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.
The following list comprises a beautiful and distinct selection, one that will not fail to please the cultivator, especially if they have good taste:
Prince of Wales - bright ruby crimson, large lemon eyes.
Evening Star - intense carmine, large yellow eye, good habit, free bloomer, unsurpassed.
Celestial - pale, clear rose, immense truss, flowers freely; superb.
Lady Palmerston - delicate blue, large white eye; extra fine.
Geant des Batailles - brilliant scarlet crimson, dark velvet shading; first rate bedding sort.
Victory - bright rosy lilac, large white eye; much admired.
Mrs. Halford - waxy white, very large truss; positively the best white in cultivation.
Brilliant de vaise - shaded crimson, close creeping habit.
Ellen Murdoch - pinkish rose, large yellow eye; fine.
Dr. Gross - large reddish crimson; the most robust of all Verbenas.
Elizabeth Strange - white, with purple eye; charming.
Madame Abt - deep indigo purple; distinct and beautiful.
Admiral Dundas - crimson scarlet; very showy.
Odorata perfecta - remarkably fragrant.
Glory of America - fine showy scarlet.
Joshua Robinson - -beautifully mottled with purple and white.
Pet surpassed - bright rosy pink, dark eye; very fine.
Purple Perfection - fine dark maroon purple.
Dazzle - vivid scarlet crimson, very dwarf and profuse bloomer.
Sarah - the best striped.
For twenty years I have paid particular attention to the cultivation of the various kinds of fruit, and for a number of years have been a reader of the Horticulturist; and I honestly acknowledge that my most valuable information has been acquired by reading the experience of practical men as therein given. I therefore take this opportunity to tender my thanks to the present editor, his predecessors, and the numerous correspondents for the large amount of useful and interesting information which they have respectively furnished for the benefit of orchardists and others. Feeling it a duty incumbent on me to say something also, I present this humble offering of facts which have taken me many years to acquire, hoping they may prove useful and instructive to the inexperienced, if no one else. I do not presume that what is here offered will be applicable in all localities where this journal is read; for in most places where the white man has made a permanent home on this North American continent, there I believe it may be found working the good work for which it was originally designed.
In a • country of such great extent, I well know that no one sort of fruit or mode of culture will answer for the whole; and if anything I write should come in conflict with the honest opinions of others, they will please to remember that it was designed for this place and its vicinity.
Downing, in his "Fruits and Fruit-Trees of America," page 265, says: "The surprising facility with which superior new varieties are raised, merely by ordinary reproduction from seed, in certain parts of the valley of the Hudson, as at Hudson, or near Albany, where the soil is quite clayey, and also the delicious flavor, and great productiveness, and health of the plum tree there, almost without care, while in adjacent districts of rich sandy land, it is a very uncertain bearer, are very convincing proofs of the great importance of a clay soil for this fruit" The above is strictly applicable to this place, to which, without doubt, the writer intended it to apply. The "facility" with which the plum is here grown would surprise those persons who, unfortunately, are not able to raise it without jarring the trees and catching the curculio. Really, Mr. Editor, if we could grow plums only in that way, I think their cultivation hereabout would soon be abandoned. A person with an orchard of several hundred trees would find it a tedious and an unprofitable business. There are several good-sized orchards in this place and vicinity that produce almost annually heavy crops without taking any measures to guard against the depredations of the curculio, or any extra care in pruning or cultivation.
The largest and most productive orchards are on the ridge land, within one mile of the Hudson river. The soil is in some places a heavy loam, in others clay, and doubtless possesses the inorganic manures most congenial to the health and longevity of the plum, as there are in some orchacds trees of remarkable size and age still enjoying good health and producing heavy crops. I have taken some pains to gather statistical information as to the amount of the crop, and am really astonished at the result Besides the orchards, there is not a farm yard, or garden that is not well stocked with them; even the humblest cottager has plums for sale. The crop of 1855 was greater than ever before, and it must have been very great throughout the State, as the market was so completely gorged with them as hardly to pay the expenses of picking and transportation; later in the season, when the bulk of them were gone, they sold better. These facts ought not to deter any one from planting or taking an interest in the culture of this fruit, as we may not have another crop like that in many years.
Certainly they had not been so plenty and cheap in the New York market within the preceding ten years.
It is worthy of note that those trees that fruited to excess that year were much injured and some were killed. Two trees of a variety known as Sharp's Emperor, about seven years planted, were so densely loaded with fruit, that I was compelled to prop them up or they would have broken down with the weight. When the fruit was about half grown, these trees lost all their foliage, and soon after the plums began to drop with.as much ease as ripe hickory-nuts, and in a few days they were all off. These trees have since died. Other trees of the same kind that fruited moderately, ripened well, and the last season were in a thriving condition, showing much fruit. Again, trees of the Bolmar that set as much fruit as the first mentioned, when pretty well advanced towards maturity, finding their stock of nutriment exhausted, cast about half of their fruit; the rest ripened well and attained good size. These trees are still alive and promise well. Experienced orchardists well know that excessive fruiting exhausts and weakens the wood-producing power of a tree, and should be guarded against if possible, although where one has extensive orchards, it seems to be too much trouble to thin by hand, and in this case the labor of the curculio should not be looked upon as unfriendly.