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 Fuchsia is fairly in the field as one of the fashionable and favorite flowers of the day. Hybridization and botanical discoveries are increasing its attractions with amazing rapidity. There is probably not another of the popular genera that has been so much improved within a space of say ten years. Its real progress may be dated from the introduction of the fulgens in 1837 or '38. The species and varieties that were in collections previous to it, were comparatively uninteresting. The distinct character, large foliage, and long elegant showy flowers, of that species, created a sort of furor among cultivalors, and was the means of directing such attention to fuchsia culture and improvement, as has brought about, in so short a period of time, its present state of perfection. Hundreds of species and varieties are now in existence, and indeed hundreds of new ones are annually produced. They now occupy a place among the most brilliant objects of floral fetes, and they have become specialities among foreign growers, like the Rose and the Dahlia.
Amongst those of more recent introduction, Serratifolia is worthy of special attention, as possessing not only beauty but distinctness in its appearance and character. It is a species or sub-species introduced from Peru, by Messrs. VietCh of Exeter, England, through their successful collector, Mr. Lobb.
Its habit is stiff and bushy, leaves of a peculiar dark green with red petioles. They are verticillate, in fours, and the flowers are produced from their axils, one from each leaf. The flowers are one and a half to two inches long, the calyx or tube of a fine bright rose, the points of the sepals or division being green; the corolla is scarlet, with a shade of orange. Altogether, when in bloom, it is a beautiful plant. We propagated it last spring for the first, and had a nice stock of young plants, but were disappointed in its not blooming with the hybrid varieties during the summer. The plants were allowed to remain on the stage in the greenhouse all summer, without any shifting or care beyond a supply of water. In the autumn, when the plants were housed, the Serratifolia was placed among the others in a cold corner, and much to our surprise, they soon began to show blossoms. They were then brought forward, and continued to bloom finely through the whole of November and December, although not over 10 or 12 inches high, late spring cuttings.
Thus you see its season of beauty just opens when most of the others are to be laid on the shelf to rest; and this trait, I consider, entitles it to particular attention, for a beautiful plant like this, blooming in the dreary winter months, is a real acquisition. This late blooming suggests the necessity of a different mode of treatment from the summer flowering sorts. We would in future either turn out the young plants into the border about the first of June, and repot them in September, or are would plunge the pots during summer in an open border, and manage them something like Chrysanthemums. In either of these ways we will get good strong plants and bushy, (if kept topped) that will give a superb bloom in November and December. An English gardener in a late number of the Chronicle, states that he has been very sue-cessful with a treatment similar to this. His cuttings were struck early in February, and after being potted off, they were repeatedly shifted into a mixture of equal parts of loam, peat and leaf-mould with a little silver sand, until about the middle of May, keeping them well topped.
By this time they were nice plants.
As soon as the weather permitted, I then turned them into the open borders where the soil was not over rich, choosing as dry a place as possible, and no farther notice was taken of them, till the end of September, when they be-gan to show flower buds.
He then prepared the same soil for them as before, and carefully lifted them into suitable pots, according to their size, keeping them in a close pit for a lew days, and syringing them every evening, till they had recovered from the check, giving air by degrees until they could be fully exposed. He then placed them in a shaded situation until they were housed with the other green-house plants. Two year old plants he cuts back when done flowering, reduces the hall when they commence growing, and shifts them, like young plants. Under this treatment they bloom from November till February. The same treatment exactly will answer here, but the plants will probably bloom sooner and last not quite so long.
Among the hybrid varieties I have noted, Pearl of England. Fair Rosamond. Manty-cent, Eliza Mielliez) President (Youell) and. President Porcher, (Mielliex) are first rate, and Serratifolia multiflora, Serratifolia alba and Spectabilis will take the same rank. P. B, Rochester, N. Y., Jan. 16, 1861, Mass. Central Board of Agriculture. This Association met at the green-room in the state house, at 10 1/2 yesterday morning. The Board was called to order by Hon. Marshall P. Wilder, the President, and Simon Brown. editor of the New-England Farmer, was appointed Secretary pro tern. The attendance was quite large, and much interest was manifested by the delegates in the objects of the board.
Reports were submitted as follows: From Mr. Wilder, delegate to the Hampshire Society ; Hon. Allen W. Dodc.e. delegate to the Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin; Hon. John W. Proctor, delegate to Worcester Society, and also to the Bristol Society; Mr. Witaker, delegate to the Plymouth Society; Hon. B. V. French, delegate to the Bershire Society; Hon. Dr. Gardner, delegate to the Franklin Society; Col. Page, delegate to the Essex Society, and Ex-Gov. Everett, who at tended the Middlesex Exhibition. Other reports will be submitted at a future time.
Lieut. Gov. Coshman, from a committee appointed for the purpose, reported a constitution and series of by-laws for the government of the Board. The constitution styles the Board the " Massachusetts Board of Agriculture." It continues the organisation of the Board as before, with the addition of an Executive Committee of five. The report was accepted and the constitution adopted.
Rev. Mr. Sewell, from the Committee on Manufactures, submitted the report of that com aaittee. Mr, Wilder, from the Committee on Agricultural Education, submitted a series of resolutions, taking high grounds upon that sub* Jeet, Mr, Dodge, cm Milch Cows and Dairy Products, Mr. Gonnam, on Stock. AFTERNOON SESSION.
Professor Fowler, of Amherst, submitted the following resolution;
Resolved, That the President of the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture be requested to enter into a correspondence with the Presidents of the several state societies, and of other agricultural associations, on the subject of the expediency of calling a national convention for the purpose of taking into consideration the Interests of agriculture in the United States.
It was discussed and unanimously adopted.
Mr. Wilder then nominated for the Executive Committee of the Board, the following named gentleman: lion. Edwaed Everett, JohN W. Proctor, J. If. \V. Page, B. V. FrehcH, Professor Fowl**. They were unanimously elected.
The second reading of Mr. Wilder's report on Agricultural Education was called for, and given. The following resolution was then offered by Lieut, Gov. Cushman:
Resolved, That the report of the Committee on Agricultural Education be referred to the Executive Committee of this Board, with instructions to present the same to the Legislature in behalf of this Board, and urge the passage of such laws as may be necessary to carry out the principles and views contained In said report.
[The report asks for the establishment of a State Department of Agriculture, with officers commensurate with the importance of the duty to be performed; suggests the propriety and expediency of reserving a portion of the proceeds of the sales of public lands, and devoting such sum to the promotion of Ag. Science; and in short claims for Agriculture the same fostering cane which is bestowed upon other interests.)
After a lengthy discussion upon the general subject of Agricultural Education, and the best mode of securing it. the resolution was adopted unanimously.