The brooding peace of secluded English gardens is made sweeter by the presence of white doves. The magnificence of others is enhanced by the presence of peacocks. We ought to attract song birds to the garden by providing a drinking and bathing place for them. I cannot even hint at other ways of bringing life into the garden because my subject is perennial flowers. But we can use some of these to lure interesting creatures. In the "American Flower Garden" Neltje Blanchan gives a list of red flowers with long tubes that will attract the humming bird. It includes bee balm, wild red columbine, cardinal flower, and Coquelicot phlox.
Very much like humming birds are the hawk moths, which fly at dusk and are sometimes called humming bird moths. These you can attract by having plenty of fragrant white flowers with long tubes. I have seen a dozen of these gorgeous creatures hovering over masses of the phlox called Miss Lingard. Nico-tianas and honeysuckles will draw the largest and showiest moths, such as the Luna, Cecropia, Cynthia, and Imperial.
However, moths are night fliers and therefore not so important as the butterflies, which animate a garden by day. Among the largest and most gorgeous of these are the swallowtails, which visit a great variety of flowers. Violets attract the butterflies known as fritillaries. Snapdragons attract the nymph which the entomologists call the "buckeye." The enthusiast who desires further suggestions along this line may glean them from Comstock's "How to Know the Butterflies." There is one plant worth having in every garden because it is habitually covered with more butterflies at a time than any other I know. This is the blazing star or the Kansas gay feather (Liatris Pycnostachya).
Lafcadio Hearn has a delightful study of the musical insects of Japan, which are raised and sold in cages. More practical for us is Mrs. Comstock's chapter on "Pipers and Minnesingers" in "Ways of the Six-footed." The finest singers among the insects are the bees. The quaint old beehives in English gardens are not only picturesque but furnish a mellow and soothing hum. Bees are popularly supposed to have an affinity for blue flowers, and the labiate type of flower is certainly adapted to them. Nearly every garden contains some labiates, or members of the mint family, e. g.y thyme, lavender, bugle, bee-balm, or obedient plant. There are plenty of other plants in every garden to attract bees, but if you do not know Salvia pratensis, I wish you would try it. For then you will be sure of a good humming all day long and it is a brave sight to watch the stamens suddenly spring forth from their places of concealment and rub the backs of the bees with their golden pollen!
I like to close each of these chapters with a list of the best books that may help a student further, but in this case I am at a loss.* I doubt if there will ever be a good book on hardy borders and hardy perennial flowers. For nature is more wonderful than any account of it, and the full beauty of gardens can never be gotten into books. If you wish to make your garden more pictorial go to the nurseries and see plants. Then go to gardens where they are artistically combined. The best thing we can do is to forget theories and study beauty.
• W. T. Macoun's "List of Herbaceous Perennials," tested at Ottawa, is valuable as to hardiness and relative merit of species. It is a document of 112 pages. For full descriptions of particular species consult Bailey's "Cyclopedia of American Horticulture".