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There is the Paysanne fichu, of silk tulle or crêpe lisse, edged with white blonde, folded across the bosom and fastened with a bunch of flowers.
The Moyen Age fichu, in old Venetian guipure, Honiton, or point d'Alençon, which is quite in style with the Joan of Arc cuirasse.
The Lamballe, simply of pleated muslin and Mechlin or Valenciennes lace, but extremely ladylike and tasteful, crossed in front, and with points fastened at the waist.
And the Isabel fichu of black tulle and blonde, beaded with jet, extremely elegant, to wear over a corsage of coloured silk or velvet.
DESCRIPTION OF OUR COLOURED FASHION PLATE.
TOILETTES DE SOIREE.
1. Dress of grey faille. Long trained jupon trimmed in front with a very high-drawn puffing in close rows with heading, forming a total height of 16 inches. This trimming designs the curve of the tablier. The sides are trimmed with a drawn puffing in double rows with a ruching. The middle of the train is trimmed with grey guipure. Additional tablier trimmed with grey guipure fastened at the back by two scarves in paon green faille, the ends of which are finished off with guipure. Low corsage, cuirasse style, trimmed at two edges with pinkedout ruches in green faille and grey guipure. Bows of grey faille on shoulders, and white lace round top and sleeves.
2. Dress of pale gold-coloured Sicilienne. Jupon with long plain train, fastened behind in large hollow pleats, trimmed round the bottom, above the hem, with pretty white blonde, fastened down with a double bias of faille with heading of ruching. The rather narrow tablier is drawn and puffed. The sides are trimmed with sprays of ruddy brown foliage. Low corsage, cuirasse style, trimmed below and above with similar sprays forming a trail on the hips. Short puffed sleeves, with crêpe lisse round them and top of corsage. Tuft of yellow and red feathers on the top of the coiffure.
DESCRIPTION OF OUR CUT-OUT PATTERN.
The garment is most useful for making in cashmere of cloth. It may be entirely covered with braiding, or simply trimmed with passementerie, and edged with fringe or lace. Our pattern consists of three pieces, the front, half of back, and long pointed sleeve. In making up the
garment, place the notch on the sleeve to the corresponding notch on the front, then sew on a strap of ribbon about 5 inches in length, the one end to notch on front, the other end to the notch at back; this is to keep the sleeve in its proper place.
A BABY'S boot, and a skein of wool,
My wife, God bless her! The day before,
She sat beside my foot;
And the sunlight kissed her yellow hair,
And the dainty fingers, deft and fair,
Knitted a baby's boot.
The voyage was over, I came ashore,
What, think you, found I there?
A grave the daisies had sprinkled white ;
A cottage empty, and dark as night,
And this beside the chair.
The tangled skein lay near;
Down in the churchyard drear.
black velvet, with broad black braid and buttons.-—Fig. 3. Low Dres; for Little Girl, of bright pink cashmere with gathered flounce and puffing; the bodice is scalloped at the edge, bound with buck velvet, and ornamented with velvet bows. Muslin chemisette with long sleeves.
79.-Lady's MANTLE. Mantle of blue-grey velvet cloth, with braid trimmings of different widths; fur borders, and passementerie. VIOLETS.
VIOLETS may be looked upon as very simple flowers,
but they are nevertheless great favourites, and almost universally admired. Who has ever had a word to say against them? Their perfume some persons consider the most fragrant in nature; and though upon this point a difference of opinion is certainly allowable, all our best poets bestow upon them high praise in this respect. The scent of violets is compared with the sweetest and loveliest objects. Shakespeare speaks of
" Violets dim,
Or Cytherea's breath."
“It has a scent, as though Love for its dower
Had on it all its odorous arrows tost,
The Violet (haply 'cause 'tis almost lost,
Stands first with most, but always with a Lover." As we have said, however, it is, of course, very allowable that in such a matter a difference of opinion should exist, for there are many claimants to so distinguished a preference. Nevertheless, to this very simple flower must be conceded a foremost place among our sweetest-scented plants.
