders that are older than the Tertiary, and much of it...
-Climate; Protection Of Plants
As the climate of any region has much to do with the character of its wild and cultivated plants it may be proper here to give a brief account of that of Florida. The lower keys reach down to within ...
-Climate; Protection Of Plants. Continued
A good many growers have installed irrigation works on their grounds, and if water from an ordinary well can be thrown on vegetation during a moderate frost it will be protected, but in case of a very...
-Propagation
If one has any considerable amount of planting to do it will be almost absolutely necessary to build some kind of a propagating house or even more than one. Such buildings should be placed where they ...
-Propagation. Continued
A majority of the plants which succeed in the latitude of Florida when planted in the open, bear seeds which will germinate and produce healthy seedlings, and in general raising plants by such means i...
-Planting
There is little in the way of instruction that I can give about the mechanical part of planting and caring for ornamentals. I make claim to no particular skill; I am only an amateur and a poor one at ...
-Planting. Continued
And it seems to me that if landscape architects and those who create gardens had more of this feeling we would hear less about matching colors and being shocked over dreadful discords in vegetation. N...
-The Cultivation And Care Of A Garden
This chapter will be a sort of General good of the order, a gathering together of scraps of information and experience that I cannot make fit anywhere else. There are two schools of cultivators in ...
-The Cultivation And Care Of A Garden. Continued
Florida is infested with a number of pestiferous weeds and among the worst of these are the sand burs (Cenchrus spp.) of which we have four or five species; Boerhaavia, a branching plant with rounded ...
-Plant Enemies
I approach this subject with more hesitation than any I shall attempt to treat in this little work, for the reason that the wisest of us are so ignorant and the ablest so little prepared to do battle ...
-Plant Enemies. Continued
I keep close watch in early spring, and whenever I find the newly hatched young I kill every one of them, which is usually not difficult to do, for they huddle close together on a plant stem and are n...
-Treatment And Planting Of Low Ground
It oftens happens that the builder of a home has a piece of low land, too wet for gardening or ordinary cultivation, which is really an eyesore. Now it is quite possible to work every foot of such lan...
-Treatment And Planting Of Low Ground. Continued
Cocos Nucifera, The Common Coconut Cocos Nucifera, The Common Coconut, is a moisture and salt loving tree and I have seen specimens flourishing in locations where their roots were bathed by tolerably...
-Miscellaneous Ornaments
Elsewhere I have devoted an entire chapter to the subject of fern pools and similar adornments. In this I shall treat of a variety of artificial constructions intended to be ornamental but often quite...
-Miscellaneous Ornaments. Continued
Statuary Statuary should never be introduced into small grounds, in fact it would be better to leave it out of the ordinary garden altogether. The most of the statuary that we see in grounds is entir...
-Shade Trees For Roads And Streets In Florida
There are a number of qualities which may be considered almost absolutely essential in the makeup of a shade tree for roads and streets. First It should be what its name indicates, a shade tree; it ...
-Shade Trees For Roads And Streets In Florida. Part 2
There are a number of trees that bid fair to be useful for road and street planting and ought at least to be tried out; one of these is the mango, Mangifera indica. It has a clean, straight stem, a wi...
-Shade Trees For Roads And Streets In Florida. Part 3
Although not a very rapid grower the camphor tree (Cinna-momum camphora) is a most handsome tree eventually attaining to large size, and it should stand high winds well. The white elm, red maple and u...
-Wind Breaks And Hedges
It will often be found that it is a good thing to throw a sort of screen or protecting wall of trees or shrubs around all or part of a place as a shelter against wind or frost. In fact, in many locati...
-Orchids
Probably no one except a few professional botanists knows that there are at present no less than twenty-two species of native, epiphytic Orchids known in the State of Florida. Some of these are beauti...
-Orchids. Part 2
Most of the Orchids received from the dealers have their roots contained in the mixture of chopped fern root or peat and sphagnum in which they grew in the orchid house. In my earlier attempts at grow...
-Fern Pools
Down in what is called the Homestead Country in lower Dade County the water from the Everglades finds its way through the rocky limestone strata to the sea by underground passages. The carbonic acid...
-In The Hammock
By far the greater part of the state of Florida is covered with monotonous pine forests. Only a small fraction of it is hammock ; that of the northern part of the area being composed largely of live o...
-In The Hammock. Continued
I have devoted a chapter to fern pools and there are two of them in this bit of forest. In the upper one, which is not badly infested with land crabs, I have a great variety of exotic ferns and other ...
