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Dahlias and their Cultivation

Dahlias and their Cultivation. 



EVOLUTION OF THE DAHLIA. 

Information available for the history of the dahlia is not as 
plentiful as we could wish. There is no reason, however, to 
doubt that in the year 1789 Vincentes Cervantes, director of 
the Botanic Gardens at Mexico, sent over seeds of the plant to 
the Royal Gardens at Madrid.; this is understood to have 
been Dahlia variabilis. It was christened dahlia after Dr. 
Dahl, a botanist of Sweden, and a pupil of Linnseus, by the 
Director of the Spanish Royal Gardens, one Abbe Cavahilles. 
Its first introduction to England appears to have been in the 
year 1802, when a nurseryman named John Fraser, of Sloane 
Square, obtained seeds from Paris. This is said to have 
been Dahlia coccinea, another species also from Mexico. 
The plants raised from these seeds flowered in a greenhouse 
at his nursery in 1803. Then in 1804 Lady Holland sent 
from Madrid fo England seeds of the dahlia, which also were 
sown, and the plants flowered in a greenhouse, but were 
afterwards lost, probably through want of knowledge in 
keeping the tubers during the winter. 

On the Continent the gardeners evidently took more pains 
to improve the flower than we in England, for about the year 
1814 the first semi-double flowers were obtained by M. Donke- 
laar, of the Botanic Gardens, Louvain, in Belgium, who had 
three plants which showed this semi-double formation. We 



In 



DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION, 



have other evidence that the Continental growers took more 
interest in the flower at this time, for persons who visited 
the Continent from this country in 1814 were surprised to 
see the grand displays in the gardens of France and Ger- 
many. Indeed, it was not until we secured several roots 




Fig. 1.— FANCY DAHLIA. (See page 11.) 



from abroad in the winter of 1814 that any progress was 
made. But, however slow we may Be in first recognising 
the possibilities of anything new to us, when once we do 
perceive, we are not often beaten in the advantages we taJse 
of it. Rapid strides were made from 1815 onwards; and 



EVOLUTION OF THE DAHLIA. 11 

dahlia shows began to be held in many parts of the country. 
Great enthusiasm was displayed, and strenuous efforts made 
to improve the flower, both in size, form, and colour, until 
in 1884 the high-water mark was reached by the variety Mrs. 
Gladstone, which was introduced by Hurst. 

Species. — The species, which, by the way, are only of 
botanical interest, are D. arborea, white; D. coccinea, scar- 
let; D. excelsa, purple; D. gracilis, various shades of red; 
orange and yellow; D. imperialis, white and rose; D. Merckii, 
yellow, lilac, and white; scapigera, white; variabilis, various 
colours; and Yuarezii.(syn. Juarezii), scarlet. All are natives 
of Mexico, and belong to the Daisy order (Compositse). The 
green-flowered dahlia described further on is not a species, 
but a monstrous form of D. variabilis. 

Show Dahlia. — The oldest type of exhibition dahlia and 
one which has gradually declined in popularity since the 
advent of the Cactus type. The flowers are large, perfectly 
circular in outline, uniform in shape, florets (petals) quilled, 
and either of one colour (selfs), or with a pale ground colour 
gradually shading to a darker tint at the tips of the florets. 
The flowers are too formal and wanting in elegance to suit 
the taste of the majority of dahlia growers, but are still fre- 
quently exhibited in the North, more especially in Lanca- 
shire. 

Fancy Dahlia. — This is a flower with striped petals, or 
possessing two or more colours, or having a dark ground 
tippedwith a lighter colour. It is of later development than 
the Show variety. This also is of Continental birth, and 
is understood to have originated from some striped singles 
raised by Count Lelieur, of Paris. Nevertheless, for all our 
best Fancy varieties we are indebted to the skill and perse- 
verance of English florists. See Fig. 1, p. 10. 

Pompon Dahlia. — This, too, is of Continental origin, 
and dates back nearly a century. About 1808 Hartwig, a 



12 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

florist of Karlsruhe, in Germany, obtained a small double 
flower from the single species, Dahlia coccinea. The Germans 
had a great admiration for this miniature double form, which 
in England was originally known as the German dahlia. 
But again our English florists have given us the best we have. 
During the last ten years they have greatly improved this 
very useful type, both in form and colour. Most of our 
newer varieties, too, are dwarfer in habit than the older ones, 
and far superior in " work " and perfection of contour. This 
type is also known by the name of the Bouquet Dahlia. See 
Fig. 2, p. 1.3. 

Cactus Dahlia. — This type is quite an infant in the 
matter of years, compared with the preceding. Its date of 
introduction into England extends no further back than the 
j-ear 1880. But in 1874 a stock had been raised in Hol- 
land. Once more we have to thank our Continental cousins 
for the inception of a wonderful departure in form. Mr. 
J. T. Vander Burg, of Juxphaar, near Utrecht, was the first to 
introduce it into Europe, though it may have existed in the 
same form in Mexico. In 1872 lie was the recipient of a 
box of flowers from the latter place, which had been so much 
delayed in transit that on arrival they were found to be 
mostly rotten. Those, however, which had any signs of 
life still left, whether seeds or roots, were sown or planted. 
From this rottenness a dahlia flower afterwards bloomed of 
the cactus type. It was subsequently christened Juarezi, after 
Juarez, the President of Mexico. Thus, out of the appa- 
rently dead came forth beauty. No Avonder that it was 
eagerly propagated, for shortly after 1874 Messrs. Anthony 
Roozen and Sons, a Dutch firm of nurserymen, became owners 
of the stock. The late Mr. W. H. Cullingford had the credit 
of introducing it into England; and shortly afterwards, Mr. 
Henry Cannell, of Swanley, took the stranger in. He 
first exhibited it at the Alexandra Palace on September 3, 
1880. As raaj- easily be imagined, it created a great amount 
of interest; but probably no single person, who curiously 



EVOLUTION OF THE DAHLIA. 13 

examined its strange form, could have foreseen its wonderful 
progeny in the short space of twenty-seven years. Of course, 
amongst many double-dahlia enthusiasts, years elapsed before 
their unaccustomed eye could be brought to see anything to 
admire in this ragged foreigner that possessed neither " work " 
nor form. All that has been worn down by its irresistible 
progress. See Fig. .3, p. To. 




Fie:. 2.— POMPON DAHLIA. (See page 11.) 

Singrle Dahlia — In the year 1880 Mr. Alfred Salter 
brought to a meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society some 
flowers of the Single Dahlia. These, of course, were a re- 
introduction, but they quickly came into fashion; new varie- 
ties were speedily raised, and were seen wherever dahlias 
were grown; many people preferred them to the double 
varieties on account of their lightness, elegance, and useful- 



14 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

iiess I'or cuttiug. They are certuiuly worthy of all com- 
mendation. See Fig. 4, p. 19. 

Decorative Dahlia. — This lias come into being since 
the advent of the cactus form, and may be termed the cactus 
hybrid. Some of the latest introductions have a remarkably 
striking appearance, and are certainly valuable for the decora- 
tion of large borders or beds, possessing such necessary 
qualifications as freedom of flowering, combined with size 
of bloom and attractive colouring. See Fig. 5, p. 21. 

Tom Thumb Dahlia. — This type was raised by the 
late Mr. T. W. Girdlestone, M.A., and was introduced to 
notice by Messrs. Cheal and Sons, of Sussex, in 1890. The 
flowers are single in form, and the whole plant is only from 
nine to eighteen inches high. 

Single Cactus Dahiia—Atypeofrecentintroduction. 
The late Mr. E. J. Lowe, F.R.S., was here first in the field, 
Messrs. Dobbie and Co., of Rothesay, receiving it in the 
year 1891. During the few intervening years many new 
varieties have been raised; and, being a form of singular 
beauty, lightness, and elegance, especially for bouquet work 
or table decoration, it has a future before it. See Fig. G, 
p. 22. 

Pompon Cactus Dahlia — This type was sent out by 
Messrs. H. Cannell and Sons, of Swanley, in the year 1896, 
" Cannell's Gem" being the first, variety. Another type 
useful for decorative purposes. 

Anemone. Flowered Dahlia — A recent introduc- 
tion from the Continent, dating to the year 1901. The 
flowers have an outer circle of guard-petals round a centre 
cushion like the anemone-flowered chrysanthemum. They are 
of dwarf habit. See Fig. 7, p. 25. 

Collarette Dahlia— Another type of Continental 
origin, introduced in 1902. This is a single kind, with the 



EVOLUTION OF THE DAHLIA. 15 

uddition of a circle of florets around the edge of- the central 
disc. The plants are i'ree-flowering, and the flowers are 
borne on long stems as in the ordinary single varieties. There 
is no reason why these should not become popular both for 
garden and decorative work. See Fig. 8, p. 30. 




4 '='30.4 I 

Kg. 3.— CACTUS DAHLIA. (Seo page 12.) 

Pseony-flows#erecl Dahlia. — A new type of dahlia, 
originated in Holland, and introduced into this country in 
1905. The flowers are large, more or less semi-double, hav- 
ing two rows of petals, and borne on long stems. The growth 



16 DAHLIAS AfjD THEIR CULTIVATION. 

is robust and the flowers borne in profusion. A promising 
type for garden decoration. See Fig. 9, p. 33. 

The Green Dahlia. — The green dahlia — ^Viridifiora — 

is one of the curiosities and monstrosities of plant life tliat 
has become fixed — i.e., capable of propagation. The flowers 
are practically made up of leaf}- organs, and not of petals, as 
is usual. Tliese coloured floral organs have been suppressed, 
and their place taken by a multiplied number of involucre 
bracts, and by the scales of the receptacle developing into 
leafy organs. The re.sult is a close, compact, green ball of 
small pompon size. Those shown in the plioto are about 
three-fourths natural size. Tlie plant possesses no real 
beauty, and is therefore only worth growing as a curiositj-. 
See Fig. 10, p. 38. 

Star Dahlia — See Chapter XIII. 



<S[j^ <3j <Sj^ <Sj^ ^ ^ 



Part I -CULTURE FOR EXHIBITION. 



CHAPTER I. 

PROPAQATION FOR EXHIBITION, 

There are several methods of propagating the dahlia, but 
the best being that from cuttings, it may be first described. 
The tubers, then, are taken from their winter quarters about 
the middle of February. They should be placed on the 
bench of a moderately warm greenhouse, where a tempera- 
ture of 50 to 55 degrees can be maintained, covered with 
light soil nearly up to the collar or neck where the bulbs join 
the stem. After the soil has been carefully pushed between 
the roots, a good soaking of tepid water should be given, 
so that the soil is made to settle amongst them. They must 
afterwards be kept evenly moist, but never saturated. Fig. 1 1 
shows the various details of propagation by cuttings. 

Cutting: Bed. — In the meantime a bed should be pre- 
pared in the warmest part of the house, composed of either 
coke riddlings, clean, fine cinders, or sand. This should be 
immediately over tTie pipes, as the cuttings strike more readily 
with bottom heat. The bed, also, should be kept evenly 
moist. If ventilation be required in the house for other 



18 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATIOK. 

stuff, it will be better to procure a number of boxes -wliich 
can be covered with sheets of glass. These znust have a good 
layer of line cinders or sand put at the bottom, about an 
inch thick, and the box be deep enough to prevent the glass 
from pressing on the leaves of the cutting or the label 
in the pot. A series of boxes are better than one large one, 
for the simple reason that the glass can be gradually tilted 
as the cuttings become rooted. AVlien it is seen that they do 
not flag on being, exposed to the air, they must be removed 
from the box at once, and placed as near the side or roof lights 
as possible. Of course, if the house can be kept closed, 
boxes may be dispensed with. 

Preparing the Cuttingrs. — Now to return to the 
growing shoots on the tubers. In a few weeks' time some 
of these will have grown to a length of about three inches, 
and should then be cut off close to the base where they are 
solid. If allowed to grow longer than three or four inches, 
they flag very much, and are longer in striking. It will be 
no use allowing a stem to grow to a length of six inches, and 
then taking three inches off the tops, for it will be hollow, and 
never would strike. Some growers gouge out a piece of 
tuber with the cutting, because it aids the striking process, 
but it is not a practice to be commended, as it is almost 
sure to reproduce any faults which the parent plant may have 
had. This is important in the case of some varieties, espe- 
cially if the fault has been a seedy centre. If, however, the 
cutting be forced to make new roots, the fault has a better 
chance of being eliminated. 

Inserting: the Cuttings— The compost to be used 
should consist of equal parts fibrous loam, leaf-mould, and 
clean, sharp sand. The pots used should be thumbs or small 
60's, one cutting in a pot. If a bit of fibre from the loam 
be used no crock will be needed. Fill the pot full to the 
top with soil, and press down moderately firm with the 
fingers. On the top of this sprinkle about a teaspoonful of 



PROPAGATION FOR EXHIBITION. 19 

salid. With a round skewer or penholder, bhint at one end, 
sharp at the other, make a hole in the centre with the blunt 
end, carrying some of the sand down to the bottom. Insert 
the cutting, and with the sharp end of the skewer, push the- 
soil against the cutting by making three or four holes round 
it, then finish off with the blunt end. 




Fig. 4.— SINGLE DAHLXA. (Seeingel3.) 

Watering the Cuttings. — Give a good soaking of 
water, insert label and date it, place in a box, or on the 
bench, as the case may be, and shade from bright sunshine. 
The .soil must never be allowed to get dry, nor must it be 

B 2 



20 



DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 



made sodden by too frequent watering. A can with a fine 
rose should be used, so that the leaves, as well as the soil, 
may be moistened. This keeps them clean, washes oflE 
fly, and as the dahlia is a moisture-loving plant, root-action is 
thereby facilitated. A light sprinkling may be given every 
day, but only just sufficient to wet the leaves; though when 
the soil needs water it should have a thorough soaking. 

Labelling the Cuttings — It will be found a conve- 
nient plan to make a list of the varieties to be grown, and 
tack it to a light board for reference. It may be done in this 
manner : 



No. 


Name of Variety. 


No. of Cuttings 
inseiiied. 


No. potted 
iuto Sin. pots. 


No. potted 
into ein. pols. 


