This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The length of our Spring is exciting remark. Our Tulip beds are yet gay and Horse Chestnuts, Lilacs, Thorns, Laburnums, the early Spiraeas, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, and such things as are usually passed and gone at this date, are now in all their freshness of full blooms. Fires and overcoats are yet indispensable. What with an intensity of cold last winter and our spring extending itself into the summer months we begin to feel as though we had slid off a few degrees north.
Strawberries from light sandy soil and sunny hill sides are just now beginning to appear in our markets but I have not yet seen a ripe berry in the ground here - Early Scarlet begins to color. The fruit crops look well though backward and the trees wear a healthy aspect. The peach trees that survived the wreck are looking finely contrary to all expectation. Indeed I think I never saw them look better, they are making strong shoots and the leaves are indicative of perfect health, whilst the wood under the bark is the color of Rosewood or Mahogany. In cutting through the bark I find the sap sticky and unnatural; what the final result will be I cannot determine.
Here and all over Ohio as far as I have observed the peach tree is unusually exempt from that disease known as the " Curl." This I believe is due to a steadiness of temperature at the time of opening of the buds and subsequently. We have had no sudden and violent alternations of heat and cold as we generally have in the month of May.
I think it fortunate that we have had such a long cool spring; it has enabled many trees and plants to recover from the injuries sustained last winter, that would otherwise have perished. We have all along had refreshing rains and these with a mild growing temperature have restored life and apparent health to many things that had been already numbered with the dead. Deodars and Cedars of Lebanon that looked as though they had passed through a fiery furnace are now covered with green leaves.
It is curious that Weeping Ash both the common and Gold Barked were severly injured and many of the latter killed outright, whilst Willows and Sophoras escaped unhurt This reverses the ordinary result. Pawlonias and Catalpas that we expected to be cut down are pushing as strong as usual. Grapes both Isabella and Catawba on trellises are much injured. The Chinese Wistaria and even hardy Honeysuckles and many hardy Spireas are injured, but on the whole we have suffered much less than we anticipated. Our loss of the peach crop will be made up by an abundance of other fruits. B.