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.
We find the following answer to your inquiry all ready in the Cottage Gardener: "Large Hydrangeas in Small Pots. - The way they get those enormous large heads of Hydrangeas in 48-pots is this: They have strong old plants to get cuttings from; and in September, or later, or earlier, when they can feel the top of a shoot is set for bloom another year, they instantly out it off with three joints, put it in a 60-pot, plunge it in a warm bed, and root it quickly without forcing the flower-bud. any farther. Early in the spring they shift into the next largest site pot, and humor the plant so as to enable it to make the bloom as large as it would be if the shoot had never been cut off. Your plants struck in the spring will make a bed next summer; but ten thousand of them would not furnish one bloom such as you want.
Some feeling is expressed by one or two of our correspondents, that an error has been committed in sending out a wrong grape and a very inferior one, for the Emily. Where the mis-take began we shall probably be able to ferret out.
Dear Sir: - You would confer a favor on me, and perhaps many others of your readers, by an article on the "Doucin stock." "Doucin stock" are advertised in all the nursery-pamphlets and at a high price. I have the last edition of Downing, and several other horticultural works, from none of which can I gain any information as to the nature or advantages of the Doucin stock. What are the nature, habits, and advantages of that stock; and are they sufficiently well known and established to justify me in planting, this fall, an orchard of two hundred trees upon that stock? Respectfully, A. B. C.
[The Doucin or Doucain stocks, as they are interchangeably called, are the layered branches of a variety of the "Pyrus Malus".
As to the "nature, habits, and advantages of that stock," the tree is a distinct species of apple, is of medium size, bears small sweet fruit, and reproduces itself from seed: but for ordinary nursery purposes, as we have before said, the layered branches are used as making the best stocks. These stocks and the Paradise stocks have been used both in France, England, and this country, for dwarfing the apple-tree, and thus bringing numerous sorts within the sphere of a moderate sized garden. The Paradise is used more for producing a bushy-headed dwarf tree,.and for bearing a fruit which is higher colored and earlier; while the Doucin is for raising a pyramid or, dwarf standard by more careful training. Lindley says in his " Theory and Practice of Horticulture," p. 354: "In some soils, Duucin stock would not succeed for apples," and speaks of the apple on Doucin stock as requiring a loamy or moderately light, bat not chalky, soil.
The apple scion engrafted upon the Doucin is changed in no other respect, either as regards habit of growth, flower, fruit, or quantity produced upon a branch of a given size, except that the tree will bear quicker, is most emphatically dwarfed, and its products are of course limited in number by this diminution in size; while by being trained into the pyramidal form, it can be made quite ornamental; and the garden, not being overshadowed by the branches of huge standards, can be allowed to produce other fruits; and vegetables and flowers can be cultivated to advantage.
If you are confined to an area of one-tenth of an acre, and wish to have 100 or 200 samples or varieties, and those as fine and fair as possible within that space, we can decidedly recom-meud the dwarf or pyramid trees. If you wish the orchard for ornament, there is no finer show than to see such miniature trees laden with the most perfect and handsome fruit; and again, dwarfs always bear sooner after planting than standards. But if you speak of an orchard merely for quantity of product and for profit, we must suggest that the standard trees, when come into bearing, will produce more fruit per acre, and in the majority of cases of equally fine quality with the dwarfed stock, while the care required in maintaining your orchard in fine condition will be far less than if you have the pruning and care of these pyramids.
Where land is valuable and labor expensive, it is often of consequence to the orchardist to have speedy returns for his money and trouble. In such cases the space between his 200 standard apple-trees, unless devoted to other purposes, can be filled with early and showy sorts upon the Doucin stock, which will commence bearing on the third year after planting; and when the standards come into full bearing these can be transplanted or destroyed. We would only recommend the space above stated to be devoted to quite early and quite showy fruit. These early sorts always become fairer to the eye, smoother, and have less imperfections upon the dwarf than upon the standard stock. The Red Astrachan, although not the earliest, is one of the most showy fruits that can thus be cultivated, and one of these dwarfs covered with this magnificently conspicuous variety, is as gay and gaudy in appearance as the handsomest of flowering shrubs; while in usefulness it is producing a valuable addition to our table luxuries.
A. B. C. says " Doucin stocks are at a high price." In the catalogues which we have noticed they are the same price as four-year-old standards.