THE PROPOSAL PLANT
This must not be confused with the Wild Popper weed, Paterfamilias Furiosis, which if not kept in its bed, often chokes off the Proposal Plant and prevents its blooming.
and GUIDE to
This Year and Next
Compiled for D. Cupid by John Cecil Clay and Oliver Herford
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
Boston and New York
COPYRIGHT 1908 BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Published September 1908
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TO LOVERS AND LOVERS OF LOVERS
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WEATHER: SPRING TIDES: PLANETS' MOTIONS: SUN AND MOON'S RISING AND SETTING: LENGTH OF DAYS: TIME OF HIGH WATER: FAIRS: COURTS AND HOLIDAYS.
In most of the coastwise states the tides will keep coming in as usual, but the wonderful changes in the flow of the Gulp stream will have a canny effect on some of the interior states.
This will be a dry year.
Length of Days
The days will be longer this year for those not in love than they will be for us.
The Golden Number
The Golden Number this year is only 2.
The Fairs will be just as fair this year as last—if anything, a little fairer.
The Spring Courts will be continued on into the summer, maybe longer. As heretofore, cases having been appealed and receiving a satisfactory decision from the Supreme Court should also receive the sanction of the church.
Cupid's Legal Holidays
Cupid's Birthday, January 1: St. Valentine's: The First Day of Spring: Midsummer Day: Proposal Day, September 17: Followed by Mourner's Morn (a half-hearted holiday) for the other fellow, September 18: Hallowe'en.
Every Student of Hearticulture is allowed three Legal Holidays to be their very own.
To the lovers of Beauty no branch of science offers such varied delights as that of Hearticulture; at the same time no pursuit is so full of disappointments for the inexperienced and pitfalls for the unwary. It is the study of a lifetime; no one can say he is a master of Hearticulture. Many of the most successful gardeners give it up as they become older: some from disappointment over a trifling failure, others from sheer weariness; still more take up a branch of nursery-gardening called Matrimony, which demands such close attention and care that it has come to be regarded as a profession in itself.
It has even been asserted that Matrimony is no branch of Hearticulture at all—a statement so far from the truth that it can only come from a disappointed or unsuccessful Heart Gardener. Be warned, dear reader; if you should take up this highest and most beautiful of all the branches of Hearticulture with such an erroneous idea, you are foredoomed to failure.
If this little book be the means of showing to even the least of these the error of his ways, we shall not feel that it has been made in vain.
Master Cupid he made a plan For a garden of Hearts on the first of JAN
One cannot begin too early, and January is the time for looking over the ground and planning the arrangement of the Heart Garden.
Outside of the Hothouse few flowers are to be seen in January. The most noticeable of these is the Common Turnleaf or Resolution Plant, a sort of Neverlasting Flower. The Turnleaf abounds during the early days of January, but disappears as the month progresses.
It is a showy plant, with its curiously marked leaves, but is seldom known to blossom. The Flower, which is said to be of the purest white, with an odor somewhat resembling Sanctity, is entirely concealed by the leaves, which begin to turn as soon as the plant is full-grown.
When the new leaves have completely turned over, the flower will be seen in all its snowy beauty. This, however, rarely happens, as most of the plants die long before the turning process is accomplished.
Another winter-blooming flower is the Valentine Plant (Lovelornia Desperatia), one of the Epistolaria Family. This should be set out towards the end of the month, as it flowers in the middle of February.
NOTE. Recent investigations have shown that this destructive Blight, of which the Turnleaf is the victim, is caused by a deadly germ known as Jus Twunsmoria.
THE PUFF BLOSSOM
Shy. Blooms in out-of-the-way corners and on dressing-tables.
THE CHECK WEED
An uncertain plant. Don't try to raise them unless you have had experience.
He stole some cord from the spider's web To make a fence on the first of FEB
The Valentine Plants are now fully grown, but the flowers do not appear until the middle of the month, when they are ready to be packed, and sent by the male to all parts of the world.
The Valentine Plants are very sensitive to environment and temperature, and occasionally produce a flower, remarkably like that of the Poppia or Proposal Plant, to which it is said by some to be allied.
There is another variety of the Valentine Plant, much dreaded by Hearticulturists, and unfortunately only too common, known as Valentina Vulgaria. In well-kept gardens it is regarded as a weed and destroyed whenever it appears. The flower is gaudy in color and emits a most offensive odor. A powerful irritant to all the senses, it is to some people quite poisonous, though rarely fatal in its effects.
The Social Climber (Aspira Socialis) or Push Vine, which blooms in the most inclement weather and in the most Uninviting Places, is often seen during this month. By fastidious gardeners it is considered an undesirable visitor, and though impossible to exclude it altogether, if kept well in check during the winter it will be less troublesome in the summer months. The Push Vine is the toughest of all the Aspiration Vines, and under favorable circumstances attains a great height.
