COCONUT PALMS NEAR MIAMI.
These magnificent palms, growing on the estate of Charles Deering at Buena Vista, are as
large and vigorous as any to be found in the South Sea islands, and annually bear heavy crops
of nuts. The coconut is a prince among ornamental plants: it can almost be considered, in
fact, emblematic of the tropics, and its presence in any planting creates an atmosphere which
cannot be produced by any other member of the plant kingdom. (Frontispiece)
CHARLES TORREY SIMPSON
A TREATISE ON THE DECORATIVE
PLANTS ADAPTED TO FLORIDA AND
THEIR CULTIVATION, WITH SUGGESTIONS
FOR THE ORNAMENTATION OF
FLORIDA HOMES AND GROUNDS
Published by the Author
LITTLE RIVER, FLORIDA
Charles T. Simpson,
Lile River, Florida.
CONCORD, N. H.
TO MR. CHARLES DEERING WHO, INSTEAD OF DESTROYING
THE HAMMOCK, IS CREATING IT, THIS LITTLE
BOOK IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED.
Introduction . .........v V
Laying Out Grounds and Clearing Land . .. .
Formal or Geometric Gardening . . .... 5
Making a Home in Florida . . . 9
Architecture . . . . . 14
Soil: Fertilizers . . . . 17
Climate: Protection of Plants . ... . 21
Propagation . .. . . . 27
Planting ................ . 33
The Cultivation and Care of a Garden . ... 37
Plant Enemies .. . . . . 43
Treatment and Planting of Low Grounds . ... 49
Miscellaneous Ornaments ... . ... 53
Shade Trees for Roads and Streets in Florida . 57
Wind Breaks and Hedges . . . 65
Orchids . . . . . 67
Fern Pools . . . . .. .. 75
In the Hammock .................. 79 '.
A Wildwood Garden. ................ 85
A Summer Morning at The Sentinels . ... 89
Catalog of Plants .................. 95
Catalog of Indigenous and Naturalized Plants .... 97
Native Palms . . . . . 97
Native Ornamental Trees . . . .. o2
Native Ornamental Shrubs . . ... o
Native Ornamental Vines .............. 1 .II
Native Ferns . . . . . z3
Native Ornamental Herbaceous Plants . ... 115
Exotic Ornamental Plants . . ... 117
Pinnate Leaved Palms . ..... . 117
Fan Leaved Palms . . . .. 24
Ornamental Exotic Trees. . . . 128
Ornamental Exotic Shrubs . . . 140
Ornamental Fruit Bearing Plants . . .
Ornamental Vines and Creepers . . 156
Herbaceous Plants . . . .. 166
Annuals . . . .. 184
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Coconut Palms near Miami. . .
An Ideal Tropical Home . ...
The Sentinels .....
A Country Home in Cuba . .
Ornamental Plants in a Cuban Courtyard
Plan for a Slat House . . .
Another Florida Plant House .......
A Garden in South Florida . .
A Rustic Seat. ............
A Rustic Bridge in the Hammock .
SA Shady Road in Cuba . .
A Tropical Avenue as It Should Be .
Ficus niida ... .. .. ... ..
An Avenue of Tamarinds . .
The Carissa as a Hedge Plant . ..
A Bamboo Windbreak . . .
A Philippine Orchid . . .
How to Make a Fern Pool . .. .
On the Bank of a Fern Pool . .
A Tropical Border at The Sentinels .
An Aerial Garden in South Florida ..
Crocodile Hole ............
The Sea-grape or Shore-grape . .
Mangroves on the Shore of Bay Biscayne
Cocos plumosa. ............
A Magnificent Avenue of Palms . .
A Handsome Oriental Palm .. .. .
The Famous Talipot Palm . .
A Group of Fan Leaved Palms ......
Royal Palms in Cuba . . .
A Group of Palms in Brazil. . .
The Old Man in the Garden . .
Ficus nymphaefola at The Sentinels .
A Fig of Much Promise for Florida .
viii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
The Silk Cotton Tree . ... Fig. 34 130
The Mango .................. 35. 130
The Carissa or Natal Plum . . 36 155
TheLitchi .................. .37 155
An Avenue of Mango Trees ... . 38 155
Camoensia maxima . ... . 39 155
Bamboos in Cuba . . . .. 40 176
A Cuban Air Plant . . .. 41 176
A Group of Giant Timber Bamboos ...... 42 176
In the Proceedings of the Florida Horticultural Society for
1912 there was published a paper by the writer entitled "Orna-
mental Plants of Dade County, Florida," giving some account
of the native and exotic plants of the region which it covered.
On account of the fact that no separates of this were printed an
illustrated edition was published later which met with consid-
erable favor from plant growers and lovers in general. The
suggestion has frequently been made to the author that he write .
something more extended and the following pages are the result.
Florida, especially the southern part of it, is really so new that
we know but little as to what we can or can not do in the matter
of growing ornamental plants, or making and decorating homes
within its borders. The writer has had over thirteen years of
experience in cultivating plants in Dade County and four in
Manatee County and yet he feels that he is not competent to
teach. Many things that he once supposed he had learned he
has later been compelled to unlearn, and every day new problems
are coming up which must be solved, problems for which the
books on gardening give no help whatever. This little work is
written, then, more as a set of suggestions than of instructions.
I said in my paper on Dade County plants that it was a sort of
first aid, and the same remark may be applied to this.
We can scarcely form the faintest conception of the enormous
number of useful and ornamental trees and plants from the
warmer parts of the world which will grow within the limits of
this state. The veteran botanist and explorer, Richard Spruce,
who spent fifteen years in the equatorial regions of South America
in search for new plants (1849-1864) in a letter to George Ben-
tham says:-"I have lately been calculating the number of
species that yet remain to be discovered in the great Amazonian
forest, from the cataracts of the Orinoco to the mountains of
Matto Grosso; taking the fact that by moving away a degree of
latitude or longitude I found about half the plants different as a
basis, and considering what very narrow strips we have up to
this day actually explored, and that often very inadequately, by
Humboldt, Martius, myself and others, there should still remain
some 50,000oo or even 80,000 species undiscovered."
That was in 1864, and only a few of these new things have
since been introduced. Think, then, of the enormous number
yet to come from the warmer regions of the earth, that will
flourish here and help to beautify the gardens and homes of our
state. Hundreds of new things are coming in every year and in
many cases we receive almost no information with them. We
learn nothing of their habitats, whether they are trees, shrubs
or vines, nor anything of the treatment they need. Is it any
wonder that much of our gardening is merely an experiment,
that we lose a large number of our finest plants because we do
not know how to give them proper treatment?
Indeed, for that matter, we scarcely know more of a great
number of plants which are described in standard works on gar-
dening and are offered for sale by nurserymen. The grower here
must very often find these things out by his own, often bitter,
experience. He constantly finds himself planting things in the
wrong places, in improper soil, with wrong conditions of light
and shade and moisture; what he gives them for fertilizer may
be poison, and what he intends for the kindest treatment may
ruin them. It will sometimes happen that he will have plants
for years which do no good under various kinds of treatment
that with something still different begin to flourish. Again and
again I have tried plants under different conditions, losing one
after another until I concluded they were not adapted and could
not be grown here. Then, perhaps, I would see the same thing
growing for others like the proverbial green bay tree, and after
a trial under the right conditions it would succeed with me.
It seems to be reasonable, then, that if any one here has had
any considerable experience in growing ornamentals in Florida
his knowledge, his successes and failures must be of some value
if given to others who have had little or no opportunities along
such lines, but who want to grow plants. This little work is in
no sense whatever a manual of gardening or an encyclopedia of
plants. Any one who has an extensive collection, or who culti-
vates on a large scale, should by all means have one or more
such works. Even the small grower will find it to his advantage
to have some of these books which will help, at least, in identify-
ing the things that are unknown to him. I have written this for
Florida where our conditions are peculiar, and, as a general
proposition, it would be of little value elsewhere. The plants of
the warmer regions which are cultivated in the north are usually
grown in rooms or glass houses, mostly with artificial heat, and
they are often bedded out in the summer in the open ground.
As a consequence they are usually dwarfed and do not have the
vigor or attain the size that they do in Florida.
This work covers a somewhat wider field than mere ornamental
gardening; it is intended to discuss in a general way the decora-
tion and beautifying of homes and grounds in our territory. I
have as far as possible endeavored to give some idea of the com-
parative hardiness or tenderness of the plants discussed. Those
which I have mentioned as being suitable for cultivation in the
extreme lower part of the state will generally be too tender to
grow much north of that region. Usually, though not always,
where it is stated that plants come from the tropics they are
quite tender. Most things which are hardy in the northern part
of Florida will flourish down two-thirds of the length of the state,
but comparatively few of them will succeed at the extreme lower
end of it.
In some cases it is quite probable that errors have been made
in identifying species, as I have not had access to extensive
libraries or herbaria. Many of the descriptions in the botanies
and encyclopedias are so brief, so vague and misleading that it
is absolutely impossible for any one with ordinary intelligence
to make anything out of them. These descriptions, often con-
taining not over fifteen or twenty words, are as dry as the moral
law, appearing as though their author had put his data into a
hopper, turned the crank and ground the thing out, there being
no remarks or comparison with other species. Even expert
botanists with whom I have worked complain that they can
make out nothing with certainty from such descriptions.
It is quite probable that the matter of this little work will be
found to be rather fragmentary and disjointed as it has been
written, for the most part, a few minutes at a time during rests
from the work of hoeing, wheeling muck, digging and attending
to my garden.
My experience in gardening in Florida is confined to the lower
part of the peninsula. In order to form some idea of what
could and what. could not be grown in different parts of the state
I sent lists of plants to several growers of large experience in
various places, asking them to mark such as had succeeded or
failed and to give other data, also to add additional species to
the lists and their knowledge of how they had done. Mr. Frank
MacLaren of Fernandina, Mr. John Schnabel of Gainesville,
Mr. C. E. Pleas of Chipley, Mr. E. N. Reasoner of the Royal
Palm Nursery at Oneco, Prof. H. Nehrling of Gotha and Mrs.
Marian McAdow of Punta Gorda have rendered the greatest
assistance in this way. I have visited a large number of places
scattered throughout the state and made notes on the cultivated
ornamentals and asked questions. Mr. Charles Mosier of Little
River has given me great help on the chapter on insects and
I am indebted to Mr. Charles Deering who is developing a
wonderful garden here, to Mr. David Fairchild and Mr. Wil-
son Popenoe of the United States Department of Agriculture,
and to Mr. Paul Popenoe of the American Genetic Association,
for great and repeated favors and help in getting up this little
The American Photograph Company of Havana, Cuba, has
kindly permitted me to use the picture of the Cuban highway,
the splendid group of royal palms, and the great bamboos over-
looking the water.
The chapters "In The Hammock" and "A Midsummer Morn-
ing at The Sentinels" were published in the Tropic Magazine.
While they do not strictly pertain to gardening they set forth
the beauties of an ornamental home in Florida.
There are ioo,ooo,ooo people in the United States today, and
this number may be doubled within the lifetime of many of those
who will read this little treatise. The wealth of the country is
increasing at a remarkably rapid rate. A constantly augmenting
number of people are coming to Florida each year to spend their
winters or to make permanent homes. It is becoming a rich
man's playground, a land of attractive winter homes for people
in moderate circumstances and a refuge for thousands who are
suffering from various ills of-the flesh. I can look forward with
full confidence to a time in the near future when a large area
within the territory covered in this work will be girdled with the
finest of roads bordered with beautiful tropical and semi-tropical
shade trees; I can see the land filled with happy homes -shaded
and embowered with the glorious vegetation of the equatorial
regions, a land of peace and contentment, a land of hope, of rest
for the weary, a land of perennial verdure and fadeless beauty.
LAYING OUT GROUNDS AND CLEARING LAND.
Any one reading the title of this chapter might think that I
had put the cart before the horse, but I feel satisfied that the
two headings have been placed in their proper sequence. It is
customary in Florida-when making ready to build a home to
clear out all or nearly all the vegetation on the land and then
plan for roads, paths and general planting. I believe it to be
the part of wisdom to carefully study one's land and location
from every direction for a considerable time, if possible, before
beginning the labor of clearing. One should know his land as a
pilot knows his river before commencing work and he should
have a tolerably clear idea of what he wants to do.
It is an excellent plan to construct a light, cheap, portable
frame or scaffold so that one can get up on it to a height of
twelve or fifteen feet above the ground level. This may be
built of I x 3 strips, with cross pieces and braces and pieces
nailed on for steps, so that one can mount to the top of it. It
can be set where one thinks of placing his house and from the
top of it he can form an idea of what kind of views he will have
from his windows. Two men should carry it about and by its
aid one can form a far better idea of the lie of his land, of what
will make a fine vista and what is likely to be unsightly, than
he could at ground level.
If convenient, the site chosen for the dwelling should be on a
slight elevation; certainly it should not be in a depression, and
if one is compelled to locate in such a place the house should, by
all means, be set up high enough so that the surface may be
filled in to a level. If there are unsightly objects in the view it
should be so placed that they may be screened out by plantings
of quick growing trees. If there are fine views set the building
so that they may be seen from the windows. It will be found
well worth while in many cases to devote considerable time
and study to the selection of the site, for a mistake made in this
matter cannot be remedied.
Most of the homes in Florida must be located on pine land,
as there is comparatively little hammock in the state. It is
getting to be the fashion nowadays, and a good fashion it is, to
leave standing all the clean, healthy pine trees. They shade
the ground to some extent and furnish some shelter, and they
blend fairly well-with the planted vegetation. They do not
rob the ground of fertility to any great extent, and they relieve
the place from the dreadful appearance of bleakness and naked-
ness it would have if everything was cut away. I consider it an
excellent idea to preserve the young pines and a goodly number
of the scrub palmettos. They furnish an admirable shelter for
the young and tender plants which the home builder puts out.
They break the force of winds, they are some protection from
frost and if the little things are frostbitten they keep the sun
from striking them early in the morning, at the time when its
effects are deadly. The saw palmetto grows over almost the
whole state, and from middle Florida southward a dwarf cabbage
palmetto is mixed with it. In the Biscayne Bay region there
flourishes, especially on the rocky ridges, a lovely small silver
palm (Coccothrinax garberi). In many places in the northern half
of the state is found a dwarf Sabal (S. adansoni) and the beau-
tiful Porcupine Palm (Rhapidophylum hystrix). All of these
will flourish when the thick scrub is cleared away from about
them, even without fertilizer, and if given a little care they all
make fine ornamentals. Any of them can easily be cleared away
at any time when the planted vegetation has attained some size.
In the northern part of the state the hammocks consist of
live oak and one or more other oaks, hickory, red bay, liquid-
ambar, cabbage palmettos and a few other species of trees and
shrubs. In a few places some of the more northern vegetation
is found such as elms, maples, walnuts and the like. As we go
southward most of these drop out and are replaced by a great
variety of tropical trees, so that by the time the extreme southern
end of the mainland and lower keys is reached practically every-
thing belongs to the torrid zone, the species being almost without
exception those which have their metropolis in the West Indies
and the Spanish Main.
No word picture can give the faintest idea of the bewildering
beauty of many of these hammocks, especially those of the
IN FLORIDA 3
warmer parts of the state. The live oaks and some other trees
are draped with wonderful festoons of long moss, the strange and
startling cabbage palmettos are in evidence everywhere, wild
coffee and other handsome shining leaved shrubs carpet the
ground, and an orgy of vines and creepers sprawl and clamber
over all. The trees are veritable air gardens, being loaded to the
breaking point with epiphytic orchids, Tillandsias, Peperomias,
Guzmannias, Catopsis and a variety of beautiful ferns.
I wish it were in my power to persuade my readers who come
into possession of such land to leave thlsglorious vegetation
just as nature has created it. The small remnant of this un-
touched beauty is fast disappearing before the settler's fire and
ax and especially before the real estate man. Mankind every-
where has an insane desire to waste and destroy the good and
beautiful things that nature has lavished upon him.
