صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

the summer, the side sashes and doors are taken away first, generally about the middle or end of April. A week or ten days after, the sashes of the roof are taken off, but the frame and tarpauling are left in case of spring frosts; and, when all danger from these is over, the whole of the framework is removed, and the orange trees, camellias, and other exotic trees that have been planted in the conservatory, appear to be growing in the open air.

The orangery is often contrived so as to be used as a kind of living-room during summer, as it is only intended for the reception of the orange trees, and other plants belonging to the genus Citrus, during winter. The trees are generally grown in large tubs and boxes, in a rich loamy soil, and are set out in the open air during summer, when they require but little care, provided they are frequently watered over the leaves, though they do not like much water to their roots. When young plants are raised from seed, they seldom flower till they have been budded or grafted from an old tree. Orange trees are generally put in the open air in May, and kept there till September or October; and they are very seldom shifted. They require scarcely any light or water during winter, and no heat beyond what is necessary to protect them from the frost.

Some of the varieties of Camellia japónica are

sufficiently hardy to grow in the open air in the neighbourhood of London, provided their roots and the lower part of their stems are mulched 1; that is, covered with straw or litter, and the main trunk wrapped round with a hay-band a few inches from the ground. The hardiest kind is the variegated red. Camellias seldom do well in pots, except when they are very small, as, when they attain a tolerable size, the flower-buds are very apt to fall off without expanding. The best mode of growing camellias is, therefore, to plant them in the free soil of a conservatory, taking care that some creeping plant is trained along the rafters over their heads, as they do not like to be exposed to too much sun, unless they have also a great deal of air, and are frequently and regularly watered. The soil for camellias should be peat mixed with a little sandy loam. The temperature of the camellia house should be from 50° to 60° during the whole of the growing season; but, when the flower-buds have formed, the glasses are generally taken off during the rest of the summer. Early in autumn, however, when the flower-buds begin to swell, the glasses should be put on and the house kept warm, the plants being regularly watered morning and evening, as, if the watering be neglected a single day, or if stagnant water be suffered to remain about the roots, the flower-buds will be sure to drop off without expanding. Camellias do not require frequent repotting. Small camellias are generally shifted only once in two years, and large ones, that is, those above five feet high, not oftener than once in three or four years. The time for shifting camellias is just when they have done flowering, before they are beginning to send out their young shoots. Great care must be taken when they are repotted not to bruise the roots, as they are very easily injured.

Both camellias and orange trees are very subject to the attacks of the black fly, a kind of aphis. The best way of destroying these insects is to syringe the plants well, laying them down on their sides when they are in pots, or, if they are planted in the free soil, syringing them with a garden engine so as to throw the water in a powerful stream upwards, in order to get at the under surface of the leaves, where the insects are generally found. Some persons recommend fumigating with tobacco smoke; but I have never found it so efficacious as syringing, and washing the under surface of the leaves with a sponge, in case the insects should be very numerous.



[blocks in formation]


I AM very glad to find that you have procured some plants, and that you begin to feel an interest in the cultivation of your flowers. I do not at all agree with you, however, in thinking, that this is merely because gardening has with you, as yet, the charm of novelty; on the contrary, I am quite sure that as you become better acquainted with the subject, you will find your interest in your garden increase; as gardening is one of those happy arts in which there is always some not quite certain change to look forward to, and to be anxious about. Landscape-gardening is, however, the highest branch of the art, and it is the more necessary that you should study it, as, from the view you have sent me of your house, it appears to me that the general aspect of your park is at present very monotonous.

An ancient mansion embosomed in tall trees, with a fine broad terrace at the back, having a piece of still water lying like a liquid mirror below it, and a large park beyond, overgrown with majestic trees whose lower branches repose upon the turf beneath them, form a seene which sounds exceedingly well in description, but is very wearying to the eye which is destined continually to rest upon it. It is also not very healthy; as chilly vapours are sure to rise from the water, while the mass of trees beyond will obstruct the free current of air.

You must not, however, suppose from these remarks that I admire a house in an open exposed situation, as I think nothing can have a more bleak and naked appearance. Besides, a house entirely unsheltered by trees is sure to be a very uncomfortable residence, from its exposure to the heat in summer, and the cold in winter. It is, therefore, most desirable to have a sufficient quantity of trees near the house to shelter it, and yet to have numerous openings through those trees to admit distant prospects, and a free current of air. If a few openings could, therefore, be made in the plantations near your dwelling, I do not think there would be any danger in leaving the water in its present position; as, from your description, the house is elevated very much above it, and as, notwithstanding its appearance of stillness, there

« السابقةمتابعة »