Have made of wood or zinc a tray about four inches deep, with a handle on either end, water-tight - paint it outside and in, put in each corner a post as high as the tallest of your plants, and it is ready for use. Arrange your flower-pots in it, and fill between them with sawdust; this absorbs the moisture falling from the plants when you water them, and retains the warmth acquired during the day, keeping the temperature of the roots even. When you retire at night spread over the posts a blanket or shawl, and there is no danger of freezing. The tray may be placed on a stand or table and easily moved about.
- All the varieties of English ivy, the hoyacarnosa, the passion flower, the jasmine, the pilogyne suavis, and begonias are especially suitable for window culture. Very pretty effects may be produced at the cost of a few cents, by planting verbenas, morning-glories, cobea scan-dens, and the maurandias in baskets or flower-pots, which may be concealed behind statuary or bronzes. The best fertilizer for them or any other house plants is that afforded by the tea-pot; the cold tea-grounds usually thrown away, if' poured as a libation to these household fairies, will produce a miracle of beauty and perfume.
Immediately after gathering, take a moderately warm iron, smear it well with white wax, rub over each surface of the leaf once, apply more wax for each leaf; this process causes leaves to roll about as when hanging on the tree. If pressed more they become brittle and remain perfectly flat. Maple and oak are among the most desirable, and may be gathered any time after the severe frosts; but the sumac and ivy must be secured as soon after the first slight frost, as they become tinted, or the leaflets will fall from the stem. Ferns may be selected any time during the season. A large book must be used in gathering them, as they will be spoiled for pressing if carried in the hand. A weight should be placed on them until they are perfectly dry; then, excepting the most delicate ones, it will be well to press them like the leaves, as they are liable to curl when placed in a warm atmosphere; these will form beautiful combinations with the sumac and ivy.
For four pounds of goods, take bichromate of potash one ounce, and alum one and a quarter ounces; dissolve and bring water to boiling point; put in goods and boil one hour; then empty dye and make new with one pound logwood (or one-fourth pound extract of logwood), and boil goods in this one hour longer. Use more logwood to make color darker, or less to make it lighter.
Mix one pound oxalic acid, one pound table salt, and twelve gallons water; lay goods in this mixture for one hour; remove and thoroughly rinse and work.
For ten pounds flannel or yarn, take two and a half pounds of ground lac dye, one and a half pounds scarlet spirit (see recipe), half pound tartar, one and one-fifth ounces flavine (or according to shade (620) desired), one and a fifth ounces tin crystals, half pound muriatic acid. Boil all together for fifteen minutes; cool to 170° Fah.; put in goods, handling quickly at first, then boil one hour, rinse while hot, before gum and impurities harden. A small quantity of sulphuric acid may be added to this recipe, to dissolve gum. This scarlet stands soap better than cochineal.