249. Gardening Operations for the Year.
250. January.--Flowers of the Month.--Christmas Rose, Crocus, Winter Aconite, Alyssum, Primrose, Snowdrop.
251. Gardening Operations.--Indoor preparations for future operations must be made, as in this month there are only five hours a day available for out-door work, unless the season be unusually mild. Mat over tulip- beds, begin to force roses. Place pots over seakale and surround them with manure, litter, dried leaves, &c. Plant dried roots of border flowers in mild weather. Take strawberries in pots into the greenhouse. Take cuttings of chrysanthemums and strike them under glass. Prune and plant gooseberry, currant, fruit, and deciduous trees and shrubs. Cucumbers and melons to be sown in the hot-bed. Apply manures to the soil.
252. February.--Flowers of the Month.--Snowdrop, Violet, Alyssum, Primrose.
253. Gardening Operations.--Transplant pinks, carnations, sweet-williams, candy-tuft, campanulas, &c. Sow sweet and garden peas and lettuces, for succession of crops, covering the ground with straw, &c. Sow also Savoys, leeks, and cabbages. Prune and nail fruit trees, and towards the end of the month plant stocks for next year's grafting; also cuttings of poplar, elder, willow trees, for ornamental shrubbery. Sow fruit and forest tree seeds.
254. March.--Flowers of the Month.--Primrose, Narcissus, Hyacinth, Wallflower, Hepatica, Daisy, Polyanthus.
255. Gardening Operations.--Seeds of "spring flowers" to be sown. Border flowers to be planted out. Tender annuals to be potted out under glasses. Mushroom beds to be made. Sow artichokes, Windsor beans, and cauliflowers for autumn; lettuces and peas for succession of crops, onions, parsley, radishes, Savoys, asparagus, red and white cabbages, and beet; turnips, early broccoli, parsnips and carrots. Plant slips and parted roots of perennial herbs. Graft trees and protect early blossoms. Force rose-tree cuttings under glasses.
256. April.--Flowers of the Month.--Cowslip, Anemone, Ranunculus, Tulip, Polyanthus, Auricula, Narcissus, Jonquil, Wallflower, Lilac, Laburnum.
257. Gardening Operations.--Sow for succession peas, beans, and carrots; parsnips, celery, and seakale. Sow more seeds of "spring flowers." Plant evergreens, dahlias, chrysanthemums, and the like, also potatoes, slips of thyme, parted roots, lettuces, cauliflowers, cabbages, onions. Lay down turf, remove caterpillars. Sow and graft camelias, and propagate and graft fruit and rose trees by all the various means in use. Sow cucumbers and vegetable marrows for planting out. This is the most important month in the year for gardeners.
258. May.--Flowers of the Month.--Hawthorn, Gentianella, Anemone, Ranunculus, Columbine, Honeysuckle, Laburnum, Wistartia.
259. Gardening Operations.--Plant out your seedling flowers as they are ready, and sow again for succession larkspur, mignonette, and other spring flowers. Pot out tender annuals. Remove auriculas to a north-east aspect. Take up bulbous roots as the leaves decay. Sow kidney beans, broccoli for spring use, cape for autumn, cauliflowers for December; Indian corn, cress, onions to plant out as bulbs next year, radishes, aromatic herbs, turnips, cabbages, savoys, lettuces, &c. Plant celery, lettuces, and annuals; thin spring crops; stick peas, &c. Earth up potatoes, &c. Moisten mushroom beds.
260. June.--Flowers of the Month.--Water-lily, Honeysuckle, Sweet-william, Pinks, Syringa, Rhododendron, Delphinium, Stock.
261. Gardening Operations.--Sow giant stocks to flower next spring. Take slips of myrtle to strike, pipings of pinks, and make layers of carnation. Put down layers and take cuttings of roses and evergreens. Plant annuals in borders, and place auriculas in pots in shady places. Sow kidney beans, pumpkins, cucumbers for pickling, and (late in the month) endive and lettuces. Plant out cucumbers, marrows, leeks, celery, broccoli, cauliflowers, savoys, and seedlings, and plants propagated by slips. Earth up potatoes, &c. Cut herbs for drying when in flower.
262. July.--Flowers of the Month.--Rose, Carnation, Picotee, Asters, Balsams.
263. Gardening Operations.--Part auricula and polyanthus roots. Take up summer bulbs as they go out of flower, and plant saffron crocus and autumn bulbs. Gather seeds. Clip evergreen borders and edges, strike myrtle slips under glasses. Net fruit trees. Finish budding by the end of the month. Head down espaliers. Sow early dwarf cabbages to plant out in October for spring; also endive, onions, kidney beans for late crop, and turnips. Plant celery, endive, lettuves, cabbages, leeks, strawberries, and cauliflowers. Tie up lettuces. Earth celery. Take up onions, &c., for drying.