1 


Mabel Keeds 


////// 


/// // 


/// 


2 


J. B. Bryant 


111/1/ 


// / / / /// 

1 



By this method the number of cuttings inserted and potted 
on can be seen at a glance. Time will be saved by number- 
ing the small label with the corresponding number in the 
list; for large labels cannot be used in these small pots. If 
the cuttings be placed in boxes, it is advisable not to let the 
glass fit too closely, as a little air.helps to prevent damping. 
The glass should also be removed every day and wiped dry, 
leaving the cuttings exposed for about an hour or so. 
Dahlias are not so much subject to damping as the chrysan- 
themum, for instance; but still, they do go off occasionally, 
and sometimes refuse to strike, so that it must not be thought 
that too much attention can be paid to them if the object be 
the winning of prizes. Often enough it is the choicest varie- 
ties which one loses. Plants received from a nursery, whether 
in pots or without, should be placed in a temperature of 60 
degrees, kept close, and well watered overhead. 



PROPAGATION FOR EXHIBITION. 



21 



Propagation in Cold Frame — Auotlier method of 
propagation may be described for the benefit of those who 
have no greenhouse, but have to rely on a cold frame. This is 
done by making a hotbed with fresh manure. It is important 
that it be properly prepared by turning the material over 




Kg. 5.— DECORA.TIVE DAHLIA. (See page 14.) 

five or six times during two weeks, wetting it each time if too 
dry. It should also contain plenty of straw or leaves, other- 
wise its heating power will be of short duration. A oue- 
light frame will take a load of this manure. Commence 
the formation of the bed by driving four slakes into the 
ground, two feet wider apart each way than the width of the 



22 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

frame, so that when it is finished, there will be one foot of 
inauure jDrojecting all round. Shake out the manure, and 
spread evenly on the ground, treading or beating it down 
with the fork. When it is all evenly filled up, the frame 




Fig. 0.— SINGLE CACTUS DAHLIA, (See page 14.) 

should be placed in the centre, with the lights left off for 
four or five days, to alloAv the rank vapour to pass away. 
About four or five inches of sandy loam will be sufficient to put 
on the top, in which the tubers should be ]ilaced up to the 
collar; but not before the heat has been tried by pushing a 



PROPAGATION FOR EXHIBITION. 23 

stick iuto the Ueap. When the stick can be held with the 
warm end in the hand it will be ready for nse; or, in other 
words, tlie heat, to start with, may be as high as 90 degs. Of 
course, only half the frame can be used for the tubers, as the 
other half will be required for plunging the thumb pots. 
The shoots are allowed to grow as previously described, and 
the compost for striking in should also be the same. If the 
weather be frosty, it will be necessary to cover the lights 
with matting or bags, and there should be plenty of straw kept 
all round the base of the frame. When the heat falls below 
50 deg. it may be raised by adding hot manure to two sides of 
the base, and when that is declining, add more hot manure 
to the other two sides. 

Two frames are much better than one, as the cuttings have 
to be kept close and warm while rooting, but the shoots on 
the tubers, as well as the struck plants, are benefited by a 
little air on all favourable occasions, in the middle of the 
day, when the weather is mild and sunny. 

Pot-root Tubers. — It may also be mentioned that such 
non-conducting material as cocoanut-fibre refuse or leaves may 
be used for plunging the pots in. Some varieties of the 
dahlia, both double, cactus, and pompon, are very shy at 
throwing up cuttings in the spring. With these kinds the 
tubers are generally small in diameter, or thin at the collar; 
therefore the best method of propagation with these is to 
depend on pot roots. If the stock in the spring be limited, 
side shoots may be taken off after the plants are put in the 
ground and struck in 3 or 4in. pots. The tubers are kept 
during the winter in the pots in which they were struck, 
care being taken that they are not too wet, and are placed 
where frost cannot reach them. In February they are put 
into a warm house or frame, and the cuttings taken off as 
required. 



24 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

CHAPTER II. 

SECOND POTTING. 

Thbeb must be no delay after the cuttings are rooted, in 
placing the young plants as near to the light as possible, 
always having some moist, porous material on which to stand 
them, such as fine cinders, coke riddlings, or sand. They 
must also be protected from cold draughts, and be kept at a 
temperature as even as possible, about 50 to 55 degs. As 
soon as the thumb pots are filled with roots, the plants must 
be potted on immediately. 

The Compost should be richer than that used for strik- 
ing in, consisting of three parts fibrous loam, one part leaf- 
mould, one part well-decayed horse manure, and a quarter 
part of clean, sharp sand. Coarse silver sand is the best, for 
if that used be dirty or fine it will bind, and prevent healthy 
root action. If the sand at command is at all dirty, it 
should be washed and dried. All the ingredients in the com- 
post must be thoroughly mixed, being turned over at least 
three times. The loam should be good strong fibrous stuff, 
rubbed through a fin. riddle, and the rough fibre which does 
not pass through should be set aside for drainage. The leaves 
should also be passed through the same riddle, and the manure 
rubbed through a smaller one, say iin. mesh. 

Pots and Potting — The size of the pots to be used for 
this shift should be 3J- inches diameter. They must be 
perfectly clean and dry when used, or, when the plants come 
to be knocked out, the roots will stick so tenaciously to the 
sides of the pot that many will be broken. If this happen 
a check will be given to growth from which the plants may 
be a long time recovering. Dirty pots, too, may be re- 
sponsible for the propagation of disease, for, by adhering to 
the sides of the pots disease spores lie dormant until a favour- 
able opportunity presents itself for germination. 



SECOND POTTING. > 25 

Crocks must, like the pots, be quite clean. One crock 
will be sufficient at the bottom of each }Dot, but it must not be 
fiat or the water may not pass through the draiu-hole; it 
should be hollow, with the holLow surface placed underneath. 




[Fig. 7.— ANEMONE-FLOWBEEDiDAHLIA. (See,pa,geil4.) 

On the top of the crock put some of the fibre taken from the 
loam, or, failing this, a little moss or half-decayed leaves. 
Fill the pot about half full, and press down with the fingers 
until it is about a quarter full. Be sure that the soil in 
the thumb pots is not dry before attempting to knock it out, 



26 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

or the roots will almost certaiuly be broken. Go over them 
about an hour before turning out, and if the least dry, give a 
thorough soaking of water. Neither loam nor manure must 
be wet and pasty. The loam sliould be moderately moist, 
but the manure may be nearly dry. All the ingredients must 
be kept under cover out of reach of frost or rain, some weekis 
before required. If leaves are not obtainable, cocoauut -fibre 
refuse or clean friable peat or even spent hops, may be 
substituted. 

After Treatment. — If the compost be in a properly 
moist condition, the plants will need no water for a day or 
two after potting, tlien give a thorough soaking. Shade 
from bright sunlight for a few days. Tliey must then have 
air on every favourable occasion, but it must be done judi- 
ciously, as they may very easily be chilled at this time of 
the year. No ventilator must be opened on the windward 
side of tlie Irouse, either at the side, bottom, or top. 



THIRD POTTING. 27 

CHAPTER III. 

THIRD POTTING. 

Many dahlia growers leave tlieir plants in the 3^iu. pots 
until the time of planting out. This is not to be com- 
mended, for they will be root-bound long before the end of 
May, if they have been properly grown in other respects. 
The result will be stunted growth, hard stems, and prema- 
ture flower buds. It is, therefore, advisable to shift them 
into 6in. pots as soon as the 3|in. are full of roots. 

The compost for the 6in. pots may be the same as 
that given for the 3^in., with the addition of a little bone- 
meal and a sprinkling of a good brand of artificial manure. 
The loam may now be rubbed through an inch riddle or sieve, 
or chopped to an equivalent size with a spade. 

Potting^. — More crocks will be needed at the bottom of 
these pots, one large enough to cover the drain-hole, and 
over this a layer of smaller ones, covering as before with fibre 
from the loam. Pot rather more firmly, and leave fin. from 
the rim of the pot to the surface of the soil for convenience 
in watering. - 

After Treatment. — It is a good plan to insert a light 
stick immediately after this potting, so that the plant may be 
tied to it, and thereby secured against breakage, either by 
accident or wind. Towards the end of April the plants 
should be removed to a cold frame, and kept close for three 
or four days ; afterwards giving air on all favourable occasions 
by tilting tlie lights on the opposite side to which the wind is 
blowing. On very mild days the lights may be fully open, 
taking care to close them early enough in the afternoon. Bags 
or matting must be ready at hand for covering the lights 
during frostv nights, and be sure there are no holes in the 



28 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

f I ame-sides, thi-ougli wLicli a frosty wind can blow, or it may 
be death to tlie whole stock. 

The pots must not be put on the soil, or the plants will 
root into it. Prepare a good layer of cinders, thick and 
coarse enough to prevent \\'orms coining through and entering 
the drainage-hole. If cinders are not procurable, strips of 
wood may be used to stand the pots on. These may be about 
an inch square, placed two inches apart. Flat boards nmst 
not be used, or water will not pass from the pots. If it be 
necessary to use them, light strips of wood should be put on 
the top, and the pots placed thereon. See that the plants 
have plenty of room ; if crowded together, either now or at 
any period of growth, weak and spindly stems will be the 
result. 

An important factor in successful culture is short, sturdy 
growth; if drawn by a too close and heated atmosphere, or by 
overcrowding, failure is bound to ensue. Cleanliness is 
another important detail to be strictly- attended to, and an 
occasional syringing with insecticides, hereafter mentioned,, 
with a frequent use of clean tepid water to the foliage in the 
morning, when the weather is mild, is necessary for healthy 
growth. 



PREPARATION OF THE GROUND. 



2t) 



CHAPTER IV. 

PREPARATION OF THE GROUND. 

This is one of the most important details of culture. All 
dahlias thrive best in strong, rich soil. The stronger the 
soil, however, and the more it is inclined to clay, the more 
will it need thorough and intelligent preparation. 



PATH 


1 


2 


SOIL 


3 








PATH 


5 

4, 



SOIL 



MODE OF TRESCHING SOIL. 
ExpiASAnnNS.— Dig out a trench 2 ft. wide and 1 ft. deep (1 and 2), and wheel 
this to opposite end of plot. Below dier out another trench 1 ft. wide and deep (3) , 
and wheel to side of previons head. Fig. 1 is the soil, and Fig. 2 the subsoil, 
^ext tarn over the foot of soil represented at 4i, then add a layer of manure on top, 
and place the top foot or spit of soil (5) on this (see.third diagram). Proceed in a 
similar way tUl the plot is finished, then place the small heap of snbsoil in lottom 
of trench, and ihe large heap of soil previously wheeled into a heap on top. The 
soil is then correctly trenched. 

Heavy soil is best taken in hand on favourable days iiv 
late autumn. It should be deeply trenched and left rough, 
so that it will be rendered friable by the action of frost. One 
ton of well-rotted horse manure will be required for every 
40 square yards. This should be done in the manner explained 
in tlie accompanying diagram. All walks should be dug up, 
so that the whole area of the patch of land to be used is 



30 



DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION, 



completely turned over. In March or April it should be 
turned over again, when a sprinkling of a chemical manure 
should be applied at the rate of half an ounce to the square 
yard, and dug in. It must be clearly understood that the 
manure and soil are to be thoroughly mixed together, so that 
there are no lumps of manure anywhere in the beds. 




\H< I308 

Eig. 8.— COLLARETTE DAHLIA. (See page 14) 



Lig:ht Soils. — If the ground be light and sandy, it will 
be better to apply the manure in March, as light soil does not 
retain the properties of the manure like heavy soil ; but even 
light soil is better turned over a second time, say at the 
beginning of May. The proportion of natural manure to 
artificial should be the same as for heavy soil, but rotten cow 



^REPARATION OF THE GROUND, 31 

luauure is better than horse manure for sandy soil, as it is 
cooler and retains moisture longer. Light soils may, however, 
be greatly improved by a dressing of pulverised clay. Wet 
clay may be spread on the land in autumn, and left exposed to 
frost and snow, to be dug in the following spring; or it may 
be dried, and pulverized by beating it with a spade. The 
same quantity of clay may be used as natural manure, and 
the more thoroughly it is incorporated with the soil the 
better will it strengthen and make it capable of holding the 
fertilizing constituents of the manure. It will soon be seen 
how the dahlia will respond to this dressing of clay, the 
plants will be stronger, and the flowers superior in every way. 

Marking off the Beds — After the soil has been 
turned over for the last time, the beds should be marked out 
in a proper manner. If they can be made to run north and 
south, so much the better; but this is often a question of 
situation or shape of garden. If the north and south aspect 
be practicable, they should be 3ft. 6in. to 4ft. wide, with 
shallow walks, not less than a foot wide. A garden line 
should be used, so that the work when done, appears tidy and 
workman-like. If narrow strips of wood, slate, or bricks can 
be fixed along the edges of the beds, so much the better, for 
the roots of the plants will then be able to travel up to the 
edges of the bed without running the same danger of being 
broken by careless feet as when no edging is used. If it be 
only possible to have the beds running east and west, they 
may be made 3ft. wide. The reason is that in the case ,of the 
north and south aspect, it is advisable to plant in zigzag 
fashion, so that one plant never shades another ; but, with the 
east and west aspect, this is obviously not important. 

Do not consider that too much labour can be bestowed 
on the preparation of the ground ; it is of the utmost impor- 
tance, for good, well-finished flowers cannot be produced 
without it. They who have been the most successful in the 
cultivation of the dahlia have left nothing undone which their 
own intelligence or experience showed them was advantageous 
to the well-being of their favotu-ites. 



32 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

CHAPTER V. 

