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.
How beautiful are retired flowers How would they lose their beauty were they to throng into (he highway, crying out, "Admire me, 1 am a violet! " "Dote upon me, I am a primrose! " - Keats.
In your August number, page 386, there are notes on the following subjects, to which I will respond.
It is not true, that this tree is growing and producing fruit in Virginia. It is so tender that it would not survive there during even the mildest month of one of their mildest winters. Some other tree must have been thus misnamed, and described.
The flowers do greatly assimilate to the rosea. The foliage is, however, larger and handsomer, and the growth much more vigorous than that species. Weigelia Splendent has pale, yellow flowers, produced in long racemes.
In most of this retrospect you are correct; but perhaps in saying that the crop of grapes has been good, you have partially erred. True, they have ripened up well, and so has the wood, but the crop has been light, comparatively.
Within the last ten years there has been a revival of the interest in orange culture. The scale insect seemed to have ceased its ravages. The groves planted since 1858 have, where any tolerable degree of attention in the way of cultivation has been given them, flourished finely. In fact, some of them are now bearing heavily under almost total neglect.
It is not true, as some have asserted, that the scale insect has disappeared. It is still present in many if not in all groves, but it seems no longer to be capable of its former destructiveness. At any rate, trees planted in suitable soil and properly cultivated do not now suffer in any appreciable degree from its presence, and some of the old groves formerly ravaged by it and rendered unproductive, are now again in bearing.
Leaves very large, purplish green, with a changeable metallic lustre, with a broad silvery zone, around the leaf midway from the center; underside purple.
This fine Rhododendron was bloomed, for the first time in this country, at Nutgrove, near Rainhill, in March, of the present year. It was discovered and introduced to England by Mr. Booth, who met with it on the northern slopes of the Lablung Pass, in Bhotan, where, he found it growing in company with H. Hookeri, like which species it promises to be hardy in our climate. The blossoms, which are of a fine crimson-red color, and measure more than two inches across, are borne in close heads; the leaves are of a dark green above, pale beneath, and measure from four to five inches in length. This fine addition to the Indian Rhododendrons has been named in honor of the late learned botanist, Sir James Edward Smith. (Bot. Mag. 5120).
This and R. punctatum, R. ponti-cum, and R. Catawbiense, are under cultivation. Several magnificent specimens could be referred to. Imported hybrids also stand, under the shade of trees. The great secret in growing these plants, is to keep the roots near the surface, by top-dressings of leaf-mold, or similar vegetable matter, and plant on trenched soil, that they may have abundance of moisture without being actually wet.