The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
The Seasons

Volume 12, 1901, pgs. 64-

cloudless weather all day long. Here the Snowdrops come much later, they are never obtainable till the end of February; they are abundant, they increase naturally by offsets, but they do not, as far as the writer's observation goes, spring from seed or form seed. Seed formation depends upon the visits of hive bees on sunny warm days of February and early March, and it is a rare year when no such day occurs. So the cold garden is the early and the hot garden is the late one as far as Snowdrops are concerned. There are many differences running through the year, but none I think so odd as this. Where there are plenty of Snowdrops, and they are to be moved to different places, it is best to watch for the falling and yellowing of the leaves, and to lift them before they vanish for the summer; then the clumps should be split up and the bulbs planted an inch or so apart; they quickly multiply again and fill up spaces by becoming dense masses. In this manner they may be increased to any extent, but it is a tedious time-consuming labour. Snowdrops flourish in partial shade, and Christmas roses in the same or even deeper shade, but they can't bear division and multiplication like the Snowdrops. In the writer's experience they produce most flowers when left untouched for years to grow in big masses. The bed devoted to Hellebores looks its best in winter, the evergreen foliage has come to perfection in a dark rich green. The graceful leaves of the English one, Bear's Foot (Helleborus faetidus), are of manifold form, a study in leaf development; the flowering stems are rising high, for the blooms will begin to open in February.

All the species are winter bloomers, with white or green or crimson flowers, and some half-dozen should be in every garden that has space for a purely winter bed.

The Yellow Jasmine strikes readily from cuttings in the summer time. A new shoot should be split down from its junction with an older stem, and put in near to a wall two or three inches deep. There is great mortality among cuttings after they have put forth roots, they get bitten off or knocked over or dried up; but one can make fairly sure of two or three by putting in half-a-dozen. However, this is not the time of year to be talking of cuttings, of which there is so much to be said. The raker of cuttings needs to excel in patience, for it is necessary to wait not only months, but years for resultant flowers.


The boy's name was Science, and his little sister was called Art. Every day they played together in a beautiful old-fashioned garden, and every day Art loved it more and more, but Science grew more and more discontented. He said he was tired of playing, and he did not see the use of digging, and he would not water the flowers any more unless he saw why it made them grow. At last he fetched a spade, and began digging up the roots; then he began to cut the flowers to pieces with his knife; he seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself.

But the garden looked as if an old hen had been scratching there, and the little girl was sad. She didn't know why the roses looked so pretty against the tall white lilies; she only knew that the garden had been perfect, and she loved it. And now Science was spoiling it all; the flowers looked quite ugly in ragged, untidy heaps on the ground. So Art sat down and cried; but Science went on hacking. It was very exciting, and he felt nearer to knowing why things grew.

But Art still sat and cried. Then Science laughed at her, and said that he would make her another garden if she would help him to find out why a tiger lily was taller than a cowslip. But Art didn't know why, and she didn't want to find out; so she only shook her head and cried louder. Then Science asked her why she cared so much about her garden, and what were the laws of its construction and the principles of its classification. At that Art's sobs became howls. She didn't know anything about "laws of cumstuckshum," and she wanted her garden; it was her dear garden, and he had spoilt it. And Science said he hadn't taken any of her garden away; it was all there, only it was nicely sorted into heaps, instead of being all mixed up anyhow. But Art only put her pinafore over her head and rocked herself, sobbing.

Then Science left her alone, and went to grub by himself. He stopped up the stalks to find out how they sucked, and he sorted out the flowers from the leaves, and picked out the stones from the paths. But somehow it wasn't very satisfactory. He couldn't tell why flowers weren't leaves, or why a root grew a stem and a stone didn't, or why a frog could hop and a mushroom couldn't. Then he looked at the mess he had made, and he felt rather inclined to cry too; so he thought he would give up grubbing.

Next he took a stone and hammered it till he could find out what it was made of. But it was just made of stone, and when he hammered it smaller, it wasn't stone any more, it was powder. So he was none the wiser. Then he got angry. And he wondered what anger was, and what he was, and how he knew about things. The he tried to look at his own mind, but he couldn't; and he tried to find out how it got angry, but he couldn't. So he threw away his hammer and rubbed his dirty knuckles into his eyes.

Just then his father Philosophy came along, and Art came trotting after him with a lily that Science had torn. Then Philosophy took the lily and told them that its principle was just the same whether it was torn or not. But the children weren't a bit comforted. So he explained the principle of the lily to them, but they didn't understand. Then he told them that they must wait till they were grown up, and then they would understand; but Science said he would not wait, if there was anything in it he must find it out for himself now. And his father boxed his ears and said that he felt disgraced by having such a son.

So Science ran away, and he made up his mind that he would not ask people any more questions, he would just grub in the garden till he did find out. But Art was a girl, so she went to her mother; and her mother, whose name was Religion, told her what she wanted to know. The Art clapped her hands and said: "Now I know what Science is trying to find out, and I will go and tell him, and he shall make the garden nice again." So she went and found Science, but Science would not listen to her. And Art came back to her mother, weeping; but her mother said; "Science is working to find out the truth; you must work because you know it, not in your own garden, but in other people's. Then if your work is lovely, people will come to you, and you can teach them the Truth." So Art began to work because she knew, and wanted to teach. And Science worked because he did not know, and wanted to learn.

Their father grew old and peevish; he had outlived his generation, and his children's work seemed to him silly; he himself still talked, but few listened, for he was always repeating himself. But their mother never seemed to grow old; she had many helpers in her work, and she would say that her little daughter was the best of them all. But she was proud of her strong son Science, and he helped her too, though he pretended to be grudging and ungracious, as boys will; and she believed in him, and hoped for him, and prayed for him, as mothers will. But to Art she told her secrets.



This Club is intended for Aunt Mai's pupils when they leave her at the age of sixteen, but it is open to any readers of the Review, either lady or gentleman. The terms are 6s. for six months. All work marked for exhibition is criticized by Mr. David Murray, A.R.A., on the yearly "Pupils' Show Day," in Miss Stewart Wood's studio, Vine Court Studio, Holland Street, Kensington. All particulars of the Club can be obtained from Miss A. Y. Davidson, Secretary, 41, Bessborough Gardens, London, S.W.



I.—Game. A time study. Study, drawing, or painting of wing alone will be accepted.
II.—Holly. A study in colour, done life size, or a design suggested by the leaf and berry.
III.—Cast Drawing.