The Sun Lounge and Conservatory

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Conservatory GreenhouseLounging Elegans

In so far as the plants which are grown in them are the same, the sun lounge and conservatory are virtually synonymous, but of course there are certain differences which make the use of ihe two terms meaningful. The term sun lounge invariably refers to a light, airy, very glassy structure attached to a modem house whereas the word conservatory is usually applied to the heavier structures (rather more wood or cast iron and rather less glass than in the sun lounge) attached to older houses. Moreover, whereas the sun lounge is very much a room, the old-style conservatory is likely to be very much more a greenhouse-type structure complete with staging and heating pipes. It is another case of changed fashions and different living patterns.

A sun lounge extension to the house can be a great joy. If it is on the south-west or south-east side of the house it becomes a sun trap and a place where all the family can sit and enjoy the sunshine when it is cold and windy out of doors. As my house is on a hill with open country for miles around it is possible that I get more pleasure from such a room than the average house owner, because of the shelter it provides.

But not only is the sun lounge an ideal place for sitting in, il is also ideal as a growing room lor many plants, and likewise, of course, the conservatory. We have no heating in our sun lounge except on very frosty nights when we bring in a small electric fan heater. This keeps the temperature just above freezing point and allows us to leave Regal and Zonal pelargoniums, fuchsias and a fruiting lemon there during the winter months. Also there are various ferns and Begonia rex which look a little tired in the very cold weather but soon pick up as conditions improve.

The beloperone or Shrimp Plant, the variegated ivies and the tradescantias are other plants which I find useful for this indoor 'garden'. Foliage plants, such as Grevillea robust a, are ideal throughout the year. Coleus are splendid summer plants for such conditions, making excellent specimens with brightly coloured foliage because of all the additional light they receive.

Perhaps I should mention here lhai we have no shading of any kind for our sun lounge, if one chooses one's plants care-

A sun lounge makes a delightful addition to any home, for it extends the house into the garden On bright days when the fully it is unnecessary and in any case the whole idea is to allow as much sunshine to enter as possible.

In fact, so well do many greenhouse plants grow in modem sun lounges that thr* tendency is to crowd too much in. This is certainly so in my case. One must always remember that this is a room which should be pleasing to the eye and the plants should be arranged as decorative features. In addition to table level displays, there can be the added attraction of one or more colourful hanging baskets, and

A wooden sun lounge, such as the one illustrated here, would be quite easy for the handyman to erect The timber can be temperature outside is not particularly high, it makes the perfect place for sitting and relaxing large specimen plants can be stood directly on the floor.

A sun lounge and a cool greenhouse may both be in your possession and in this case it will be possible to have a certain amount of cross movement from one to the other. Plants which need a little more heat than a sun lounge or conservatory normally provides can be brought into topcondition in the greenhouse and then moved for short periods to Ihe sun lounge. Such juggling with the available facilities greatly adds to the fun of gardening.

painted to preserve it. or given a natural finish, whichever blends in most effectively with the surroundings

The Garden Frame

house and lhe outside garden but it also provides additional space when the greenhouse is crowded r-.'Vi,-.; . .vVv,' - ■

The garden frame is the half-way singe between the greenhouse and garden and, as such, is extremely valuable in many ways. It can also be looked on as a substitute lor. as well as an auxiliary of. the greenhouse.

Many plants raised in the greenhouse, but ultimately destined for the open garden must be gradually acclimatised to outdoor conditions. It is here that the garden frame comes into its own. In addition, a garden frame can relieve congestion in the greenhouse and he used as a place for growing plants on before taking them back into the greenhouse.

Frames of many patterns arc available and may be made of wood (soft wood or cedar wood), concrete, brick, asbestos or metal sheeting. The traditional frame with a glazed and removable top (known as a light') of 6 ft. by 4 ft, dimensions is one of the most favoured, but the best and most convenient, in my opinion, is the kind wiih lights of standard Duich light size, where the glass measures 56 in, by 2ffJ in. I laving one sheet of glass per light rather than numerous panes of glass wiih glazing bars to hold them in position allows the maximum amount of light to reach the plants - which, after all. is one's real objective, as well as providing controlled atmospheric conditions. Dutch lights arc much more convenient to handle than the traditional frame light, which is an important factor to bear in mind when equipment has to be moved frequently. On the other hand it must be said that a broken Dutch light glass is more costly to replace Ihan individual panes of the traditional type.

For the average-sized garden 1 would recommend a frame with two to four lights, four being the ideal - but, of course, cost must be borne in mind. If the frame is to be used for seeds and cuttings a Iron) wall 12 in. high and a back wall IN in. high will be sufficient but deeper frames will be needed if pot plants are to be accommodated. It wiil be understood (hal deeper frames are much more flexible in their operation than shallow kinds and that with their aid a greenhouse unit can be run with more efficiency.

