Madia.—A hardy annual of a rather handsome order. The seed should be sown in May in a shady situation. The plant is not particular as to soil, and will flower about eight weeks after it is sown, and continue to bloom during August and September. Height, 1½ ft.
Magnolia Grandiflora.—A handsome, hardy evergreen, with large shining, Laurel-shaped leaves, and highly-scented, Tulip-shaped white flowers. A noble plant for a spacious frontage, but in most places requires to be grown on a wall. It flourishes in any damp soil, and is increased by layers. Flowers in August. Height, 20 ft.
Mahonia.—Handsome evergreen shrubs, useful for covert planting or for grouping with others. They grow best in a compost of sand, peat, and loam, and may be propagated by cuttings or by layers of ripened wood, laid down in autumn. They flower in April. Height, 4 ft. to 6 ft.
Maianthemum Bifolium.—The flowers of this hardy perennial are produced in April and May, and somewhat resemble miniature Lily of the Valley. Seed may be sown at the end of July. The plant will grow in any soil, but delights in partial shade. Height, 6 in.
Malope.—Very beautiful hardy annuals having soft leaves. They may be raised from seed sown in April in any garden soil. They bloom in June or July. Height, 1½ ft. to 2 ft.
Malva.—Very ornamental plants, more especially the greenhouse varieties. The hardy perennials succeed in any good garden soil, and are increased by seed sown in the autumn, or by division of the root. The greenhouse kinds should be grown in rich earth: these are propagated by cuttings planted in light soil. The annuals are poor plants. Some of the varieties bloom in June, others in August. Height, 2 ft.
Mandevillea Suaveolens.—A fine climbing plant bearing very sweet white flowers in June. It is rather tender, and more suitable for the conservatory than the open air. It does not make a good pot-plant, but finds a suitable home in the border of the conservatory in equal parts of peat and sandy loam. In pruning adopt the same method as for the vine or other plants which bear flowers on wood of the same year's growth. It is propagated by seed sown in heat, or by cuttings under glass. Syringe the leaves daily during the hot season. A temperature of from 40 to 50 degrees in winter, and from 55 to 65 degrees in summer should be maintained. Height, 10 ft.
Manures.—One of the best fertilisers of the soil is made by saturating charred wood with urine. This may be drilled in with seeds in a dry state. For old gardens liquid manure is preferable to stable manure, and if lime or chalk be added it will keep in good heart for years without becoming too rich. A good manure is made by mixing 64 bushels of lime with 2 cwts. of salt. This is sufficient for one acre. It should be forked in directly it is put upon the ground. Superphosphate of lime mixed with a small amount of nitrate of soda and forked into the ground is also a fine manure, but is more expensive than that made from lime and salt. Charred cow-dung is ready for immediate use. For established fruit-trees use, in showery weather, equal quantities of muriate of potash and nitrate of soda, scattering 1 oz. to the square yard round the roots. Peruvian guano, in the proportion of 1 oz. to each gallon of water, is a very powerful and rapid fertiliser. In whatever form manure is given, whether in a dry or liquid form, care must be taken not to administer it in excessive quantities, for too strong a stimulant is as injurious as none at all. In ordinary cases loam with a fourth part leaf-mould is strong enough for potting purposes; and no liquid except plain water should be given until the plants have been established some time. For roses, rhubarb, and plants that have occupied the same ground for a considerable time, mix 1 lb. of superphosphate of lime with ½ lb. of guano and 20 gallons of water, and pour 2 or 3 gallons round each root every third day while the plants are in vigorous growth. Herbaceous plants are better without manure. Liquid manure should be of the same colour as light ale.
Marguerites (Chrysanthemums Frutescens).—The White Paris Daisies are very effective when placed against scarlet Geraniums or other brightly-coloured flowers, and likewise make fine pot-plants. They will grow in any light soil, and merely require the same treatment as other half-hardy perennials. Height, 1 ft. (See also "Anthemis" and "Buphthalmum.")
Margyricarpus Setosus (Bristly Pearl Fruit).—A charming little evergreen, of procumbent growth, bearing throughout the whole summer a number of berries on the main branches. Being only half-hardy, it requires protection from frost, but in the warmer weather it may be planted on rock-work in sandy loam and vegetable mould. Cuttings planted in moist peat under a hand-glass will strike, or it may be propagated by layers. Height, 6 in.
