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.
There is in almost every family a daily waste of bones, that if saved and applied to the roots of the pear-trees and grapevines in the garden, would supply yearly sufficient manure for one hundred plants.
We have seen the roots of a pear-tree turn from a two-third radius of the circle to embrace and feed upon a few bones that were buried on one side of the tree. Hoare, in his "Treatise on the Vine," gives an account of the roots of a vine passing through dry clay to reach a bone, giving out no lateral or fibrous roots until it reached the bone, but when there, sent out numerous fibers, perfectly embracing and covering it.
For Whom Do We Write? - Recently, on reading over again " Our Farm of Four Acres," we were amused at the accounts there given of learning how to make butter, in which the writer says, that entirely without knowledge of the first practical working, they gathered together various books for the purpose of learning; and that one author told them "the butter must be washed and well cleansed," another that " it must be beat on a board and not worked with the hands," but not one gave the practical minutiae of how to get the butter from the cream. Turning from this work to a recently published article in the Agricultural Department Report, we found information of "how to bud" consisted in telling us that " the operation is simple, an expert hand setting as many as two thousand in a day," and further, that " the bud is cut about one inch in length, the eye being in the middle." Turning to a friend who sat by us at the time, and who is a perfect novice in all relating to practical country life, we handed him the book and asked him if he thought he could bud a tree from that description.
The reply was, he "could make nothing of it." This set us thinking and reviewing, with a conclusion that far too many writers word their matter in such manner as to be only understood by the initiated, and who having no need of such writing rarely read it. At the risk of being criticised, we will venture therefore to say that every writer who attempts to instruct in any horticultural operation that is principally if not wholly mechanical, should remember that the reader for whose benefit he writes is utterly ignorant of the first movements, and that it is almost impossible to be too minute in giving directions for performing the work. Strange as it may appear to the person who has all his life been engaged in horticultural pursuits, and who understands fully every item, there are hundreds, nay, thousands of readers and new beginners to whom the terms "head in," " shorten back," "pinch the laterals," "heel in," etc., are as so much Greek, no more understood than the Rule of Three in arithmetic is by the child who has but just mastered the alphabet.