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.
Dr. Grant undertakes it with reluctance, yet feels that he is able to treat the subject. First, the ground should be prepared of sufficient depth, which is easily done in Brooklyn, and we will go to the matter of enrichment; it must be permeable, but, at the same time, not too open. The vines fail on some Long bland soils that do not have sufficient retainiug power; in depth great range is allowed - least, eighteen inches; greatest, two to three feet - below that can not be maintained; that depth, with well-mixed soil, can not suffer from drought if sufficient permeability be bad by draining.
Mr. Bridgeman uses thoroughly decomposed manure and fresh virgin soil from old pastures; eighteen inches in depth might do, but two and a half feet is better; use bone dust or chips well worked with soil. No heated manure should be placed in contact with the roots; overmanning is a common practice, and very bad; a general fault with every body to over-manure small places; they make the soil too rich; has had complaints of roses not doing well, and, on investigation, found them too richly manured. Generally, there is very little good soil in city yards; lime and rubbish are left by contractors, and covered with a slight coating of soil. Slake beds far enough from house, so as not to be affected by drought, caused by the heat on the interior of the building, the rubbish filled in around it.
Mr. Mead said, neither of the speakers has said any thing about the addition of foreign substances; wants something else added besides manure. Add some kind of carbonaceous matter to give permanence to the soil and quality to the fruit; best carbonaceous matter is muck; all gardeners and florists make use of it; advise all to get one load, and put with it a little lime, a little bone dust, and a little ashes, and less manure than usual; does not object to stimulate the vine at first, and without manure it can not be done.
Mr. Fuller wished to know how much is a little lime, a little ashes, etc.
Mr. Mead, will tell you: Put half a bushel of lime to a load; or spread the load six inches deep, and make it white by sprinkling with lime - a little bone dust is half a bushel. Make a compost of thoroughly rotted manure and garden soil; mix them half and half - presumes Mr. Fuller knows what "half and half" is - fill the hole six inches deep; then put in six inches of natural soil, then two or three inches of compost above the roots; make border six feet wide; if four feet wide, the vines should be six or eight feet apart; if eight feet wide, may be four feet apart. If the border outside of a hole four feet square is good, the vine will run out; a friend had all his vine roots run towards a muck bed near by; where a soil of good kind is furnished vines, roots will leave it with reluctance, and I infer from this they may be fed at home. Had remarked to a professor at New Haven that vines were endowed with a certain kind of instinct, which the professor said could not be so, they not having a nervous system; but certain manifestations in animals are catled instinct, and similar ones in plants should be called the same.
Three questions handed in by a lady:
1st What is the best way to send flower seeds to Australia? 2d. What is the best way to send plants to Australia?
3d. What is the best time to propagate vine cuttings?
Objected to by Chairman as out of order.
Mr. Mead - Mr. Chairman, we told the ladies they could ask any thing they pleased, and at any time. Then, again, is a lady ever out of order? (Permitted).
1st Seeds can be sent to any country in air-tight cases. They are the best. 2d. Wardian cases are the best known things to send plants in; Mr. Fortune had Bent plants to the London Horticultural Exhibition from Japan, which had arrived in good order. 3d. Best time is in the spring.
Mr. BRIDGEMAN - 1st. Fill in between the seed papers with chaff or granulated cork, and place in tin boxes and solder tight.
2d. Received three Wardian cases last summer from Australia; after a three months' voyage the plants were perfectly green and healthy; had great difficulty in tempering them to the air; saved three-fourths; this is the safest way; generally lose half or two-thirds of tender or soft wood plants when imported from England; plants should not be packed too close together.
Mr. Mead called the attention of those present to the death of Mr. John Humphries, who died that morning. Since the formation of the society he has been one of its most active members, and his loss is a serious one indeed to the Society. As an exhibiter he took a forward and prominent part; was always ready to work, ana offered his plants freely. As a grower of specimen plants, he had but few equals, and as a Fuchsia grower no one surpassed him. He will be missed as a valuable member of the Brooklyn Horticultural Society. He suggested all the members should attend his funeral.
Upon re-reading my article in January No., I feel I must plead guilty to "Anthophilus's" charge of inconsistency. See how it was - it is an illustration of the difficulty of serving two masters.
I did labor under the delusion that the Gardeners and Horticultural Societies were one; and figuring to please both, got me into the scrape.
If the gardeners are the impracticable set Anthophilus makes them out to be, (and I am really beginning to believe he is about right,) why then, I say, let them go to pot, and the societies on their own hook.
February 17th, 1862. Yours, Brooklyn.
[No, do not let them go there, (only the "cabbage heads,") but let us strive for a more perfect "union." - Ed].
The exhibition of the Brooklyn Society is conceded to have been the best it has held. That of the Newburgh Bay Society was also its best, and was well patronized by the public. The Poughkeepeie Society also had a good exhibition, which the people there did not seem so well to understand. Our accounts of these and others we are compelled to pass to our next issue, much to our regret.