PLANTING OUT. 

riow often if? this ignorantly, carelessly, or recklessly clone. 
Even men who, you feel certain, know better, will dig half 
rotten manure into the soil the week— aye, the day — of plant- 
ing, and afterward attribute failure to anything except the 
true cause. We have actually heard gardeners of long expe- 
rience ad\'ise the digging of a hole in the ground sufficient to 
hold a bucket of hen manure, to be covered with three or 
four inches of soil, and the plant thrust into it. It should 
be as plain as daylight to the densest intelligence that the 
manure is put just where the roots cannot assimilate it, and 
that its raw, crude state is as bad as forcing half-cooked, fatty 
food into a delicate stomach. The plant, in fact, would have 
been far better without it. No, it is imperative, if success 
be of any moment, that there should be no lumps of manure, 
raw or otherwise, in the soil with which the roots can come 
into contact. As before stated, it must be mixed with every 
cubic foot of soil in the bed, and should be put in months be- 
fore planting time. If it cannot be done at the proper time, 
it would be better left out altogether, letting the plants de- 
pend for nourishment on a good mulching or on liquid manure. 

How the Roots obtain Food. — The roots can only 
take up food in a liquid state, so that the better the assistance 
given to the gradual processes performed by the soil, so much 
more readily will the plants absorb it. It must always be 
bcrnc in mind, too, that the tips of the roots are the mouths 
of the plants, and the further these roots are induced to travel 
for food, the longer will the branches be, the broader and 
tliicker the leaves, the larger and more refined the flowers. 

Distance for Plantingr. — The distance from plant to 
plant should not be less than 3ft., whether planted in zigzag 



PLANTING OUT. 



33 



fashion, or in straight lines. For a north and south aspect, 
begin with the tallest plants to the north, so that one does 
not shade its neighbour. Fix the line 18 inches from the 
edge of the bed; and do not make the hole so deep that in 
levelling half the stem is buried; it should only be equal to 




Kg. 9.— PjEONT-FLOWERED DAHLIA. (See page 15.) 



the depth of the pot in which the plant was last grown. Be 
sure that the soil in the pot is not approaching dryness, or it 
will not turn out clean. Remove all the drainage; and then 
ram the soil of the b.ed well round the plant, taking care not 
to strike the roots in doing so. When the operation is 





34 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

finished, the surface should be quite level, neither hollow nor 
mound being left round the stem. When the row is finished^ 
with the shortest growers towards the south, commence with 
the next row, 18in. from the edge of the bed, each plant being 
placed between those on the opposite side. By this planting 
alternately, the sun and air have a better chance of serving 
each plant alike. If planted in single rows, the tallest plants 
should still be towards the north, and not nearer together 
than their respective heights when fully grown. With the 
east and west aspect, the tall plants may be put in the 
middle, and the shorter ones towards each end. 

Importance of Easy Access to the Plants. — 

No dahlia must be planted in such a position that it cannot 
be conveniently got at without treading on the soil in the 
bed. — Not only does this make it impossible for air and 
water to get down to the roots, but every footfall will almost 
certainlj- either break, or bruise them, and failure be the 
result. The tender rootlets are running immediately under- 
neath the soil further than the foliage extends : if they are 
broken, so will the number of channels be reduced through 
which the plant obtains its food. 

Staking: the Plants — It is advisable to insert the 
sticks at planting time, for then there is no danger of injuring 
the roots. Stout sticks will be needed, not less than one inch 
square, long enough to allow of being driven into the ground 
18in., and quite a foot taller than the full-grown height of the 
plant. Thejr should always be inclined outwards, so that the 
plant may have all the advantage possible of sun and air. 
Every shoot should have a stick to itself, and the number 
of shoots to be grown on a plant must be decided upon at the 
start. 



WATERING, TRAINING, ETC. 33 

CHAPTER VI. 

WATERING, TRAINING, ETC. 

Having got the plants well on their last journey, they will 
need constant attention. 

Watering^. — In hot weather water will be needed every 
day. This should be given copiously, through a rose water 
can, in quantity sufficient to soak the whole of the bed, at the 
same time washing tlie foliage and stems free from dust, 
soot, or insects. It is important that the water be not icy 
cold, such as that obtained direct from wells or corporation 
mains. Cold water should be exposed to the sun and air for 
a day before it is used, by being put into a tank or tub, for 
when the soil is reduced in temperature some 20 degrees the 
plants receive too much of a check. Especially will they be 
liable to clieck if cold water be given in the evening, as the 
soil then remains cold all night. Early morning is the best 
time to water, before the sim has gained much power. The 
dahlia being a plant of a watery proclivity, success depends 
largely on supplying its needs. 

Tying and Training — The shoots will need training 
towards the sticks, and those which have a tendency to grow 
away from them should have a long loop of raffia tied to the 
stick so that the shoot may be drawn towards it gradually, 
say, an inch or two every day. The strongest raffia that 
can be obtained should be used, for if not tied very securely, 
the winds will break away the shoot at the joint. String is 
not a suitable tying material, as it works its way into the 
stem, but two or three strands of raffia may be loosely twisted 
together. 

Number of Shoots to a Plant. — As soon as the 
central bud appears on the main stem it should be removed, 

c 2 



36 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

when the side shoots will quickly extend from every joint. 
Choose the shoots nearest the top of the plant, as those 
springing from the hard wood at the base are slower in 
growth and produce smaller flowers. The number of shoots 
allotted to a plant must be decided by the variety, whether 
it be one that will produce three, four, or five good sized 
flowers. It may be taken as a general rule that those varie- 
ties of small size or fine petal, should have the minimum num- 
ber of shoots, wliile the big heavy flowers should have the 
maximum. When the shoots have been selected, all others 
must be rubbed out as fast as they appear. From the shoots 
themselves, too, all laterals must be removed except one. 
If this be not done only one flower can be obtained from each 
stem, but by leaving one side shoot somewhere below the 
point of growth, flowers may be produced as long as the 
season lasts. Thus, each side shoot is allowed to produce its 
own kind. 

Timing: the Biooms._The time it takes for one of 
these side shoots in an average season to produce a flower 
fully open is from eight to nine weeks from tlie date of its 
first appeal nnce. 



c>30®ri 



FEEDING. 37 

CHAPTER VII. 

FEEDING. 

When the plants have got into good heart, and it is seen that 
the roots have travelled well over the surface of the bed, feed- 
ing should commence. Liquid food must always be weak to 
start with, gradually increasing in strength until the maxi- 
mum is reached when the plants are in bud. Once a week 
is frequently enough for the first fortnight, and for ordinary 
occasions increasing to twice a week. 

How to Feed. — It is a decidedly bad practice to give 
manure water in a sort of would-be magic circle round each 
plant, for if the circle be not as large in diameter as the full 
extent of the roots,they will not absorb it as they ought; in 
fact, it may be put where it is not wanted. It cannot be 
too often repeated that the tips of the roots are the mouths 
of the plant,* and that the aim of the grower should always 
bo to induce these to trayel as far as possible, for the 
branches and leaves are bomid to follow. Liquid food should 
always be clear, so free from sediment that it may be given 
through the rose of a watering-can, then the whole of the bed 
will receive its proper share without difficulty, and there will 
be no fear of roots turning inwards instead of outwards. 
It is astonishing how roots will travel towards any spot where 
nutriment is to be found. 

Manures— With respect to the kinds of liquid food, 
those made from natural manures should be the staple diet, 
such as horse, cow, or sheep manure, with occasional weak 
doses of any of the brands of artificial manure advertised in 
this volume or in the gardening press. 

•See Chapter on Plant Life in the " Alphabet of Gardening," Is. 9d. 
Pablished by W. H. & L. CoUingridge, 148 & 149, Aldersgate Street, 
London. 



38 



DAHLIAS AND* THEIR CULTIVATION. 



Sulphate of ammonia and nitrate of soda may be used as 
stimulants for forcing on late buds, but their indiscriminate 
use will result in deformed or flimsy blooms. 




riif. 10. -THE GREEN DAHLIA. (Sec page 16.) 



The liquids from stables and cow-houses are very valuable 
fertilisers when used with discretion, but must be diluted with 
five parts of water to one of the neat liquid. 



FEEDING. 39 

Soot-water is an excellent fertiliser and stimulant, especially 
valuable to commence with. One quart of soot put into a 
bag of fine texture, and placed in a tub containing eight 
gallons of water, will be strong enough for the first month. 
All solid animal manures must likewise be put into a bag and 
allowed to soak in water twenty-four hours before being used. 

Fowl and pigeon manures are also rich in nitrogen, but 
must be used very cautiously, as their potency is unmistak- 
able, and the liquid, being almost colourless, is very danger- 
ous in the hands of the inexperienced. No more than one 
gallon of these manures should be used to ten gallons of 
water. The safest way is to add one part in five to any other 
natural manure, place in a bag, and immerse in eight gallons 
of water. 

When sulphate of ammonia or nitrate of soda are given 
J ounce of either may be added to two gallons of weak liquid 
manure, and given twice a week, for the purpose of forcing 
on late buds. 

Hot water is often given for forcing purposes, but it should 
only be resorted to in cases of extreme necessity, and is best 
given in the morning. 

Mulching; with long stable manure is a practice which 
cannot be too highly commended. If the season be dry, it 
prevents the sun from scorching the roots, and if it be wet, the 
rain washes the fertilising properties of the manure into the 
soil so gradually that the plant is not overdosed; and there- 
fore, humanlike, thoroughly assimilates what it receives. 

Especially is mulching valuable in the case of light soils, 
which are so Imngiy that the manure incorporated is quickly 
dissolved and washed away; but every time the plants are 
watered, either by rain or by hand, they receive liquid food, 
while, at the same time, the surface of the soil is kept evenly 
moist, and the roots thereby allowed to feed at their leisure. 
Suppose your ground be sandy and shallow, too, what is the 
result of a scorching sun to the tender root when unprotected 
by any non-conducting material? Those nearest the surface 



40 



DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 



(03 




FEEDING. 41 

will be dried up, while others will strike down towards the 
moister soil below, probably a poor gravelly subsoil. Remove 
the surface soil of an unmulched bed in very dry weather, and 
you will find few roots at the top. But, if the same beds were 
mulched, the roots would be found in scores not half an inch 
from the surface of the soil, in fact, running on the top ; and 
they would be white, fresh, and therefore healthily fit to 
supply the plant with all needful nourishment for robust 
growth. In continuous dry weather, it takes an immense 
quantity of water to reach the roots in an unmulched bed; and 
even if suflBlcient liquid food be given to reach the roots, the 
soil will probably be dry before they have time to absorb 
half of it. Too much manure can very easily be put into the 
soil, but there is no danger of overdoing a mulching, not even 
if it were six inches thick. In any case, it should not be 
less than two inches. 

If long manure cannot be easily obtained, or is considered 
unsightly, clean straw is better than nothing. Of course, 
with a top-dressing of straw, the plants are not fed by rain 
in wet weather, but in dry weather the feeding can be regu- 
lated easily enough. Then, if the beds get trodden on, the 
surface soil does not receive the same injury by becoming 
caked, and impervious to air and water. There can scarcely 
be a sound argument brought forward against this practice, 
unless it be that straw litter forms a harbour for vermin ; but 
I have never found it so. Snails do not appreciate the warmth 
of straw, nor do they like it better for travelling over than a 
cyclist likes cobbles. Even if earwigs secrfete themselves 
underneath, they can be trapped as easily as if no straw were 
used. 



42 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

CHAPTER VIII, 

PROTECTING THE FLOWERS. 

Every grower of dahlias for exhibition must, by some means, 
protect his flowers. If residing near a town, soot and dust 
play havoc with them, and if living in the country rain or 
heavy dews take out the colour or rot the back petals. Slugs, 
caterpillars, and earwigs have each and all a special liking, not 
only for the tender leaves of the plant, but for the flower petals 
by preference. A big caterpillar will demolish half a large 
flower at a meal ; earwigs will nibble the petals, and so riddle 
them with holes as to render the flower useless even for 
decoration. 

Many devices have been used by enthusiasts as a means of 
protection, in order that their flowers may be shown perfect 
in petal and spotlessly clean. There are several points to be 
considered in designing a protector. It must be impervious 
to rain, earwigs, or caterpillars. It must admit plenty of 
light to all coloured flowers, otherwise they will be pale, and 
therefore out of character. It must be easilj^ adjusted on the 
stake to which the flower stem is tied, and it must be big 
enough to cover the largest flower grown without danger of 
damaging the petals by the swaying of stems in stormy 
weather. 

Perhaps the best design of box is the one represented in 
diagram. Fig. 12, 

Another form, too, is illustrated in diagram, Fig. 13, 

This box is simpler and cheaper than Fig, 12, but necessi- 
tates the use of muslin, either made into a bag for the double 
varieties, or looped underneath for cactus. The hinged 
bottom, with slot packed with cotton wool, is m\ioh handier 
and more efiicient. The whole can be made with the mini- 
mum of labour and expense out of empty boxes bought from 
the grocer's. Yet another very simple, but more expensive 



PROTECTING THE FLOWERS. 



43 



OESICM /Vo / 




DCTAIt- OFLATVtfKa 



It.c iiis« 



Fig. 12— COVEEING BOX, 



44 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

design, is made of metal, either zinc or painted tin j this is tlie 
conical form, depicted in diagram. Fig. 15. 

This is more suitable for white varieties than coloured, as it 
does not admit sufficient light. It necessitates also the use 
of muslin as in design No. 2. These have also been made of 
stout, oiled paper; but, of course, are not very durable, their 
only recommendation being cheapness at first cost. 

The sooner a bud is protected the better, for inuuediately a 
few petals show colour, they are in danger ; so that it is better 
to be on the safe side and cover them before they sliow. 

Hard-centred Blooms, — Another detail of impor- 
tance, in the case of the double dahlia, is to watch for hard 
centres. Some varieties are prone to this, and when it is 
seen that the centre of the flower is so hard as to suggest the 
possibility of imperfect development, a circular piece about 
the size of a sixpence may be gouged out a week before the 
flower is cut. The petals will then close up, and the result 
will be an even centre instead of one deformed by a green 
eye. Nothing much can be done with green centres in the 
cactus varieties, except it be to discard those addicted to it. 
Gross manuring and feeding will often enougli cause irregu- 
lar and hard centres. 






STAGING THE FLOWERS. 45 

CHAPTER IX. 

STAQINQ THE FLOWERS. 

Dahlias, of whatever variety, should always be staged so that 
the backs of the flowers can be examined as easily as the 
front. If any decorative material be added, it should be so 
arranged as to be clear of the flower petals, whether they are 
staged in boxes, vases, or bottles. As to artistic decoration, 
that is a point which need not be considered here, for the 
simple reason that floral societies make their own rules on the 
subject, sometimes against the addition of any decorative 
material. 

