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.
Among shrubs employed in the embellishment of ornamental grounds, there are a certain number which recommend themselves under nearly all circumstances; or, as pomologists say of fruits, "worthy of general cultivation." To aid those who desire to make small collections, and who prefer real excellence to rarity or novelty, we subjoin a short list that we can cordially recommend. We may remark, however, that in making such selections, it is desirable to obtain variety as far as it may be possible to combine it with other requisites. We do not mean the greatest possible number of genera, or species, or varieties, but various habits of growth, foliage, flowers, fruit, seasons of blossoming, and such other characteristics as are generally sought and prized in ornamental shrubs. The following list includes nothing but what is perfectly hardy in the climate of Rochester, (latitude 43 deg.,) and of easy cultivation, requiring no nicety in soil, situation, or treatment:
A very neat, compact-growing, small shrub, quite covered early in spring, usually in March, with small flowers, which are very showy, owing to the absence of leaves at the time. There is one with pink or rose-colored flowers, and another white. Propagated from seed.
A prickly, spreading bush, covered in early spring (April) with bright scarlet flowers. One of the most attractive of all spring-flowering shrubs. There is a variety called Blush, with delicately painted rose and blush flowers, usually scarce. There is also one called " double," which has occasionally a double and in some cases a treble row of petals. Propagated by suckers, and cuttings of the roots.
Erect shrubs that attain the height of eight or ten feet, with whitish bark. The flowers are produced in April in great profusion, covering the whole plant. They are small, delicate, and pretty, succeeded by small berries about the size of currants. There are a red-flowered and a white-flowered species well known, and several more recently introduced. Propagated by cuttings, which root as freely as willows.
One of Fortune's best Chinese shrubs, covered early in spring with bright yellow flowers, succeeded by long, pointed foliage of the most intense green. Propagated freely by layers of young wood, or by cuttings.
A very popular and well known shrub, covered in April with small, double, rose-colored flowers, giving the branches the appearance of wreaths of small roses. Propagated by suckers, or layers, or by budding on the plum, peach, or almond. Is very pretty when worked four or five feet high.
A vigorous, rapid-growing currant, with a profusion of brilliant crimson and yellow flowers, a hybrid between the yellow and crimson. The crimson and double crimson varieties are showy, fine shrubs, but in cold latitudes their blossoms are uncertain. Propagated by cuttings.
A beautiful shrub, with delicate, Juniper-like foliage, and delicate spikes of rosy blossoms, resembling willow catkins in form. The German and French Tamarix are equally beautiful, and blossom in the autumn. Propagated by cuttings.
A large, robust shrub, with rough, hoary leaves, and large panicles of white flowers, produced on the ends of the branches early in May or in April. It retains its foliage fresh and green very late. Propagated freely by layers. Should be trained in the form of a little tree.
A very common but beautiful shrub. If trained into a miniature tree, it has a fine effect when loaded with fine globular clusters of white flowers in May. Propagated by layers.
One of Fortune's Chinese shrubs, and one of the best, producing its elegant rose-colored flowers in May. They appear in clusters on the wood of last year, and resemble in form the fox-glove. Propagated by layers and cuttings of the young wood.
There are many species and varieties of these, all beautiful. The purple-leaved is one of the most remarkable. It has yellow blossoms, succeeded by purple fruit Quite attractive all the season. The nepaleneis and illicifolia are fine, showy, robust species, and the mycrophylla serratifolia and empetrifolia are curious and pretty small species. Propagated by layers and suckers, and by grafting.
This genus embraces a large number of species and varieties. The double plum-leaved, (prunifolia flore pleno,) with small, double, white flowers in May. The habit is slender, erect, and regular; and when in bloom, every branch is like a perfect and beautiful wreath of white daisies. The tint of the foliage in the autumn, too, is a great point of merit, being a bright orange with a light tint of red. The lanceolata, or Reevesi, is another beautiful species, with large clusters of snowy white single flowers that cover the whole plant in May. The Dauglassi has showy spikes of rose-colored flowers towards autumn. All propagated by division of the plants and by layers, or by cuttings of the young wood.
Covered in June with small spikes of white flowers, produced on the wood of last season. The gracilie is a new species, also very beautiful; forces admirably in the house. Propagated by cuttings and layers.
The common white and purple are among the most common and widely disseminated shrubs grown, general favorites, and when grown tastefully into miniature trees are very ornamental. The Persian white and purple are very fine. Charles X and Josikea are distinct and fine newer sorts. Propagated by layers, suckers, and budding and grafting.
The common fragrant one (coronarius) is well known. The flowers have the fragrance of the orange blossom. The pubescens has large foliage and large white flowers without odor. There are also a double-flowering variety and a very dwarf one; both fragrant Propagated by layers. Blossoms in June.
A very desirable shrub. The wood is fragrant and the flowers of a rich chocolate color. Blossoms in June, and at intervals afterwards. Propagated by layers and suckers. There are several species and varieties, all fine. The floridus is the most common. The macrocarpa has large leaves. Rare.
The Purple Fringe, or Venetian Sumach, is a popular shrub, remarkable for its curious brown fringed or hair-like flowers, that cover the whole plant in July, giving it the appelation of smoke tree, Jupiter's beard, etc. Propagated by layers.
Particularly desirable on account of its blood red hue in autumn and winter. Grows freely from cuttings.
These make pretty miniature trees, very attractive in the autumn when the seed capsules open and become a brilliant red. There is also a white-fruited one, desirable for a variety. These are justly ranked among the most showy autumnal ornaments of the shrubbery. Propagated by seeds and layers.
There are many varieties of these - purple, violet, painted, variegated, etc. They are neat, compact-growing shrubs, most of them attaining a height,of eight or ten feet, and bloom profusely late in autumn, on which account they are particularly desirable. Indeed, the smallest assortment of shrubs should include one or more Altheas. All easily propagated by cuttings of either young, growing shoots, or the ripened young wood.
Blossoms in mid-summer. Has long, elegant spikes of flowers. Particularly desirable at that season. Propagated by seeds and layers.
A large shrub with broad leaves and a profusion of singular, fringed, white flowers, like cut paper. Propagated from seeds, that lie two years in the ground before vegetating. Layers require two years to root.
A large shrub, with whitish leaves, gray bark, and yellow flowers that appear in July. Called sometimes the "Bohemian olive." Propagated by layers and cuttings.
One of the finest of all evergreen shrubs for our northern climate. It is low and spreading, with abundant foliage of a purplish color, and covered in early spring (April) with a profusion of gay yellow flowers in large clusters. Propagated by seeds.
The Pyracantha, or Evergreen Thorn, is very desirable for its brilliant orange berries in autumn. Propagated by seeds.
To the above may be added, lor evergreens, the Tree Box and the hardy Rhododendrons.