It is curious to remark, that the sweetest-scented flowers are generally not the most brightly coloured, and also that the brightest and gayest coloured flowers are generally scentless. Nature, though lavish in her gifts, has bestowed upon no one plant, as far as we are at present acquainted, pre-eminence in both these important particulars. This is certainly true of the violet in all its varieties. Its colour, as Shakespeare aptly describes it, is “ dim." Still, its tints are all pleasing, and the form of the flower is extremely beautiful, as must be admitted upon minute examination. Violet, as a colour, is honoured by many a distinguished preference. It is claimed as a badge of distinction by one of our great universities, and at the present time holds the highest place in party politics. At the late general election, dark purple violets decorated the supporters of the Conservative candidates; and more recently, it will be remembered, that an immense bouquet of these simple but much-admired fowers, skilfully and elaborately executed by M. Jolifie, the celebrated artificial florist of the Faubourg St. Honoré, at Paris, was presented to the Prince Imperial at Chiselhurst, on the occasion of his attaining his majority, as a testimony of loyalty by the enthusiastic and devoted followers of the Empire. Scentless violets, of which there are many varieties, do not now come within the scope of our observations. They are popularly classed under the term “ Viola." Those with which we are at present concerned are violets proper, and may be considered
under three heads, viz., the common violet, V. odorata ; the Russian violet, including the Czar, and other like varieties; and, lastly, the Neapolitan.
The common violets, V. odorata, both white and purple, are natives of these islands. They may be seen growing anywhere and everywhere, and when left to themselves, are in a general way most profusely covered with blossoms in the early spring. It is a very common complaint with many persons, that in their gardens, when under cultivation, the common violets will grow fast enough, that they produce leaves in plenty, but few, or comparatively few, flowers. It is, of course, manifest that here there must be something wrong in the method of cultivation, and a slight reference to Nature will soon discover where the error lies. The roots of violets which in a natural state produce flowers in the greatest abundance will be found nestling upon some sunny bank, clinging to the sloping ground at the foot of some old tree, or sheltered by a hedgerow; and the soil in which they delight to grow is neither a poor sand nor a heavy clay, but a light, rich compost of leaf-mould and loam. It is a rank soil with superabundant moisture that produces leaves, and a well-drained, good light soil that produces an abundance of fine flowers. If there be no bank in the garden which can afford a suitable situation, violets should be planted upon ground laid up in ridges under any shelter that can be made available to screen them from the north and north-east. In making new beds, good single roots, divested of all runners, should be selected, and set in groups two or three together, each group being about one foot apart. This may be done any time after Valentine's Day, and before the end of April. If the summer be very dry, the young plants, especially those nearest to the top of the ridges, will require to be watered, and the ground must, of course, be kept free from weeds. All suckers produced, at any rate during the first season, should be carefully removed. Plants so treated form compact crowns, from which flowers in great plenty may be expected. After the first season these plants may still be kept separate by cutting off their runners; or they may be allowed to grow in a mass, and form a compact bed, as may be deemed erpedient. From the remarks we have already made, it will be seen that the treatment of violets and the formation of violet beds are very similar to the formation and treatment of strawberry beds; for even the ridge system, or sloping ground, which is of such essential importance with the one, is very often adopted with the other.
