What is TOWN AND CITY GARDtiNING?

In speaking of the possibilities of the town and city garden, it must be distinctly understood that reference is here made to populous and congested areas and where the whir of machinery is heard. It is a difficult matter to deal with town or city gardening without distinguishing between areas such as Bermondsey, Clapham, Highgate, Shoreditch (in London), and cities such as Exeter and Sheffield. What would thrive in Highgate and Exeter would fail utterly in Shoreditch and Sheffield . So we come to the conclusion that success or failure will be mainly regulated and governed given, of course, intelligent culture by the number of dwellinghouses and factories in the district. We must impress owners of town and city gardens, however, that it is quite possible to convert them into things of beauty, and then such gardens will add to the amenities of city life very appreciably. It is true that much has been done in this direction during the past decade, but much remains to be done, that verdure, colour, and beauty may replace miscellaneous rubbish and rank weeds. After thirty years in the most congested parts of London, coupled with the inspection of thousands of town and city gardens, the writer feels that the most serious obstacle to success is the tendency to plant subjects that appeal to the cultivator, with total disregard to their suitability for the purpose. This, of course, soon spells disappointment in cities. Attention should be concentrated on plants that have clearly demonstrated their suitability and that can be relied upon to give a good account of themselves, not simply for a single season, but to increase in size and beauty year by year. Happily the number of available subjects in trees, shrubs, and flowering plants is by no means small, as we shall show. Also a good number of town and city gardens are fairly spacious in character. We will now give some notes on the more important points in the subject. Soil and Site.Let us start with a word as to what by courtesy we will term soil in town and city gardens. Builders refuse plays an important part in this, and where the top-spit and subsoil are of a clayey nature the bricks and stones only should be removed, leaving the hme rubble, etc., to improve the texture of the ground. On the other hand, where the soil is porous and coal ashes have been added, it is useless to plant until a layer of clay has been buried 2 ft. deep and a layer spread on the surface to become pulverized through exposure to frost. This should be supplemented by a heavy dressing of stable manure, and then splendid results are certain. Both clay and GARDENING manure can usually be had free of cost from”the powers that be.”In the absence of builders rubble and where clay predominates, a liberal dressing of road sweepings, combined with early digging, will do all that is required. If a little new soil can be added from time to time (and this can often be had gratis during the excavations for buildings in adjacent areas), so much the better. The site will govern to a great extent the subjects employed. Where King Sol is excluded for the greater part of the day, trees, shrubs, and ferns must predominate. The importance of overhead waterings must be emphasised, and it must be remembered that apart from dirt deposits, smoke, etc., the atmospheric moisture is infinitely less in congested areas than in the country. From late spring to early autumn, except when heavy rain is frequent, ply the hose overhead both morning and evening. Not less important is to avoid overcrowding. Err on the side of sparsity, and humour the plants by an approved artificial fertiliser throughout the growing season. The Lawn.What about the grass plot or lawn ? A perfect sward can be had, provided the right kinds of grasses are used. For this purpose there is nothing to equal Poa annua and P. nemoralis. Like the poor, the first named is always with us, and we meet it everywhere ; by the roadside, in every garden, and on every patch of waste land. The fact of the seeds of this species maturing in gradual fashion accounts for its prohibitive price ; and readers are advised to sow seed of Pnemoralis, and to lift plants of P. annua from anywhere and reset them 18 ins. apart in the lawn. In preparing the ground dig in some animal manure, level, and roll if

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Definition of  TOWN AND CITY GARDtiNING