Other annuals there are, and their name is legion, that are pretty enough, perhaps, and well adapted to special purposes, like the decorative and curious tassel flower, cockscombs, gourds, four o’clocks, etc., and the great tribe of “everlastings” for those people, if such there be, who still prefer dried things for winter bouquets, when an ivy-wreathed window filled with a succession of bulbs, ferns, or oxalis is so easily achieved! It is too harsh, perhaps, to call these minor annuals unworthy, but as they are unimportant and increase the labour rather than add to the pleasure, they are really unworthy of admission to the woman’s garden where there is only time and room for the best results.
But here I am rambling at large instead of plainly answering your question, “What annuals can we plant as late as this (May 25) while we are locating the rose bed?” You may plant any or all of them up to the first of June, the success of course depending upon a long autumn and late frosts. No, not quite all; the tall-growing sweet peas should be in the ground not later than May 1 in this south New England latitude, though in the northern states and Canada they are planted in June as a matter of course. Blanche Ferry, of the brilliant pink-and-white complexion, however, will do very nicely in the light of a labour-saving afterthought, as, only reaching a foot and a half high, little, if any, brush is needed.
[Illustration: ASTERS WELL MASSED.]
We found your rose list replete with charming varieties, but most of them too delicate for positive success hereabouts. I’m sending you presently the list for a fifty-dollar rose garden, which it seems is much in demand, so that I’ve adapted my own experience to the simple plan that Evan drew to enlighten amateur rose lovers and turn them from coveting their wealthy neighbours’ goods to spending their energy in producing covetable roses of their own!
By the way, I send you my own particular list of Worthy Annuals to match the hardy plants and keep heights and colours easily before you until your own Garden Book is formulated and we can compare notes. (See page 387.)
You forgot to tell me whether you have decided to keep hens or not! I know that the matter has been discussed every spring since you have lived at Woodridge. If you are planning a hennery, I shall not encourage the rosary, for the days of a commuter’s wife are not long enough for both without encountering nervous prostration on the immediate premises.
Some problems are ably solved by cooeperation. As I am a devotee of the ornamental and comfortable, Martha Saunders nee Corkle runs a cooeperative hen-yard in our north pasture for the benefit of the Cortrights and ourselves to our mutual joy!
THEIR FORTUNATE ESCAPE