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. P. Cumings, Esq., hat just shown us some grape-vine leaves, Terr much injured by an insect which we do not remember to have seen before. At first we supposed it to be an immature thrip, but a closer scrutiny disclosed a wingless insect of a very different character. We have kept them for further study.
The Rev. J. G. Wood, that excellent naturalist and charming writer, has a trough fitted up for his children full of tame toads, each of which answers to his own particular name, and comes when called. The children carry them round the garden and hold them up to any insect they may chance to fancy, to enable them to swallow it, which they do by a lightning flash of their glutinous tongues. Even more, their tender care for these unlovely pets is so great that they bathe and kiss them daily, just as they themselves are treated by the nurse.
Upon one occasion, one of the children, who had received an orange, was seen with her own special toad seated on her hand partaking with his mistress of the orange, in alternate sucks and bites. From the experience so gained, Mr. Wood declares the toad to be more quickly and easily tamed than most other animals. So that its disposition seems to be as devoid of venom as its physique.
This, the prettiest of all the new varieties of this popular border flower, we saw in England last year, has been propagated and sold extensively by Thor-burn, of New-York, this season. The flowers are light rose, striped with rich purplish crimson, in the same style as Hebe, but much clearer and richer in the coloring. The form is good - not rag-like and coarse, like some of the new sorts lately sent out.
Petunias and Verbenas are the most valuable plants in American flower gardens, since they defy the sun - or rather luxuriate and bloom all the more freely in it. Among the best new verbanas of the season are Heroine - a handsome lilac blue - the tresses large and abundantly produced - and St. Marguerite, (a French variety received last year,) with shaded crimson flowers produced in abundance. A dozen new sorts promise well, but we need farther experience of their merits, to speak; decidedly of them.
These are beautiful small-foliaged evergreens, perfectly hardy. Specimens here are small, but stand without any protection.
The past winter of such extraordinary severity, has led to a good deal of speculation as to the precise action of severe frost upon vegetation. As but little has been written upon this subject, in this country, we have thought it might interest our more inquiring readers to know the views of the principal European physiologists. Prof. Likdley gave, some time ago, an excellent abstract of their views, accompanied by some conclusions of his own, in the following article, which will repay perusal. En.
An extremely beautiful Belgian variety of the hardy herbaceous section of the family, remarkable for having its abundant flowers of a light rose purple, with a broad distinct margin of white down each side of the segments of the limb.