Click Here to return to
Click Here to return to
the previous section
What right have we to blame the Garden
Because the plant has withered there?’
is often a discouraging
month to a gardener who does not employ a great many annuals. Following
exuberance of June, it seems a sort of pause, a breathing spell before
display of almost unfailing Phioxes and their train of late summer
is quite true that there are not as many well-known flowers belonging
month and, in consequence, many gardens are quite scantily clothed with
For years my own June pride was regularly shattered by the blank which
the departure of the Flag Irises, Paeonies, and tumultuous Roses, and
required many years of study and “trying out” before I learned how many
plants there are, other than annuals, with which to beautify this high
have the elements against us; whether it is against
pitiless drought or fierce electric storms that we must contend, it is
difficult to keep the garden in good condition and the plants are bound
suffer somewhat. In time of drought the garden assumes an air of
endurance; one does not feel the
growing and blowing, and while there may be plenty of bloom, it appears
produced without enthusiasm and quite lacks the spontaneous exuberant
that one is conscious of in the earlier year. Then must we stir the
assiduously to conserve what little moisture there may be left and
whenever that may be done thoroughly, as surface wettings do more harm
to the plants are the electric storms with twisting,
devastating winds and pounding rains, and woe to the gardener who has
his staking in season and with intelligence! A prostrate garden is his
portion, and not all the king’s horses and all the gardeners in the
repair the broken stalks of Larkspur and Hollyhock, raise up the
of Coreopsis, Gypsophila, and Anthemis, or mend the snapped stems of
Lilies. A storm, such as we are all familiar with, can do damage in
half an hour
that we, even with Nature’s willing cooperation, may not repair in many
But with faithful cultivation, intelligent watering and staking, and a
of the plants at one’s command, much may be done to avert calamity and
this month a month as full of interest and beauty as the gay seasons
past and to
Larkspur are still reaching skyward when July comes in.
Sweet Williams, Coreopsis, Scarlet Lychnis, Madonna and Herring Lilies
in good order, and there is often a host of self-sown or early sown
creating bright patches of colour about the borders, but in our garden
prominent features of early July are Hollyhocks and the great sunshiny
hideous disfiguring disease rendered Hollyhocks almost
useless for garden purposes and it was only in out-of-the-way corners
gardens that this poor plant, once so lauded and admired, raised its
head. The disease first shows itself in ugly brown pimples on the under
their foliage and it works so quickly that soon the whole flower stalk
bravely flying its colours still, but denuded of its greenery or with a
tattered leaves hanging forlornly about it. Much has been done of late
however, by lovers of the Hollyhock to alleviate its sufferings, and it
quite possible with a few precautions or remedies to have this splendid
in its integrity. We seldom have a diseased plant in our garden, and
is simply to give them plenty of sun and air, a rich soil, and to treat
biennials. Old plants are much more apt to have the disease, and
so easily raised from seed that to keep up a stock of young ones in the
is a very simple matter. We dig up the old plants and throw them away.
out in the open (not against walls or fences) where the air may
about them are much more likely to be healthy, but we have found that
only young plants we can put them in almost any position. Bone meal and
ashes are both good as tonics for the Hollyhocks, and there are a
sprays recommended for afflicted plants. Bordeaux mixture used several
spring is an old reliable remedy, and Mr. C. H. Jenkins in his “Hardy
Book” recommends a treatment the simplicity of which is certainly in
favour: “Use a breakfast cup full of common salt to three gallons of
Employ an Abol syringe with fine mist-like spray so that the solution
reach the roots of the plant.” This should be done about every two
"Hollyhocks are among the most pictorial of plants, and it is
very difficult to find anything else to take their place. I like
best the single ones in pink and blackish crimson, pale yellow and
pure white, but the double ones are very fine and opulent, and
the lovely shades and tints to be had very numerous."
the most pictorial of plants, and it
is very difficult to find anything else to take their place. I like
single ones in pink and blackish crimson, pale yellow and pure white,
double ones are very fine and opulent, and the lovely shades and tints
to be had
very numerous. One I had from Eng land, called Prince of Orange, was a
orange-copper colour, and there are now many named varieties. I have a
group of salmon-pink Hollyhocks against a large tree of the
and another cherry-coloured group has a fine background a pink Dorothy
Rose which drapes the wall behind it. White Hollyhocks are fine with
Lilies, and there are many other good associations for them. Althaea
is a very pretty pale yellow-flowered single sort called the Fig Leaved
Hollyhock. This plant is slender in growth and sends up lateral stalks
keep it in bloom all summer long.
