Open main menu

Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 130.djvu/390

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
382
THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL.

From The Gardener's Magazine.

A PERFECT LAWN.

After years of devotion to gardening as the most blessed of pastimes for a hard-working citizen, I rejoice in nothing more heartily than in the exquisitely perfect grass-turf I have secured as the reward of unremitting labor. In some points of management I have departed from the rules from time to time laid down in the magazine, but I have nowhere read such admirable treatises on the making and managing of grass-turf, and if my plan of procedure differs from that of our editor, it remains to be said, so far as I am concerned, that I should probably never have acquired a single practical notion on the subject except for its frequent eloquent and instructive appeals to us to do our utmost to secure a perfect turf. Having about half an acre of grass and two good mowing-machines — a Shanks and a Climax — I seem to begin well, but a fastidious eye and a strong soil combine to make weeds conspicuous. I tried our editor's plan of changing daisies into clover by means of sprinklings of phospho-guano. It is a grand method to put into operation just before you leave home for a month or so, but I don't like it if I am not going away. On a fine day you take a boxful of phospho-guano, or Peruvian guano, and when you find a dock or dandelion or thistle you powder the guano all over him by means of a trowel, and make him a nice brown color all over. There follows immediately a brown patch, and if the lawn is dotted with these brown patches its appearance is decidedly objectionable for a month or so; therefore, if you intend to leave home for a tour it is a very proper thing to kill the lawn weeds by this process before going away. Four years ago I treated a pretty croquet lawn in this way, and it has become since one of the loveliest bits of turf I have ever seen, for it is nearly all clover, the result, I suppose, of the guano dressing, and after two months of hot weather is still quite green — though dark green — and agreeable to the foot But, I repeat, this process results in disfigurement of the turf for a month or so; in fact, the brown patches do not disappear until heavy rains occur, and then the grasses and clovers take possession, and the difficulty is at an end. I have tried other preparations for the same purpose, but without finding anything better than guano. I find Watson's lawn-sand an effectual killer of weeds, especially of daisies, but it does not promote a good aftergrowth as guano does, the result, I suppose, of its being destitute of phospbatic fertilizers. Daisy-rakes are ridiculous, and for the complete eradication of daisies there can be no plan, I think, so effectual as guano-sprinkling. But for three years I have constantly practised a method which I will venture to consider my own. I go out every morning from the time pleasant summer weather sets in until the pleasant summer weather is over. I have in one hand a strong clasp-knife and in the other a box of salt. For this purpose I buy agricultural salt, which is considerably cheaper than culinary salt. When I find a thistle or dock or other rank weed, I carefully cut it out, pushing my knife down so as to cut it below the collar. Into the hole I drop a pinch of salt, which kills the root and makes an end of the business. I must own that sometimes this plan results in brown patches, but they are smaller, at all events, than those caused by the guano system without the knife; and if the work is done with care the beauty of the turf is not materially lessened. Let any one follow up this system and make an amusement of it, as I have done, and the reward will come in time, especially if carried out on land that really suits grass. If I had a soil on which grass did not thrive, I would be content with any substitute, and make no objection to daisies, for, after all, they are green.




From Macmillan's Magazine.

THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL.

"I think the house beautiful; it is so full of remembrances."
"The slow, sweet hours that bring us all things good,
The slow, sad hours that bring us all things ill,
And all good things from evil." — Tennyson.

I am sitting beside my nursery fire,
Watching my children at play,
And my thoughts go back to the long long years
Whose record is — passed away.

Yes, passed away is the echo I hear,
As I sit within this room,
And think of the lives of those loved ones dear
Who first made the house a home.

I see myself still, a little child,
Its walls unfinished and bare,
When brought on our queen's coronation-day,
The festive gladness to share.