This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There is now at this date, November 24th, a splendid variety of the scarce Orchid, Oncidium Krammerii, in flower in the new and rare plant houses of the Cincinnati Floral Company's establishment, College Hill, Ohio, which is worth a long journey to see. It resembles a large butterfly, with its wings expanded, resting upon the end of a flower spike, about twenty-four inches long. It is of a dark yellow color, beautifully blotched with brown. The plant is growing in a pot, with rough peat and sphagnum, with plenty of water in its growing season. There is also a fine specimen growing upon a block of wood suspended from the roof, in most robust health. There is also a very fine plant of Cypripedium Harrisianum in flower; also Oncidium pulvina-tum, with its long spikes of beautiful yellow color flowers, quite a charm at this dull season of the year. Also in fine condition good plants of the beautiful Dendrobium Wardianum and Odontoglossum vexillarium; O. cirrhosum, with flower spikes; Oncidium incurvum, just coming into flower; Lelia anceps, flower spikes quite three feet long; also grand plants of the scarce and beautiful Cattleya Mendelii, Cymbid-ium eburneum, Dendrobium bigibbum.
This is a dwarf-growing plant, producing racemes of rosy purple flowers, and will continue to throw out spikes from the same stem for several successive years, and requires plenty of water in its growing season. I must mention a very fine plant, and one that should be in every collection, and that is Oncidium macranthum. It is growing suspended from the roof, and one of the most handsome of the Oncidiums.
There is also in fine condition Cattleya Mos-siae, C. Trianae, C. Leopoldi, C. guttata, Chysis bractescens, the beautiful Disa grandiflora, Saccolabium Blumei, Oncidium Weltoni. Growing in the same house is a very fine specimen of Nepenthes Dominiana, quite five feet high, full of its beautiful pitchers; also N. Hookeriana, N. Rafflesiana, N. rubra, N. Sedeni, N. Chelsoni, N. intermedia. These plants are growing in baskets suspended from the roof. The Cincinnati Floral Company finds these plants require a liberal supply of water all the year round. This establishment is also noted for its fine collection of new plants, in which stands the new Sarracenia crispata and Sarracenia flava ornata, both handsome plants, of the striking form of the side saddle flower. Philodendron Carderi, quite new; also Dieffenbachia Leopol-dii, D. splendens, with a host of new Crotons, and other plants. This enterprising Company is making great additions in all these plant departments for the coming year.
Within the past six years an immense collection of orchids has been accumulated. New sorts are added as they can be got, and several are so "new," that they have not yet blossomed in America. The famous collection of orchids owned by Mr. Rand at Dedham, was bought by Mr. Ames and added to his own some four years ago, and about a year since, that select but extensive collection amassed by Mr.
Beard, of Cambridge, was also purchased by Mr. Ames. Messrs. Menand's at Albany, and Such's at South Amboy, have been culled from repeated purchases made in New York, and large orders of the newest and the choicest things annually introduced from London. The tropical orchids are grown in a large span-roofed house, and the cool ones in a north-facing lean-to, ninety-four feet long.
At this time of the year Cypripediums are prominently conspicuous. Besides the commoner kinds I noticed in blossom Lowii, Parishii, Schle-mii, Hookeae, Harrisanum, Dominianum, Cros-sianum, argus, and Scdeni. Also C. Spicerianum an Indian species in the way of Fairrieanum but larger, exceedingly distinct, having the upper sepal white and lateral sepals and lip greenish and shining; vexillarium, one of Dominy's hybrids between barbatum and Fairrieanum, of compact habit and proportionately large flowers; and Lawrenceanum, one of Burbridge's discoveries in and introductions from Borneo three years ago, flowers in the way of barbatum but brighter and larger than those of the best variety of that species, and its leaves mosaically variegated in the way of Javanicum, but more boldly and distinctly so than those of that, Dayanum, Hookerae, or any other known species. Dondrobiums on blocks and in baskets are suspended from the roof and many kinds are grown in pots set on the stages; deciduous sorts of upright and pendulous character and that have not yet come into blossom are wintering in a light and airy grapery where a night temperature of 45° is maintained.
The fragrant heterocarpum, profuse moniliforme, long-spiked superbiens, choice Findleyanum and densely clustered ag-gregatum majus are in full bloom and many other kinds fast advancing to that stage. Pha-lsenopsids are represented - some kinds by a score or more of plants apiece; P. leucorrhoda, in blossom, emphasizes its supposed hybrid origin, - between Schilleriana and amabilis. Among several Cattleyas in bloom, Walkeriana has strikingly large and rich rosy flowers, Pinella more bloom than plant, and Warscewiczii delicata is " a thing of beauty." Clumps of Laelia albida, white and fragrant, Lindleyana, rosy white with deep blotched lip, acuminata with nine buds on a spike, peduncularis like the last, and furfuracea somewhat like autumnalis, brighten up the mass. Angraecum Chailluanum and sesquipedale present many long tailed buds, and eburneum is unfolding its fragrant ivory lips. Dense racemes of Saccolabium Harriso-nianum and giganteum decorate some hanging baskets; Rodriguezia secunda has carmine red spikes, Pilumna fragrans sweetly scented white ones, Oncidium Forbesii, Lanceanum and cheiro-phorum are at their best, and the white variety of ornithorhynchum is bursting its spicy buds.
The white Lycaste Skinneri has several blossoms, Calanthes, red and white, in great profusion are grown in shallow baskets, Masdevalleas blossom where it is cool, and there, too, a fine specimen of Maxillaria venusta has many large white flowers. Odontoglossum nebulosum is copious and strong. 0. Pescatorei with its branching spikes appears in scores, Alexandrae no less numerous, and many other of the choicer orchids in well-favored thrift, and fairly demonstrate that with proper care, convenience and place "cool" orchids can be successfully grown in this country.
Orchids are so difficult to propagate extensively that large plants bring good prices. At a recent sale by auction of a good private collection in England over $10,000 were realized. The plants brought from $100 to $300 each.
At Andover, the other day, I noticed lots of seedling orchids coming up among the pots in the greenhouses of the Misses Dove ; they were tiny plants, ¼ to ½ inch high, and grew on the surface soil in the flowerpots, on the moss in the orchid baskets and among the rhizomes of Davallias, as we usually see young ferns. Mr. Meston, the gardener, explained the case: They were seedlings of Epi-dendrum ellipticum, an old plant, of which had ripened lots of seeds, about a year ago, and which he distributed all around among the pots, by way of experiment.
The days of large flower-beds in uniform geometrical patterns, and closely set together, are happily becoming obsolete, and surely I wish them a hasty exit. They cannot be appropriately filled and kept in high decorative condition from May till October. The amount of tender plants and labor requisite to keep such a garden in fashionable condition are enormous, and when filled the result formal and tasteless. Filling them, as our grandfathers did, with holly-' hocks, dahlias, marigolds, gilliflowers, lilies and larkspurs, is inadmissible to-day. The public demands fashionable gardening, and gardeners are compelled to coincide. But fashionable gardening need not have the terrors so often imputed to it; by a tasteful arrangement of the plants in the beds and disposition of the beds that contain the plants, we can have lovely gardens, fashionable and tasteful, and replete with roses, lilies, hardy shrubs and tender exotics.
The Chicago Foral Co., send blooms of Oncidium Krameri, which "is the sixth time it has flowered this season and also one of Laelia anceps, which is "one of five on a spike." This is a large number, and shows good culture. It is pleasant to note the increasing taste for these pretty things.