Page:On the cultivation of the plants belonging to the natural order of Proteeae.djvu/26
ON THE CULTIVATION OF
that they constitute many genera, some of which, as Dr. Sims observes, are already accurately defined, by the author of the Paradisus Londinensis. His names, with those of other scientific botanists, will therefore be adopted, in the following detail of the method of cultivating this tribe of plants, which succeeded so well at Clapham; and I shall feel very proud, if from the hints now given, they are preserved longer, or rendered more plentiful among us.
As in all cases, it is the business of an intelligent gardener, to imitate nature, as far as may be practicable, the soil and particular situation, in which each species grows wild, has never been omitted, when it could be ascertained; many delighting in dry rocky places, while others will not thrive without richer and more loamy earth; some again require schist, and several a great portion of sand.
To avoid repetitions, the general method of treating the whole Natural Order is first given, any exceptions to this, or other necessary remarks, being inserted under the respective species to which they apply. In enumerating them moreover, anxious to find out distinctions that might be useful to an unlearned gardener, rather than to the scientific botanist, their generic and specific characters have in no instance been drawn up, on the mere authority of preceding writers, or without examining the plants themselves; neither are they arranged systematically, but according to the natural affinity, which in my humble opinion they have to each other.
The Soil in which I have found at least two thirds of these plants succeed, is a light soapy loam, mixed with a greater or less proportion of sand. Chuse a spot that has never been pared or burnt, especially on higher ground not inundated in wet seasons; and in digging the earth, only take from 5 to 6 inches of the top, includ-