272 What Shall We Do Now?
from the little green-fly, which is very fond of living in this flower.
Biennials.—These are best sown in May. If the garden is full they may be sown in an ordinary wooden box filled with several inches of good earth. Transplant them to their permanent places later on.
Remember that all plants will flower for a much longer time if the flowers are kept cut and any faded ones taken off.
The best seed is saved from plants set apart for that purpose ; for good seed comes from the first and finest flowers and not from those left over at the end of a flowering season. These plants should be sown in a little patch by themselves, should be allowed to run to seed, and carefully tended until the seed-pods are ripe enough to be gathered. If, therefore, you have not a large garden, it is best to buy most of your seed each year, using a little of your own, from which, however, you must not always expect the finest flowers. If you have no wish to keep any of your flowers merely for seeding purposes but still want, while getting flowers from them, also to save a (ew seeds, the thing to do is to mark one or two of the finest blossoms with a tiny piece of wool or silk (it is better when it is the colour of the flower) and let it go to seed. Take special care of the plant, and cut off all other flowers as you wish to gather them. Watch the seed-pods when they are formed, and when they are ripe—that is, brown and dry—cut them off, break them open, and spread the seeds out. Look them over very carefully to see that there are no maggots amongst them, and if they are at all damp leave them in a warm place until they are dry. Then make them up in little packets, clearly labelled with their names, colours, and the date, and put them away in a dry place until next spring. In saving sunflower seeds choose your best sunflower, and when the petals have fallen tie it up in muslin, or else the birds will steal a march on you. In gathering sweet-pea pods one has to be rather clever, because when they are quite ripe they burst open and the seeds fly out suddenly,