Several years ago a man from the North spent a winter near
my home and was a frequent visitor in my hammock. He
claimed to be a lover of nature but he wrote atrocious doggerel
poetry, and what was worse, he insisted on inflicting-it on me.
One day he dragged me to a seat in the hammock and read me one ,
of these effusions containing some fifty or sixty stanzas and then
looking around he said: "Do you know what I would do with
this timber if I had it?" and when I gave it up he said: "If this
was mine Iwould take my ax and chop out all the'underbrush and
all the crooked and little trees, and I'd clean out all those gnarly
oaks that is layin' round and I'd pull off that long moss an' all
that rubbish that's growing' on them trees and then it would look
as tho' somebody had been here and done something for it."
Sure enough, that is just what the average person seems to be
crazy to do, he wants to clean up, to improve, to let people know
that he has been there and with his wisdom has fixed things and
made them "look purty."
It seems to be an instinct among humans to want to mutilate,
cut down and destroy trees. Sir James Brooke tells how the
lazy natives of Borneo cut down and burn up new tracts of
beautiful virgin forest with an outlay of an immense amount of
labor, in preference to working the land they already have cleared,
though of course the new land is full of roots and stumps.
Here in South Florida we have a lot of men who buy up land,
clear off the vegetation, lay it out into lots and sell it. It seems
to be their especial delight to get hold of hammock, put in a gang
of ignorant Negroes, and utterly destroy the beautiful growth that
it has taken centuries to create.
If you are fortunate enough to obtain a piece of virgin ham-
mock, let it alone for a time; study it carefully and learn its
beauties, learn to love and fully appreciate it, find out all the
objects of interest in it and when you are fully acquainted with
its weird attractions a path or paths may be carefully cut through
it to whatever is of most interest, always leading these trails
along the lines of least resistance. As a general thing no large
or valuable trees need be removed, and abrupt turns are allow-
able. The walk may be carried far enough in from the border
of the wood so that one cannot see out and yet far enough away
from any of its turnings or reaches that it will be impossible to
see across to it. In this way it will make the hammock appear
to be much larger than it really is.
There should be an open space left in front of the house for
a lawn or grass plot. Even if one has only a good sized lot it
seems to me to be better taste to lay out a small area to be
planted in grass than to fill up the whole with trees and shrubs.
Leave it all free and open; do not disfigure it by putting beds
of plants or shrubs in it. Its border does not need to be regular;
in this one may well imitate nature, and nature doesn't make
straight rows or borders. Keep the roads and paths away from
the center of the lawn; in fact let it be an uninterrupted sheet
of grass if possible.
Whatever is done in the way of laying out a place should be
honest and sincere; there should be no shams, no shallow trickery.
One should remember that he is doing work for a lifetime; if it is
to be his home he will have to live with it; it will be his constant
companion year by year. It is wise then to give to such a task
plenty of time and the very best that is within him. Of course
if one has an extensive tract it may be best to consult a land-
scape gardener, but it seems to me that in a majority of cases
where there is only a limited area it is best for one to find out
what he wants, study carefully the situation and work out a
FORMAL OR GEOMETRIC GARDENING.
Formal gardening is a sort of compromise between natural
gardening and architecture. As I am not an architect I scarcely
feel competent to discuss the subject. Edward Kemp, a cele-
brated English gardener, speaks of it in this manner,-"Doubt-
less the geometrical style is that which an architect would most
naturally prefer; for it subordinates everything to the house,
and is a carrying out of the principles common to both itself
and architecture. A series of straight lines, joining one another
at right angles, and of beds in which some form of a circle or a
parallelogram is always apparent, or which fit into any regular
figure, are, as just before remarked, the leading and most expres-
sive features of this style. Flights of steps, balustraded walls,
terrace banks, symmetry and correspondence of parts, circles,
ovals, oblong and angular beds, exotic forms of vegetation, raised
platforms and sunken panels are some of the materials with which
The formal style of gardening is adapted to the grounds of
public buildings, especially those of classic design, and to small
places where there is not room to produce any general landscape
effect, such as homes in cities and towns. In all cases the archi-
tectural idea is dominant and the vegetation is more or less sub-
Where the dwelling or public building is large a terrace is often
made which may entirely surround it; at least it should do so at
the front and sides. This may be of considerable width; it can
join the level of the grounds by a sharp slope of turf or by a para-
pet or wall, and in elaborate designs this is usually surmounted
by a balustrade. This parapet and balustrade should be made
of stone or concrete, as wood is too cheap-looking for such a place
and it decays too soon. The terrace may be wide enough so
that beds of low growing ornamental plants can be put out in it,
or the whole may be closely cropped lawn.
Usually the approach to the main building is broad and
straight; the grounds are laid out in squares, parallelograms,
circles or ellipses; in short, in strictly geometrical designs. Ordi-
narily the design on the one side of the approach is exactly like
that on the other.
The walks are highly finished and often bordered with some
kind of low growing plant; sometimes'merely with close cropped
turf. In some cases low hedges border the walks. In the cooler
part of Florida the different forms of box or the privets will be
found useful for such purposes; farther south the Alternantheras
will make fine borders and Phyllanthus nivosus will produce admi-
rable hedges. The Acalyphas make attractive hedges in the
most tropical part of the state.
In some cases the main figure in a geometrical garden may be
made in the form of a large square or parallelogram; the ends or
corners can be rounded or square. Around this design a broad
path or roadway is made and the main pattern can either be left
entire or subdivided by narrower walks. Often this main design
is wholly or in part sunk below the level of the main surrounding
walk, as if it were a picture set within a frame. This central
part may be wholly of closely cut lawn, or it may have one or
more fountains or choice pieces of statuary or a few neat beds of
low growing plants. Around its border there might be planted
formal looking large plants oreventrees in case the design is a large
one. Such things as Phoenix canariensis, P. dactyifera, Cycas
of different species, Yuccas, Dioon, in fact most of the Cycads,
some of the Dracaenas, CQrdyline indivisa and C. australis and a
number of other formal looking plants will look well in such
situations if kept in good shape. This large central design may
be located immediately in front of the central structure or at
one side of it.
Outside of the broad path or roadway between it and the wall
enclosing the whole a wide border may be planted. This should
consist of low growing stuff nearest the walk; farther back larger
growers may be put in and the back part or outside of the plant-
ing can be moderate sized trees. This outer border need not
be kept in such regularity as is the innerpart. In fact the growth
in it may be allowed to become somewhat irregular.
Sometimes the owner of a large place which has been planted
in the natural way may want a piece of formal garden, a flower
garden perchance. This can be placed to one side and screened
off from the more natural part by a wide border of planting, irreg-
ular on the outside and more evenly finished on the inside.
One of the fine examples of geometrical gardening is the grounds
of the Casino at Monte Carlo, France. The garden at Mount
Vernon, the former home of Washington, is an example in our
own country of the old-fashioned formal style of gardening. In
it are closely sheared hedges, some of them straight, others made
into a variety of more or less intricate patterns.
It may bewell for those who have only city or townlot to adopt
the formal style of decoration in a greater or less degree. The
front walk had best run from the main entrance to the road or
street and at right angles with the house. If desired some kind
of geometric design could be made on each side of it, either in the
way of plant beds or a simple affair bordered with some such
thing as Alternanthera, Alyssum, Echeveria or box.
To my mind the specimens of sheared trees and shrubs which
we sometimes see in formal grounds are simply monstrosities.
They certainly do not represent nature and they are atrocities
as art. It may be allowable sometimes to shear a couple of
trees or shrubs at the entrance of a formal garden so that with
training they will form an arch, but what beauty or sense is there
in mutilating with the shears an acre or more of trees as is seen
in some of the so-called Italian gardens?
Remember that whatever is attempted in formal gardening
should be honest. Unless one is a master at designing the plan
had better be simple, and simplicity often marks the work of a
great designer. The geometrical garden is a picture and the
picture should represent something; it should not be spoiled by
frivolities and absurdities.
MAKING A HOME IN FLORIDA.
There is a class of people that comes down to Florida merely
to escape from the cold and discomforts of winter. Whatever
there may be of beauty here does not seem to appeal to such, or
only in a small degree. They arrive in Novemiber or December
and after spending a winter or two here they buy a piece of land
and build. After completely clearing out all the native vegeta-
tion from the land they put up a cheap and nasty house of hide-
ous design,-I say design, because their builders appear to have
deliberately intended to make them unattractive. The final
touch is perhaps added to the pile in the shape of a paper roof.
Almost any kind of a shelter seems to be good enough,-though
probably their owners are abundantly able to build decently,-
and in this they remain until March or April and then flit north,
leaving the place to look out for itself, to grow up with the vilest
weeds which spread their seeds over the land of those who remain
I am not attempting to cast any slur on the tourist or winter
resident in general. There are thousands of such who are
charmed with the beauty of Florida, who fully appreciate its
splendid climate and who are ready to join in any move to up-
build it and advance its interests. Neither am I wishing to
say anything disrespectful about those who haven't the means
to build expensive places. Itis easily possible at a cost of'seventy-
five or a hundred dollars to construct of rough boards a house
that will be attractive, and to surround it in a short time with
inexpensive trees and plants in such a way that the whole will
be a veritable bit of paradise. I am simply berating in my
gentle way the man or woman who merely comes here for phys-
ical comfort, who cares nothing for the welfare of the state or
its people, whose eyes are blind to beauty, whose ears are deaf
to progress and the general welfare.
There are many thousands in the states to the north of us
who are honest, willing to learn, energetic, who come here and
are ready to help on with the glorious work of making Florida
.10 ORNAMENTAL GARDENING
a beauty spot, and at the same time make for themselves pretty
homes. It doesn't require much to make an attractive home;
many a man wastes a hundred thousand on buildings and ground
which, in the end, are perfectly hideous. A little taste, a litt
good sense and judgment and a small amount of careful stu*4
will go a long way farther towards making an attractive home
than a large sum of money without them. I think it is far betty
even to servilely copy after that which is beautiful than to ori
inmate that which is ugly. If you cannot design a tasteful houe
and grounds take your time and look around: in every neigh-
borhood some one will be pretty sure to have an attractive home.
Talk with the owners of such places, ask for suggestions. I aa
sure that almost any one in Florida with such a place would be
willing to help others who are to be their neighbors to make niqe
homes. No one of taste wants a monstrosity of a house gr
grounds near him; therefore as a matter of self-defense he will
be willing to help a newcomer in such matters.
Don't undertake to do too much; let the house be simple and
adapted to the climate and surroundings; let your work outside
be for a purpose. Don't make serpentine walks or drives merely
in order to imitate the crawling of a snake. Every curve should
be for a reason and a reasonable directness is best in all wall
that are much frequented, in other words, business walks.
There are several grasses that make good lawns here; the St.
Lucie grass, a variety of the Bermuda grass which does not pra-
duce underground runners; the St. Augustine grass, which is
strong grower, and some others make good covering.* In mrv
own lawn, if I can call it that, I let the native grasses and heg-
baceous plants grow at first, thinking to plant St. Lucie grass late#.
I cut this growth down once or twice a year and now I have be-
come so attached to these beautiful and interesting plants that
I have not the heart to destroy them. They make an open spaqc
in front of my home and I botanize out there and enjoy them an,
on the whole, I am as well satisfied as if I had a smooth, velvety
The ground for a lawn or grass plat should be cleared of rootp
or rock to the depth of half a foot and levelled; then, during p
wet time if possible, plant pieces of grass in rows a foot or ap
*Zoysia pusgens, recently introduced, is a beautiful lawn gram.
` ~k: `0
:~ '' E 0
IN FLORIDA II
apart; water well and when the ground is covered it should be
Of course every one making a home in Florida is anxious to
have a good showing from his plantings as soon as possible. It
is a fine idea, when planting, to scatter rapid growing trees and
shrubs quite freely about one's grounds, as they will soon make
a big display. Such things as many species of Ficus (religiosa,
nitida, aurea, populnea, elastica and glomerata), Paritium elatum
and tiiaceum, Albissia lebbek, most of the eucalypts, Adenan-
thera, Terminalia catappa, Delonix regia, Eriodendrons, and
Cassia fistula for the warmer parts of the state and Melia azeda-
rach var. umbraculiformis, the maples and oaks for the cooler
parts of Florida. Among the palms Cocos in variety, most of
the dates, Archontophoenix, the Acrocomias, the Neowashing-
tonias, the royal palms and oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) grow to
good size very quickly. Eugenia jambos, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis,
Dombeyas, Crape myrtles, the Pittosporums, the Oleanders,
Pandanus sanderiana and veitchi among shrubs and herbaceous
plants soon get up and cover the ground as well as very many
other things. The Giant Bamboos, Dendrocalamus latiflorus and
D. strictus soon make very effective clumps.
If one is in a great hurry to cover his ground and make a show-
ing'he can plant the cheapest of these abundantly at first, min-
gling choicer things freely among them and later he can cut away
the commoner things, if he has the heart to do it.
The settler may, perhaps, buy a place on which some improve-
ments have already been made. There may be fruit and orna-
mental plants already growing and buildings erected. This has
both advantages and disadvantages. It is a fine thing to have
fruit trees bearing or under way, and whatever growth ornamen-
tals have made saves time in getting a place in order. On the
other hand, the planting may be badly done and the buildings
are likely to be hideous and misplaced. However, one can gen-
erally utilize much of such work and recreate it into beauty by
taking time and giving the subject plenty of study. Spare all
the vegetation that is possible, remembering that one can destroy
in a few minutes what it has taken nature years to produce.
Plans may often be changed so as to leave what is wrongly placed
to grow and form part of a perfect whole.
Don't plant trees in rows unless they are put along a straight
road or path and never under any circumstances alternate one
species with another in a row along a road or anywhere else. It
is the fashion in places to put out a California fan palm and a
Chinese Hibiscus or a Coconut and some low growing shrub
alternating in rows, and it seems to me that no greater atrocity
in planting can be perpetrated. I can not conceive how the idea
ever originated in the brain of any human being.
In laying out and planting a place of any considerable size it
is often possible to make a vista, a view of some pleasing object
at a distance such as a group of trees, a fine building, or water.
This vista may be cut out through a forest or made by judicious
planting of trees and shrubbery. Its borders should be irregu-
lar and of varied forms and foliage. Such views may open out
upon a landscape that stretches for miles away or it may only
extend for a few rods, and if they are managed right they will
,always be surprising and charming.
Notwithstanding the fact that one encounters many draw-
backs and discouragements in laying out and developing a home
in Florida the whole process is a delightful one. What can be
pleasanter than daily contriving and making plans for buildings,
walks and roads, for the disposal of one's trees and plants so
that they shall produce the best effects? What a pleasure it is
to put a rustic seat here, to open out for, or so to plant trees that
he may have a lovely view there. Even one's mistakes are not
so bad after all for they help to teach him useful lessons. What
a joy it is to watch the plants grow and develop under one's lov-
ing care, to realize, that, as the years roll by his home is becom-
ing more and more beautiful, more and more a part and parcel
of his very life.
Strictly speaking architecture and ornamental gardening are
two very different things, and yet, when it comes to making a
home, especially in Florida, the two are likely to be intimately
connected. I believe that it will not be out of place here to
devote a brief chapter to the subject.
Robinson, the noted English gardener, says, "The architect
is a good gardener when he makes a beautiful house." And I
might add that he is a better one when he makes a house which
will harmonize with what are to be its surroundings. The
dwelling and all other buildings that are at all conspicuous
should be fitted for their surroundings as well as for the purposes
for which they are constructed.
The peculiarities of our climate and environment call for
peculiar treatment when it comes to the construction of build-
ings. In thousands of cases people come here from the north
.and put up just such structures as are built in that region. A
great many of these are designed by northern architects who have
never been in a tropical or semi-tropical country and who know
nothing whatever of the needs of such a region as Florida. In
other cases architects come here and bring their ideas with them
and turn out work such as they did in the north with but little
California has its own architecture, the Mission style, which
is used here to a considerable extent; in New England they have
the Colonial style, which is, just now, all the rage generally,
even in Florida; the Italian order is also somewhat used here.
