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 unprecedented drouth of the past summer has not altogether destroyed vegetation. The Brooklyn horticulturists, and their enterprising friends of more distant localities, have proved that by skill and perseverance the unavoidable disadvantage of temporary drouths, continuous rains, or prolonged frosts, may, at least to a certain extent, be counteracted, and that judgment and industry may contend successfully against the supposed evils of storms which too often occur just at the time when they are least welcome. The complaint of a deficiency of vegetable productions is general: poor Apples, few Pears, and fewer Plums, is the report we daily hear. But if the quantity be limited, there are some decidedly respectable specimens. If, then, skillful horticulturists can show how they have defeated (if we may so speak) the season and its evils, why should not farmers, and all interested in earth 's productions, aid in extending that skill and judgment We have seen on the tables of the Society's room, as fine fruit as need be wished for; and if the Society does not teach all cultivators to grow it equally fine, it is because they do not go to learn how.
We do not here hope to be able to inform our readers of the details of the exhibition. We can only devote space to a brief notice of the more attractive items. As fruit and culinary vegetables then, are supposed to be the most useful and most substantial part of the display, we shall first devote a few lines to that portion.
The collection of native and foreign Grapes was unusually fine. But this is not sufficient to convey am idea of its merit; it was better than the most experienced observer of the season and its peculiarities could have hoped for. Splendid bunches of well-colored Hamburgh Grapes were presented, which the most successful cultivators admitted were worthy of comment. With vine mildew, blight, thrip, scale, red spider, and the myriad of less formidable obstacles to success, the gardeners of our vicinity have proved that all may be overcome. Mr. Langley's gardener, of Fort Hamilton, has acquitted himself creditably. The report annexed shows that he obtained the premium for the best general display. His collection consisted of eight varieties, including Black Hamburgh, Grizzly Frontignac, Austrian Muscat, Royal Muscadine, St. Peters, Chasselas, Black Muscat, Muscat of Alexandria. He also obtained the premium for the best six varieties, viz., Muscat of Alexandria, Black Hamburg, St Peters, Chasselas, Austrian Muscat, and White Lisbon. We were informed, on inquiring of him, that he had not experienced, during the past season, any of the pests above enumerated. It must have been observed by the most careless cultivator, that the season just passed was remarkable for the absence of mildew.
In cases where it was observed, inquiry would disclose some want of care or judgment on the part of the gardener. Yet we are told that much sulphur has been used in some cases; perhaps more for prevention than cure. So much for the Grapes, which we must notice more fully next month. We must insist upon all committees adhering to the practice of giving the preference to well-colored bunches over large red ones. The experienced cultivator demands it at their hands. Such was the rule on this occasion. There were a few very choice bunehes displayed, which we feel much disposed to notice - a large and well-set bunch of White Muscat of Alexandria, one of Purple Damascus, and one of White Syrian. There were no bunches of Gannon Hall on the table. The Black Hamburghs were unusually fine. The contributors in this section were Geo. Hamlyn, gardener to W. C. Langley, Esq., Fort Hamilton, L. L; Mr. D. Hunter, gardener to Mr. Rennis, Lodi, N. J.; and Mr. Morrison, gardener to R. M. Blacwell, Esq., Astoria, L. L Several choice bunches of native Grapes were contributed by Martin Collopy, gardener to J. H. Prentice, Esq., Brooklyn Heights. There were also on exhibition bunches of the Graham Grape, from the original vine, presented by R. R. Scott from Wm. Graham, gardener to the Guardians of the Poor, Blockley, Philadelphia, the originator of this acquisition to our list of select hardy Grapes. We must reserve our description of it till another opportunity offers.
The Concord, Charter Oak, and Fox Grapes were also represented. The two latter were easily detected, but not easily distinguished.
