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 are following the fashion and collecting for experiment a rich list of the newer grape vines. Mr. J. Fisk Allen, of Salem, Mass., has obliged us by forwarding Allen's Hybrid, of which he says: "It is a fine, early white grape, equal to its male or pollen plant, the Chasselas of the French, and as they esteem this before all others in Paris, it is saying much in its praise. It is as early as any grape of any value, and has stood out this winter uninjured. No. 5 is a black hybrid; No. 8, a black or purple hybrid; all these are from the same lot of seed, and I have several others. No. 5 is a good grape, very like it's mother, the Isabella, but the foliage is that of the pollen or European vine. No. 8 has a very beautiful leaf or shoot when first pushing, unlike any grape I know, but resembling that of the Red Chasselas Royal of the French; this latter had nothing to do with its origin however. It is more tender than the others and is quite late, equal to, or as late as, the Isabella." Allen's Hybrid is now being extensively propagated for sale.
From Samuel Miller we acknowledge the receipt of Clapier, Wright's Isabella, Clara (Raab), Brinckle (Raab,) Canby's August, Garrigues, Cassady, Kingsessing, and Lehman, for all which favors we shall endeavor to return a true account in due season.
The quality of a particular vegetable is not unfrequently affected by external influences so that it assumes a different character, which is distinctly imprinted upon the leaves or other parts, and may even to a certain extent be perpetuated. This property fur the most part belongs to all organic bodies, and may be observed equally in the animal as in the vegetable kingdom. The dog is always a dog, but the Newfoundland and the lap dog, the sheep dog and the greyhound, differ from one another in no small degree. The cow is everywhere a cow, but differs in form in every part of the earth in which she is found. Plants being still more dependant upon external influences than animals (which are restricted to no particular place), exhibit this peculiarity in a very high degree. The varieties of Geranium, Pelargonium of the Rose and Dahlia, which belong nevertheless to one genus, are unlimited. The difference is often impressed still more markedly upon the fruits which the plants produce. There is, indeed, an identity in the nature of Apple-trees; but any one, however ignorant of botany, can distinguish numerous varieties of this fruit, varieties not only of form and size, but also of color, taste, and smell.
The Vine ranks among those plants which are very dependant (at least in so far as regards the fruit it produces) upon external influences: color and size, form and taste, aroma and productiveness, vary in this case in so remarkable a manner as might lead one almost to regard the Vine as a peculiar gift of the Creator's bounty. Should the reader wish for an example of the immense variety of Vines, we will only remind him that Chaptal, when Minister of the Interior, caused 1400 different species of Vines to be transplanted out of France alone into the garden of the Luxembourg. The like variety may be observed not only in Grapes which have been grown in different parts of the earth, but even in those produced in the same country, and growing on the same spot. And, indeed, though less strongly marked, we may perceive a like difference even in the Grapes of one Vine. Protect one cluster of Grapes from too great exposure to the action of the sun, and cover it with a bell of dark glass, or with oiled paper, while you leave another exposed, and you will produce a much more finely scented fruit in the former than in the latter.
It is not, therefore, strange that the Grapes-which grow on the sunny side of the Johannisberg should be very superior, as far as the flavor and fragrance of their juice is concerned, to those produced on the opposite side of the mountain; nor that, in general, a hotter and stronger wine is produced in warm regions than in such as are cold or temperate. If we add to this, that the. peculiar nature of the soil, its constituents' the influx and drainage of water, the lightness or stiffness of the ground in which the roots spread; that further, the dryness or dampness of the air, and the change or equality of temperature, exercise a well-known influence upon plants and the fruits produced by them, we shall at least have a general idea of the varieties of the juice which constitutes the principal element in these berry-bearing fruits. - Professor Mulder on the Vine.
Grape-Vines, unless protected, suffered in common with fruit trees. Their vegetative powers, where they were not killed to the ground, appeared to have been stifled, so that what life they possessed appeared more like a struggle with death than like a successful effort in healthful vegetation. Such vines as were so affected we found it better to cut down, and let them commence again, than to waste their energies in sickly uncertainty.
We have inspected the large collection of grape-vines advertised by David Ferguson, at the Falls of Schuylkill, Philadelphia, and can, therefore, vouch for their excellence; to persons planting graperies, etc, they will be a treasure. He also advertises a number of new and valuable strawberries, evergreens, and shrubbery.
We have recorded the success of Mr. Glandinning, in taking the prises from the best English grape growers by grapes from his small house and limited border. Several writers have taken up the topic and now assert that, the proper theory is that vines root in the subsoil, and obtain sufficient nourishment there; numerous instances ate given of carelessness in making preparations for roots where success was very remarkable* In one cane, a gentleman made a hole with a pickaxe, and a little soil was put in to cover the roots; nothing mote was done when the celebrated vines which produced four crops in two years were planted. What say the advocates for whole exen now? Good, fibrous loam, and roots deep in the soil, beyond the. ordinary atmospheric changes, is now the theory!
Vineyards Suceed in India, at Ghusni, a table-land in India, 8,000 feet above the sea, the climate resembling that of Canada, the air dry, summers short and extremely hot, the thermometer indicating sometimes 1120 in a tent. This part of Affghanistan is celebrated for its vineyards - indeed, grapes are said to be the staple of the country. The system of cultivation pursued may give a valuable hint to our country, as the only one by which in a cold climate and with limited means the cultivator could hope to see his vines ripen) both fruit and wood.
The site of the vineyard is selected, if possible, on the slope- of a hill with a southern aspect. The ground is then dug in trenches (running north and south) at intervals of about twelve feet, and from three to four feet deep, the soil excavated being deposited between the trenches, thus forming intermediate mounds, the whole finally resembling somewhat a gigantic celery bed. All the stones that have been dug out (and if necessary, ethers are collected for the same purpose), are then driven into the sides of the trenches and mounds, and thus form a rough revetments the vines are then planted in the bottom of tranches, and,as they grow, wail themselves over the mounds.
The advantages of the system ate chvisus. During the long winter, the vines axe but deep in snow, and this warm covering is retained by the trenches until sometime after on the surface of the country has disappeared, and danger from spring fiesta has pas away. As the snow in the tranches melts, it finds a ready outlet at the- lower ends. W once the vines begin to push, their progress is rapid, as, from the mode of growth previ for them, they receive net only the full beneflt of the whole of the direct rays of the but also of the heat radiated from the underlying stone revetment.