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.
Your compost, "one-third of each, swamp muck, barnyard manure, and loam, with soap suds thrown on it from the weekly wash, and let lay for six months," is excellent. Some lime would improve it; and it would be well, unless your land be in good condition, to double the proportion of stable manure. Your mode of applying it is very good.
For finer exotic varieties use a mixture of equal parts of sandy peat, leaf mold, silky loam, and cocoa-nut fiber, with a little silver sand. For large-growing kinds as well as British varieties, a mixture of half fibrous loam, and the other half peat, leaf mold, cocoa-nut fiber, sand, and burnt clay. - Ibid., p. 156.
In cleaning off the garden and flower borders, there is more or less of leaves, litter, etc., that must be disposed of in some way. Take it and make the basis for a compost heap for the winter; empty all the coal and wood ashes of the house over it, as they accumulate from time to time; save all the bones and refuse of the kitchen, and all the greasy dishwater, and the chamber-lye, and add them daily to the heap. Gather, if you can, from the blacksmith-shop or elsewhere, iron-filings or scales from the hammering of heated or rusty iron, the parings of horse-hoofs, and, with a little of sharp, sandy soil, add them to the heap. This, well mixed, in the spring, will form one of the cheapest fertilizers for all kinds of flowers in the open border.
Botanical travellers tell us, that in the western States there is a plant the leaves of which always present their several opposite edges north and south to such a constant degree, that the Indians can travel by it with certainty. This has been received as a "travellers tale." In the writer's garden, about a dozen seedlings are growing strongly; every leaf on them exhibits the propenisity noticed. As the leaves of the Gum trees (Eucalyptus) and some other trees of Australia, " choose" to grow vertically, there is no reason why one of our own plants (Silphium Sp.) should not enjoy some other vagary. P.
Prepared by Dr. F. B. Hough, of Albany, Superintendent of the New York State Census. - This is a well printed and ruled blank volume of 150 quarto pages, with an explanatory introduction and a series of carefully prepared headings, I arranged for entering every date and event pertaining to the farm, each at the result of each particular crop, and of each field, and every item useful for record and reference concerning domestic animals, etc. The book is ruled and arranged for entering the results of twenty-five years, from 1860 to 1884 inclusive. The need of such a book has long been felt; it will be of great service to the farmer, enabling him, almost at a glance,'to ascertain the profit and loss of each and every operation of the farm. C. M. Saxton, Barker, & Co., No. 25 Park Bow, New York. Price, in good substantial binding, $3; extra Russia, $5.