We frequently see allusions to " Ribbon Gardening" in the foreign papers; the following will attract some of our enthusiasts of beautiful gardens to the subject: - Among the more recent innovations in flower gardening, the introduction, or rather more general dissemination of what is called the ribbon system of embellishment, is not the least interesting; or in an artistic point of view the least effective. That it is artistic there cannot be a question, for as associated with architectural objects it is an extension of those lines to which the mouldings and various enrichments owe their entire interest. The idea therefore was a happy one which transferred these multiplied lines of color to garden scenery.

Of the form of a ribbon a notion prevails that a straight line only is admissible. I incline to an opposite opinion, and though I have no objection to a straight line in a proper position, yet if I must have my choice, give me by all means a softly curving line, " the line of beauty," rendered still more beautiful by the gentle play of light and shade upon the variously contrasted colors. A ribbon, to be effective, must be of considerable length, and narrow rather than broad - indeed, six to eight feet is wide enough, and beyond that width they present too large a surface of color, and pain rather than please the eye. I have seen ribbons very effective when only three feet wide, but they were planted with plants of proportionate size.

In the counties of Stafford and Salop this system of gardening is perhaps more extensively practised than in any other part of England. At Trentham, as might naturally be expected, the ribbon system is extensively carried out, and the ribbons are very effective. The principal, which stretches the whole length of the kitchen garden, may be said to be the connecting link between the utilitarian and the decorative departments, and emerging as I did from the garden, the " surprise'2 of that "blaze of bloom" was not only very dazzling, but also highly gratifying. The following is very effective: Back row - Branching Larkspur, blue; Matricaria grandiflora, white; Petunia Shrubland Rose, rose; Calceolaria Kayi, orange; Myosotis, blue, and Saponaria Calabrica, pink, double row intermixed; Geranium Golden Chain, green and gold; Lobelia ramosoides, double row blue. Where the Golden Chain Geranium is not sufficiently plentiful, "Musk" may be substituted with good effect. Mr. Fleming had various modifications of ribbons, and as a hardy one accessible to every one Eschscholtzia Californica, orange; Convolvulus minor, blue; and Musk, yellow; the last abutting upon Grass, looked exceedingly well.

I must not omit to mention a rivulet of Forget-me-Not It apparently meanders in a circuitous route between some specimen evergreen trees, and certainly at a distance the casual observer might mistake it for water. The following is a nice arrangement for a ribbon: Back row - Salvia patens and Branching Larkspur intermixed, blue; Matricaria grandiflora, white; Geranium Tom Thumb, scarlet; Calceolaria Trentham Brown, bronzy brown; Calceolaria Kayi, orange; Geranium Manglesi (variegated), and Verbena Tweediana (scarlet), intermixed, white and scarlet; Musk, yellow; Lobelia ramosoides, blue, or next the walk Musk, then Geranium Tom Thumb, afterwards an excellent variety of double Feverfew (white), and backed by Dahlia Zelinda, maroon. These borders were not more than four feet wide, and being full of plants, certainly looked exceedingly well.

Passing on to Enville, the most enchanting ribbon I ever saw was thus formed. The line was a curved one. Back row - Delphinum Hendersonii, blue; Pentstemon gentianoides coccineum, red scarlet; Calceolaria Kayi, orange; Geranium Cerise Unique, cerise; Lobelia speciosa, blue; Geranium Golden Chain, orange variegated. The beautiful play of color in this arrangement was very remarkable. The variegations of the Golden Chain, the flowers being taken off, the cerise of the flowers, coral stems, and peculiar marking of the foliage of the Cerise Unique, divided as the two kinds were by a dense line of bright blue, and backed by the Orange Calceolaria, was a combination of color the effect of which must be seen to be appreciated. For a narrow ribbon no arrangement could be more effective, but it is not every person that can plant out Golden Chain by the thousand, and those who cannot will find a good substitute in small plants of the Flower of the Day, if the flowers are regularly taken off, and the plants are not permitted to get too tall. The Cerise Unique, in this arrangement, will also look best if placed in the full sun; then the stems and leaves get their full color, which is a matter of much importance.

I should mention that the preceding ribbon was verged with Grass. Here is another arrangement with a Grass verge: Back row - Humea elegans, brown; Salvia patens, blue; Calceolaria Kayi, orange; ditto, Indian Chief, crimson brown; Geranium Tom Thumb, scarlet; Forget-me-Not, blue; Geranium Golden Chain, orange and green.

I think perhaps the groups at Dudmaston, near Bridgenorth, were still more beautiful. Nothing could exceed them, and I never saw beds so perfectly sheeted with bloom. The garden is small, as compared with those previously mentioned, but the whole of the shrubbery borders were ribboned, and standing as you could at one point, and take in almost the whole of the garden, nearly a mile of ribbon was presented to view; and certainly the coup d'oeil was most enchanting. The Variegated Alyssum was very extensively used'next the Grass, but in adjoining walks blue Lobelia was introduced. The following is a very nice ribbon: Back row - Dahlia Zelinda, maroon; Calceolaria Kayi, orange; Verbena Tweediana, scarlet; Variegated Alyssum, white. Another very nice pattern was: Back row - Pentstemon gentianoides coccineum, Scarlet and White Phlox mixed, scarlet and white; Calceolaria Kayi, orange; Geranium Tom Thumb, scarlet; Lobelia ramosoides, blue; Alyssum, Variegated, white.

In gardens of strictly architectural design, plain and variegated Hollies, plain and variegated shrubs, of all kinds, hardy Heaths, and many hardy American shrubs, offer great facilities for the ribbon system; and I doubt not before many years pass we shall see such ribbons planted extensively. The planter, however, of a ribbon must not stick in his plants at equal distances, and think the ribbon will come without further trouble. The line of demarcation of each color must be strictly preserved, for if the various lines of color are allowed to intermix, the effect, and, in fact, intention, will be marred at once. It is upon keeping the various lines of color perfectly independent of each other, touching but not intermixing, that the whole success of the system hinges; and those who cannot devote sufficient attention to that particular, had better not attempt the plan.

A. P. W., in Cottage Gardener.

Ribbon Gardening #1

The following is the arrangement of the best specimens of ribbon gardening and flower beds, on the grounds of William Gray, Jr ., whose place was visited by the American Pomological Society, last fall:


Edged with

Mrs. Pollock Gcraninm,

Emperor Napoleon Colons.

Donglass Pearson "

Golden Pyrethrums.

Orbiculatnm "


May Queen "

Koniga maritima var.


Centanrea Candids.

Centnnrea gymnocarpa,

Orbiculatum Geraninm.

Colons Verschaffeltli,

Goldon Pyrethrnms.

Achyranthns Lindeni!,

Phalaris arnndi nocea picta.

Mme Leraoine, Donble Ge-raninm,

Mountain of Snow Geranium.