Hardy Perennials Anyone Can Grow
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Among the immense list of hardy perennials that anyone can grow the following can be procured for very insignificant cost, even if they do not grow in the woods, fence rows, or neighbors' gardens: Columbine, larkspur, peony, perennial poppies, wild asters, goldenrod, gasplant, snapdragon, coneflower (golden glow), perennial pea, hop, yucca, phlox clematis, anemone, iris, sacaline, gaillardia, blue bells, shooting star, hellebore, moss pink, lychnis saxifrage, perennial chrysanthemum, funkia, babies breath, sedum, blazing star, beard-tongue, Joe Pye weed, cardinal flower, forget-me-not, eulalia, Arundo Donax, candytuft, English daisy, Canterbury bell, bleeding-heart, hollyhock, zebra grass, fragrant balm, coral bells, bloodroot, and hundreds of others.
In addition to these, are the many bulbous plants which may be relied upon to produce flowers principally in early spring and summer. These must usually be purchased. Preferably they are almost all planted in the autumn for blossoming the following spring, but may be allowed to remain in the ground from year to year as long as they thrive. Among the general favorites of this class are crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, jonquil, narcissus, tulip, crown imperial, glory-of-the-snow, snowdrop, snowflake, and squill. There are also other bulbs and plants usually classed with such by seedsmen which should be planted in the spring and taken up in the autumn for storage where they will not freeze. Among these are gladiolus, tiger flower, zephyr flower, canna, dahlia, elephant's ear, and tuberose. Besides all these there are scores of other plants of the bulbous class from which to select. Among them are the harebells, lilies, begonias, lily-of-the-valley, and many other general favorites.
Now all of these plants mentioned can be grown with far less attention than geraniums, carnations or any other plant moved from the cellar or the house window to the garden and coddled for weeks to induce them to bloom. Not that the writer has anything to say against any house plant. He is a lover of plants in general, but for the busy farmer's wife and daughters who have to make the best use of their time, the writer believes that far more enjoyment can be secured at far less expense both for labor and outlay of money from the plants in the above lists than from any house specimens placed for the summer in a flower bed.
House specimens should be given a position by themselves where they will be sheltered from the wind, and where they will rest up for the following winter's work in the windows. They should not be made to do double duty both summer and win-ter. The border should supply armfuls of bloom all season through and should not look bare if bouquets are cut in abundance. If the soil is good and plenty of plants are put in, there will not be a minute of daylight when the flower border will be unattractive.
One of the principal beauties of the plants mentioned is that they do not require any special care in growing. All that is necessary is to put them anywhere desired, firm the soil around them and let them go. But if a few do not grow, there are plenty more in the woods and fence rows to take their places, and one can be adding plants to the flower border from time to time all through the season. The writer knows one man who has just such a border stuffed full of all kinds of things. He takes frequent walks and will often dig up a plant in midsummer, using only a dead limb for a spade, and, if necessary, carrying the plant home in his pocket. With such rough treatment, of course, some plants die, but it is surprising what a beautiful and attractive border he has-almost all of it wild plants gathered in the neighborhood.
ANNUALS LOSING POPULARITY
If one must have annuals, let these be planted in rows like vegetable crops in some part of the gar-den where they will not interfere with the general effect of the place, and where they can be clipped for bouquets without spoiling the looks of the garden. As a rule, annuals used for cutting are not attractive after the plants have been cut, hence the advisability of having them separate from the main garden. Most of the annuals, even the general favorites, are rather a bother to have in good condition. They demand too much time and attention, but very few women will be satisfied to do without some of them. Among the most popular are sweet peas, balsams, China aster, mignonette, marigold, nasturtium, pansy, morning glory, verbena, petunia, cosmos, stock, besides a host of others from which to choose, but the hardy perennial herbs and the shrubs are of so much less bother and afford such a wonderful variety of color and form that the annuals are decreasing in favor wherever the other plants mentioned are becoming known.
If any farm woman will plant part of her yard to the hardy stuff and love it enough she will find that in five years she will be growing almost none of the annual flowers, and will rely upon hardy borders for bouquets as well as outdoor ornamentals.