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.
A Novice, (Bethlehem, Pa.) Your young plants damp off in your pit in winter, because they are not well rooted, and are too tender in the stalks. If you strike cuttings in July, instead of September, they will not only get well rooted, but the stems will become firm and woody, and will resist a good deal of cold and damp without injury.
Mr. A. Fahnbstock, the corresponding partner of the .Syracuse Nurseries, has sold out his interest there, and removed to Toledo, Ohio, where he carries on the nursery business in all its varieties, and, we doubt not, with the approbation of his friends.
Manly and Mason's Trade List for 1856, and spring of 1857, from the Buffalo nurseries and Oakland gardens, Just issued, contains a large variety of ornamental trees, evergreens, fruit-trees, esculent roots, etc. etc, together with greenhouse and bedding-out plants.
We are again enabled to commend the annual catalogue of Dexter Snow, of Chicopee, Mass., who first inaugurated the system of devoting his attention to a single speciality. He has introduced the verbena extensively, sending it by mail or express with great success, and, we hope, profit. This spring, Mr. Snow offers even greater facilities than formerly, and enumerates six new varieties as important acquisitions, viz: Madame Abdt, Geant des Battailes, Lady Palmerston, Celestial, Le Gondolier, and Charles Dickens. We advise our friends to inclose a stamp, and procure Mr. Snow's sensible catalogue, in which they will find directions for cultivating this garden favorite.
We have an interesting communication on the verbena, from James S. Negley, for which we cannot find space this month. Mr. Negley has established a valuable nursery in Pittsburg, Pa., where he prides himself justly on having all that is new and valuable; he names to us a number of the finest roses for sale, which are but rarely to be yet found in our eastern collections. Pittsburg is an admirable point for distribution to the West and South, and we should have no doubt that our friends in Natchez, for instance, would find it to their advantage to procure novelties from thence.
Barnes & Washburn, Harrison Square, Dorchester, Mass., put up their collections of flower-seeds in a most attractive way. Boxes with elegant covers, printed in gold, contain respectively 22 varieties of the best kinds for one dollar, and 44 kinds for one dollar and seventy-five cents; 10 varieties for fifty cents, and extra varieties as enumerated in their advertisement, which it will be well to consult.
John Perkins, of Moorestown, New Jersey, a few miles from Philadelphia, has a fine collection of large, well-grown evergreens, larger than are usually found in nurseries, which some who desire immediate effect may thank us for noticing.
Dexter Snow, of Chicopee, Mass., has issued his annual catalogue of new and old Verbenas, which we commend to all.
Albert Tellandier, intense carmine; Fire Brigade, crimson scarlet, withstands drought, and will thrive in a poor soil; Azurea superba, cobalt blue; Junius, deep orange, a very curious variety, quite good and capable of important services; La Grande Boule de Neige, the best white; Lord Clifden, scarlet; King of Bedders, crimson red, fragrant; Lord Raglan, carmine.
It may not be generally known to flower growers that this charming flower can be grown so as to produce .flowers from seed the first year, but such is the case. Procure of a reliable seedsman seed saved from the choicest flowers, and sow them any time during March, either in a well prepared hot-bed, or in a box of rich, fine soil, to be kept in the house nights, and cold days; water with warm water as often as dry, and transplant into the garden early in' June. If the plants should grow rapidly, they should be transplanted, at least once in the hot-bed or boxes, so as to make them grow stronger, and keep the roots more compact. Plants properly grown in this way will produce larger, and healthier flowers than those propagated in the greenhouse, from cuttings, although they will not be of any particular variety. - Am. Rural Home.
It is now time to propagate the principal collections of plants for the flower garden. Verbena cuttings should be rooted early in the month to have good strong plants ready to plant out by the second or third week in April; it is a mistake to keep Verbenas in pots until May, even in this district. We have as fine a display of Verbenas as anyone and the plants are planted in the open ground in April; although the tops make little progress at first, the plants are rooting and get well established before the hot weather commences, and then grow much stronger and better than later planted ones, which often dry up before the new roots take hold of the ground.
Zonule Geraniums are best propagated in the Autumn, and grown through the winter in boxes or pots, according to the space to spare; if in boxes these should be now potted singly in three inch pots and receive a little heat until established, after which the less heat they receive, except just to exclude frost, the stronger and healthier are the plants; any varieties of which the stock is short should receive extra heat and the cuttings rooted as soon as possible if good plants are expected for planting, but it is best to select those varieties which are known to flower well in our tropical summer, and only try a limited number of the novelties to prove their value, for some varieties which are fine at one place may be very unsatisfactory at a neighbor's, and comparatively few of the standard bedding varieties grown in Europe are useful here, and, unfortunately, many of the best are no use at all; several of the double varieties stand the climate and flower beautifully, but with us none of the Tom Thumb strain has been of any use whatever.
Keep Verbenas as cool as possible, with abundance of air, be careful the plants never suffer from want of water it is often necessary to water them more than once a day at this season; neglect in this matter we believe is often the cause of rust, about which many growers complain. We give our verbenas a moderate fumigating with tobacco once each week as a preventive to green fly; if this has been neglected and the fly has established itself, give the house a fumigating three nights in succession, to insure the death of every one, for if a few escape the plants will be smothered in a few days after planting out, and be so much checked that a satisfactory growth cannot be expected. There is no advantage in having very large plants of verbenas for bedding oat if they are stiff and well rooted. We prefer a plant of about four inches in height, from which the point has been pinched a week or two previous to planting out. As regards varieties, they are so numerous that it is impossible to describe them; we usually add a number of the so-called new varieties to our collection, annually, for trial, but usually find by the end of the season very few standard improvements to add to our list.
The main points required in bedding verbenas are, clear and decided color, large, full truss of bloom, free bloomers and growers, and good habit of growth. Many excellent varieties for cutting for show flowers are not at all suitable for flower garden decoration.
Although our plants have grown and flowered well, the weather has been too dry for a very vigorous growth; many plants we have seen which were planted late, at the end of July, were little larger than when planted out. It is now time to cut down the stock plants and stir the soil round the roots; if very dry, give a good soaking of water and then top dress with good soil and rotten manure; this will induce fresh roots and a good crop of clean, healthy young shoots, which make the best cuttings when about one inch in length, and can be pinched off with the finger and thumb and put in without further ceremony. A cool, shady, well ventilated house or frame is the best place for these cuttings, to be kept thoroughly moist and shaded from bright sunshine. They will be rooted in about a week, and can then be potted in small pots or packed into shallow boxes, to be kept as cool as possible through the winter, and will give abundance of cuttings in the spring.