Dictionary of Flowers And Plants For Gardening

(Barré) #1

mould, and may be propagated by seed or division. The roots should not
be kept too wet, especially in cold weather.

Asperula (Woodruff).--A. Azurea Setosa is a pretty, light-blue
hardy annual, which is usually sown in the open in autumn for early
flowering; if sown in the spring it will bloom in June or July. A.
Odorata is a hardy perennial, merely needing ordinary treatment. It is
serviceable for perfuming clothes, etc. Asperulas thrive in a moist
soil, and grow well under the shade of trees. Height, 1 ft.

Asphalte Paths.--Sift coarse gravel so as to remove the dusty portion,
and mix it with boiling tar in the proportion of 25 gallons to each
load. Spread it evenly, cover the surface with a layer of spar,
shells, or coarse sand, and roll it in before the tar sets.

Asphodelus.--Bold hardy herbaceous plants; fine for borders; will grow
in common soil, and flower between May and August. Increased by young
plants taken from the roots. Height, 2-1/2 ft. to 4 ft.

Aspidistra.--This greenhouse herbaceous perennial is a drawing-room
palm, and is interesting from the fact that it produces its flowers
beneath the surface of the soil. It thrives in any fairly good mould,
but to grow it to perfection it should be accommodated with three
parts loam, one part leaf-mould, and one part sand. It will do in any
position, but is best shaded from the midday sun. It may be increased
by suckers, or by dividing the roots in April, May, or June. Supply
the plant freely with water, especially when root-bound. When dusty,
the leaves should be sponged with tepid milk and water--a teacup of
the former to a gallon of the latter. This imparts a gloss to the
leaves. A poor sandy soil is more suitable for the variegated kind, as
this renders the variegation more constant. Height, 1 ft. to 2 ft.

Asters.--This splendid class of half-hardy annuals has been vastly
improved by both French and German cultivators. Speaking generally,
the flowers of the French section resemble the chrysanthemum, and
those of the German the paeony. They all delight in a very rich, light
soil, and need plenty of room from the commencement of their growth.
The first sowing may be made in February or March, on a gentle hotbed,
followed by others at about fourteen days' interval. The seeds are
best sown in shallow drills and lightly covered with soil, then
pressed down by a board. Prick out the seedlings 2 in. apart, and
plant them out about the middle of May in a deeply-manured bed. If
plant food be given it must be forked in lightly, as the Aster is very
shallow-rooting, and it should be discontinued when the buds appear.
For exhibition purposes remove the middle bud, mulch the ground with
some good rotten soil from an old turf heap, and occasionally give a
little manure water.

Astilbe.--Ornamental, hardy herbaceous perennials, with large handsome
foliage, and dense plumes of flowers, requiring a peaty soil for their
successful cultivation. They may be grown from seed sown in July or
August, or may be increased by division. They flower at the end of
July. The varieties vary in height, some growing as tall as 6 ft.

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