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 regular Conversational Meeting was held January 28th. The President being ill, Mr. Barnes took the chair.
Mrs. Humphries exhibited a basket of cut flowers. Mr. Brophy exhibited cut flowers. Mr. Messenberg exhibited a basket of cut flowers. A lady asked where she could purchase a plant of Halimodendron, or Salt Treet but the members present could not inform her. Another asked, "Can aquatic and marsh plants be grown successfully in rooms? Must they be in sepa. rate pots, or can they be grown together in an aquarium? Must they be planted in soil, or will placing the roots in water be sufficient?"
Mr. Bridgeman replied that they could be grown in an aquarium or a tank; fish would be an advantage. Almost any kind would furnish water plants of some description. They need not be in separate pots; put some muck or soil on the bottom of the tank, in which set the plants, and keep them down with shells. Many kinds of aquatic plants will grow with their roots free from soil, drawing their nourishment from the water alone. The natural condition of marsh plants is to root in soil. Had found it necessary to keep the water in motion. A few can be easily grown, but to flower many is quite an undertaking.
A member handed in the following: "Information is desired regarding the Tree Dahlia, described in Loudon's Arboretum (vol v., p. 1073) as being arborescent, and growing to the height of forty feet A native of Mexico. It was introduced into the Liverpool Botanic Gardens in 1835; also the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, and the Horticultural Gardens at Manchester".
Mr. Bridgeman said he was unable to answer by that name. Mr. Brophy moved that it be referred to Mr. Bridgeman to investigate. Carried.
The next question was whether, the Mistleto (so common in Europe) is found any where in this country.
Mr. Barnard had seen it growing on the Ohio.
Mr. Fuller said it was not the same as that which grows in Europe.
Mr. Bridgeman had sent many things to England, Scotland, and Ireland, and they were surprised at them.
A lady wanted to know why Fuchsias do not ripen their seeds in this country, and if there is any plan to force them to do so.
Mr. Bridgeman said there was no difficulty in ripening the seed so far as was necessary to make them grow. A Fuchsia, as long as it is left growing, will circulate its juices like an evergreen. Had ripened several varieties, mostly of the dark kinds, hut did not remember their names. Did not know whether it would seed out of doors.
The same lady sent up the question, "Would any advantage be gained to plants in pots if the earth should be lightly covered with powdered charcoal? What would be the effect of a mixture of ox blood and cream of tartar upon the roots of plants? "
Mr. Bridgeman said, that as a fertilizer it would be too strong for a plant as tender a* the Fuchsia.
Mr. Fuller wanted the question referred to mythology.
Mr. Bridgeman said that Fuchsias do better shaded. He grew them last year in the house till the Gladiolus began to flower, then moved them outside, and they flowered: till frost With proper shade, shelter, and soil, Fuchsias could be grown much larger than is usually done. Began to propagate the first lot this month, but the best plants will be those started next month.
It was asked, what is the best soil?
In reference to the onion or garlic, Mr. Brophy advised to try what the effect would be. Nature knows how to take and reject what is unfit Had occasion to visit the garden of a florist in New York who had a healthy show of roses and free from insects, by planting tobacco leaves at the foot of the roses, and it may be possible that something may be accomplished by planting at the roots.
Mr. Bridgeman doubted whether plants would be affected by any application of this kind. Had tried aloes by syringing, and if this would not do, would not think much of the other. Worms in New York eat the Maple and Horse Chestnut clean of leaves, and are now eating the Ailantus. Had used aloes, tobacco, and whale oil soap with only partial success; had tried them on the leaves and in the soil.
Mr. Brophy said that a writer had stated that the Hydrangea would change color by the introduction of minerals in the soil. As to the ravages of insects, it is a law of nature that little insects must live as well as big ones. There are more species of insects living and afloat than of all other species together.
Mr. Bridgeman said that the soil would frequently vary the color and nature of the plant Some soils without the addition of iron would make the Hydrangea blue. He had noticed the same in the Gladiolus.
The subject of the evening, the Cultivation of Plants in Rooms, was then taken up. [Mr. Bridgeman occupied the remainder of the evening with an essay on the subject, which we shall give as a separate article. We should have done so in the present number if Mr. Bridgeman had not unfortunately lost the manuscript].
Mr. Brophy called attention to an insect on a leaf, something like a mud turtle in its outward texture.
Mr. Bridgeman said that nothing was more pleasing and gratifying than to arrange flowers and combine colors: green leaves, variegated leaves, and fern leaves are a great addition to a bouquet He liked the Philadelphia style of bouquets better than those of New York and Brooklyn, but they did not suit our people. Had bought a bouquet at the hotel which was beautiful: a base was formed, and every flower set up so as to show all of it The florist is not so much to blame as his customers; if he changes his style he must change his customers. They should learn to state their tastes: there are as many ways of making bouquets as there are tastes. Adjourned.