Double or Cactus Dahlias— There can be no better 
way of staging double or cactus varieties than by placing a 
single flower in a vase or bottle. Whether they are shown in 
classes of three, six, or twelve, they should be arranged to 
stand well up from the neck of the vase, the back flowers 
standing the highest, sloping gradually towards the front. 
A piece of hollow dahlia stem may be used for adjustment 
and for strengthening the flower stem, as well as for holding 
the bloom itself «rect on the stem. When pushed into this 
hollow tube a smaller wedge of wood will keep the flower to the 
required lieight. The green dahlia tube looks much better 
than one made of zinc or tin, or even wood, and costs nothing. 
If the blooms are to be staged in boxes, cups shovild not be 
allowed, as for- chrysanthemums, otherwise they cannot be 
properly judged. Tubes may, however, be used, long enough 
to raise the back flowers a convenient height above the board. 

Pompons are oft^n shown in sets of three. These also 
should be carefully adjusted, the back groups being the tallest. 
There are many methods of fixing the flowers in the vases or 
bottles, but, like the other varieties, they should be free to 
inspection all round, and not touch each other. A simple 



46 



DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 



method o{ arranging pompons is that of using three or four 
lengths of wire, according to the number of varieties to 
be shown in a vase. The wire should be sufficiently stiff 
to hold the bloom in any required direction, and the three 
pieces may be soldered together for a length equal to the depth 
of the water. The stems of the flower are fixed to the wire by 



/>£Sja^/ /Va. Z. 




Fig. 13.— ANOTHER STYLE OF COTBEING BOX. 



black thread or fine black wire. A hole is then cut in a cork 
large enough to pass the wires and flower stems through, while 
the cork itself is made the same diameter as the neck of the 
vase. For large exhibit-s they are best arranged in- 
pyramids. 



JUDGING. 47 

CHAPTER X. 

JUDGING. 

Many are the ■ arguments we have listened to in the past, and 
diverse opinions heard expressed as to what constitutes per- 
fection in a double dahlia. Some lean to mere size, some to 
colour, others to fineness of petal and symmetry, but a perfect 
dahlia should possess all these qualities, and more besides. 

Points of a Show Bloom. — In the first place, it must 
be perfectly fresh, back and front. This, in judging a per- 
fect dahlia, is a law as absolute as that of the Medes and 
Persians. It matters not how well grown a bloom may be, 
how grand in form and colour at the front, fine 
in petal or symmetry, if the back petals are soft, 
brown, or falling, points must be largely deducted. 
The reason is a sound one. It is comparatively 
easy to develop a dahlia at the front after the back petals have 
turned brown; but a dahlia is not perfect until as much has 
been got out of it at the front as possible, while the back 
petals are fresh and crisp. But the extent of its development 
at the front must not be an open centre by any means, for if 
the seeds are at all visible, .the bloom has passed its point of 
perfection. The nose, or apex, of the bloom must not be 
hollow, but the higher it be, the more does it denote good 
culture. It must be perfectly symmetrical, large in size for 
its respective variety, fine in petal for its respective variety, 
and rich in colour. The show selfs must be free both from 
splashes of fugitive colour or dirt; and the fancy varieties, 
where tipped, should be as regular in their markings as pos- 
sible. Another standard rule to be observed is depth, for 
this can only be obtained by the kind of culture to which the 
dahlia responds. Suppose, for the sake of example, we take 
three stands of six blooms each, which we intend to place in 
order of merit. We must form a basis of comparison by 
deciding the higliest number of points we can give to the 



48 



DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 



best bloom in the three stands. The points should be pre- 
cisely as advised for the cactus type on p. 49, excepting length 
of petal. Thus it does not matter whether there be no bloom 
in the stands possessing all these qualities or not, for the one 
which has the greatest aggregate will be the best flower, all 
the others being judged accordingly. 

Question of Freshness. — A word or two may be 
added with respect to freshness at the back, as we have known 
judges refuse to give any points at all to a well-grown flower 
because it happened to be spotted or soft behind. Yet, these 
same judges have given points to a half-grown bloom, with a 
great, hard, green centre, which never would have made a 
respectable flower. Where does the logic come in ? Surely a 




Fig. H.— SIDE AND END VIEWS Oi' FIG. 13. (See p»go «.) 



flower which has been perfect in comparison to the others in 
the stands ought to receive more points than one which evi- 
dently never would be perfect, even though it has entered into 
its declining days. It all resolves itself into a comparison 
between the extent of the deterioration in the old bloom, and 
tlie amount of development and promise in the young one; 
this, to an experienced or reasonable judge, should present no 
insuperable difficulty. 

Show and Fancy Dahlias. — There are not many 
societies nowadays which provide a class for fancy double 
dahlias. There even appears to be confusion in the minds of 



JUDGING. 49 

many over the diii'eieuce between a mixed show and a fancy 
flower. The difference is easily defined, for a show flower 
must have a darker shade or tip of colour than the ground 
colour; whereas a fancy is one with a darker ground colour 
than the tip. Mrs. W. Slack is a show flower ; it has a white 
ground, tipped and shaded with lilac. Mrs. Saunders is a 
fancy, for it Las a yellow ground, tipped with white. All 
striped flowers are fancy dahlias. 

Cactus Dahlias. — Similar points are used to test the 
qualities of a cactus as those for a double dahlia. Its petals 
must be long, narrow, erect, well incurved, numerous, and 
devoid of any appearance of flabbiness. The flower must 
have depth, symmetry, and purity of colour, and the selfs must 
lie free from fugitive spiaslies. Those which have one or 
more colours blending into each other must be perfectly 
regular and unbroken. Stripes, or splashes, in the fancy 
varieties, must be sharp in outline, clear and distinct from 
the ground colour, which must also be pure. Too much 
importance should not be given to mere size, at the expense 
of refinement, such as the preference one sometimes sees for 
flowers of the Monarch class to those of Mrs. J. J. Crow. In- 
deed, the more refinement we obtain, the more artistic is the 
flower; or, in other words, the more we eliminate the notori- 
ous lumpiness of its ancestor, the double variety. 

The Points may be summed up thus : One for depth, one 
for form, one for development, one for size, one for colour, 
one for length of petal, one for fineness of petal, one for 
freshness. 

Pompon Dahlias. — A good deal of misapprehension 
and doubt exists, even amongst judges, as to what constitutes 
the points of merit in a pompon. Some think they ought to 
be large, others that they should be small ; but it may be 
taken for granted that a pompon as large as a double variety 
belies its name. In the matter of size a medium ought to be 
the standard, but whether they be large or small, they must 



50 



DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 



be as nearly the same size iu one exhibit as can be selected. 
They must also be full, symmetrical, fresh before and behind, 
clean, and good coloured. One of the greatest points of 
excellence and the most difficult to obtain is full development 
at the nose — that is to say, all the petals should be expanded 
as fai- as possible without a seed showing. In fact, the higher 



OeMtc»/Vo 4. 




Fig. IB.— METAL COVERING BOX. (See page 42.) 

the flower is at the centre, all other jsoints being equal, the 
nearer it will be to perfection. It therefore follows that a 
flower not developed at the centre is easier to find, fresher at 
the back and better coloured than one fully out. Those 
who have grown " poms " for years know too well that to 
get everything possible out of a bloom while crisp and good 
coloured is not the result of haphazard treatment in growing 
them. 



VM> VM> <!> <S> W ^ 



Part II.-CULTURE FOR GARDEN 
DECORATION. 



CHAPTER I. 

PROPAGATION. 

Another method of propagation may be described for the 
benefit of those who grow only for garden decoration, but 
who possess either a greenhouse or a frame. Those who have 
the former may remove the tubers from their winter quarters 
at' the end of March. Treat them ns advised in Chapter II. 

By Cuttingrs — If a little heat be given, the shoots will 
soon appear, and by the end of April these may be divided 
by cutting away with a sharp knife each shoot with a piece 
of tuber attached. This, of course, is contrary to the advice 
given in Chapter I, p. 18, but in this instance, which is an 
exception to the former case, it may be adopted without hesi- 
tation. They should be potted singly in 4in. pots, using sandy 
soil, to which a little thoroughly decayed manure has been 
added, but not in a greater proportion than four of soil to 
one of manure. Next place them on the bench, keep them 
shaded and close for about a fortnight. Afterwards give 
more air, and when thev have ceased to flag, remove to 

D 2 



52 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

a cold fi-ame, and gradually harden oS. Those who possess 
a frame only may, by means of a hotbed, proceed on similar 
lines, taking care to cover at night with bags, mats, or other 
non-conducting material, on frosty nights. The growing- 
shoots may have the benefit of a little air on sunny days, bvit 
the lights should be closed early in the afternoon. When 
the tubers are divided as described above, the frame must 
be kept closed and shaded from bright simshine, for a week or 
ten days, gradually giving a little air when it is seen that 
the leaves of the plants cease to droop. Some growers whom 
I have known remove them directly from the frame into the 
ground after dividing them, but, though they establish them- 
selves, they flag a good deal, and time is lost, though a little 
labour is saved. Of course, dahlia tubers may be put into 
the ground in May before they have started into growth, 
planting the collar three inches below the surface, but they 
make ungainly plants, bearing a lot of undersized flowers. 
These are not to be compared with a plant started into growth 
first and divided into single stems. 

By grafting' is another method of propagation, which 
may be described for the use of those who would like to try 
their 'prentice liand. Take a tuber and cut it in halves. 
In the piece that has the root attached cut a triangular notch 
as shown at (1), Fig. 17'. Next cut off a solid young shoot 
about three inches long, and cut the base into a triangular 
shape, like (2), Fig. 17. Fit the cutting into the notch (see 
(1), Fig. 17), and tie round tightly with raffia, as illustrated 
at (3), Fig. 17. Place in a Sin. pot in sandy soil, without 
manure, give a good soaking of tepid water, stand on the 
bench directly over the pipe?, or in a propagating box, and 
the two will unite in a few weeks' time. The same result 
may be obtained by means of the hotbed. Another method 
of grafting is shown at (5, C, and 7) Fig. 18, which see. 

By Seed. — Another very interesting method is that of 
raising plants from seed. In fact, it is from seed that new 




Fig. 10. -CACTUS DAHLIA, " EEV. ARTHUR BRIDGE..' 



54 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

varieties are raised of every kind of dahlia. Singles are 
especially amenable to this system, and though few or none 
will be equal to named varieties, a fine display may be had 
for decoration, especially as they flower the same year as 
sown. They may even be treated as annuals, thereby sav- 
ing the trouble of lifting and storing tubers during the winter. 
Or they may be grown in quantity, the seed being very 
cheap, for the sake of raising new varieties. Speculative gar- 
dening is a branch of horticulture most interesting either 
to amateur or professional. Like most florists' flowers, the 
seed from the parent plant does not produce its kind, only by 
accident. Therefore those desirous of saving their own seed 
should plant each type of dahlia as far apart as possible, or the 
singles may turn out semi-double, the doubles semi-single, or 
the cactus misshapen, ragged mongrels. The best results are 
obtained from seed purchased from a reliable seedsman. 

In the sowing of the seed, those who possess a heated green- 
house should commence not later than the beginning of March. 
The seed may be either sown in pans, pots, or shallow boxes. 
Whichever is used good di'ainage must be given. If boxes be 
used, holes must be bored in the bottom, and a crock placed 
over each. Ou the top of the crocks place a layer of half- 
decayed leaves, clean moss, or the fibre saved from the loam. 
Tiie compost should consist of fibrous loam and leaf-mould in 
equal parts, with half a part sharp sand added, the whole 
being passed through a fine riddle. Fill the pots or boxes 
quite full and press down level with a -piece of flat wood, then 
give a soaking of warm water. An hour afterwards sow the 
seed very thinly on the even surface, and cover with about 
Iialf an inch of the compost. Place the pots or boxes imme- 
diately over the pipes, cover with sheets of glass, and maintain 
a temperature of 60 to 65 degs. Wlien the seedlings are all 
up, remove the glass, and keep tliem moist by watering with 
tepid water, through a fine rose. As soon as the seedlings 
can be handled conveniently, they should be planted singly 
in thumb pots, and kept on a moist bed of cinders or sand, 
never allowing them to become dry or they will be spoiled. 



PROPAGATION. 



55 



Moisture is quickly evaporated from these small pots, there- 
fore they must have constant attention in this respect. 

Those who have a frame and no greenhouse may raise 
seedlings quite as early by means of a hotbed, plunging the 
pots or boxes up to the rim in either leaves, cocoanut-fibre, 
or soil spread over the warm manure. It goes without saying 
that the same protection will be needed and the same system 
of hardening off the seedlings as recommended for cuttings. 

Even those who possess neither greenhouse nor frame need 
not be deterred from raising dahlias from seed ; the disadvan- 
tage being merely a matter of time. In this case wooden 






Fig. 17.-M0DB or GRAFTING A DAHLIA. (See page 53.) 

boxes only must be used, the compost and sowing of the seed 
being precisely the same as for a heated greenhouse. The 
end of April will be early enough to commence. Choose the 
warmest and most sheltered spot in the garden. Dig out 
about a foot of the soil large enough in width and length to 
allow six inches of packing all round. Put in the hole six 
inches of cocoanut-fibre, leaves, or straw. On the top of this 
place the box, pack well round with the non-conducting 
material used, and cover the box with glass. On frosty or 
cold nights the boxes will require the same protection as the 
frame. As soon as the seedlings appear, shade from bright 



36 



DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 




PROPAGATION. 57 

sunshine for a week, but admit air on favourable occasions 
during the day-time. As many amateurs are away from 
home from morning until night, a little tactful persuasion 
may induce either wife or sister to carry out instructions. 
If sown thinly they may remain in the boxes until the end 
of May, when they should be planted out 3ft. apart in their 
permanent quarters. Sturdy little plants, to flower in 
autumn, may thus be raised by any diligent amateur. It is 
astonishing what progress they make after planting, if well 
watered in dry weather, and protected from every kind of 
vermin. 

