Verbena

This is a herbaceous perennial, which should be grown in the borders and rockery of every garden. Although heavy rain easily damages the flowers, these will quickly be revived by a burst of sunshine. It is, however, advisable to lift them into the cool greenhouse in late autumn, replanting them into grown in the borders and rock gardens. These plants are most suitable for seaside gardens, as they will stand the wind and spray. The flowers are mostly blue, although there pinks and whites.

Plant in autumn or soring in an ordinary soil, preferably with a little loam or peat. They can very easily be increased by means of cuttings, taken at any season. Seeds may also be sown when ripe.

Take cuttings in autumn or spring, preferably in spring. Plants may also successfully be raised from seed sown in the third week in January. They should first of all be sown in a cold frame, planting into their flowering position in May setting the plants 2 feet apart, in a sheltered, sunny position.

Verbena chameodryoides has long sprays of bright scarlet flowers, borne from June-August.

Verbena venosa is another excellent variety. This has rich, claret-purple flowers, borne from July to October on stems 1 foot in height. (Speedwell). Dwarf, shrubby, and herbaceous perennials, generally

Some of the best varieties for cultivation in the amateurs garden are:

Balfouriana, shrubby, blue with white eye, July-August. Height 1 ft.

Bidwilli, shrubby, white, June-Septom- ber. 9 in.

JFilijolia, pale blue, May-July. 0 in.

Pectinata rosea, old rose, with grey foliage, May-June. Height 6 in.

Iicpens, pale blue, April-June. Suitable for paving.

Mupestris, azure blue, May-September. Suitable for the cracks of paving. (Violet, Pansy, Hearts Ease). Hardy perennial herbs, generally grown as border plants, and also cultivated in the rock garden.

Hybridists have plenty of scope with this genus, and there are violas of many forms and various colours. They have a long period of flowering and are excellent plants for garden decoration. They are also grown as exhibition plants.

Before planting is done in March, the soil should be deeply dug and well-rotted manure worked into it, together with a little bonemoal. During the season of active growth small doses of liquid manure may be given, but overfeeding is very inadvisable, especially in the case of garden plants which will be left for several years.

Exhibition plants should be staked. This will prevent them being broken by strong winds and will also keep the blooms out of the soil. About three weeks before the exhibition the blooms and buds should be pinched off. The second set of blooms will prove to be much larger.

The best method of increase is by seeds. For this a compost of leaf-mould, good loam, and clean grit is best. Seeds may be sown in the open ground in June or July. They will need plenty of water; this will hasten germination.

The seeds should be sown thinly on the surface, but when the seedlings appear, it is certain that they will be too close together. The surplus plants should be planted into the nursery bed, and they can be transplanted in October, when they will flower early in the following season.

If, however, plants are required true to type, it is best to take cuttings, but for the amateur who desires a wealth of colour, it is best to raise from seed.

A few of the best varieties for cultivation in the amateurs garden are: Black Knight, velvety purple, May-June.

Blanda Dog Violet, white, July. 2 in.

Cornuta purpurea, pure violet, summer. Gin.

G. Jersey Gem, rich violet, summer.

Gracilis Swallowrail, pale primrose. 3 in.

G. Golden Wave, rich yellow.

G. Grandeye, rich violet.

Mrs. Samuel Pepys, lavender-blue.

Tricolor Arhwright3 Ruby, blood red, with dark eye.

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