The Garden Guide

Book: Colour schemes for the flower garden
Chapter: Chapter 9 Bedding plants

July August September Bedding

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This is a conveniently comprehensive term for the tender plants that are put out for the summer. To these plants a small portion of my garden, well sheltered within enclosing walls and yet open to full sunshine, is devoted, so that the little place is in some kind of beauty from the end of July to the last days of September. There has been so strong a revulsion in garden practice since the days when the bedding out of tender plants in stiff and not very intelligent ways absorbed the entire horticultural energy of owners of gardens that many people have conceived a dislike to the plants themselves. It is a common thing for friends to express surprise at seeing scarlet Geraniums, yellow Calceolaria and blue Lobelia in my garden, forgetting that it was not the fault of the plants that they were misused or employed in dull or even stupid ways. There are no better summer flowers than the single and double zonal Pelargoniums that we commonly call Geraniums, and none so good for such uses as the filling of tubs and vases; for not only do they enjoy full sunlight, but they benefit by the extra warmth at the root that they obtain by being raised in the warm air above the ground level. There certainly are among these good summer flowers, a few kinds of harsh, unpleasant reds and pinks, but these are easily avoided, and the range of good colouring, from purest scarlet, through softer tones, to tints of salmon and tender warm pink, is now so great that there is no difficulty in obtaining any combination or sequence that may be desired, such as the very simple one that is shown in the plan and will presently be described.