We have now to speak of Russian violets. These may be treated in the same manner as the common varieties; but as they are expected to begin flowering early in the winter, early spring planting is necessary to the formation of new beds. It is the violets of this class that are especially associated in our memory with the recurrence of St. Valentine's Day. The finest flowers we have ever met with, and the greatest profusion of them, are gathered from beds fresh made every year on the 14th of February, or as near to this day as the state of the weather will afford an opportunity for planting them. The old beds are generally in full flower while the new ones are being formed. Whatever plants are not required for the formation of the new ones are left to stand frequently for another season; but the newly-planted beds do best, and for these a good situation being carefully selected every year, an enormous amount of blossoms may be depended upon all through the winter months until Valentine's Day again comes round. Beautiful these blossoms are : noble in size, deliciously sweet in scent, and of a rich purple colour, which belies Shakespeare's description when he calls them “dim.” Unconsciously, perhaps, we have misapplied his words; the rich purple double Russian violet was never known in the great poet's days. The Czar is a noble variety, and generally admired; but it is a single flower and stalky. The plants have a strong tendency to run to leaf; they must be checked, and not grown in too rich a soil. The Czar does very well as a tree violet under pot culture in a greenhouse. Perhaps it may be as well here to explain the formation and management of a tree violet. A strong, well-rooted sucker, with as long a stem as possible, should be selected for the purpose. Let this be planted in a pot of light, rich mould, with its stem in an upright position, and supported by a stick. As soon as this plant is well established, which is most quickly accomplished under glass with a slight bottom heat, all lateral growth, with the exception of two small shoots, to assist drawing up the sap, should be removed, and the plant encouraged to form a thick stem. The first pot used should be a very small one, as frequent shifting is desirable. This shifting should be given as often as the roots reach the sides of the pot, and each time into a pot only one size larger. Fresh soil and a supply of manure water are needed to promote growth, and for three years all flower buds, as they show themselves, should be picked off. After this period, with a stem as thick as one's middle finger, and a well-formed head, a tree violet may be permitted to develop its blossoms, and it will become a choice ornament to the greenhouse or plant basket in the drawing-room.
Our concluding remarks must be given to the class called Neapolitans; we have not exhausted the genus, for we have selected only the three principal scented species, and, as most of our readers may be aware, the scentless species and varieties which are numerous, are generally treated under the Latin name viola. Neapolitan violets, which in colour are both white and pale purple, are far more tender than the other species to which we have alluded, and cannot properly be cultivated without the assistance of a frame; artificial heat will, of
course, bring them forward, but all that is absolutely necessary is protection of some sort to preserve them from frosts. In a cold frame or under hand-glasses they may be kept in flower from November to April. The best situation for them is on sloping ground, with the glass that is used to protect them sloping in the same way, for the plants require to be as near the glass as possible. To : maintain a good succession, a fresh bed should be made as soon as any old bed goes off the bloom. During the summer months the plants may be fully exposed to the sun and air ; night and day they may be uncovered, but on the approach of winter the glasses must be put over them, and during frosts matting will be found necessary, and a little artificial heat—either by hot water pipes, if it can be managed, or by a lining of hot stable littermay be given in order to save the blossoms and blossombuds. These violets may be grown in pots, and brought from the cold frame into the greenhouse and sittingroom as soon as they have become showy with flowers. As pot plants, they require constant shifting while in a growing state, and are benefited by being plunged in tan. They should also be liberally supplied with water while in flower.
From the presumed necessity of making fresh beds every year and the protection they need, Neapolitan violets are generally considered very troublesome to grow. We have heard of the following plan of growing them, which certainly has the merit of simplicity and is worthy a trial, though we cannot speak of it from our own experience. Instead of transplanting as soon as bloom is over, let the old plants remain, and cut off all the suckers they have formed ; after this give the bed a top-dressing of fresh soil enriched with manure. This dressing may after a time be forked in and another given, if the state of the soil should require it. All through the summer these plants should be exposed to light and air, and growth encouraged as much as possible; but no suckers must be allowed to remain. In this way very strong plants will be formed for winter blooming, and much trouble saved, as only one frame will be necessary. But who thinks of trouble where such lovely flowers are concerned? Who that has a garden would be without violets, both cultivated and wild ? What sweeter thought can Valentine's day suggest than a bed of violets? Fair readers ! we bid you remember the poet's lines and mark well his emblem :
"Thou shalt be mine, thou simplest flower,
Thy little leaves have made ;
By thine own sweets betrayed.
The world hath never known ;
Whom Fashion calls her own."