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mixture of loam and peat is most suitable for their growth. They are
easily raised from seed sown in March, and bloom from June to August.
Height, 1-1/2 ft.

Podophyllum Peltatum (_Duck's Foot, or May Apple_). - Grown chiefly
for its foliage and berries, this hardy herbaceous perennial forms a
pleasing spectacle when planted in moist soil under trees; it likewise
makes a splendid pot-plant. A mixture of peat and chopped sphagnum is
what it likes. The pots are usually plunged in wet sand or ashes on
a northern border. It is propagated by cutting the roots into pieces
several inches in length, with a good bud or crown on each. During May
and June the plant produces small white Dog-rose-like flowers. Height,
1 ft.

Poinsettia Pulcherrima. - A stove evergreen shrub which produces lovely
crimson bracts in the winter. Plant in sandy loam, give plenty of
water to the roots, and syringe the leaves frequently. In early spring
cut down the branches to within three or four eyes of the old wood.
These cuttings, if laid aside for a day to dry and then planted under
glass, will form new plants. It flowers in April. Height, 2 ft.

Polemonium (_Jacob's Ladder_). - Hardy perennial border plants of an
ornamental character and of the easiest culture. Any soil suits them,
and they merely require sowing in the open either in spring or autumn.
P. Richardsoni is most commonly met with, its blue flowers being
produced in early autumn. Height, 1-1/2 ft.

Polyanthus. - Sow the seed late in autumn in well-drained boxes of
light, rich mould; cover it very lightly, place under glass, and water
sparingly, but give enough to keep the plants moist. The seed requires
no artificial heat to germinate it. The roots should be divided each
year as soon as they have flowered, and fresh soil given. The single
varieties only are florists' flowers. The Polyanthus is a species of
primrose, grows best in a rather shady position in a loam and peat
compost, and produces its flowers in May. Height, 6 in.

Polygala Chamaesbuxus. - A hardy evergreen trailing plant requiring
a peat soil in which to grow. It may be increased from seed or by
division of the roots. May is the time at which it blooms. Height, 6

Polygala Dalmaisiana. - This showy evergreen shrub needs a greenhouse
treatment. Soil - three parts peat, one part turfy loam, and a little
sand. It flowers in March. To increase it, top the shoots, which will
cause it to throw out new ones. Take the new growth off when it is 3
in. long, and place it under glass in a propagating house. Height, 1

The hardy annual varieties of Polygala are obtained by seed sown in
peat. These flower at midsummer. (_See also_ "Solomon's Seal.")

Polygonatum. - These pretty herbaceous plants are quite hardy. The
flowers, which are borne in May or June, are mostly white. Plants
succeed best in a rich soil. They may be raised from seed, or the
roots can be divided. Height, 1ft. to 3 ft.

Polygonum Brunonis (_Knotweed_). - This strong-growing creeping
perennial plant is not particular as to soil so long as it can enjoy
plenty of sunshine. The shoots root of themselves and must be kept in
check, else they will choke other things. It flowers in August, after
which the leaves assume beautiful autumnal tints. Height, 1 ft.

Pomegranate. - This requires a deep, loamy soil and a warm, airy
situation. May be propagated by cuttings of the shrubs or the root,
putting the cuttings into light, rich soil, or by layers. The double
kinds of Punica, or Pomegranate, should be grafted on to the single
ones. There is a dwarf kind, bearing scarlet flowers in August, which
requires heat.

Poppies. - _See_ "Papaver" _and_ "Stylophorum."

Portulaca. - The seeds of the hardy annual species of this genus may be
sown in a sheltered open spot in spring. The half-hardy annuals should
be sown thinly in boxes during March and placed in gentle heat. Harden
off and plant out in May, as soon as the weather permits, in a light,
dry soil where it can get a good amount of sunshine. Its brilliant
and striking colour admirably adapts it for small beds, edgings, or
rock-work; and it will succeed in dry, hot sandy positions where
scarcely any other plant would live. It flowers in June. Height, 6 in.

Potatoes. - Ground intended for Potatoes should be dug deeply in the
autumn, thoroughly drained, well manured and trenched, and left rough
on the surface during the winter. At the beginning of February stand
the tubers on end in shallow boxes, and expose them to the light to
induce the growth of short, hard, purple sprouts. Allow one sprout to
each tuber or set, rubbing off the rest. They may be planted at any
time from the end of February to the end of March in rows 1-1/2 to
2-1/2 ft. asunder, placing the sets 6 in. deep and from 6 to 9 in.
apart. As soon as growth appears keep the ground well stirred with the
hoe to prevent the growth of weeds, and when the tops are 4 to 6 in.
high ridge the earth up about them. Directly flower appears, pick it
off, as it retards the growth of the tubers. They should be taken up
and stored in October. If short of storage room dig up every other row
only, and give the remaining ridges an additional covering of earth.
They keep well this way.

