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Cultivation of Flowers

A few flowers and plants, when properly taken care of, are ornamental to the windows of a parlor, or sitting room; and will repay the care that is bestowed on them. Begin with a few that are easy to cultivate, and you will probably succeed. Persons that are fond of flowers, and have collected a number, are generally willing to give their young friends a few plants; and where we succeed in raising a fine plant from a slip, or cutting, we value it more than one that has been purchased at a green-house. Geraniums, cactus', wax plants, cape and catalonian jessamines, and some others, are easily cultivated in a parlor. Roses, camelias, and azaleas bloom best in a moderate temperature, as the heat of a parlor (unless very large) dries the buds, and prevents their coming to perfection. I have known these to bloom beautifully in a room that was very slightly heated--either over one in which there was fire, or in an apartment next a stove room. If the weather is very cold, they should be removed to a warmer room, until it moderates. The windows that are open to the south are best. When the blossoms have matured, you can bring them to the parlor; but if there is much heat, they will not remain perfect so long as in a moderate room.

Roses are sometimes troubled with insects, which should be brushed off with a feather, and the plants washed with a decoction of tobacco, (not too strong,) they will not bloom when thus infested. There is another insect that fastens itself to the bark of lemon trees, and other plants; frequent washing with soap suds and brushing the sterns, removes it, and some times wash the leaves with a sponge, when the weather is too cold to put them out of doors. Setting them out in a warm rain, or watering them well all over the foliage, is very reviving to plants. Be careful to have pieces of old broken earthen-ware at the bottom of each pot, to drain them, or the plants will not thrive. The earth should be sometimes removed, and an occasional re-potting, is an advantage; being careful not to disturb the roots. A mixture of charcoal and sand, and rich earth of more than one kind is thought best. Earth fresh from the woods is good for pot-plants, as well as borders, but should always be mixed with a stronger soil. Roses that are planted round a house, should have a deep and rich soil made for them, and they will then bloom beautifully all the season.

Pot plants should in summer be placed in a situation where they wilt not be exposed to intense heat. Some persons place their pots in the earth on the north side of the house; others keep them in a porch where they can get some sun. They require much more water in summer. The wax plant blooms beautifully in summer, and should be kept in a sheltered situation, not exposed to the wind; it should have a strong frame of wood and wire to run on, well secured in a tub or box. Hyacinths and crocuses should be planted in pots, boxes, or small tubs, in rich earth, in October or November; a small painted tub is very suitable, and will hold a dozen hyacinths, and as many crocus roots. The most beautiful I ever saw in a window, were planted in this way, by keeping some in the sun, and others in the shade you can have a succession of blooms, they are also pretty in root glasses, but this plan will exhaust the roots. After blooming in the house, they should be planted in the garden. The same roots will not answer the next year for parlor culture, they increase very fast in the garden by proper care.

There is something refining to the mind in the cultivation of flowers, either in a garden or in pots. Many hours that would be weary or lonely, are thus pleasantly occupied, and the mind refreshed.


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