By Division. — Those who have no convenience for strik- 
ing cuttings, and yet desire to increase their stock of any par- 
ticular variety in a simple way, may resort to the easy ex- 
pedient of division of the tubers. As soon as new growth be- 
gins separate the root (1, Fig. 18) into two or three parts, 
each having a young shoot attached, as shown at 2, Fig. 18. 
The divisions should then either be planted in pots, as shown 
in 4, Fig. 18, or in a box (see 3, Fig. 18), and then placed 
in a heated greenhouse, vinery, or warm room, to root and 
form strong shoots for planting out later on. This plan 
answers all right where dahlias are grown for yielding large 
quantities of flowers for cutting, or where large bold plants 
are needed for flower border decoration. Where really fine 
flowers are required, it is best to rear tlie plants froixi cut- 
tings. 

Cross-fertilising: Dahlias. — Of course those with 
plenty of room and leisure may occupy it, and provide a fund 
of great interest and instruction by cross fertilisation. This 
is done by carrying the pollen of one flower to that of another 
of a difierent colour. A camel's hair brush is the best imple- 
ment to use for the purpose. The flower which has received 
the pollen should have a light label tied to the stem denoting 
the colours or name of both parents. The seed pod of the 
one crossed should remain on the plant as long as possible, so 
that the seed may thoroughly ripen. 



58 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 



CHAPTER II. 

BEST TYPES FOR GARDEN CULTURE. 

There are few flowers more valuable for garden decoration 
in autumn than the dahlia. Surely there are colours, shapes, 
and sizes to suit all tastes. 

Cactus Dahlias. — Those who like a dazzling mass of 
colour combined with refinement of form should try a large 
bed of Amos Perry, for which purpose this cactus variet)', with 
its abundance of fiery red flowers, is superb. Many of the 
older cactus varieties, on account of their free-flowering quali- 
ties, such as Matchless, Britannia, Mary Service, Loreley, 
Ked Rover, or even Kynerith, Annie Peart, St. Catherine, 
etc., are also useful for our present purpose. 

A Mixed Display. — Those who like varied form com- 
bined with variety of colours can also be satisfied to the full. 
A hedge or large row of singles gives variety of colour to 
suit all tastes, while for varied form Ave may intersperse 
doubles, cactus, pompon, single cactus or pompon cactus, even 
finishing off with a row of the dwarf Tom Thumb. For a dis- 
play like this plenty of room is needed, and the space at the 
command of the majority of amateurs is strictly limited, but 
any of the above forms may be dotted about the garden with 
wonderfully decorative effect. 

The Single Cactus make charming bush plants, and 
the flowers are the most graceful of all for vases or bouquet 
work. Of these there are now plenty of beautiful varieties to 
choose from, a selection being given at the end of the book. 

The Pompon Cactus, too, is another pretty and 
useful form, well worth the attention of all dahlia enthusiasts. 




Fig. 19. -WHITE CACTUS DAHLIA, "MRS. H. W. EABY." 



60 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION, 

Decorative Dahlias. — But we have yet another type 
classed as purely decorative, amongst which are some really 
attractive forms and colours. Maid of Kent is one of the most 
deservedly popular in this section, having a red-crimson 
ground with pure white tips. Similar to this is Beauty of 
Kent. We have also a very pleasing form in Grand Duke 
Alexis, with its tubular petals of creamy white, each petal 
coming almost to a point at the tips. Other useful varieties 
are Glare of The Garden, Cannell's Crest, Firefly, Atalanta, 
Germania, very distinct silvery flesh colour. Then for back 
row work we have Le Colosse, a huge flower which we have 
seen nine inches in diameter. This is a brick-red colour, and, 
as its name implies, truly colossal. 

Reflexed Decorative Dahlias — There are also the 
reflexed type, possessing a truly decorative character, bearing 
large flowers of striking form and colour. Amongst this 
class may be mentioned Madame Van Den Dael, light pinkj 
Souv. de Gustave Douzon, orange-red ; Mdlle. Hel^ne Charvet, 
pure white; Jeanne Charvet, a combination of lilac, pink, 
yellow, and violet-red ; Madame A. Lumiere, pure white, with 
violet-red points. For our present purpose, too, we need 
not end here. 



Collarette Dahlias. — ^AU seekers of the curious may 
be gratified by reserving a little space for the Collarette 
dahlia, wliich is quite a new form. The base of the flower is 
of the same form as the single variety, but round the centre 
disc a curious row of narrow florets project. President Viger 
was one of the first of this class, carmine base with white 
collar; Gallia, rose, striped scarlet, shading to sulphur yellow, 
creamy- white collar ; Joseph Goujon is reddish scarlet, with 
a collar of yellow, marked with red. Other varieties are 
given in the selection at tlie end of the book. Thev are 
free blooming, and the flowers are produced on long stems 
well above the foliage like the singles. 



BEST TYPES FOR GARDEN CULTURE. 61 

Anemone-flowered Dahlias. _ Another curious 
tjjpe is tlio anemone type, a double dahlia whose flowers 
come different in shape, size, and colour on the same plant. 
They can be easily raised from seed, and if sown in March, 
will flower in September. 

The Tom Thumb type has been mentioned for border- 
ing purposes, but a flne effect can be produced by the system 
of pegging down. There are many suitable varieties of dwarf 
habit, and those who have never grown the flower in this 
manner should give it a trial. See next chapter for details. 

Pseony-flowered Dahlias are very showy plants for 
the mixed border or for massing in large beds. Not only do 
they flower freely and make a brave display of colour, but 
also yield plenty of flowers for indoor decoration. They are 
better suited, perhaps, for large than small gardens on account 
of their vigorous growth. 

Star Dahlias. — The star-shaped and quaintly coloured 
single flowers of this new race of dahlias are effective on the 
plants or in a cut state, and the varieties described further 
should certainly be given a tiial. 



62 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

CHAPTER III. 

CULTURE FOR GARDEN DECORATION. 

The culture of the dahlia for garden decoration and for yield- 
ing flowers for cutting is a comparatively easy matter. 

Soil, — If flowers of the cactus type are required to be pro- 
duced in perfection, then the soil must be prepared, and the 
plants grown on precisely as advised for exhibition. For 
ordinary purposes, however, all the types described in the 
preceding chapter will thrive in any good garden soil fairly 
well enriched with decaj'ed manure. If to be grown in beds 
or borders entirely devoted to them, trench and manure the 
soil as advised for exhibition dahlias in winter. Dahlias 
always pay for generous treatment. If only an odd plant 
is to be grown here and there in the mixed border, dig out 
holes two feet wide and a foot deep, put in six inches of 
rotten manure, and fork this well into the siibsoil, then fill up 
the hole with ordinary soil. In the event of the soil being 
heavy clay, fill the holes with old potting mould or the best 
good light mould you can get. Of course, you can plant your 
dahlias direct into the soil without any preparation, and if 
it should be fairly good, and you feed well later with liquid 
manure, very good results often accrue. But if the soil 
be of a poor, -hungry nature, the growth will be stunted, 
the plants have a miserable, half-starved appearance, pests 
will find the scanty growth an easy prey, and the flowers 
will be despicably mean and few. We maintain that it is the 
best policy in the end to provide a generous diet for the roots 
to feed upon, and this can only be done in the manner 
suggested. 

Planting:. — This can be done at the end of May or early 
in June in the case of rooted cuttings or old roots started into 
growth, but roots not started into growth by artificial heat 



CULTURE FOR GARDEN DECORATION. 63 

lua^' be plant L'll direol from their storage quarters iiiCo the 
ground at the end of April. The latter plan of growing 
dahlias is not to be recommended. The old roots produce a 
thicket of growth and miserable flowers, as a rule; whereas 
young plants reared from cuttings give not only more robust 
and healthy growth, but also finer flowers. We therefore 
advise the reader to place the old roots in heat early in the 
spring, rear cuttings from them, and then discard the former. 

Training;. — This is a simple business. When the first 
four shoots are produced, remove any others that grow above 
until the central or main shoot produces a bud, then pinch this 
off, and in due course four more shoots will form, making, eight 
in all. No other shoots should be permitted to grow. Stout 
stakes should be placed to each plant, and the shoots secured 
to them. 

Subsequent Treatment. — See that the plants are 
well supplied with water in dry weather. Liquid manure as 
advised for exhibition culture should be given regularly after 
the flower buds form. On very light soils a mulching of 
rotten manure to a width of 3ft. around each plant will be 
beneficial. 

Pessins Down the Shoots. — It is not possible to 
peg down a dahlia plant if planted vertically, therefore it 
must be planted at an angle, and secured in that position by 
a hook or forked stick, as shown by Fig. 21. 




AC. I 
Fig. 21.— MODE OF PEGGING DOWS DAHLIA SHOOTS. 

The distance between each plant should be from 2^ to 3ft. 
As each shoot becomes long enough, it must be pegged down in 



64 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

tuiu, tliinning out some of the laterals, which would not 
flower successfully, owing to their crowded condition. It is 
not advisable either to peg down the young plant too closely 
to the ground at first, as room should be allowed for. the 
growth of the shoots. All fading flowers should be removed, 
as they soon look unsightly and check floriferousness consider- 
ably; one head of seed is equal to a dozen flowers. They 
may either be planted in lines or in circular formation, or 
even singly. If planted in lines, the lines should not be less 
than 2ft. apart. Singles, pompon, and single cactus are suit- 
able kinds to use, but there are plenty of cactus and doubles 
that are suitable. Miss Ramsbottom, Beauty's Ej'e, Polly 
Eccles, Peacock, Duke of York, Dearest, Robin Adair are good 
singles; Demon, George Brinkman, W. H. Brownhill, lona, 
Bacchus, Daisy are useful pompons; Lucy Bertram, Ivanhoe, 
.Argyle, Alice Lee, Pirate, Jeanie Deans are suitable single 
cactus; Amos Perry, Aunt Chloe, J. H. Jackson, Mrs. H. L. 
Brousson, Viscountess Sherbrook, Britannia may be men- 
tioned amongst cactus; and Cherub, Goldfinder, King of 
Dwarfs, Peacock, White Bedder, William Powell amongst 
doubles. 







Part III.-STORING, ENEMIES. AND 
SELECTIONS. 



CHAPTER I. 

LIFTING AND STORING. 

Ai,L dahlia plants should be allowed to grow as long as tlio 
weather will allow, so that the tubers may develop and niaturt' 
as much as possible. 

When to Lift Dahlias — The plants need not be cut 
down because a slight frost has blackened the edges of the 
foliage, for often enougli this comes at the end of September, 
and is followed by a spell of fine, open weather. Then, 
again, if they be cut down, and left in the ground a week, they 
will begin to shoot but at the collar below the soil, thereby 
reducing the chances of good cuttings in the spring. It will 
be noticed by the most inexperienced* novice, that plants 
wliich have had only a short period of growth have not much 
tuber attached when taken up. In fact, if these survive the 
winter in a sound condition, cuttings from them will be 
few, if any. . AVait until a frost appears severe enough to 
destroy the foliage entirely, then cut them down to about a 
foot from the soil, and take them uj) promptly. Do not 

E 




Fi!?. 20.— PJEONY-FLOWEEED DAHLIA, "P. H. JASSEN. 



LIFTING AND STORING. 67 

hesitate uiidur the belief that the host will not be severe 
enough yet awhile to injure the tubers, for the following night 
the Avhole lot may be destroyed. If it is not convenient, for 
some reason of a valid nature, to do the job at once, cover 
the stem and the soil around with some non-conducting 
material, sucli as straw, leaves, haulm, or matting until an 
opportunity occurs ; for should the neck or collar where the 
tubers join the stem be frozen, they will either rot during 
the winter, or be so soft when required for propagation that 
cuttings will be a decidedly minus quantity. In fact, even 
should any appear, they will oftener than not, be too late to 
be of use, for the simple reason that they have liad to push 
tlieir way underneath the tubers where they happen to be 
sound. They must be sound at the collar, or they are not 
worth storage room. 

How to Lift the Roots. — In lifting them it is better 
to use a fork than a spade, and to take plenty of distance 
fiom the stem, to move round carefully in a circle, and to ease 
the roots gradually, so that they are not broken, or the tubers 
dragged from the stem. After they are lifted, wrap one end 
of a piece of copper wire round the stem, the other end of the 
wire fasten to a good-sized label, which has had a notch cut 
irto each edge to receive the wire. This is a much better 
method than that of tying the label against the stem, for dur- 
ing the winter the shrinkage which takes place in the stem 
allows so much slackness in the string or wire that the label 
drops out, and the name of the variety is often mere surmise. 
Copper wire is also safer than string, as string rots, and gal- 
vanised wire corrodes. Before placing them in their perma- 
nent quarters, let them hang or stand stem downwards, for 
an hour or so, in order to drain away the water which collects 
in the hollow stem. 

Where and Hovw to Store the Roots. — The nexi 
consideration will be where to store them, so that no frost, 
however severe, can affect them, too much dampness rot therp. 



68 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION 

or toil high and dry a temperature shrivel them up. Some 
gardeners put them under tlie greenhouse bench, but this is 
not au ideal spot, as the pipes may have to be kept very hot 
during hard frost, and the place, being a moist one, they are 
liable to start into growth before their time. On the other 
liand, should any accident happen to the heating apparatus, 
tliey will have to be quickly removed, or they will be speedily 
destroyed. Neither are outhouses or potting sheds safe enough, 
unless the tubers are amply protected by non-conducting 
material. A dry cellar is a better place of storage than 
either of the above, and, failing that, nearly all liouses have 
some kind of substitute quite equal to a cellar in the form of a 
pautry or half-cellar, or a space sometimes boarded off under 
Uie stairs, where it is quite impossible for any frost to pene- 
ti'iite. If tliey are buried in sand and the place is not too 
warm, tliey will be turned out in perfect condition Avhen 
required, providing, of course, they were sound when stored. 



^^^ 



ENEMIES OF THE DAHLIA 6f) 

CHAPTER II. 

ENEMIES OF THE DAHLIA. 

