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WINTER GARDENS ON THE WEST COAST.
The climate of the Puget Sound cities
encourages winter gardening to an extent
that is little appreciated by the owners of
the pretty homes that might well be made
tenfold more beautiful and attractive by a
little attention to the planting of hardy
shrubs, ornamental trees and climbing
vines. Nearly all of the interesting
growths of Japan would do well there.
The rose-lover may take special note of
the rugosa roses, of different colors as to
the flowers, and of special beauty in
foliage. The bright, glossy, thick and
firm leaves are freer from insect and dis
ease botheration than any ot the Euro
pean sorts. And though I can't speak
from experience, I think they would be
well nigh "evergreen" in this climate.
Some new rugosa hybreds have been pro
duced that show exquisite variations in
Most of the splendid magnolia family
are presumably hardy here, and nothing
else so adds dignity to a lawn. In early
spring their great flowers make the sea
son worth living to see. As I write, late
in December, the magnolias in Seattle
show no apparent intention of dropping
Rhododendrons deserve all the popu
larity they enjoy as the state floral em
blem, and every lawn within the state,
great or small, be its owner rich or poor,
show a mass of these stately beauties.
Their handsome form and foliage make
the lawn less bare in winter, and their
glorious bloom in spring seems a glimpse
of another world. Where is the rhodo
dendron society that will agitate the estab
lishment of Rhododendron Day? The
editors of The Raxcii will be glad to lend a
hand in the effort.
This winter climate is dreary enough
with its clouds and rain, in the best of
seasons, and it is a duty to ourselves and
our homes to make the lawns and gar
dens attractive, especially when the cli
mate is so favorable to winter gardening.
Some color ought to be introduced, and
for this purpose nothing is better than
the bright hued Japanese maples that
will retain their foliage long into the
winter. The beautiful laurus, with its
smooth red bark, helps in that direction.
Home of the yuccas, especially filainen
tosa, are certainly hardy here, and their
varigated leaves and serai-tropical habit
add life to a lawn. Mountain ash, with
its brilliant fruit, must not be forgotten;
nor specimens of white birch, whose flash
ing sterns so set off a winter landscape
But the climbers. Ah, the climbers!
The house that passes a winter, on ranch
or in the town, between Ashland and
Sitka, without feeling the loving embrace
of some beautifying vine is poor, indeed,
and most unfortunate iv its occupants,
whos ■ neglect or indifference subjects it
to «uch A tato. Hall's honeysuckle, Kn*
glish ivy In many varieties, Japan ivy, or
Boston ivy (Ampelopsjs Veitchi),all lend
themselves most charmingly to decoration
and home improving, from year's end to
year's end; not to mantion the gorgeous
clematises in many sorts and the long
line of other climbing beauties. All shall
have treatment in due time.
We have only touched upon the subject
juat to show that Tmk Ranch sees the need
and will help promote the beauty and
enhance the value of west coast homes
Notes and letters from interested friends,
with items of experience and observation
in this department of home improvement
will be welcomed by the editors.
By Wm. Griffin.
There is no purer delight for the lover
of nature than the culture of flowering
plants and ornamental trees and shrubs
on the grounds of the home ranch, in
either town or country. Under the al
most perfect conditions of irrigated land,
the gardens of all this region may well
be among the finest in existence. In
many years of experience and observa
tion in this inland section from Spokane
to Yakima, I conclude that the most
satisfactory class for outdoor culture in
town gardens are the hardy flowering
shrubs and small trees. These withstand
the winds best when once established,
and endure our winter without difficulty,
very few of them needing protection. I
enumerate a few of the desirable sorts,
and trust that the editor of The Ranch
will give our garden lovers opportunity
to discuss their merits. [Certainly; with
special pleasure. Ed.]
The elders, both the cut-leaf and vari
gated varieties, are fine for early show.
They grow 4 to 6 feet high.
Tartarian honeysuckle sends out its
beautiful bloom in May, and is very hardy
and vigorous. Fine for hedge and mosses.
i Almost numberless now arc the varieties
of lilacs. The newer sorts should be
tried by admirers of the species.
The exquisite grace of the deulzias
commends them as universal favorites
The flowering plums (Prunns Pissardii)
both the triloba and double flowered
sorts, are beautiful small trees, 8 to 12 feet
Japan quince is hardy and always in
teresting for its fine foliage and brilliant
blooms in spring.
Euonymous (the burning bush or straw
berry tree) has handsome rose colored
flowers in clusters that often stay on the
plant till midwinter; <> to 8 feet tall.
The rhododendron, state flower of
Washington, of course demands a place
in every well regulated garden within her
borders. A group of these glorious
plants when in flower in early spring is
the finest exhibit of 1 lower him I.
Space forbids more than a mention of
the finperh, lute flowering altheas; the
ever attractive early blooming wiegelas;
the well-known snow ball; flowering
almond of fragrant memory; the sweet
scented bush —calycanthus; flowering
currant; syringas of many sorts; odor
iferous and beautiful, and the sturdy
thorn with its white, scarlet and crimson
flowers. The evergreens require a chapter
to themselves, and they deserve exten
sive cultivation in this comparatively
HOME GARDEN NOTES.
Chrysanthemums do poorly in the wet
atmosphere of the Pagpt Sound region.
We have suggested this as a reason for the
'mums' failure to flourish tliere, but fl >rist.s
scouted the idea, while admitting that on
the hill tops, le^s subject to fogs, much
finer blooms were secured. Xow we note
that English gardeners mention that
absence of rains and especially fogs, in
f°K#y Englands, during the past season,
operated to "keep the chrysanthemums in
fine character." This is a good pointer to
flower lovers in the "arid region." This
great favorite may undoubtedly be grown to
perfection in the inter-mountain region.
We would like some notes ot experience on
A moisture tent f >r house plants is an ex
cellent idea suggested by Julius Koeuig of
St. Louu. It is a noticeable fact that
most plautß used for iojui embellishment
suffer greatly from the dry atmosphere,
and sprinkling doe 3 not help this much.
This difficulty is gotten over, however, by
keeping them in a moist atmosphere at
night. For this purpose a bell-shaped tent
is made of heavy cantou flannel, large
enough to cover the plants to be so treated.
A frame of wood or wire is made to sup
port it. Every night the tent i 3 dipped
into water, slightly wrung out and
placed over the plants. If it dries out
very rapidly it may be sprinkled again.—
Cottonwooda are not very pretty street
trees in winter; now are they? Their frantic
limbs sprawl like spiders that have been
playing football with ants. Has the Scotch
larch been tried? It is a rapid grower,
hardy, beautiful and a fine timber tree.
It is pleasant to note that my prophecies of
fifteen years ago concerning the polled Scots
are being fullilled on the great ranges. The
best bunches passed on the overland train*
show fine specimens or grades of the Angus
or (Jalloway breeds; short-legged, stocky,
round and plump as only these thiifty
Scotch feeders and assimilators seem capable
of being. And the herds they are with show
so many of their characteristics it is easy
to determine that stout and hornless and
loug-haired black fellovvsstand at their head.
When I first saw these cattle in northern
Scotland, fat and thrifty on coarse feed and
little shelter, in spite of the penetrating
cold of the Scotch mists, I urged their more
liberal use by American breeders. Then
fine breeding stock oottld be bought at #50 a
head; but now—' ?