Potentilla. - Handsome herbaceous plants with Strawberry-like foliage.
They will grow in any common soil, and may be increased by dividing
the roots or by seeds treated like other hardy perennials. The
shrubby kinds are well adapted for the fronts of shrubberies, and are
propagated by cuttings taken in autumn and planted in a sheltered
situation. They flower at midsummer. Height, 1-1/2 ft.

Potting. - Great attention must be paid to this important gardening
operation. It is necessary that the pots used be perfectly clean, and,
if new, soaked in water for several hours previously, otherwise they
would absorb the moisture from the soil to the detriment of the roots.
At the bottom of the pots place a few layers of crocks, and on these
some rough mould so as to ensure perfect drainage. For all delicate,
hard-wooded plants one-third of each pot should be occupied with
drainage, but a depth of 1-1/2 in. is sufficient for others. Lift the
plant carefully so as not to break the ball of earth round the roots,
and fill in with mould round the sides. In order to supply water
readily the pots must not be filled up to the rim. Pot firmly, and in
the case of hard-wooded plants ram the earth down with a blunt-pointed
stick; soft-wooded ones may be left rather looser. Give shade till the
plants have recovered themselves. The soil used for potting should be
moist, but not clammy. A rather light, rich loam is most suitable for
strong-growing plants; peat for slow-growing, hard-wooded ones, like
Ericas, Camellias, etc.; and a mixture of light loam, one-third its
bulk of leaf-soil, and silver sand in sufficient quantity to make
the whole porous for quick-growing, soft-wooded plants, such as
Pelargoniums, Calceolarias, Fuchsias etc.

Pratia Repens (_Lobelia Pratiana_). - This pretty little creeping
perennial is very suitable for the front of rock-work. It requires
a well-drained vegetable soil and all the sun it can get. It is
self-propagating. Though pretty hardy, it is safer to pot it off in
autumn and place it in a cold frame throughout the winter. Flowers are
produced in June, and are succeeded till cut off by frost.

Primroses. - _See_ "Primulas," _and_ "Streptocarpus."

Primulas. - This genus embraces the Auricula, the Polyanthus, and the
Primrose. The greenhouse varieties are among the most useful of our
winter-flowering plants. The seed may be sown at any time from March
to July in a pot of two-year-old manure, leaf-mould, or fine, rich
mould, but not covering it with the soil. Tie a sheet of paper over
the pot and plunge it in a hotbed. Sufficient moisture will be
communicated to the seed by keeping the paper damp. When the plants
make their appearance remove the paper and place the pot in the shady
part of the greenhouse. When they are strong enough to handle, pot off
into 4-1/2 in. pots, and stand them near the glass. The roots may be
divided as soon as the plants have done flowering. The hardy kinds may
be sown in the open. It should be borne in mind that the seed must
be new, as it soon loses its germinating properties. These flower in
March or April. Height, 6 in.

Prince's Feather. - An ornamental hardy annual, producing tall
spikes of dark crimson flowers and purple-tinted foliage. It is not
particular as to soil, and merely requires sowing in the open in
spring to produce flowers in July. Height, 2 ft.

Privet. - _See_ "Ligustrum."

Prophet's Flower. - _See_ "Arnebia."

Prunella Grandiflora. - A pretty hardy perennial, suitable for a front
border or rock-work, bearing dense spikes of flowers from May to
August. It grows well in any ordinary soil, and is propagated by
division. Height, 6 in.

Pruning. - The main objects to bear in mind in Pruning any kind of bush
or tree are to prevent a congested growth of the branches, to remove
any shoots that cross each other, as well as all useless and dead
wood, and to obtain a well-balanced head. It may be done either in
August or in the winter when the sap is at rest, after the worst of
the frosts are over, the end of February being usually suitable;
but the former period is generally acknowledged to be the better,
especially for fruit-trees. The cuts should be clean and level, and
when a saw is used should be made smooth with a chisel and covered
with grafting wax. In all cases as little wound as possible should
be presented. Root-pruning has for its object the suppression of
over-vigorous growth and the restoration of old trees to a bearing
condition. It consists in taking off all the small fibres, shortening
the long roots to within 6 or 8 in. of the stem, and cutting away any
bruised or injured roots before the trees are first planted out. The
mode of procedure in the case of old or unproductive trees is to
open the earth in autumn 3 ft. from the stem of the tree, and to saw
through two-thirds of the strongest roots. The opening is then filled
in with fresh mould. Should the growth still be too vigorous, the soil
must be opened again the following season and the remaining roots cut
through, care being taken not to injure the young fibrous roots.

