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.
J Tyro, (New-Bedford.) Thedif. ficulty which many complain of in growing heaths in this country, is in the hot and dry summer climate. The roots of all heaths are inpatient of extreme dryness. The most successful grower of heaths in America, is Mr. Rreckenridge, the superintendent of the exotic plants at Washington. He keeps his heaths fa summer, in a hot-bed frame, the glen raised about six inches at the north end, and the transparency dulled by a coat of whiting, or whitewash, on the under side. In this way the heaths are kept shaded - are not subject to be burned up by the heat, being in a cool and uniform condition of the atmosphere. His bloom of heaths in February, is worth a journey to Washington from any part of the Union, to see - and it shows how an intelligent cultivator can modify his practice so as to grow plants in a climate naturally very much against them.
Epacrises, and similar hard-wooded kinds, are better in the house during the summer months, unless under skilful management. The great point is to get the growths properly hardened and fitted for thorough exposure; then they will stand the fiercest sun without injury. In their natural habitats, they are subjected for months to parching sun and intense aridity. The nearer we can imitate nature, the more likelihood of success. Young plants may be kept in a steady growing condition, by repotting when necessary, and keeping them in a moist shady position.
Cactii will require liberal watering while making growth; see that the soil is well drained.
Achemenes, Gloxinias, Clerodendrons, Begonias, Fuchsias, and other plants, for summer blooming, should be repotted as they require it, and attend in time to staking, pinching the shoots, etc, to form well-shaped plants. There is no beauty in plants that are grown tall and weak, and no surer indication of unskilful management.
Rpaoris, and New Holland plants in general, may be set out of doors, for a few weeks, after their seasonal growth is completed. To grow many of them well, they should be kept constantly tinder cover. This is the only way to grow good heaths, provided thai they are planted in good, turfy, well-drained, loamy soil. Bog earth will soon finish them; rather use a little leaf mould that has been well decomposed.
A cling-stone variety of delicious flavor, and which generally closes the season, coming to market as late as the middle of October. The fruit is large, oblong, skin whitish, but slightly tinged when ripened in exposed places.