Flower gardening is a fascinating hobby and one which can give a tremendous amount of pleasure for a comparatively little outlay. Theborder is cheap. It is just a few pennyworth of flower . The rose garden is inexpensive. You buy roses and they last for 10 years and more, so even if you pay 50p per bush it only works out at 5p per year! The same holds good for the shrub border. This is a permanent feature and the money you spend on it cannot be debited to one year only. Even the herbaceous border will last for 4 or 5 years, and then when you dig it up and split your plants you will be able to plant several other herbaceous borders or supply your friends and neighbours. So let us away with the idea that flower gardening is expensive. The beauty it provides may make all the difference to your mental outlook, for it will cater adequately for your aesthetic sense.
The great thing about the flower garden is that it must be your own. The keen gardener will want to interpret his own ideas. Personally, I hate the garden that is just a copy of another. It is seldom that the copyist succeeds. For what suits one piece of land or one district or one’s house does not necessarily fit in with the general outline of another house and another area.
The flower garden should never be a burden, and there are so many facets to this delightful occupation that the busy man or woman must concentrate on the kinds of flower growing which take little time. The rose garden for instance is comparatively simple to care for; a well-planned herbaceous border with perennials planted in it that need no staking, is a boon to the week-end gardener. Theof the annual border and the necessary thinning and staking ensures rather too much work for the person with few hours to spare. Spring, summer and autumn bedding, though beautiful, take a good deal of time, but the joy of flower gardening is that you, the garden owner, may choose, you may decide what you will have – it will be your garden!
If there is to be joy in this flower garden of yours, see to it that you haveall the year round. By studying garden catalogues, by reading the chapters that follow, by talking about the matter with experts, you will soon find how you may have Christmas roses, autumn flowering crocus, winter flowering jasmine, late blooming Michaelmas daisies. You will look for January and February blossoms on your shrubs. You will find joy in the little winter aconites as they peep through. You will have some bulbs in bowls for indoors, and so the ‘colourful joy’ will continue.
There are far too many gardens today that look grand in June and July, and then are most disappointing in September and October, and there is no need for this. If there is any joy in growing, it is in being able to have them all the year round and with one or two aids, like continuous cloches, or a cold frame, this is a solid possibility. There are some who take a pride in wearing a good buttonhole every day of the year, and one which they actually pick from their own garden in the open.
How easy it is to be so proud of your flowers outside that you never allow anyone to cut a bunch or two for decoration in the house. I can sympathize with the man who comes home after a hard day’s work and finds that his wife has robbed his herbaceous border of 50 per cent of its beauty, but that robbery would not have been necessary had there been a special part of the garden, however small, devoted to rows of flowers grown specially forpurposes.
My wife and I find this the ideal method. It is the perfect compromise. A great deal of joy is given to those who come to our home by the tastefully arranged bowls and vases which are to be seen in the living rooms of the house.