Aphides. — One of the worst enemies to the dahlia grower 
is the tiny, prolific aphis. There are two kinds of these 
curious insects which infest most plants, one the Common 
Greenfly (Rophalosiphon Dianthi), sadly too familiar to every 
gardener ; the other, the Black Aphis (Aphis Rumicis). The 
former of these pests begins its depredations before the cut- 
ting is severed from the parent bulb. Close watch has to be 
kept, therefore, and incessant warfare waged upon them from 
start to finish. The most efiective way of dealing with them 
in the cutting state is by fumigation; but when planted in tlie 
ground that is out of the question. ' They may, however, be 
easily destroj-ed at any time, provided it be done pro'mptly 
when discovered.- Tobacco powder dusted on the points of 
the shoot.s will kill them, but it must be syringed off the 
following day. A good insecticide may be made as follows : 
Boil two ounces of soft soap in a gallon of water for fifteen 
minutes, then add an egg-cupful of petioleum. Pour this 
into into a two-gallon bucket, and fill up with water. Tiiis 
mixture should be well agitated- with tlie syringe all the time 
it is being used, to ensure the oil being thoroughly mixed 
with the water. The plants should be well sprayed, both on 
tlie top and underneath the leaves. A sjn-inge with an 
angled rose is very handy for this purpose. 

Caterpillars. — Many kinds of caterpillars feed on the 
dahlia leaves and flowers. The best time to catch them is 
night, their feeding-time; they are not easy to find in 
daylight, nature protecting them by such a similarity of 
colour to the leaves of the plants as to necessitate very minute 
search. The Cabbage Moth caterpillar is the chief aggressor. 

Cuckoo Spit or Frog Hopper (Tettigoniaspumarin). 
• — Tliis pest frequently attacks tlie shoots of the dahlia. It 



70 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

is clotseljf related to tlie apliidcs, only larger. T]ie perfect 
insects are most abundant in the autumn, and the male may 
be easily distinguished bj' its habit of leaping from plant to 
plant if disturbed. The female lays its eggs on the plant, 
and these hatch in due course into six-legged greenish grubs 
with yellow bellies. They at once commence to feed on the 
shoots, sucking the juices by means of a powevfid trunk with 
wliich they pierce the epidermis. As the sucking proceeds, 
tliey gradualljr exude a frothy substance through their bodies, 
which completely hides them from view. On removing the 




Fig. 22.-GARDEN SSAIL. 

Explanation. — Fig. 1 shows the eggs, whicli are of the size oE shot, and laid in 
damp soil. Fig. 3 is a baby fnail. Fig. 4 is a fnll-gi-own snail (Helix hoi-tensis), witli 
its shell on back. Slugs have no shells, hence are easily distingnished from snails. 

covering the larva will dart away to^the opposite side of the 
shoot to escape observation, and as soon as all is quiet again 
it will start in a fresh spot and re-cover itself with froth. If 
allowed to remain long on the plants, the larvre will cripple 
the shoots considerably; therefore take prompt steps for their 
removal. 

RBMBniES. — The most effective mode of eradication is to 
grasp the larva between the finger and thumb and crusli it. 
To make sure of seizino; it blow off the froth first. If vou 



ENEMIES OF THE DAHLIA. 



71 



do uot care to do it Avilli your fingers, remove tlie frothy 
lumps with an aphis brusli. Syringing with one of the liquid 
insecticides recommended for aphides will be beneficial also. 

Snails. — Night, though it be the proper time for rest to 
mortals, is just the opposite to snails and slugs j and, though 
dry weather is more appreciated by mortals, as well as insect 
friends and foes, than wet weather, snails revel in rain and 
dew. During the daytime they hide under '' coldest 




Fig. 23.- GARDEN SLUGS. 

Explanation. — Fig. lis the Milky Sing (Limax agi-estris) j Fig. 2, tlieBlaclc Slug 
Limax ater) ; and 3, the same in repose. 

stone, ''■ pieces of timber, vegetable garbage, or grass, in damp, 
shady places. The practice of making a circle of lime, soot, 
bian, or sawdust, round the plants is only partially effective, 
as water quickly neutralises the obnoxious properties of these 
substances, so that after a few hours' heavy rain or drenchings 
from the watering can, snails will cross any of them with im- 
punity. A lamp and a can containing a handful of salt, are 
the best weapons of destruction to carry at a snail hunt. 

Thrips. — The tiny Thrips minutissima is a very injurious 
pest to the tender growing shoot of the dahlia. Like the 



72 



DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 



aphis, it extracts the sap by piercing the epidermis, checking 
growth very seriously. The insect when fully grown is very- 
small, of a pale brown colour, and very active. The larva is 
pale yellow, without wings, and so small that careful examina- 
tion is needed to detect its first appearance. The same 
methods of destruction are required as for aphides. 

Plant Bugs (Calacoris bipunctata). — This is a large 
bright green fly, similar to a winged aphis in form, but njea- 



HdLC« 




Fig. 21.— EARWIG TRAP. 



snring nearly a quarter of an iuch in length. It does great 
damage to the growing shoots by puncturing them with small 
holes, so that they curl up, and appear to be covered witli 
brown spots, often enough becoming blind. The insects are 
mostly seen after a spell of dry, warm weather ; they can only 
I)e caught during the daytime. Some amount of dexterity 
is needed to capture them, as they are very active, can see 
their foe from ever}' direction, and, on his approach, run 
q\iickly a few inches before taking wing. The insecticide will 
help to keep them at bay, but catcliing them by hand is the 
only method of destruction. 

Earwigs. — There is no greater enemy to the dahlia 
grower than the earwig (Forticula auricularis). Wlierc these 



ENEMIES OF THE DAHLIA. 



73 



pests abound plants may be completely divested of every leaf 
and growing shoot, noticing being left but absolutely bare 
stems. Their depredations being done entirely in the night 
they are rather difficult to capture. They may, liowever, 
be trapped by the usual method of placing a small pot on 
the top of the stakes half filled with moss, hay, or dark, 
soft paper; also by placing on the ground amongst the 
plants the drj', hollow stems saved from the old tubers, or any 




Fig. 25.— ANOTHEB, EARWIG TRAP. 



similar hollow material, stopped up at one end. If these and 
the pots are examined every morning, or any time during 
daylight, their numbers will soon be considerably diminished. 
They can easily be thrown on the walk and annihilated with 
the foot. Their haunts in the daytime are the ci'evices of 
wood fences, potting sheds, etc., and vengeance may be 
wreaked upon them by the aid of an old knife, or by pouring 
boiling water down the crevices or smearing the wood with 



74 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

hot tur. They maj' be caught feediug, too, after dusk, and 
a night attack made upon tliem armed with a light and a can 
of insecticide witli about three times the quantity of peti-oleum 
added. Bj- shaking the brandies where they are feeding, and 
holding the can underneath many may be killed by falling 
into tlie liquid. Syringing the plants on the evening of wai-m 
days with the aphis mixture will also act as a deterrent. 
Some years ago Messrs. Barr and Sons sent out an earwig 
trap made of two hollow cones, one fitting over the other. The 
inner cone had a liole at the top large enougli to fit the end of 
a stake. Around tlie edge of this hole were a number of half- 
circular notches, so that when the cone was fixed on the 
tapered end of a stick it left apertiires tlirough which the 
insects could creep. Tims they fell down the smootli sides of 
the cone and -were unable to crawl up again. See Fig. 24. 

Earwigs are ver}- fond of sunflowers. I liave seen a large 
flower literally covered with them, so that if a can of the petro- 
leum mixture be placed underneath, it will be the death of 
scores when they are brushed into it. 

Another ingenious and effectual trap is depicted in the ac- 
companying illustration (Fig. 25). This is simply an ordinary 
match-box with its drawer drawn out sufficiently to allow the 
earwigs to creep in. A piece of wire is attached to the side 
of the box, and a hook formed at one end to enable the box 
to be suspended on the plant. Ever}' morning the box should 
be examined, and the earwigs destroyed by emptying them 
into hot A\'ater. 

Disease. — So far the dahlia seems to have escaped tln^ 
attraction of fungoid diseases, since few are recorded as attack- 
ing the plant, and these in no serious manner. 



FRIENDLY INSECTS, ETC. 



75 



CHAPTER III. 

FRIENDLY INSECTS, &c. 

It is necessary for every gardener to become acquainted with 
all the insects which are his friends. These are they whose 
food is partially or wholly that of the grower's enemies. Un- 
less he makes himself familiar with these insects, he is likely 
to destroy them as foes ; this is done to-day by hundreds of 



Ladybirds. — There are several species of these beautiful 
little beetles, popularly called Ladybirds by some, Lady-cows 




Fij. 26. -GARDEN PMENDS -LADYBIRD BI3ETLES. 

ExpiANATiON. — Fiirfl. 5 and 6 sliow the pn^jK on leaves ; Figf. S is the larva or 
" Crocodile," which feeds voraciously oq aphides ; Figs. 7 and 8, the Two-spotted 
Ladyfeird (Coccinella bipunctata) ; Fig. 9 is the Seven-spotted Ladybird (0. septeni- 
puiictata). These creatures should never be destroyed. 



by others; but we need only deal with two. There is the 
species with the scarlet wing cases ornamented witli 
seven black spots, or black coats with scarlet or yellow 
spots, called by entomologists Coccinella septempunctata. 
Then there is the C. bipunctata, which has also a scarlet 
coat, with one black sjDot on each side. The larva is 
like a small lizard or alligator in form, grey or brown in 



76 



DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 



colour, often spotted like its parent. Both beetle and larva 
devour immense numbers of aphides, as thev are their staple 
food. The beetle deposits its cluster of yellow eggs under- 
neath the leaves of plants, and after being hatched by the 
sun, the larva attains full growth in about three weeks. At 
the end of that time, they attach themselves to a leaf by 
the tail, change to pupse, and in another three weeks einerge 
as perfect beetles. If insecticides are used the beetles and 




Vig. 27." GARDEN ERIENDS-HAWK PLIES. 

Explanation.— ri^-. 4 (Scri'va Pyrastri) and Fig. 7 (Scicva Ribesii) are small flies of 
a wasp-like nature, which lay thfir eggs among: colonies of aphides, and these hatch 
into larv!i\ like Fifrs. 3 and. 6, which immediately commence to devour the aphides. 



larviB should be carefully removed from the plants, and after- 
wards replaced, otherwise, if not injured, they may desert 
tlieir previous hunt^ing ground. ' 



Havtfkflies. — These are also called "hoverers," from 
their noticeable habit of hovering over the tops of plants 
before alighting. They are two-winged insects, similar in 
colour to a wasp, having dark bodies decorated with yellow 
bands. The larva is almost like a small caterpillar without 
legs, and has frequently been killed through ignorance. It 
may be known l)y its pale greenish-cream colour, and by its 
habit of raising its narrow head and moving it from side to 



FRIENDLY INSECTS, ETC. 77 

side in seaich of food. Tliey sliould bu carefully i^rotected, 
as one grub will devour a couple of hundred aphides in an 
hour. WJieii fully grown it attaches itself to a leaf, enters 
into the pupse state, and in a few days, emerges as a perfect 
fly. All the three species known have the dark bodies with 
yellow bauds, and are scientifically designated Screva balteata, 
S. Pyrastri, and S. Ribesi. 

Ichneumon Flies — The Ichneumon fly is a well-known 
parasite. Nimierous as the caterpillar is, it would be vastly 
more so if it were not for the fact that tlie iclmeumon fly 
deposits its eggs in the grub's body, by means of a sharp 




Fig. 28.-GAEDEN FRIENDS - LACE. WING FLIES. 

Exi'LANATlOK. — Fig. 1 sliows tb« Lace- wing-, or G-olden-eye (Clirysopa perla), on a 
Bhoot laying: its eggs, whicli are attached 10 a slender filament, as iilnstrated. The 
larvaj are famished with hairs and powerful jaws, and feed voraciously on aphides. 
The parent has beautifully netted transparent green wing'.'s. 



sling-like instrument called an ovipositor. These eggs are 
hatched underneath the skin of the caterpillar, and the grub 
feeds on the caterpillar's body until it perishes. There are 
many species of this fly, varying considerably in size, but all 
bearing the same characteristics, slender, wasp-like bodies. 
One species, called Microgaster glomeratus, lays its eggs in 
the body of flie Cabbage White Butterfly caterpillar; 
another called Pimpla instigator is less exclusive in choice, 
and attacks vaiious caterpillars ; while yet a third species, 
Paniscus testacus, selects different sorts of maggots; a fourth 



78 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

species, Ajjhidius riijjie, ])rel'eis the delicate upliis. They 
are, therefore, gardener's friends, for, while they are quite 
harmless to all plant life, they are the deadly foes of the 
plants' voracious enemies 

Lace-Wing: Flies — Another euem\- of the aphis is the 
beautiful Lace-wing Fly (Chrysopa jierla), so called because its 
two green wings are so delicate and gauze-like. These are 
very active insects, and, wlien once seen, not easily forgotten; 
they have slender bodies, and pretty golden eyes. The eggs 
are deposited in groups by the female on leaves and shoots of 
plants, being curiously fixed on the top of a lilmy substance 
like magnified mildew. When they are hatched, tlie larvae 
are similar in shape to tliat of the Ladybird, of a grey-Avhite 
ur pale brown, decorated with little hair-tufts and tiny brown 
or orange spots. Like the Ladybird, too, they quickly clear a 
plant of aphides, and should tlierefore be carefully guarded. 

Spiders, Toads, and Frogs — These are all friends. 
Garden spiders feed on green-fly ; toads and frogs, on snails, 
slugs, and insects. The " sweltered venom " of the toad is 
no jucre poetical figure, for it has been proved, without a 
doubt, tliat lie is capable of exuding, or even squirting out, an 
acrid substance sufficiently verile to cause an animal seizing it 
to drop it as quickly. It is necessary for a reptile so slow- 
moving as tlie toad tliat Nature should thus protect it. If, 
however, it be slow in covering ground, it is gifted with a mar- 
vellous rapidity of action in its tongue; for, both the toad and 
the frog are unerring in their seizure of prey by means of this 
wonderful organ. 



SELECTIONS FOR EXHIBITION. 79 

CHAPTER IV. 

