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.
We trust the members and friends of this Society will bear in mind that there is to be a spring exhibition at the Academy of Music, and prepare for it accordingly.
The Society met at the Athenaeum, February 25th, President Degrauw in the chair.
Mr. Mead said the object referred to was not a plant in the common acceptation of that term. What has been called the Vinegar Plant by the newspapers is better known as the "mother of vinegar." Its nature and action were explained.
The Tree Carnation should be cultivated like the common Carnation in pots. They may be said to bloom throughout the year. Should not be cramped for room. With an average temperature of about 60° they will do well, but more heat will be necessary if early winter blooms are wanted.
Mr. Zeller. - Keep them in a good soil, as much as possible from moist earth. They should not be kept too warm or too damp. From 5° to 10° above freezing will do. If plenty of flowers are wanted, they should be kept warmer.
Mr. Fuller asked if an annual supply of plants was not better; to which Mr.' Zeller responded, Yes.
Mr. Mead asked if he made his plants from cuttings or layers.
Mr. Zeller replied, From cuttings.
Mr. Mead. - At what time do you put them down?
Mr. Zeller. - From February to May.
Mr. Mead. - Have you tried them in the fell?
Mr. Zeller. - Yes, sir, very often.
Mr. Mead. - With what success?
Mr. Zeller. - Very bad.
Mr. Mead. - My experience has been somewhat different, for I have been most successful with cuttings put in in the fall. How do you account for your want of success in the fall?
Mr. Zeller. - The plants at that time are more woody, and very hard to strike. The young shoots do better in the month of May.
Mr. Mead. - How do you treat your cuttings?
Mr. Zeller. - Put them out of doors, and treat them as other cuttings.
Mr. Mead. - At what time do you make your layers?
Mr. Zeller. - From June to July.
Mr. McGahry. - Has not the soil something to do with the Carnation? Will Mr. Mead explain?
Mr. Mead. - The soil has much to do with the successful growth of the plant. A good fresh virgin soil, or the top spit from an old pasture lot, is best for the Carnation. There is no soil that can be made artificially that is so good. A little charcoal or sand, and some old manure, may be added. Carnations grown in such soil, if well cared for, can not fail to do well.
Mr. McGahry. - Are fertilizers useful?
3. Is the Antarctic Forget-me-not, (Myosotidum nobile,) grown here as a house plant?
Mr. Mead. - It is, and can be purchased of our florists.
Mr. Mead. - All trees that are properly pruned, may be called trained trees. The question probably refers to espaliers, and it may be doubted whether these in our climate, yield more or better fruit than well-grown standards. In some countries, where protection is needed, or there is a deficiency of sun, espaliers, no doubt, produce the best fruit; but there is no necessity for growing fruit on walls here.
5. Do budded trees produce their fruit sooner than grafted ones?
6. Are seedling fruit trees less liable to disease and decay than budded or grafted ones?
Mr. Mead. - As a general thing, yes; but a good deal depends upon circumstances. A healthy graft worked on a healthy seedling stock will make a healthy tree, if placed in proper conditions. Have no faith in fruit trees running out any more than in the human race running out. Both are subject to similar physical laws, an observance of which is necessary to their well being. The individuals of both alike become a prey to disease and death, but the race is continued.
7. Is the Casuarina Indica (an Australian Bamboo) grown here 1 Mr. Mead. - The plant is grown here, but is not easy to be had.
8. What is known here of the "Gossypium arboreum," or Perennial Tree Cotton described by Mr. Kendall?
Mr. Mead. - Very little is known of it here. We have to depend upon Mr. Kendall for most of what we know. Parties in Pennsylvania, and it may be elsewhere, are experimenting with it, but the time has been too short to have produced any reliable results. It is probable it will grow in some parts of the country.
9. Is the new English Strawberry, "Frogmore Late Pine," yet introduced here? It is said to possess unrivaled qualities.
Mr. Mead. - This is not the only Strawberry which is said to possess unrivaled qualities. Do not remember at the moment of having seen it in our catalogues. The greater portion of these foreign strawberries, though possessing great excellence in Europe, deteriorate when changed to our climate, and are unfitted for field culture. The Triomphe de Gand is one of the very few exceptions. This is an immediate cross with one of our native varieties, which will account for its success in a measure. This, Mr. Chairman, (taking up a wooden box on the table,) looks exceedingly like a flower-pot, but it is really a fruit box, for strawberries and other small fruits, and is one of the prettiest and neatest things of the kind I have seen. They are very cheap, too, the price being only two dollars a gross. It looks as if it might make a good flower pot for some things, and I purpose trying it. It seems, however, liable to one casualty, whether used as a flower pot or a fruit box: I think the bottom will be apt to fall out This case, sent here by Mr. Eberhard, has some of the merits of the Waltonian case as respects bottom heat; but it can be described on some future evening, the time having arrived for our regular subject, "Spring Pruning." Mr. Puller is always ready with a sharp knife to cut any body or any thing; perhaps he will tell us something about spring pruning.
Mr. Puller. - There has been a call from strawberry growers for a basket to sell with the fruit This is a good one. Few English strawberries have succeeded here. Triomphe de Gand is a Belgian variety. All foreign varieties are from American varieties. These were sent wild from Virginia, and have been reproduced there. The Belgian varieties stand our climate much better.
Mr. Fuller was asked, "How do you prune a grape so as to have it grow a hundred years without increasing in size?"
Mr. Fuller. - I know where the question comes from, and the spirit in which it | comes. The trunk will increase in size, but the vine will not require more room.
[Mr. Fuller then read an essay on Pruning. We have no copy of it. - Ed].
Mr. Fuller. - It is well known that vines in Europe 18 inches high are 50 years old. They are cut down to one eye. The vines are not trained, but the branches hang over the head.