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The American Garden
by [?]

Very few shrubs are injured by careful and seasonable, even though repeated, transplanting. Many are benefited by one or another effect of the process: by the root pruning they get, by the “division,” by the change of soil, by change of exposure or even by backset in growth. Transplanting is part of a garden’s good discipline. It is almost as necessary to the best results as pruning–on which grave subject there is no room to speak here. The owner even of an American garden should rule his garden, not be ruled by it. Yet he should rule without oppression, and it will not be truly American if it fails to show at a glance that it is not overgardened.

Thus do we propose to exhort our next season’s competitors as this fall and winter they gather at our projected indoor garden-talks, or as we go among them to offer counsel concerning their grounds plans for next spring. And we hope not to omit to say, as we had almost omitted to say here, in behalf of the kind of garden we preach, that shrubs, the most of them, require no great enrichment of the soil–an important consideration. And we shall take much care to recommend the perusal of books on gardening. Once this gentle art was largely kept a close secret of craftsmen; but now all that can be put into books is in books, and the books are non-technical, brief and inexpensive; or if voluminous and costly, as some of the best needs must be, are in the public libraries. In their pages are a host of facts (indexed!) which once had to be burdensomely remembered. For one preoccupied with other cares–as every amateur gardener ought to be–these books are no mean part of his equipment; they are as necessary to his best gardening as the dictionary to his best English.

What a daily, hourly, unfailing wonder are the modern opportunities and facilities by which we are surrounded! If the present reader and the present writer, and maybe a few others, will but respond to them worthily, who knows but we may ourselves live to see, and to see as democratically common as telephones and electric cars, the American garden? Of course there is ever and ever so much more to be said about it, and the present writer is not at all weary; but he hears his reader’s clock telling the hour and feels very sure it is correct.