H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Preface - Hardy and Half Hardy Annuals
Author: Charles Henry Curtis
Preface To Hardy and Half Hardy Annuals (Old Fashioned Annual Flowers)
The life of a true Annual garden flower does not extend longer than one season. Itself the produce of a seed, the plant produces flowers, ripens its seed, and perishes in the same year.
Annuals are not the weedy, short-lived things they appear to many; on the contrary, under proper treatment they prove to be amongst the most floriferous and the brightest plants in the whole flower garden. But often the beds are planted as thickly as a clover field, and huddled together thus the plants grow so weakly, that they lean on each other for support, and are incapable of developing strong flower spikes. When the proper principles of culture become better known, the Mustard-and-cress-like groups will be abandoned for ever, and Godetias, Clarkias, Mignonette, Marigolds, Salpiglossis, Convolvuluses, Cornflowers, Larkspurs, Drummond's Phlox, Ten-week Stocks and others that used to be the delight of many an old garden will become popular features in the modern parterre. Annuals have many qualities to recommend them. Seeds can be purchased cheaply and any one can raise the hardy sorts out-of-doors, whilst the tender kinds may be purchased for next to nothing in the month of May, or late sowings of most of them can be made out-of-doors in the last fortnight of April and the first fortnight in May. Those who have pits or heated frames can raise them in pots or boxes and thus get an earlier start. Annuals can be used to fill up gaps in the mixed border, and when the flowering period is past their immediate removal leaves the border with every appearance of neatness. Many Annuals are valuable as pot plants for the conservatory, as, for instance, Rhodanthe maculata, Celosia plumosa, Campanula pyramidalis , C. medium, and Schizanthus retusus. There are no more brilliantly coloured flowers than the American Eschscholzias and the gaudily painted varieties of Chrysanthemum tricolor.
It is hoped that the present volume contains such practical information as will help to popularise Annuals and induce cultivators to expend more cars upon them, for I am convinced that they do not occupy the prominent position in our schemes of "Present-Day Gardening" that their merits deserve.
For the present purpose the "Kew Hand List of Herbaceous Plants" has been taken as the authority in the matter of nomenclature. The genera are arranged alphabetically in each division of the book, and the popular names are given in cases where these are generally known. Thanks are tendered to Mr. Walter Irving and Mr. S. Arnott for kindly assistance in the text, and to Messrs, Sutton & Sons and to Messrs. Debbie & Co. for the specimens illustrated in the plates.
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