This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
"Farewell, sweet Summer, and thy fading flowers! Farewell, sweet Summer, and thy woodland songs!""
Although these lines are more appropriate to the close than to the beginning of August, it is still true that this month is associated more with ideas of autumn than of spring. This does not arise so much from any deficiency in the beauty of the flower-garden, (for when is it more richly adorned than now?) as from the experience we have had of the early frosts of England, which keep us in trembling suspense as soon as we enter on the month of September. A presentiment of the coming doom of our favourites is also created and fostered by the necessity of propagating in August those flowers of which we require a stock for next year. It is this important practical matter which has induced us to strike the note of alarm, lest, in the midst of the gorgeous loveliness of the passing hour, the exigencies of the coming season should be forgotten. While the temperature is high, cuttings and layers of every thing you wish to be perpetuated or increased should be put in, that good strong plants may be ready to stand the mischances of winter.
The memory of the gardener should be jogged on this subject, lest, in the multiplicity of present engagements, the future should be put out of sight.
Now let us return to the flowers, which, after all, will be ours for some time longer, and at all events demand attention for the development of their beauty. Pegging down, staking, and pruning, must be diligently persevered in, that the beds may have the charm of neatness and elegance to set off their native attractions. This is the month when Dahlias are in their glory, especially if no long droughts keep them back. Next to an uncongenial season, nothing disfigures the Dahlia so much as the earwig, and it must therefore be hunted after in every practicable way. We have found moss in small pots at the top of the stakes as effectual a mode of trapping them as any practised. Take the enemies out early in the morning, and place the pot beneath the foliage of the Dahlia, not forgetting to put it on the stake again in the evening. This is merely a direction of taste; for the pots may be left on the stakes always, and so may lobsters' claws, and tobacco-pipe bowls, if their owners like to see them there.
For our own part, we think all such appendages extremely ugly, and not to be tolerated if time can be found to remove them when they are of no service.
Roses should be cleared of all seed-vessels, and the autumnal kinds especially should receive a general supervision at the beginning of the month. Every flower, as soon as it begins to fade, should be cut off at a good plump eye, which will then, in most cases, produce fresh buds before the season closes. By attending to this direction, and giving a good supply of liquid manure every fortnight, a profuse show of flowers will be secured until frosts cut them off. The greenhouse should be emptied and thoroughly cleaned previous to its receiving its inmates for the winter. Let this be done effectually, so that all insects and their eggs may be destroyed, and as much light as possible secured.
The Bury, Luton. Henry Burgess.