This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Hybrid perpetual roses are classed among the ever-blooming ones, but whether they bloom freely in autumn or not, depends much on treatment. The flowers at this season should be cut off at once as they fade. It is from the new buds which push from under the old flowers that comes the autumn blooms. All roses bloom the better in their succession for having their flowers cut as they fade.
So many roses have been sent out on the Man-etti stock, that great care will be needed to watch for and take off the suckers as they appear, or in a year or two they will kill the grafted part; one can soon educate the eye to distinguish between a Manetti and the kind grafted on it.
A very interesting occupation is the raising of roses from seed. General Jacqueminot seeds freely, and makes a good parent. A few blooms may be left to mature on this variety.
Towards the end of June propagation by budding commences. This is very commonly employed with the rose; but ornamental trees and shrubs may be increased in the same way. Closely allied species must be chosen to work together.
Propagation by layering may be performed any time when strong, vigorous growing shoots can be had. Any plant can be propagated by layers. Many can be readily propagated no other way. Cut a notch on the upper side of the shoot, not below, as all the books recommend, and bend down into, and cover with rich soil. In a few weeks they root, and can be removed from their parents. Stakes for plants should be charred at the ends before using, when they will last for years.
The rose bugs are apt to be very annoying at some seasons. The best remedy is to shake them off into a pail of water. The rose slug is often very injurious to the leaves - completely skeletonizing them. All kinds of rapid remedies have been proposed - whale oil, soap, petroleum, etc, but the best thing of all is to set a boy to crush them by finger and thumb. It is astonishing how rapidly they are destroyed by this process. This is true of most of the larger insects. Hand picking or crushing is by far the best remedy.
Peg down roses where a heavy mass of flowers is desired. The side shoots push more freely for this treatment. Roses may be propagated by layering as well as other plants.
Flower-beds should be hoed and raked as soon as the ground dries after a rain. Loose surface soil prevents the under stratum drying out. Peg down bedding-plants where practicable. Split twigs make the best pegs. In dry weather do not water flower-beds often; but do it thoroughly when it is done. See that the water does not run off, but into and through the soil.
Grass lawns require mowing often; but not cut down close to the ground. It is best to rake off the mowings. We have only learnt this of late years. Where it is necessary to trim ornamental deciduous hedges, it is best done twice a year. Square-topped hedges are not desirable. The conic form gives the best hedge. Trim before the young growth gets hard, and again after the second growth.
Evergreen trees love pruning as well as deciduous. The Scotch pine and the Chinese Arbor-vitse, are two plants which derive wonderful benefit from the pruning knife. Both these are very liable to get ragged when left entirely to their natural inclinations, but grow with a beautiful compact luxuriance under the occasional, application of the knife. Indeed the Scotch pine with judicious pruning makes one of the most beautiful ornaments of the lawn and pleasure ground. It can | be made to take many odd forms; one of the most picturesque is obtained by cutting off its head when about ten feet high, and never let another leader grow. The side branches are all cut away except the upper tier, these spread then outwardly not exactly creeping but flowing forward in the most luxurious green imaginable, making a much prettier arbor than any weeping tree we ever saw.
These peculiar objects are very striking in a flower garden, and other things besides evergreens will furnish them. Deciduous shrubs may often be trained into interesting forms. The Wistaria sinensis, for instance, makes a very interesting object trained as a small tree. If tied up to a stake for one or two years, and then suffered to stand alone, it will make a pretty round head, and when in spring the pendant blossoms are i in profusion, it makes a unique ornament on a lawn.
Increased attention has been given the Rhododendron and Azalea the few past seasons, as they prove to be much more easy to manage than people formerly thought. It is found to be a mistake that they need shade. It is only a cool soil they require. This is made by deepening it, and adding to it material, which will keep it open and porous at all seasons. We accomplish this by adding fine brushwood with the heavy clay loam. Those who have them in good growing order should take care to keep them in good health by occasional top-dressing. This they enjoy, as the little hair like-roots fancy feeding in cool places, near the surface. It has been found in the vicinity of Philadelphia that well-decayed cow manure is used to very great advantage as a dressing for these plants.