By the same token, a heated frame offers more scope than an unhealed unit, for with soil-warming cables below and air-warming cables around the sides, a

A garden frame is extremely useful for the greenhouse owner, for not only does it serve as a haif-wav stage between the green-

frame becomes, in effect, a miniature greenhouse. Ifa temperature of 13 to 16 C. (55 to 60 F.) can be maintained, seeds of many halT-hardy plants can be germinated in early spring or early supplies of such salad crops as lettuces can he produced.

Unhealed frames are useful for hardening off greenhouse-raised plants before they are planted out in the garden in spring or early summer. They are useful for raising cuttings in at almost any lime of year and for providing slightly lender plants such as penstemons and bedding calceolarias with winter protection. In winter, too, they can be used to house the stools of outdoor chrysanthemums. Seed sowings made in unhealed frames can give an advantage of several weeks over outdoor sowings.

An unhealed frame us also an excellent place to start off bulbs like hyacinths.

Lertuces growing in a Dutch light frame Other crops which are suitable include melons and cucumbers The large panes of house and lhe outside garden but it also provides additional space when the greenhouse is crowded tulips, daffodils and crocuses which have been potted up for later forcing in the greenhouse. Lilies and freesias grown in pots can also be started off there.

Cucumbers and melons are popular for frame cultivation and naturally they can h; started off much earlier in a healed frame ihan in an unhealed one.

If one wishes to start gladioli into growth early m boxes then (he cold frame is (he place for these. It is also suitable for raising sweet pea plants in before planting them out in April, Sow ings of sweet peas can be made in an unhealed frame in October, or in January or February in a frame heated to a temperature of 13 lo 16 C. (55 to 60 F ).

These are only some of the uses to which frames can be put. A greenhouse is certain!; a less useful item of equipment without them.

glass are an important factor in this design, for they allow the maximum amount of light to reach the plants

Lertuces growing in a Dutch light frame Other crops which are suitable include melons and cucumbers The large panes of glass are an important factor in this design, for they allow the maximum amount of light to reach the plants

An AtoZ Guide to Greenhouse ants


Abuvton megapotamicum. with its bell -like flowers on slender stems is ari attractive flowering shrub to tram against the wall of a lean-to In a greenhouse the growths may be tied to wires stretched from one end of the house to the other

Abuvton megapotamicum. with its bell -like flowers on slender stems is ari attractive flowering shrub to tram against the wall of


Sun Lounge Lean
A. striatum thompsomi


Theabutilons (Indian Mallows) are among the most useful of all plants for the greenhouse and conservatory or sun lounge. These evergreen shrubs have attractive funnel-shaped flowers.

AbutUon msgapotamicum with bell-shaped flowers on rather slender stems is the most widely grown species, it is ideal for clothing the wall of a lean-to or for growing on wires, to which the growths can be tied. A. striatwn thompsonii. with orange-yellow flowers and yellow variegated leaves, and a more recent arrival.

the red-flowered Fireball, are also desirable. Fireball will flower through most of the year where a winter temperature of 7 to IO C. (45 to 50; F.I is maintained. From March to September a temperature of 16 to 18 C, 160 to 65 F.I is suitable. Abutilons do not necessarily need high temperatures and can be grown satisfactorily in a conservatory healed sufficiently to keep out frost. Propagation. I find it best to raise new plants each year from cuttings, otherwise they become too large for the average-sized house. These are taken in spring, summer or autumn (made from shoots not more than 3 to 4 in. long) and rooted in a close propagating frame in a mixture of peat, soil and sand. Treating the cuttings with hormone rooting powder helps. The young plants are grown on in 3Hn„ 5-in, and, finally. 7-in. pots, in John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost.

Species and mixed hybrids can be raised from seed. Make sowings in seed compost in late February, March or April in a warm propagating frame. The resulting plants will flower from June onwards.

With flowers in shades of pink, purple, scarlet and w hite, achimenes is an excellent plant for hanging baskets although it is more often seen as a pot plant, its common name is Hot Water Plant because it is supposed to benefit from being watered with hot water In fact, this is not true and watering can be done in the same way as for any other plant.

