Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

from the centre of this cross cut, he made another about three inches in length, in a straight line, downward, and as if making a T, but taking care not to cut deeper than the inner bark; with the point of his knife, he then carefully raised the bark all round the cut.

He then cut off, with a sharp knife, from a beautiful white rose he wanted to increase, a slice rather longer than the T he had cut in the stock, and which contained an eye with a strong bud on it. From this slice he carefully removed all the wood, then cutting a piece off the top, he made it fit exactly into the cross cut he had first made, pushing the rest of the slice smoothly under the bark of the stock. He then placed a small piece of clay, prepared for the purpose, round the whole, to exclude the air, tying it round, but not too tightly, with a worsted thread to keep everything in its place. “Now, Adam,” said Mr. Stock, when he had finished, “there is a lesson for you in the science of gardening; by this process you can have half a dozen different kinds of roses on the same stem, and, by using a neat wire frame, you may train them into all manner of beautiful shapes; but, after all, the training of nature, with a little judicious pruning, and a good rich soil, is the best for roses. I fear we are too early for this bud to have fair play, but as the atmosphere has been rather moist for the last few days, our rose has a fair chance of succeeding, and I wanted you to see how it was performed. And now let me see whether you know the names of the finest flowers we have in bloom this month." “I think,” said Adam, “I could repeat nearly the whole, but they are very numerous. There are sunflowers and carnations, lupins, pinks, marigolds, larkspurs, wallflowers, snapdragons,”—

and here he paused. “Well,” said his father, “you will lose your holiday, if you can give no larger list than that.” “Ah! papa, you must not hurry me,” said Adam; and he went on repeating most of the noble list of flowers in blossom during the beautiful month of June.

On the following day, Adam departed to pay a long promised visit in a distant part of the country, and our lessons must stop until his return, a matter of less importance, seeing that weeding, watering, and otherwise trimming up the garden, constituted the routine during his absence.

CHAPTER VII.

“Ruddy September, with wide wicker maunds,

Treads his full orchard now, and at all hours
Gathers delicious sweets, where are no sours.”

The first week of September had passed away before Adam returned home, and his first inquiries were about the garden. “You will find a great change there, Adam,” replied his father; “but we must hear what you have got to tell us to-night, and to-morrow, after breakfast, we shall return to our labours in the garden.” Accordingly the evening was one of happy enjoyment in the little circle; Adam told them all that had happened to him, and the happy and united family related in return all the little incidents that had occurred at home.

On the following morning, Mr. Stock and Adam went round the whole garden, which was found in beautiful order; for Mr. Stock had been unceasing in his exertions. The first

thing that struck Adam was the cucumber-beds, which were now entirely uncovered, and throwing out their leaves and fruit most luxuriantly. A new hot-bed had been prepared, but not so high as the last one, and Adam was delighted at the appearance it presented. The frames contained pots filled with cuttings of fuchsias, geraniums, roses, lavateras, verbenas, and a number of other flowers, besides numerous pipings of pinks and carnations; these were inserted neatly round the edges, and in the centre of each pot was sunk a smaller one, having the bottom hole stopped with clay, and then filled to the brim with water. This, his father told him, was to keep the cuttings in a moist state until they had taken root; which they had nearly all done, promising them a grand addition to their next year's store of flowers, if they were fortunate enough to save them during the winter. “So you see, Adam, I have not been idle during your absence," said Mr. Stock; “ most of the beds you helped me to put in have disappeared, and I have nearly got in all our winter crops. The bed under the south wall, which is a good soil and dry, is sown with winter spinach; by-and-bye, when about an inch high, we must weed and thin it; then I have planted a good quantity of young brocoli-plants, which will be in perfection by spring ; then here is a bed of onions for spring use; also carrots, radishes, and small salads; and here we have a small seedbed of cabbage and cauliflower. Our celery is now coming forward, and will give you some employment every week in earthing up, for this must be done a little at a time. But let us to work, and shew that your holiday has not spoilt you.”

So they set to work accordingly; Adam weeding and hoeing away with great perseverance. “Now, Adam,” said Mr. Stock, as you have finished your weed-hoeing, I would have you dig yonder bed of light loamy soil, and dig it as deep, and make it as light as you can; and then plant about a hundred lettuces from the seed-bed sown in August; plant them in rows, six inches apart each way; and then see to watering the cauliflower and brocoli plants coming on for use next month."

Towards the end of the month, our gardeners turned their attention to the various flower roots and borders requiring their attention. The hyacinth and tulip beds were prepared ; the anemone and ranunculus roots were planted out; auriculas shifted into pots; digging up all the flower borders, both for neatness and to destroy weed; transplanting and trimming the perennials; clipping all the box edgings and privet hedgeing about the place; rolling and weeding all the walks, until the whole garden was a picture of neatness and beauty.

One fine afternoon, at the end of the month, the whole family set off to a neighbouring wood, with sacks and satchels, upon a nutting expedition. By the time they had rambled about, and nearly filled their sacks, the sun, now shooting his almost level beams between the trunks of the trees, determined them to bend their steps homeward. On reaching the outskirts of the wood, they were struck with admiration and delight at the grandeur and beauty of the heavens. Above and around them nature appeared clothed in her richest and most vivid colours. In the centre was the golden glory of the setting sun, around it, mixed with streaks of gold, the clouds were dashed with pale green; and at a greater distance were masses of purple clouds, deeply crimsoned towards their edges, the extreme edge nearest

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »