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"A Garden! The word is in itself a picture, and what pictures it reveals!" E. V. B.
Mention is made only of those flower crops actually in bloom at the same time in the garden illustrated. From this garden, of thirty-two beds separated by turf walks, and with two central cross-walks and an oblong pool for watering purposes, practically all yellow flowers have been eliminated, and all scarlet as well. The early columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha) and the pale-yellow Thermopsis Caroliniana are the only yellows now permitted, and these only to make blues or purples finer by juxtaposition. All yellow, orange, and scarlet flowers are relegated to the shrubbery borders; therefore, in speaking of companion crops in this garden, it will be understood that some of the greatest glories of July, August, and September are omitted.
As far as I know, no one has ever suggested the growing of various varieties of gladiolus among the lower ornamental grasses. This, if practicable culturally, should give many delightful effects. A yellow gladiolus, such as Eldorado, among the yellow-green grasses; the deep violet, Baron Hulot, or salmon-pinks, among the bluish-green. Stems of gladiolus must ever be concealed. This would do it gracefully and well.
The two companion crops of spring flowers shown in cut are the early forget-me-not (Myosotis dissitiflora), which presses close against the dark-red brick of the low post, while the Heavenly Blue grape hyacinth (Muscari botryoides, var.), a rich purplish-blue, blooms next it. Tulipa retroflexa is seen in the foreground, and the buds of Scilla campanulata, var. Excelsior, when the photograph, was taken were about to open. After one day's sun the various bulbs and the forget-me-nots made a most ravishing effect with their clear tones of blue, lavender, and lemon-yellow.
I never tire of singing the praises of Tulipa retroflexa; it is among my great favorites in tulips. And this leads to the mention of that tulip, to me, the best of all for color, known under three names Hobbema, Le R๊ve, and Sara Bernhardt. No other tulip has the wonderful and unique color of this. If you possess a room with walls in delicate creamy tones, furnished with a little old mahogany, and are happy enough to be able on some fine May morning to place there two or three bowls full of this tulip, you will understand my enthusiasm. The color may be described as one of those warm yet faded rose-pinks of old tapestry or other antique stuff; a color to make an artist's heart leap up. This is far from the subject, but these digressions must occasionally be excused.
In small note-books tiny calendars sent each year by a seed-house to its customers, and in which it is my habit to set down on each Sunday the names of plants in flower I find the following were blooming on a day in May: Tulipa retroflexa, early forget-me-not, Muscari botryoides, var. Heavenly Blue; Scilla campanulata, var. Excelsior; tulip Rose เ Merveille, Campernelle jonquil, Narcissus Barri, var. Flora Wilson; Narcissus Poetaz, var. Louisa; Tulipa Greigi, Iris pumila, var. cyanea (a lovely variety, the blue of the sky), Phlox divaricata, var. Canadensis (the new variety of this, Laphami, is both larger and finer), so beautiful back of masses of Alyssum saxatile, or rock cress, both single and double, and Iberis Gibraltarica.
ARABIS AND TULIP DOUBLE GYPSOPHILA AND
COTTAGE MAID SHASTA DAISY
On the Sunday one week earlier, there were in full bloom last spring, tulips Chrysolora, Count of Leicester (the best double in tawny yellows), Couleur Cardinal, Thomas Moore, Leonardo da Vinci, narcissus Queen of Spain and Flora Wilson, Louisa, poet's narcissus, Iris pumila (the common purple), and tulips Vermilion Brilliant, Queen of Holland, Clusiana, Greigi, Brunhilde, Cerise Gris de Lin (another of the faded pinks in this case, however, so extreme that many gardeners would reject it), Gris de Lin, an enchanting if cold pink; Jaune เ-platie, violas and arabis, a bank of Munstead primroses (certainly the apotheosis of the English primrose, if so imposing a word may be used for so shy a flower). The arabis appears (facing page 28) with Campernelle jonquils in the near part, the darling tulip Cottage Maid blooming brightly among the arabis and making the loveliest imaginable spring bouquet. The single arabis I have now forsworn in favor of the new double variety, which is far more effective like a tiny white stock without the stock's stiffness of habit and quite as easy to grow and maintain.