THE VALENTINE FLOWER
Blooms only one day in the year, but if the blossoms are tenderly kept they will retain their sweetness for a long time.
THE ASPIRA POETICA
This plant speaks for itself.
From seeds he'd stored in an acorn jar He selected with care on the first of MAR
It is still too cold to set out the young Hope Plants. Hope poles for their support should be out in readiness and stuck in the ground at proper intervals. For this purpose the best poles are Spruce, or Heart of Oak, or if the Hope Plants live till midsummer, the Sea Beach. Weeping Willow, and Pine, of course, should be avoided.
Weeding must now begin in earnest, though it is as yet too early for the Gossip Weed and the poisonous Scandalwood.
Antipathy, another noxious weed, in its early stages often resembles Reciprocation, the very sweetest of all the early spring flowers. Even the Seeds of these two plants are so alike that one sometimes sows Antipathy when he thinks he is sowing Reciprocation.
Another pretty flower that blows chiefly in March is the Lingerie Plant (Frillia Fluffylacea), which makes a pretty display at exposed corners during the month. The snowy petals, with their lacelike edges, closely resemble those of the white carnation.
In Formal Gardens, the Frillia is not encouraged. There is, however, a variety known as the Washia, or Monday Plant (Laundria Familiensis), a weekly bloomer, common in Kitchen and Roof gardens. It is best started in tubs; but when ready to put out requires strong poles, supported by which it makes a brave show; but unlike the Hope Vine, it lasts only for a day or two before drying up.
THE WIND FLOWER
THE OVERDUE BILLBERRY PLANT
A persistent and knoxious weed which should be stamped out as soon as it makes its appearance. Thrives in the vicinity of doorways and letterboxes.
In garden beds of every shape He planted the seeds on the first of AP
This is a very treacherous month for the Gardener. Perhaps the most characteristic April flower is the April Hope Plant (Anchoria Sanguinia), whose delicate leaves begin to show early in the month. Though one of the most fragile of plants in appearance, it is possessed of extraordinary vitality. Were it not for this, it would soon fall a prey to a capricious but rapacious weed known as the April-foolia-Flirtatia Mittifolia, so called from its mitten-shaped leaves. This curious plant when in full bloom shows a heart-shaped flower, so inviting in appearance that unwary people are seized with an irresistible desire to pluck it. Instead of the anticipated pleasure, however, they receive a sharp, stinging sensation, not unlike that of a nettle. As with the Nettle, too, if the flower be firmly grasped and crushed in the hand, the sting will be deadened. This plant should be avoided by inexperienced gardeners. It is believed by some that the sting caused by the Flirtatia Mittifolia may be cured by crushing another flower of the species and applying it to the wound as a counter irritant. Another and more reliable cure is a plant called Newflamea, which blooms in May. The seed of this beautiful flower may be sown in the middle of April, in sheltered places. The constant care and attention which it requires will be amply rewarded by the beauty and fragrance of its blossom, which appears with the first May sunshine. The seed should be kept always on hand, as it can, with attention, be grown at any time, and has a wonderfully stimulating effect upon its admirers.
Some of the failures with this plant have been heartbreaking.
A trailer. Considered unlucky to pick them. Of all the blooming things, these are the most discouraging. From the many descriptions of this plant it seems a sort of Horse Chestnut. Its color and form are bad. Enthusiasts have been known to watch for results for years without one plant showing. Related to the Hope Plant.]
"'Tis spring!" he cried, as a tender spray Put out its buds on the first of MAY
The Gardener now begins to reap the reward of his toil of the past few weeks. With the bright blossoms of the Hope Vines and the Newflamea Plant, the Garden already presents a lively appearance.
A Spring variety of the Aspiration Vine (Aspira Poetica) is also in bloom, and fills the air with an indescribable fragrance. It is not in any way related to the common or garden Asparagus, as the name might suggest. The Aspira Poetica is a capricious plant, however, and few can bring it to perfection; for those who are unsuccessful in its cultivation a substitute may be found in the familiar Quotation Plant (Bartlettia Familiaris). This, while lacking the freshness of its Sister Plant, is a showy and reliable Bloomer all the year round. It is a hardy flower; any one can raise it, care only being required in selection from many varieties.
Young gardeners should be cautioned against a too great display of these plants, as some varieties contain a powerful narcotic, which often causes people to lose consciousness, while in the very act of admiring their beauty.
Requires a good deal of attention, but is usually a very satisfactory plant to cultivate.
