Excerpt: ...plant that in its own home likes a cool and shady place, it prefers a sunny one in our latitude. The flowers are of a pale and delicate grey-blue colour, nearly as large as those of the common Vinca major, but they are borne more generously as to numbers on radical shoots that form thick, healthy-looking tufts of polished green foliage ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...plant that in its own home likes a cool and shady place, it prefers a sunny one in our latitude. The flowers are of a pale and delicate grey-blue colour, nearly as large as those of the common Vinca major, but they are borne more generously as to numbers on radical shoots that form thick, healthy-looking tufts of polished green foliage. It is not very common in gardens, but distinctly desirable. In the bulb-beds the bright-yellow Sternbergia lutea is in flower. At first sight it looks something like a 140 Crocus of unusually firm and solid substance; but it is an Amaryllis, and its pure and even yellow colouring is quite unlike that of any of the Crocuses. The numerous upright leaves are thick, deep green, and glossy. It flowers rather shyly in our poor soil, even in well-made beds, doing much better in chalky ground. Czar Violets are giving their fine and fragrant flowers on stalks nine inches long. To have them at their best they must be carefully cultivated and liberally enriched. No plants answer better to good treatment, or spoil more quickly by neglect. A miserable sight is a forgotten violet-bed where they have run together into a tight mat, giving only few and poor flowers. I have seen the owner of such a bed stand over it and blame the plants, when he should have laid the lash on his own shoulders. Violets must be replanted every year. When the last rush of bloom in March is over, the plants are pulled to pieces, and strong single crowns from the outer edges of the clumps, or from the later runners, are replanted in good, well-manured soil, in such a place as will be somewhat shaded from summer sun. There should be eighteen inches between each plant, and as they make their growth, all runners should be cut off until August. They are encouraged by liberal doses of liquid manure from time to time, and watered in case of drought; and the heart of the careful gardener is warmed and gratified when friends, seeing them at 141 midsummer, say (as...Read Less
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