or quite equal to them in picturesque value, save that
they have not the wide colour range, are the radiant Mulleins. Every
the noble outline of the wild Mullein, Verbascum
Thapsus, and also its bad habit of opening but a few of
its blossoms at a time. The foreign and hybrid Mulleins have the same
form and clothe their great candelabra-like stalks in solid bloom which
continues to develop during the greater part of the summer. Mulleins
of only about four years’ standing, but to no other flower am I more
for fine and lasting effect. Their soft yellow colour is so sunshiny as
really seem to cast a radiance and is so non-combative as to affiliate
almost any other colour. The splendid V.
Olympicum was the first I knew. It is, like most of the
biennial in character and grows seven feet high. V.
phlomoides is as splendid and as tall, and V. pannosum has woolly leaves and grows
about five feet high. V.
is a low-growing
two feet, sending up from a flat rosette
of leaves a spike set with flowers of rose or purple or white, but this
seems to me much less worthy than the others. V.
nigrum has yellow flowers marked with purple and grows four
feet tall; there
is a white variety of this.
number of good hybrids have been created among which
Harkness Hybrid, four feet tall with yellow flowers, is one of the
Willmot is a beautiful long-lasting variety bearing large white flowers
six feet high, and Caledonia is a lower growing sort with
suffused with bronze and purple. There are two verbascums, namely densiflorum
and newryensis, which
are said to be true perennials, but I have not yet
splendid plants for our American gardens for they love a
warm, dry soil and this we can certainly give them. They are easily
seed, perfectly hardy, and as they self-sow freely it is not necessary
up a stock in the nursery. The Greek Mullein, V.
olympicum, which is my favourite, takes three years to
its blooming ability with me, so I keep the great rosettes in the
the first two. The tall-growing Mulleins are splendid plants for the
back of the
border and are lovely as a background for blue and silver Sea Hollies
family offers several strong-growing and
drought-resisting subjects for the July garden. They present no
the way of cultivation and will grow in poor, dry soil if they must,
yearly division. Achillea filipendulina (syn.
Eupatorium), in a variety
Parker’s, is the flower of the flock. It grows in strong clumps
stems four feet high nicely clothed with feathery foliage and
broad corymbs of golden bloom. This plant is ornamental from the first
appearance of its pleasant green in spring until autumn when the yellow
heads have softened to a warm brown. It lives out its span of life in
and order, for its foliage remains in good condition to the last and it
fuzzy untidy way of perpetuating itself.
this summer season may be created with tall white
Hollyhocks, Parker’s Yarrow, early white Phlox, Miss Lingard, and a
of Anthemis Kelwayi. A patch of tawny Hemerocallis
fulva is a good neighbour for this group. Blue and white
Aconites are fine
with this Yarrow and also that splendid hardy plant, Erigeron
speciosus var. superbus,
which grows about two and one-half feet high and bears
flowers of a fine lilac-purple from June until September. It may be
raised from seed and will sometimes bloom the same season as sown.
a good Yarrow having much the character of Parker’s save that it grows
eighteen inches high and starts to flower in June. A.
fl. pl., otherwise known as The Pearl, we
have banished from our
borders though it is a much-lauded plant by many and is good for
cutting; it has
no domestic qualities, must rove and stray, insinuating its wandering
into the internal affairs of its neighbours and choking out many a
resident. Its bloom is pretty and fluffy but its stems are weak and
altogether a frivolous and unstable creature to my thinking. There are
little alpine Yarrows with gray foliage quite charming for creeping
stones at the edge of the border. A.
umbellata has pure-white flower beads. A.
tomentosa has dark prostrate foliage and yellow flowers; argentea
has silvery foliage and white flowers. This little
grows four inches
high and the other two about six.
