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A Book Of Suggestions For Children's Games And Employments.

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286             What Shall We Do Now?
VIII.—Indoor Gardening and Window Boxes
A window full of flowers and green plants makes all the difference to a room. There are always certain difficulties about growing plants in a room ; but these may, however, be partly overcome. One is the great change of temperature between day and night in winter ; another is the very evil effect of gas on plants ; and a third is the presence of dust. The difference of temperature is met to a great extent by taking the flowers away from the window at night and putting them in the middle of the room. This is specially necessary when there is any danger of frost. If gas is burnt in the room where plants are all day, it is wise at evening to take the trouble to move them into another room, for nothing injures them more. As to dust, ferns and plants which have smooth leaves should be gently sponged with warm water once a week, or else the pores will be so choked that the plants will not be able to breathe. Those plants which cannot be sponged, such as fine-leafed ferns, geraniums, etc., should be gently sprayed occasionally, or, in warm weather, placed out-of-doors during a soft shower. When a room is being turned out, the plants should either be taken away or covered with soft paper.
The window chosen for your plants should be a sunny one and as draughtless as may be. It should not be opened unless the day is very mild. One thing to remember is that wherever the plants are they should have as much sun, as equal a tempera­ture, and as little draught as possible.
No exact rule can be given for watering ; but it should be noted that water ought never to be allowed to stand in the saucers. In winter, one good watering a week with lukewarm water, applied in the morning, will be sufficient. In spring, when the plant is more active, more water will be needed, and in summer constant attention must be given to watering. Remember, that not only the surface but the whole soil needs moistening.
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