The Growth Cycle, The small scaly tubers are started into growth in early spring by pressing them into moist peat and sand in pots or boxes which are then provided with a temperature of 13 to 16'C. (55 to 60 F.). New shoots soon develop and the young plants can then be moved to 5- or 6-in. pots, spacing them 2 to 3 in. apart in the compost. John Innes No, I Potting Compost is recommended for the purpose. Hanging Baskets. When making up hanging baskets the small plants can be planted on the lop and also pushed gently through the sides of the basket so that eventually the latter will be completely hidden. Watering and Feeding. Water sparingly at first but as growth develops it should be increased. As ihe roots begin to fill the pots, feed every' 10 days with a soluble fertiliser added to the water supply.

Achimenes Rosy Frost
The small, scaly tubers or achimenes are started into growth in the spring by pressing them into a mixture of peat and sand


Achimenes Autumn Sun


Achimenes Hybrida Dot

to grow, and look particularly effective in a hanging basket

Allamanda cathanica bears its beautiful blooms throughout the summer. The glossy leaves are also a decorative feature

The Drightly coloured flowers ot acrnmeries are produced in the summer from tubers planted in the spring. These plants are easy

  1. The stems lend to be straggly, and will need supporting. This can be done with a few twiggy sticks inserted around ihe edge of the pot. Shading. Light shade should be given from strong sunshine, and to avoid a dry atmosphere when the weather is hot the floors and staging should be damped down frequently.
  2. The foliage will show signs of withering in early autumn and at this stage less water should he given until the soil is quite dry. The tubers can remain in the pots and be left in a dry, frost-proof place uniil repotting time comes round again between February and April and the growth cycle is repeated, Propagation. These plants can be increased in various ways: by seed sown in March in a temperature of 18 to 21 C. (65 to 70F.), to provide flowering plants in the second year; by cuttings rooted in spring in a warm propagating frame; and by scales removed from the tubers and raised like seeds.

Varieties, Of (he named varieties that are available i prefer Pink Beauty.

to grow, and look particularly effective in a hanging basket

Allamanda cathanica bears its beautiful blooms throughout the summer. The glossy leaves are also a decorative feature

Compost or be planted m a border. In boih cases good drainage is an absolute necessity. Canes pushed in round the side of the pots will give initial support, and they can then be trained on wires up the roof of the house or along the sides. While the plants are in growth they need to be watered freely but at other times only moderate watering is desirable. Pruning and Propagation. Annual pruning will almost certainly be necessary and it is normal to^cut back the sideshoots to within one or two buds of their base in January or February. The lips of these shoots are very useful for propagating purposes, an extra incentive for pruning. They arc prepared in the usual way with each shoot bearing two or three buds, and rooted in pots filled with a mixture of moist peat and coarse sand in a propagating frame with a temperature of 18 to 2rC. (65 to 70"F.). When they have formed roots, pot them singly in 3-in, pots and John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost and pot on as necessary until they are in pots of to 10-in. size, or plant out in the greenhouse border.


Allamanda Golden Trumpet

Allamandas are evergreen climbers with trumpet shaped flowers. It must be remembered that they need higher temperatures than many greenhouse plants with a minimum in winter of 13 C. (55 F ). The kinds usually grown are Allamanda cathartica, with golden-yellow flowers, and its varieties hendersonii wiih orange-yellow flowers and grandiftora with pale yellow flowers. All bloom in the summer from June onwards.

Allamandas can be grown in large pots filled with John Innes No, 3 Potting


There are a number of annuals which make good pot plants for the greenhouse, providing welcome colour from April until July and sometimes August,

Annuals need growing coolly and a temperature near but not helow 4 C. (40 F.) suits them well. Too much heat must be avoided or the plants will become drawn and weak. The seed should be sown, with some exceptions, including celosia. exacum and nieotiana, in September and early October. These exceptions, too, have different temperature requirements.

Seed of those annuals included in the main autumn sowing should be sown in boxes of seed compost and germinated either in a cool greenhouse on a shelf near the glass or in a cold frame, preferably the latter. Water and ventilate the seedlings with especial care for the greenhouse can soon become cold and clammy at that time of year and damping off may occur.

Damping Off Carnation

The seedlings should be pricked out in 3-in. pots as soon as possible using John Innes No, 1 Potting Compost. The pots should be kept on a shelf near the glass during the winter, for good light is essential, and both high and low temperatures must be avoided. Move into 5-in. pots as necessary .

For a spectacular display, three, four or five seedlings can be planted in one large pot but they may become too large for the average greenhouse.

Some annuals are better when slopped, the tips of the shoots being pinched out when they are about 4 or 5 in. high to encourage the plants to develop a bushy habit, but most are best left to grow naturally.

