February in the South
By J. Lester
this month will give steady and uninterrupted bloom from April
to December. Get the best plants you can find. Cheap stock
is worthless and not to be considered at all. Two-year plants
in number one grade from a reliable Rose grower in varieties
of Hybrid Teas, Teas, Australians, Polyanthas and Floribundas
will give you the richest returns from your plantings.
Red Roses of charm
and fragrance are Etoile de Hollande, Essence that is sweetest
of all, Ami Quinard the darkest red, Christopher Stone the
brightest. Hollande leads the list for hardiness, continuous
bloom and freedom from disease. Other worth while red Roses
may be your choice, but plant not less than five of one kind
in order to have mass flowering in the borders and cut flowers
for the rooms.
Dame Edith Helen leads the pink list. Briarcliff, Editor McFarland,
Pink Dawn and Columbia leave other pink Roses far behind.
Never failing flowers are found on
Edith Nellie Perkins, Talisman, President Hoover, Margaret
McGredy and Condesa de Sastago. The two last ones, however,
show black spot persistently.
Mrs. Jules Bouche and Caledonia are
the most satisfactory white Roses. Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont
and Golden Dawn the best of our yellows, though Soeur Therese
and Sunburst are reliable and flower well in spring and fall.
A few novelty Roses, added each year;
will bring new joy and beauty and give much wanted experience.
Try them out in average gardens with average care and be sure
to report on your success or failure to the American Rose
Society, of which you are, of course, a member. Every Rose
grower and lover should be.
Success with Roses, as with all plants,
means careful preparation as to soil, exposure to sun and
air, fertilizer and mulching. The health problem will be easily
taken care of if the three-in-one sprays are used regularly.
All the conifers respond well to planting
at this season. Now is also the time to give them their semi-annual
Finish the dormant spraying as early
as possible. Soon the buds will be swelling and the lime-sulfur
sprays, even 1 to 40, will burn.
Fertilize lawns with a chemical fertilizer,
preferably with one, which has been prescribed after a soil
test. Use compost on the rest of the garden, including shrubs,
trees, Roses and everywhere except on the bulb beds.
Hotbeds and coldframes should be seeded
with the tender flowers for early transplanting. Petunias,
Verbenas, Snapdragons and lovely Nierembergia hippomanica
should be sown at once. Use rustresistant Snapdragon seeds.
Try the new Purple Robe Nierembergia, which is a Bronze Medalist.
Nierembergias are priceless for low
masses of color in rock gardens or borders and for edgings.
They bloom through spring, summer and fall and the plants
are evergreen with soft feathery foliage.
Annual seeds sown in the fall will
soon be blooming. Broadcast, now, seeds of Gypsophila, Nemophila,
Virginian Stocks and Linaria to add weeks to your season of
bloom. Phlox drummondi can also be sown again, but no others.
Vegetables. Sow in the open ground
seeds of collards, radishes, celery and kohl-rabi. Start tomatoes
and peppers in cold frames.
Nearly all the long list of shrubs
and trees can be planted until April. Hollies, Tulip Trees,
Camphor, Dogwoods and Anise are partial to spring plantings.
Gardenias or Cape Jasmines, as they
are called in the South, are fashionable again. They are supposed
to be temperamental, to require deep shade and an acid soil
and even then they grow poorly with annual attacks of sooty
mildew and San Jose scale. Do we coddle them too much and
give them less light and air than they need? It would seem
The finest Gardenias seen in a long
time were recently found growing and cared for by a
neighbor who adores flowers. Her plants
were 6 feet wide and as tall. They grew in sand and almost
in full sun and had never been sprayed. The blooms were very
-fine and were continuous over a long season. Last year a
friend presented us with a Trailing Gardenia, which is as
rare as it is lovely. The plant was set out in a corner where
the sun comes strong and in the midst of a trying year the
small Gardenia was forgotten. Now, in spite of all, the small
leaves are bright and green and cover the plant with a promise
of tiny fragrant blossoms for another year. Less care and
more sun may be the answer to growing Gardenias.