264. August.--Flowers of the Month.--Geranium, Verbena, Calceolaria, Hollyhock.
265. Gardening Operations.--Sow annuals to bloom indoors in winter, and put all young stocks raised in the greenhouse. Sow early red cabbages, cauliflowers for spring and summer use, cos and cabbage lettuce for winter crop. Plant out winter crops. Dry herbs and mushroom spawn. Plant out strawberry roots, and net currant trees, to preserve the fruit through the winter.
266. September.--Flowers of the Month.--Clematis, or Traveller's Joy, Jasmine, Passion Flower, Arbutus.
267. Gardening Operations. Plant crocuses, scaly bulbs, and evergreen shrubs. Propagate by layers and cuttings of all herbaceous plants, currant, gooseberry, and other fruit trees. Plant out seedling pinks. Sow onions for spring plantation, carrots, spinach, and Spanish radishes in warm spots. Earth up celery. House potatoes and edible bulbs. Gather pickling cucumbers. Make tulip and mushroom beds.
268. October.--Flowers of the Month.--Asters, Indian Pink, Chrysanthemum, Stock.
269. Gardening Operations.--Sow fruit stones for stocks for future grafting, also larkspurs and the hardier annuals to stand the winter, and hyacinths and smooth bulbs in pots and glasses. Plant young trees, cuttings of jasmine, honeysuckle, and evergreens. Sow mignonette for pots in winter. Plant cabbages, &c., for spring. Cut down asparagus, separate roots of daisies, irises, &c. Trench, drain, and manure.
270. November.--Flowers of the Month.--Laurestinus, Michaelmas Daisy, Chrysanthemum.
271. Gardening Operations.--Sow sweet peas and garden peas for early flowers and crops. Take up dahlia roots. Complete beds for asparagus and artichokes. Plant dried roots of border flowers, daisies, &c. Take potted mignonette indoors. Make new plantations of strawberries, though it is better to do this in October. Sow peas, leeks, beans, and radishes. Pland rhubarb in rows. Prune hardy trees, and plant stocks of fruit trees. Store carrots, &c. Shelter from frost where it may be required. Plant shrubs for forcing. Continue to trench and manure vacant ground.
272. December.--Flowers of the Month.--Cyclamen and Winter Aconite. Holly berries are now available for floral decoration.
273. Gardening Operations.--Continue in open weather to prepare vacant ground for spring, and to protect plants from frost. Cover bulbous roots with matting. Dress flower borders. Prepare forcing ground for cucumbers, and force asparagus and seakale. Plant gooseberry, currant, apple, and pear trees. Roll grass- plate if the season be mild and not too wet. Prepare poles, stakes, pea-sticks, &c., for spring.
274. Kitchen Garden.--This is one of the most important parts of general domestic economy, whenever the situation of a house and the size of the garden will permit the members of a family to avail themselves of the advantages it offers. It is, indeed, much to be regretted that small plots of ground, in the immediate vicinity of the metropolis more especially, are too often converted into flower gardens and shrubberies, or used as mere playgrounds for children, when they might more usefully be employed in raising vegetables for the family. With a little care and attention, a kitchen garden, though small, might be rendered not only useful, but, in fact, as ornamental as a modern grass lawn; and the same expense incurred to make the ground a laboratory of sweets, might suffice to render it agreeable to the palate as well as to the olfactory nerves, and that even without offending the most delicate optics. It is only in accordance with our plan to give the hint, and to put before the reader such novel points as may facilitate the proposed arrangement. It is one objection to the formation of a kitchen garden in front of the dwelling, or in sight of the drawing-room and parlour, that its very nature makes it rather an eyesore than otherwise at all seasons. This, however, may be readily got over by a little attention to neatness and good order, for the vegetables themselves, if properly attended to, may be made really ornamental; but then, in cutting the plants for use, the business must be done neatly--all useless leaves cleared from the ground, the roots no longer wanted taken up, and the ravages of insects guarded against by sedulous extirpation. It will also be found a great improvement, where space will admit of it, to surround the larger plots of ground, in which the vegetables are grown, with flower borders stocked with herbaceous plants and others, such as annuals and bulbs in due order of succession, or with neat espaliers, with fruit trees, or even gooseberry and currant bushes, trained among them, instead of being suffered to grow in a state of ragged wilderness, as is too often the case.