None of these is just fitted for our climate and needs; why
shouldn't we have a Floridian style of architecture?
In this region we have occasional West Indian hurricanes,
which usually occur in the fall and they are almost always accom-
panied by a very heavy fall of rain. One who has never gone
through any of these storms can not have the faintest idea either
of the fury of the wind or the power and penetrating ability of
the water. A house as ordinarily constructed at the north
would be completely saturated from roof to basement during
one of these storms. Plaster and wall paper are either ruined
or seriously injured, and the contents of rooms sure to be badly
damaged. I built the first part of my house with a third pitch
roof of the best cypress shingles carefully laid, and it faced to
the north and south. During a severe hurricane the wind hauled
to the northwest and I am sure that every drop of rain that
struck the north side of it was driven by the force of the wind
up through the shingles and into the building. Good close
workmanship is absolutely necessary, tar paper under shingles
and exposed walls is excellent, and a finish of wood alone for
rooms, or some material that will not be injured by water.
The greater part of Florida is very flat, especially near the
coast. If one's house is placed down near the level of the ground
it is impossible to get a view out over the surrounding country.
By elevating it a few feet a much better outlook is obtained;
if it is raised seven or eight feet so much the better, and the space
beneath can be utilized for workshop, photographic dark room,
bathroom or other purposes. Insects are far less troublesome
in a house so built; there is not one mosquito at an elevation of
ten feet where there are a dozen at ground level. It is probable
that a house thus built is more conducive to health than one
placed close to the ground and there is far less danger of the
dreaded wood fungi which attack and destroy timber at or near
There are probably two or more kinds of these fungi which
attack the timber houses of Florida. They work in posts set
in the earth or timbers just above it, slowly creeping into the
upper structure, sometimes destroying the entire house. No
wood should ever be placed on or near the ground in the con-
struction of any building in Florida. Concrete is, no doubt,
the coming material, especially for the warmer part of the state.
In the southeastern part of it a soft, porous limestone rock is
abundant, and this when laid up in a wall without being dressed
is very attractive and durable. Such a wall properly laid
will stand against any hurricane that visits this region. The
upper part of the building may be either of rock, concrete or
IN FLORIDA 15
In the temperate zone we live inside our houses the greater
part of the year; in Florida we live mostly outside of them.
At the north we go outside and use the porches for a brief time
during the warm season;-here we only go inside to eat and sleep,
and for shelter during northers or severe storms. It goes without
saying then that a dwelling in this region should consist largely
oij erandas. If one can run a porch entirely around his house
mit)nuch the better; it will make-a delightful place to walk and
look out over his garden. With such an arrangement one can
always have a chance to promenade unless the weather is very
boisterous. I love to walk around my veranda and enjoy my
plants, especially by moonlight or during showers. I can rejoice
with them when they are being deluged with rain.
Many persons in Florida screen in all or part of a porch and
make a sun parlor of it. Such a room is a delightful place in
good weather, but it ought to be furnished with heavy roller
curtains which can be tightly closed in time of hard storms.
9deh screened rooms make fine places'to sleep in and are all the
more desirable if they are located so that one can look out over
If possible arrange for lovely views when building a dwelling.
Everything of beauty on the place or in the immediate neigh-
borhood should be visible from the windows or porches if that is
possible. As a general thing-the house should be simple in style
and an excess of scroll work or furbelows of every description
should be avoided. It is true that there are elaborate buildings
which are finished most ornately and are at the same time very
beautiful; the great cathedral at Milan, which Mark Twain has
called "A poem in stone" is an example, but there is not one man
in a million who can design such a structure, and there are thou-
sands who can create a tasteful simple building who would fail
with an elaborate one.
I have introduced an illustration of my own house which I
designed and built. Some of the best architects in the country
have pronounced it an atrocity and I present it to my readers
in order that they may know what an atrocity is and be able
to distinguish one at sight. It shows some of the ideas I have
mentioned; the living part elevated well above the ground, the
16 ORNAMENTAL GARDENING
wide, encircling veranda or gallery as it is often called in South
Florida and the West Indies, and the rather sharp roof which
has never leaked seriously in the worst hurricane. Some of the
ideas embodied in it have been taken from dwellings in Jamaica,
Hawaii, Haiti, Cuba and the Philippines; others are my
own, and it is not like anything in the heavens above, the earth
beneath, or the waters under the earth.
Nature is very kind in this land of warmth and sunshine,
where every one plants trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in
their grounds and around their dwellings. In a few brief years
the growing vegetation covers up and hides the deformities and
mistakes of the builder; trees screen it out and kindly vines
most mercifully spread themselves over the architectural enor-
mities that man has perpetrated, so that at length his short-
comings and blunders are made a part of a thing of beauty and
Florida is not only a new country so far as development and
settlement are concerned but it is new geologically. No strata
are known within its borders that are older than the Tertiary,
and much of it belongs to what the older geologists called the
Recent. And throughout a large part of the state there is a
sort of unfinished appearance, as though its creation had been
begun late in the week and Saturday night had come on before
it was done. An acquaintance of mine from Illinois came to the
west coast of the state a good many years ago and was very
much disappointed and in his disgust he declared that Florida
possessed "A soil of unsurpassed sterility."
I have often thought of what he said and wished that the state
could have been born back in the Silurian or Carboniferous
epochs. However, those who have come here to make their
homes find that with proper treatment this poor, sandy soil
can be made to produce wonderfully. Some time away back in
geological history, probably when most of what now forms the
state was under the sea, the sands along the New England coast
were carried southward by the cold return current of the Atlantic
and deposited along the shores of the southern states and over
the greater part of what was to be Florida. This sand is siliceous
and is practically destitute, in a natural state, of any plant
food whatever. It has been worked over, to some extent, by
the action of the wind and sea.
Shortly after the elevation of this sand above sea level the
Georgia Pine (Pinus palustris) began to invade the region from
the north, and the Caribbean Pine (Pinus caribaea) came, most
likely, from the south, the seeds having been carried in by the
Quite a large area of the southeastern part of the state is com-
posed of soft, mostly o6litic limestone which forms the rim of
the Everglades. The rock generally comes to the surface and
is perforated everywhere with pot-holes which are filled with
sand. The lowlands of the southern part of the state are com-
posed largely of muck or marl, though in some places they are
sandy. Much of the Everglades is rich, deep peat or muck,
with patches of sandy soil or rock. The Everglade soil and
most of the peat or muck throughout the state are fairly rich
in nitrogen and phosphoric acid, but are lacking in potash. Often
this lowland soil is sour, as is much of the pineland, and it can
be helped by applications of fertilizer which is rich in potash,
and by being worked. In places throughout the state the pine-
land is underlaid with hardpan, which tends to make the soil
sour, and with such land thorough drainage is necessary. In
the northern part of the state there are considerable areas of
It may seem that I have entered into quite a lengthy disserta-
tion on soils in a work devoted to ornamental gardening, but as
this is the foundation in which plants must be grown it is well
to understand something of soils in order to plant and cultivate
The crying need of all our sandy pine land is humus. For this
reason every scrap of anything which, by its decay, will make
mould should, in some way, be given to the land. I consider
it nothing short of a crime against one's ground and plants to
burn or throw away any trash, dead limbs, wood or any vege-
table product. If one objects to putting grass, weeds and trash
around in his garden on account of their unsightliness he can make
a compost heap, which, when well decayed, will form an admira-
ble dressing for his plants and at the same time will help the soil.
Seaweed should be collected whenever it is possible and either
used as a mulch or in making compost. Broken limbs, trimmings
from trees and shrubs, grass, the refuse from waste baskets,
dead leaves, everything that will decay can be piled up where it
will not be unsightly and used in the good work when it is decom-
posed. If this heap can have a small amount of cottonseed
meal or bone meal sprinkled over it occasionally and if the whole
can be turned over once in a while, so much the better. Muck
and peat, if obtainable, are excellent for the soil or compost
heaps, so are all kinds of marine vegetation and all dead animals.
The Chinese, who have cultivated their lands from time imme-
morial, have never used commercial fertilizers of any kind, but
IN FLORIDA 19
have kept them in a high state of fertility by putting back on
them all the waste and rubbish obtainable. We in the United
States, with a wonderfully fertile soil, have in a little over a
century so exhausted much of our land that it will scarcely
produce anything. My own ground, though mostly ordinary
pine land, is far richer and darker colored now than when it
was virgin soil, and all because I have put far more on it than I
have taken off. I have used but little commercial fertilizer on it.
Much of the substance of vegetation comes from the atmos-
phere and quite a little from rain, and it stands to reason that if
all the waste material on a plantation goes back into the soil
it will be enriched instead of exhausted. It is in this way that
leaf mould has been formed in forests; in fact, that humus has
been made all over the earth.
Of course it is best to use some commercial fertilizer on our
poor soil. Throughout the state quite generally stable manure
is purchased, often shipped in, and applied freely to vegetable
and ornamental gardens with excellent results to the plants.
But there are those who think its use draws the terrible mole
crickets, and it is certain that in many places in this vicinity
where it is used freely these insects have become an intolerable
pest, while in others where none of it has been used they do not
I think it a good idea to spread muck around trees and plants
on pine land, say a couple of inches in depth; then hoe or dig it
into the soil. If one can, it is better to give a little fertilizer
often, working it into the ground, than to put it on in large
During the winter in Florida,--especially southern Florida,-
we are liable to have warm spells with some rain. If the soil
around plants is worked through the cool season and fertilizer
is applied it is quite probable that growth may start, and then,
in case of frost, much more damage will be done than if the
plants had been left alone. It is a good rule to let plants go
without culture during the time of year when there is danger
of frost. Even hardy stuff is likely to suffer if frozen when in
full growth. I have had monthly roses when growing vigorously
killed outright here with frost, although they are hardy in
It is an excellent idea to apply a fertilizer rich in potash in
the fall just before cool weather comes on; this will harden up
plant tissues, tend to check rampant, soft growth, and give the
plants vigor to go through the winter. Sulphate of potash,
muriate of potash or kainit are excellent fertilizers for wet,
sour or mucky lands which are always lacking in potash.
Where it is possible, plant a crop of velvet beans (Doichos
multiflorus), cow peas (Vigna catjang), or beggar weed (Desmo-
dium molle), plowing the whole under or in some way burying
it in the soil, and it is an excellent idea to do this before any
planting is done. I plant the Canavalias (C. gladiata and C.
obtusa) in my grounds on account of the nitrogen which their
roots collect and for the great amount of humus the decaying
vines produce, even though they may be something of a nuisance
at times by climbing over other things or being in the way under
Liquid manure is very useful, especially for potted plants or
many delicate things. Such things as the greenhouse and hot-
house terrestrial orchids when planted in the open ground are
benefited by applications of weak liquid manure every week or
so during the growing season. A teaspoonful or a little more of
nitrate of soda dissolved in a gallon of water is a quick acting and
handy fertilizer for pot plants. If a handful of chicken-, sheep-
or well-decayed cow-manure is put into a ten-quart pail full of
water and the mixture is allowed to stand a day or so it will
make fine liquid fertilizer, and it may be applied every week or
ten days through the growing season.
CLIMATE; PROTECTION OF PLANTS.
As the climate of any region has much to do with the character
of its wild and cultivated plants it may be proper here to give a
brief account of that of Florida.
The lower keys reach down to within a degree of the Tropic
of Cancer, and, with the extreme southern end of the mainland,
have a climate much like that of western Cuba. The wind in
Florida, especially during the cooler season, usually swings
around the compass in the same direction as the hands of a
clock. Whenever, during the cooler part of the year, it gets into
the northwest there is a decided lowering of the temperature:
it usually blows from this direction for about three days and
then shifts to the northeast. During these "Northers," as they
are called, frost may occur over any part of Florida, even to the
I am aware that this statement will be contradicted by many
who are residents of this region. In the latter part of December
19c6, a severe and protracted norther visited South Florida,
lasting eight days in the Miami region. Sharp frost occurred
five nights in succession, doing great damage to tender vegetation.
This norther swept over Cuba, extending to the southern part
of the island, and near Cienfuegos it wrought great destruction
to the sugar cane at the Soledad Plantation. I was informed
by Mr. Hughes, the manager, that ice formed on ponds and still
water, and at the beautiful home of the Cabadas near that city
I saw many young trees which they told me the freeze had killed
No doubt I shall be condemned for making these statements
but I am simply telling the truth, facts which ought to be known
by every one who intends making a home and growing fruit or
ornamentals in this state. No matter in what part of it one
may settle he should be prepared for occasional frosts and should
know all that is known about what is best to do to protect his
The climate of the extreme northern part of the state, especially
inland, may be called warm temperate, and the nights in winter
are cool, so that a fire is needed to sit by in the evenings and
sharp frosts are not uncommon. In the lower part of the state
the temperature at sunrise, except during northers, is usually from
60o to 700 with a midday temperature of from 700 to 780 and
the native vegetation is largely tropical. As a general thing
the plants of the tropics grow and flourish from year to year,
only suffering when an occasional frost occurs.
The greater part of the rainfall comes during the warm season.
Heavy rains are likely to begin in the latter part of May and
continue with more or less interruption until about the last of
October. It must not be supposed that these so-called rainy
seasons are periods of anything like continual rain. Showers
sometimes fall every day for awhile; then there may be a number
of rainless days and the showers vary from a few drops to a
downpour of several inches. During the dry season there is an
average of from two to three inches of rain a month and, as a
rule, the fall is fairly well distributed throughout the year.
This is conducive to vegetable growth as most of the precipitation
occurs during the growing season, while during the period of
plant rest enough falls to keep vegetation in good condition.
The rainfall varies in different parts of the state from 40 inches
on some of the lower keys to 65 in the upper part of the state.
Hurricanes occur occasionally, usually from August to the
end of October. They may visit any part of the state, lasting
from a few hours to several days. It is possible for them to come
at any season, though we feel practically safe from November first
until the beginning of the rainy season. Sometimes they do little
damage beyond breaking off limbs and switching young growth
and leaves; at other times they are very destructive to buildings
and vegetation. In some cases large trees are blown over and
nearly all the leaves are stripped from the trees. If such a
storm occurs before the first of October and the weather following
is mild new leaves are likely to develop, but if a storm comes
later than that the trees are most likely to go through the winter
more or less naked. Ordinarily there is a very heavy rainfall
during these storms but sometimes there is little or none.
During such dry hurricanes a large amount of salt is carried
IN FLORIDA 3
from the sea by the wind, proving very destructive to foliage and
small limbs, especially on the side of vegetation towards the
wind. At such times forests that are not overthrown may be
almost destroyed, partly by the salt spray and in part, per-
haps, by the passage of electricity from the clouds to the earth.
This salt spray does not especially affect vegetation when there
is an abundant rainfall or at any great distance inland.
Most of these hurricanes originate in the Caribbean or to the
eastward of it, moving to the west and north until they reach
the Tropic of Cancer, when they veer to the northward and
finally to the northeastward. The wind may blow from any
Much has been published on the subject of protecting plants
from frost and a good many devices have been used for this
purpose, but so far as my experience goes I cannot help acknowl-
edging that we can do but little to defend ourselves from severe
freezing. Almost any kind of covering will ward off a light
'frost, but in case of a sharp freeze such protection does but
little good. If by any means the morning sun can be kept
from falling on frosted plants they may come through with but
little injury; therefore tall trees or a forest standing to the
eastward of one's garden should be preserved by all means.
If an open space lies to the westward of such a forest the cold
air during a time of frost may settle there and a heavy frost
A good many growers have installed irrigation works on their
grounds, and if water from an ordinary well can be thrown on
vegetation during a moderate frost it will be protected, but in
case of a very hard freeze it will form thick ice all over the plants
and the chances are that they will be ruined. When once water
is turned on, it must be kept going until all danger of frost is over.
