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of which I can rain upon the plants at pleasure. In the middle of summer the sun shines into this house for about one hour only in the morning, and about the same time in the evening, but not at all during the winter. There is no artificial heat. It contains at present about fifty species of British, North American, and other hardy ferns, Lycopodium denticulatum, lucidulum and clavatum, and the following flowering plants—Linnæa borealis, Oxalis Acetosella, Primula vulgaris, Digitalis purpurea, Cardamine flexuosa, Lonicera Periclymenum, Meconopsis cambrica, Geranium robertianum var. flore albo, Dentaria bulbifera, Paris quadrifolia, Mimulus moschatus, Linaria Cymbalaria, Lamium maculatum, and several others. All these flower well, but the atmosphere is too moist, and there is too little sun for them to ripen seed; with the exception of the Mimulus, the Oxalis, and the Cardamine, which latter grows with great luxuriance, and furnishes throughout the year a most grateful addition to the food of a tame Canary bird. The Rhapis flabelliformis and Phønix dactylifera bore the cold during three winters in this house, when I was obliged to remove them in consequence of their size. A double white Camellia was also planted, about four years back, and blossomed tolerably well for three successive springs, but was killed by the last severe winter. In a cold house like this, but with an eastern or western aspect, so as to admit more solar light, I believe that Camellias would flower beautifully, and be far less likely to suffer from the winter's cold. The influence of light in enabling plants to withstand cold is far too little attended to, and in all cases where it is necessary to protect delicate plants in winter, light should be admitted, if possible. I shall next mention
4. The Alpine Case. Azalea procumbens, Andromeda tetragona, A. hypnoides, Primula minima, P. helvetica, Soldanella montana, S. alpina, Eriophorum alpinum and a few others, were the contents of my
first alpine case. As I thought there would not be sufficient light at any of my windows, I placed the case on the roof of the house, and in the following spring all the plants flowered well except the Andromedas. Forgetting that an alpine summer is not so long as ours, I allowed the plants to remain fully exposed to the sun for the whole year, owing to which they became so exhausted that some died, and but few flowered in the ensuing spring. Warned by this, in my succeeding experiments on this interesting tribe of plants, I remove the case after their flowering into the coldest and most shady place I can find, until the following winter, when they resume their old position. In this way they flourish much better, but it is impossible to do them full justice, as we cannot give them the perfect rest which they require.
5. Drawing-Room Case. This case is at present filled in the bottom with two or three small Palms, some ferns, two or three species of Lycopodium, and several bulbous roots. Within, and along the roof of this case, runs a perforated bronze bar, from which are suspended small pots, containing Mammillaria tenuis, two or three species of Cactus, and one or two Aloes. In such a case as this it is easy to grow bog plants in the bottom and succulents at the top, these last never receiving any moisture but in the state of vapour, and that more abundantly when they most want it, viz. in the heat of summer. The distance between the surface of the mould at the bottom and the suspended plants does not exceed eighteen inches. The
case stands in the window of a room with a southern aspect, and the thermometer in summer frequently rises to 110°, and even higher. This case requires occasional watering.
6. Small Bottle with Mammillaria tenuis, a species of Cactus, and two or three fleshy species of Euphorbia. This stands under the drawing-room case.
The plants have been enclosed four years; the mould consisting of very sandy loam.
No water has been given since they were planted, and all are in a state of perfect health, although now outgrowing their narrow bounds.
7. Crocuses and Winter Aconites. Two cases were filled with roots of these plants; the one placed outside a window with a southern aspect, where there was plenty of light, but no artificial heat; the other in a warm room, where the light was very deficient. The plants in the former case exhibited a perfectly natural appearance, their flowers were abundant and well coloured; while in the latter the leaves grew very long and pale, and not a single flower was produced.
8. Crocuses with Artificial Light. A case fitted up precisely as the two preceding was placed on my staircase, close to a gas lamp. The plants were covered during the day with a thick dark cloth, so as effectually to exclude day-light, and as soon as the gas was lighted the cloth was removed. The plants were thus exposed from five to eight hours daily to the influence of artificial light, accompanied with some degree of heat, while the remainder of the twenty-four hours was spent in a state of rest. The plants grew very well, the leaves not so much drawn up as those in the warm room, and the color more intense One root flowered, the color of the flower being blue.
9. Case with Spring Flowers. In order to have a gay assemblage of flowers, I filled a case about three feet by one with the following plants, viz., Primula sinensis, P. nivalis, Scilla sibirica, Cyclamen Coüm, Ornithogalum Sternbergii, Gagea lutea, Ganymedes pulchellus, and three or four varieties of Crocus, interspersed with little patches of Lycopodium denticulatum. This case was placed, about the end of February, outside a window with a southern aspect. It is not, I believe, possible to see these plants to such advantage in any ordinary garden. Here, undisturbed either by wind or rain, their flowers are developed in the greatest luxuriance; and most of them continue for two or three months,* realising the beautiful description of Catullus :
“ Ut flos in septis secretus nascitur hortis
Ignotus pecori, nullo contusus aratro
10. Fairy Roses. I procured two of the smallest varieties of Fairy Rose, planted them in two tubs, in some good loam, with broken pots at the bottom, and then covered them with bell-glasses, the diameter of which was rather smaller than that of the tubs, and placed them outside a window facing the south, where they have now remained three years. These plants are as nearly as possible in their natural condition, very seldom requiring water, as the rain which falls runs over the glass through the
* The Chorizema ilicifolium, if placed in such a situation in the beginning of May, will continue to flower for four or five months; and cut flowers will last twice or thrice as long as in ordinary rooms.
mould. They begin to flower early in the spring, and continue for four or five months in great beauty, nothing more being required than to give them an occasional pruning.
It would be waste of time to detail any more of these minor experiments, and I shall therefore conclude by giving a short description of my largest experimental house. My object in this building was to obtain as many varied modifications of the natural conditions of plants as it was possible to procure in the small space to which I was confined.
The greatest length is twenty-four feet, width twelve feet, and extreme height eleven feet :
“ Exiguus spatio, variis sed fertilis herbis.”
By building up rock-work to within a foot of the glass, and by varying the surface in every possible way, very different degrees of heat, light and moisture, are apportioned to the various plants. The house is heated in the winter by means of hot-water pipes, which preserve the lower portion during that season at a much higher temperature than the upper; the latter however has the advantage in the height of summer. The range of the thermometer throughout the year in the lowest part is between 45o and 90°, whilst at the top it is between 30° and 130°. Thus we procure, in a space not exceeding ten feet, an insular, and what may be called an excessive climate. There is no sunshine from the end of October to the end of March. In the lower portion are planted the following Palms :Phoenix dactylifera, P. leonensis, Rhapis flabelliformis, R. Sierotsik, a small but beautiful species from Japan, Chamærops humilis, Seaforthia nobilis, Cocos botryophora,