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snow disappearing under a warm sun, leaving the ground with but little frost at the close. April continued the same, with scarcely a moderate rain during the entire month; planting commenced early in consequence of the dry and fine weather, and fruit trees were in bloom the latter part of the month, promising an abundant crop. The month of May continued favorable; one or two rather severe frosts occurred, which injured the blossoms of fruit trees in some low and cool situations; at the close, several refreshing showers were highly beneficial to advancing vegetation. In June, cool weather set in, and the whole month was accompanied with cloudy, misty, and showery days, without, however, any great quantity of rain; this was highly favorable to grass crops, which had begun to suffer. July continued nearly the same with easterly winds. In August, hot weather set in, the thermometer attaining 100 degrees in the shade; and, but for cloudy and lowery days, vegetation would have suffered severely. September continued favorable, though still without rain. October was mild with no very severe frost until the Sth or 10th. November was quite different from the corresponding month in 1845, when 11 inches of rain fell : It continued mild till the 25th, when a light snow fell; this was succeeded by rain, but not sufficient to keep the ground open. Early in December more snow fell, and now (15th) covers the ground about 4 inches, with but an inch or two of frost in the earth beneath.
The season has been on the whole favorable. Apples were smaller than usual, owing to the drought, but the aggregate crop was heavy. Pears were not near so numerous, large, or handsome as last year; in some locations, the blossoms were injured by the early frosts. Peaches were never more abundant in the Middle and Western States, and there was a fine crop in New England. Plums were as plentiful as usual. The potato crop was but little affected by the rot in comparison with the season of 1845.
HORTICULTURE. Under this head, we may refer to the strawberry question, as one of importance, and which at last has been satisfactorily settled. Four years has the subject been agitated, and during this time the conflicting opinions of cultivators, in all parts of the country, have been recorded in our volumes. But until the experiments of the last year we have not been able to arrive at certain results. It was therefore with much pleasure that in our review of Mr. Longworth's pamphlet, in the last volume, (p. 358,) we had the opportunity to give our views at length, and views, we are happy to say, which coincide with the opinions of all intelligent cultivators.
So satisfactory has been the result, that we should not again occupy the attention of our readers with the subject, but for the purpose of noticing some strictures upon the opinions which we have from time to time advanced, while the question has been under the process of investigation, by our old correspondent, the Rev. Mr. Beecher, in the Western Farmer and Gardener. We have always had a high respect for Mr. Beecher's opinion, but, in the present instance, for some motive which does not appear, he has, by quotations here and there from our remarks, having reference to the opinions of our correspondents, falsified our views and endeavored to make it appear that we have advanced positive conclusions upon the question, without due investigation. This we deny; we have never had but one opinion upon the abstract question of fertile and sterile strawberries; but during the season of 1843, from facts which were contributed by several of the most observing and careful cultivators, we did doubt the necessity of staminate flowers to impregnate the pistillate ones, believing that sterility or fertility was greatly owing to the method of cultivation; and we then observed that as soon as convinced to the contrary, we should lose no time in informing our readers of the fact; we then immediately set about instituting a series of experiments to test this under our own eye; and when they were brought to a close the last season, we gave, as we promised, the results of our investigations,—satisfactory as they have been to all.
Some excellent Pomological articles have been contributed by our correspondent, Mr. Humrickhouse, one of the most important of which is that upon a uniform nomenclature of fruits; the principles which he advocates as necessary to carry out this, he has laid down in a plain and concise manner; and we trust they have been carefully read and consid
ered by all cultivators. Until these principles are acted upon, it will be useless to expect correctness in our catalogues of fruits. There is abroad among cultivators, as well as writers upon Pomology, a want of respect in regard to priority of names, and original descriptions. In Botanical science, the strictest propriety is observed in this respect; and, to prevent errors and confusion, it should be no less observed in Pomology.
The blight of the pear tree, so fatal in the west, has been the subject of an article by Mr. Ernst, (p. 135,) and he has given a very clear description of the manner in which the disease appears. But he has added nothing new to the remarks of Mr. Beecher, in our Vol. X. (p. 441.)
Another subject which has attracted considerable attention has been noticed by Mr. Ernst, viz., the duration of races of plants. Our experience is against the opinion of Mr. Knight, but how far the causes which Mr. Ernst alludes to, have any effect upon the vigor of a variety, remain to be tested by long and careful observation.
