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.
A. C, Watson-ville, Santa Cruz Co., California, writes: "Seeing you answer questions from correspondents, I should like to have you answer the following questions, if it is not too much trouble : 1. What is the matter with my roses ? They put out their leaves and flowers very well early last Spring, and then in a short time the leaves turned spotted and dropped off; put out another crop of leaves, and they dropped; and another crop again, which dropped off also; making three crops of leaves this season. I send you a specimen to examine. 2. Is the Marechal Niel rose hardy, and what kind of treatment does it require? Last Spring I made up a club of fifteen members and sent to the Innisfallen Nurseries for roses and plants, and received 135 roses and others. Among the lot there were 11 Marechal Niels and 13 Duchess of Edinburgh, and there are but 1 Niel and 3 Duchesses alive now. I had heard so much about the Marechal Niel that I supposed it was perfectly hardy, and was very anxious to have one or two. Our climate is damp and foggy in the fore part of the day, and sunny and windy the latter part, but not cold. 3. I send you a small branch of a shrub for name. I received it from the Rural New Yorker last Spring a year ago, but the name was so stained I could not make it out.
It is to me, at least, one of the most remarkable plants I ever saw. It is a shrub, to all intents and purposes, about three feet high. Last season it grew about two feet, and this Spring when it started to grow, it put out four shoots about four inches from the ground and started off like a vine; and as it was in the way of the other plants I made a trellis-frame about four feet high for it to run on; but it was not long till it was away above that; so I spliced the frame about three feet longer, thinking that would be high enough for this season; but it is eighteen inches above the trellis now, and has a fair prospect of growing three or four feet more yet this season. It is, as I said before, a perfect shrub in all appearances, except that the vine or runners is well proportioned and handsome, with golden, variegated leaves, and about every two or three inches along the vine it puts out sometimes two and sometimes three branches from six to eight inches long, but there are no tendrils to cling with for support, but it has to be supported on a frame like a golden honeysuckle, which it resembles very much.
Now what is it - a vine or a shrub - and what is its name ? 4. Is there a book published giving instructions for planting all kinds of shrub and plant seeds, both for the garden and greenhouse, and their management before and after they are up? I can get information about planting seeds in the catalogues, but they do not tell anything about their management after they are up; and I find that different plants require different treatment. Some want a cool place, like the Chinese primrose, and others like a warm place, and not much water. In fact, I should like to get a book that will give instructions about general propagation, both by seeds, cuttings, and layers, and their general treatment throughout. 5. I see the Rural New Yorker, of August 9, page 502, speaks of a new Pelargonium sent it by John Saul, of Washington, D. C, called Madame Baltat, said to be double and pure white. Last Spring I received a Zonale Geranium from the Innisfallen Nurseries, called Madame Baltat, double, and represented to be pure white; but it is a light flesh color.
Is the Madame Baltat a Geranium or a Pelargonium, or is there one of each of that name ?
[l. The specimen was entirely rotten, and appeared as if it had suffered from some form of mildew.
2. The Marechal Niel ought to be perfectly hardy in your part of California. It is a very strong grower, and will not flower freely till two or three years old. It should be grown on a trellis or pillar.
3. The little twig was entirely rotten, and nothing could be made from its mortal remains. The description, however, fits Lonicera fragrant-issima.
4. There is no such work. The best thing to do is to send your troubles to the Gardener's Monthly, where they will receive compassionate attention.
5. Almost all the white Zonale Geraniums turn pinkish in fading. There is no horticultural difference between a Geranium and a Pelargonium. - Ed. G. M].