One generally has tender plants scattered all over his place and
his irrigation works are not sufficiently powerful to keep up a
flow of water over the whole all night. It is claimed that if
water is sprayed over frozen plants very early in the morning
it will save them but I have never had much success with this
A clouded sky at night is an excellent protection against frost,
hence anything which imitates such a condition is good. If one
can burn wood, trash, coal or crude oil in suitable vessels
among his plants during a comparatively calm night when there
is a light frost he may often save his plants, but if there is a high
wind or a hard freeze such attempts at protection will do little
good. Twice since living here I have seen such severe freezing
during a time of high wjnd that all the leaves on lofty coconut
trees were killed, and for more than a month these trees showed
no sign of life. Of course smudge pots or any ordinary protec-
tion would be worthless at such a time.
Growers here have resorted to various plans such as putting
screens around and over tender plants, some of them permanent
and others which are removed in summer. Those which are
intended to remain have posts set in the ground with tight,
boarded walls and a framework overhead which may be slatted:
the top is generally covered with canvas during winter. Some
of these are large structures covering several acres. Small frames
covered with canvas and temporary tents are often used. Posts
are often set in the ground around or partly around plants,
slats nailed on and palmetto leaves fastened to the slats. All
these protect more or less but none of them will always save
tender stuff unless some kind of heating apparatus is used.
As a general thing in the lower third of the state, shrubs and
trees which have attained a height of six or eight feet are not
in much danger of being destroyed by frost if the collars can
be kept from freezing. It is almost always at this point that the
greatest injury is done, because the air just at the ground is
usually colder than at any higher point. In many cases I have
known trees or shrubs whose limbs and leaves were wholly
untouched by frost to die outright from its effects, and when they
were afterwards examined it would be found that a short space
just at the collar had been frozen so that wood and bark were
turned black. Now the one thing to do which will never fail
to save one's trees from destruction is to make a mound of earth
around their bases as soon as there is any danger of frost in
the fall and let it remain until there is no longer any risk from it
in spring. This mound should be a foot or more high and it
would be better if it could be made when the ground is dry.
IN FLORIDA 25
Be sure that it is carefully filled. in around the stem or stems
and it will be well to examine it occasionally through the
winter to see that mice have not dug it away. In case of
warm and wet weather in winter it would be best to watch
herbaceous or other delicate things for fear their stems might-
rot: if there seems to be any danger the soil should be tempo-
rarily removed and replaced when the weather grows cooler,
If plants are so treated one can be almost absolutely sure of
carrying the tenderest things safely through the winters of lower
Florida. Generally it will be found that the tops of plants so
treated will receive but little damage, and even if they are de-
stroyed fresh suckers will spring up from the living part. The
mound should be so constructed that no water can enter at the
stem of the plant.
In some cases a mound of earth may be made at the side of a
small plant just before a hard frost, the plant bent down over it,
the whole covered with gunny sacks and earth laid over all to
the depth of several inches. This must be removed immediately
after danger is over and, at the best, it will be nearly as hard
on the plants as a frost. Leaving native plants for protection,
or planting rapid growing vegetation among one's tender things,
is some help.
But little protection can be made for vegetation against
hurricanes. So far as possible I try to have my things grow
low, and I am glad to have trees and shrubs with as many stems
as possible. Never trim trees up so that they will have long,
naked trunks, for this gives the wind an extra leverage whereby
it can uproot or break them. If trees and large psrubs are
frozen down allow them to send up a number of, prout tf they,
will. By so doing they will form low heads which "dil.help to '
protect them from the next frost and from heavy winds. By', '.
allowing the vegetation in your grounds to grow up densely
it will be more likely to withstand severe wind storms than if
it is open, as the trees protect each other.
In low land or regions underlaid with hardpan it will be
necessary to cut ditches or put in tiling to carry off the water.
Sometimes as much as thirty inches of rain falls in a month,
and this must be promptly removed.
If one has any considerable amount of planting to do it will be
almost absolutely necessary to build some kind of a propagating
house or even more than one. Such buildings should be placed
where they will be well sheltered from winds, and especially the
northwest wind. They should have sunshine the greater part of
the day. Posts can be set in the ground, their tops being a little
over six feet high, and on these a horizontal strip can be nailed at
the top and bottom. On these strips vertical pieces of I x 3
should be nailed, leaving about an inch and a half space between
them, or the north and west sides may be boarded up close or all
sides if thought best. Pieces of 2 x 4 may be nailed across the
top about six feet apart and supported by other posts and on
these a flat roof of I x 3 slats should be nailed. These slats may
have spaces left between them anywhere from an inch and a half
to two inches wide. Part of this roof may be laid closer than the
rest if necessary and if considerable shade is required for any pur-
pose the slats over that part may be laid with one-inch spaces or
even less. There will need to be a door, and one must have a
well inside, or if outside as close to the door as possible. This is
the cheapest, simplest form of slat house and may be built from
ten feet square to a large size, either of rough material or dressed
stuff and painted. Shelves on which to sow seeds or plant cut-
tings can be built along one or more sides of the structure at a
height of three to three and a half feet above the ground and from
two to three feet wide. A rim should be made along the inside
of the shelving and two or three inches of sand or earth placed
on the shelves. One may, however, be quite successful rooting
cuttings or raising seedlings in the ground without having
A much more ornamental and permanent structure can be
built with concrete walls and a span roof, the ridge of which had
better run north and south. The side walls of such a building
can be four and a half feet high, and the end walls may be the
same height with the upper part of wood or the whole may be
concrete. If the walls are tight and fertilizer sacks are hung
from the fronts of the shelves the space enclosed will be found to
be a fine place in summer to root large Croton and other cuttings
with nearly all their leaves, as it can be kept dark and close with
such degree of moisture as is needed. Such large cuttings make
fine plants almost at once.
PLAN FOR A SIMPLE PLANT HOUSE.
End elevation, showing how a substantial bildin for use In Florida can be put up at
sallexpense. It may be covered with glass or lat. (Fig. 5)
On the south side of the slat house, or in any well-sheltered
spot nearby, it is an excellent plan to have a glass covered frame,
even if of only a single sash. In this, if it is exposed to the sun
and well covered on cold nights, many very tender things can be
kept through the winter that would perish out of doors or in an
ordinary slat house. Such things as the Dieffenbachias, He-
migraphis and the Fittonias are sometimes killed by cold when
there is no actual frost. Cuttings of many tropical plants-not
all-can be rooted in such a frame in winter if it is handled rightly,
and seeds of the more tender things can be started. Where a
large collection of plants is to be propagated and cultivated a
glass-covered house is very convenient and almost necessary.
It may be made in the simplest form by sinking in the ground,
say a couple of feet, a pit the size of the future structure. Then
lengthwise through the middle of it a trench about three feet wide
is to be excavated a couple of feet deeper. The building may be
IN FLORIDA 29
a span roof and run north and south, or a lean-to and run east
and west facing the south. A concrete wall six inches thick is
built facing both sides of the trench, leaving a passageway two
feet wide the length of the pit. This should be carried up at
intervals of perhaps six feet in the form of posts to support side
benches and the roof. It is best to make the benches of rein-
forced concrete, since nothing below the surface of the ground
can then decay. The roof can be made of sashes which should
be hinged above and lifted below for ventilation. It needs a
door in one end and steps to descend to it. If one of the benches
or a part of it is screened off in front with fertilizer sacks during
cold weather and one or more lamps or a small oil stove is put
in and lighted a fine bottom heat may be kept up, furnishing ideal
conditions for rooting cuttings, starting seeds, or for small or
delicate plants. There should be a pipe or some kind of a venti-
lator leading from this space out to the open air. Such a building
may be ten feet wide over all. Of course one can build a regular
glass house with hot water pipes if he wishes.
It is always well to keep in such a place one or more extra
plants of rare, tender things. If one cannot have any kind of a
propagating house he can put in cuttings or sow seeds in flats or
shallow boxes, either in the house or a sheltered, partly shaded
place. It is almost absolutely necessary that such a propagating
arrangement should be protected from all wind.
A majority of the plants which succeed in the latitude of Flor-
ida when planted in the open, bear seeds which will germinate
and produce healthy seedlings, and in general raising plants by
such means is the quickest and best way to propagate. Young
seedlings need some sun and the boxes in which they are grown
should be turned around occasionally to keep them from being
drawn. It is best when they have three or four leaves to trans-
plant them into separate pots, or tin cans having a hole punched
in the bottom will do. From pots they can be turned out with-
out greatly disturbing the ball of earth around their roots. It
in a can, it should be struck against some hard object several
times to loosen the contents.
One is likely to receive the seeds of tropical plants at any time
during the winter and such seeds, as a rule, should be planted at
once. But if while they are in the ground a norther of several
days' duration occurs or an extended cold spell such as we some-
times have anywhere in Florida, these seeds are very sure to rot,
unless one can keep them in a warm place. In planting palm
seeds, if one can spare pots long enough it is an excellent idea to
put a single seed in each pot and set them thickly in sand or
earth on the benches. This is for the reason that the palms
form long, hard and brittle tap roots and if planted in open
earth they are difficult to transplant.
Ii .,.w,,,'*a ..
ANOTHER FLORIDA PLANT HOUSE.
This dean required le space than the preceding one, and is quite suffident for those who
are working only with potted plants. Some sort of a plant house i almost a necessity, if
one is to enjoy the full posbles of Florida for the propagaton of teder plants. (Fig. 6)
I like to grow plants to a considerable size before putting them
out in the open ground. Plants in from four- to six-inch pots are
much better fitted to withstand the hardships of their first year
in the open ground than those from smaller sizes. A large num-
ber of the plants which we grow in this region may be propagated
from cuttings and this is especially true of the herbaceous and soft
wooded kinds. Shrubs and trees having very hard wood rarely
root fiom cuttings with us. I have the best success with the
woody forms by taking not quite ripened shoots and cutting them
into lengths from eight inches to a foot long. These I set in the
IN FLORIDA 31
ground, often in a sloping position, to within a couple of inches
of their tops. Then I firm the earth around them and drench
them with water. They should be kept warm and moist but not
too wet. If one could have bottom heat for the tenderer kinds
it would be a great advantage. Cuttings of most tropical things
must be rooted (unless one has a warm place) in the growing
season. Those of hardy plants can bq rooted in winter. They
may go in a slat house or even a well-sheltered spot out of doors.
Great care should be exercised in lifting out rooted cuttings not
to break off the delicate roots. If a number are rooted in a pot
the ball of earth can be carefully turned out and the soil washed
from the roots. I prefer to let cuttings of wooded plants stand
until their roots have hardened a little before transplanting
Cuttings taken from plants growing in pots or boxes root much
more readily than those from plants which are growing in the
open ground. Cuttings of Oleanders, rose and zonale Geraniums
are often troubled with a blight, probably some sort of a fungus,
and either will not root or die soon after doing so. I know no
remedy for this but it might be a good idea to dip the cuttings in
Bordeaux mixture or sprinkle them with sulfur before putting
them in to root. Oleanders and some other hardy shrubs may
be rooted in winter by taking large cuttings, a half inch to an
inch in diameter, defoliating them and planting them to within
a couple of inches of their tops in damp ground.
Layering may be successfully practiced with many things which
have branches near the ground, or as is sometimes done, with
small limbs at some distance above the ground by making a stage
on which to set a pot or box filled with soil. It is better to cut a
slit in the branch, holding it open with a bit of wood. Make an
excavation in the earth and bury the cut part a few inches in it,
fastening the limb down if necessary with a small wooden fork.
If the ground becomes dry it is well to water it.
Some things, including most of the Ficus, are best propagated
by air layering. Prepare a small limb on the tree in the same way
as for ground layering, wrap it well with sphagnum, tying it on
thoroughly. This should be done during the rainy season; if
it gets dry water should be applied. In a few weeks roots will
form and penetrate the moss and the layer can be cut off and
The process of inarching is rarely resorted to in the propagation
of ornamentals and the same is true with budding and grafting
in Florida. Full instructions for these operations can be found
in any good work on gardening. Some of the palms send up
suckers from or near the ground and these often send out roots
but it is sometimes difficult to make them grow when they are
cut off. If one will make an incision at the base of a sucker, set
a pot or box of earth under it, digging out below if necessary, he
can catch these roots and when the plant is established cut off the
connection with the parent. In this way not only palm suckers
but a variety of others, even limbs of trees, may be made into
The entire process of propagation and all that is connected
with it are among the most delightful experiences of the plant
lover and gardener. What joy can be sweeter than actually to
witness the creation of living organisms,-to see the plumules
pushing their way up through the earth? What is there more
deligItful than to feel that these dear little things are your very
own, that, in partnership with nature, you have helped to bring
them into existence? Only a true lover of plants can ever feel
the pleasure of digging up a cutting he has planted and finding
at its base a heavy white callus, or the delicate, young, soft
roots pushing out. He realizes that in his hand he holds the pos-
sibility, perhaps, of a noble and beautiful tree which may live
through generations, to cheer and bless mankind long after he
has passed away.
There is little in the way of instruction that I can give about
the mechanical part pf planting and caring for ornamentals.
I make claim to no particular skill; I am only an amateur and
a poor one at that; there are many who succeed where I fail. I
love all these dear things with a mother's devotion, but somehow
I fall a little short of complete success in planting and making
I find it a difficult matter to get little plants to grow when put
out in the open sun and exposed to the wind. And indeed it is
trying for them under ordinary circumstances in Florida. Our
sandy soil becomes scorchingly hot under the almost vertical
sun, and it soon dries out on the surface, even after rain or
thorough watering. For these reasons I have urged that some
of the native growth should be left when clearing is being done,
for a slight protection until the plants can get a start. I try,
when possible, to put my things out in a rainy time but it seems
to me that no matter how wet it is when I begin planting it always
turns dry immediately and stays so.
It is a good idea to dig out a larger hole than the dimensions
of the roots and if one is planting in pine land, as most of us have
to do, to work in with the soil some muck and a little fertilizer.
Leave a slight depression around the tree or plant to hold water.
Water thoroughly and shade the plant if it has leaves on it:
palmetto leaves stuck in the ground around it are just the thing
and I have sometimes thought that they were made for this
especial .purpose. I believe in mulching, and always, where it
is possible, put a good cover of leaves, grass, seaweed or some
kind of trash around newly set plants. If the weather is dry
after planting one should water freely until his stuff is established.
If necessary the mulching can be removed when the plants are
being hoed, or one can use. a tooth hoe and not greatly disturb it.
I approach the subject of arranging plants so that their colors
and forms of leaves and growth shall harmonize with a good deal
of hesitation, first because, judged by the standards of modern
landscape gardening I know little about it, and second, what
little I think I know is directly contrary to the modern teachings.
I believe that nature is a pretty safe guide in the matter of
laying out and planting grounds; at least she points out the way
for us. She plants forests, she leaves open glades which stand
for our lawns; she joins the forest to the glade by making an
irregular border of lower growth between them. Wild animals
make paths through the woods and along the open spaces, and
these are always made to be used; they stand for our paths and
roads. They usually lead along the lines of least resistance, and
though they are not often made in straight lines they are usually
reasonably direct. They teach that curves and deviations are
not to be indulged in merely for ornament. Nature leaves bold
ledges and scoops out depressions and grottos, she lays out the
courses of rivers and streams, she makes pools and lakes. She
makes some mistakes but not many. It has always seemed to
me that she blundered when she developed the Australian Pine
in the tropics.
Nearly all the art that is required in the natural style of land-
scape gardening is to show the best of nature and to show nature
at her best. Aside from the building of our dwellings and out-
buildings we need to do but little that nature doesn't do some-
where and in some way. As Downing has said, "Landscape
gardening is an union of natural expression and harmonious
We hear a great deal about massing trees and shrubs for effect,
of matching colors in planting, of harmony and discord and of
many kinds of plants that should never be put near each other,
and it seems to me that those who are so insistent about these
things only use plants as a means to an end; that to them these
beautiful things, which to me seem to have souls, are merely
what soldiers are to a commanding general on a battlefield. They
remind me of the society woman who must have a nurse whose
complexion harmonized with that of her baby. I love each tree,
shrub, vine and plant for its own sake; to cut one down or even
trim it seems almost cruel. I am interested in them all from the
time they are set out, as they build leaf after leaf and growth
after growth until they grow old and die. They are my friends
and I am theirs, and we seem, in some measure, to understand
each other. It is a rest and comfort to me to go among them and
visit with them.
