This access is especially desirable as regards the store-yards and framing ground, where fermenting manures and tree leaves for making up hot beds, coals or wood for fuel and ingredients for composts, together with flower-pots and the many necessaries of garden culture, have to be accommodated.
The frame ground, including melon and pine pits, should occupy some well-sheltered spot in the slips, or on one side of the garden, and adjoining to this may be found a suitable site for the compost ground, in which the various kinds of soils are kept in store, and in which also composts may be prepared.
- The principal soils used in gardens, either alone, or mixed to form what are called composts, are - loam, sand, peat, leaf-mould and various mixtures and combinations of these made up to suit the different subjects under cultivation.
Loam is the staple soil for the gardener; it is not only used extensively in the pure and simple state, but enters into most of the composts prepared specially for his plants.
For the growth of pot plants sand is an essential part of most composts, in order to give them the needful porosity to carry off all excess of moisture from the roots.
It any state most plants feed greedily upon it, and when pure or free from decaying wood or sticks it is a very safe ingredient in composts; but it is so liable to generate fungus, and the mycelium or spawn of certain fungi is so injurious to the roots of trees, attacking them if at all sickly or weakened by drought, that many cultivators prefer not' to mix leaf-mould with the soil used for permanent plants, as peaches or choice ornamental trees.
Composts are mixtures of the foregoing ingredients in varying proportions, and in combination with manures if necessary, so as to suit particular plants or classes of plants.
In making up composts for pot plants, the fibrous portion should not be removed by sifting, except for small-sized pots, but the turfy portions should be broken up by hand and distributed in smaller or larger lumps throughout the mass.
Before being used the turfy ingredients of composts should lie together in a heap only long enough for the roots of the herbage to die, not to decompose.
Thoroughly decayed, it is one of the best of all manures for mixing in composts for florists' flowers and other choice plants.
Indeed the composts now used are varied considerably according to the particular group of orchids.
- Wheel out manure and composts during frosty weather; trench vacant ground not turned up roughly in autumn.
These conditions of orchid-growing have undergone great changes of late years, and the plants are grown much as other stove and greenhouse plants in ordinary pots with composts not only of peat but of leaf-mould, and fibres from osmunda and polypodium ferns.