There are, however, some practical difficulties in the way of growing plants in close moist cases, which amateurs unacquainted with the nature of plants are unable to overcome. Among these difficulties, the principal is the adjustment of the amount of moisture to which a plant is exposed in one of these cases, to the surrounding heat, and to its own nature. Another is the prevention of dew upon the inside of the glass, by which the interior is often entirely hidden. These are practical difficulties that must exercise the ingenuity of cultivators. Upon the former we can give no information, because each species requires a special consideration. As to the deposit of the dew upon the glasses, we may observe, that as this is owing to the inside of the case being colder than the air that surrounds it, the only course to take is, either to warm the internal air by some means, or to open a door in the case for a short time; and as the latter is the most easy, and is quite efficient, it will be the more generally adopted.'

"Plants have been kept in Wardian cases for upwards of twelve months in good health and condition without renewal, and all this while but with one supply of water. 'This to some may appear strange, but the principles of evaporation and condensation sufficiently explain it. The heat of the sun, or even of the room in which the case stands, naturally produces evaporation through the day time, and during night the process of condensation takes place, and the moisture which has been evaporated is returned to the soil. These two principles are in active operation alternately day and night. It ought to be noticed, however, that owing to the growth of the plants, as well as other contingent causes, such as apertures in the framework, the quantity of moisture in time becomes lessened; and when this is the case, a fresh supply will be necessary. As monotony and continuity cease in time to afford gratification, and as it may happen, no doubt, that some of the plants will grow beyond their bounds, fresh removals and replacements will be found necessary.' - Gard. Journal Add to this, much of the pleasure to be derived from plants growing under one's care, and in one's drawing-room, would be lost, were we not allowed to arrange and re-arrange them, according to our taste and fancy.

"M. Victor Paquet, in 'Almanac Horticole,' speaking of window gardening as followed in Belgium, says: The balconies are turned into green-houses, and you may find, on the fifth or sixth floor, a miniature stove, gay with the brightest flowers, and the greenest foliage. In Paris there are many such contrivances, especially two on the fourth floor of a house in the Boulevard de la Madeleine. Here are to be found the rarest plants. Camellias grow in the open ground; Passifloras cling to the columns; the creeping Fig forms a carpet upon the walls,' (Ficus stipulacea, we presume,) ' and water plants start up from tiny basins, curiously contrived in the solid brickwork. By turning a screw a stream of limpid water flows down a rock, from whose crevices start up Ferns and Locopodiums, and such things. And what is it that adjoins this little paradise but a bed-room !'

"Enjoyable as such a window garden must be to the lover of flowers, it is, perhaps, upon a scale beyond the reach of more humble admirers of Flora. The Belgian window garden, figured and described by M. Paquet, is within the reach of all, and will bo understood by a glance at the annexed elevation, fig, 1, and section, fig, 2. In the latter it will he seen that the sill of the window is extended in breadth beyond the face of the wall of the house by brackets a, generally highly carved, as In the sketch; two or more shelves are placed across the window, which, with the sill, are covered with plants in pots. A roof of glass is hinged to the window-frame, at any convenient height; for it should here be remarked that windows on the Continent are, in general, much higher and broader than with us; it, for example, (as shown in the diagram,) the frame extends three parts of the way up, sufficient light is admitted into the room. These sloping roofs fall down upon a stone or wooden front, either solid or filled with glass, as seen in fig. 2, and are opened and shut for ventilation by raising up the bottom part of the roof, and securing it at any point of elevation desired, by the curved handle b.

The plants are watered and arranged from the room within, as the windows are hung on hinges, in two parts, and do not generally run up and down, as with us.

"In cases where the sloping roof extends to the top of the windows, as is sometimes the case, the window being thrown open, the owner can enjoy their fragrance and beauty, while the plants are not subjected to the dust, heat and dry air of the room, and with the large squares of glass used, they lose little of their effect, even when the window is shut altogether.

"Fig. 3 is another example of the same kind of window garden, placed opposite the center window of a drawing-room, and extending considerably beyond the breadth of the window on both sides. It is supported on highly ornamental metallic brackets, and the bottom part, in which the pots are set, or plants planted in, is of stone, slate, cast-iron, or wood - the three first, of course, the most durable - as this part of the case is kept constantly wet. It should rise to the level of the window-sill, but no higher; indeed, a few inches lower would be no disadvantage. - Large panes of glass are used both for the front, ends, and top - one or more of them may be made to open for ventilation the wall of house and casement of the window serve for the back. The operation of arranging the plants is, of course, to be performed from the room within by opening the window.

Window Gardening And Plant Cases 300103

Fig. 1.

Window Gardening And Plant Cases 300104