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 time has not been fixed, but we will no doubt be able to answer it in our next. We hope it will be so arranged, if possible, that members can attend the exhibition of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society without loss of time. So many exhibitions are held at that season that it will be impossible to avoid collision with some of them.
I noticed, in a late number of the Horticulturist, an article on the Peach, wherein the Hard-Shlled Almond was recommended for a stock. Can you inform me where the Hard-Shelled Almond can he procured in any considerable quantity, and in a suitable condition to plant? (those found usually in the market are probably too dry to vegetate) and if trees put upon this stock are equally liable to be attacked by the "yellows ?" - a malady which has been the destruction of most of the Peach orchards in the vicinity of Boston. A gentleman, who is one of the proprietors of one of the most extensive nurseries in the interior of New York, had the kindness to send me a quantity of Peach stones to plant, with a view to disprove the idea that I entertained, that the disease was local - i. e. that all Peach trees on Peach stocks were subject to it in this vicinity, whether they were, previous to being planted, healthy or otherwise - but these have been equally sickly with those grown from stones gathered promiscuously in the Boston market, notwithstanding they were procured from a section where the disease did not prevail.
I noticed an article in your January number upon the cultivation of the Bhubarb, or Pie Plant Having seen It grown in some nurseries from seed, with a view of improving its size, it should be known that these seedlings differ widely in their effects. One of the most eminent horticulturists in the vicinity of Boston, who has grown multitudes from seed, Informs me that some of his seedlings operate as violent emetics on all who make use of them, and others as cathartics; and, in one instance, he was credibly informed of a large number of people who were taken with the disease generally known as gravel, occasioned by the use of a particular variety of Bhubarb for only a few weeks. (2)
Can you inform me by what mode the New American Weeping Willow is most successfully grafted ? and if any particular variety of stock is preferable ? (3) C. W. P. - Newton, (1) The Hard-Shell Almond bears abundantly in many parts of the country, and seeds or "pits" could be easily obtained in the fall; or you can import the seed or stocks from France. We cannot say that this will prevent the "yellows." "We fear not; but it is well enough to try.
(2) We have not heard of such cases before. In selecting plants to be reserved, from seedling Rhubarb, the largest and finest flavored only should be chosen. There is as much difference in the tenderness and flavor of Rhubarb as of Apples.
EACH month I feel a deeper interest in the Horticulturist, and gain much valuable instruction from its attractive pages. But the more I learn the more do I feel sensible of my ignorance upon the subjects of which it treats. Every article suggests inquiries upon points respecting which I feel the need of "more light;" and I frequently am inclined to avail myself of the Yankee privilege, which you extend to your readers, of asking questions.
In your leading article, of the March number, upon transplanting trees, you speak of the Injurious effect of wet soils upon trees. Now, how extended an application has that term "wet soils"? In my garden, and around some of my fruit trees (the ground being flat), at this present time, and perhaps for a week back, the water, which has been accumulating from the rapidly melting snows, stands upon the soil; and even in very heavy rains, the water may collect there for a few hours. It is dry at other seasons. Now, will you rank this among wet soils ? Will water, temporarily standing, as I have described, around trees, Injure them ? And If so, how are the drains, of which you speak, to be constructed ? We have stones in abundance, near at hand; but how are they to be used for the purposes of draining? 8hould a ditch be dug and filled with stones, and the garden plat be inclined to it? or should a hollow drain be made, such as you would have to convey water from a wet cellar ? Will you oblige me, and perhaps others of the parvenus in horticulture, by giving in detail the construction of a drain, suitable for a half or a quarter acre of land. (1)
In the February number, In the article upon "Hot Beds" (for which I heartily thank you), you say they "should occupy a dry situation, where they will not be affected by the lodgment of water during rains or thaws." As a protection against water, will it do to place a quantity of stones, say a foot deep, beneath the bed? (2)
And, finally, (I fear you will suspect my profession), will you, when it shall be convenient, give, in the Horticul-turist a design for a neat, quiet, country inn, such as may be suited for a rural village, not subject to the arrival of many strangers, but needing, occasionally, accommodations for the comfortable, hospitable entertainment of a "sojourner for a night or day" - a pleasant, home-like place, that shall have no taint of the " vile Virginia weed," and no dark, lurking place for evil" spirits!" W. - Shrewtbury, Mum.
(1) There are grounds which, generally, are quite dry; but from their adhesiveness, or from the impenetrability of the sub-soil, water is not permitted to pass off rapidly. Such soils need draining, and a loosening of the sub-soil, to make them suitable for fruit trees. To see water accumulate on the surface is a sure sign of wetness. If any part of your garden be lower than the rest, make a drain there large enough to contain the surplus water, unless there be a natural outlet This large drain may be four feet wide and six feet deep, if necessary; fill it with stones, of small size, to within two feet of the surface; lay some straw, brush or rubbish, over them, or some sods, grassy side downwards, and cover with earth. Into this large drain smaller ones may be conducted, having just fall enough to let the water run. We usually make stone drains two feet wide at the top, eighteen inches at the bottom, and three and a half feet deep; fill them with small stones, as described for the larger ones.
In a flat, moist garden, stone drains are useful, even if there be no outlet, as a drain in the middle of a walk is sure to keep it perfectly dry in all states of the weather.
(2) This will serve as drainage to some extent When difficulty is apprehended from water it is a good plan to raise the bed, so as to have the ground descend from it.
(3) None that we know of.
We must defer the questions concerning "chimney caps" and "thatched roofs" to some of our correspondents who have had more experience in the matters than we. Perhaps our friend Davis will give us a design, soon, for a "neat, quiet, country inn".
I PIRCHASED, two years ago, a number of Pear trees, grafted ave feet from the ground; and have been troubled with a kind of wart that has appeared upon the part where the grail was inserted. I fear that the growth of the trees will be checked. Please tell me what is to be done. A SubscriBER.
The growth of these "warts" is owing to the interruption of the circulating fluids at that point They may bo a greater deformity than an injury. You might pare them off with a sharp knife, down to a level with the natural bark; not all around the tree at one time, so as to "girdle" it, but gradually.