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.
I was glad to see the strictures upon what have been represented as two of the latest and most remarkable horticultural and floricultural acquisitions, and for one of which I have been informed from $20,000 to $30,000 were paid last spring! This was the Augusta Rose, of which I had the good fortune to obtain a budded plant about eighteen inches in length, (in place of being on its own roots, as I ordered it,) at $5. There was one point of the first importance to people residing in the latitude of Boston, in which they were misled; this was, its being represented in the papers accompanying the circular, as a "hardy out-door runner." One communication, however, alone spoke decidedly on this point; but as this one came from a source that was thought worthy of credit, many were probably induced by it to purchase it that would otherwise have-waited and been satisfied of its being any thing but a "hardy cut-door runner" as has since been stated in the Horticulturist.
The other plant is Mr. Bull's new Grape, about which there appears to be some slight difference of opinion, as I learn from your last number. When you publish a drawing of any new fruit it should be distinctly stated whether the cut is intended to give the fair average size, or to be a remarkably large specimen. If nothing is said to the contrary, it is presumed, if the public are treated fairly, that the cut represents a specimen of an average, under good cultivation; and some of your correspondents say that the drawing of this Grape is fully one-third larger than any they have seen; and some deny its being equal as a table Grape to the Isabella, which does not agree with the statements that have been set forth in its favor - besides its maturing its fruit four weeks earlier than the Isabella. The Diana Grape, some four or five years since, was sold, if not as high as the above, nearly so, and was represented as altogether superior in quality and early maturity to the Isabella; but little, however, has within a year or two been heard of it, and judging from specimens exhibited at the annual exhibition of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in 1852, which was about the 17 th of September, purchasers paid dear for their whistles.
A few plants of Catawba, that I have allowed to take their own course in cultivated ground, appear to ripen their fruit about as well as the Diana, under the same course of treatment By the recommendation of your esteemed predecessor, I planted a vine of the Purple Fontainbleau; but the fruit is rather small, and resembles in flavor somewhat a Catawba not fully ripened, and I think will not prove here equal to what he expected.
One other plant I see so much lauded by some one in your last number, is the once famous Greville Rose, which was first brought into notice in the United States under the management of a gentleman who has not yet forgotten the most successful way of getting up an excitement when he wishes to make sale of a great number of any new plant at $5 each; but this fell so far below the expectations of all who fully believed the statements put forth at the time, that roost of the purchasers in this vicinity pronounced it a humbug; which, judging from the fact of its being so very seldom planted, would seem to be correct.
Now I do not wish to convey the idea that the Grape, or the Augusta Rose, are humbugs; but having failed in almost every instance where I have paid an extravagant price, I think I shall wait till can have ocular demonstration of the superiority of this fruit.
A new Willow is mentioned in Mr. Downing's communication as being superior to all other varieties of Osiers, imported by Dr. Grant. Can Mr. Downing give the name of it? Is it for ealef and if so, by whom If so, he will oblige at least C. W. P. - Newton, Mass.