"To raise your flowers, various arts combine, Study these well, and fancy's flight decline;
If you would have a vivid, vigorous breed, Of every kind, examine well the seed;
Learn to what elements your plants belong, What is their constitution, weak or strong; Be their physician, careful of their lives, And see that every species daily thrives;
These love much air, these on much earth rely, These, without constant warmth, decay and die;
Supply the wants of each, and they will pay For all your care through each succeeding day."
To select the most desirable plants, and to arrange them with good taste, requires an extensive knowledge of the floral kingdom. The time of flowering must be known, the height, hardiness, habits, odors, etc.; also the effect of the combination of different colors, so that the plants may be arranged in such a manner as to produce the happiest effect. I shall place before my readers an extensive collection of the most desirable plants, embracing hardy Annuals, Biennials, Perennials, and Shrubbery, pointing out their various habits, qualities, beauties or defects, and modes of cultivation, describing them as plainly as possible, without using any more technical language than is necessary for that purpose. The circumstances of different individuals vary so much, as well as their taste and fancy, that, having given these particulars, it must be left with each one to choose for himself such plants as are adapted to his circumstances, the extent of his ground, soil, etc. Some suggestions may not be out of place.
Some persons, anxious for a great variety, crowd too many plants into a small space; consequently have nothing in perfection. This is too often the case with young beginners, and it is not uncommon to see the small patch devoted to flowers as unsightly as if it were filled with weeds. It is much better to be confined to a few fine varieties, and cultivate them well than to pursue the careless style which is frequently seen in the flower-garden, or what is denominated as such.
Tenants, who occupy their places for an uncertain length of time, are not generally disposed to make many improvements by the addition of plants. Those who may be thus situated, and have a desire for a flower-garden, can, without much outlay, have a succession of flowers through the season. The following Annuals may be obtained for one dollar: - Double Rocket Larkspur, Phlox Drummondii, Mignionette, German Asters, Coreopsis Drummondii, Pansies, Sweet Peas, Poppies, Gillyflowers, Chriseis, Purple and White Candytuft, Nemo-phila, Petunias, Lavateras, Convolvulus, Globe Amaranths, Immortal Flower, Mourning Bride, and Sweet Sultans. For two dollars a dozen, Verbenas, of different colors, may be obtained, that will keep up a lively bloom from June to November. A dozen fine Dahlias and a few Gladiolus will cost three or four dollars, which, with a few monthly roses to be turned out into the garden, and to be re-potted in autumn, and a few choice perennials, grown in deep pots and plunged in the ground, will not altogether exceed the sum of ten dollars. These plants, well grown, will make a fine display, and quite a respectable flower-garden.