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While this conversation was proceeding, they were busy watering all the young cabbage and brocoli plants. Adam was directed to give each plant a pint of water at least; for, having had little rain lately, they were in danger of dying. Having finished watering, Adam was directed to get some sticks, and some threads of old Russia matting, from the tool-house. “I will shew you," said Mr. Stock, “how to tie up the carnations and pinks, which are now beginning to shoot up for blowing. You must train the shoot neatly along the stick, and stop all the buds but the largest on each stem, then stir the earth well up round the roots.” This being done, Adam was desired to roll the grass and gravel walks, while Mr. Stock was sowing some flower seeds; such as mignionette, sweet pea, pansies, lupines, lavateras, and larkspurs, for blowing in autumn.
The great business of the season had now been performed, the crops being all sown, and they had only to watch their growth, keep them free from weeds; and thin, from time to time, the various crops of fruits and vegetables; watering the strawberry beds, and other plants, daily. This scene was varied by occasional excursions into the fields and green lanes, and adding to the flowers of the garden such wild plants as they could pick up;—the lovely veronica, with its pretty blue flowers, growing two and two together, one of our most beautiful field flowers being among them. What with the fields, the garden, and the woods, this lovely month may well be called “flowery May.”
“Now come the rosy June and blue-eyed hours,
With song of birds, and stir of leaves and wings,
And run of rills and bubble of bright springs,
ADAM and his father were at their work very early every morning, for Mr. Stock knew the importance of the habit of early rising. “Early rising," he told Adam, “clears the understanding and improves the memory; almost all the greatest men who have lived were early risers, and without that they never could have become such eminent men.” Acting on this principle, they were generally at work in the garden shortly after sunrise. Adam had now the management of the cucumber-frames; being instructed to water them early every morning, and to tilt the frames during the day to give the plants air. They were now occupied also in planting out the young celery plants, Mr. Stock marking out the plan by stretching a line from one end of the bed to the other, and Adam digging a trench, about a foot and a half deep and three feet apart, neatly finished on each side, in which the young plants were placed, a few inches apart from each other. The trenches being finished, Adam was told to draw up the earth to the plants every fortnight.
While at work one day, Adam was observed to stop and examine attentively a few currant trees, putting his fingers to his mouth several times; “What have you there, my boy,” said Mr. Stock; “ripe currants already?” “Oh, no, papa, not yet; but something quite sticky on the leaves, and so sweet, and so shiny, that they look as if they were varnished.” “I suppose you have found some honey-dew, a substance which has puzzled your ancestors, Adam; what think you of it?". “Why, papa, I have been thinking it very strange that all the currant trees have not this stuff upon them; and I have noticed that these trees, which have it on their upper sides only, are blotched and crinkled, while on the under side there are thousands of little green insects; and as I find this honey just below the insects, it must be caused by them somehow.”
“You are quite correct, Adam. The honey-dew is a secretion from these insects, which are called aphides. Entomologists tell us that the ants are so fond of the honey-dew, as to take particular care of the insects for the purpose of securing it; I suppose it is so abundant this summer, that this has not yet been discovered by the little epicures. But I wish to shew you the operation of budding roses, which, as you are going to be absent from home for the next two months, I shall not have another opportunity of shewing you this year, so if you come with me, I will shew you how it is done.” Mr. Stock proceeded accordingly to one of the beds, where he had, a few months before, planted some wellgrown wild rose stocks, and which were about three feet high, with stems about two inches round ;-choosing one of the most healthy of these, he selected a free growing shoot; and made a cut across it, quite through to the inner bark; then,