Dahlias.—These attractive plants require a deep, friable soil, not over rich. They may be grown from seed sown on a hotbed in March and lightly covered with fine mould. As soon as they are up give all the air which can with safety be given. When the seedlings are large enough pot them off singly in the smallest-sized pots or round the edges of 6-in. ones. Plant them out at the end of May, 1 ft. apart; they will flower at the end of August. Any that turn out very good had better be propagated by cuttings from the young tops, to save the kind in case the roots should die. When flowering is over take up the young bulbs and treat them as directed afterwards for old tubers.
Another way to propagate them is to place the old tubers in soil over a hotbed early in March. When the shoots are a couple of inches high the tubers may be taken up and divided with a sharp knife. Pot off separately. Water them occasionally with liquid manure, made from guano and powdered charcoal, well mixed with rain water, and plant them out early in May. Give them plenty of room, and tie the branches securely to stakes firmly fixed in the soil. When they have become good bushy plants put a layer of half-rotted manure round each plant. As soon as frost turns their foliage brown take them up, cut off the roots, leaving about 6 in. of stem attached, and plunge them into a box of sand, chaff, or ashes, and preserve them from damp, frost, and heat during the winter.
Daisies (Bellis Perennis).—These pretty, little hardy perennials are very useful as edgings. To grow them to perfection the ground should be highly manured, and the roots divided every year, planting them out 6 in. apart in a cool, shady situation. October is a suitable time for transplanting. They flower continuously from February to July. Height, 6 in.
Dandelions.—Dandelions on lawns, etc., may be killed by cutting them down as low as possible, and putting a little gas-tar or a pinch of salt on the wound. Or they may be dug up and blanched for mixing with salad. In this case plant six roots in an 8-in. pot, and place an inverted flower-pot over the whole, in order to exclude the light; the plants are sometimes blanched in the open by covering them with old tan or fine ashes. The flowers must be kept picked off, for they soon run to seed, and if unattended to become troublesome.
Daphne.—Beautiful shrubs, mostly evergreens, bearing elegant flowers followed by bright-red poisonous berries. D. Mezereum is the most common variety, and is very suitable for the front of shrubberies. The Chinese variety D. Odorata is too tender for outdoors, but makes a fine ornament for the greenhouse. The dwarf kinds, bearing fragrant pink flowers, are rather tender, but are very useful for rockeries occupying sheltered positions. They all need a peaty soil, and may be increased by grafting on to the common Spurge Laurel. Different varieties flower at various periods, from February to October. Height, 9 in. to 6 ft, but the majority are from 2 ft. to 3 ft. high.