My choice of annuals for pot cultivation is as follows:

Carnations (Annual). Among the annual carnations, strains of Dianrkus taryo-phvllus, are the Chahaud Giants, with fringed, double flowers in an attractive range of colours which includc shades of red. pink, yellow and white. They are sweetly scented. Pinch out the tips of the shoots when 4 or 5 in. long to encourage the plants to form a bushy habit. Celosia. The celosias (Cockscombs! are splendid pot plants for greenhouse decoration. Cchsia crisiaia, with crests of tightly packed flowers, grows 9 to 12 in. (all and there are dwarf strains like Jewel Box Mixed, only 6 in. tall. Celosia plumosa has feathery plumes of flowers which are very decorative. Dwarf Red Plume and Dwarf Golden Plume are only 9 in, tall.

Pola Dot Dwarf Mix

but there are other varieties which reach 18 in. Colours include various shades of red, orange and yellow.

The seed is sown in seed compost in March and germinated in a temperature of 18 C. (65 F,). The resulting seedlings arc pricked out into seed boxes of John Innes No, I Potting Compost, spaced 2 in. apart, when they are about 1 in. tall and are later moved into 3-in. pots of a similar mixture. A temperature of 16 to 18°C. (60 to 65" F.) is needed at this stage. By June they are ready for moving into the

5-in. pots in which they will flower. Watering must be done with care, particularly when they are young, and they must not be allowed to become dry or over-moist. The foliage should be syringed tw ice a day and the plants fed once a week with a liquid or soluble fertiliser when the flower buds first appear.

Centaurea cyatuu. This plant is the popular Cornflower and there are dwarf strains which make good pot plants. These grow from 1 to U ft. tall and include Polka Dot Mixed with a wide colour range and the blue Dwarf Double Jubilee Gem Pinch out the tips of the plants when they are 4 to 5 in, long so that they form a bushy habit. Cornflowers like sunshine and dry atmospheric conditions. Grown three or four in an H-in. pot, they are very effective in bloom. Ctarkia elegans. The double-flowered varieties, 2 to 2} ft., arising from this species are excellent pot plants. Their colour range embraces purple, mauve, shades of red and pink and white. They are usually very successful when grown three to a 6-in. pot. Pinch out the tips of the shoots when 4- or 5-in. long to encourage the plants to make a bushy habit. Ventilate the greenhouse freely whenever possible.

Dimorphottieca. The South African Star of the Veldt is a delightful annual with daisy-like flowers in orange, apricot, salmon, and yellow and white. The aurtin-tiuí'ü hybrids. 12 in. tall, are beautiful and popular; others include the large-flowered Goliath, orange with a green centre, 15 in., and the dwarf Glistening White. 9 in. These also can all be grown three to a

Exacum afftne. This is an attractive greenhouse plant, up to 12 in. high, which bears fragrant pale blue flowers.

Potted Daisy Displays For Green Houses

It requires warm, moist conditions, with good drainage and shade from hot sun. Although a biennial, seed can be sown in March in seed compost in a temperature of 16 to 18 C. (60 to 65 'F.) to provide plants to flower in late summer and autumn. Larger plants can be obtained by sowing in August and overwintering the plants in 3-in. pots. These are then potted on into 5-in. pots the following spring Such plants need a temperature in winter of 16°C. (60=F.l.

Godetia. These are excellent pot plants, providing a display over several months in the early part of the year. They include dwarf varieties and strains of 1 to U ft. in height - especially suitable for pot cultivation - and others growing to 2 to 3 ft. Both double and single varieties are available in colours from mauve and red to pink, salmon, rose and white. The tips of the shoots should be pinched out when 4 or 5 in, long to encourage a bushy habit of growth.

Delphinium Flower

Larkspur. Included amongst the annual delphiniums are varieties of Delphinium ajacis. the Rocket Larkspur. 2 to 4 ft., and D. consolida, the Branching Larkspur, 3 to 4 ft. The colour range includes blue, lilac, pink and white. The smaller growing D, chbtensii ID. grandifiorum) includes lovely blue varieties like Blue Butterfly and Blue Mirror. These are strictly speaking perennials, but are treated as annuals. Mignonette. This plant, botanically Reseda odorata, is one of the best fragrant plants for greenhouse cultivation. Seed should be sown in August using John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost in the 6-in. pots in which the plants will flower, the resulting seedlings being thinned to about 1 in. apart as soon as they can be handled. Grow on as detailed for other annuals. Provide very little water in winter but water freely when the plants are coming into bloom. Staking

Male Marijuana Plant Budding

is necessary to keep the growths upright. A spring sowing will provide flowering plants for the cool greenhouse in summer and autumn.

Nicotians. The nicotianas or Tobacco Plants are attractive, fragrant flowers which make good pot plants. The smaller varieties of Hieotiarm affirm arc especially suitable for this purpose. Colours include red. white and green.