And it seems to me that if landscape architects and those who
create gardens had more of this feeling we would hear less about
matching colors and being shocked over dreadful discords in
vegetation. Nature violates the rules on every hand. What
are you going to do with a tree or shrub that bears green leaves
and masses of purple flowers, the very worst of discord? This is
just what one of our finest Bauhinias does; so does the well-
known Bougainvillea,-yet these are both generally admired.
We are told that a certain class of plants is taboo, that we
must not under any circumstances use the Crotons, Acalyphas,
Pandanus or anything that has showy, variegated foliage. I
want to lift my voice against this. In the cold and dreary north,
where winter prevails for half the year, where fogs and cloudy
skies are the regular thing during much of the rest of it, such
plants may be out of place, and somber conifers and orderly
greens may be the proper thing.
But Florida is a land of illimitable light and glory, where the
sun shines in splendor nearly every day throughout the livelong
year, where there is no winter and the forces of nature are always
active. Everything shows the effect of this splendid light and
heat power; the atmosphere is soft and brilliant; all animate life
puts on brighter colors than it does in a cold climate; all nature
is simply bubbling over with life. These gorgeously colored
plants were developed in the tropics; they are as much a part of
the general scheme as are the bright feathers of parrots and pea-
cocks or the noble leaves of palms. In my judgment they may
to a reasonable extent, be mingled with other vegetation.
The following quotation which bears directly on this subject
is taken from "How to Lay Out a Garden" by Edward Kemp,
an English gardener of the highest standing. "By a due admix-
ture of different sorts of plants, variety may be additionally
realized. The habit and character of trees and shrubs exhibit
a wonderful amount of variation. Some of them, indeed, possess
unusually striking characteristics, and assume a most peculiar
garb. But there is something of difference; and little peculiari-
ties show themselves to advantage in a small place. The selec-
tion of plants for a garden should therefore comprise all the best
and most showy sorts that can be procured, or for which there is
proper room and a suitable situation. And these should be well
mixed together, though not to the exclusion of the practice of
grouping particular kinds. To throw the various tribes of plants
into masses, according to their natural affinities, as is sometimes
recommended for arboretums, while it is destructive of all variety
under the most favorable conditions, is quite out of the question
in small gardens." This was written in 185o and whatever was
beautiful then is beautiful today and will be in a thousand years
from now,-yes, forever.
Nature continually produces the most violent discords of
color. We find in any considerable collection of plants those
whose blossoms and foliage are in decided discord and if we were
to combine these colors in art they would be hideous, but nature
can combine them and they look all right. In a fine sunset we
see nearly every color and the same is true in the rainbow or an
autumn forest yet no one finds fault with any of these.
Why should we not condemn all plants with showy flowers or
striking leaves, the gorgeous beds of annuals, the Chinese Hibis-
cus or the palms? It is well to be careful when we set plants
close to buildings or walls for in that case we are mingling art
and nature, and the same is true when planting a formal garden,
the latter being more a work of art than of nature. I do not
want to defy the laws of good taste but I would, in most cases,
subordinate them to those of nature. In writing what I have
done on this most important subject I have registered the solemn
convictions of an old man who has loved all these dear things
with a deep devotion since he was old enough to know his right
hand from his left.
There are some plants which will not do well in the full sun-
light, for example, Thunbergia erecta, Dracaena godseffiana and
many of the palms, and I have specified these in the catalogue.
One may produce excellent effects by planting palms or other
plants with striking foliage against a background of hammock or
other tall trees and the bamboos look well in such situations.
Bamboos or palms look well when planted as isolated specimens
where they can have plenty of room, and when they get up so
that they cut the sky line the effect is indescribably beautiful.
THE CULTIVATION AND CARE OF A GARDEN.
This chapter will be a sort of "General good of the order," a
gathering together of scraps of information and experience that I
cannot make fit anywhere else.
There are two schools of cultivators in Florida; one which
believes it to be better to let weeds grow in summer, merely
mowing them down; the idea being to shade the ground. The
other school believes in clean culture. As a matter of fact we
see good plants grown by both methods. Personally. I believe
in clean culture, though I do not, by any means, always live up to
my ideas. It is well to begin to cultivate one's plants as soon
as danger from frost is past in spring and to continue it until a
short time before it may come in the fall. Hoe or cultivate
your plants often, giving them a little fertilizer every time they
are worked, and if they are mulched the material can be taken
away before cultivating and replaced afterwards. The mulch
will soon decay and enrich the soil.
For the past two years the rainfall in this vicinity has been far
below normal. Within that time during the "rainy season"
there have been months with scarcely an inch of precipitation
and very little cloudiness. Yet in these two summers a neighbor
of mine has raised fine crops of cow peas, sweet potatoes, velvet
beans, peppers and other things on pine land without irrigation,
largely because he kept the hoe and cultivator constantly going.
Many cultivators have put irrigation systems in their grounds
and there is no doubt but that the judicious use of water on
naturally dry land is beneficial. There are a number of different
systems on the market but, generally speaking, one should get a
plant which has as little obstruction from pipes as possible. For
a small place a windmill will do the pumping, forcing the water
into an elevated tank, but a gasolene engine is better. Where
one can have an electric current it can be used to run a light
engine with tank that works automatically, a most excellent
arrangement. It is better to water plants in the evening or
when it is cloudy, and it never should be done when the sun is
shining, especially during the warm season. The evening is the
best time as there is no danger of sun scald if water is put on then,
and one gets the greatest effect from a given quantity of water.
As a general thing I do not think plants need a great deal of
trimming in Florida. Sheared trees and shrubs are, generally
speaking, monstrosities and nothing of the kind should ever be
grown except in a formal garden. To my mind they have no
beauty even there. Dead wood should be cut out and often
when shrubs get old they become straggling, and no amount of
care or fertilizer will restore them to vigor and beauty. The
reason for this is probably that our soil is poor and in time be-
comes exhausted. The best thing in such cases is to cut the
growth back severely, sometimes almost to the ground, at a
time when the plant is dormant. Then fertilize and work around
it and in a short time a fine, vigorous growth will spring up and
the shrub will be renewed. It is a good plan to work in some
muck with the fertilizer. Old Oleanders and Chinese Hibiscus
may be wonderfully renewed by this process.
If possible one should set trees and plants where they are to
remain, but sometimes it is necessary to make changes in one's
grounds and transplant large specimens. If any considerable
amount of moving must be done it will pay to build a stone boat
to use in carrying the plants from the old to the new locations.
Dig the new hole first, taking care to make it a little larger than the
ball of earth which is taken up with the plant to be moved. Dig
the plant up carefully, raise it and slide it on the stone boat and
haul to the new location; ease it into the hole without disturbing
the ball of earth if possible, then carefully fill in earth into any
crevices and thoroughly water. With such transplanting large
things can be moved with but little risk and their growth need not
be checked, especially if they are well mulched. I have gener-
ally had poor success transplanting palms of any considerable
size but many of them can be successfully moved by the above
One can hardly estimate how much may be done in the way of
decoration by the judicious use of ornamental vines. I have
elsewhere suggested that when one is clearing pine land for a
home the vigorous, well-formed pine trees should be left standing.
iL I .- I
A GARDEN IN SOUTH FLORIDA.
A view in the garden of Mrs. Marian McAdow at Punta Gorda. The palm Caryola urens
just shows in the upper right hand corner. The clump in the center is a species of Phoenix.
There is a class of vines which adheres to walls, the bark of trees,
rocks and the like by means of adventive roots, tendrils or tendril-
like processes which can be used to cover the stems of such trees.
In the upper part of the state such vines as Tecoma radicans,
Bignonia capreolata and Euonymus radicans are hardy and cling
to smooth surfaces. Ficus repens covers walls beautifully and
it should be hardy over the greater part of the state. The Bou-
gainvilleas can be made to climb to the tops of the tallest trees
and so can Bignonia venusta and all are superb ornaments
in winter. The Solanums, seaforthianum and wendlandi, the
Argyreias and Antigonons are fine for covering arbors, verandas,
or trees in the southern part of the state. I have a poultry yard
fence which was unsightly and I planted a vine of Ipomoea sidi-
oides at one corner of it several years ago. This has spread over
perhaps a dozen rods of the fence, has covered the poultry house
and a quarter of an acre of adjoining ground. Through December
every year it is covered with white blossoms until it resembles
huge banks of snow. By counting the flowers on a given space
and making an estimate of its entire surface I came to the con-
clusion that it bore a million flowers a day for over a month. I
have seen a sheet of moonflower covering the entire front of a
hammock for hundreds of feet, and a single specimen of Agdestes
clematidea completely hiding a half dozen large trees. There is
scarcely anything unsightly on one's place that cannot be covered
and beautified with vines.
Florida is infested with a number of pestiferous weeds and
among the worst of these are the sand burs (Cenchrus spp.) of
which we have four or five species; Boerhaavia,'a branching plant
with rounded wavy leaves and minute purple flowers followed by
small burs; Bidens leucantha, a common weed with white flowers
and flat, two-awned seeds which attach themselves most lovingly
to every passer-by. All these spread themselves by their seeds
which fasten on man and beast. They are not indigenous to the
virgin forest, though they come in soon after cultivation com-
mences. Their seeds germinate only on or very near the surface
of the ground and if one will dig a hole in the sand two or three
inches deep and bury the plant and all its seeds, scraping all that
lie about into the hole, they will never come up. It is a good plan
to step on the mound and press,it down well.
Another weed nuisance is the smut grass (Sporobolus indicus)
a wanderer from India which has become completely naturalized
in the Southern States as well as over many of the warmer parts
of the world. It is generally found along roads and paths or
much trodden places where it soon occupies tle ground to the
exclusion of almost everything else. It seems to have a wonderful
capacity to scatter its seeds for they constantly come up in the
most unexpected places. I know of no way of eradicating it
except by pulling or hoeing it up and burying it with all its
seeds a couple of inches deep. I have been able by constant
vigilance to keep my grounds reasonably clear of all of these by
the above means but fresh seeds are constantly being brought
in from other places. Cyperus, or Nut Grass, is a terrible weed
which takes complete possession of ground when once it is es-
tablished. It is said that hogs will clean it out or it may be
destroyed by constant hoeing.
It sometimes happens that a plant which is put into the open
ground absolutely refuses to grow for a series of years, though it
may seem to be in perfect health; or that it refuses to blossom.
In such cases it is best to be patient and, instead of digging it
up and throwing it away, let it remain and assume that you can
wait as long as it can. Give it careful culture and a little fertil-
izer during the growing season; a small quantity of stable or
liquid manure may be good, and it is probable that in time you
can overcome its balky disposition and be rewarded with growth
and bloom.. Again small plants sometimes actually deteriorate,
they grow smaller and smaller. This may be caused by dry or
cold weather, insect ravages or unsuitable soil and conditions.
In some such cases I have carefully lifted the plants and put
them back into pots in the slat house. In fact I have several
plants that have been put out and taken up a number of times,
and at last are doing well.
It seems necessary sometimes to use diplomacy, if I may use
such an expression, when handling these delicate, sensitive
things. We are wholly unacquainted with their native habitats
in very many instances and must grope about blindly in our
endeavors to find what is suitable for them. They appear to
have their whims and humors like a gasolene engine, and one must
favor them if he hopes to succeed. But what a joy it is after
spending years, it may be, with some such sickly, backward thing
t6 see it grow strong and flourish at last, to feel that, to a certain
extent, you have conquered the stubborn forces of nature, to
behold the wonder of long delayed growth and bloom. Verily,
there is more joy over the one plant that was lost and found than
over the ninety and nine that went not astray.
If one must make his home in the hammock I would advise that
he cut out as little of it. as possible, and that what he does cut
should be done gradually, because if too much is cleared away at
once it will give hurricanes a chance to break it up badly. One
can plant exotic things from time to time as he takes out the
native growth and thus his plantings will be sheltered from high
winds and frost. In the lower part of the state it is an excellent
idea to plant beggar weed or pigeon peas rather thickly in grounds
where tender things are set out, and as these are rapid growers
they will form a fine shelter and protection in time of frost.
They at the same time furnish an abundance of nitrogen for
More and more as the years go by I am coming to favor the
plan of close planting and of thickly scattering hardy, rapid
growing things among the tender stuff. Leave the clean, healthy
pine trees and a goodly number of low growing palmettos for a
first protection; then put in rather abundantly such things as
the oleanders, the Pittosporums, Prunus caroliniana, Dauben-
tonias, Gordonias, some of the hardier Eucalypts, Magnolias,
the evergreen oaks, the hardy bamboos and a variety of similar
things which will make a shelter in a short time. Then plant
among these, as soon as they have reached some size, the tender
things, thinning out the branches of the hardy plants as the
tender ones need room. When the hardy trees begin to crowd
badly cut them out here and there as needed but leave enough
for a good shelter. Never plant tender things where the morn-
ing sun will fall on them nor where the northwest wind will touch
them. In case of severe frost the hardy plants will still make a
show of green.
I approach this subject with more hesitation than any I shall
attempt to treat in this little work, for the reason that the wisest
of us are so ignorant and the ablest so little prepared to do battle
for the saving of our plants. It has been stated on good authority
that no species of injurious insect has ever been exterminated
and I think it not unlikely that the same may be said of diseases
which injure or destroy our plants. Yet it is true that new harm-
ful insects and diseases are continually coming to the front to
take their dreadful toll from the cultivator.
There are two classes of insects which do damage to plants;
first, those which devour the foliage, some during the larval
stage and others when adult; second, those which pierce the bark,
leaves, flowers or fruit and suck out the juice. The former,
which includes all the Lepidoptera, and the Chrysomelids among
the Coleoptera, are best combated by arsenical poisons applied
to the plants on which they live; the latter by contact insecticides
that will form a coat over them and shut off their breathing. To
the second class belong the Hemiptera in which the Aphides and
scales are included. These are best combated with the whale
oil emulsions, but the greatest care should be taken in preparing
them lest damage be done to the foliage.
The cottony scale (Pulvinaria sps.) infects Ficus of all species,
including the wild ones, and it must be combated before it
reaches the cottony stage, which is an egg stage, and during this
time the cotton containing the eggs is blown about by the wind.
I believe that ants sometimes carry these eggs. Use an emulsion
of whale oil soap for these and spray from the under side of the
leaves. The Lecanium scales are found on many tropical plants;
the comptie and Hamelia patens for example, and should have
similar treatment. Aphides are sometimes quite troublesome and
should be sprayed with a solution of whale oil soap or gold dust.
One of the greatest scourges the cultivator has to contend with.
in our area is root knot, the work of a Nematode worm. It
usually attacks the roots of young plants and in a short time
they swell up and become knotted into unsightly shapes and the
plant dies. It attacks plants in pots or boxes but is worst on
those in the open ground. I know of no satisfactory remedy for
it but heavy mulching for outdoor things is helpful, though it
does not always prevent its ravages. One should closely watch
his young plants and if they look sickly or are inclined to wilt
it is best to dig down carefully and examine about the roots.
If they show the knot dig the plants up aid thoroughly wash
all the dirt from them. It may be possible by severe trimming
to cut away the injured part, after which put the plant into a
small pot and in some cases it will come on. All trimmings
should be destroyed. In case the roots are ruined it may be
possible to make cuttings from the top of the plant.
There is a borer, the larva of one of the night flying moths,
which enters the growing ends of shoots of Erythrinas and some
other things; it also works down the flower stems and wherever
it attacks it brings ruin. The branches attempt to put out new
growth, only to be attacked again, while the bloom stems that it
works on shrivel and die. In some cases it prevents large trees
from growing or blossoming. I do not know at what time of the
year this moth is active but if at the proper time a light could be
put inside a muslin enclosure covered with any sticky substance
and the same set near the trees the moths would be caught.
