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3. The indenture in the centre of the apparent flower-leaves, should be exactly the same depth as the indenture formed by the join of these flower-leaves so that it should not be known, by the form of the flower, which is the actual division and which is the indenture ; in other words, which is the side and which the centre of the flower-leaf, and all the indentures should be as slight as possible to preserve the character. The tube should be one-fifth of the whole width of the flower, and stand up at the edge, above the surface of the yellow eye.
4. The flower should be divided thus—the yellow tube in the centre being measured, the yellow eye, round the tube, should be the same width as its diameter ; and the ground colour of the flower should be the same: or draw with the compasses, opened to a sixteenth of an inch apart, a circle for the tube or centre ; open them to three sixteenths, and draw another circle for the eye, then open them further to five sixteenths, and draw a third circle for the ground or dark colour.* Beyond these circles there is a yellow lacing, which should reach round every flower-leaf to the yellow eye, and down the centre of every petal to the eye, and so much like the edging that the flower should appear to have twelve similar petals. The ends of these twelve should be blunted, and rounded like so many semi-circles, so that the outline of the circle should be interrupted as little as possible.
* This measure is for a flower only five-eighths of an inch diameter, but it is the easiest to explain the proportions.
5. The tube should be nearly filled up with the six anthers, which are technically called the thrum, and the flower should not exhibit the pistil.*
6. The edging round and down the centre of the leaves formed by the divisions, should be of even width all the way, and universally of the same shade of sulphur, lemon, or yellow as the eye, and there must by no means be two shades of yellow in the eye.
7. The ground colour should be just what any body likes best, but clear, well defined, perfectly smooth at the edges inside next the eye, to form a circle ; and outside, next the lacing : a black or a crimson ground, being scarce, is desirable ; but the quality of the colour as to clearness, rather than the colour itself, constitutes the property.
OF THE PLANT.
1. The stem should be strong, straight, elastic, and from four to six inches in length.
2. The footstalks of the flowers should be of such length as to bring all the flowers well together.
3. The truss should comprise seven or more flowers, and be neatly arranged to be seen all at once.
4. The foliage should be short, broad, thick, and cover the pot well.
* Some Polyanthuses show the pistil only, and are called pin-eyed : these are considered worthless.
OF THE PAIR, OR COLLECTION.
The pair or pan of more, should comprise flowers of different and distinct colours, either the ground colour or the yellow of each being sufficiently different from the rest to be well distinguished.
The whole should be so near of a height as to range the heads of bloom well together.
The great fault of the Polyanthus now, even among the best sorts, is that the divisions between the petals are so wide as to make the flower look starry, whereas there should be no more gap where the division is, than is in the indentation of the petal itself.
PROPERTIES OF THE CROCUS. Simple and beautiful as this spring flower may appear, there are as many degrees of excellence as there are varieties. It requires no very forcible reasoning to prove that, if the flower forms a perfect circular cup, with scarcely any indenture on the edge, it is much handsomer than when it forms a starry one, and therefore we conclude that such should be its form. Thickness of petal is a property which is essential to all flowers, not more for its richness than for its lasting qualities, for thin petals are very fragile -a few hours' sun will destroy them, while thicker ones will bear it often day after day ; besides which, the colours are more dense. Simple, therefore, as the Crocus may be, the following points are necessary to make it perfect :
1. It should be composed of six petals, three inner and three outer, but fitting so close as to form a cup the shape of half a hollow ball.
2. The petals should be broad enough, and blunt enough, at the ends to form an even edge all round the cup, and lap over each other so much as to have no indentations where they join.
3. The petals should be thick, and smooth on the edges, without notch or serrature.
4. The colour should be dense, and all over the same, if the variety be a self; and the marking should be very distinct, if variegated.
5. It should be hardy enough to stand the frost, for those which are spoiled by the frosts which come after they flower are almost worthless, because they all bloom early, before the frosts are all gone, and therefore their only beauty would be destroyed unless they stood the cold
Lastly. They ought to bloom abundantly, the flowers succeeding each other, to lengthen the season of their bloom.
It will be seen that the properties of the Crocus do not vary materially from those of the tulip; and a visit to any of the gardens where they are cultivated in great variety will convince a person of taste, that the nearer they approach the standard, the more beautiful they are.
The common white Petunia, a flower with a tube and a broad flat surface round it, like a convolvulus squeezed flat, was introduced about 1823, from the Brazils. Mr. Tweedie afterwards introduced the purple one, in 1830, from Buenos Ayres, and from these two we have endless varieties, some larger and better than the original ; and all those retained are presumed to have some claim on the score of novelty : but many have great faults, and there is not a flower more requires weeding of worthless sorts. The facility of raising them from seed will prevent any but first-rate flowers from being reckoned choice. The plant is at first bushy and handsome—but it grows very rapidly, soon becomes straggling and ugly, and requires to be cut back, or supported by a frame or sticks. We have every shade, from deep purple to light blue, and from deep crimson to pink, every imaginary tint. Many of the varieties have been thought worthy of names ; but not half attention enough has been paid to the qualities of the sorts so honoured. The Petunia is capable of being brought to a shrubby habit, yet one half of them require tying up to supports. They are by no means graceful climbing plants, even at their best ; and gardeners, who have endeavoured to show their skill, by making a specimen cover a large space, have rather exhibited mechanical ingenuity, which is no part of their province, than upheld their reputation in their own profession.