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.
In our rambles about the country we are frequently asked as to the best time for cutting in or pruning oleanders ; to which we reply, cut them back just as soon as they have flowered. They will then push freely and bloom next season again. We have occasionally known them to bloom late in the season when pruned, back in the spring, or when first brought out from cellar or store room, where oleander plants are generally kept by those growing and admiring them and who have no green or glass houses. When cutting back, do so with reference to the leaving of some young shoots, and also of dormant indistinct buds. A little yearly pruning back and of shortening in side branches would convert many a tall, stern, ragged-headed oleander into a round, compact, beautiful-shaped plant - of half its former height, but double its breadth.
Having noticed an inquiry some time since in the Tribune, which was made at the Farmers' Club, New York, and having pretty extensively examined Virginia on the subject of that inquiry, it occurred to me that some of your readers might be interested in my investigations.
The inquiry was, "Can the Catawba grape be successfully grown in Virginia?"
I have seen that vine in my travels here in all its stages of growth, and several times during its fruiting season. I have never noticed any mildew, and hardly any rot. There are vines on the place on which I am now staying, in fruit, - the clusters perfect as any I ever saw, the leaf perfect as in June. The wine from this grape was highly esteemed here during the war, and one large vineyard made a great deal of money. I think I can say, then, that the Catawba grape, as well as all our new varieties, may be successfully grown in this neighborhood - which is about twenty miles from Washington, and near the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.' It is a healthy country, abounding in springs of soft water. Good grape lands sell at from $10 to $25 per acre. The people are friendly, and desire Northern emigration. The valley lands grow grass, wheat, corn, etc. Steuben.
Centerville, Fairfax Co., Va., Sept. 5,1868.