In the blossomy photograph, facing page 48, are found four or five companion crops of flowers, though that was a peculiar season in which this picture was made, when syringas bloomed with Canterbury bells! Here peonies and Canterbury bells make up the bulk of bloom, some young syringa bushes showing white back of them, and sweetbrier covered with fragrant pink to the right. Sweet-williams and pinks may be found in the foreground with rich rose pyrethrum, the sweet-williams of a dark rose-red, in perfect harmony with all the paler pinks near and beyond them. I may say here that, like most amateurs, I have a favorite color in flowers the pink of Drummond phlox, Chamois Rose, or, in deeper tones, of sweet-william Sutton's Pink Beauty, or the rosy-stock-flowered larkspur. When I say that such and such a flower is of a good warm pink, it is to the tones of one or the other of these that I would refer.
On the date on which this picture of peonies was made there were to be found in bloom in my garden these: larkspur, Thermopsis Caroliniana (which I grow near groups of tall pale-blue delphinium, and which makes a lovely color effect, adding lemon-colored spikes to the blue), sweetwilliams, Canterbury bells, peonies, Aquilegia chrysantha, Achillea ptarinica, hardy campanula, pinks both annual and hardy, foxgloves, roses, annual gypsophila, common daisies. The latter are valuable for masses of early white. I cut them to the ground as soon as bloom is over, when their low leaf-clumps are quickly covered by overhanging later flowers.
The midsummer flower crops are, by all odds, the greatest in variety as they are in luxuriance. Some idea of the appearance of this garden in mid-July may be had in the top cut facing, when the flowers fully open are almost all either blue or white, except toward the centre of the garden, where delicate pink tones prevail, and the fine purple hardy phlox Lord Rayleigh blooms, giving richness to the picture and forming a combination of colors, blue and rich purple, which is especially to my taste.
The abundance of Gypsophila paniculata, var. elegans, will be noted throughout the
garden, and just here may be recalled that delightful and suggestive article by
Mr. Wilhelm Miller in "The Garden Magazine" for September, 1909,
advocating the use of flowers with delicate foliage and tiny blossoms as aids
to lightness of garden effects, not to mention the new varieties of such
flowers mentioned in the article, Crambe
orientalis, Rodgersia, and various unfamiliar spireas.
GYPSOPHILA AND LILIES IN THE GARDEN
There is a whiter gypsophila; there is a grayer as well. The former is the variety flore pleno, the latter the ordinary paniculata. They are both tremendous acquisitions to the garden, as their cloudlike masses of bloom give a wonderfully soft look to any body of flowers, besides making charming settings for flowers of larger and more distinct form, as in cut (page 28), where Shasta daisy Alaska is grown against the double gypsophila. Lilium longiflorum is a companion crop of gypsophila, and I am much given to planting this low-growing lily below and among the gray softness of the other. In bloom when the garden was a blaze of color in midsummer were these or, possibly, it is fairer to say, "Among those present": Delphinium, both the tall Belladonna and one of a lovely blue, Cantab by name, best of all larkspurs; Delphinium Chinensis, var. grandijlora, in palest blues and whites; quantities of achillea, valuable but too aggressive as to roots to be altogether welcome in a small garden; Heuchera sanguinea, var. Rosamund; heliotrope of a deep purple in the four central beds of the garden nearest the pool, in the centre of each heliotrope bed a clump of the medium tall and early perennial phlox Lord Rayleigh, warm purple (this was an experiment of my own which is most satisfactory in its result); baby rambler roses (Annchen Mueller), and climbing roses (the garden gate at the right is covered with Lady Gay). The arch between upper and lower gardens has young plants of Lady Gay also started against its sides.
