As insurance against the possibility of something blooming too early or too late, this garden should include several kinds of flowers in each of the flag colors.
More of a showpiece, and more of a challenge to ingenuity, would be a modified flag design. This could be worked out with a square patch of blue in one corner and alternating rows of red and white. Two or three rows of each would be enough to give the stripe effect. Heights should be as uniform as possible.
One suggestion for a low-growing flag would be a solid patch of blue lobelia (compact varieties), with stripes of white sweet alyssum and dwarf compact scarlet phlox.
Another would be the bush morning glory Royal Ensign (really Nolana, and not a true morning glory), with its white-centered, deep bright blue flowers making a real starry-field. Stripes could be rows of white candytuft and dwarf compact verbena Fireball.
The exact composition of the flag depends largely on where you live. No set list would work out for all locations. There are two ways to meet this problem.
First, you can buy potted bedding plants of such red and white flowers as verbenas, geraniums, petunias, phlox or salvia. For blues the edging lobelia is the most widely available.
Or, you may plant seeds of appropriate annuals. Sweet alyssum, Anchusa capensis, balsam, candytuft, bachelor-button, Chinese forget-me-nots, gypsophila, larkspur, lobelia, nico-tiana, nigella, bush morning glories, phlox, American Legion Shirley poppies, ten-week stocks, verbenas and zinnias all come
in good shades of red, white and blue, and blossom in from two to three and a half months after seeding. Coming out with blossoms at the proper time involves checking with your catalogs, a little arithmetic, and consideration of your own climatic conditions.
Some of these seeds, such as alyssum, candytuft, bachelor-button, larkspur, nicotiana, nigella, Shirley poppies, and phlox can be planted outside as soon as the ground can be worked. Others, such as balsam, stocks and zinnias, must wait until the ground has warmed up. A few varieties including an-chusa, lobelia and bush morning glories should be started in the house. Planted in individual fiber pots they can be set out in the garden later without root disturbance.
Certain perennials, of course, including bergamot, Shasta daisies, roses, sweet William, delphinium, Chinese delphinium and veronica can usually be counted on to be in bloom by the Fourth.
For Thanksgiving the dinner table centerpiece deserves the spotlight. A harvest arrangement of personally grown Dumpkins, gourds, squaw corn and such things would be one choice. A potted chrysanthemum would also serve. To make
ure of a well-formed plant full of blossoms at this late date, ielect a healthy specimen early and transfer it to a flowerpot
n the late spring. Then train it to bushiness and late-blooming
by repeated pinching-back until mid-August.