February Gardening in the South

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February in the South

By J. Lester

ROSES planted

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.December gardening

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.

Accenting fragrance,

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

tip-shearing.

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

so.

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.

 


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