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Care Of The Exterior Of The House

( Originally Published 1918 )

Closely allied to the housekeeper's work within the home is the care of the exterior of the house and its surroundings. It is absolutely necessary that the grounds be kept neat and clean. In addition to this they should he made attractive by the careful selection of a few trees and shrubs suitably placed. While the gardens at the rear of the house may be planned solely for the pleasure and use of the family, in planning the lawn at the sides and front the neighbours and Pressers-by must be considered. The grounds should be a picture of which the house is the centre, the trees and shrubs being grouped to frame the picture.

In placing shrubs, the effect of the whole landscape should be considered. As a rule, shrubs should be placed in corners, to hide outbouses from view, or to screen other places which should be shielded, The centre of the lawn should be left free, and in no case should a shrub be placed in the middle of an open space in a lawn or yard. A few flowers should be planted among the shrubs, to give colour at different seasons.

The exterior of the house must be considered, if the picture framed by the shrubs and Vines is to he a pleasing one. The house should be painted in a soft brown or dark green to blend with the landscape of oaks and pines. The paint will help to preserve the house, but its colour must be carefully chosen to give a pleasing effect.

The general plan of the grounds and local conditions in regard to soil and climate will determine to a large extent the kind of shrubs to he used. Many beautiful shrubs which have been introduced from foreign countries do well in Ontario, but our native shrubs serve all decorative purposes. For damp ground there is no better shrub than the red osier dogwood. This shrub will do well on almost any kind of soil. The swamp bush honeysuckle grows quickly and is suitable for clay land ; so are the black elder-berry and several species of viburnum. The hazel which may be obtained from the woods makes a good dense shrub, and the wild rose also has possibilities. The common barberry is an attractive shrub; but, as it assists in the formation of wheat rust, it should not he used in rural sections. The lilac may be used where a high shrub is desirable. The common arbor vitae or cedar of the swamps makes a good evergreen shrub. It serves well as a shield for both winter and summer and thrives with moderate care. The weigela, forsythia, and spiraea are also excellent shrubs.

The ground at the hark of the house should be used for vegetable gardens with flower borders. For this purpose a deep. rich soil is necessary, and every square foot of space should he utilized. Every family should learn to make use of an increased number of vegetables and fruits and to cook them in a variety of ways. No crops should be allowed to go to waste. A family of five people could be entirely provided with vegetables for the summer and autumn from a garden less than fifty by seventy-five feet.

The attractiveness as well as the usefulness, of the borders depends upon the choice and arrangement. of flowers. These should be chosen with due consideration as to height of plants, colour of blooms, and seasons of blooming. The tallest plants should be placed at the back of the border; for a border six feet wide none of the plants need he over five feet in height. There can be a riot of colours, if the flowers are arranged in clumps of four to six throughout the entire length of the border. In a well-planned flower border some flowers should be in bloom each month. Hardy perennial flowers should predominate, with enough annuals to fill up the spaces and hide the soil. The well-tried, old-fashioned flowers will give the best satisfaction. Every four years the flower borders need to be spaded, well manured, and replanted.

The following lists of flowers for borders may be suggestive :

Perennials.—Bleeding-heart, carnations, chrysanthemums, columbine, coreopsis, dahlias, gaillardias, golden glow, iris, larkspur, oriental poppies, peonies, phlox, pinks. platycodon, snapdragon.

Biennials.---Forget-me-not, foxglove, Canterbury bells, hollyhock, sweet-william, wallflower.

Annuals,—African daisy, ageratum, aster, calendula, calliopsis, balsam, candytuft, cornflower, cosmos, marigold, mignonette, nasturtium, petunia, poppy, stock, sweet alyssum, sweet-pea, verbena, zinnia, annual phlox, red sun-flower, cut-and-come-again sunflower.

Each home gardener should study garden literature, in order to assist in solving the garden problems; for the clay has passed when one needed only to scratch the soil with a shell, plant the seeds, and receive an abundant crop. Today successful gardening depends upon intelligent management of the soil and crop and upon persistent labour.


The teacher should, if possible, visit the homes of all the pupils, in order to make herself accustomed with the condition in which their grounds are kept. She may he able to secure permission from one of the housekeepers to use her grounds as the practice place for the lesson, pr it may be more desirable to give this lesson at the school and to conduct a school garden as a model home garden.


Discuss the arrangement and care of the home or school grounds. Have the class tidy the lawn and garden chosen for the lesson, supervising the work carefully. Assign the tidying up of the home lawns or work in the home gardens for the coming week. Let this lesson serve as a means of interesting the pupils in home gardening, if that has not already been taken up, or of emphasizing the relation of gardening to the housekeeper's work, if they are already interested in the former.

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Household Science in Rural Schools:
Prevention Of Pests

Removing Stains, Bleaching Fabrics, And Setting Colours

Washing Dish Towels, Aprons, Etc.


Care Of The Baby

Cost Of Food, Clothing, And House

How To Keep Accounts

Care Of The Exterior Of The House

Discussion Of Foods And Cooking

Preparing And Serving Vegetables

Read More Articles About: Household Science in Rural Schools

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