A host of flowers of every hue Began to bloom on the first of JU
June is called the month of roses. Quite the commonest variety known to Hearticulturists is the Blush Rose. This most delicate and sensitive of all the flowers in Love's Garden has the astonishing power of changing color. The faintest whisper of a Spring Zephyr, the hum of a bee, or the note of a bird will cause it to turn from an ivory pink to the deepest crimson. Care should be taken in the selection of this variety of roses as unscrupulous nurserymen often palm off on inexperienced customers a rank imitation, little better than a weed, known as the Common Rouge or Make-up Plant (Pigmentia Artificialis), a variety of the Puff Blossom. The imposture may be easily detected, however, by the application of the water test, a spray of water from a watering can or hose causing the false rose to turn a chalky white color with red streaks.
Matrimony is a flower much cultivated in June, but it is difficult to raise, and many gardeners refuse to have anything to do with it. Though the catalogues advertise highly, we do not recommend it to very young gardeners.
THE BLUSH ROSE
BUNDLE BEARER WEED
In appearance this plant is a sort of combination between the Hayseedia and the Storeclothesia. A quick growing running vine. Trains everywhere. To be found all along the railroads. Very plentiful about New York. Seems to flourish wonderfully in little hot houses.
The poor little flowers looked so dry He watered them well on the first of JY
The Falling-Star Flowers and the Rocket Climbers, two well-known varieties of the Firewort family, make a beautiful show this month; the latter especially, which rapidly attains a great height. The Firewort family are all night bloomers, and related to the Patriotica Americana. Great care must be taken in their raising and plenty of room allowed for their expansion; for if checked at the time of blooming, they are very dangerous and sometimes even fatal in their effect. Children especially should never be allowed to handle them.
The Evening Chaperon is fashionable and useful, but like the Wallflower should be planted in out-of-the-way places, such as the other side of the wall or gate.
Perhaps there is no more familiar or popular summer annual than the common or Garden Hammock plant or Swingia (Embracia Pendulosa). It is seen at its best in the evening, often blooming late; sometimes it is called the Night-Blooming Serious. Though a composite flower, when at the full the two heads are often so close as to be mistaken for a single one.
Another night-blooming plant is the Serenade vine (Mandolina Nightbawlia),—a climber encouraged by some, but regarded by others as a nuisance. Unlike other vines, it cannot stand wet weather. A sudden rain, the spray of a hose, even a pitcher of water, will choke it off altogether.
THE HAMMOCK VINE
For best results should not be planted very close together.
THE PITCHER PLANT
This must not be mistaken for the
ICE PITCHER PLANT
A morning glory.
With a knife made out of a beetle's claw He trimmed his plants on the first of AU
There is little work for the Hearticulturist in August. If the Gossip Weed and Scandalwood have been kept in check, the young Heart Gardener will have ample time to enjoy the feast of color and sweetness that his labor and devotion have earned for him.
The gayest note in the color harmony of August is the Parasolia. This beautiful plant, which blooms in every color of the rainbow, abounds in the hottest weather, and like its sister Sunworshipper, the Sunflower (whom the poet Moore has immortalized),—
"Turns to her God when he sets The same glance that she turned when he rose."
So faithful, indeed, is the Parasolia in this respect that a distinguished scientist, formerly superintendent of the National Weather Bureau, once confessed (in a private interview printed confidentially in the Evening Post) that his success in telling whether or no the sun were shining was entirely due to his watching the flowers of the Parasolia.
At sunset the Parasolia folds its gayly tinted petals for the night, giving place to that delicious variety of Night-Blooming Serious, the Hammock Plant, which may be seen swaying gently in the moonlight often far into the night.
Opens only when the sun is shining.
One of those strange noisesome car-nervious plants. Makes a weird sound when game is in sight. Glows at night. A great worry to farmers, as chickens, pigs, and other animals have been known to die from contact with this plant.
To reach his fruit he had to step On a fern-leaf ladder the first of SEP
A slight falling off will be noticed this month, especially in the leaves, and the garden will need the most careful attention. The Engagement Vines often become very much entangled, so that it is hard to tell which is which. Straightening them out is a delicate operation, and in some cases the shears are necessary.
The Heart Trees especially should be watched this month, to guard against blight.
The Golf Plant (CRAWLIA BRAGADOSIA) a dull though persistent creeper, related to the Gillieflower, thrives well in September, and indeed in all the Autumn months. It is much fancied by up-to-date gardeners. Like the poison ivy, it is quite innocuous to many people, but to some it is a powerful irritant, causing them to break out in the most violent manner. From the fruit of this plant is distilled a strong stimulant called Bogey, highly prized by its cultivators, but looked upon with contempt by outsiders, who regard the Golf Plant as the greatest pest in the vegetable kingdom.
THE RUBBER PLANT
Grows wild if planted near a window.
THE PORCH CLIMBER
SECOND STORY VINE
(Note the large size of the Pistils.)