One of the most valuable papers which our last volume contains, is that of Mr. Humrickhouse, on the cultivation of the pear upon the apple; a great deal has been said by foreign writers about the excellence of the hawthorn and mountain ash, as a stock for the pear, and by some American journals the apple; but so far as the latter is concerned, we think Mr. Humrickhouse has conclusively proved that, though fruit may be produced on the apple, the pear is the stock which, for orchard culture, must be relied on. For garden cultivation, the quince is decidedly preferable, and while the cultivators of Great Britain are imitating the method of the French, in adopting dwarf trees upon the quince, our own cultivators should not neglect to follow their example; the false notion that the quince is a very short-lived tree, is sufficiently refuted by the fact that a long row of quenouille trees in the Garden of the London Horticultural Society, which we saw in 1844, had been planted 25 years, and was then in the most vigorous and fruitful condition.
The conclusion of our European notes of gardens has given us space to bring up our Pomological notices; and during the year, we have given an account of all the new fruits of importance, and also added the engravings and descriptions of eighteen kinds of pears, besides several apples and plums. The remarks of our correspondent, Mr. Manning, (p. 146,) embrace all the new fruits proved by him in 1845, and we have the promise of notes on such as have proved good the last year. The Leon le Clerc, which in 1845 created so much attention, did not fruit so well last year, probably owing to the hot summer; in many places, it cracked badly; but this should not induce any one to discard it; the experience of several successive seasons should always be required before deciding upon the merits of a new kind. The Dunmore has fruited again; but specimens from the President of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, from a tree on the quince
not of so high a character as given by Mr. Thompson. A definite opinion must be deferred to another year. The true Monarch has not yet fruited, but it is hoped that specimens will be produced this year; trees received from various sources in England since the identification of the true kind by Mr. Thompson, have proved spurious. The following kinds of pears have proved to be valuable varieties, possessing qualities which entitle them to general cultivation :Henkel (Van Mons), Van Assene, Doyenné Boussock, Dallas, Doyenné gris d'Hiver Nouveau, Doyenné d'Eté, Knight's seedling, McLaughlin, Elizabeth (Van Mons), Coter, Ananas (of the French) Plumbgastel, Beurré d'Anjou,'Pratt, and some others. Some new grapes have been lately added to our already extensive list; in a future page will be found a notice of some of them by Mr. Allen, but we may name Wilmot's Black Hamburgh, New Black Hamburgh No. 16, Muscat Blanc Hatif, Cannon Hall muscat, Black Tripoli, Wortley Hall Seedling, and Macready's Early white, as fine additions to this excellent fruit. A favorable season for peaches has also brought to notice some new seedlings which we shall notice in the course of the volume.
As connected with the culture of the grape, which is every year rapidly extending, by means of cheap and appropriate structures, we should not oinit to call attention to the capital article of Mr. Russell upon their management in the cold house. He has touched the whole ground, and, with moderate judgment, no person can fail to produce a fair crop of grapes, if his advice is followed.
A great number of new strawberries are noticed in some of the agricultural journals; Dr. Brinkle, of Philadelphia, having raised two hundred and fifty varieties since 1842, and Mr. Burr, of Ohio, about fifty. We await the opinions of our friends in regard to their merits. At least three years will be required to accurately test their value before offering to the public. To raise a strawberry from seed one year, bring it into fruit, with a dozen or two berries the second, and name, describe, and offer it for sale the third, will not be a sufficient guaranty to induce cultivators to buy. Princess Alice Maud, the Swainston seedling, Prince Albert, the British Queen, and other foreign kinds, though some of them are tolerably good, have proved far inferior to American seedlings, and they cannot be relied upon for principal crops.
The establishment of a class of premiums by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, through the liberality of some unknown amateur cultivator, must have a good tendency in the selection of fruit; these premiums being for the best two or three varieties during a series of three years; and those kinds which gain two out of the three, will have the standard of superiority, so far as the fruit alone is concerned ; something must then be allowed in regard to the growth and hardiness of the tree, and the general qualities of productiveness, beauty, &c. &c. Good results, however, must follow, as the committee will, at the close of each year, publish a list of the names of the fruits which take the premiums.
FLORICULTURE. The increasing interest in Pomology, and especially a desire for information relative to new pears, has induced us to devote much of our room to that subject; consequently our last two volumes have not contained so many articles upon the cultivation of plants as those which preceded them; with an increase, however, of the number of pages, we shall again look well to the interest of the Florist, and endeavor to devote our usual room to the cultivation of rare and beautiful plants.
Our last volume, however, contains some excellent articles. The phlox, which has recently attracted more attention from the increased beauty of the Belgian seedlings, has been the subject of a notice, and we have described twenty-four of the