The display of Pears and Apples added considerably to the importance and attraction of the exhibition. The great bulk of these were from Boston, and had been before the American Porno-logical Society. The contributors were Wm. E. French, Esq., per A. J. S. Degrauw; B. V. French, Esq.; Messrs. Burr, Hingham; N. Stetson, Esq., Bridgewater, Mass.: Messrs. Hovey &c specimens of very highly-adored Washington Pears, in the collection of the last-named firm, were very much admired. The Howell Pear of their collection was also noticed as looking like a choice fruit We carefully compared many of the specimens, and must say that very few errors, if any, could be detected in the naming of the sorts. We should like either to see the most commonly adopted synonyms on the cards, or else one uniform name in the several collections; for instance, the Vicar of Winkfield in one collection is named Le Cure and Monsieur le Cure, which puts the novice or amateur a little out of his reckoning, for he can not detect any great difference between Monsieur le Cure, Le Cure, and the Vicar of Winkfield. The same remark will apply to several other varieties. The specimens of Beurre Diel were very large, and much admired.
Eyewood we noticed as a peculiarly-formed Pear. There was much difference in the specimens from the several localities; so much so in some cases as to be difficult of identification. Such is always the case in an extensive assortment The specimens of Seckel were few and small The Apples had a splendid appearance. Several very choice specimens were on exhibition from Mr. French, Braintree Medlars and Lemons were in small assortment Some respectable specimens of Peaches were exhibited by Mr. Langley's and Mr. Prentice's gardeners.
N. Stetson's fruit was very select, and of good quality. A table of very well grown vegetables, also several large and fine Watermelons, from Mr. Morgan's gardener, Chas. Ingram, added to the useful department.
We fear to commence a notice of the ornamental Where can we begin, or end, in the use of descriptjves We shall not commend; we can only enumerate, or at meet particularize the new and rare objects, leaving the list of awards to give the owners due credit First, as to baskets and boquets, we shall be brief, We see little beauty at best in such masses of flowers, some like a broom-head or hair-mop, others so artistically arranged as to give us the idea that the sculptor had carved out the design, or the wax-molder molded the same. Every one to his taste. There were two baskets of indigenous flowers; one of them presented by Meehan & Sanders, per R. R.
Scott, of Philadelphia, and the other from H. Tanner, gardener to Mr. Kent, Brooklyn. The Victoria Lily and Nelumbium speciosum leaves, flower, and seed-pod, were still attractive. The latter plant was never before exhibited here. It blooms luxuriantly in Mr. Cope's out-door aquarium, from which it was cut by Mr. Cope, and forwarded in good condition. The leaves of the great Lily were in a good state of preservation. Mr. Cope displayed his usual liberality on this occasion. Jas. Dundas, Esq., of Philadelphia, kindly contributed a collection of exotic Ferns, which were rare and valuable. Louis Menand's plants were now, as on former occasions, justly admired. Although brought from a distance, they had no appearance of haying had a "hard road to travel." Several choice Epiphytes, Cape Heaths, and Ferns, were among them. His standard Heliotrope called forth general admiration. J. E. Ranch's select collection of hot-house and green-house plants, and many rare and beautiful variegated exotics, were objects of admiration to all visitors who had taste to appreciate his selection.
A table of large and well-cultivated specimens were deposited by Martin Collopy, gardener to J. H. Prentiee, among which were Pitcairnia punicea, Dictyanthus pavonica, a splendid plant of the Green Tea, and many others equally interesting. His Cissus discolor, though- trained to a long, stiff stake, in an upright position, was nevertheless admired for its foliage; otherwise treated, it would have had a great effect A plant of Catasetum globbiflorum was deposited from Mrs\. Holbrook's collection, D. Soott, gardener. It was a very neat plant of the Orchid tribe. This is but a brief notice, with many important omissions.
A miniature garden, beautifully laid out with gravel walks, lawns of velvety moss, beds and clamps of plants and shrubbery; also an arbor and cottage, with all appendages to complete a villa residence, was deposited by H. A. Graeff, of Brooklyn, and formed a prominent feature in the very creditable fall exhibition.