Some of the specialists put 6 inches of soil over their May-flowering Tulips and vow that they are not too deep. Those of us who grow flowers in a more commonplace way say that you need only cover a bulb with rather more than twice its own depth of soil. I believe that flower connoisseurs are responsible for much of the doubt and perplexity which exist among amateurs. They ” take up” a flower, and not satisfied with ordinary results, they delve and dig and coddle and fuss to such a frightful extent, that he who has grown similar flowers since he was a boy rubs his eyes and wonders what topsy-turvy – dom is this!
Ornamental Onions. Let us now look through such a catalogue as I have mentioned, one in which figure strange and familiar bulbs, and fashion from its bewildering list a selection to suit the amateur who has a soul above that of the jobbing gardener. First on the list is Allium, which, in popular language, one may call ornamental Onion; all of them thrive in ordinary soil. The two commonest are Moly, which is yellow, and Neapolitanum, white. A striking kind with broad, oblong leaves and large round heads of rosy purple blossom, is karataviense; flavum with drooping heads of yellow blossom, and ursinum, having white flowers, are others to make a note of. All except karataviense are suitable for naturalizing in grassy corners and other odd places.
Those who have space on a warm border should plant the corms or roots of the South African Sword Lily (Antholyza paniculata), a plant with handsome leaves resembling those of Gladiolus, and bearing, in summer, spikes of crimson blossom. If the reader lives in a cold district, he should plant in spring and lift the roots in autumn, in the same way as those of Gladiolus.
Flowers for Odd Corners. What is it that mars the charm of gardens so frequently? It is, I think, those bare, odd corners which are a kind of ” no flower’s land.” They are dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders and the exclamation that ” Nothing will grow there.” But there are things that will grow there. Take for example the Arums or Dragon Flowers. One cannot pretend that they are pretty; some might regard them as unprepossessing; even then they must in justice ask ” Are they less attractive than the soil and weeds they are destined to replace? ” If planted in a moist and shady spot, they will give of their best, and one ought to be correspondingly grateful. Then there is the common Cuckoo Pint or Wake Robin of the hedgerows, (Arum maculatum), of which the spotted leaves are not unpleasing, though its chief glory is in autumn when the orange – colored fruits glow brilliantly enough to bring a splash of color to the darkest corner. If neither of these appeals I have still one more to bring to the gardener’s notice, namely, Arum italicum, which has a pale, yellowish spathe in spring, and a second period of beauty in autumn, when the bright red fruits are held aloft on naked stem. It is easily made clear by reference to the Arum Lily, which everyone knows; the white part of the Arum Lily is the spathe and the yellow central portion is the spadix. The flowers cluster upon the spadix and are insignificant.