Seed should be sown in February and germinated in seed compost in a temperature of 16 C. (60'F.) and the resulting seedlings potted separately in 3-in. pots of John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost as soon as they can be handled. These are grown on in a temperature of 13°C. (55 F.) and moved to 6-in. pots when their root development makes this necessary.

Salpiglossis. The 2-ft. tall Salpiglossa sinuata is a very effective pot plant. It has large, tubular-shaped flowers in many colours, including crimson, scarlet, blue, purple and white with gold markings providing a striking contrast. The plants need staking early as they tend to flop and pinching out (he tips is desirable to induce a shorter, more branching habit. Scabiosa. The Sweet Scabious, Scabiosa alropurpurea has double- and single-flowered varieties of many colours from reds and pinks, to purples, blues, lavender and while. The foliage is deeply divided and admirably complements the flowers on their long stems. The double-flowered dwarf strains of about I t ft. in height are especially suitable for pot cultivation. If the plants are grown four to a 6-in. pot they will soon make a very bright and attractive display.

Ihe greenhouse Below right: Efacum aft me is reallv a biennial but >S often treated as an annua1

Above: The striking spathes of Anlhunum andreartum Below left: Dimorphotheca Goliath one of man , annuals suitable f ir

The striking anthuriums have become very popular in receni years, the ladies in particular liking the large white, pink, red or orange spathes for use in flower arrangements. The popular name of flamingo Flower seems particularly appropriate lor these flamboyant plants. However, they are hothouse flowers and young plants need a winter temperature of at least 16 C. (60 F.i. Older plants can survive with a few degrees less, but on average 16to 18T.<60to 65°F.) is correct from September to March and 21 °C. |70CF.) or more for the rest of the year. They need shade from hot sun.

The species most often grown for their spathes - made more spectacular by the erect or twisted yellow spadices arising from them - are AntHurium andreamtm with heart-shaped leaves and A. scher-zerimvm with long, narrow leaves. Species grown for their beautifully veined and coloured leaves are A. crystallimm. A. \eilchii and A. waroctfuetmum. Potting. Anthuriums like a mixture of equal parts fibrous peat and chopped sphagnum moss with a little sand and charcoal added. The crown of the plant should be about 2 in above the rim of the pot when polling is completed. Annual repotting is essential and this is best done immediately flowering ceases in summer. Those grown purely as foliage plants should be repotted in spring. Water must be given freely from March to November but very carefully during the rest of the year.

Propagation. Increase is by division of the roots, by removing rooted suckers al the time of potting, or by seed. Seed needs a very high temperature to germinate - 21 to 2TC. (70 to 80 F.) and should be sown in March

Ihe greenhouse Below right: Efacum aft me is reallv a biennial but >S often treated as an annua1

Above: The striking spathes of Anlhunum andreartum Below left: Dimorphotheca Goliath one of man , annuals suitable f ir

Anthurium Andreanum Back Side
A andreanum

The author tending the plants in his sun lounge An attractive display can be had throughout the veer with a little thought and care

Aphelandra Garden


Aphelandra Cut The Leaves

Almost everybody musi know Apheltmdra squarrosa hniisuv as a house plant, hut it is in fact much more suitable for the greenhouse than for the home, being sensitive to dry, stufTy air and cold nights. It needs a minimum temperature of I.V'C. (55F.) in winter but in summer it may rise to 24 to 2TC. (75 to 80 F.). The bright yellow bracts of the plant have a splendid foil in its dark green, white-veined leaves Cuttings. Plants can he increased readily

Taking an aphelandra cutting 1. A non-flowering shoot is selected In this ease it is the main stem, which has become rather from cuttings, and young undowered side-shoots. a few inches long, should be selected. The lower leaves are removed and a clean cut made below a joint at the base. To assist rooting, the lower ends of the cuttings can be dipped first in water and then in a hormone rooting powder and I like to place the cuttings individually in small pots. A suitable rooting medium consists of 1 part loam. 2 parts moist peat and .1 parts coarse sand. The pots may be placed in a propagating frame with a temperature of IK to 21 C. (f>5 to 70F.) or each pot can he enclosed in a polythene bag which is then sealed with a rubber band.

