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.
But we have passed the great strawberry department, and can only note the information given, that the proprietors of these nurseries consider the following the best twelve kinds: Wilson, Triomphe de Gaud, Trollope's Victoria, McAvoy's Superior, Hooker, Longworth's Prolific, Genessee, Iowa or Washington, Brighton Pine, Triomphe do Gtand; Hovey, and Burr's New Pine.
The ornmmental stock of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, is extensive and superior; Wash-ingtonia, (Sequoia,) of large size and ready for present effect. I noted as especially desirable, Cupressus Lawsoniana, Weeping Kilmarnock Willow, of which much can be made, Abies Cephalonica, - a specimen here is fifteen feet in height; - Pinus pumila, - a specimen ten feet, and forty in circumference; Cunninghamia Sinensis - to be strawed up in winter, - Pinus Rubra, Lauras Californioa, Pbotinia detata, - a new half hardy evergreen, - Juniperus California, - the leaves as fragrant as a rose geranium, - a fine lot of Cupressus funebris, Thuja Borealis, Acacia Bessoniana, with rich green foliage, the Cracovien Willow, the beautiful Rosemary-leaved Willow, the Oak-leaved Mountain Ash, the Weigelia amabilis, blooming in the fall, a great quantity; the Robinia inermis, Willow-leaved Ash, the extraordinorily beautiful Weeping Mountain Ash; an acre or two of tree Paeonies; whole hedges of African tamarisk, of Deutsia gracilis - superb for the garden borders, and Mahonias without limit; as a tree the Cut-leaved Birch, and others of that habit, are especially desirable.
A specimen of this birch forty feet in height is extremely ornamental.
This visit to Ellwanger & Barry's premises has given me great pleasure. The extent of the operations carried on may be imagined when I say that six men are from year's end to year's end, employed solely in turning and mixing manure; that forty horses are employed in drawing it and in other operations; that to the regular supply of hands three or four hundred are added in the packing season; that their grounds embrace about a thousand acres, much of this in young pears, and that with all this cultivation there is no old stock, the planting seasons carrying it all off. When we reflect that all this is the result of patient industry superintended by knowledge and tact, and that these Napoleons of horticulture are esteemed wherever known, I have said enough to stimulate young men to industrious, steady habits; and I would say to all, go and do likewise. My paper is exhausted but not my facts, nor my admiration of these scenes of active usefulness most thoroughly rewarded.
The reflection constantly occurred during my visit, that it would be in vain to select or to describe a business at the same time so fascinating, so agreeable, so valuable to my country.
J. J. S.
Last winter I caused muck, fresh from the swamp, to be drawn upon ground occupied by pear trees, and by raspberry and blackberry plants. In the spring, the muck having become quite friable, was spread over the surface, forming a mulch of perhaps one half inch in thickness, and proving a complete protection, during the drought which has prevailed here for a few weeks past; while the grounds adjoining seemed to have been entirely dry for several inches below the surface, the grounds thus treated presented such an appearance in no degree whatever.
I propose in the fall, to manure these trees and plants by digging in the mulch, which will then have become completely pulverized, and next winter to begin a renewal of the treatment which I have related; that is, draw on more fresh muck, spread it in the summer for a mulch, dig it under in the fall for manuring. Why would not this treatment be proper for strawberries and all garden vegetables where stimulating manures are not desirable? an occasional , dressing of ashes would probably render the muck efficient as manure.
Three years ago I girdled, near its base, a bearing branch of an Isabella grape-vine. The fruit upon this cane ripened some week or ten days in advance of other fruit upon the same viae or upon adjoining vines, and the berries were very considerably larger. Last year I treated another cane upon the same vine in the same manner, and while the same result was not observable in regard to early maturity, the same increase in the size of the fruit was apparent.
In neither instance did any observable injury result to the vine.
Yours, etc., F. S. Boot.
Saratoga Springa, Aug. 24th, 1859.
"Dear Sir: - Herewith I send you a cluster of the Taylor Grape, a wildling of the Cumberland Mountains. A little below Catawba in size of bunch and berry; freedom all disease; a great bearer, and an enormous grower. Hardier than Catawba. This fruit was taken from the vine the 15th of August, on account of the wasps and bees eating them, and were not fully ripe; but you can judge of their quality." The above is a copy of a part of the letter, accompanying the grapes, from a friend in the northern part of Kentucky, who never sold a vine nor never will, but who has kindly distributed it in small parcels, and who kindly sent me the fruit. The vine I have growing, and is quite distinct from any of the one hundred varieties that I have. Yours, truly, Samuel Miller.
Calmdale, Aug. 23rd, 1859.
[This may be a very good "White Grape, but it was received not quite ripe. There is to be an avalanche still of new fruit of this description, but we say "Come one, come all," for out of the multitude we shall get varieties of the greatest value. We shall have more to say 6f the Taylor Grape. - Ed. H].
Mr. Miller also sends fine specimens of Delaware, Rebecca, Union Village which we shall figure, but it is not quite ripe for the taste; Delaware Burgundy, an excellent fruit of compact black berries, and will become a favorite; Franklin; the Perkins very foxy; Hartford Prolific, which hangs on to the bunch very well; Concord, Raabe, or Honey, small but very sweet; Mary Ann, about as good as Isabella; Lenoir, from a young vine, not fully ripe, and now pronounced identical with Devereux; Brinckle, of which we have little to commend, and Northern Muscadine, which is foxy and pulpy.
Union Village would pass by its appearance for Black Hamburgh, but the taste undeccives us at once.
Here is another candidate for popularity, of which we only know personally that it was received in a state of entire decay:
Mr. Editor: - I send you a bunch of grapes for inspection. The vine was found growing in an old waste garden, some twelve years since, and transplanted where it now stands, and has been bearing regularly ever since. It is thought to be an accidental seedling. It is earlier than Catawba and perfectly hardy, not being injured in the least by the severe winters of 1855-6, while Catawba and Isabella were killed to the ground within eight feet of it. It suckers less than either, and is not so liable to rot; is sweeter, with a thicker skin and less juice. For this climate (and I can suppose north of this) it is a better grape than the former. I have heard it said that it was a better grape than the Rebecca, Diana, or any of the new natives. This grape has been propagated to a very limited extent. I am very anxious to have the opinion of competent judges of its merits, both for the table and wine, before propagating largely, which I intend to do the next season. Please give your opinion candidly, publicly, or privately, as you may choose.
If the grape is worthy, I wish to introduce it to public notice, if not, we will content ourselves by keeping it among us; it is the best we have.
Yours, respectfully, R. S. Reeves.
Keysburg, Logan co., Ky., Aug. 20th, 1859.
Dear Sir: - We take the liberty of sending to you a bunch of the German White Muscat.
You see from the name that we do not pretend it to be a pure native.
We were anxious to test the fruiting qualities of the vine, and the flavor and quality of the fruit, and therefore started it in a cold house rather early, and have kept the plant in a tub all summer. This therefore does not prove anything, except as to color and flavor of the fruit. The size, of course, would be much improved upon a stronger plant growing in the open ground.
This is a grape which came to us highly recommended as being perfectly hardy, a great bearer, of fine flavor, and very early. It appears that it was brought to this coun try from the north of Germany, about ten or twelve years ago: has been growing and fruiting out-of-doors for several years, and proved very satisfactory. The mercury stood 12O below zero last winter and did not injure the vines. Very truly, Bissell & Salter.
Rochester, N. Y., Aug. 17, 1859.