O N A gentle slope
that meets the curve of the drive at its foot, lies the garden-of -
the-many-edgings, its space divided into beds and borders by three long
cross - walks and four shorter, intersecting walks.
The plan gave opportunity for the use of stones to wall the slightly
terraced beds, and the rockery-like edges thus gained were furnished, for
the most part, by sowing seeds one spring for the next year's bloom, and the
planting of bulbs in the fall. Once established; they became the garden's
most attractive feature, take the season through.
Low-growing things of the alpine class like so well to nestle themselves
among stones, (and they do it so prettily with mats; and tufts, and cushions
of various grays and greens) that the edges they help to make are not only
interesting in themselves, but they are as becoming to the beds they frame
as were old-fashioned strings—to the pretty face above them when—
"Tying her bonnet under her chin, She tied the
young man's heart within."
And something of the fascinating effect of bonnet strings is repeated
when the charm of the edgings goes straight to the gardener's heart.
The secret of the charm is found, of course, in the endearing character
of those close-to-the-earth plants that belong among rocks. They are garden
pets that, somehow or other, have an irresistibly appealing way with them.
The value of these edges as a garden adjunct is particularly evident in
the spring, when gay or delicately tinted Tulips rise from white Arabis
waves; when Forget-me-nots and the Tulip White Swan are set in the gold of
hardy Alyssum; when Aubretia's lilac-pinks, the yellows of the Primrose and
the purple of Dwarf Iris join the colors, while English Violets prompt a
child-neighbor to say,' "Your garden makes the whole world sweet." Then is
come the most poetic moment of the garden year.
Beauty, indeed, at just this time is so eloquent, that the garden easily
evolves its poetry without the aid of words, thus out-doing in simplicity
some of the modern vers libre methods.
Although the early spring effect is hardly equalled by any subsequent
display, another period of loveliness follows in late May and June. For then
the broader, bolder edging skirting the drive, which allows more freedom of
planting than the others, is bedecked with Saponaria, Iberis, June Pinks,
Cerastium, the rich green of Tunica sprinkled over with its tiny pink
flowers, Sedum acre, Moneywort, and Lilies-of-the-valley in partial shade,
and late Darwin Tulips—backed by a band of Iris.
Delight in the bright, fresh coloring, untouched as yet by midsummer
gaudery, is enhanced by its contrast with the soft grays Of Stachys lanata,
Cerastium, and Sedum
The edging is permanent and the effects change as the seasons
roll by giving a constant interest.
May, and the Tulips are in their full glory, and the early
edgings break the rocky fringe
June with the Irises taking the bed. Note the changes in the
To secure continuance of bloom in this broad
edging, a few' Tuberoses are provided; seedlings of dwarf Marigolds,
including the desirable Tagetes signata pumila, are set among Tulips; dwarf
Zinnias, too, if one can be fairly sure of one's colors; and annual
Wallflowers that help to bring our newer gardens into pleasant touch with
those of the old world, which Wallflowers suggest. These are the last
flowers to leave our Garden. Even as late as this writing. (December
bowlful of Wallflowers, cut when in bud, is still fresh and fragrant.
With the aid of late blooming annuals, of autumnal Crocus, and those
indispensable Sedums Sieboldi and spectabile, September makes a good showing
until heavy frosts.
Here, too, the various grays and greens of leafage take their part well
in seeing the season through, and in this connection the fragrant green of
Lemon Thyme is noticeable. With slight winter protection, this interesting
little herb makes itself quite at home in a snug cranny among the rocks from
which it tumbles cascade-like, to root on the drive. -
Setting the edges to rights for another year is simply good garden fun.
The pleasure comes in early fall when little touches are given here and
there either to work out some happy thought of improvement, or to guard
against frayed edges by repairs. A worn out hardy Alyssum or two may need
replacing with seedlings from spring sowing; a bit of Tunica's green fringes
would trim that small boulder prettily, so a vigorous self-sown plant is set
in place; those stylish rosettes that houseleeks have the knack of making,
are dotted. around in crevices or pockets, wherever a finishing touch is
needed, and once sewn fast to the garden's costume with a trowel—there they
are, with the look of having always belonged precisely where they are
placed; lastly the planting of Tulip bulbs occurs, and then winter may come
when it will.
For even winter cannot rob these edgings along walks and drive of all
interest. Small evergreens used at the corners of beds, together with
ever-gray-greens and ever-blue-greens of alpines and June Pinks carry the
edges through the trying cold, to the charm of the spring garden again.