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Charles Graham Halpine
O'RYAN was a man of might
St. Pathrick wanst was passin' by
And, as the saint felt wake and dhry,
"No rasher will I cook for you
O'Ryan gave his pipe a whiff-
Two Bears, a Bull, and Cancer❞— "Bedad," says Mick, "the huntin's rare; St. Pathrick, I'm your man, sir."
So to conclude my song aright,
And Venus follows in his track
Till Mars grows jealous raally, But, faith, he fears the Irish knack Of handling the shillaly.
Charles Dudley Warner
My Summer in a Garden
NEXT to deciding when to start your garden, the most important matter is what to put in it. It is difficult to decide what to order for dinner on a given day: how much more oppressive is it to order in a lump an endless vista of dinners, so to speak! For, unless your garden is a boundless prairie (and mine seems to me to be that when I hoe it on hot days), you must make a selection, from the great variety of vegetables, of those you will raise in it; and you feel rather bound to supply your own table from your own garden, and to eat only as you have sown.
I hold that no man has a right (whatever his sex, of course) to have a garden to his own selfish uses. He ought not to please himself, but every man to please his neighbor. I tried to have a garden that would give general moral satisfaction. It seemed to me that nobody could object to potatoes (a most useful vegetable); and I began to plant them freely. But there was a chorus of protest against them. "You don't want to take up your ground with potatoes," the neighbors said; "you can buy potatoes" (the very thing I wanted to avoid doing is buying things). "What you want is the perishable things that you cannot get fresh in the market." "But what kind of perishable things?" A horticulturist of eminence wanted me to sow lines of strawberries and raspberries right over where I had put my potatoes in drills. I had about
five hundred strawberry plants in another part of my garden; but this fruit-fanatic wanted me to turn my whole patch into vines and runners. I suppose I could raise strawberries enough for all my neighbors; and perhaps I ought to do it. I had a little space prepared for melons-muskmelons-which I showed to an experienced friend. "You are not going to waste your ground on muskmelons?" he asked. "They rarely ripen in this climate thoroughly before frost." He had tried for years without luck. I resolved not to go into such a foolish experiment. But the next day another neighbor happened in. "Ah! I see you are going to have melons. My family would rather give up anything else in the garden than muskmelons of the nutmeg variety. They are the most graceful things we have on the table." So there it was. There was no compromise; it was melons or no melons, and somebody offended in any case. I half resolved to plant them a little late, so that they would, and they wouldn't. But I had the same difficulty about string-beans (which I detest), and squash (which I tolerate), and parsnips, and the whole round of green things.
I have pretty much come to the conclusion that you have got to put your foot down in gardening. If I had actually taken counsel of my friends, I should not have had a thing growing in the garden to-day but weeds. And besides, while you are waiting, Nature does not wait. Her mind is made up. She knows just what she will raise; and she has an infinite variety of early and late. The most humiliating thing to me about a garden is the lesson it teaches of the inferiority of man. Nature is prompt, decided, inexhaustible. She thrusts up her plants with a vigor and freedom that I admire; and the more worthless the plant, the more rapid and splendid its growth. She is at it early and late, and all night; never tiring, nor showing the least sign of exhaustion
"Eternal gardening is the price of liberty" is a motto that I should put over the gateway of my garden, if I had a gate. And yet it is not wholly true; for there is no liberty in gardening. The man who undertakes a garden is relentlessly pursued. He felicitates himself that, when he gets it once planted, he will have a season of rest and of enjoyment in the sprouting and growing of his seeds. It is a keen anticipation. He has planted a seed that will keep him awake nights, drive rest from his bones, and sleep from his pillow. Hardly is the garden planted, when he must begin to hoe it. The weeds have sprung up all over it in a night. They shine and wave in redundant life. The docks have almost gone to seed; and their roots go deeper than conscience. Talk about the London docks!the roots of these are like the sources of the Aryan race. And the weeds are not all. I awake in the morning (and a thriving garden will wake a person up two hours before he ought to be out of bed) and think of the tomato-plants-the leaves like fine lace-work, owing to black bugs that skip around and can't be caught. Somebody ought to get up before the dew is off (why don't the dew stay on till after a reasonable breakfast?) and sprinkle soot on the leaves. I wonder if it is I. Soot is so much blacker than the bugs that they are disgusted and go away. You can't get up too early if you have a garden. You must be early due yourself, if you get ahead of the bugs. I think that, on the whole, it would be best to sit up all night and sleep daytimes. Things appear to go on in the night in the garden uncommonly. It would be less trouble to stay up than it is to get up so early.
I have been setting out some new raspberries, two sortsa silver and a gold color. How fine they will look on the table next year in a cut-glass dish, the cream being in a ditto pitcher! I set them four and five feet apart. I set my straw