-A Wildwdod Garden
Down in my low land which fronts on the bay is a strip of the wettest and blackest muck varying from twenty-five to forty feet wide and a hundred and fifty feet long and lying at the base of the high,...
-A Summer Morning At The Sentinels
It is early morning and I am up and out enjoying the beauty of nature. I often think that in order to live fully one must have his home in the country and rise early. To me it seems as though the deve...
-A Summer Morning At The Sentinels. Continued
To the northeast is a solid stemmed Oriental bamboo some thirty feet high which is beginning to rise above the general line of the hammock. The name of this splendid plant is in dispute but the specie...
-Catalog Of Plants
This list is merely intended as a rough guide and not a complete list of the things which have been or are being cultivated in the territory covered by this work. It contains the plants that the write...
-Catalog Of Indigenous And Naturalized Plants. Native Palms
Florida is quite rich in palms for a region lying wholly outside the tropics, for no less than sixteen species have been found growing wild within its limits. A part of these, Inodes, Sabal adansoni, ...
-Catalog Of Indigenous And Naturalized Plants. Native Palms. Continued
In the northern part of the state a low growing fan palm (Sabal adansoni) is found, mostly in moist ground, which somewhat resembles the saw palmetto. It has been placed by some botanists in with the ...
-Native Ornamental Trees
Florida is rich in native trees and undoubtedly has a considerably larger number of such species than any other state in the Union. In the northern part are many species belonging in the colder part o...
-Native Ornamental Trees. Part 2
Magnolia Foetida The very appropriate name by which this tree has been known (M. grandiflora) has been changed to the above, which is little short of an outrage. This, the most glorious of southern t...
-Native Ornamental Trees. Part 3
The Red Maple (Acer Rubrum) is another very well-known tree which grows as far south as New River in Broward County. It prefers moist, rich soil. When covered with its red flowers or showing its autum...
-Native Ornamental Shrubs
Erythrina herbacea, Coral Bush, is a straggling shrub with trifoliate leaves and in spring, spikes of dark crimson flowers which are followed by moniliform pods containing scarlet beans. There is a fo...
-Ornamental Native Vines
Vanilla Eggersi, Florida Vanilla This curious vine is found in a few hammocks in the lower part of the state. It has thick round stems and almost scale-like leaves and clusters of purplish green, fra...
-Native Ferns
I have treated the subject of ferns at some length in the chapter on fern pools and will only allude briefly to our species here. Cheiroglossa Palmata, Hand Fern A rare fern which grows in the axils...
-Native Ornamental Herbaceous Plants
Piaropus Crassipes, Water Hyacinth Introduced from Brazil and now a nuisance over large areas of the state. If confined to pools or ponds it can do no harm, and the flowers and foliage are very attra...
-Pinnate-Leaved Palms
Acrocomia A genus of palms having the rachides and trunks more or less covered with spines; the stems sometimes bulging. They are all American and the distinctions between some of the species are not...
-Pinnate-Leaved Palms. Part 2
Dictyosperma Rubra And Alba Dictyosperma Rubra And Alba are among our finest and most successful palms, both doing equally well in shade or sunshine, in pine or hammock. They are rather rapid growers...
-Pinnate-Leaved Palms. Part 3
The sexes of the dates are separate and it is generally believed that they are dioecious. However, a female humilis in my ground raised fertile seed when no male plant of any species was large enough ...
-Fan-Leaved Palms
Borassus flabelliformis is a grand tropical palm from southern Asia, and the East Indian Archipelago. The Palmyra, as it is called, is dioecious, has enormous, fan-shaped leaves and bears bunches of f...
-Fan-Leaved Palms. Continued
Mauritia A genus of half a dozen species of lofty palms from the lower West Indies and South America. I do not think that they have been cultivated to any extent in Florida but they should be tried. ...
-Ornamental Exotic Trees
There is such a wealth of attractive material among exotic trees that are adapted to the soil and climate of Florida that it is hard to know what to choose and what to reject. I have over one hundred ...
-Ornamental Exotic Trees. Part 2
Bischofia Javanica Bischofia Javanica, from Java, has fine large, trifoliate leaves and is quite ornamental. It is much hardier than would be supposed, coming from the heart of the tropics. Bixa Ore...
-Ornamental Exotic Trees. Part 3
Cunninghamia Sinensis Cunninghamia Sinensis is another fine hardy conifer which should have a light, well-drained soil. It will probably do well in the north part of Florida. Cupressus Several spec...
