This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
IF any plants are not very strong and well established, there will probably be some blanks to fill up, which should be done at once from a few plants reserved for that purpose; and bedding plants generally should have good attention, to get the beds covered as soon as possible. This is best insured by stirring the soil every few days with the hoe; this not only prevents the growth of weeds, but prevents the soil from drying out so fast. Mulching with short grass and half decayed manure is also used for that purpose, and if the weather is very dry, one good soaking of water does more good than a daily watering without mulching.
Large Humens and Dracoenas require a thorough watering at least three times each week, for if allowed to get very dry the leaves turn yellow and fall off. Keep grass lawns frequently mowed, and leave the short grass scattered on the turf; it prevents the grass being burnt up and killed by the hot sun. Where there is command of water, give the turf frequent good waterings; it is nearly impossible to keep a respectable lawn without doing so; in fact, on few soils can a passable turf be kept without continual watering, for it is only in the moist, dull climate of England that really first - rate carpet - like turf can be seen, and we must be content with as near approach to it as care and attention will give, and console ourselves with the thought that although we cannot generally expect to rival the English turf, the autumn tints of the foliage is never seen in the same perfection on the other side of the Atlantic.
Fresh planted shrubs and trees will probably be better for a good watering occasionally the first season, especially Rhododendrons, which often become so dry before getting hold of the fresh soil that they cannot make fresh roots, and die outright, while the surrounding soil is moderately moist.
Use the hoe frequently among shrubs and herbaceous borders, for usually at this season the weeds progress faster than the plants; keep edgings and hedges cut into shape; this is best done, when possible, just previous to a shower; there is then less risk of its looking brown and burnt with the sun.
We find the variegated Japan honeysuckle one of the most useful plants for a dwarf edging to beds and walks, and its beautiful variegated foliage is very pleasing; it is perfectly hardy, but, of course, is not evergreen, although it commences to grow early in the spring. We plant small plants of this species six inches from each other in the row, and peg down a few shoots at first; it will root into the ground at every joint and take care of itself, except during the summer it requires frequent cutting in to prevent it rambling too far, tor it is naturally a climber and grows very fast, but is easily kept into an edging of a few inches wide and high. During its free growing season we usually thin it once in two weeks, and before it commences to grow in the spring cut it down quite close to the ground, by doing which it is more easy to keep within bounds during the summer.
Echeveria secunda, and secunda glauca make a capital dwarf edging for a walk during summer, and if plants of one sue are used, it remains quite uniform without any attention during the summer, and looks quite lively when in flower.