THE GARDEN USEFUL
Most gardens, even if they are, can be made to produce something for use in the kitchen. If they are small sunny patches, a little herb garden may be arranged, even where there is no room for a proper vegetable garden. Kitchen gardening can be divided roughly into three groups: the cultivation of herbs, vegetables, and fruit.
The herbs and the fruit can be included as part of the flower garden, where space is limited J but where any vegetable crops are grown, it is generally wisest to allot a special portion of the ground. In the average rectangular garden, the general design adopted by hundreds of thousands of builders all over the country, is probably the best for many reasons. The design referred to is that of a small lawn immediately at the back of the house, surrounded by flower borders, with a pathway leading through a rose arch to a vegetable plot in the extreme rear. The archway breaks the line of vision sufficiently to screen the vegetable plot, which is, of course, not so ornamental as the portion devoted to flowers.
During the Great War, when special attention was given by small householders to the cultivation of vegetable crops, many schemes were tried out with the idea of combining beauty and utility. Archways were covered with runner beans, andand pumpkins were grown as ornamental over fences and pergolas. Ordinary flower borders were planted with edgings of carrot and . But it must be confessed that this attempt to combine the aesthetic and the utilitarian was not wholly successful. Clean cultivation, manuring especially adapted to each crop, and the quick growth and harvesting of the crops, are essentials for the success of the vegetable plot, and these can only be achieved easily and economically where a special portion of the ground is reserved for vegetables only.
At the same time if the vegetable garden is well arranged, it can be much more attractive than is the average allotment. There is no reason why the path edges should not be planted with flowers, so that the glimpse of the vegetable plot seen down the length of the garden is colourful.
St. Brigid Anemones make a fine permanent edging to small vegetable plots, or if a permanent edging is undesirable,or pot marigolds can be used.
In arranging the vegetable garden, points to consider are as follows:—
1 The ground should be open to the sun and air, but sheltered on the north and east side, if possible, from keen winds;
2 The plot should be easily accessible from good strong paths, serviceable enough to be used for the wheeling of manure and crops;
3 A rectangular plot is the best for cultivating most vegetables, so that they can be easily grown in parallel lines, and these lines should run north and south;
4 The plot should be level, or only very slightly sloping towards the south;
5 Paths should be made of, gravel, cinder or paving stone, but not of grass, as grass harbours many which would be troublesome;
6 No trees should be allowed to overhang the vegetable plot. It is possible tobetween newly-planted fruit trees for the first few years, but when the trees become large, vegetable crops will not be a success.