This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Mr. Abbott, in your June number, speaks of propagating Hydrangea paniculata from ripe wood with ease. I have tried, years ago, to grow it from ripe wood cuttings and from root cuttings, but without any success. This Hydrangea is propagated with the greatest ease in spring and early summer from cuttings of the green wood. I can propagate it in this way as easily as a verbena. My practice is to lift- as many old plants as I need for stock in the fall after the leaves have fallen. These are potted and placed in a cold greenhouse or grapery, until the last of February, when they are put in a warm house and encouraged to grow. The young shoots are cut alter they have made two or three joints, being taken off just above the first eye from the old wood. This eye pushes at once and gives cuttings later. The cuttings are put in the sand of the cutting bench and given a fair bottom heat; though late in spring I find they root well without bottom heat, but not quite so quickly. The cuttings must be left in the sand until they have made quite a mass of roots, as I have found that if potted as soon as a few roots are formed, the greater part damp off in the pots; but if carefully lifted with a mass of roots, not one in a thousand will damp.
By this method I will guarantee to produce one hundred young plants from every good, bushy stock plant fifteen to twenty inches high. These young plants turned out in the open ground in May, will make nice plants by fall.
Speaking of Hydrangeas, we have here, along the north front of the old mansion, close to the walls, some immense clumps of Hydrangea hor-tensia, probably fifty years old or more. The soil in which these grow is full of small lumps of iron ore. The flowers on these clumps are always an intense blue. Twenty five feet away are several other clumps, the flowers of which are always pink. The soil and the lumps of iron ore are apparently identical in both places. Now if, as some assert, the iron in the soil is the cause of the blue color in Hydrangeas, why are not all of them blue? The pink clumps are younger than the others, and have in all probability been propagated from cuttings of those which bear blue flowers.
We have, on this old place, many noble specimens of arboreal beauty, as might be expected in a place which, unlike most American country seats, has been for a hundred years continuously in charge of professional gardeners. Prominent among those is a copper-leaf Beech, or, as some call it, blood leaf Beech. This is probably unexcelled by any other in the United States. Its branches sweep the turf in a circle fifty feet in diameter, while its rounded head rises as high in the air. In addition to this, the majestic oaks, elms and walnuts, and the unusually large specimens of magnolias, weeping sophoras, as well as the immense evergreens of various sorts, give to " Hampton" the look of repose and "green old age," which most American places lack.