The garden paths were completely blocked With engagement vines on the first of OCT
The Hearticulturist must bestir himself in October if he desires his garden to present a bright appearance at the end of the season. He will find plenty to do, raking up the rapidly falling leaves of the Date Plant.
The withered Date Leaves present a mournful appearance, and all traces of them should be cleaned away as fast as possible, as they impede the growth of the Fall Engagement Vine. These should be well covered, and together with the more tender of the Heart Trees taken into the Hot House at the first sign of a Frost.
Old-fashioned flowers like Yearning and Aufweedersehen or Absence, with their pensive autumn fragrance and soft colors, add much to the beauty of the October garden. Yearning, however, though a beautiful flower, should be well trimmed and kept within bounds, as it has a tendency to become wild when left to itself, in which state it is a most troublesome weed.
THE DEADLY GOSSIP WEED
A knoxious plant.
ONE OF THE FINEST
A great grafter. Follows the Porch Climber, but seldom appears until it has quite gone.
For fear of frosts he made a stove Of glow-worm coals on the first of NOV
The Heart Garden would be a dull spectacle in the month of November were it not for the brave show of the Thanksgiving Bush (Overeatia Nationalia), with its bright turkey-red flower. This together with the Reunion Plant (Gatheringea Familiensis), a species of Arborvitae, of which the Smithensis and Jonesia are the commonest varieties, forms the color scheme of the November garden. The Reunion Plant especially, with its wonderfully intricate and multitudinous branches, shows so many varieties of color, form, and scent as almost to be a garden in itself.
A much-prized though unobtrusive November flower is the Correspondence Vine (Epistolaria Amoris). This vine flourishes more or less all the year round, but grows to a great length during the late months of the year. One variety, the Clandestina Epistolaria, is especially shy, being rarely seen above the ground. This is a particularly sweet variety, but in Formal Gardens it is not encouraged, as its fruit is believed by many to be bad in taste and often dangerous in its effect.
THE COSEY CORNIA
Hot Air Plant
A sort of in-door variety of the Hammock Vine.
An artificial plant. Delicious when young. A popular delicacy for late suppers. Apt to run wild and often can be picked up where one least expects it. Usually rather expensive to cultivate. Grows in clusters along the road.
When the snow came down like a soft white fleece He potted his plants on the first of DEC
The Hearticulturist may take his well-earned rest in December, as the few hardy shrubs that venture out this month are well able to take care of themselves.
Most noticeable of these is the Marrygold, a dwarf growth of foreign importation, and erroneously supposed to be a sport of the original Heart Tree. The Marrygold has a showy yellow flower resembling the Dandelion, to which many believe it related, the petals often taking the form of a crown or coronet. The leaves are covered with sharp stinging spines like those of the Nettle, and the odor is most pungent. However, though a disagreeable plant, it has nevertheless a certain vogue, and serves to enliven an otherwise dull season.
It is a relief to turn from the pungent Marrygold and the vulgar Push Vine to the graceful Puff Plant (Powderminosia Delicatea). This dainty flower, though not an out-door bloomer, bears a wintry looking blossom of snowy white with a rare fragrance. It is an exquisitely feminine flower, being often seen in ornamental pots in boudoirs or on dressing-tables, and is eagerly sought after by ladies at fashionable balls and other gay functions of the jolly month of December.
THE POKER PLANT
A showy plant. Great for Hedging. A great deal of time and money have been spent in perfecting this plant and many a sleepless night in raising it. Grows very large in pots, but the blossoms are sometimes slow in opening—sometimes opened by hand—not advisable, however, unless one has a very sure hand—otherwise it is apt to prove an expensive experiment. Grows in great variety. In fact, it is seldom a grower can produce three alike, and if an enthusiast can show four of a kind it is something to be remembered—sometimes with sorrow. Should be taken in early or they will freeze out and die. Do not touch with cold hands.
A Word at Parting
In bringing out this little book we feel that we are doing a great service. We know it is needed; the world has needed it for a long time. Adam, even, might have been a better gardener had this book been available. Who can say? Perhaps he would not have had to give up the old farm and move away, had he had this Almanac to guide him. And then there are Hero and Leander, Paris and Helen, Abelard and Heloise, Paolo and Francesca, and so many, many others—how different it might all have been had we only published this little book a few thousand years ago! We are filled with regret. The one consoling thought is that we are better fitted for the work now. We are older and we think wiser.
From time to time, as we see the need, we shall issue new volumes of Cupid's Almanac, thoroughly revised and up to date on all matters pertaining to Hearticulture and its kindred pursuits.
We thank you, Generous Reader, for your patience and your patronage.
And beg to remain, Faithfully, Your humble servants, THE AUTHORS.
The Riverside Press CAMBRIDGE. MASSACHUSETTS U. S. A.