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CHAPTER VII.

HANGING BASKETS AND SUITABLE PLANTS, AND TREAT

MENT OF IVY,

HAT & pretty amusement is the growth

of plants in hanging baskets or pots! It is very popular, and deservedly so. The beauty of the baskets, now fashioned in so

many artistic designs, is almost

sufficient to inspire a love of hor

ticulture, if only for the sake of growing the plant in so

pretty a pot. Yet we cannot urge

the growth of plants in these baskets; a porous pot is essential to

the health of a plant, and most of these baskets are china, or glazed or painted.

Yet they may be used by setting the pot containing the plant inside of them. Another objection is, that having

no outlet for the escape of the water, it collects in the bottom, and, unless there is very ample drainage, which is seldom the case, the roots are rotting in water while the

surface is dry.

Potting in these vases is very simple. If the plant must be in the vase or basket, fill half full of broken potsherds; on these place a thin layer of moss, and fill up with prepared soil; shade the plant for a few days until well established, then hang it in the window, and water slightly every morning with a fine-rosed watering-pot; as the plant grows, dispose the branches to fall gracefully over the pot.

The plants most suitable for baskets are,

The COMMON PERIWINKLE (Vinca Major and Minor), and the pretty variety with variegated leaves. This is an evergreen, and produces its pretty blue flowers in spring and early summer. There is also a white-flowered and a double variety.

LYSIMACHIA. MUMMULARIA (Money Wort). A pretty little trailing plant, with dark, glossy leaves, and a profusion of dark yellow flowers in June. This plant should be in a shady window.

LINARIA CYMBALARIA (Coliseum Ivy). A little gem of a plant, and thriving well in the parlor. Leaves small; ivy-shaped flowers, like a little snap-dragon, purple and white. Should be kept rather moist.

TRADESCANTIA ZEBRINA. A rapid growing plant, with greenish purple leaves, with lighter markings on the upper side, and dark purple below; flowers small light pink.

ÇEREUS FLAGELLIFORMIS. — A pretty species of cactus, with pink flowers in summer, and long, pendulous leaves, with close spines.

LOBELIA GRACILIS AND ERINUS. These, and many others of the family, are pretty, graceful plants, producing

blue or white flowers. Sow the seed in early spring, and

summer.

plants will bloom in June, and continue in blossom all

. NEMOPHILA. A class of pretty anṇuals, with blue, white, and spotted flowers. Treat as lobelia.

TROPÆOLUM (Nasturtium). The various small-flowered

kinds do well, and are gay with flowers, if the pot is large

enough, and the soil not too rich.

SOLANUM JASMINOIDES.

This pretty plant, previously

described, does well in a large basket.

SAXIFRAGA SARMENTOSA (Chinese Saxifrage). Very pretty and common, producing long, hanging runners, with new plants growing out every few inches. The flower is white, produced on a tall spike, from the centre of the old plant. It is not showy, and the bud, when young, should be cut off, as the plant dies after blooming. Give plenty of

water.

CONVOLVULUS MAURITANICUS. A beautiful, new Morning Glory, with pink and blue flowers, with a white star in

the centre.

PELARGONIUM LATERIPES (Ivy-leaved Geranium). Makes

an excellent plant for a basket, and will do well with little

care; the variegated-leaved variety is very fine.

DISANDRA PROSTRATA. A pretty, free-growing plant, with long, slender stems, clothed with roundish leaves, and bearing small, yellow flowers, of no particular beauty; cultivated more for its freedom of growth than for its flowers.. Grows in any light, loamy soil.

One of the most serviceable trailers is the plant commonly known as German : Ivy (Senecio Scandens) ; «it is of most rapid growth, with light green leaves, studded with pellucid dots, and never troubled by insects. As a screen for a window, or covering for a wall, it is most valuable. It is easily propagated, every joint rooting if placed in the earth.

The flowers are straw

colored, and often produced in greatest profusion. The plant is a native of the Cape of Good Hope, and has been introduced many years. It is admirably adapted for

baskets.

IVY.

This plant, in some of its varieties, is probably the most popular ornament of the parlor. The ease of culture, its

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beautiful foliage, its rapid growth, and evergreen character,

all combine to make it a favorite.

The soil should be a rich loam; the richer the soil the more rapid will be the growth. Yet avoid stimulating manures.

Slips root readily, taken off at any leaf joint, and placed either in earth or water; in the latter they will soon throw out roots, and may then be transferred to pots.

The only precaution to be taken in growing ivy is to keep it from frost while in growth; and if frozen, to keep the sun away from it, thawing it out with cold water.

In summer the plants may be set out of doors, and will make vigorous growth.

There are many species, of which the most common is

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