Marigolds.—Handsome and free-flowering half-hardy annuals. The greenhouse varieties thrive in a mixture of loam and peat, and cuttings root easily if planted in sand under glass. The African and tall French varieties make a fine display when planted in shrubberies or large beds, while the dwarf French kinds are very effective in the foreground of taller plants, or in beds by themselves. They are raised from seed sown in a slight heat in March, and planted out at the end of May in any good soil. Height, 6 in. to 2 ft. (See also "Calendula," "Tagetes," and "Calthus.")
Martynia.—Handsome half-hardy, fragrant annuals. The seed should be sown on a hotbed in March. When the plants are sufficiently advanced transplant them singly into pots of light, rich earth, and keep them in the stove or greenhouse, where they will flower in June. Height, 1½ ft.
Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis).—Half-hardy perennials, which are very handsome when in flower, and adorn equally the greenhouse or the open. They may be increased by seed sown in light soil in July or August and planted out in the border in spring. At the approach of frost take the roots up and store them in dry ashes or sand. They flower in July. Height, 2 ft.
Massonia.—Singular plants, which to grow to perfection should be placed in a mixture of loam, peat, and sand. They require no water while in a dormant state, and may be increased by seed or by off-sets from the bulbs. Height, 3 in. to 6 in.
Mathiola Bicornis (Night-scented Stocks).—A favourite hardy annual whose lilac flowers are fragrant towards evening. They may be grown from seed sown between February and May on any ordinary soil. Height, 1 ft.
Matricaria.—This is a half-hardy annual of little interest so far as its flowers are concerned, and is mostly grown as a foliage plant. The seed should be sown in a frame in March, and transplanted at the end of May. Height, 1 ft.
Maurandia Barclayana.—This elegant twining plant is best grown in pots, so that it can more conveniently be taken indoors in the winter. The soil should be light and rich. Cuttings can be taken either in spring or autumn, or it may be raised from seed. It does very well in the open during the summer, placed against a wall or trellis-work, but will not stand the cold. In the greenhouse it reaches perfection, and blooms in July. Height, 10 ft.
Mazus Pumilio.—A pretty diminutive herbaceous plant. When grown in peat and sand in an open situation it survives from year to year, but it will not live through the winter in cold clay soils. Its pale green foliage is seen to advantage in carpet bedding, and its branched violet flowers, put forth from June to September, make it a desirable rock-work plant. It may be increased by transplanting, at the end of April, the rooted stems which run under the surface of the ground.
Meconopsis Cambrica(Welsh Poppy).—An ornamental hardy perennial, often found on English rocks. It may be grown in any light, rich soil, is easily raised from seed, and blooms in June. Height, 1-1/2 ft.
Medlars.—These trees will grow on any well-drained soil. The Dutch Medlar is most prized, as it bears the largest fruit. It is raised from seed, and usually trained to a standard form. The Nottingham and Royal are also excellent varieties. Any special variety may be grafted on to the seedlings. On deep soils it is best grafted on the Pear stock; on light, sandy soil it may be grafted on the White Thorn. No pruning is required, beyond cutting away cross-growing branches.
Megasea.—This hardy herbaceous plant flowers from April to June. A light, sandy soil suits it best. It may be grown from seed or multiplied by division. Height, 1 ft.
Melissa Officinalis.—A hardy perennial, flowering in July. Any soil suits it. It is increased by division of the root. Height, 1 ft.
Melittis Melissophyllum (Large-flowered Bastard Balm).—This handsome perennial is not often seen, but it deserves to be more generally grown, especially as it will thrive in almost any soil; but to grow it to perfection, it should be planted in rich loam. It flowers from June to August, and may be increased by division of the roots any time after the latter month. Height, 1½ ft.
Melon.—Sow from January to June in pots plunged in a hotbed, the temperature of which should not be under 80 degrees. When the plants have made four or five leaves, set them out in a house or hotbed having a temperature ranging from 75 to 85 degrees. Keep the plants well thinned and water carefully, as they are liable to damp off at the collar if they have too much wet. Do not allow them to ramble after the fruit has begun to swell, nor allow the plants to bear more than two, or at most three, melons each. They require a strong, fibry, loamy soil, with a little rotten manure worked in. The Hero of Lockinge is a grand white-fleshed variety, and Blenheim Orange is a handsome scarlet-fleshed sort.
