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.
Passing through Baltimore a few days since, we made a hasty visit to the country-seat of Dr. Ed-mundson, a mile from the city, to see Camellias growing and blooming in the open air, (see Horticultural vol. iii. p. 417.) The sight was one well worth seeing. In the rear of Dr. E.'s house are fine groups of oak trees, standing in the lawn. Under the partial shelter of these trees, we saw three large clumps or beds of Camellias, containing, perhaps, a couple of hundred plants. They were growing in a dry, light, gravelly loam, where they have now flourished for some five or six years, and have grown to various heights, from 2 to 6 feet. They receive no protection whatever, in winter, except a covering of three or four inches of the oak leaves thrown over the surface of the soil in autumn, to keep the severe frosts from the roots. The plants were in fine condition, and when we saw them, (April 17,) they were nearly in full bloom - at the same time with the fruit trees in the surrounding orchards, and apparently almost as hardy.
This will very much surprise those who look upon the Camellia as a tender green-house plant - but not those who are familliar with the fact, that in that part of China where the Camellia grows naturally, the rivers are occasion-sionally frozen.
Dr. Edmundson found that the finer double sorts taken from the green-house, were not sufficiently hardy to stand without protection - partly, no doubt, from their having been rendered more tender than they were naturally, by the constant high temperature of the greenhouse. He then took seedling plants, and planted them, when only a foot high, in the open borders, as we have described. These proved perfectly hardy - and have been exposed once to a temperature of zero, or 32° below the freezing point.
In Carolina, nearly all the double Camellias are hardy enough to be treated as garden shrubs. But the success of Dr. Edmundson proves to our minds, that the Camellia might be acclimated as far north as New York - not by means of sheltering green-house sorts, but by raising seedlings. His plants produce seeds in abundance, we understand, and no doubt seedlings raised from them would give us plants perfectly naturalised to many parts of the northern states. - California Seeds.- Every botanical reader is aware of the riches of the Flora of our new territory on the Pacific, and a project was started a year ago, to form a subscription to send out a collector to procure rare plants and seeds in California and Oregon. - which, however, was never carried out. "We notice, however, that Messrs. Thorburn & Co., offer for sale (at their warehouse, 16 John-street, N. Y.) a collection of seeds of 47 different species of the most attractive and showy trees, shrubs, and flowering plants of California, carefully labeled, and put up in tin boxes. These seeds, we arc informed, have just been received from California, where a collector of experience has devoted a season to the exploration of the country, and their collection and preservation.
Among them we notice the "Nut Pine," (Pinus mo-nophyllus,) a new evergreen oak, several species of Spirae, Philadelphus, etc., not hitherto known or described. Amateurs will do well to make a sowing, in the hope of adding something new to their grounds.