Page:The Wild Garden William Robinson.djvu/20

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charms we may yet see in little cottage gardens in Kent, Sussex, and many other parts of England, though the scarlet geranium has begun to eradicate all the fair blossoms of many a sweet little garden, once, and often yet, "embowered in fruit trees and forest trees, evergreens and honeysuckles rising many-coloured from amid shaven grass plots, flowers struggling in through the very windows... where, especially on long summer nights, a king might have wished to sit and smoke and call it his." From these little Elysiums, where the last glimpses of beautiful old English gardening may yet be seen, we will now turn to the modern system which replaces it.

About a generation ago a taste began to be manifested for placing a number of tender plants in the open air in summer, with a view to the production of showy masses of decided colour. The subjects selected were mostly from sub-tropical climates and of free growth ; placed in the open air of our genial early summer, and in fresh rich earth, every year they grew rapidly and flowered abundantly during the summer and early autumn months, and until cut down by the first frosts. The brilliancy of tone resulting from this system was very attractive, and since its introduction there has