The Garden Guide

Book: Colour schemes for the flower garden
Chapter: Chapter 1 A march study and the border of early bulbs

Shrub clumps

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Now we pass among some shrub-clumps, and at the end come upon a cheering sight; a tree of Magnolia conspicua bearing hundreds of its great white cups of fragrant bloom. Just before reaching it, and taking part with it in the garden picture, are some tall bushes of Forsythia suspensa, tossing out many-feet-long branches loaded with their burden of clear yellow flowers. They are ten to twelve feet high, and one looks up at much of the bloom clear-cut against the pure blue of the sky; the upper part of the Magnolia also shows against the sky. Here there is a third flower-picture; this time of warm white and finest yellow on brilliant blue, and out in open sunlight. Among the Forsythias is also a large bush of Magnolia stellata, whose milk-white flowers may be counted by the thousand. As the earlier M. conspicua goes out of bloom it comes into full bearing, keeping pace with the Forsythia, whose season runs on well into April. It is always a little difficult to find suitable places for the early bulbs. Many of them can be enjoyed in rough and grassy places, but we also want to combine them into pretty living pictures in the garden proper. Nothing seems to me more unsatisfactory than the usual way of having them scattered about in small patches in the edges of flower-borders, where they only show as little disconnected dabs of colour, and where they are necessarily in danger of disturbance and probable injury when their foliage has died down and their places are wanted for summer flowers. It was a puzzle for many years to know how to treat these early bulbs, but at last a plan was devised that seems so satisfactory that I have no hesitation in advising it for general adoption.