What Shall We Do Now? 273
sometimes just as one is going to cut them. In one poppy pod there are hundreds of seeds, enough to stock a garden, and the same is the case with the pretty pods of love-in-a-mist. Nasturtium seeds should be picked up when they fall on the ground, and spread out until quite brown and dry. Cornflowers, which have little seeds like shaving-brushes, generally sow themselves, and marigolds do too, but they are both easy to save. In choosing a place in which to keep seeds through the winter remember that damp is not the only danger. Mice enjoy them thoroughly.
Perennials are plants which, although they die down in winter, come up again and blossom every following spring or summer. They can be grown from seed, but, with a few exceptions, this is a long and troublesome part of gardening, and it is best to get them from friends or from a nurseryman.
The best months for planting perennials are November, February, and March. Dig a hole large enough to take the roots when well spread out, hold your plant in position, with the junction of stem and root just below the level of the earth, and fill in gently with fine soil, pressing it down firmly all round the plant, and if there is danger of frost protect the plants with straw, bracken, or a mulching of manure. Never water if there is any likelihood of frost.
Here follow some general remarks concerning the treatment of perennials through the spring, summer, and autumn :—
In the spring, slugs, which eat the tender new leaves of many plants, can be kept away by sprinkling coal-ash around them.
In hot weather, water perennials regularly and well, breaking up earth around them so that the water sinks in easily.
All tall-growing perennials will need stakes to support them.