OF the hundreds of shrubs, comparatively few survive the severe winter climate of interior New York, or grow very luxuriantly. Lilacs of all varieties, white and purple, single and double; Deutzias, white and pink; and Syringa, the improved large - flowered variety, are most beautiful. Spiroea Van Houttei, sometimes called Bridal Wreath, with its long trails of white blossoms; and Viburnum plicatum, or Japanese Snowball, which in late May bears a ball of bloom on every twig and is both healthy and hardy, are also desirable shrubs. The old variety of Snowball is attacked by a blight, the leaves curl up and grow black and the blooms are imperfect. A few years ago I dug up all of mine and burned them.
Altheas, or Rose of Sharon, - not by any means the old purplish red variety, but the beautiful new double white and double pale pink kinds, with blossoms coming in August and reminding one of Camellias - are indispensable. Do not fail to have Hydrangea paniculata, with its great heads of white bloom, slowly changing to dull pink, and lasting quite six weeks.
Japanese Barberry, a dwarf shrub, covered in autumn with scarlet berries which remain on the bush all winter, is very ornamental Many of us remember Calycanthusjhridus, or the Sweet-scented Shrub of our young days, when the children would tie two or three of the queer brown blossoms in the corner of a handkerchief to regale their less fortunate companions with a sniff of the delicious odor. Forsythia and Laburnum, or Golden Chain, both have yellow blossoms. Others are, Weigela Rosea, the well-known pink-flowering shrub; Rhus Cotinus, or Purple Fringe, and Cydonia Japonica, or Japanese.
Scarcely did I dare all Summer to think of this garden, and no mention of it was made in any letters received, so that upon our return the middle of September I went to look at it, expecting to see a bare expanse, broken by dead evergreens and brown Box-edging; but the rains had begun the very day we sailed, and the Summer had been cool with frequent rains.
It was just sunset when we reached home that September day, and as I stood on the marble steps, looking down upon what my imagination had portrayed as a dead garden, it seemed as if a miracle had been wrought. The evergreens were green and flourishing, the Box-edging was covered with tender shoots of new growth, the grass of the paths was thick and free from weeds and the beds were filled with blooming Asters, of which there were certainly hundreds in each bed, and although three colors had been used, white, palest pink, and faint blue, each bed contained but one variety.
Quince, deep rose-pink, flowering early in the spring.
These all yield beautiful flowers, beside being hardy and of rapid growth.
All shrubs should be trimmed as soon as they have finished flowering, but only enough to prevent their becoming spindling, with the exception of Hydrangea grandiflora, which should be trimmed back, at least three-quarters of the new growth, every year.
It is important, also, to thin out the old wood of most shrubs after five or six years.
Shrubs can be grown from cuttings if one has patience to wait for the result. But as it takes from three to four years' time and considerable care to grow a shrub that would cost but twenty cents, for which price many varieties of shrubs can be bought, few people care to raise them.
On a large place it might be worth while to raise shrubs from cuttings. And where there is plenty of space, a small nursery of them might be kept.
Tive when grown in masses of a dozen or more, although single specimens are very fine. They must be vigorously cut back late every fall, leaving only about six inches of new growth.
Lilac, common purple and common white; also Marie Legray, a fine white Lilac, and Madame Lemoine, a new double variety bearing very large trusses of flowers. All of these varieties of Lilac grow high and rapidly - frequently eight feet in six years. They require little or no pruning. It is sufficient to cut the blossoms either before or after they go to seed.
Lonicera rosea and Lonicera albida, upright Honeysuckles, in shrub form, vigorous, quick-growing, requiring but slight pruning in late autumn. They flower in May, and in midsummer are covered with beautiful berries.
Magnolia conspicua, with large white blossoms, blooms the middle of April; Soulan-geana has large pink flowers and blossoms the end of April. Magnolias should be pruned when set out, and should be moved only in spring.
Vase of Hydrangea panicutata grandifiora September tenth.
Philadelphus syringa, or Mock Orange; grandiflorus is the finest. The flowers are pure white, very fragrant and bloom about the middle of June. The shrub grows high, is perfectly hardy and in every way satisfactory. It should be trimmed as soon as it has finished blossoming. Cut back about three-quarters of the new growth; it will then send out side shoots and become continually thicker.
The common Privet is of very rapid growth and excellent for a screen. It should be trimmed the end of June, but only enough to prevent its becoming scraggly. The California Privet is not so hardy.
Rhus Cotinus, popularly known as Smoke Tree or Purple Fringe, grows as high as a small tree and requires almost no pruning. In midsummer it is covered with fine, mist-like, purple flowers.
This is one of the most satisfactory shrubs; is rather dwarf in habit, growing about five feet high. The end of May it is covered with clusters of white flowers on long, pendulous branches. Trim as soon as it has finished blooming, cutting off about half of the new growth.
Spiroea Anthony Wat ever, another Spirea, very dwarf, only about a foot in height, and covered with bright crimson flowers from June to October.
Viburnum Plicatum, Japan Snowball, one of the finest shrubs. It grows about six feet high, and is completely covered with its balls of snow in early June. It requires comparatively little trimming.
The two most satisfactory varieties of this shrub are Candida, whose blossoms are white, and Rosea, with pink flowers. They bloom most freely about the tenth of June, when each shrub becomes a mass of flowers. Care must be taken to cut out the old wood from time to time, and to trim after the shrub has finished blooming.
Of evergreen shrubs, Kalmia latifolia, or Mountain Laurel, is most satisfactory, growing three to four feet high. It is covered in early June with large clusters of pale . pink and white flowers.
Rhododendron maximum, the large-leaved hardy American variety. Under cultivation this shrub seldom grows more than six feet high; in the woods it is found much larger.
Japanese Holly, a dense-growing shrub about four feet high, with deep glossy green foliage.
Tree Box, generally trimmed in standard or pyramidal form and very slow-growing.
Ampelopsis quinquefolia, Virginia Creeper. Ampelopsis Veitchi, Boston Ivy. Aristolochia Sipho, Dutchman's Pipe. Bignonia radicans, Trumpet Creeper.
Clematis paniculata, clusters of fine white flowers.
Clematis Henryi, large white flowers.
Clematis Jackmani, large purple flowers.
Honeysuckle, Hall's Japan, Golden Japan.
Vitis Coignetice, Japanese ornamental grapevine; rapid grower.
Wistaria, both purple and white.
Coboea scandens, purple and white.
Japanese Morning-glory, all colors.
Passion Flower, blue and white; must be started very early, and if well protected will sometimes survive the winter.
Japanese Gourd. This must be descended from Jonah's Gourd of biblical fame, as it often grows from forty to fifty feet in a summer. It has yellow flowers and gourds, and is very decorative.