  1. The rooted cuttings are first moved into 31-in. pots using John Junes No. 1 Potting Compost and later, when the pots are full of roots, ihey should be transferred to 5- or 6-in. pots using John limes No. 2 Potting Compost. Stopping. The grow ing lips can he nipped out once or twice to encourage sideshoots and produce plants with a bushy habit. Watering and Damping Down. During the summer the plants will require pleniv of water, and damping down and shading from excessive sun are also important. Feeding. Once the plants are in their final pots, feeds of a liquid or soluble fertiliser at 10-day intervals will help to keep them growing well. As they come into flower ihe plants are best kept in cooler conditions .
  2. The lower leaves lend lo fall as the plants age. particularly if thev are kepi in a room for too long where the air is hot and dry. In these circumstances it is best to cut back the stems in spring, and. given warmih and moisture, new grow ths soon develop. These can be used as cut lings if so desired.
cutting is dipped in hormone rooting powder 3. The cutting is inserted in a
Single Stem Arum Lily Sketch

I have placed this plani under its common name of Arum Lily rather than its botanical name of zantedesehia because it is by the former that it is invariably known lo gardeners, and because 1 believe that more people still refer to it as richardia (its outdated botanical name) than the current zantedesehia. However that may be, there is no doubt that the Arum Lilies iwhich incidentally are nol related to the true lilies) make splendid greenhouse perennials.

The Arum Lily most commonly grown is Zcmtedexchia aethiopica, a handsome plant which is also know-n as Calta Lily, the Lily of the Nile (although it comes from South Africa!) and Trumpet Lily. There are also several yellow-flowered species including the deep yellow Z. pentlandii and ihe pale yellow Z. ettiot-liana, both of which are more tender than Z. aethktpkv and so need more protection and slightly higher temperatures.

Images Polythene Greenhouses
cutting is enclosed in a polythene hag
Beloperone Stem Cutting

Taking an aphelandra cutting 1. A non-flowering shoot is selected In this ease it is the main stem, which has become rather

Division Plant Lily

Dividing and repotting an Arum Lily crown A mature plant Is removed from its pot in July or August. The separate shoots are carefully pulled apart, and are then potted up in fresh compost

In June. Arum Lilies are rested for a month or two. The pnts are laid on their sides, and water is withheld

Dividing and repotting an Arum Lily crown A mature plant Is removed from its pot in July or August. The separate shoots are

The Growth Cycle. Z. aelhtopica makes a plant 2 to ft. tail and the pure white sputhes on long stems surrounding the true flowers are much in demand at Easter time for flower decorations.

The time to start this plant into growth is in July or August when the old soil should be shaken from the roots. At this stage it can be divided and about three roots or crowns can be accommodated in an 8-in. pot. John Innes No. 2 Potting Compost can be used and it must be worked in well amongst the roots. After a good watering the pots are stood in a sheltered place in the open but they should be taken into a light place in a cool greenhouse before there is any chance of autumn frosts. This is usually by the end of September. Until growth begins, water should be given sparingly. The temperature can be raised gradually to 13 to 16 C. (55 to 6CTF.) as the plants develop if early flowers are needed, but they will be quite happy in a temperature of 7 to 10 C. (45 to 50"F.) if flowers are not needed so early.

  1. Arum Lilies respond to feeding and once the pots are full of roots regular feeds of a liquid or soluble fertiliser every 7 to 10 days will help to produce good flowers.
  2. After flowering, watering and feeding must not be neglected but in early June I like to give the plants a rest by lay ing the pots on their sides in a sheltered spot outside the greenhouse so that the soil is kept dry until repotting is done once again in August, and the cycle is repeated. Pest Control. Greenfly can spoil the flowers buL fumigation with nicotine carefully pulled apart, and are then potted up in fresh compost shreds or bhc smoke pellets will soon deal with them. If reddish globules can be seen on the underside of the foliage the presence of thrips must be suspected. The use of a bhc spray, or malathion as an aerosol, a spray or a dust will be effective as a control.
  3. Propagation is by division of the fleshy roots when repotting.

In June. Arum Lilies are rested for a month or two. The pnts are laid on their sides, and water is withheld

Three ornamental species of asparagus are of interest to the greenhouse owner: Asparagus piumosus, with fine feathery foliage; A. asparagoides, the Smilax, with long green shoots; and A, sprengeri. with needle-like, drooping foliage of considerable decorative value. All are splendid foliage plants for the conservatory7 or greenhouse, and they are easy to grow. Seed Sowing. New plants can be readily raised from seed sown in the spring, summer or autumn in a propagating frame. A light compost is needed and a minimum temperature of 18"C. (65"F.).


Asparagus Sprengen

A plumosus


A plumosus

Plumosus Varieties

A sprengen

The young seedlings which result are potted singly into 3-in. pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and are later moved on to 5- or 6-in. pots. The John Innes No, I Potting Compost is suitable for both stages. Decorative Uses. Asparagus sprengeri is especially well suited for growing in hanging baskets suspended from the roof of the greenhouse but can also be well displayed as a pot-growTi specimen. A. plumosus and A. asparagoides are plants for growing in pots or the greenhouse border. They should be trained to wires which will lead the growths up to the rafters.