We have a twig girdler which is occasionally troublesome as it
cuts off twigs and small limbs. It is a beetle and is very hard to
control because it works singly and at night. The only remedy
would be to keep trees and shrubs likely to be troubled with it
continually sprayed with arsenical poison.
Many palms are greatly disfigured and even injured by having
the epidermis of their leaves eaten, the refuse being deposited
along the surface. This is the work of a small Chrysomelid
beetle which looks to the ordinary observer exactly like a blue
ladybug. For several years I was deceived by this wretch, and
as I knew that ladybugs were the horticulturist's friends I was
always careful not to injure these gentry; I even distributed them
around, hoping that they might help me out. It is needless to
say that now I am not even polite to them any more. The
arsenical solutions would destroy them but they would disfigure
the palms, hence it would be better to use some colorless contact
solution such as Pratt's Scalecide and this will also destroy other
kinds of scales on palms.
Ants are often very troublesome, and they carry various kinds
of scale and aphis which they establish on cultivated plants. O.
and W. Thum's Tree Tanglefoot applied to the trees or plants
which they infest will prove an effective remedy. The lubber
grasshopper (Dictyophorus reticulatus) is one of the regular fea-
tures of Florida, and is sure to be found during the growing season
wherever Crinums or Amaryllis are grown. They hatch out in
early spring, the young being greenish black marked with yellow
or red. Later in life they change color and sometimes reach a
length of three inches; at this time they are gaudily painted with
yellow, orange, black and rose or red. They are handsome at
all'times but are as evil as they are beautiful. I would not say
that a full grown lubber will eat as much as a mule, but he will
in a short time destroy nearly as much. Woe to any of the
Amaryllis, Crinums or other succulent leaved plants that he
visits, for his path is marked as if by fire and the sword. He
cuts off at or near the ground the most vigorous leaves, apparently
eating only at the point where he cuts. One lubber at a single
visit will often cut off every leaf from a large Eucharis or Hip-
peastrum and then go on to the next and destroy it.
I keep close watch in early spring, and whenever I find the
newly hatched young I kill every one of them, which is usually
not difficult to do, for they huddle close together on a plant stem
and are not very active. It is well worth while to watch closely
and when they are found make a most careful search in order
that none may escape. I remember my poor slaughtered plants
of the year before and take murderous revenge. And I find that
by so doing there are few left to do damage later. Of course one
must watch through the growing season, but here they become
scarce by August.
They are especially bad about swamps and they no doubt
migrate over the adjoining country. They seem to have no
enemies and fowls will not touch them but a friend, Mr. William
Matheson, believes that Guinea fowls will destroy them.
Other grasshoppers do considerable damage though none are
so harmful as the lubber. If plants are sprayed with kerosene
emulsion from time to time it will prove a tolerable protection
against these insects and bran mash and arsenic will help to
keep them down.
Some of the injurious insects seem to come in waves to such
an extent that they threaten utterly to wipe out the vegetation
on which they prey. Then the tide appears to ebb and their
numbers are greatly diminished and the cultivator has a respite.
At one time I became so alarmed over the swarm of cottony
scales that I cut off and burned all the small branches and leaves
of a number of my trees. In a short time the scale entirely
disappeared from nearby trees that I had not touched. I have
seen a hedge of Acalypha so covered with this pest that it looked
as though it had been snowed on, yet in a short time, without
any remedy being applied, all the scales had disappeared.
Insects, however, constitute but a part of the animated enemies
of the plant grower. The great blue West Indian land crab has
become thoroughly established on our coasts from somewhere in
the neighborhood of Palm Beach to Cape Sable, and probably to
some distance north of there on the west coast of the state.
Fortunately it does not extend far into the interior at any place,
but it makes up for that by its pernicious activity along shore.
It swarms in the brackish marshes and is only a little less abun-
dant in fresh water swamps near the sea, digging out its holes
into which it hastens when disturbed. During the dry season it
is less in evidence, but when the rains come it commences activi-
ties. It then goes out in great numbers into cultivated lands,
tearing down and destroying quantities of plants. I have seen
banana stems as large as a man's thigh so pulled to pieces by
them that they toppled over, and they can and do invariably
distinguish between a twenty-five-cent plant and one that cost
five dollars, always taking the latter. They are to some extent
nocturnal, but in the rainy season are much in evidence in the
daytime, especially in wet weather, and they often move out
into the highlands. They then live temporarily in holes, some-
times in the pine woods; they climb up trees and enter chicken-
and out-houses, they invade dwellings and it has been reported
that they sometimes play on the piano. Usually they swarm
over the entire shore region sometime in early autumn; this
perhaps being the mating season. At such times I have seen
acres so thickly covered with them that they almost touched
Something may be done in the way of destroying them by
dipping a wad of cotton, oakum, old cloth or anything that is
an absorbent into gasolene, putting it into a fresh hole and tightly
closing it with mud. Small pieces of bread partly coated with
Rough on Rats or any roach paste will be eagerly eaten by them
with fatal results. It is almost impossible to protect anything
from their ravages. I have set a barrel with the heads knocked
out over some choice plant, pushing it well down into the earth,
only to find a little later that one or more of these wretches had
tunneled under the rim, come up inside, and utterly destroyed
my plant. The best protection I have found is to stick branches
of trees or palmetto leaves closely around a plant several rows
-deep, but even this often fails.
Rabbits are sometimes very destructive, being especially bad
during the dry, cold weather of winter. I have never been able
to catch one though I have had several traps that were war-
ranted to get them every time. A gun in the hands of a good
marksman, or pieces of apple doped with rat poison or roach
paste, will help to keep them down. They are prone to cut off
the leaves and stems of young palms, and these may be protected
by setting branches or palmetto leaves around them in the manner
directed for protecting from land crabs. Sometimes, however,
they manage to push these away and destroy the plant.
There is a wood rat that makes his home in and around our
dwellings that often is very destructive to plants, especially to
epiphytes. I have only been able to get a very few of them with
traps or poison. After one or two are taken the rest become wise
and rob the bait from traps with immunity. There is a prepara-
tion made by the Pasteur laboratories which works by inocula-
tion, that seems to be a good thing.
I can say but little about the many plant diseases which work
destruction for every grower. I have spoken of Orchid blight
elsewhere and I consider sulfur an excellent remedy for various
blights, or perhaps a preventive. It sometimes happens that a
48 ORNAMENTAL GARDENING
lot of apparently healthy cuttings suddenly die even when they
have made fine calluses, and this is probably caused by a fungous
blight. I think it would be a good idea to wet the cuttings before
setting them and then dip the lower parts of them in dry sulfur.
They should be planted with a dibble so that the sulfur will not
be brushed off. Rose and oleander cuttings are particularly
liable to be troubled with this blight.
Prevention is better than cure and it is always best, if possible,
to put out only healthy, vigorous plants and then by good care
keep them in good condition. Healthy specimens are less liable
to attack from disease, as a rule, than sickly plants and have far
more power to resist disease.
TREATMENT AND PLANTING OF LOW GROUND.
It often happens that the builder of a home has a piece of
low land, too wet for gardening or ordinary cultivation, which is
really an eyesore. Now it is quite possible to work every foot
of such land into the general scheme of landscaping and to make
it as beautiful as any part of the grounds. This is true of brack-
ish as well as fresh water swamp. Wherever the land is so low
that it is generally under water it may easily be made into a
pool, pond or lake with a moderate amount of labor, and the
mud which is removed can either be filled into adjoining low
land or used as muck for high land. I have elsewhere in this
work written about the construction of pools, so that it will not
be necessary here to treat at length on the subject. In some
cases there will be a considerable growth of scrub or even timber
on low land which is to be treated and there may be open spaces
here and there upon it. Such open spaces would seem to be
natural locations for artificial bodies of water.
In laying out walks in low land it will, perhaps, be found best
to carry them in a general way on the higher, firmer ground. If
the land is partly timbered they may be so laid out that very
little cutting will need to be done. If one has rock it may be
broken finely and two or three inches laid over the mud where the
walk is to be, an inch of sand being put on over all for a cover.
I have made such walks throughout several acres of swamp,
some of it being so soft that one would mire down in it, but with
the amount of material I have mentioned, a walk has been made
that bears up with any amount of foot travel, though the whole
trembles when it is walked over. If rock cannot be had marl
and sand or even sand mixed with a little muck will answer,
though a considerable depth must be put on in order to make it
Rustic seats can be built in low land if a sufficient amount of
rock or sand is placed around them to make it dry under foot.
Such seats may often be so placed that a fine view can be had
from them over artificial bodies of water. I have constructed
them of rough rock and cement, simply building them on the
mud with only a slight enlargement of the base, and they have
never cracked or settled in the least. The outside should be
made as rough and irregular as possible, while the seat itself is
made smooth and easy in which to sit. Below the seat the space
is to be filled in with broken rock, pounded in so that it will not
settle and two or three one-inch pins should be set up vertically
in this. The cement in the seat bottom is to be smoothed around
these and when it has set the pins are to be pulled out. This
will allow the rainwater to drain out so that the seat will always
be dry. If one has no rock, wooden seats can be made; the
posts being driven deep into the mud. All seats should have a
good rake back, rocking chair fashion.
Open spaces may be left in low grounds which if mowed oc-
casionally would have something the effect of a lawn. I do
not as yet know of any grass that would answer for lawn in such
locations but there is a succulent, half creeping plant (Monniera
monniera) that grows in brackish and fresh water swamps from
Maryland to Texas which, without any attention whatever, makes
a lovely carpet in low, open places. This charming little plant
bears its pale blue flowers in abundance throughout the greater
part of the year and flourishes in much trodden places.
I have made some experiments in planting my low grounds,
some of which are very wet. The entire area is subject to oc-
casional overflow from Biscayne Bay during hurricane tides, and
I am surprised at the large number of things which do well or
promise to do so. Undoubtedly this list might be greatly ex-
tended but very good effects can be produced with the plants
Among the palms all the species of Phoenix which I cultivate
do excellently in brackish mud; a number of them being planted
where they are surrounded with water during every unusually
high tide. Here they grow with the greatest vigor, their leaves
being of a rich, intense green and that without any fertilizer.
The list includes P. reclinata, P. tenuis, P. farinifera, P. rupicola,
P. cycadifolia, P. tomentosa, P. paradenia, P. paludosa, P. canari-
ensis, P. pumila, P. humilis, P. senegalensis and P. melanocarpa.
I have not tried P. sylvestris and P. dactylifera on low ground but
believe they would succeed. All the Inodes (better known under
IN FLORIDA 51
the name of Sabal) do equally as well as the species of Phoenix.
I have tried with perfect success I. umbracuifera, I. havaensis,
I. megacarpa, I. mexicana and everyone knows that our native
cabbage palmetto, I. palmetto, is perfectly at home in all kinds
of marsh. So are the varieties of the saw palmetto, Serenoa
serrulata, some forms of which assume almost tree-like propor-
tions in such conditions.
'Cocos nucifera, the common coconut, is a moisture and salt
loving tree and I have seen specimens flourishing in locations
where their roots were bathed by tolerably salt tides; it is prob-
able that other species of this genus will do well in marshes.
The Florida royal palm, Oreodoxa floridana, usually grows in
swamps and often those which are brackish. The Cuban species,
0. regia, and the palmiste of the Caribbean islands, Orfodoxa
oleracea, also do well in our low lands. Two comparatively
new Florida palms, Acoelorraphe wright and A. arborescens, both
well worthy of cultivation, grow in swamps which are sometimes
brackish. All the Thrinax do finely, so far as I have tried them,
in low, brackish soil. Pritchardia pacifica is doing finely in a
brackish swamp at Coconut Grove, and the two dwarf palms
which inhabit the northern half of the state, Rhapidophyllum
hystrix and Sabal adansonii are moisture loving species.
Coccolobis uvifera, or Shore grape, a most beautiful, broad
leafed tree, grows everywhere along the shores of South Florida
and does finely on high ground as well as in low lands. Most of
.the bananas do well in low land but should have partial drainage.
Rough lemons, limes and sour oranges will grow in quite moist
land, so will the calabash, Crescentia cujete; while C. cucurbitana,
our native species and a handsome tree, will flourish where it is
often surrounded by tide. It also inhabits high hammocks.
There are believed to be two species of cocoa plums native here,
Chrysobalanus icaco and C. pellocarpus; both grow in wet land and
are quite ornamental, and are fine for forming masses. Several
of the Eucalyptus do well in even brackish swamps which are
not too low, such as E. globulus, E. robusta, E. rudis and others.
Paritium elatum, a beautiful Cuban tree which probably grows
on our coasts, blooms the year through and is at home in salt
or fresh swamps; so are P. tiliaceum and P. abutiloides, also
natives. All these do well on high ground.
A native elderberry, Sambucus intermedia, grows in the wettest
swamps, fresh or salt and is very ornamental,-it produces its
large heads of snowy flowers in great abundance. Quite a num-
ber of bamboos do finely in wet ground, among them Arundo
donax, Bambusa disticha, B. argentea and the common giant
bamboo, B. vulgaris, a glorious plant.
Many of the aquatics will grow in slightly brackish water and
fine effects may be produced by introducing these into artificial
pools. Our native Acrostichums are among the noblest of ferns
and they produce a fine effect when planted along the borders of
ponds or lakes. Osmunda spectabilis and Blechnum serrulatum
grow in very wet, brackish soil and are fine; Nephrolepis biser-
rata and N. exaltata, our native sword ferns, occupy all habitations
from the tops of trees to slightly brackish swamps.
The following plants in addition to those mentioned above do
well in Florida swamps and low lands, all of them in slightly
brackish soil. Ficus aurea, F. brevifolia, Melaleuca leucadendron
or Cajeput tree, Delonix regia in soil not too wet, Pandanus
veitchi, P. sanderiana, P. baptisti, and P. candelabrum, Ravenala
madagascariensis. Nipafruiticans, a magnificent palm from the
East Indies flourishes in the wettest, most brackish situations.
The Strelitzias, Alpinias, Cordia sebestina, Hamelia patens, Hibis-
cus rosa-sinensis and H. mutabilis, the Oleanders and Rhodomyrtus
tomentosa are also useful in this connection.
It will be seen from the above list and from what has been
said that a great variety of attractive vegetation may be made to
grow in low and swampy places, that a considerable area of
Florida which has not only been considered worthless but even
a nuisance can, with a limited amount of labor and intelligence,
without the trouble of draining, be made into an earthly para-
dise. On the trees in such grounds many of the most lovely
Orchids and epiphytes will succeed; Philodendrons and other
aroid vines as well as many different climbers, can be made to cover
the trees. I am confidently looking forward to a time when my
pestiferous swamp, which in places was a miry bog, will be the
most charming spot on all my place, when instead of a waste of
weeds and sawgrass it will be filled with the beauty and fragrance
of ornamental plants and flowers.
Elsewhere I have devoted an entire chapter to the subject
of fern pools and similar adornments. In this I shall treat of a
variety of artificial constructions intended to be ornamental
but often quite otherwise.
The average person who locates in Florida, either for the
winter or permanently, in a region where there is open water,
is desirous of ~jving a water front. A view over the water is
always delightful; it appeals even to those who are absolutely
destitute of taste. Many wish to own a boat, to fish or have
a wharf; hence a water front is always a desideratum.
No sooner does the average man possess a water front than he
considers it necessary to build a sea wall along it. In nine
cases out of ten there isn't the slightest need for it: he simply
builds it because it is supposed to be the correct thing, because
it is the fashion to do so, just as he would wear a collar around
his neck a foot high if the other fellows did. There are cases
where the sea or a stream is encroaching on the land and a wall
is needed, but it is safe to say that as a general thing it is not,
and that it is only a blot on the landscape. Each owner usually
makes a straight wall a little different from that of his neighbor;
each conforming with the line of his front, and when all is done
it gives one the impression that the country is involved in war
and that the whole construction is a line of fortifications, that
only a few guns mounted at proper intervals are needed to put
the place in a state of defence.