-Ornamental Exotic Trees. Part 4
Garcinia Morella, Gamboge Tree I have a fine young specimen of this and it promises to be a most beautiful ornament in a short time as it is a rapid grower. The leaves are large, long and glossy, of ...
-Ornamental Exotic Trees. Part 5
Pithecolobium Dulce Pithecolobium Dulce is a rapid grower with bipinnate leaves, the leaflets in pairs, which I have discussed under the head of shade trees for roads. P. saman has four to six pairs ...
-Exotic Ornamental Shrubs
Abutilon, Flowering Maple A genus of handsome shrubs with bell-shaped flowers, belonging to the Hibiscus family, and much used for bedding out in the north. I think they would do fairly well here in ...
-Exotic Ornamental Shrubs. Part 2
Callistemon Lanceolatus, Bottle Brush Callistemon Lanceolatus, Bottle Brush, usually sold under the name Metrosideros floribunda, the latter probably being a different thing. An Australian shrub whic...
-Exotic Ornamental Shrubs. Part 3
Fatsia Papyrifera Fatsia Papyrifera is a native of Formosa, with large cordate, somewhat lobed leaves, a most striking plant. The pith in the main stem is an inch in diameter and by a sharp instrumen...
-Exotic Ornamental Shrubs. Part 4
Makaviscus Arboreus is a fine old-fashioned shrub related to the Abutilons, which constantly bears erect, crimson flowers. It is a native of the West Indies and is hardier than some tropical plants. I...
-Ornamental Fruit-Bearing Plants
In the temperate regions few of the fruit trees or shrubs are particularly ornamental but in tropical and subtropical parts of the world many of these are very fine for foliage or flowers and in some ...
-Ornamental Fruit-Bearing Plants. Continued
A very tender tree from the West Indies, having opposite, elliptic leaves which are thick and glossy. It becomes a large tree and bears great, russet fruits which have a pleasant subacid flavor. It is...
-Ornamental Vines And Creepers
Abrus precatorius, Crab's Eye Vine. A delicate vine with pinnate leaves, inconspicuous flowers and pods of scarlet beans, each with a black eye. It is believed to be a native of the East Indies and Te...
-Ornamental Vines And Creepers. Part 2
Chlorocodon Whitei Chlorocodon Whitei is a strong growing vine with large, opposite leaves and axillary clusters of odd flowers which is easily grown. Probably tender. Cereus Several species are sc...
-Ornamental Vines And Creepers. Part 3
Ipomoea An immense genus, mostly climbers and generally known as morning glories. The commonest is I. purpurea, cultivated widely and now escaped in many places where its lovely purple flowers gladde...
-Ornamental Vines And Creepers. Part 4
Solanum A large genus containing several ornamental vines. S. seaforthianum has cut leaves and clusters of rich blue flowers with yellow stamens. It bears bright red berries which the mocking birds t...
-Herbaceous Plants
It is impossible always to draw the line between shrubs and herbaceous plants, just as the line cannot be always marked between shrubs ,and vines. Many things that are ordinarily herbaceous occasional...
-Herbaceous Plants. Part 2
Antirrhinum, Snapdragon Too well known to need description. They do well in the cooler part of the state and in the lower part may be grown in winter as annuals. Aphelandra Tropical American plants...
-Herbaceous Plants. Part 3
These have beautiful, odd flowers and are much cultivated in England but are rather delicate and should be tried in a sheltered place. They cannot stand our hot sun and therefore need some shade and p...
-Herbaceous Plants. Part 4
Dieffenbachia A genus of Aroids with superbly variegated leaves, natives of Central and South America. Their juice is extremely acrid and is said to produce speechlessness, and not only that but swel...
-Herbaceous Plants. Part 5
Iresine Or Achyranthes Iresine Or Achyranthes are well-known plants with highly colored leaves, much grown at the north for bedding. They do fairly well here in good soil, especially when they are ir...
-Herbaceous Plants. Part 6
Panicum Excurrens Panicum Excurrens is a grand, broad-leaved grass whose foliage resembles the first leaves of some of the palms. Pedilanthus Tithymaloides Pedilanthus Tithymaloides has bright red ...
-Miscellaneous Epiphytes
I give here a list of epiphytes which I have cultivated in my hammock, not including Orchids, and I will remark that almost everything that has been tried has succeeded. There is little danger of fros...









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