Prunus. - Beautiful early-flowering trees, which will grow in any soil,
and can be increased by seeds or suckers.

Ptelia Trifoliata (_Hop Tree_). - This is very suitable for planting on
the borders of still waters, where its long frond-like leaves, which
turn to a golden yellow in autumn, produce a fine effect. It blooms in
June, and is propagated by layers. Height, 10 ft.

Pulmonarias (_Lungworts_). - Hardy perennials that require but little
attention; may be grown in any common soil, and propagated by division
at any time. They flower in April and May. Height, 1 ft.

Pumilum. - _See_ "Heleniums."

Pumpkins. - Valuable for soups and pies in winter, and in summer the
young shoots are an excellent substitute for Asparagus. For their
cultivation, _see_ "Gourds."

Punica Granata Nana. - A greenhouse deciduous shrub which flowers in
August. The soil in which it is placed should be a light, rich loam.
It can be most freely multiplied by layers, and cuttings will strike
in sand under glass. Height, 4 ft.

Puschkinia (_Striped Squills_). - This charming bulbous plant may be
grown in any light, rich mould, provided it is drained well. The bulbs
may be separated when the clumps get overcrowded, late in summer,
after the tops have died down, being the most suitable time to do so.
If planted in a warm position it will begin to flower in March, and
continue in bloom till May. Height, 8 in.

Pyrethrum. - The greenhouse kinds grow in any rich soil, and young
cuttings planted under glass root readily. The hardy kinds are not
particular as to soil so long as it is not cold and wet, and are
increased by seeds sown in heat in February if wanted for early use,
or in the open during March and April for later growth. The crowns may
be divided either in autumn or spring: each eye or bud will make a
fresh plant. Young plants produced in this way in the autumn require
the protection of a frame during the winter. They flower in July.
Height varies from 6 in. to 3 ft.

Pyrola. - A handsome hardy plant, suitable for a moist, shady
situation. It is raised from seed, or will bear dividing, but is
rather hard to grow. Height, 6 in.

Pyrus Japonica. - _See_ "Cydonia."


Quaking Grass. - _See_ "Briza."

Quercus Ilex. - A handsome evergreen Oak, delighting in a deep, loamy
soil. It is propagated by seed sown as soon as it is ripe.

Quinces. - Plant in autumn in a moist but well-drained soil. Cuttings
of stout stems 6 or 8 in. long, firmly and deeply planted in a shady
situation, mulched with leaf-mould, and kept watered in dry weather,
will take root; but the surest method of propagation is by layers,
pegged down in the soil and detached the following year. A good
watering with liquid manure will swell the fruit to a large size. Keep
the branches well thinned out and cut them regular, so as to let in
light and air and form nicely shaped trees. The pruning should be done
as soon as the leaves fall. In orchards they should stand 1 rod apart.


Radish. - For an early supply sow on a gentle hotbed under a frame in
January, February, and March. For succession sow thinly on a warm and
sheltered border early in March. Follow on with sowings in the open
till the middle of September. The Black Spanish and China Rose should
be sown during August and September for winter use. Lift in November,
and store in sand in a cool place. Radishes should be liberally
watered in dry weather, and the soil made rich and light some time
before sowing commences.

Ragged Robin. - _See_ "Lychnis."

Ragwort. - _See_ "Jacobaea."

Ramondia Pyrenaica. - A pretty dwarf perennial, suitable for moist
interstices of rock-work. It should be planted in a slanting position,
so that the roots, while absorbing plenty of moisture, will not rot
through being continually in stagnant water. Peat soil suits it best.
It may be increased by division in spring. If grown from seed it takes
two years before flowers are produced. During the height of summer it
is in full beauty.

Rampion. - The roots are used in cooking, and also for salads. For
winter use sow in April in rows 12 in. apart, covering the seeds
lightly with fine mould, and thin out to 4 in. apart. Sow at intervals
for a succession.