There is no
important plant in the mid-summer garden than Gypsophila
paniculata, variously known as Chalk Plant, or Baby’s
Breath, and called
by the children here “Lace Shawls.” Seemingly oblivious to scorching
prolonged drought, it coolly carries out its delicate plan of existence
silver haze to cool white mist to fragile brown oblivion. No plant is
exquisite an accompaniment to so many others; indeed, any spot where it
will soon become a lovely picture without our agency. Poppies sow their
about it and rest their great blossoms upon its cloudlike bloom, and
and Snapdragons are particularly fine in association with it. One very
group here has Stachys lanata as a
foreground with its gray velvet foliage and stalks of bloom now
colouring to a
pinky mauve. Behind is the cloudlike mound of Gypsophila, and resting
its large flowers partly obscured by the mist, is a pinkish-mauve Clematis kermesina. The vine is supported upon
pea-brush which does
not show behind the Gypsophila.
that lovely and courageously magenta sprawler, Callirhoe
involucrata, glistens exquisitely through the mist, and white Lilies
silver harmony behind. The double-flowered Gypsophila is a less
very beautiful plant and should find a borne in every garden. The
single sort is
easily raised from seed but does not make any great show until the
third year. G.
repens is a fine little trailer for the edge of the border
with a long
period of bloom.
maximum, are invaluable among mid-summer flowers. They make
clumps of dark foliage, two to three feet tall, with large, glistening,
marguerite-like flowers of much substance. They spread broadly and
divided every year, and they enjoy a moderately rich soil and sunshine.
varieties are Mrs. C. Lowthian Bell, King Edward VII, Robinsoni, Mrs.
Daniels, Mrs. Terstag, Alaska, and Kenneth. They are easily raised from
last a long time in bloom. The china whiteness of these blooms is a
so that they are at their best when associated with the softening
such plants as the Artemisias, Rue, Stachys, Gypsophila, and Lyme Grass.
Goat’s Rue (Galega officinalis) is
a soft-coloured delightful plant of the present season with attractive
and a good habit of growth. It is fine with Campanula
lactoflora var. magnifica
late Orange Lilies. The delicate lavender sort is the prettiest, I
the white is also desirable; var. Hartlandi
is considered an improvement.
blue-flowered families make valuable contributions to the
July garden and linger into August —
Aconites, Platycodons, Eryngiums, and Echinops.
Veronicas are a
splendid race with good foliage and attractive spikes
of bloom, blue, rose, or white. Most of them are plants for the middle
border, though the silver-leaved V. incana
belongs in the front row with repens
prostrata, and the tall virginica
may have a place at the back. V.
spicata grows almost eighteen inches tall and bears many
bright-blue flowers and has a good white variety and a washed-out rose
cut after blooming it will bloom again toward autumn.
from four to six feet high and appreciates a heavy soil. Its feathery
spikes (white) are very pretty as a background for salmon Phloxes such
Elizabeth Campbell or Mrs. Oliver. It is also well placed with the Rose
Loosestrife. The head of the family is Veronica
longifolia var. subsessilis
sonorous name in no way belies the vigorous dignity and importance of
Its foliage is rich and strong, and in late July and August its long
spikes of bloom are a delight indeed. If the season is not too dry it
long time in perfection and is on hand to welcome and complete the
some of the softly coloured pink Phioxes, Peach Blow, in particular,
becoming addition to the group of some metallic Sea Hollies.
having had some trouble with this Veronica; it certainly
suffers from the drought, turning rusty in its nether parts, and yet
want a full view of the sun for, planted in shade, it languishes
rich retentive soil seems to bring it to fullest perfection, and it
repays any trouble bestowed upon it. A little bone meal dug in about
in May strengthens its growth and seems to improve the colour of its
spikes. I have not been able to raise this plant from seed, but it is
increased by division of the roots in spring or by soft cuttings. I
advise planting it in spring as it is important that it should be well
established before winter.
closely connected with the house of Campanula. There
are only three kinds in cultivation and they are easily raised from
grandiflorum grows about two feet high and bears
many widely spreading
steel-blue bells. The lovely white var. album
is faintly lined with blue and always makes me think of
fresh blue and
white aprons of little girls. The flowers of P.
Mariesi are a somewhat less clouded blue and the plant is
dwarf and compact.
have a disadvantage in the brittleness of their stems.
