Grapes and strawberries have, during the past few years, received so much attention, that we fear other small fruits have in a great measure been neglected.

This is particularly true of the Raspberry, a fruit whose merits entitle it to a prominent position among the very best productions of our gardens. It is certainly no more trouble to cultivate an acre of Raspberries than the same quantity of grapes or strawberries, and it is doubtful if upon an average they are any more profitable.

American Improved.

Fig. 129. - American Improved.

Raspberries have commanded from twenty-five to seventy-five cents per quart in many of our Eastern markets for several year3 past, a fact that has awakened a few of our fruit-growers to the importance of fully supplying the demand. One cause of the great scarcity of this fruit is probably owing to the want of practical information upon the best modes of cultivation, and the adaptability of different varieties to the various locations and soils. Very few people appear to know that the different varieties of the Raspberry are as variable in their character as regards their adaptation to soils and climate as other fruits, there being very few which are suitable for general cultivation.

We have probably depended too much upon the advice and recommendation of those cultivators who are located in situations favorable for growing the very choicest kinds. It is all very well for those who can produce the best, to talk of delicate flavors and delicious perfumes, but they should know that although this world may be a nut-shell, still it is a very large one, and that there is a great diversity of soils and climate as well as tastes among its inhabitants. The world is certainly too large, or the minds of some of its inhabitants too small, to comprehend its vastness. As a general thing, the experience of fruitgrowers is mainly local, and it is to be feared in many instances their thoughts are equally so, or they would not, as they often do, extol or condemn a fruit from mere personal experience.

Every cultivator must have observed the great difference in soils even on a place of very limited extent, and if the proprietor is an observing man, he will select plants best suited to each. If this is true in regard to a few acres, how much greater must be the difference when we pass over several degrees of latitude, or from the rich bottom lands along our Northern rivers, watered by copious showers throughout the summer, to the drifting sands and long drought which occur in some portions of the Middle and Southern States.

Purple Cane.

Fig. 130. - Purple Cane.

A man who prefers a Fastolff or Brinc-kle's Orange to the wild Black Raspberry certainly shows that he possesses a good taste; but he commits an error when he denounces others, who, as they can not produce the former, and can the latter, consequently accept it in preference to none. Because we can not grow the banana is no reason for neglecting the apple, or accuse those who do grow and appreciate it of being devoid of taste.

Downing Red.

Fig. 131. - Downing Red.

The whole war of words causing the estrangement of horticulturists in years past, and making enemies of those who should have been friends, should cease, and the question of, What shall we grow? changed to, What can we grow? There are a favored few who have the means at command of overcoming all the obstacles which soil or climate may offer, but the masses must seek both sustenance and pleasure without such artificial aid.

Striving to produce the best is certainly a very commendable action, but to ignore all other because the really superior kinds fail, is a weakness with which too many are afflicted. Experience has taught us that some of our best fruits will only succeed in few, and often very prescribed locations.

Although this has been the case heretofore with many kinds, yet with the increase in the numbers of varieties, some have been produced that appear to be as well adapted to as wide range of latitude and to different soils as those which are inferior. But with the newer kinds more experience is needed, before it can be positively decided which are worthy of being recommended as varieties for general cultivation over a wide extent of country.


Fig. 132. - Hornet.

Among the few which have become decided favorites in the past few years, we may name the different varieties of the Black Cap Raspberry.

The American Improved (fig. 129) is probably more extensively cultivated than any other, although at the West the Miami and Ohio Everbearing are grown in considerable quantities. The hardy character of this class thus early ripening, and firmness of the fruit, make them very desirable market varieties.

Although the fruit is naturally rather dry and the seeds quite numerous and large, still there are many people who prefer them to other varieties of Raspberries. Of this class the following new ones promise to be valuable: Gardiner, Surprise, Thornless, Summit, Seneca, and probably two or three others.

The great merit of this class of Raspberries is their adaptation to different kinds of soil and climate, succeeding in many portions of the country where the Antwerp family as well as our native Red Raspberry (Rubus strigosus) entirely fail, although given the best of care.