Ranunculus. - These prefer a good stiff, rather moist, but well-drained
loam, enriched with well-rotted cow-dung, and a sunny situation.
February is probably the best time for planting, though some prefer to
do it in October. Press the tubers (claws downwards) firmly into the
soil, placing them 2 or 3 in. deep and 4 or 5 in. apart. Cover them
with sand, and then with mould. Water freely in dry weather. Protect
during winter with a covering of dry litter, which should be removed
in spring before the foliage appears. They flower in May or June.
Seeds, selected from the best semi-double varieties, sown early in
October and kept growing during the winter, will flower the next
season. They may likewise be increased by off-sets and by dividing the
root. The claws may be lifted at the end of June and stored in dry
sand. The plants are poisonous. Height, 8 in. to 12 in.

Raphiolepis Ovata. - Beautiful evergreen shrubs, producing long spikes
of white flowers in June. A compost of loam, peat, and sand is their
delight. Cuttings will strike in sand under glass. Height, 4 ft.

Raspberries. - A rich, moist, loamy soil is most suitable for their
cultivation. Suckers are drawn by the hand from the old roots any time
between October and February, and set in groups of three in rows 6 ft.
apart. If taken in October, the young plants may be pruned early in
November. It is usual to cut one cane to the length of 3 ft., the
second one to 2 ft., and the third to within a few inches of the
ground. As soon as the year's crop is gathered, the old bearing shoots
are cut clean away, the young canes are drawn closer together, and at
the end of August the tops of the tall ones are pinched off. When the
leaves have fallen all the suckers are drawn out and the canes pruned
(about four being left to each root). The canes are then tied and
manure applied. About May they are, if necessary, thinned out again,
and the suckers that are exhausting both soil and plant removed. They
produce their fruit on one-year-old canes, which wood is of no further
use. The general way of training them is by tying the tops together,
or by training them in the shape of a fan on a south wall, but perhaps
the best way is to tic them about equal distances apart round hoops
supported by light sticks. Seed may be separated from the fruit,
dried, and sown early in February on a gentle hotbed. Prick off into
good rich mould, harden off by the middle of May, and plant in rich
soil. Train them and keep down suckers. When they are grown tall
pinch off the tops. Red Antwerp, Yellow Antwerp, Prince of Wales,
Northumberland Filbasket, Carter's Prolific, and White Magnum Bonum
are all good sorts.

Red-hot Poker. - _See_ "Tritoma."

Red Scale. - _See_ "Scale."

Red Spiders. - These troublesome pests which appear in the heat of
summer, may be got rid of by constantly syringing the plants attacked,
and by occasionally washing the walls, etc., with lime or sulphur.

Retinospora Filifera. - A large-growing, hardy evergreen shrub. It may
be grown in any light soil, and increased by seed, or by cuttings
planted under glass in the shade. It flowers in May.

Rhamnus (_Buckthorn_). - Fine evergreen shrubs, of hardy habit and
quick growth. They may be grown in any soil, but prefer a sheltered
situation, and are very suitable for planting near the sea. R.
Latifolius has handsome broad leaves. Some, such as R. Alaternus and
R. Catharticus, attain large proportions, the former reaching 30 ft.
and the latter 10 ft. in height. They may be propagated by layers or
by seed.

Rheum Palmatum. - This species of rhubarb makes an effective plant for
the back portion of a border. It does well in rich loam, flowering in
June, and is increased by dividing the root. Height, 5 ft.

Rhodanthe (_Swan River Everlasting_). - These beautiful everlasting
flowers are half-hardy annuals and are suitable for beds or ribbons,
and make most graceful plants for pot culture, placing four plants in
a 5-in. pot. They thrive best in fibrous peat or a rich, light soil,
and prefer a warm situation. Used largely for winter bouquets, and are
perfect gems for pot culture. A succession of bloom may be obtained
by sowings made in August, October, and March. The temperature of the
seed-pots should be kept at from 60 to 70 degrees, and the soil
kept constantly damp with water of the same heat. After potting the
seedlings remove them to a cooler house and keep them near the glass.
Those sown in March may be planted in the open in June, where they
will flower in autumn. Height, 1 ft.

Rhodochiton - This evergreen climber makes a fine plant for
trellis-work. It is more suitable for the greenhouse, though it may be
grown in the open in summer. A light, rich, well-drained soil is its
delight, and it may be propagated by seed or by cuttings under glass.
In the greenhouse it should not be placed near the pipes. July is its
time for flowering. Height, 10 ft.