To continue with companion crops: perennial phlox E. Danzanvilliers, masses of palest lavender; Physostegia Virginica, var. alba; the lovely lavender-blue Stokesia cyanea, Scabiosa Japonica, sea-lavender (Statice incana, var. Silver Cloud), stocks in whites and deep purples, the annual phloxes Chamois Rose and Lutea the latter so nice a tone of old-fashioned buff that it is useful as a sort of horticultural hyphen and a charming double warm-pink poppy, nameless, which raises its fluffy head above its blue-green leaves from July till frost, and brings warmth and beauty to the garden.
Time was when I preferred to see the chamomile, or anthemis, spread its pale-yellow masses below the blue delphinium spikes; but I now prefer whites, or better still, rich purples or pale lavenders, near, a closer harmony of color.
One of the most successful plantings for boldness of effect is the one beyond the low hedge of the privet ibota; a detail is seen in cut facing page 86. This is of lemon and white hollyhocks, with thick, irregular groups of Lilium candidum upspringing before them. Sufficient room is left between the hedge and the lilies to cultivate and to trim the hedge, which is but two feet high. And when these tall pale flowers open and both the rusty growth of leaves at the base of the hollyhock stalks, and the yellowing leaves of the lily stems, are hidden by the trim dark hedge, the effect from the garden itself is surprisingly good. Numberless combinations of all these flowers, which bloom at the same time, suggest themselves, an infinite variety. Three plants which bloom in mid-July are the necessary and beautiful pink verbena, Beauty of Oxford, and the snapdragons in the fine new tones called pink, carmine-pink, and coral-red; also that exquisite flower, Clarkia elegans, in the variety known as Sutton's double salmon, one of the most graceful and remarkably pretty annuals which have ever come beneath my eye. Love-in-the-mist blooms now, and the best variety, Miss Jekyll, is exceedingly pretty and valuable.
A list of companion crops for August most naturally begins with perennial phloxes; in my case, Pantheon, used very freely; Aurore Boreale, Fernando Cortez (wonderful brilliant coppery pink), a very little Coquelicot, used in conjunction with sea-holly; white phloxes von Lassburg and Fianc้e, zinnia in light flesh tones, the good lavender-pink physostegia (Virginica rosea), sea-holly, stocks, and dianthus of the variety Salmon Queen.
THE TIME OF LILIES AND DELPHINIUMS
There is hardly space left in which to mention the flower crops which enrich September with color. But no list of the flowers of that month should begin with the name of anything less lovely than the tall, exquisite, pale-blue Salvia patens. Called a tender perennial, I have found it entirely hardy; and the sudden blooming of a pale-blue flower spike in early autumn is as welcome as it is surprising. Second to this I place the hardy aster, or Michaelmas daisy, now to be had in many named varieties and forming, with the salvia just named, a rare combination of light colors. My hardy asters thus far have been practically two, Pulcherrima and Coombe Fishacre, two weeks later; this gives me four weeks of lavender bloom in September and October. The accommodating gladiolus, which, as every one knows, will bloom whenever one plans to have it, is a treasure now. America, which has so much lavender in its pink, is exceeding fair in combination with either of these hardy asters; and when spikes of the salvia are added to a mass of these two flowers of which I have just spoken, you have one of the loveliest imaginable companion crops of flowers.
A prospective combination not yet tried but which I am counting upon this season is blue lyme grass (Elymus arenarius) with Chamois Rose Phlox Drummondii below it, and back of it gladiolus William Falconer. The lyme grass has much blue in its leaves, and so has the gladiolus; there should be excellent harmonies of both foliage and flower.
Very lately, long since the above was written, a color combination most subtle and beautiful, a September picture, has come to view: Salvia farinacea, a soft blue-lavender, with clustering spikes of palest pink stock near it, very close to it, were the two subjects so perfectly suited to each other. Let me commend this arrangement as something rather out of the common, for I can hardly think this salvia is often met with in our gardens. And the use of a lovely but unfamiliar flower will bring with it a certain additional pleasure.