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FIELD AND FARM.

IGARDENING GOSSIP. I

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I GARDENING GOSSIP. I I (From "Gardening Illustrated") I I CONSERVATORY. I Hard-wooded plants will be better out of the con- servatory now, except those which are in flower. For the most part, Azaleas are over, and those which were pushed into flower early have completed their growth, and should be cooled down to harden the wood before planting them outside. Azaleas are not difficult to manage when the conditions of success are understood. The principal causes of failure are in watering and potting. The roots are numerous and hair-like, and should be firmly fixed in good fibrous peat, freely mixed with clean, sharp sand. The drainage also must be perfect, and the person who uses the watering-pot must be methodical, and never miss a day without examining the plants to see if they require water. The safest test is to tap the pots with the knuckles and judge from the sound, which is always sufficient to guide gthoso who have had any experience at all. A "Geranium" or soft-wooded plant may be left till dry enough to wilt the foliage. I do not say (observes Mr. E. Hob- day) the plant will not suffer, but it soon recovers but the hard-wooded plant which has been dried to excess would lose all its small feeding roots and would probably die. Epacrises and winter-flowering Heaths that were pruned back after flowering will be ready for repotting, should a shift be necessary. The yellow-flowered Heath (Erica Cavendishi) and the pink-flowered Ventricosa are now in good condition, and good specimens will be very attractive in the conservatory, but they should not be left long in a stuffy atmosphere, and the watering should have very careful attention. It will take several years to get up a handsome specimen Heath, but in careless hands the plant may soon be ruined, and this refers to Boronias, Eriostemons, and other hard-wooded things. Oranges in tubs or large pots will do better outside as soon as the weather gets warm, but it will not be safe to turn such things out till June is well advanced, and the same remark applies to Palms and other foliage plants which are placed out in sheltered places in the grounds in summer. A little air may be left on all night now. OUTDOOR GARDEN. The bedding out, except such things as Coleuses and Alternantheras, should be quite completed now. At the best the season is a short one. Perhaps the most satisfactory part of it is the introduction of foliage beds, as the plants for the most part may be raised from seeds, and will be available [the same season. There is room in many gardens for more variety of treatment than is commonly met with. Castor oil (Gibsoni, the bronzed -leaved variety) planted thinly on a good sized oval or circular bed, and the groundwork either white flowers or foliage, has a pretty effect. The Gulden-leaved Abutilon (Thompsoni), planted thinly among dark-flowering Heliotrope, has been another success. Scarlet Lobelia Victoria planted over Harrison's Musk looks well; and when one is in doubt as to what to plant on any particular bed one can scarcely do wrong to make a mixture of it. Such things as Gladiolus and Hyacinthus candicans can be used pretty freely among bedding plants. They give a special feature during the time they last. It is quite safe to plant Dahlias now, and everything possible should he done to encourage growth. Shake and tie Carnations. As we grow them chiefly for cutting, we do not thin the buds, but larger individual flowers may be had by thinning. The same remark applies to Roses. Liquid-manure will help Roses now. VEGETABLE GARDEN. I There should be more winter Spinach sown in autumn. It will be as well to make a note of this for next August. The crop this season has been most valuable, as the spring Cabbages have been so late in turning in. It is always advisable to have a good patch of an early kind, of Cabbage on a warm border, planted thickly, and the stems pulled up as soon as the Cabbages are cut. Coleworts, which are simply young Cabbages, may be sown now for winter use. Make a sowing of the Green Windsor Beans for late use. Sow also plenty of good Marrow Peas. The old British Queen, where there is plenty of room and tall sticks can be had, seldom dis- appoints. Ne Plus Ultra should also be sown now. Tomatoes may be planted in any sunny spot. If planted in beds trained to sticks do not crowd. The rows should not be less than 3ft. apart. Tomatoes indoors will require almost constant attention now in disbudding and training. A mulch of manure will be useful when the bottom trusses are set. Main crops of Carrots, Beet, and Parsnips must be finally singled out. Onions also if fine bulbs are wanted must be thinned freely. Sow Horn Carrots for draw- ing young. Thin Parsley to 6in. of9in. Sow French Breakfast Radish in rich land and keep moist. Fill spare frames with Cucumbers and Melons. Sow Canadian French Beans and white-seeded Runners. Plant main crops of Brussels Sprouts and Autumn Giant Cauliflowers. Keep down weeds with hoe and fork. FRENCH BEANS AS AN ODD CROP. Many people who have a little plot of ground to spare have much trouble to find a suitable crop. They do not want Cabbage. Peas are very often unsuccess- ful. What shall we plant ? After a long experience of them (says a correspondent) I can strongly recom- mend Dwarf Beans. I can say I have never had them fail. They are less trouble, and require less attention than almost and other vegetables. I have generally grown the Canadian Wonder variety. As nearly everyone likes French Beans they should be a very popular crop especially to the Dovie e. All they require is to be put into the ground about 3in. deep, and let them have plenty of water from beginning to end. Many people after once trying them, say they are no good, and so tough and poor, which is simply because they have let them get dry. With plenty of water they are as succulent and tender as can be desired. I had a friend the summer before last who spoiled a dozen rows by lotting them get dry, then blamed the Beans. Of course the more the ground is prepared the better the crop will be. A garden cannot In dug up too much. Still these Beans will give a very fair crop with the smallest amount of cultivation, so that those who have but little time to spend in their garden can grow a most acceptable dish. Last ysar I was able to gather till the end of November indeed, I sur- prised a friend who prides himself on his garden to see what a fine dish of Beans I had at the end of that month. When the Beans are about 6in. high pull the earth up round them, and a tool need not be used on them after. They will do very well in dry weather if watered three times a week. The above few words are to the amateur, who does his own gardening, but in no way advising him not to prepare his beds beforehand. To make digging as easy as possible get a good tool. A fork is not so hard to work as a spade. I use a small fork, for a good sized garden, and it is surprising how much ground can be got over without being tired. The earth does not stick to the fork as to a spade, which required scraping every half-dozen spits, more or less according to the nature of the soil. The amateur hand will find a D-shaped handle much better to work with than a T, which often rubs between the fingers. Of course, one cannot do every- thing with a fork, and a spade is necessary as well. Moreover, the little fork does not turn out Potatoes as well as the flat prong Potato fork. Most amateurs make a great mistake in going into a tool shop and buying any sort of tool that is offered them; but a good, well selected tool will do much towards making work a pleasure. And when you have a good one always clean it after use; if put away for any length of time rub it with sweet oil and paraffin.

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