Rhododendrons. - Plant in October in peat, or in a compost of sandy,
turfy loam, with a good proportion of decayed leaves and charred
refuse. The best position for them is a sheltered one where they can
get a moderate amount of sunshine to develop the flower-buds. They
like plenty of moisture, but the ground must be well drained. If it is
desired to shift their position spring is the best time, the next best
being October. They are propagated by layers or seeds, and the small
wooded kinds by slips torn off close to the stems, planted in sand,
and placed under glass in heat. The seed should be sown early in
spring in pans of peat soil, and covered very lightly. Place the pans
in a frame, and when the soil becomes dry stand the pans in water
nearly up to the rims until the surface is moist. Pot off when strong
enough to handle, and keep close in the frame till fresh roots are
produced, then harden off. Rhododendrons may, when desired, be
transplanted in spring, even after the flower-buds are well advanced,
if care be taken not to break the ball of earth round their roots.
They bloom at the end of May. Height, 4 ft.

Rhubarb. - Seed may be sown thinly during April in drills 1 ft. apart.
Thin out the plants 12 in. from each other, and let them grow on
till the following April, then plant them out 4 ft. apart in deeply
trenched ground into which a good quantity of well-rotted manure has
been worked. Large roots may be divided in autumn or early spring;
every portion of the root that has a crown will make a fresh plant.
When the last of the crop has been pulled, fork in a dressing of old
manure. It may be forced out of doors by covering the ground thickly
with stable manure, and placing large flower-pots over the plants to
bleach them; but if forced in a frame the light need not be excluded.
None but the earliest kinds should be selected for forcing.

Rhubarb, Chilian. - _See_ "Gunnera."

Rhus (_Sumach_). - Lovely shrubs, growing in any ordinary soil. The
young shoots of R. Cotinus are clothed with round leaves which
change to bright crimson and orange, surmounted with fluffy pink
seed-vessels, while R. Glabra Laciniata resembles a tree fern. They
may be propagated either by layers or cuttings. Height, 8 ft. to 10

Rhynchospermum (Trachelospermum) Jasminoides. - A pretty, evergreen,
woody climber for the conservatory, which succeeds best in a compost
of light loam and peat; is of easy culture, and readily increased by
cuttings. It is a fine plant for rafters or trellis, and produces in
July deliciously fragrant white flowers at the ends of the branches.
Height, 10 ft.

Ribes (_Flowering Currants_). - Well-known shrubs, growing in any soil,
and flowering early in spring. The colours vary from crimson to white.
They may be raised from cuttings either in autumn or early spring.
Height, 4 ft.

Richardia Aethiopica. - A fine herbaceous perennial with very bold
leaves. It needs a good supply of water, and on dry soils should be
planted in trenches. A light, rich mould is best for it, and it should
have sufficient sun to ripen the wood. Lift it in September and winter
in the greenhouse. It is increased from off-sets from the root, and
flowers in March. Height, 2 ft.

Ricinus, or Palma Christi (_Castor-oil Plant, etc._). - The foliage of
these half-hardy annuals is very ornamental. The plants like a rich
soil. Sow the seed early in spring in a slight heat, harden off
gradually, and put out at the end of May in a warm, sheltered spot.
They may also be propagated by cuttings. Height, 3 ft. to 6 ft.

Robinia. - All these shrubs have fine, Fern-like foliage which changes
colour in autumn. The Pea-shaped flowers vary in colour from cream to
purple, and while in bloom the plants are very handsome. They grow
in any soil, flower in May and onwards, and are increased by layers.
Height varies, the Rose Acacia _(Hispida)_ reaching 10 ft., while the
Locust Tree (_Pseudo-Acacia_) grows to the height of 40 ft.

Rock Cress. - _See_ "Arabis."

Rocket (_Hesperis_). - The hardy perennials like a light, rich soil,
and need to be frequently divided. The best time to divide them is
just after they have done flowering, when they should be potted off,
planting them out again in the spring. The annual and biennial kinds
merely require to be sown in the open border. Most of the Rockets give
forth greater fragrance towards evening. Their flowering season is
June. Height, 1 ft. to 1-1/2 ft.

Rock Rose. - _See_ "Cistus" _and_ "Helianthemum."

Rodgersia Podophylla. - A hardy perennial having immense bronze
foliage. It thrives best in a moist, peaty soil; flowers from May to
July, and may readily be increased either by seed or division. Height,
3 ft.

Rogiera Gratissima. - A pretty evergreen stove shrub, which is often
trained to a single stem so as to form a standard. It succeeds in
sandy loam and peat. It may be sunk in the flower-border during the
height of summer, but must be taken indoors before frost sets in.
Cuttings placed in sand under a hand-glass in heat will strike. It
flowers in June. Height, 3 ft.

Romneyi Coulteri. - This grand white-flowered Poppy Tree is quite
hardy, and will grow in any light, rich soil. It blooms in August and

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Online LibraryAlfred PinkGardening for the Million → online text (page 14 of 18)