Thrip, the little transparent, whitish fly, will sometimes bother border carnations in the same way as it does roses. If the flowers are only in bud, I sprinkle them with my brass rose-atomizer and powder slightly with helebore. But if the flowers are open, sprinkling and shaking alone may be resorted to. For the several kinds of underground worms that trouble pinks, of which the wireworm is the chief, I have found a liberal use of unslaked lime and bone-dust in the preparation of the soil before planting the best preventive.
Other ailments have appeared only occasionally. Sometimes an apparently healthy, full-grown plant will suddenly wither away, or else swell up close to the ground and finally burst so that the sap leaks out and it dies like a punctured or girdled tree. The first trouble may come from the too close contact of fresh manure, which should be kept away from the main roots of carnations, as from contact with lily bulbs.
As to the swelling called gout, there is no cure, so do not temporize. Pull up the plant at once and disinfect the spot with unslaked lime and sulphur.
Thus, Mary Penrose, may you have either pinks in your garden or a garden of pinks, whichever way you may care to develop your idea. “A deal of trouble?” Y-e-s; but then only think of the flowers that crown the work, and you might spend an equal amount of time in pricking cloth with a steel splinter and embroidering something, in the often taken-in-vain name of decorative art, that in the end is only an elaborated rag—without even the bone and the hank of hair!
THE FRAME OF THE PICTURE
(Mary Penrose to Barbara Campbell)
Woodridge, September 10. Your chronicle of the Pink Family found me by myself in camp, dreaming away as vigorously as if it was a necessary and practical occupation. After all, are we sure that it is not, in a way, both of these? This season my dreams of night have been so long that they have lingered into the things of day and vice versa, and yet neither the one nor the other have whispered of idleness, but the endless hope of work.
Bart’s third instalment of vacation ends to-morrow, though we shall continue to sleep out of doors so long as good weather lasts; the remaining ten days we are saving until October, when the final transplanting of trees and shrubs is to be made; and in addition to those for the knoll we have marked some shapely dogwoods, hornbeams, and tulip trees for grouping in other parts of the home acres. There are also to be had for the digging good bushes of the early pink and clammy white azalea, mountain-laurel, several of the blueberry tribe, that have white flowers in summer and glorious crimson foliage in autumn, white-flowered elder, button-bush, groundsel tree, witchhazel, bayberry, the shining-leaved sumach, the white meadow-sweet, and pink steeplebush, besides a number of cornels and viburnums suitable for shrubberies. As I glance over the list of what the river and quarry woods have yielded us, it is like reading from the catalogue of a general dealer in hardy plants, and yet I suppose hundreds of people have as much almost at their doors, if they did but know it.