« AnteriorContinuar »
In Boston and vicinity, the nurserymen have been extending their premises, and their collections of trees. The Pomological Garden of Mr. Manning has been extended, and the facilities for supplying trees increased ; and we are happy to know that the deserving young men, who have succeeded to the management of their father's place, so well sustain the reputation of the garden for accuracy. Mr. Allen of Salem has been highly successful in the culture of the grape, and it is with great satisfaction that we lay before our readers, in another page, the result of his experience thus far, in regard to this delicious fruit.
A constant demand for large trees has been of service to the older establishments around Boston, whose accumulated stock might sometimes be thought of little value; and Messrs. Winship and Kenrick have contributed to supply the demand. Messrs. Hovey & Co., by the construction of two new houses upwards of one hundred feet long, have greatly extended their collections of greenhouse plants; and their stock of fruit trees, especially of new and rare kinds, is very large. The specimen fruit trees, containing 500 varieties of pears alone, are rapidly coming into fruit. Mr. Walker, of Roxbury, is devoting much attention to the pear, with a view chiefly to raise large and fine specimens which will come at once into bearing, and thus prevent the amateur from waiting for a supply of fruit.
Our time has not allowed us our usual autumn visit to New York, but we learn that our Flushing friends have a fine stock of trees. Mr. Reid, of Murray Hill, has a fine piece of ground at Elizabethtown, N. J., from whence his stock is mostly received. Mr. Thorburn, at Hallet's Cove, is devoting much attention to a fine collection of plants.
In Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, many additions have been made to the several nursery establishments, and our correspondent, Mr. Buist, has opened a seed establishment in Chestnut Street.
Of commercial gardening in other cities, we have no direct information. In our last volume is an account of its condition in Western New York, particularly around Rochester and Buffalo. In the former city, Messrs. Bissell and Hooker and Ellwanger & Barry, Moulson, and others, are extending and increasing their several collections of trees and plants.
GARDEN LITERATURE. The principal publications of the year have been Browne's Trees of America ; the Farmers' Dictionary, by D. P. Gardener ; the Fruit Culturist, by J. J. Thomas; and the Compend of American Agriculture, by Mr. Allen. Mr. Downing's Fruits has passed to a sixth edition. A Report of the Trees and Shrubs of Massachusetts, by order of the State, has been completed by G. B. Emerson, Esq., but it will not be distributed till after the Legislature convene. Other smaller works have been published. A new edition of the Flower Garden Companion, by Mr. Sayers; and pamphlets on the Grape and Strawberry, by Mr. Longworth; and the Culture of the Grape, by Dr. Flagg. Mr. Colman's work has reached the seventh No., three more completing the work. The old New England Farmer has been discontinued, and its place filled with the Horticulturist, published at Albany. The Genessee Farmer is ably edited in the Horticultural department by Mr. Barry, of the Mount Hope Gardens, Rochester. The American Agriculturist and Cultivator continue to be issued with their usual merit.
Taste in Horticulture and in Designs.
We have been often pleased, in the perusal of the “Magazine of Horticulture and Botany,” at the laudable attempts of the Editor of that periodical, to introduce to the favorable notice and adoption of gardeners, and of those who may have a rod or two of ground to cultivate, such contrivances for the handsomer growth of plants as combine ornament with utility. A well ordered garden of ever so humble a character, properly laid out, or its plants judiciously arranged, pleases the eye very much more than a larger domain where Flora reigns indeed, but in a state of misrule and misprison. We have seen such gardens, so rudely kept, and so slovenly attended, that it would require the ardor of a botanist to perceive any particular interest in the variety, nay, in the profusion, which oftentimes may be found there. We have also seen in some a very limited area of a few feet of neatly kept borders and beds, much fewer plants, yet of such choice selection, and admirable adaptation to the circumstances of the place, as to afford a degree of pleasure as satisfactory as it was unexpected. We have been often most sadly disappointed in our expectations of some new species, some rare or lately introduced variety, through the careless or unpropitious manner in which it has been presented to our eye, and again as agreeably surprised to find, in some other collection, points of real merit and of excellence, which a better growth, or more favorable coincidences, have brought out. Were plants, like some other organized beings, as sensitive to a careless and indifferent regard to them, or to their wants, we could imagine how often and how deeply they must be wounded in their feelings, or shocked, at the want of common sense and of just propriety exercised towards them. In floriculture, more than half the art of culture depends on the proper taste employed in bringing out and setting forth the distinctive merits of the subject under consideration :—this the more especially, if the subject be a plant of some well known kind, in which the genius of the florist would develope some new beauty, hitherto unperceived; or if, again, it be some new variety of an old and well known kind of flower, where none but his critical eye would be able to see the distinctive marks of the variety from the original species, unless his contrirance or his art should make them at once prominent. To these ends, the florist must become not only the artist, but the inventor: and the more fertile his mind in experiments, the more successful will he be in expedients. Whoever has had any practical experience in floriculture knows well how much soils and manures affect the growth and general habit. The cultivator of fruits, too, is well aware how much depends on good management, not only of cultivation in the soil, but also of judicious training, and artistical operations above the ground, on the body, branches, entire plant itself. Would he produce fair specimens of fruit, he knows that he must most carefully train, prune, ripen. No superfluous growth must be allowed to hinder the more important portions, on which are to depend the healthy and operative functions. Every tree, every vine, has its rules of culture, whether espalier or standard. The better they are trained, the more orderly they look, and the more certain the anticipated result. As, in every thing which requires attention, there are, and must be always, rules to be observed and methods to be employed, so, particularly in the order and management of the garden, there must be a similar propriety, to be strictly and rigidly regarded.
