Littell's Living Age/Volume 127/Issue 1635/Miscellany
Growth under Trees. — How to clothe the ground under trees is sometimes a trouble-some problem to the gardener. But, after all, a very little attention will enable him to do it successfully. The most valuable plants for the purpose among evergreen shrubs are the holly, yew, privet, and butcher's broom, and among frailer subjects we may name the ivy and the periwinkle, both of which endure shading and starving with remarkable good-nature. There are many useful plants suitable for the foreground that are seldom thought of. Should the shade not be very thick, and the soil be a good loam, violets and lilies of the valley will thrive. For very bad cases, we may fall back upon three serviceable plants, all of them British weeds. First of all is the dwarf elder, Sambucus ebulus, which in early spring presents a rich carpet of emerald-green. The next is the sweet woodruff, Asperula odorata, spreading like a green cushion, and covered in May with snow-white flowers. The last is the enchanter's nightshade, Circœa lutetiana, an elegant little herb. These three will stand both shade and drip, and will make pleasant-looking verdure where other plants, that have constitutional objections to shade, would die of sheer starvation.
It is remarkable that the perfumes obtained from the flowers named above are the types of nearly all flower-odours. Thus, if we blend jasmine and orange-flowers, the result is a scent like sweet-pea; and when jasmine and tuberose are mixed, the perfume is that of the hyacinth. Violet and tuberose resemble lily of the valley. By blending primary odours we also obtain all the various bouquets and nosegays, such as "frangipanni," "white rose," and "sweet daphne."
Sweet Perfumes. — Few people are aware of the commercial importance of perfumes, and of the extent to which their manufacture is now carried on. The flower-harvest of the district of the Var, in the south-east of France, includes no less than 1,475,000 lbs. of orange-blossoms, 530,000 lbs. of roses, 100,000 lbs. of jasmine, 75,000 lbs. of violets, 45,000 lbs. of acacia, 30,000 lbs. of geranium, 24,000 lbs. of tuberose, and 5,000 lbs. of jonquil. A well-known perfume-manufacturer at Cannes uses annually 140,000 lbs. of rose-leaves alone, and other perfume-laden flowers in proportion.