This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
Previous to planting these out in the borders, they ought to be well hardened off, by being gradually inured to the full influence of light and air, and more particularly those which have been propagated in a strong heat within the last two months; if this is not properly attended to, they will receive such a check as will cause them to remain some weeks before they commence their growth. I have seen good healthy plants almost killed when turned out of a rather close cold frame and fully exposed. When planting, it is of great importance to see that the plants in pots are in a moist state; for if dry - and they generally are so in small pots - and very full of roots also, the soil in the beds being loose, it often happens that, although they may receive a liberal watering immediately after planting, the ball will be found quite dry; if the roots are much matted, they should be carefully disentangled, which will cause them to take root in the fresh soil much sooner. The following list of plants will be found suitable for the purpose.
When the height of the plant is mentioned, it must be borne in mind that the soil and situation make a difference, likewise the way in which they are trained and pegged down.
Ageratum meocicanum, blue, from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet high; put the plants 18 or 20 inches apart, and peg them well down.
A. album, white; a weaker grower, about 1 foot high; requires to be thickly planted.
Anagallis, Brewerii, Phillipsii, and Monella major, all blue, of a trailing habit, and well suited for small beds; plant them about 15 inches apart.
Antirrhinum Youngii, white and crimson-striped, about 14 inches hisrh; will flower a long time if not allowed to seed.
Calceolaria amplexicaulis, integrifolia, and viscosissima, different shades of yellow, from 1 1/2 to 2 feet high; the first I consider the best.
C. Kay ana, aurantica, superba, and the old rugosa, all yellow, will do well for medium-sized beds, being from 9 inches to 1 foot high.
Cuphea platycentra, vermilion-scarlet, about 1 foot high; makes a very neat bed.
Tom Thumb, and Frogmore improved, scarlet, are both well adapted for small beds; the latter grows more tall and upright than the former, and requires to be more thickly planted, say about 14 inches apart. Conway's Royalist and the old Shrubland, scarlet, come in well for large beds. Mangle's variegated leaf, pink, and Lee's ditto, scarlet, do well for small beds. Ivy Leaf, white, very dwarf, trailing, makes a beautiful bed. Ilollisson's Unique is purple, and will not exceed 10 or 12 inches high, if a little attention is paid to training and pegging down. Diadematum superbum, red, a strong compact grower, about 14 inches high. Quercifolium superbum, scarlet, oak-leaved variety, compact habit, about 9 inches high. Prince of Orange, an old sweet-scented variety, makes a good light bed.
Gazania uniflora, yellow, a commonplace-looking plant, but does well for small beds, not growing higher than 7 or 8 inches.
Isotoma axillaris, pale blue; about 1 foot high.
Lantana Sellowi, light purple, makes a very dwarf pretty bed, but is rather tender, and should not be planted out till the end of May.
Lobelia Erinus grandiflora, blue, about 6 or 8 inches high.
L. Erinus compacta, a little gem, about 3 inches high; nothing can excel it for a very small bed of blue, or for an edging to Grandiflora; requires to be planted very close, about 4 inches apart.
Nierembergia gracilis, very compact grower; makes a pretty dwarf, light-coloured bed. Intermedia, deep purple, more tender than Gracilis.
Phlox Drummondii Leopoldii, pink, with white centre, is very good for a medium-sized bed, growing about l5 inches high.
Petunia Beauty supreme, purple, a very large free flowerer, compact habit. Model, deep purple, a strong grower, but may be kept down by occasionally thinning out the strong shoots and picking out the tops of the weaker ones. I find that all the strong-growing Petunias bear this treatment well. The old Nyctaginiflora, white, may be kept tolerably low and compact by this means.
Salvia azurea compacta, azure blue, about 12 or 14 inches high.
Sanvatalia procmnbens, about 10 inches high, yellow, very neat grower.
Verbena atrosanguinea, deep crimson. Barkerii, scarlet dwarf.
V. Defiance, sciirlet, fine large trusser and very strong grower, suitable for large beds; Duke of Cornwall, crimson, fine for a small bed; Heloise, bluish purple, compact, neat grower.
V. Avalanche and White Perfection are two good whites.
V. Seymourii, very light pink; makes a very neat bed.
V. Charlwoodii, purple, good habit. The old Tweediana has not been beaten for a red bed; excellent habit and free flowerer.
Campanula carpalica, blue, quite hardy, dwarf, about 9 inches high; makes a very good bed; should be divided early in spring. There is also a white variety of it, which will prove an acquisition; for, excepting Verbenas, we have very few plants of a good white for small beds.
Kew. W. Allan.