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 Brooklyn Society held its Second Conversational Meeting and Exhibition at the Atheneeum on Tuesday evening, July 16th, and we are glad to learn that it surpassed the first in point of interest and attendance. The evening was rainy, and prevented some from showing their plants, but there was nevertheless quite a number of very fine plants on the tables. We are indebted to the Corresponding Secretary, Mr. Miller, for an account of what was said and done.
Mr. Hamlyn, gardener to W. C. Langley, Esq., exhibited beautiful specimens of the Stanwick and Boston Nectarine, taken from plants four years old, grown in tubs. We have since seen these trees and others, and must say that they reflect great credit on Mr. Hamlyn's skill and good management. Mr. Humphreys exhibited a remarkably fine Screw Pine, a Sago Palm, Fuchsias, Begonias, Dracaenas, Caladiums, Marantas, Double Hollyhocks, Verbenas, Bouquets, etc. Mr. Brophy exhibited Seedling Pansies and hot-house Grapes. Mr. Burgess exhibited his new Dwarf Digitalis, or Fox Glove, and another seedling, with the flowers disposed around the stalk. He had also a plant of Daphne cneorum, one of the finest hardy evergreen border plants we have; the bloom is nearly constant and very fragrant.
President Degrauw called the meeting to order, and introduced Mr. Pardee of New York, who, in his usual felicitous manner, made some interesting remarks on the advantages of such meetings, and urged the members to make them a mutual benefit to the gardeners and the amateurs, by asking questions on subjects in regard to which they wished for information. He urged the Society to prepare a list of subjects, to ask questions on which would suggest to many the want of information on such subjects.
Mr. Brophy asked for the best method of striking roses from cuttings, saying that formerly his gardener was very successful, but latterly had not been. He wanted the information, and it might be useful to others.
Mr. Fuller, in reply, explained the method of Messrs. Dailledouse and Zeller, among the most successful rose-growers in the country, for hardy, outdoor roses. They take the cuttings in the fall, and put them in ordinary good soil, in a bed where they can be covered by a sash, and leave them till spring, when most of them will be rooted, and ready to plant out as soon as the ground is suitable. For pot roses in green-houses they take the cuttings in the spring, and strike them in sand in the green-house; they grow very easily. He said that if plants, and particularly all hardy plants, be taken up in the fell and potted, and kept in the green-house till spring, the cuttings from them will root much quicker than from open air plants. The tree paeony can be grown readily fram cuttings in this way, and so with many other plants which are hard to propagate.
Mr. Fuller then remarked that he had a word to say to the gardeners, and that was, if they knew of a better way of growing a certain plant or flower, it was their duty to let the public know how to do it What would the gardeners of the present day know of gardening, had past generetions kept all they knew to themselves? There is no one who can not learn and impart information, and this is the place to do it. If one gardener knows how to grow Dahlias, or Roses, or Pinks better than any body else, let him tell his plan; and then he might, in return, get a suggestion which would still further improve his method.
Mr. Pardee urged the gardeners to look at it in that light, for they might tell a hundred persons just how they prepared the soil, and how they treated a plant, but not two out of the hundred would follow the directions exactly. They would vary a little, and so not come up to the standard of the gardener.
Mr. Brophy made some interesting remarks on the history and cultivation of the Pansy. He also gave an excellent account of his houses, and the difficulties of growing grapes under glass, and told how to obviate them.
Mr. Burgess, East New York, gave an account of his new Dwarf Digitalis, raised from seed; also another new variety, which is very fine, and has the flowers all around the stalk instead of on one side.
Mr. Hamlyn explained his method of growing Nectarines under glass, in which he has been very successful. He also gave an account of his mode of forcing grapes in pots. He grows all his grapes for forcing in large pots, and in fifteen months from the cutting, he has them in full bearing; and as soon as they are over, throws them away, and starts new ones in the same pots. By keeping up a succession he always has plenty, and in much less time than by the ordinary way.
Mr. Pardee said this surpassed any thing he had known of grape culture. He related how Dr. Grant, of Iona, planted a vine, and the astonishing growth it had made. He dug a hole two feet square, and eighteen inches deep; then put in about three inches of pure surface soil, spread the roots all carefully out as they were grown, and then put on three inches more of this surface soil; on that about three inches of real good stable manure, and then three inches of ordinary garden soil. This left it about three inches below the ordinary level to collect the rains and nourish it. It has now grown over six feet since the first of June, and has two fine bunches of fruit. Such is the result of knowing how to do it; and it is just this kind of information that all want, and by attending these meetings of the Society all are encouraged to persevere.
Mr. Brophy proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Pardee for his excellent suggestions and attendance at the meetings, which was unanimously passed. After which they adjourned to meet again on the first Tuesday in August at the same place.
We are really much pleased to see these Conversational Meetings fairly inaugurated. If faithfully persevered in, they will diffuse a great deal of valuable information, and give the Society a character for usefulness as well as show. They are now doing what we urged them to do some five years ago; and we can not help thinking that they have, in some sense, squandered five years of valuable time. Let them now concentrate their energies, and make up for it.