  1. Mature plants may be divided by pulling the growths apart in spring and potting each piece separately in a 5-in. pot using John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost.
  2. Frequent spraying with water is necessary in summer and a minimum temperature of IO C. (50°F.) should be maintained. Potting and planting should be carried out in March.

A sprengen


Consolida Paint


Below Trie large sp'-ued leaves of this Begonia ^th ts pink tinges, make it a verv handsome ioliage plant

Plasnt Conservatory Greenhouse

The colourful (lowers of the Indian azaleas (forced plants of Azalea indica which is more correct I \ named Rhododendron simsii) can he seen in most florists' shops in the winter and early spring, and if one has a cool greenhouse, and the plants are given a little attention, they can be kept for many years. Repotting. After flowering is over the remains of the withered flowers should be removed and the plants repotted, using larger pots if the plants are in 3-, 4- or 5-in, pots, or the same size if in 6- or 7-in, pots. (In this case, some of the old compost should be scraped away . I Rhododendrons and azaleas (the latter are a branch of the large genus Rhododendron) will not tolerate lime or chalk in their compost and so a special potting miuure must be used. This can be made by mixing 2 parts of moist peat wath I part coarse sand. The old drainage crocks must be removed from the base of the plants and fresh compost worked in around ihe roots, firming it well with the fingers W atering. The peaty compost in which the plants are grown must never he allowed to dry out for if this happens it is extremely difficult to gel it properly moist again. New growth soon begins after flowering and it is best to keep ihe plants in a warm pan of the greenhouse: sprays of water over the plants will help to encourage good growth. If the tap water is hard, ii is wise to use rain water for these plants.

Cultivation. From June to September the plants wtil benefit from being plunged outside in their pots. It is best to choose a position in partial shade as they do not like strong sunshine

Plant Being Given Sunshine

Above: A,-,i •-,).> :rre papular ■ íts. eso'-lally at Christmas Given the correct treatment thev in giue years of pleasure

Below Trie large sp'-ued leaves of this Begonia ^th ts pink tinges, make it a verv handsome ioliage plant

As the potting compost contains little plant food i( is necessary to feed the plants regularly so that they make good growth and flower well. Numerous liquid or soluble fertilisers are obtainable from garden shops. One can use a dry1 Iced of 2 teaspoonfuls of dried blood to 1 of suiphaie of potash for each plant. This can be given once every 14 days in spring and summer.

As the nights become colder in September the plants should be returned to a cool greenhouse. Although high temperatures are not needed, sufficient heat should be turned on to keep the air fairly dry. Otherwise the blooms will be spoiled by dampness.

Propagation. The Indian azaleas which are imported to Britain from Continental sources to be forced for Christinas sale, arc usually grafted plants. Crafting is a highly skilled job but new planls can be raised from cuttings. It takes longer to produce a sizeable plant by this method but it is a simpler procedure than grafting. Young shoots thai have begun to harden at their base are selected and inserted in small pots of moist peat and sand The pots should be stood in a warm, moist propagating frame until the cuttings have rooted, when they should be potted individually using the special azalea Cipmpost. House Plants. Plants which are taken into the home when in flower are best returned to the greenhouse immediately after flowering has finished as the dry1 atmosphere causes the leaves to scorch if they are kept there for any length of time.

When azaleas are plunged ih tne garden pay particular attention to watering as the roots do not have access to trie soil

Above: Fuberous rooted begonias, with their spectacular flowers make a brilliant display in a neated greenhouse

Below: Winter-flowering begonias are less impressive than the tuberous kinds but even so they are very- attractive

Easiest Flowering House PlantsTuberous Begonia Seed

Above: Fuberous rooted begonias, with their spectacular flowers make a brilliant display in a neated greenhouse

Below: Winter-flowering begonias are less impressive than the tuberous kinds but even so they are very- attractive


Disbudding Begonia

Double begonia


Double begonia

TUBEROUS BEGONIAS Numerous begonias can be grown in healed greenhouses, but the most popular are the tuberous-rooted kinds with their large double flowers There are also the tuberous pendulous begonias, seen at their best in hanging baskets.

Tuberous begonias can be grown from dry tubers or seed. Unless one has a heated propagating frame, where a temperature of 18 to 21 C. <65 to 70 F.) can be maintained, though, tubers are the best proposition.

Seed Sowing. Seed sown in January or February will produce flowering plants by mid-summer The very small seed needs careful sowing in pots or pans filled with seed compost, and should he covered wiLh fine sand rather than compost. After germination, it is besl to supply water by holding the pot or pan in a bucket of water until the moisture seeps through to the surface.

