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put away for their season of rest, were now planted about the borders in patches of threes or fours; while the tulips, of the better kind, were planted out in a bed prepared for them, and which afforded protection during the winter.
Towards the end of September, or early in October, the potatoes and carrots were dug up, and the pears and apples gathered,—the former being placed in a pit, in a dry part of the garden, having a layer of straw below and above them, and then covered with earth; the carrots were built up in layers, with some dry sand spread between each row.
The month of November has always been a subject of complaint with foreigners, and even our own countrymen, who are not blessed with robust health. The poet Cowper, a man of feeble frame, speaks of our cloudy skies, fogs, and dripping rains, as, “ disposing much all hearts to sadness, and none more than mine." But the true philosopher will not forget that these mists and rains, are preparing the soil for the future growth of the seeds lying in its bosom. Mr. Stock failed not to store Adam's mind with such reflections as these, while they were still actively employed in their labours. They were now pretty forward with their winter crops, and chiefly occupied in trenching such ground as they did not intend cropping until the spring, laying it up in ridges, by which means the soil was greatly improved, the frost, the sun, and the air, contributing to mellow and prepare it for the spring crops.
For several days at the close of the month, the whole party employed themselves in collecting the fallen leaves, both in the lanes and in the neighbouring wood, these forming an excellent soil for the more delicate flowers, when thoroughly decayed and mixed with mould. On one of these occasions Adam quite forgot the task he had undertaken of closing the hand-glasses at night; and the following morning a strong hoarfrost had covered the ground, and their young cauliflowers had been severely nipped. His father told him he must endure the disgrace of having deprived his mother and sisters of some pleasant early vegetables, owing to his neglect of duty. “This has arisen," said he, “ from your having had a holiday in the wood yesterday. Remember, in future, my dear boy, always to walk once round the garden of an evening, and observe what is to be done, either in attending to plants requiring unusual care, or in carrying to the house any tools that may have been left out. Punctuality is the life of all business; and indeed I never knew any great success attend a person who was irregular in his habits. Neglect of order, like rust on steel, increases with time, till the man, or the metal, becomes a useless lump."
Winter was now fairly set in, and Adam's summary of flowers for November was a very brief one. The China rose, the Michaelmas daisy, the laurustinus, being pretty nearly all he could muster. And now came “chill December," with its vapourish and cloudy atmosphere. The leaves were collected in masses, crumpling under the feet with rustling sound; the fields were damp, and, except in the sudden frosts frequent in this month, nearly impassable; the evergreen trees, only, with the furs and the pines, remain to gratify the eye of taste. These evergreens seem like real friends, and are never found wanting; from May to December they remain our constant companions, gladdening the gloom of winter with their lively green, and subduing the glare of summer with their darker shade. December has other associations peculiar to itself, and, especially in the country, has its own enjoyments. It is the merriest month in the year. Its grand holyday – Christmas, has survived all others; and although the custom is not kept up as in the days of our ancestors, when, according to Jonsonrare Ben Jonson
“The jolly wassail walks the often round
And in their cups their cares were drowned :"
Still as Mr. Stock and his family managed it, the enjoyments of December made them almost forget the delight of their May mornings.
In all these enjoyments, however, our gardeners found plenty of employment, which served to give zest to their indoor enjoyments. They finished trenching the vacant ground, tended the hand-glasses and frames, giving them plenty of air when the days were fine, but carefully closing them on the approach of night. Their early peas and beans now began to shew themselves above ground, and when the absence of frost permitted, the earth was drawn gently round their stems. The celery was earthed up; and Adam found that, even in the dead season, there was plenty of employment for the industrious gardener. By constant exercise he had become one of the finest and cheerfullest boys possible; and by the sensible conversations of his father and mother he had acquired more useful knowledge than boys much older than himself, and who had been in excellent schools, too, could boast of; for, without knowing it himself, he was always storing up something worthy of being known; and it had this advantage,—that it was generally impressed upon
was carefully impressed on Adam's mind by his father, who also urged him to devote a little time every day to noting down the operations upon which they had been engaged. “All young persons,” said Mr. Stock, “should devote a short time to putting down on paper the occurrences of each day and their thoughts upon them, doing this in as clear and simple language as possible. Let them once acquire this habit, and no difficulty will occur in after life to destroy it."
During the month of October they nearly finished putting in their winter crops. A bed of beans were sown, to be transplanted into rows an inch and a half apart; when about two inches above the ground, these were protected by hand-glasses when there was any appearance of frost. A few rows of early Charlton peas, to ripen in May, were sown in a south border, an inch and a half below the surface, and covered with straw, or pea-haulm, when the frosty nights set in. The lettuces, sown in August, were transplanted; a few under frames. The small cauliflowers were planted three together, so as to be covered by one hand-glass on wet and cold nights. New beds were prepared for cabbage plants, the ground being well manured, and dug one spade deep, and the plants placed two feet apart. The asparagus beds were dressed, the stalks being cut down to the ground, and the weeds in the alleys hoed away; the old beds were then covered with manure, well rotted, the alleys dug one spade deep, and the earth scattered over the beds. When this was done, a row of cabbages was planted in each alley. The flower borders were now dug up, the perennial plants neatly trimmed, or the roots divided, and the bulbs planted; the crocuses, and commoner sorts of tulips, which had been taken up when done flowering, and carefully