After a heavy rain they will be found flat upon the ground never to
and they are difficult to support inconspicuously by the ordinary
stake and raffia. I grow mine in good-sized clumps and stick stout,
spread pieces of pea-brush about among them. This is the most
method, for it allows some of the stems to fall forward a little,
giving to the
clump an agreeable rounded outline. The thick fleshy root of the
seems to enable it to ignore the drought, and its clean-cut,
blossoms are always a pleasant sight in the garden.
of Aconites I always hesitate to
recommend as the whole plant is very poisonous when eaten and, where
children, might prove a serious danger. My own children know it well
deadly consequences and avoid it assiduously. The fact that they are
suitable for the back of the border makes it possible to put them
out of reach, and they are among the most beautiful of the flowers
mid-summer and autumn. They have long been among garden flowers; the
gardeners, Parkinson and Gerarde, give long lists of sorts,
admiring descriptions with illustrated warnings of the dire results of
any part of the plant. Gerarde writes of A.
Wolfesbane, called Napellus vernus, in English,
Helmet-flowers, or the Great Monkshood beareth very faire and goodly
flowres in shape like an helmet, which are so beautiful that a man
they were of some excellent vertue — but, non est semper fides habenda
The foliage is beautiful and shining, “much spread abroad and cut into
flits and notches.” The flowering of Aconites covers a long period. The
earliest here is a clouded blue sort with shining foliage which came to
me as A.
tauricum. It blooms in late June and July and is not more
than three feet
high. This was the first Aconite I grew, and, after reading the early
herbalists, my mind was rather filled with the evil reputation of the
when an army of little wicked-looking black toadstools appeared over
the beautiful plant, it seemed most fitting
an evil spirit and his minions. The Napellus varieties,
the dark blue, pure white, and most of all, the bicolour, are all
graceful plants growing about five feet tall and blooming through
Wilsoni and Spark’s variety are
magnificent plants growing five or six feet
high and bearing their spikes of rich-coloured hooded flowers in August
September. A. Fischeri is a clear
sort not more than two feet high, which bridges the time between Wilsoni
and the October blooming A.
There are two yellow-flowered sorts, lycoctonum
and pyrenaicum, two
high respectively, which bloom in August and September.
impatient of a dry soil, so it should be rich and
retentive. A north border suits them very well as they enjoy some
they should be taken up and divided about every three years. I am very
fond of a
group of A. Napellus var. bicolour
and Tiger Lilies which fills the angle made by the high
and the garden
house. The clean blue and white of these Aconites accompanies well the
tawny hue worn by the Tiger Lilies and, lower down, a fine group of
Bateman’s Lily, growing behind the spreading light-green foliage of Funkia
subcordata, completes a good north border group. They are
also fine with the
Phloxes — pink and white and scarlet.
willingly do without the beautiful Monkshoods, so valuable
are they in the summer and autumn gardens; but, in all our dealings
“venomous and naughty herb,” it is well to remember the terse warning
Dodoens that it is “very hurtful to man’s nature and killeth out of
Hollies, are plants of great interest and beauty, their
silvery stems and foliage and deep-blue globular flower heads creating
unusually lovely effect. They are easily raised from seed and seem to
kindly to any soil in a sunny situation. E.
maritimum, the true Sea Holly, is a low-growing plant for
the front of the
border with large glaucous foliage. B. alpinum
and Oliverianum, two
and three feet in height, with rich blue flower heads, are the best, I
though planum, bearing an immense
quantity of small blue flowers and amethystinum,
more gray than blue, are both extremely good. Their
colour scheme enables us to use them with many flowers of their day.
interesting are they with the Aconites and blue Veronicas, with Tiger
flame-coloured Phlox. With all the pink Phioxes they are lovely, but
delicate Mme. Paul Dutre they produce a particularly charming harmony.
the Sea Hollies are the Globe Thistles (Echinops) of
which E. Ritro, three feet, and bannaticus,
five feet, are good representatives. Both have metallic
flowers and glaucous foliage. These may be used in the same colour
as the Sea Hollies and are as useful.
A beautiful and little used native plant of late July is the Rose Loosestrife, Lythrum Salicaria var. rosea superba. It is a tall plant, four feet in height, carrying its leafy branches erectly and bearing at the top of each a long spike of rose or, perhaps one should admit, magenta flowers. But no one need hold aloof from what they are pleased to call “that fighting colour,” for it is so frank and clean and splendid in this plant that it can but win admiration and respect. Pale, ivory-coloured Hollyhocks are charming in its neighbourhood, and such buff-coloured Gladioli as Isaac Buchanan. White Phlox and garnet Hollyhocks become it well, and a daring but successful association for it is strong blue Monkshood and blue-green Rue. It is not a plant which requires frequent division, but it desires a deep, retentive soil and a sunny situation.