Journal of Horticulture and Practical Gardening, 22: 408-409 (May 16, 1872)
FLOWER GARDEN
W. Keane

In this department the next week or two will be devoted to filling-up the flower-garden beds and clumps intended for the summer and autumn display; and as soon as a change takes place in the weather, every exertion should be made to get the planting-out completed with all possible dispatch. If the plants intended for each heel have been previously determined and hardened-off, no great difficulty will be met with in filling up the beds. Some allowance, however, must be made in regard to the time when it is desired to have the principal display of flowers; if early, the plants must be placed closer together, and need not be stopped; if not before a later period in the summer, somewhat thinner, and the flower-buds should be pinched off as they appear till the plants have filled the beds. There are two objects principally held in view in arranging the planting of parterres and flower gardens; one is to produce a striking effect by employing plants only of a decided colour, principally red, blue, and yellow, using white for separating the different divisions. Where the colours are well contrasted this plan is very effective, particularly when viewed from a distance, and is well adapted for situations where the beds are not numerous, and where there is a considerable breadth of either grass or gravel to overpower. A repetition of the same arrangement, however brilliant, is seldom so pleasing on a close examination as where variety both in form and colour has been called in, and where the gradations into which the primary colours run, have been arranged in accordance with the rules governing their distribution. There is now no lack of colour to effect this, as nearly every class of bedding-out plants presents sufficient variety for the purpose. In single beds, or in mixed flower gardens, much may be accomplished in this way by using a decided colour for the centre and surrounding it with plants of the same kind but of less intense colour, which should gradually diminish from the centre, in a point, to the sides. This, with well-contrasted edgings, principally for the larger beds, will be found more generally pleasing than where masses of one colour are only employed. Now will be the time for the amateur to make the necessary additions to his collections of Tulips, and I would advise all intending purchasers to visit various beds and select for themselves. It is a much more satisfactory plan than buying them in dry roots, for the Tulip is so sportive that a change of soil and situation will make them assume a wholly different character the succeeding season. Mark in a book all which are defective, particularly those having a stained base or stamens; an inferior form may be tolerated for a time, but impurity never. Plant out Dahlias, place their supports to them, mulch the surface of the ground, and water regularly when they require it. Hollyhocks, too, may be treated in the same manner. Old plants which are throwing-up four or five stems should be reduced to two or three, and these should be neatly tied-out to short stout stakes, so that each spike may stand free of its neighbour. Tie-up Pinks and remove the superfluous shoots. Part Polyanthuses, placing them in a shady cool spot; when this cannot be secured naturally, artificial shade must be made.