Tubers. Dormant tubers started into growth in March will make flowering plants by late June. These tubers should be pressed hollow side uppermost into moist peat and coarse sand and placed in a warm part of the greenhouse with shade from strong sunshine. Light spraying overhead is appreciated, but overwatering must be avoided, especially in cold weather. When the growths are a few inches high, pot the plants up in 5-in pots using John Innes No. 2 Potting Compost. Place the tubers half way down the pots, and cover wiLh about i in. of compost. Later, when the plants are established they can be topdressed with more compost so that eventually the tubers arc about 2 in. below the surface. Seedlings. When the seeds have germinated. the seedlings must be pricked out into boxes. It in. apart. These are small and difficult to handle and a forked stick is helpful to transfer them to the dibber holes in the box. The tiny plants need a temperature of IH"C. (65°F.) and shade from strong sunshine. When large enough, the seedlings should be moved into 3-m. pots using John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost and be treated in the same way as plants raised from tubers.

The final move for seedling begonias is into 5- or 6-in. pots using John Innes No. 2 Polling Compost. Good drainage is essential.

Staking. As the plants develop, support them with small canes and raflia. Pay particular attention to the flower stems, as the blooms arc rather heavy. Disbudding. The first flowers to appear should be removed so that the plants make good growth before the flowers open. Later on it is wise to do more

Pendulous begonia

disbudding, it will be noticed that the flowers usually appear in threes. In addition to the male double flower there will be two female flowers on either side. These are single and less spectacular and should be pinched out. Iea\ ing the double flowers to open to their full size. Diseast Control. Horn tis. the grey mould fungus disease, can he troublesome on begonias it often makes an appearance in cold, damp weather or in an insufficiently ventilated greenhouse. The fungus may gain entry to the plant through broken leaf stalks. Any withered leaves should be removed with a sharp knife close to the stem, and if the disease appears it pays to dusi the infected area immediately with flowers of sulphur.

Watering and Feeding. Begonias need to be watered carefully. Water should be given sparingly after polling and uniil new roots are made into the fresh compost. Each plant must he treated individually and when the soil in the pot is beginning to dry out the pot should be filled with water to the nm. Water must not be given again until the soil shows signs of dryness once more.

As the plants become established in their final pots, feed with liquid fertiliser at intervals of 7 to 10 days. Resting. Tuberous hegonias must not be dried ofl* too quickly, I like to keep the plants growing for as long as possible into the autumn, but when the foliage shows signs of yellowing, watering can be reduced and the plants laid on their sides under the greenhouse staging. When the

Starting Begonias From Tubers
Begone masoniana
Starting Begonias From Tubers

For really large flowers, tuberous begonias should be disbudded Buds appear in threes, and the two outer ones are removed

Begonia Propagation

Propagating a Rex begonia 1 and 2. A mature leaf is selected and the mam veins on the underside are cut 3 and 4. Small pebbles keep the cut veins in contact with the rooting medium, and new plantlets soon develop at these points

Starting tuberous begonias into growth The tubers are pressed hollow side upper must into a mixture of moist peat and sand stems have withered completely remove the tubers from their pots and shake out the old soil. Then dust with flowers of sulphur and store in boxes of dry peat, sand or old potting soil in a dry. frost-free place until it is lime to start them into growth again in Lhe early spring,


The Rex begonias, which include the striking Btgoniij masoniana. are grown primarily for their handsome leaves as the (lowers are not very showy. These begonias ha\e fibrous roots and should not be dried off at any stage. They need a greenhouse with a minimum temperature in winter of 10 C. (50 F.I. with shade from strong sunshine in summer. They grow well on lhe greenhouse floor, just under the staging.

Propagation. These begonias can he propagated from their leaves. The conventional method is to sever the leaf with a piece of sialk attached and then to slit the veins on the underside of the leaf with a sharp knife, ll is then laid on the surface of a peat and sand mixture in a pan or shallow box. Small stones placed on the leaf help to keep the cut veins in contact with the rooting medium. Stood in a warm, moist propagating frame with a temperature of 16 to 18 C. (60 lo 65 F.k rooting will soon take place where the cuts were made on the veins, and young plants will develop.

Another method is to cut the leaves into small squares and place ihcm on a mixture of moist peat and sand in a shallow box. They are then treated as for whole leaf cuttings. The small plants which result are first moved to 2-in. pots and then to 3i- and 5-in. pots. When lhe young plants are established m their final pots feeds with a liquid or soluble fertiliser will be helpful.

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