Most of the shores of all bodies of brackish water in the lower
part of the state are heavily fringed with a growth of mangroves
and other trees that-love the salt of the sea. No device that was
ever constructed could equal this growth as a protection against
the encroachment of the ocean. It is a very rare thing that
even the hardest hurricane that visits this region does any serious
injury to this nature-planted sea wall. The mangroves with
their wonderfully arched, stilted roots and their strange manner
of propagation are among the greatest objects of wonder that
the stranger sees here. Nevertheless the owner gets an ax,
or has some one else get it, and slaughters every tree. Then he
digs a trench with infinite labor and builds a cement or rock
wall which the next severe hurricane is almost certain to demolish.
When he builds a hideous house the vegetation that he has
planted is pretty sure to cover it up and in a few years hides
much of its ugliness, but in the case of a sea wall it is different.
As it is exposed to storms, the salt spray or heavy seas, -it is
rare, indeed, that anything can be got to cover and hide it in the
way of vegetation.
One of the things of which the average home builder almost
makes a fetish is what is called a rockery. This consists usually
of a rather regular pile of stones, often smooth and rounded;
sometimes broken pieces of plaster images or crockeryware are
introduced and mingled with the pile to add to the effect. The
whole is generally built on level ground and is often surmounted
with a vase containing plants; sometimes a few plants are grown
on the sides of the pile. It is hard to say what the thing is
intended for; perhaps there is a sort of idea in the mind of the
builder that it resembles a natural stack of rocks.
Rockwork should always appear as though it was a natural
ledge or formation, a part of the landscape: it should never have
any crockeryware or artificial stone or plaster mixed with it.
It should be constructed, if possible, along a slope and should
be made to appear like a natural outcrop. It requires con-
siderable art to lay up an artificial ledge and make it look natural.
However, any defect in construction will be remedied to some
extent by the plants and vines which should be put on it. Back
of such a ledge the space should, be filled with good soil and in
it a variety of herbaceous plants and small shrubs may be set.
On the ledge and in its crevices succulents and plants which will
stand drought should be planted, such things as the Crassulas,
Sedum, Echeveria, Bryophyllum and similar things. If one has
water so that it may be sprinkled the Zebrinas and a variety of
creepers will flourish. Small species of Agaves are fine in such
places and the native Ampelopsis or Virginia creeper will creep
over it sometimes almost too rampantly. Rhoeo discolor,
commonly known as Tradescantia discolor and some of the Aloes
do well here. It may be constructed either in shade or sunshine.
Sundials are neat ornaments and are more or less useful. They
must, ofcourse, be set where the sun will fall on them all day
but they should never be put out in the middle of a lawn. A
spot along a path with trees or shrubs to the north and open
space in other directions is good.
Statuary should never be introduced into small grounds, in
fact it would be better to leave it out of the ordinary garden
altogether. The most of the statuary that we see in grounds is
entirely lacking in artistic qualities or is even hideous. As a
general thing it is most appropriate in formal gardens and it
ought to be placed near dwellings or in the most artificial part
of the grounds. The same thing may be said about fountains,
for the most part. They are highly artificial and generally do
not look well in any natural scheme of landscape gardening. I
cannot understand the motive which leads so many designers of
fountains to construct figures of animals and humans who throw
water from their mouths. One sees such things everywhere in
this country and in Europe, and they seem to me to be in the
worst of taste. Fountains are all right in formal gardens where
they harmonize well with the regular designs and architectural
Rustic seats are an attractive feature in a natural garden if
properly built and placed. They should be set in rather secluded
places; if convenient, in shaded nooks where a side path leads
to them. It should be remembered that they are built for
comfort, to lounge and rest or read in, therefore the seat itself
should be made low; it should tip back somewhat, and the back
should have a good slope. It is well to keep the rocking chair
idea in mind when one of these is being constructed.
Bridges should only be built where they are really needed, never
for mere ornament, and this remark may well be applied to all
kinds of structures used in making an ornamental garden. A
bridge is allowable where it is necessary to cross a body of water
and it should be, in a natural garden, of some simple and quiet
design. In Florida, owing to the warm climate and abundant
rainfall, wood is a poor material to use in rustic work, as it
ordinarily decays rapidly. In the southeast part of the state
we have an abundance of soft limestone which has a rough
surface and is an admirable material for all kinds of work which
is exposed to the weather. In many other parts of the state
rock of some kind can be obtained which can be used for rustic
effects. In building rough rock bridges it is best to put down
piling to a good depth, on which concrete or rock piers should
rest; though of course if one can reach bed rock it is better. If
for a foot bridge only, the arch may be light, but for vehicles it
should be of reinforced concrete, the exposed surfaces being
finished with rough rock. If wood is used it should be peeled
(which detracts greatly from its attractiveness) and the whole
covered with two or more coats of Carbolineum.
Arbors and summer houses are not so much in fashion now as
pergolas. A properly built pergola, either attached to a dwelling
or detached, and covered with vines is an attractive object,
provided it is well kept. It is, however, best to make the posts
of concrete or better of rough rock. This remark is applicable
to all arbors, trellises and, in fact, to all structures. No wood
should ever be used in construction in or near the ground in
Florida, especially the warmer part of the state.
Entrances to grounds are often marked by some kind of
architectural ornaments: piers or arches or in small places posts
set in at the side of the road. In extensive places a gatekeeper's
lodge is sometimes built in addition to the work at the entrance
and the whole may be quite elaborate. All such work should
be made of cement, brick, or better of rough rock. The same
thing may be said of walls which are used to enclose grounds or
separate one part of them from another. It is a good idea to
cover such structures with vines, preferably those which cling
by means of adventive roots. In the northern part of the state
the common English ivy (Hedera helix) is fine for this purpose
and throughout the greater part of Florida Ficus repens, the
trailing rubber plant, does admirably. Our native woodbine,
which grows generally throughout the state, is a good plant,
but it loses its leaves more or less in winter. Some of the Big-
nonias are fine for this purpose.
A magnificent specimen of this Oriental species on the estate of Charles Deering at Buena
Vista, Florida. This tree is widely used in the tropics for.avenue planting, a purpose for which
it is admirably adapted. Its foliage is of a rich, glossy green color. (Fig. 12)
SHADE TREES FOR ROADS AND STREETS IN FLORIDA.
SThere are a number of qualities which may be considered al-
most absolutely essential in the makeup of a shade tree for roads
First,-It should be what its name indicates, a shade tree it
should have a moderately smooth, straight trunk, a spreading
head with a mass of clean, bright, healthy foliage which it re-
tains in good color throughout the whole, or nearly the whole
Second,-It should be adapted to its environment. Such a
tree for Florida should flourish in our poor, sandy soil with a
small amount of care or fertilizer. It should be able to with-
stand dust, drought or excessive rain; it should not be too tender
and it should stand, up against high winds or hurricanes with a
minimum of damage.
Third,-It should be easy to propagate, though not to the
extent of sprouting too readily or propagating itself too freely
from seed along the roads or streets.
Fourth,-It should be, so far as our knowledge goes, free from
serious diseases or the attacks of very bad insects, though of
course these things are liable to be introduced at any time.
Fifth,-It should be free from vicious thorns. In addition to
these it would be well if it were long lived, if its leaves were not
too large and if its fruit did not greatly litter or cumber the way.
It is not at all likely that any tree will ever be found that will
have all or nearly all the good qualities mentioned above,-the
only thing we can hope for is to find one or more that will have
the most of them.
So far as the planting of ornamentals is concerned Florida is
a new country and we are yet in the experimental stage. Our
knowledge, gained in regions to the north of this, is of little value
to us here. We must plant tropical and semi-tropical stuff
here almost altogether, and only a few things have really been at
all thoroughly tried as shade trees here.
First, some of the palms have been recommended and a few of
them are being tried. The common coconut has been planted
considerably in the extreme lower part of the state as a road and
street tree but while it is a most rapid grower, is healthy and free
from serious insect pests here so far, and is one of the most mag-
nificent objects in nature, I consider it unfit for any such pur-
poses. Its stem is almost invariably crooked, oftentimes ex-
ceedingly so, hence it never forms a good line and, although
experiments have been made with a hope of forcing it to grow
straight they have totally failed. Its leaves do not have a suffi-
cient spread to shade a broad road properly even if it grew straight.
But when the tree has attained a considerable height there
would always be great risk from falling leaves and nuts along any
much frequented thoroughfare. I have seen a woman knocked
senseless by being struck with the butt of a leaf which did not
fall over ten feet.
Some of the other Cocos have been used for street and high-
way planting, particularly C. plumosa which is a very beautiful
tree, butwith the same defect as all other palmswhich we are likely
to plant here,-their leaves do not spread wide enough to shade
an ordinary street or road. Washingtonia robusta is planted to
some extent here and it becomes a noble tree; so does the royal
palm, but the latter will not do well on dry pine land. This
tree is often used for avenues in Cuba but it makes but little
shade. Several of the palms are fine for planting along walks
or byroads. Our common cabbage palmetto is excellent for
this purpose and is hardy everywhere in the state.
The Australian pine, Casuarina eguisetifolia, which is not at
all closely related to the pines, is used for street and road shading
more extensively than any other tree in tropical Florida. It be-
longs to a family whose relationships are uncertain and it inhabits
tropical seashores of the Australian region. Although a native
of the torrid zone it seems strangely out of place in it, for it looks
something like a slender white pine, and one might expect to
find it growing wild among the mountains of some boreal country;
however, it has some excellent qualifications for a road and street
tree. It is one of the most rapid growers in the world, it flour-
ishes in our poor pine land with a limited amount of culture and
fertilizer, its slender, wand-like branches and narrow foliage bend
before hard winds, hence it stands the storms fairly well. It is
generally healthy and free from insect pests, though of late it is
beginning to be troubled by a boring beetle; and it is easily propa-
gated from seed, which it produces in great abundance. Yet to
me and many others it does not seem to be a fit tree for plant-
ing along our highways: until it reaches a considerable age the
lower limbs are the longest and must be cut away in order to
allow of free passage along the road. It does not cast much
shade on account of the tenuity of its foliage. It produces a hard
seed-vessel something like a prickly cone and it is claimed that
these are injurious to automobile tires. Certainly they are not
pleasant to the feet of barefoot children and they sometimes
literally cover the highway.
But it is the appearance, the tone, the general color of the tree
that, it seems to me, is its greatest drawback. It has a sad, dull,
gloomy tint that is especially depressing, that is suggestive of
cemeteries, of the end of life, and of the dark and silent tomb.
This is a land of clear skies, of illimitable light and sunshine, a
land of glorious color, and it seems to me that such a depressing
tree is entirely out of place in it.
There are a number of trees that bid fair to be useful for road
and street planting and ought at least to be tried out; one of these
is the mango, Mangifera indica. It has a clean, straight stem,
a wide spreading, compact and shapely top. Its long, thick,
glossy leaves are exceedingly beautiful, especially when they
first develop, as at that time they have a marvellous range of
tints varying from pale ashy pink to reddish brown and rich
wine color. So far it is generally healthy and free from insect
attacks; its fruit is valuable and it stands up against winds well.
Several stems often come from each seed and all or only one may
be left to grow.
Albizzia lebbek, Woman's Tongue, is a tree much used for road
planting in the Old World. I have a splendid specimen in my
grounds about nine years planted that has a head more than fifty
feet across and forty in height with a trunk diameter in excess
of two feet. It has attractive pinnate leaves and heads of
silvery and green stamens all summer and it appears to stand
well against high wind. Its leaves are retained throughout the
greater part of the year, falling in the spring when the new foliage
almost pushes off the old. It has not seeded very well here but.
seed could be imported in abundance. Its broad whitish pods
are, however, one of its attractive features.
The Indian Laurel, Ficus nitida, is not a laurel at all nor any
kin thereto, but one of the figs. It has rather small glossy, thick
leaves and forms an immense, rounded head of intensely deep
green foliage. It has been used in Key West for a street tree with
success and is a great favorite for roads in Cuba and many parts
of the Orient. It stands hurricanes pretty well and holds its
leaves all the year. It may be propagated from seed or byslitting
and balling the limbs with sphagnum, or it can be grown from cut-
tings. Another fig, Ficus reigiosa, the Sacred Ti, Bo or Pipal
Tree of the Hindus, everywhere held sacred in India, will probably
make a fairly good road tree. It is a rapid grower, with thick,
shining, heart shaped leaves which are drawn out to a long point,
and it has a fine rounded head. It is used in Havana as a shade
tree on the beautiful Prado and stands hurricanes fairly well.
The Circassian Bean (Adenanthera pavonina) is a handsome,
spreading tree with delicate, compound leaves and spikes of
brownish flowers and spiral pods with brilliant red beans. I have
a fine tree some twenty feet high which stands winds well and is
a fairly rapid grower. There is another tree in my grounds which
I am watching with great interest the Myrobalan (Phylanthus
emblica), which is without doubt one of the loveliest trees, so far
as growth and foliage are concerned, that I have ever seen. It
has long, wand-like shoots, slender, delicate pinnate leaves and in
appearance resembles, to some extent, a bamboo. It is called a
large shrub or small tree in the books, but my specimen is twenty-
five feet high and has a trunk diameter of over a foot, the result
of some six years growth; De Candolle says it becomes a large
tree. It would have to be propagated from foreign grown seed
until it could be got into bearing here. It is grown as far north
as Japan but Reasoner reports that it is not quite hardy at
The mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni) is a native of the Florida
keys and the extreme lower mainland of the state, growing in
almost any kind of land from swamp to high hammock. Where
AN AVENUE OF TAMARINDS.
The Oriental Tamarind is one of the most graceful of tropical trees. It grows well in extreme south
Florida and is desirable for street and avenue planting. The avenue here shown is at Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil. (Fig. 13)
THE CARISSA AS A HEDGE PLANT.
The Carissa or Natal Plum (Carissa grandiflora) makes an excellent hedge plant for regions
not subject to severe frosts. It stands trimming well, and its stout thorns render it practically
impenetrable. (Fig. 14)
it has room it makes a handsome tree with a good trunk and a
fine spreading head. The leaves are rich green and pinnate, the
leaflets one sided and glossy; they remain on the tree until late
winter or early spring, suddenly turn yellow and fall, and are
quickly replaced by the new foliage. It is a rapid grower and
will do well on ordinary pine land with a little fertilizer.
Inga dukis is a native of the Oriental Tropics, is cultivated to
some extent in the lower part of this state, and is apparently
hardy in the Miami region. It has wand-like branches and
delicate leaflets in pairs, it has a few small thorns, and seed pods
which contain an edible pulp. It is a decidedly ornamental tree
of rapid growth, is perfectly at home in the poorest of ordinary
pine land, and will get on with little fertilizer and attention. It
is sometimes placed in the genus Pithecolobium.
For planting farther north where considerable hardiness is
required the water oak (Quercus sigra) should be an excellent
street and road tree. It has a magnificent, large round head
covered with evergreen foliage of a fine glossy character, is a
rapid grower and will do well in any but the poorest soil. The
same may be said of the live oak (Quercus virginiana) which is
one of the most majestic trees of North America. Q. lurifoia,
laurel oak,.and Q. pheUos, willow oak, are noble trees and should
succeed on, any fairly good soil. Gordonia lsiathus (Loblolly
Bay) is a handsome, native tree with evergreen leaves and large
white flowers. It grows in swamps and low grounds but will
flourish on much higher, drier ground, and would probably make
a fine road and street tree. It is, however, rather short lived.
The Magnolia (M. foeida) is one of the most magnificent of trees
and it will do exceedingly well on high pine land. Although its
large leaves might suffer in high winds I think it would be an
excellent road tree in the cooler part of the state.
Although not a very rapid grower the camphor tree (Cinna-
momrwm amphora) is a most handsome tree eventually attaining
to large size, and it should stand high winds well. The white
elm, red maple and umbrella tree might be mentioned among
trees for road purposes up.the state; although deciduous, they
are beautiful and worthy.