Menispermum Canadense (Moon seed).—A pretty slender-branched, hardy, climbing, deciduous shrub, with yellow flowers in June, followed with black berries. It grows in any soil, and can be propagated by seed, by division of roots, or by planting cuttings in spring in a sheltered spot. Height, 10 ft.
Mentha Rotundifloria Variegata (Variegated Mint).—A hardy perennial, which may be grown in any soil, and is easily increased by dividing the roots. It flowers in July. Height, 2 ft.
Menyanthes.—Treat as other hardy aquatics.
Menziesia (Irish Heath).—This evergreen thrives best in fibrous peat to which a fair quantity of silver sand has been added. While excessive moisture is injurious, the plant must not be kept too dry; the best condition for it is to be constantly damp. Slips torn off close to the stem will root in sand under glass, placed in gentle heat. Height, 2 ft.
Mertensia.—These hardy perennials flower from March to July. They will grow in any garden soil, but do best in peat, and are propagated by division. They make fine border plants. Mertensia Maritima and M. Parviflora, however, are best grown in pots, in very sandy soil, perfection being afforded them during the winter. Height, 1½ ft. to 2 ft.
Mesembryanthemums (Ice Plants).—These half-hardy, annual succulents have a bright green foliage covered with ice-like globules. They must be raised in a greenhouse or on a hotbed, sowing the seed in April on sandy soil. Prick the young plants out in May. If grown in pots they thrive best in a light, sandy loam. In the border they should occupy a hot and dry situation. Keep the plants well watered until established, afterwards give a little liquid manure. May be increased by cuttings taken in autumn. Cuttings of the more succulent kinds should be allowed to dry a little after planting before giving them water. A dry pit or frame is sufficient protection in the winter; they merely require to be kept from frost. Flower in July. Height, 1 ft.
Mespilus.—For treatment, see "Medlars."
Meum Athamanticum.—A hardy perennial with graceful, feathery green foliage, but of no special beauty. It is a native of our shores, will grow in any soil, blooms in July or August, and is freely propagated by seeds. Height, 1-1/2 ft.
Michaelmas Daisies (Starworts).—A numerous family of hardy herbaceous perennials. Some few are very pretty, while others can only be ranked with wild flowers. They thrive in any soil or position, but flourish best where there is a due proportion of sunshine. They are easily raised from seed, sown early in spring, or may be increased by root-division either in the autumn, as soon as they have done flowering, or in the spring. They vary in height from 1 ft. to 5 ft.
Michauxia Campanuloides.—This is an attractive border biennial, bearing from March to June white campanula-like flowers tinged with purple, on erect stems. It is not particular as to soil, but requires a southern position and protection in winter. Propagated by seeds in the same way as other biennials. Height, 4 ft.
Mignonette.—For summer-flowering plants sow the seed in spring, and thin out to a distance of 9 in. apart. To obtain bloom during the winter and spring successive sowings are necessary. Let the first of these be made the second week in July in light, rich soil; pot off before frost sets in, plunge them in old tan or ashes, and cover with a frame facing the west. Another sowing should be made about the middle of August, giving them the same treatment as the previous; and a third one in February, in gentle heat. Height, 9 in. to 3 ft. The Mignonette tree is produced by taking a vigorous plant of the spring sowing, and removing all the lower shoots in the autumn. Pot it in good loam, and keep it in the greenhouse in a growing state, but removing all the flowers. By the spring the stem will be woody. Let the same treatment be given it the second year, and the third season it will have become a fine shrub. It may be made to bloom during the winter by picking off the blossom in the summer and autumn. Height, 3 ft.
Mildew.—Syringe with a strong decoction of green leaves and tender branches of the elder-tree, or with a solution of nitre made in the proportion of 1 oz. of nitre to each gallon of water. Another good remedy is to scatter sulphur over the leaves while the dew is upon them, afterwards giving them a syringing of clear water.
Milk Thistle.—See "Carduus"
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