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.
Being afflicted with deep horticultural propensities, I have, as a matter of course, been led to "try all things, and prove all things," in the true horticultural sense of the quotation. I was exceedingly desirous of obtaining a large quantity of the Pyrus Japonica, for the purpose of using it for a division hedge. I tried various modes of propagation. Firstly, by grafting on the stock and on the root; by layers, which seldom took root; by cuttings of the roots, which method did pretty well. But not being satisfied, I made another experiment, which resulted in complete success.
Having had occasion to move two large plants of the scarlet variety, and one of the white, I the tops of my beautiful bushes lying on the ground, my propensity seized me, and I could not consent to throw away the trimmings without an effort to save them.
So down I sat, on the edge of the border, and after cutting off all the lost year's growth, I placed them in a warm, rich soil; but I confess, without faith , even to the extent of a hundredth part of a grain of "mustard seed."
There I left them, for weal or for woe, exposed to the full blaze of almost a summer's sun. I passed by the spot every day for a week, and each time thought how many fruitless experiments I had made, and this very one likely to be another of them. Several weeks passed away, when I thought I would visit my cuttings, and to my utter astonishment, every one of them had grown, and made nice plants by autumn! This is a horticultural fact.
I have a few now on hand, which I would gladly present for the benefit of some one, who may be even now, as verdant in these matters as I was. previous to my sufferings. Thy sincere friend. E. S. Hillside, Cayuga Co., N. Y., 3d mo., 3d, 1851.
[We thank our fair correspondent for her useful notice, and shall be glad to hear from her again. Her postscript, in which she frankly owns herself "a real live-woman horticulturist," pleases us still more. When American women know their gardens in this way - by actually shaking hands with garden tools, daily - then they will begin to enjoy them in right earnest. Ed.] Camellias in Rooms. - I have tried for two years to bloom Camellias, but without success. I have Elegans, Donkelarii, Variegata, Candi-dissima, Derbyana, Florida, Tricolor, and Im-bricata. During the first year, I had them in my sitting room, enclosed in a glass case, which was aired every day. The room was warmed by a furnace, supplied with air from without the house. The thermometer in the room, ranged from 60° to 70°. In the case, it was much lower. They were frequently syringed above and beneath the leaves, and occasionally wiped with a wet sponge. The second year, they have been kept in a closet, adjoining my counting-room. The closet has a large window looking south, and receives its heat from the counting-room, which is itself heated by steam pipes. The thermometer in the main room ranges from 60° to 70°, and in the closet, will be 10° lower.
The plants were kept back from the window and in the shade. The window is opened for fresh air, whenever the weather will permit - and I have a tub filled with water, warmed by a steam pipe, whenever used for watering the plants, or to make the air of the closet of a proper degree of moisture. The closet is 12 feet by 6, and 11 feet high. During the summer, the plants were kept out of doors, and in the shade. I get buds, which swell and promise, and show the tip of the beautiful petals within, and then become "done brown," drop and perish. What is the matter? Tours, A Floral Enthusiast. Lawrence, Massa-chutetts, March 10, 1851.
[The Camellia is one of the worst plants for close rooms, as it wants a great deal of air, and a very uniform atmosphere, to bloom freely. If you can contrive to ventilate your room or plant-closet so as to have a stream of pure fresh air (warmed of course) pass through it, we think the flowers will open well. Ed.]