SELECTIONS FOR EXHIBITION. 

FORTY SHOW VARIETIES. 

1. Mrs. Gladstone, blush. 

2. Mrs. W. Slack, blush, tipped with purple. 

3. R. T. Rawlings, clear yellow. 

4. Mrs. Langtry, cream, tipped with crimson. 

5. William Rawlings, crimson purple. 

6. John Walker, pure white. 

7. Mrs. David Saunders, pink, shaded with rose. 

8. John Henshaw, crimson. 

9. Maude Fellowes, white, shaded purple. 

10. Cherub, amber. 

11. William Keith, deep plum. 

12. David Johnson, salmon, shaded rose. 

13. Chieftain, purple-lilac. 

14. Major Ranch, blush. 

15. Duchess of York, lemon, edged with salmon pink. 

16. Arthur Rawlings, dark crimson. 

17. Keynes A1, yellow. 

iS. John Rawlings, deep lilac. 

ig. Duke of Fife, cardinal. 

20. J. T. West, yellow, tipped with purple. 

21. Miss Cannell, white, tipped with rose. 

22. Harry Keith, rosy purple. 

23. Warrior, deep scarlet. 

24. Nugget, vellow. tipped with scarlet. 

25. Queen of the Belgians, blush. 

26. Mrs. Morgan, cream, tinted purple. 

27. Harbinger, pale lilac. 

28. Willie Carratt, cardinal red. 
2g. William Powell, yellow. 

30. Clara, rosy peach. 

31. James Viok, deep purple crimson. 

32. Coldfinder, yellow, tipped with red. 

33. Diadem, crimson. 

34. Florence Tranter, blush white, edged with purple. 

35. Bendigo, purple crimson. 

36. Mrs. Charles Noyes, light fawn. 

37. Esmond, yellow. 

38. Majestic, white, edged with purple and lilac. 

39. W. H. Williams, scarlet. 

40. Arthur Ocock, reddish orange. 



so DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 



TWENTY FANCY VARIETIES. 

1. Mrs. Saunders, yellow, tipped with white. 

2. Nansen, orange scarlet, tipped with g'old. 

3. George Barnes, lilac, striped with crimson. 

4. Rev. J. B. M. Camm, yellow, flaked with crimson. 

5. Gaiety, yellow, red, and white. 

6. Peacock, purple maroon, tipped with white. 

7. Lottie Eciiford, white, striped with purple. 

8. IVIrs. N. Halls, scarlet, tipped with white, 
g. John Forbes, fawn striped with maroon. 

10. S. Mortimer, deep rose, striped with crimson. 

11. Professor Fawcelt, deep lilac, striped with chocolate. 

12. Buffalo Bill, buff, striped with vermilion. 

13. Mrs. John Downie, orang-e, striped with scarlet. 

14. Novelty, pale rose, flaked with purple and pink. 

15. Emin Pasha, yellow, striped and splashed crimson. 

16. Dandy, orange, striped with crimson. 

17. Comedian, orange, flaked and speckled crimson, tipped 

white. 

18. Franl« Pearce, rose, striped with crimson. 

jg. Matthew Campbell, buff, striped with crimson. 

20. Mrs. Ocock, primrose, tipped crimson' and white. 



FORTY POMPON VARIETIES. 

1. Bacchus, crimson scarlet. 

2. W. H. Brownhill, deep crimson. 

3. lona, yellow. 

4. Virginia, pure white. 

5. Nellie Broomhead, white ground, lilac tips. 

6. Adelaide, blush, edged with lavender. 

7. Edith Bryant, orange, tipped with lake. 

8. Clarissa, pale primrose. 

g. Thalia, rose pink, ivory centre. 

10. Daisy, amber and salmon. 

11. Demon, maroon crimson. 

1 2. Pluto, orange, heavily edged with scarlet 

13. Captain Boyton. maroon. 

14. Emily Hopper, vellow. 

15. Queen of Whites, pure white. 

16. The Duke, crimson. 

17. Lilian, primrose, edged with peach. 

18. Dinah, lilac rose. 

ig. Rosebud, white, edged with rose. 

20. Donovan, white, edged with lavender. 

21. Edith, blush pink. 

22. Dr. Jim, cream, heavily edged with purple. 

23. Mignon, crimson purple. 



SELECTIONS FOR EXHIBITION. 81 

24. Wilfred, lilaCj shaded rose. 

25. Cyril, crimson. 

26. Edith Seale, soft apricot. 

27. Fairy Queen, flesh, edged with carmine. 

28. Florence, deep lilac. 
2g. Sovereign, yellow. 

30. Nerissa, soft rose. 

31. Model, salmon-pink. 

32. Arthur West, crimson. 

^3. San Toy, white, edged with crimson. 

34. Annie Holton, crimson, tipped with silver. 

35. George Brinkman, pure white. 

36. Mary Kirk, primrose. 

37. Gladys Valentine, blush, faintly tipped with lilac. 

38. Violet, pure white. 

39. E. F. Jungker, amber, shaded with peach. 

40. Douglas, dark maroon. 

THIRTY SINGLE VARIETIES. 

1. W. 0. Harvey, old gold with crimson centre. 

2. Amos Perry, crimson, with maroon stripe. 

3. Beauty of Seven Oaks, old gold, red and white. 

4. Mrs. W. C. Harvey, lilac, splashed with crimson purple. 

5. M.C.C., yellow, splashed with orange. 

6. Nellie Brown, deep rose, with paler centre. 

7. Duchess of Westminster, white. 

8. Mikado, scarlet, edged with yellow, tipped with red. 
g. Miss Bastone, white, edged with yellow. 

10. Miss Henshaw, Pale primrose, with picotee edge of white. 

11. Cynthia, pink, with golden disc. 

12. Trilby, maroon, tipped with white. 

13. Bessie Seale, orange and scarlet. 

14. Unique, amber and crimson. 

15. Duke of York, scarlet and yellow. 

16. Miss Roberts, clear yellow. 

17. Romeo, deep maroon. 

18. Mrs. J. C. Randall, pale rose, striped and flaked crimson, 
ig. Dorothy, white and purple. 

20. Mark Twain, deep crimson, shaded scarlet. 

2 1. Tennyson, amber flushed with cerise and striped crimson. 

22. Liberty, plum, tipped with white. 

23. Safrano, white, edged with pale amber. 

24. Chilwell Beauty, red, barred with yellow. 

25. Mrs. Parrott, white, margined with rose. 

26. Darkness, dark maroon crimson. 

27. Princess of Wales, pink and mauve. 

28. Columbine, rose, with orange centre. 
2g. Mrs. H. Whitefield, yellow. 

30. Huntsman, orange scarlet. 

p 



82 DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 



FORTY CACTUS VARIETIES. 

1. Advance, fiery scarlet. 

2. H. F. Robertson, deep yellow. 

3. J. H. Jackson, crimson maroon. 

4. Mrs. H. Shoesmith, pure white. 

5. Cloth of Silver, pink, shading to blush. 

6. Alexander, dark crimson, iiushed with maroon. 

7. Grepuscule, deep amber. 

8. Gladiator, soft salmon, 
g. Orion, rosy mauve. 

10. Rainbow, soft pink, with lighter disc. 

] 1. Conrad, terra-cotta, streaked with yellow. 

12. Minnie West, yellow, tipped with white. 

13. H. W. Sillem, vermJlion scarlet. 

14. Ella Kraemar, rosy pink, lighter base. 

15. J. B. Riding, yellow, shading to orange. 

16. White Mrs. J. Crow, pure white. 

17. Pearl, pink, tipped with white. 
iS. W. E. Dickson, bright crimson. 

19. J. B. Bryant, primrose. 

20. Wm. Marshall, orange, yellow centre. 

21. Violetta, violet-rose flushed with crimson. 

22. Mrs. Macmillan, -rosy pink, white centre. 

23. Mrs. Barcroft, white, shaded with pink. 

24. John Burns, crimson. 

25. Mrs. Ed. Mawley, yellow. 

• 26. Mabel Needs, orange scarlet. 

27. Harbour Light, yellow, gTound edged with ciimson 

28. Raymond Parks, deep crimson. 
2g. Mont Blanc, pure white. 

30. Mrs. W. Marshall, soft pink, creamy white centre. 

31. Ivanhoe, bright straw. 

32. Oliver Twist, scarlet. 

33. Thos. Wilson, reddish fawn suffused with amber. 

34. Sheriff Henderson, salmon. 

35. Mrs. H. J. Jones, scarlet, tipped with cream. 

36. Nelson, crimson._ shading- to magenta. 

37. Phineas, crimson scarlet. 

38. H. J, Jones, pale primrose, shading to pink. 
30. Mrs. J. J. Crow, canary yellow. 

40. Mr. J. W. Wilkinson, deep rosy pink. 



NEW CACTUS VARIETIES. 

A list of new Cactus Varieties recommended : — 

Flame, C. E. Wilkins, Rev. Arthur Bridge, Ivernia, Ruby, 
Crinsted, Mrs. W. H. Raby, H. Shoesmith, Mrs. F. Crinsted, 



SELECTIONS FOR EXHIBITION. S3 

Dr. C. C. Cray, Irene, Buttercup, Zoe, Rev. Dr. R. Williamson, 
Helium, Faunus, Thos. Wilson, Primrose, Oscar, Whirlwind, 
Bridal Morn, Daisy, Alight, Mrs. Ceo. Stevenson, and The 
Pilot. 

TWENTY SINQLE CACTUS VARIETIES. 

1. Highland Mary, crimson purple. 

2. Queen Mary, white, with yellow disc. 

3. Argyle, deep crimson. 

4. Sir Walter, rose pink, orange disc at base. 

5. Guy Mannering, cream, with sulphur shading. 

6. Pirate, crimson purple. 

7. Evening Star, canary yellow. 

8. Isabella Wardour, red. 
g. Marguerite, white. 

10. Jeanie Deans, orange scarlet, shading to red at tips. 

11. Marmion, crimson scarlet. 

12. Earl of Ravenswood, terra-cotta. 

13. Lucy Bertram, yellow ground, flushed crimson tips. 

14. Lady Clare, scarlet, shading to magenta at tips. 

15. Bruce, pale lemon. 

16. Ivanhoe, rose, with crimson band round centre. 

17. Novar, crimson-purple, shading to magenta. 

18. Rob Roy, purple, with violet shading. 
ig. Peveril, deep terra-cotta. 

20. Burns, buff, splashed with crimson. 

TWENTY POMPON CACTUS VARIETIES. 

1. Purple Gem, deep purple. 

2. Niphetos, pure white. 

3. DalTodil, primrose yellow. 

4. Robin Hood, brownish crimson. 

5. Miss Finch, crimson-rose, shaded with crimson. 

6. Rakete, orange scarlet. 

7. Peace, ivory white. 

8. Daisy Belle, orange-salmon and old rose. 
g. Tottle, violet-purple, shaded blue. 

10. William Marshall, maroon, shaded red. 

n. Modesty, flesh colour, edged and flushed cherry red. 

12. Coronation, scarlet. 

13. Cannell's Cem, light red. 

14. Freedom, crimson scarlet. 

15. Censor, plum colour. 

16. Tomtit, mauve pink. 

17. Venus, pure white. 

18. Pumilus, terra-cotta. 

ig. Miss Green, deep salmon, tinted rose. 
00 Wisdom, rosy mauve. 

P 2 



SI DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

FOR GARDEN DECORATION. 

TWELVE DOUBLE VARIETIES. 

Height. 
Feel. 

John Walker, pur; white 2 

R. T. Rawlmgs, pure yellow 3 

Peacock, darlc maroon, tipped with white ... ... 3 

Spitfire, bright scarlet 3 

Gracchus, brig-ht orange-buff 3 

Mrs. Saunders, yellow, tipped with white 4 

Warrior, intense scarlet ... ... ... 3 

IVIrs. W. Slack, blush white, edged with purple ... 3 

Gaiety, light yellow, striped red, and tipped, while ... 3 

Mrs. Langtry, cream, edged with crim^ion ... ... 4 

Rev. J. B. M. Camm, yellow, flaked red 4 

Mrs. Gladstone, blush 3 

TWELVE POMPON VARIETIES. 

Bacchus, brig-ht crimson-scarlet ... ... 3 

Nerissa, soft rose, tinted with sihcr ... ... ... 3 

Rosebud, white ground, edged with ros\-pink ... ... 34 

George Brinckman, pure white 3 

Red Indian, coral red 3 

Jessica, amber yellow, edged with red ... ... .. 3* 

Buttercup, grolden-yellow 3 

Tommy Keith, red, striped with white ... ... 3 

Eurydir.e, blush, tipped with purple ... ... ... 3^ 

Daisy, amber, shaded with orange ... ... ... 3 

Nellie Broomhead, mauve, with lighter ground ... ... 3 

Captain Boyton, maroon, shaded crimson ... ... 3 

TWELVE CACTUS VARIETIES. 

Amos Perry, vivid crimson ... - ... ... 3^ 

J. H. Jackson, deep crimson-maroon ... ... ... 3 

Britannia, soft salmon-pink, passing- towards the base 

of petals to apiicol ... ... ... ... ... 3 

Pearl, rosy-pearly-pink, each floret tipped pearly-while 3 
Mrs. H. L. Brousson, delicate salmon on a pale yellow- 
ground ... ... ... ... 2 

Eva, purest white ... ... 4.1 

Florodora, wine-crimson ... ... .. 3" 

J. B. Bryant, bright clear golden-yellow 4 

Mrs. Winstanley, yellow disc, shading to soft scarlet ... 3 

Mary Service, pleasing tint of pinkish heliotrope ... 4 

Effective, amber, rose-coloured centre ... 3 

Aunt Chloe, deep purplish black ... 3 



FOR GARDEN DECORATION 



TWELVE SINGLE VARIETIES. Height. 

Feet. 

