Vintage Book- Old Fashioned Flowers - Mills Vintage Interiors.
Vol. IV. Handbooks of Practical Gardening.
TITLE: The Book of Old-Fashioned Flowers
and other plants which thrive in the open-air
by Harry Roberts.
Old Fashioned Flowers, means different things to different people.
The writer means an informal "garden of all sorts of pleasant flowers which our English Ayre will
permit to be noursed up". Meaning sweet william, gilly flowers, mignonette, sweet peas, roses, honeysuckle, fritillaries, anemones, cowslips, tulipas, foxgloves and other such flowers, very beautiful, delight full and pleasant.
The term "cottage garden" is an elastic one, most people nostalgically picture wayside plots of country working folk. One thinks of Rose and Clematis climbing over the doorway, of peonies, hollyhocks, sunflowers flowering in the beds and borders. Old fashioned herbaceous plants, associated with cottage gardens nearly the year through finding something of interest and beauty.
The garden in spring - the dividing line between the seasons, Nature progresses evenly, gradually.
The flowering of the Snowdrop indicates the onset of spring, however Dutch Crocus seems to be the earliest. There are over seventy distinct species of Crocus, though more of them bloom in the autumn than in spring. Even in the 17thc there were as many as thirty-one kinds. Crocus will grow and prosper in almost any good soil, especially if it rests on chalk or other good sub-soil.
Crown Imperial - Fritillaria imperialis - loves rich, deep, garden soil, or a rich shrubbery border.
When established is an interesting showy plant, growing upwards of four feet. The are varieties in combinations of red, yellow and orange.
The other commoner spring fritilllaries are dwarf bulbous plant, and naturalise in grass and woodland.
They produce sombre coloured, chequered snaky looking pendulous flowers. Snakes Head Fritillarie.
17thc Gardeners called it Ginnie-hen Flower.