In Cuba they have a fashion of shading their roads with a
large variety of trees planted as an irregular border along each
side of the drive. In clearing up the country, royal palms,
Ceibas, Ingas, Ficus, Spondias and other trees which naturally
grow at the sides of the highways are allowed to stand. Where
there happen to be open spaces young trees are planted, and in
some cases vines and shrubs. As a result the roads are beauti-
fully shaded and as one drives along them the eye is greeted with
a constantly changing panorama of varying green. Shrubs
fill up many of the openings and flowering vihes scramble over
the whole in places, often covered with gorgeous blossoms. Here
there will be a spot so densely shaded that inside there is twi-
light at midday; farther on it is more open and one can have
glimpses of a lovely country. No description can give any idea
of the magnificence and beauty of some of these Cuban highways.
I cannot too strongly recommend that this system be, at least,
tried here in Florida. In the ordinary way of planting trees
along roads or streets in straight rows,'if one tree diesit makes a
very bad break which can rarely be satisfactorily filled, whereas
if the mixed system is adopted the loss of a tree makes little
There are many other trees of which we know but little which
would probably succeed along our roads and not only make good
Shade but would bear beautiful flowers. Instead of rows of
dreary Australian pines which only add to the monotony of our
pine woods we should have something to please the eye and
remind us of the glory of the tropics.
A few words may be said on the planting and care of roadside
trees. It is worse than useless to grub holes among the palmettos
in the pine woods and plant trees therein. Every year or so
forest fires rage through the pines and many of the trees which
have cost good money and hard labor go up in flame and smoke.
A space sufficiently wide should be grubbed and cleared of rub-
bish on each side of the road that the trees may grow in safety
therein. This should be kept clear as long as there is the least
danger of forest fires. Holes of good size should be dug
and some kind of fertilizer mixed with the soil. The trees
will need occasional hoeing and fertilizing, and it goes without
A PHILIPPINE ORCHID.
Phalanopsis schilleriana, one of the most beautiful orchids in the world, is here shown grow-
ing on a tree in the hammock at The Sentinels. This plant and a companion species, P. ama-
bilis, have done remarkably well here. (Fig. 16)
IN FLORIDA 63
saying that they do not need any cultivation by cattle, hogs or
A time will come, I hope, when in each county we shall have a
competent person as superintendent of trees and tree planting
along our roads, not a politician but a devoted lover of them, not
only for their utility but for their beauty. This superintendent
should have intelligent laborers to help and a sufficient fund
properly to carry on the work.
I can look ahead in imagination to a time when Florida will be
netted with a magnificent system of roads; when these roads will
be shaded everywhere with the most glorious trees that the
warmer parts of the earth produce. What a feeling of pride
every citizen will have in such a system of highways! What an
inducement they will be to the northerner to spend his winters,-
yes and his summers-among us; what an opportunity for autoing
it will make!
The true lover of trees is not likely to figure on their cash
value, but the business man can easii) estimate without fear of
exaggeration that such a road system as I have pictured would
be the best possible advertisement we could make. If would
bring more desirable tourists and settlers than tens of thousands
of pages of advertising.
WIND BREAKS AND HEDGES.
It will often be found that it is a good thing to throw a sort of
screen or protecting wall of trees or shrubs around all or part of a
place as a shelter against wind or frost. In fact, in many loca-
tions on large rivers or the sea it is well-nigh impossible to grow
anything without some such screen.
As a general thing I do not like straight rows of trees or shrubs
in an informal garden scheme for the reason that they look too
artificial. If one wants to make a wind break, or to separate a
part of his grounds from the rest or from his neighbor's it seems
to me far better to plant an irregular border. This may consist
of lofty growing trees, shrubs and even herbaceous plants so ar-
ranged that when grown he will have an irregular sky line, a
variety of form and colors. Where one is merely separating one
part of his land from the rest a low screen may be planted con-
sisting of shrubs and small growing plants.
For a wind break it is necessary in exposed places to use trees
which are practically evergreen and quite wind resistant, and
as yet we have, perhaps, not had sufficient experience in Florida
to make the best selection of species. The Australian pine,
Casuarina equisetifolia, is a native of the Oriental littoral region
of the tropics. It is one of the most rapid growing trees known;
it stands the salt air remarkably well, it is fairly wind resistant.
It is probable that all the date palms will work in finely for wind
breaks and that they will stand salt air, and this is likely true of
the Inodes and most of the Cocos. Our own cabbage palmetto
does excellently in the most exposed situations, even fronting
onto the sea. The live oak will only resist salt spray moderately
well and where it is too much exposed its foliage is likely to be
scorched on the seaward side. Some of the bamboos work in
finely in mixed wind breaks but, so far as my experience goes,
their leaves do not stand salt air well. One of the finest things
for a wind break in the lower part of the state is the rose apple,
Eugenia jambos. It has long, glossy, evergreen leaves which are
a rich red or purple when young, the growth is compact and bends
readily before the wind. It has lovely creamy blossoms and
pleasantly flavored fruit. I doubt whether it would stand salt
air. On the sheltered side of a mixed wind break vines might
be planted and the whole might be made to have such an orna-
mental appearance that no one would suppose it was other than
a piece of decorative planting.
The oleanders, the privets, Ligustrum spp., Laurocerasus caro-
liniana, or Carolina cherry, the two Raphiolepis, R. ovata and
R. indica, the Pittospofums, Gordonia, two or three of the hollies
and a number of other trees and shrubs are suitable for such
work and are hardy throughout the state.
If one must plant formal hedges the privets are fine evergreens
for such work and are hardy anywhere within our limits; so is
the dwarf tree box (Buxus). The common sweet myrtle and
some of the climbing roses can be pruned so as to form a fine
hedge. In the more tropical part of the state the various species
of Carissa make beautiful hedges, as do the Phyllanthus of the
nivosus type. I have no doubt that Catesbaea, Tabernaemon-
tana, some of the Ixoras, Duranta, some of the Jasmines and
Gardenia would stand shearing well. The Acalyphas and Chinese
Hibiscus are considerably used for hedges in this region. And
I would suggest that any of the following would be likely to do
well as hedge plants or to work into wind breaks: Eugenia
uniflora, Thea viridis, Bambusa disticha, Triphasia trifoliata and
several of the Pandanus.
It should be remembered that dead air fills open spaces that
are left among plantings of trees and shrubs, and that this air
becomes very cold during a norther, so that in such spaces frost
is more likely to occur than in more exposed places. Any open
space on the north or west of a close wall of vegetation is pecu-
liarly subject to frost, for the reason that the cold air is driven in
Probably no one except a few professional botanists knows
that there are at present no less than twenty-two species of native,
epiphytic Orchids known in the State of Florida. Some of these
are beautiful while all are strange and interesting. Nearly all of
these are natives of the West Indies or Tropical America, and it
is probable that they were introduced, for the most part, into
South Florida during late geological time by birds, winds, and,
it may be, on floating vegetation carried on the Gulf Stream.
There are nine species of Epidendrum known in the state,
most of which have no beauty, as the Epidendrums are called
the weeds among Orchids. However, E. cochleatum has odd
purple and yellow flowers that remind one a little of those of a
pansy. E. nocurnum has spidery white blossoms and E. tam-
pense has really pretty flowers of purple, greenish and white
with sometimes yellowish or chocolate tints.
Cyrtopodium punctatum is a noble Orchid, sometimes forming
immense clumps, the stems and numerous rather large flowers
being greenish yellow barred with brown red; a large plant may
carry as many as 300 blossoms at a time. There are three species
of the genus Dendrophylax in lower Florida, one of which, D.
lindeni, with leafless stems and handsome, large, satiny blossoms,
usually grows on the trunks of royal palms. Oncidium luridum
is a magnificent Orchid with large, thick leaves, and stems of
flowers which sometimes reach a length of ten feet. The color
of the blossoms is lurid, greenish yellow barred and blotched with
red or red brown. 0. sphacellatum is an epiphytal Orchid in Cuba
but here it is more or less terrestrial, growing on pine land in the
edges of swamps or rarely in hammocks. The flowers are yellow
and quite attractive. Besides the above there is a Macradenia,
an lonopsis, a Polystachya and a Brassia, the latter only just dis-
covered in our region. This strange plant, B. caudata, is a native
of Cuba and has curious spider-like greenish yellow blossoms.
We have two Vanillas which climb trees by means of aerial roots
and have rather attractive flowers. With their thick, fleshy
stems and scale-like leaves, they are curious plants.
Many of the exotic Orchids can be successfully grown on the
trees of our hammocks if proper care is given them. Two of our
native species, Epidendrum conopseum and E. lampense grow on
trees in the hammocks throughout the greater part of the pen-
insula of the state and it is probable that a few of the hardier
exotic species might be cultivated over most of this area. First
among exotics are the Cattleyas,--queens among Orchids. All
of them bear large, handsome flowers, and with the exception of
C. citrina, which is a cool house species, all that I have tried have
done well. With a good selection one may have blossoms through-
out the entire year, provided his plants are large and in good
condition. C. labiata and its varieties will furnish flowers dur-
ing the spring, summer and autumn and C. trianae, by some
considered a variety of labiata, is a winter bloomer. C. labiata
and C. trianae have mostly pink to purplish flowers; C. dowiana,
yellow, and C. wagneri, white.
The Laelias have handsome flowers and are closely related to
the Cattleyas, having much the same range of color, though they
are less showy. L. anceps, L. majalis, L. perrini, L. jonghiana
and L. superbiens promise well here.
Dendrobium is a large genus of Oriental Orchids, most of which
are handsome and easily grown. D. nobile and its varieties are
among the finest; D. wardianum, D. palpebre, D. moschatum, D.
superbum, D. fimbriatum, D. formosum, D. densiflorum and D.
griffithianum are all doing well with me. The last two have hya-
cinth-like spikes of deep yellow flowers; those of the others vary
through white, red, purple and straw color. D. phalanopsis and
its variety schroederianum are very fine, with deep purple flowers,
individual specimens of which have remained in perfection with
me for over three months. So far the Dendrobes are perfectly
healthy with me. A number of them throwout air roots from the
young stems; these stems can be cut off and will make new plants.
I occasionally put stems among my pots containing plants on the
shelves in the slat house and by keeping them slightly moist I
can sometimes root them.
Oncidium is a large and fine genus inhabiting the American
Tropics and yellow and brown-red are the prevailing colors of
their flowers. 0. tigrinum and its near ally 0. splendidum are
exceedingly showy; 0. leucocheilum from Guatemala has panicles
of flowers often nine feet long, the color being greenish and white.
0. papilio, the Butterfly Orchid, has broad, usually spotted leaves
and striking yellow and brown banded flowers which bear a stong
resemblance to a butterfly, 0. cavendishianum, 0. varicosum and
its variety rogersi, and 0. ampliatum have all done well with me.
0. ornithorhynchum has lovely, delicate lilac flowers, but is a cool
house orchid and soon dies here.
The Vandas are superb Orchids from the East Indian region.
I have V. coerulea which has handsome blue flowers and V. teres-
with pink flowers, also an unnamed species, all of which are doing
Phalanopsis is a genus of Orchids from the Indo-Malayan
region, and contains, perhaps, the most chastely beautiful species
of the entire family. Here I have in splendid condition P. ama-
bilis and P. schilleriana, the former bearing long racemes of nearly
pure white, large flowers while those of the latter are a lovely
lilac rose. They have a rich, waxy texture and solid substance
that causes their flowers to be as lasting as those of any Orchids
grown in the state. I have had individual blossoms of P. ama-
bilis remain in perfection for four months. Here on my trees in
the low land they send out their large, flat roots in great pro-
fusion and produce their handsome, glossy, leathery leaves with
the greatest vigor. In fact, although these are considered rather
difficult plants to grow in northern hothouses, they have done
better with me than anything I have grown. They have en-
dured long droughts and winter temperatures of light frost with-
out injury, and when in bloom they have been the wonder of a
great number of visitors.
Besides the above I have tried quite a number of other Orchids
including Brassia verrucosa, Brassavola glauca, Chysis aurea,
Lycaste aromatic and skinneri, several MaxilUarias, Miltonia
roezeli, Schomburgkia tibicina, a couple of Gongoras, Stanhopea
sp. and a considerable number of unnamed plants from Guate-
mala and Cuba, most of which are doing well.
There is a class of Orchids which grows at high elevations in the
tropics where the atmosphere is always moist and cool. These
are called "Cool House Orchids" and can only be grown in the
north with great difficulty. Among them is the genus Odonto-
glossum, containing some of the most exquisitely beautiful things
in the world, and there are many others. I have repeatedly
tried a number of these in my hammock and have met with abso-
lute failure. Our summers are no doubt too warm and they can-
not stand dry weather.
There is another class of Orchids which is neither wholly epi-
phytic nor terrestrial; -theplants may grow in a native state near
the ground on trees, on rocks or even in the ground. Among
these is Oncidium sphacellatum, which I have mentioned in the list
of Florida species, the Coelogynes and some of the Cymbidiums.
They should be grown in moist places in the hammock at the
bases of trees, on rocks with moss or leaf mould, or a sort of arti-
ficial rock-work with decaying wood and leaf mould mixed in
will suit them. I have not had much experience with Cypripe-
diums and other strictly terrestrial forms but they might prob-
ably be grown successfully in moist hammock in a mixture of
peat, fern root and leaf mould.
Most of the Orchids received from the dealers have their roots
contained in the mixture of chopped fern root or peat and sphag-
num in which they grew in the orchid house. In my earlier
attempts at growing them on my trees I made the mistake of
leaving this all on and fastening the ball against the tree by means
of pieces of shingle nailed on so as to press against it. I believe
that the freshly imported plants which have not yet been potted
are better than the potted and established ones.
No Orchid will flourish on a tree unless it is so firmly fastened
to it that it cannot possibly be moved about. It must also be so
fastened that the collar, that is the part of it where the roots join
the stems, is not choked or smothered. I find it best with plants
that come with the potting material around their roots to soak
the mass a little and carefully remove as much of it as possible
without unduly mangling the roots. Most of these die anyhow
after the plants have been on the tree awhile. Cut window
screen wire (iron wire is best) into strips an inch wide and of
any length. Fasten one end of a strip with a small nail to the
trunk of a tree at the side of where the Orchid is to be placed.
Put a, thin layer of sphagnum on each side of the mass of roots,
which have been previously flattened; place the roots against the
tree close to where the strip is fastened; draw the strip tightly
across the roots and nail on the other side of them. If the plant
is large it will be necessary to put two or more strips across, some-
times in several directions; at any rate bind it firmly and neatly
to the tree, taking care that the collar of the plant is not choked.
This fastening will admit air to the roots and will not look un-
sightly. Water well and if possible repeat the watering at least
once a week during dry weather until the Orchid is established.
They may be planted at any time of the year but I prefer to
put them on the trees just before the commencement of the rainy
season. If one has irrigation it makes little difference. Do not
put them on trees whose bark scales off. The live oak which
grows generally throughout Florida is an ideal tree for this pur-
pose as it has rough bark which never comes off and the roots
seem to revel in its crevices. The red bay is another good tree
for this purpose. An upright trunk four or five feet above the
ground is a good place and elevation.
I have had best success with good sized plants; small speci-
mens are liable to dry out and die. Most Orchids are very slow
growers; often only a single leader is sent up in a year even under
favorable circumstances, unless the plant is large. In some
cases they produce fertile seed but it is excessively minute and
difficult to make grow. One may scatter such seed on mossy,
leaning trees in a damp hammock and rarely grow a plant. Even
when he succeeds it will take from four to eight years for it to
bloom. Roots are sometimes thrown off from leaders and in
such cases the latter may be carefully cut off below the roots
and made to grow, preferably in pots of peaty soil at first, in a
close damp slat house. In the north growers are largely depend-
ent on plants which are imported from their native countries
where some species are now almost exterminated.
A few words regarding enemies and insects may not be out of
place. There is a native wood rat which at times does great
damage .to Orchids planted on trees, working them loose and
often eating them. Something may be done in the way of put-