This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
English naturalists are speculating anew as to rats gnawing lead pipes to get a drink; some think they can hear the water running, while others believe they gnaw the lead because their incisors like to be employed. What is the fact?
At the Cape of Good Hope it has been observed that small acorns and thorns frequently penetrate the skins of sheep. In one case a fore-quarter of mutton was found so full of grass seeds that it resembled a ham just unpacked from a bag of chaff. Many of the seeds had their long thin tails drawn through the flesh like threads interlacing each other in every direction. Has this ever been observed in America?
One of the shocking habits of citizens, especially young girls, on visits to a garden or a park is to pull up all the flowers they see, and too generally by the roots. The Epigaea formerly abundant near Philadelphia, has now disappeared from certain localities. The Kal-mia too is gone. A lady was brought before a magistrate the other day with her apron full of recently planted Ivy, which had been replaced on a wall, where it was much wanted, six times.
Who speaks first for the formation of a society to suppress cruelty to plants, and planters also? The singing bird most to be prized in captivity is the Bobolink or Reed Bird, whose song is perfection to the human ear. Poets have tried their powers in describing his song : the best is - "Anacreon of the meadows, Drunk with the joys of Spring, etc".
This is Byrant or who? The wonderful American Mocking Bird is often too noisy.
The delicious scent of the flowers of Magnolia fuscata, with its compound of Strawberries, Pine Apples, Vanilla, Bananas, etc, ceases in a moment at given hours; the valve of the tube that conveys it to the air is stopped as surely as water is shut off by a hydrant's spigot. Can any one explain this curious phenomenon, and who has observed the hour or hours when the change takes place ?
Again, there is a yellow flower that gives off an explosive gas at sunset. What flower is this; and who can discourse of it?
What is a horticultural cat? is thus answered : It is a contrivance for utilizing cats as a police force in the garden. A wire is stretched across the vegetable or strawberry bed, and upon the wire slides a ring. A cat is then caught and collared and a small wire attached by one end to the collar of the cat, and by the other end to the ring running upon the long wire completes this apparatus. It is found that a eat thus fastened can run fore and aft with perfect freedom of movement, and frightens birds in a manner to which no stuffed cat is equal. Better for the gardener than amusing for poor puss.
Some of the papers like to get up imaginary correspondents, for the purpose of getting in some bit of knowledge they have just picked up, thus:
Henry. The aromatics, especially the frankincense of Arabia, occupy the twelfth book of Pliny. The great poet, Milton, in Paradise Lost, introduces in a simile, the spicy odors that are blown by the north-east winds from the Sa-baean coasts, -----"Many a league;
Pleased with the grateful scent, old ocean smiles".
X. Y. Z. Yes, houses have been built of rock salt by the Chaldeans. You will find it stated in Gibbon's Roman Empire, Vol. 9, page 226, Milman's London edition.
William Coxe, some time mayor of Burlington, N. J., it is believed, published the first American book on Fruit Trees, a handsome octavo, still an authority. An enthusiastic lover of fruit is now engaged in cultivating all the trees named in that work. He is an enthusiastic Massachussetts lover of good things, and fruit especially.