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LOURS. PLANTING SIDE BEDS. PLANTS WITH FRAGRANT FLOWERS.-CULTURE OF BULBS. RESERVE GROUND. - CULTURE OF ANNUALS, PERENNIALS, AND BIENNIALS.
HOTBEDS AND FRAMES FOR RAISING AND KEEPING
It gives me great pain, my dear Annie, to find that you still think that you shall never like the country so well as town. I do not, however, despair; for I am convinced that you do not at present know whether you shall like it or not. The pleasures of the town and the country are, indeed, so different, that it requires some time to become accustomed to the change; but, when you are sufficiently well acquainted with country pursuits to take an interest in them, I am sure you will never feel any want of the pleasures of the town. The great secret of being happy is, to be able to occupy ourselves with the objects around us, so as to feel an interest in watching their changes; and, when you can once do this in your present situation, you will no longer complain of dulness or want of excitement. To be convinced of the truth of what I say, you need only remember the pleasure your friend Mrs. P. C. takes in the cultivation of her garden ; the interest with which she watches the opening of her flowers, the coming up of the seeds she has sown, and the growth of the trees she has planted. It is not the positive beauty of these things that occasions the pleasure she experiences in them, but the interest they have created in her mind; for the entomologist will find pleasure in the most hideous caterpillars, and the geologist will pass whole days delightfully among barren rocks. All that is wanted to give an interest in any subject is, a sufficient degree of knowledge respecting it to be aware of its changes, and our own natural love of variety will do the rest.
It is a great advantage in a country life, that its principal objects of interest must be found at home; and hence, as home is woman's peculiar dominion, the noblest and the best feelings of the female heart are more likely to be called into action in the country than in the town. In youth, especially, the ameliorating effects of country pursuits will soon be perceptible, both morally and physically; and your health, which has always been delicate in a town, will, I have no doubt, in the country become positively robust. As the first step towards the attainment of this desirable object, let me recommend to you to have a flower-garden laid out as near the house as possible. I should like to have those cedars, and the remainder of those gloomy firs, cleared away, which I see close to your house in your sketches, and your flower-garden so placed that you could step into it at once from the windows of your usual sitting-room. I hope that this may soon be the case, and, as I must have a locale to make my descriptions understood, I will proceed to give you some hints as to the laying out and planting of such a garden as I should like you to have in the warm and sheltered corner under the southern window of your morning room.
In the first place, it will be absolutely necessary that the remainder of the trees should be not only cut down, but grubbed up; as it will be quite impossible for any flowers to grow under the shade of tall thick trees, and leaving the roots would prevent the possibility of digging the ground. In other respects the situation is admirably adapted for the purpose, as it is open to
the south and south-east, and protected from the north and north-west. Supposing the Scotch pines and cedars to have been cut down, their roots to have been grubbed up, and the ground to have been dug over and levelled, the next thing is to determine upon the plan for the garden. I think it should certainly be a regular geometric figure, and planted in masses, each bed containing flowers of one kind, so as to produce something of the effect of a Turkey carpet when looked down upon from the windows of the house. I enclose you a design which I think will suit the situation, and I will adapt what I have to say to it, though my observations may easily be made suitable to another plan, if another should be found more desirable.
We will suppose the plan (fig. 7.) to consist of twelve flower-beds on grass, with a gravel walk round, which may be bordered on the side next your room by beds for flowers, with little gravel openings opposite each of your windows; or be plain gravel, as you like. There may be a conservatory into which the drawingroom windows facing the south may open, and on the other side a shrubbery to unite the garden with the lawn. In the centre of the flower-garden there may be a fountain ; and, as the flower-garden is to be seen principally from your windows, the beds pearest you should be planted with dwarf flowers,