It is on the just appreciation and nice tact acquired, of these facts, that the skill of the florist depends. He not only is the experimenter on the nature and properties of the soils best adapted to the luxuriant or more natural growth of plants, but he must combine the talent of a discriminating taste on the future arrangement of their growing and flowering. To a certain extent only can art overcome nature; and excess of care may prove as fatal, in some cases, as its want.
The native habits of plants ought to be known. We should not expect to see the delicacy and tenderness of some species, whose native growth is usually sheltered by situations combining shade and moisture, exhibit themselves in a transplanted successful culture, exposed to the sun, and chilled by the changeful winds: nor should we anticipate a gorgeous exhibition of brilliancy, in tints of petal or foliage, where heat or light were insufficient. These same remarks hold good in the artistical arrangement of the growing plant, so that it may adapt itself to its unnatural situation, and imitate nature as much as its circumstances allow. In this, nature should be regarded as much as art will permit: for when either are forced out of their legitimate sphere, the effect must be always and unquestionably bad.
We have spoken of the skill of the florist in setting out the particular merits of new species and varieties, so as to show their best points, and at the same time to permit and even invite the
of the beholder to detect at once the difference. It is well known that some quite choice varieties differ so little from the older ones, that such skill is necessary to make their merit appreciated. Sometimes it consists in the better shading of the petal, sometimes in the deeper green of the foliage, and sometimes in the straighter or cleaner contour of the stem. Judicious pruning frequently obviates unpropitious characteristics, or ingeniously contrived apparatus overcomes, by training, some unsightly traits. These minuter distinctions apply more particularly, however, to the greenhouse culture, than to that of out-door. But even here we have been offended at the want of good taste. Pot culture, at the best, is liable to great inconveniences; yet a degree of elegance, combined with artistic effect, has been repeatedly attained. In greenhouses of commercial gardens, we do not of course expect such niceness and propriety; nothing more beyond what will conduce to successful culture, and to the best disposal of the stock on hand. But, in private collections, how unseemly are crowded masses of pots, a multitudinous grouping of mere individual plants, all struggling for those elements of light and air which should belong by good rights to but a few only!-upright plants growing crooked and unsightly, for want of management; trailing kinds stiffly tied in unnatural positions, and others trained in modes where, what of beauty might be intrinsic in them, stands more than a fair chance of being lost. Every one knows how much depends on the contour of a greenhouse, that a most judicious management be regarded, so that the individual merits of each plant may be brought to light. A well-ordered private collection should excel in the propriety of its management, not only in the culture, but in the choice. If intended for display, elegant designs should be introduced : if for brilliancy, profuse flowering kinds, and these well grown: if for uniqueness, larger, rarer and more picturesque species: if for choiceness, the newer and later-known species and varieties : if for the effect of peculiar cultivation, those kinds which are best and only thus adapted: if for delicacy and grace, those of tenderer and lighter character. But in all, choice, taste, and artistic effect are essential, plenty of room, neatness of execution, adaptedness of design. In fine, other things considered in the right place, choice is the great desideratum; not rejecting some, simply because old, nor hastily making acquaintance with others, because they are new.
For scarcely in any department of productive labor is it found more true than in horticulture, in all its branches, that that which is recommended for new, is not decidedly an improvement, nor that which is condemned as old, is henceforth of no value.
In out-door culture of the garden, the above observations VOL. XII-NO. I.