Demon, rich dark maroon ... ... ... ... ... 4 

Snowdrop, white, with primrose ring- ... ... ... 4 

Robin Adair, petunia, tipped white 3 

IVIiliado, yelloWj margined with red ... 3 

Lesiie Seale, silvery lilac with crimson 3 

Unique,_ amber, with ring: of crimson at base of petals 3 

Columbine, rose, shaded orang-e ... - si 

Peacocit, maroon-crimson, tipped white ... 2i 

Cynthia, soft pink with golden disc 3 4 

Duke of York, fine light scarlet 3 

White Queen, pure white 3 

IVliss Roberts, clear yellow 3i 

TWELVE SINGLE CACTUS VARIETIES. 

Queen IVIary, purest white, with pale yellow disc ... 3 

llady Clare, scarlet, shading- to magenta at tips 3 

Althea, deep glowing- crimson 3 

ivanhoe, rose, with crimson band round centre 2i 

IVIeg IVIerrilies, clear yellow 3 

Sir Walter, rose-pink, orange disc at base 3 

Marmion, crimson-scarlet 3 

Bruce, pale lemon, of a beautiful shade ■i 

Jeanie Deans, orange-scarlet, shading to deep red at tips 2* 

Burns, buff, "splashed with glowing crimson 3 

Rob iioy, purple, with violet shading 3 

Brinhilda, white at base, soft rose at points 3 

TWELVE POMPON CACTUS VARIETIES. 

Niphetos, pure white 4 

IModesty, flesh colour, edged and flushed cherry-red ... 4 

Daffodil, primrose-yellow /t 

Robin Hood, brownish crimson 3 

IVliss Finch, carmine-rose, ."ihaded crimson ... ... 3v 

Tomtit, mauve pink 3 

Titus, lemon-yellow tipped white 3 

Daisy Belle, orange-salmon and old rose 3i 

Little Dolly, clear mauve-pink 3 

Argus, crimson-lake, shaded scarlet, dark crimson centre 2i 

Cannell's Gem, soft red ... 3^ 

Little Fred, primrose shading to white, tipped green ... 2i 

TWENTY DECORATIVE VARIETIES. 

Grand Due Alexis, pearly white 3 

Jeanne Charmet, pink-lilac at edges, pure white 
towards centre ; light yellow at margins; tipped 

violet red '21 



SB DAHLIAS AND THEIR CULTIVATION. 

Height. 
Feel. 
Souvenir de Custave Douzon, attractiie shade of orange- 
red ... ... 3i 

Mdm, A. Lumi6re, pure white, violet-red points ... ... 3 

Beauty of Kent, crimson-red, pure white tips ... ... 3 

Prince of Yellows, pure yellow 3 

Le Colosse, dull red 3 

Mdm. Keller, orange ground, marbled with fiery-red, 

shaded with violet carmine ... ... ... ... 3i 

Coronation, bright crimson-scarlet ... ... ... ... 3 

Cermania, silvery flesh 4 

Clare of the Garden, scarlet 2 

Mdlle. H6\krte Charvet, pure white, broad florets ... 3! 

Viridiflora, green flowers 3 

Maid of Kent, crimson and white ... ... 3 

Beatrice Martin, blush 3 

Cannell's Crest, reddish crimson ... ... ... ... 3 

Mdm. Van Den Dael, silvery pink 3 

Source de Feu, deep orange, splashed and streaked ver- 
milion ... ... ... ... ... ... .... 3 

Atalanta, white flushed w'ith purple ... ... ... 3.' 

Mrs. E. T. Powell, fawn and pink 3 

NINE COLLARETTE VARIETIES. 

Duchess J. Meizi D'Erll, yellow, tinted orange, striped red, 

golden yellow centre ; collarette pinky-white, shaded and 

striped with red. 
Comte Ch6r6meteff, reddish vermilion, with golden points and 

golden aureole ; collarette yellow. 
Gallia, rose, suffused and striped scarlet, passing to sulphur 

yellow ; creamy white collarette. 
President Viger, reddish carmine ; collarette white. 
Prince Galitzine, white ground shaded with purple, pink, and 

reddish carmine ; collarette white, slightly striped with red. 
Joseph Coujon, reddish scarlet ; collarette yellow, slightly 

marked with red. 
Maurice Rivoire, magenta and crimson ; collarette pure white. 
Mdm. Le Page Viger, reddish scarlet ; collarette golden yellow . 
Etendard de Lyon, velvety scarlet ; collarette yellow at base, 

white at points. 

TWENTY TOM THUMB VARIETIES. 

Inches. 

Golden Fairy, rich golden yellow 14 

Pearl, deep mauve self 11 

Fairy, white shading to mauve at outer margin ... 15 

Hoop-la, rich velvety maroon, with clear yellow ring ... 11 

Llllput, bright scarlet, lined with orange ... ... ... 14 

Booties, rich velvety red ... - ... .. 12 



FOR GARDEN DECORATION. 

Little Nell, orange 

Bo-peep, maroon self, dark ring round disc ... ... 

Snowflake, pure white 

Tomtit, orange scarlet, light yellow eye round disc ... 

Canary, deep yellow 

Miss Grace, light orange '..'. 

Venus, crimson, each floret edged with maroon purple 

iUidnight, deep velvety maroon 

Bantam, deep scarlet 

Gem, clear bright yellow 

Mignon, clear pink, white ring round disc 

Fram, white, tinted with delicate pale pink 

Daisy, rich velvety crimson 

Midget, pure bright scarlet TT; 



87 

Inches. 
:S 
IS 
IS 
i8 
Q 
14 
IS 
12 



15 

9 

IS 

IS 

12 



P/EONY-FLOWERED VARIETIES. 



Baronne de Graney white ... 
Dr. Van Corken, blush white 
Duke Henry, purple-crimson ... 

Cermania, crimson 

Cloire de Baern, rose 

Pius X., yellow 

Queen Emma, rosy pink, yellow, 
Reine Wiiheimina, white 



and white 



Feet. 
44 
3i 
3* 
4 
4 
5 

4* 
3i 



STAR (SINGLE) VARIETIES. 

Jupiter, white, banded yellow, edg'ed crimson ; florets 

twisted 3i 

Mars, white, edged with crimson-scarlet 3 

Marcury, white, edped with scarlet, petals pointed ... 34 
Neptune, white, edged with purple crimson, florets 

curled 3 

Saturn, white, edged maroon, florets twisted 3 



c>S()®o 



«#^ «^/® «^ «^/® ^>*^ ^^ 



INDEX 



Anemone-flowered Type ot 
Dahlias 

for Garden Culture 

Aphides 

Blooms, Hard-centred 

Points of 

Protecting the 

Staging the 

Bugs, Plant 

Cactus Type of Dahlias ... 
Type for Garden Culture 
Varieties, Selection of 82, 

Caterpillars 

Collarette Type of Dahlias 
Type for Garden Culture 
Yarieties, Selection of ... 

Compost for Second Potting 
for Third Potting 

Cross Fertilising Dahlias... 

Cuckoo-spit 

Cuttings, Propagation by 

Decorative Type 

Type for Garden Culture 
Varieties, Selection of 
Diseases of the Dahlia 
Division, Propagation by 

Earwigs 

Enemies of the Dahlia 

Evolution of the Dahlia 

Exhibition, Staging Blooms 

for 



14 
61 
69 

44 
47 
42 
45 

72 

12 
58 
84 
69 
14 
60 
85 
24 
27 
58 
69 
17 

14 
60 
85 
74 
57 

72 

69 

9 

45 



Fancy Types of Dahlias 

Varieties, Selection of ... 
Feeding Exhibition Kinds 
Friendly Insects 

Garden Decoration, Best 
Types for 

Culture for 

Propagation for 
Grafting, Propagation by 
Green Dahlia ... 

Hawkflies 

Ichneumon Flies ... 
Insect Friends 

Hawkflies 

Ichneumon Flies 

Lace- wing Flies. 

Ladybirds 

Spiders 

T^ads and Frogs 

Judging, Points for 

Lacewing Flies 
Ladybird Beetles 
Lifting and Storing the 
Roots 



Manures for Dahlias .. 
Mulching Dahlia Beds 

Pajouy-flowered Type of 

Dahlias 

for Garden Culture 
Varieties 



PAGE 

11 
80 
37 
75 

58 
62 
51 
52 
16 

76 

77 
75 
76 
77 
78 
75 
78 
78 

47 

78 
75 

65 

37 
39 



15 
61 
87 



INDEX. 



89 



Pegging Down Shoots 


I'AGE 
... 63 


Pests 


... 69 


Aphides ■ 


... 69 


Caterpillars 


... 69 


Cuckoo-spit 


... 69 


Earwigs 


... 72 


Froghopper 


... 69 


Plant Bugs 


... 72 


Slugs 


... 71 


Thrips 


... 71 


Planting, Distances for 


... 33 


Exhibition Kinds ... 


... 32 



for Garden Decoration ... 62 
Pompon Cactus Type of 

Dahlias U 

for Garden Culture ... 58 

Selection of 83, 85 

Pompon Type of Dahlias ... 11 
Varieties, Selection of 80, 84 

Pot-root Tubers 23 

Potting, Second 24 

Third 27 

Propagation by Division 57 

by Grafting 52 

by Seed 52 

for Exhibition 17 

in Cold Frame 21 



Eeflexed Dahlias 



60 



Seed, Dahlias from 52 

Selections for Exhibition... 79 
Forty Cactus Varieties ... 82 
Forty Pompon Varieties 80 
Forty Show Varieties ... 79 
New Cactus Varieties ... 82 
Thirty Single Varieties ... 81 
Twenty Fancy Varieties 80 
Twenty Pompon Cactus ... 83 
Twenty Single Cactus ... 83 
Selections for Garden Deco- 
ration 84 

Poaouy-flowered Varieties 87 

Nine Collarette Varieties 86 

Twelve Pompon Cactus ... 85 



Twelve Pompon Varieties 84 
Twelve Cactus Varieties... 84 
Twelve Double Varieties 84 
Twelve Single Cactus ... 85 
Twelve Single Varieties... 85 
Twenty Decorative Varie- 
ties ... .". 85 

Twenty Tom Thumb 

Varieties 86 

Star Varieties 87 

Shoots, Pegging Down, Mode 

of 63 

Show Type of Dahlias 11 

Varieties, Selection of ... 79 

Single Cactus Type , 14 

for Ga-rden Culture ... 58 

Selection of 83, 85 

Single Type of Dahlias ... 13 
Single Varieties, Selection 

of ... 81, 85 

Snails and Slugs 71 

Soil, Preparation of 29 

Treatment of for Garden 

Culture 62 

Species of Dahlias 11 

Spiders, Toads and Frogs... 78 

Staking the Plants 34 

Star-flowered Type of Dah- 
lias • 61 

Varieties of 87 

Storing the Boots 65 

Thrips 71 

Timing the Blooms 36 

Tom Thumb Types of Dah- 
lias 14 

for Garden Culture ... 61 
Varieties, Selection of ... 86 
Training for G arden Decora- 
tion 63 

the Plants 35 

Varieties, Selections of for 

Exhibition 79 

for Garden Decoration 84 



Watering- 



35 



^^^^^^ 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Anemone-flowered Dahlia 
Typical Bloom of a ... 



25 



Box, A Covering 43 

A Metal Covering: 50 

Another Style of Covering 46 

Side and End Views ... 48 

Cactus Dahlia, Mrs. W. H. 

Raby 59 

Cactus Dahlia, Rev. A. 

Bridge 53 

Cactus Dahlia, Typical 

Bloom of a 15 

Cactus Dahlias, Prize Vase 

of Frontispiece 

Collarette Dahlia, Typical 

Bloom of a 30 

Decorative Dahlia, Typical 

Bloom of ii 21 

Division, Propagation by ... 56 



Earwig Trap 
A Matchbox 



72 
73 



Fancy Dahlia, Typical Bloom 

of a ... ., 10 

Grafting Dahlia Tubers ... 55 

Green-flowered Dahlia ... 38 

Hawkflies 76 

Lacewing Flies 77 

Ladybird Beetles 75 

Pseony-flowered Dahlia, P. 

H. Jansen 66 

Typical Bloom of a ... 33 
Peggang Down Dahlias, Mode 

of 63 

I'ompou Dahlia, Typical 

Bloom of a 13 

Propagation by Cuttings ... 40 

Single Cactus Dahlia, Typi- 
cal Bloom of a 22 

Singte Dahlia, Typical Bloom 

ofa 19 

Slugs, Garden 71 

Snail, The Garden 70 



ADVERTLSEMENTS. 91 



TO CULTIVATE 

DAHLIAS 

IN PERFECTION USE 

CLAY'S FERTILIZER 

THE INDISPENSABLE FOOD 
For all Flowers, Fruits, Vegetables and Foliage. 

IT IS SAFE, QUICK AND LASTING. 

It is used by the Leading Qrowers, Qovernment and Local 
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. . Sold everywhere in 6d. and 1s. Tins ; and Sealed 

Cl^ ''^ Bags:— 7 lbs. 2s. 6d. ; 14 lbs. 4s. 6d. ; 28 lbs. 

"A if 7s. 6d. ; 56 lbs. 12s. 6d. ; 112 lbs. 20s. 
■nLONDONfw 

J(^ /*■ Or direct from the Works, Carriage Paid in the United 

^>i 1 \^/' Kingdom for Cash with Order (except 6d, Tins). 

Every Tin, Bag and Seal bears the Trade 

TRADE MARK. Mark, the only Guarantee of Genuineness. 



See the Article on VAHLIAS by RICHARD DEAN, 
V.M.H., F.R.H.S., in 

CLAY'S SUCCESSFUL GARDENING 

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by Eminent Writers. Illustrated, Enlarged and Revised. 

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DAHLIAS. 

/|UR Dahlias are now so well known all over the world* 
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those very select sorts we believe we hold the largest stock 
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Every Gardener, amateur or profeesional, knows that we are the world's gi-eatest 
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wp have done with this popular flower. We have devoted many years to their 
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creatcrl by the public recognition of our efEoiiis on behalf of Sweet Pea culture. 

£:cK;FORr> 

THE SAVBBT PEA SPKCIALIST 

Pi'odnces Seed that will give you brighter colour, larger flowers, and longer 

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Eckford's Seeds are only grenulne when purchased from Wem. 

We do not supply the Trade. 



Villa (B) Collection. 

24 splendid varieties, suitable 

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5/6 



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