This section is from the book "What England Can Teach Us About Gardening", by Wilhelm Miller. Also available from Amazon: What England Can Teach Us About Gardening.
The great limitation of the spring garden, however, is that it omits the mountain laurel, which has the most exquisite flower of all broad-leaved evergreens, and our other great hero, Rhododendron maximum. So the next step is to have a bed of evergreens that will show flowers or berries the year round. For example, one can have a mass of bloom from mountain laurel in late June, Rhododendron maximum in July, heather in August, holly-leaved osmanthus in autumn, and the red berries of American holly all winter.
Moreover, there are a lot of exquisite little plants for edging and carpeting these beds which are well-nigh impossible to grow elsewhere, such as the ever blooming Daphne, the far-famed Shortia the bronze-leaved Galax, trailing arbutus, wintergreen, partridge-berry and that never-ending marvel, the mountain andromeda, which holds up all winter sprays of white flower buds somewhat like the lily-of-the-valley.
Such combinations are doubly appropriate because most of these evergreens belong to the heath family, and most of them want the same cultural conditions, viz., a permanent mulch and protection from winter winds and sunshine.
Is it any wonder that hundreds of English estates should lavish space and money on developing such an idea? It is a pity that there is no good name for this type of gardening. The English call such a garden an "American garden," but we can hardly use that name. I have ventured to call it the "peat garden," because everybody used to think that these shallow-rooting evergreens were peat-lovers. Now we know that they are merely lime-haters and we can even grow them in a limestone country by digging out three feet of soil. Moreover we need not even use peat, for leaf mould will do. There are now special booklets and catalogues devoted to this type of garden, and the idea is well worth your investigation, for we can grow many of these American plants better than England can.
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