THE FLOWERS OF SUMMER
[By R a mulsh. 1 At this season of the year, when the majority of tho flowers in our garden aro giving forth their beauties, many happy moments can be spent amongst them, and ns 1 have visited a few of the garden pic.l, of some of our local enthusiasts lately I feel prompted to tell others of the many charming flowers I saw in them. In tho first place, some gardens arc arranged for massed appearance, and nothing in particular is “ specialised" ; others, again, are almost entirely devoted to one or two favored flowers, and amongst the favored blooms that catch the eye at tho present time sweet peas and carnations find a prominent place. The sweet pea, everyone’s favorite, and undoubtedly the “ Queen of Annuals,” ot course, takes pride of place, and one finds this choice annual growing and thriving In all sorts of odd comers. If ad anyone 10 years ago said that the sweet pea would become within such a short period tho most popular flower of tho clay ha would havo been laughed at, and yet this has become an accomplished fact. Yet w popularity is not surprising when one considers its many qualities. They are sweetscented, and may be had in all (he mo-t delightful shades of color: they blooui continuously over an extended period of the year; are indispensable for buttonholes, sprays, bouquets, and for table decorations; are almost unsurpassable for gracefulness ; and give charming color effects. Capital results seem to be obtained in mo.-t gardens with very little extra cultivation, and a maximum amount oi loou ,i can apparently bo obtained without a great deal of trouble and also at very little cost. In those gardens where exhibition blooms have been tho objectivemuch extra trouble has, of course, been taken, not only in the. preparing of the ground, but also in tho wherewithal tor tho plants to climb upon. One place m particular, where a- large number oi Dunedin’s prize blooms come iroui, would cause wonderment to the uninitiated, a-, they would in all probability think tfiat the scaffolding, wiring, scrim, etc., was the framework of a two-story the making. AA-hen I say that tho scaffolding and bamboo in this garden alone cost over £SO, and that if the rows of peas were placed ou end there would be a continuous line of about a third of a mile, one can get a fair idea of the extent of plants and choico blooms in this fine garden. There are other sweet pea growers who have collections nearly as big, and while we have in our midst such enthusiasts this City will continue to hold tho proud place it has won in sweet pea growing. A word now about the carnations. Tho carnation has an ancient and checkered history which apparently dates hack for over four centuries. Sometimes in its long history it has been tho favorite flower, and when fashionable, and,_ of course, profitable to grow, great strides would be made in its cultivation. Then when some other flower caught the popular fancy tho carnation would be neglected, and it would then deteriorate. The carnation originated horn the wild species of dianthns known as LUanthus caryophyilus', and was grown principally as a border flower for many centuries, and it was only about the middle of the last century that tlie perpetual-flowering and Souvenir do la Malmaison types made their appearanr.ee, and since their advent, and with the improvements made in tho border varitics, tho carnation bids fair to regain tho popularity it onco had, and once move claim pride of place us tho fashionable flower. It is quite noticeable tho added number of local enthusiasts who are now specialising iu carnations, and one very keen amateur has a collection of tho latest and best that cun bo obtained in the Dominion. A rather amusing transformation is taking place in this gentleman’s garden. There was once a large drying green, which, of course, would bo in demand on warning day Well, that drying green is suffering from a shrinkage, as it gets smaller every year, and methinks it is doomed, as the carnation beds aro gradually getting close io the back door. One cannot help noticing tho vast improvement that bus been marie in some of the latest creations of the camadou world, and some varieties that catch tins eye are Montrose, Margaret Lennox, Airs Andrew Brotiiarslone, .John Kidd, Rosy Mora—all ot
which gained awards oi merit from iho JLH..S. '’VVL-ctheait is another charming variety that gained the N.C.i’.iS. award iff merit. Two 1 aney carnations iu bam U eller, prem in bloom iu London and Birmingham, and Niche, which is noted for its immense size, are conspicuous, and two new picotcos oi merit are Zena Dare and W. H. Johnston. d his is a between season with mo.-t of the roses, the first crop ox blooms being past and the second Jos have not yob quite come to maturity ; nuvertliciew, there are some very lino roses about tho various gardens, and wnero tho rose garden is u-t till an extensive one many a bunch or choice flowers can still he picked Space will not permit mo to enumerate tho many beautiiul flowers that bedeck the various beauty spots ot this fair Citv at this period of the year, but lovers o*i Nature will gain many a pleasant moment in rambling amongst tlr;. choice annuals, perennials, and other flowing plants and scrubs, not only' iu our reserves, but if able to do so amongst the mauv choice private gardens that embellish" this Gitv; and if Dunedin can continue to produce such keen horticulturists as it has in tho past there every hope that tho proud position that Jhmcdin holds in horticulture will be strengthened.
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THE FLOWERS OF SUMMER, Evening Star, Issue 15708, 23 January 1915