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DEVOTED TO HORTICULTURE, ARBORICULTURE, BOTANY & RURAL AFFAIRS.
EDITED BY THOMAS MEEHAN,
FORMERLY HEAD GARDENER TO CALEB COPE, Esq., AT SPRINGBROOK, AND AT THE BARTRAM BOTANIC GARDENS,
HAND-BOOK OF ORNAMENTAL TREES," ETC.
HINTS FOR JANUARY.
but science applied. All people need now is gen-
FLOWER GARDEN AND PLEASURE know the reason of things. It was enough for them to know that work was to be done, and to
GROUND. do it. This little tract of land did not contain To many of our readers the only pleasure more than perhaps 8000 square miles, about the ground” they will have at this season is the few size of one of our average states, and as the sun pots growing in windows or plant cabinets. But rose and set generally at one time, and spring since the introduction of coal gas into our dwellcame in and spring went out nearly on the ings, it is not so easy to grow plants well as in same day-nay, even the sun shone, and the former times. But as this gas is only lit up at rain fell, and the winds blew, pretty much all night, if provision be made for enclosing plants alike at one time over every part of it, it was from the fumes at night, they do pretty well. very easy to set forth every day a job of work to This is accomplished very easily where there are be done that day in the garden. Hence arose good bay windows, by drawing curtains across, or by men who got up gardener's calenders, in which having plants so arranged that cases can be all the work of a garden was mapped out for the closed around them. New beginners in growing year-just what should be done on a certain day, window plants often ask us how often they and what should not. Some of the descendants should water plants. The more freely a plant is of these men came to America, and of course growing, the more water will it require; and the they wanted the same thing done here. But how more it grows, the more sun and light will it need. was this to be in a country where at one end the In all cases, those which seem to grow the fastsnow has hardly began to melt, and at the other est, should be placed nearest the light. The best end has ripe strawberries ! A calender is prepos- aspect for room plants is the south-west. They terous ! But besides this there is not the need in seem like animals in their affection for the mornthese days for this precise way of working. ing sun. The first morning ray is worth a dozen Science has pervaded the masses. They may not in the evening. Should any of our fair readers call it science, but the general application of ab- find her plants, by some unlucky calculation, frostract knowledge picked up here and there, is zen in the morning, do not remove them at once
to awarm place, but dip them in cold water, and a third of the pots in which the ferns are to set them in a dark spot, where they will barely grow with old pots broken in pieces of about escape freezing. Sunlight will only help the half an inch square, on which a thin layer of frost's destructive powers.
moss is placed, before filling the pots, to keep out It is better to keep in heat in cold weather by the soil from choking the drainage. covering, where possible, than to allow it to es In regard to the kinds of plants for windows cape, calculating to make it good by fire-heat, and rooms, as a general thing bulbous or succuwhich is, at best, but a necessary evil. Where lent plants do best. Those plants which in their bloom is in demand, nothing less than 55° will native places of growth choose dry places, seem accomplish the object; though much above that also especially adapted to room culture if they is not desirable, except for tropical hot-house have plenty of sunlight. The old wall-flowers plants. Where these plants are obliged to be and stockgillies are excellent for this purpose ; wintered in a common greenhouse, they should and there are few things superior to the modern be kept rather dry, and not be encouraged much race of carnations, known as the perpetual or to grow, or they may rot away.
tree carnation. The English, single and double, After Cyclamens have done blooming, it is and the Chinese primroses, together with the usual, at this season, to dry them off; but we whole race of violets are capital for window culdo best with them by keeping them growing till ture, where the room is not too warm-they do spring, then turning them out in the open bor- not do well where the temperature is over 55o. der, and repot in August for winter-flowering. These last named plants, especially, as well as
In potting window plants, the soil for potting many others, are liable to the attacks of the Red should be used rather dry; that is it should be Spider, which is the great foe to window plant in such a condition that it will rather crumble culture. They are so small as seldom to betray when pressed, than adherecloser together. Large their existence until some damage is done. The pots—those over four inches, should have a first we know is a slight yellowish tint among the drainage. This is made by breaking up broken healthy green of the leaves, and then a common pots to the size of beans, putting them in the pocket lens will decide whether the little insect bottom a quarter or half an inch deep, and put- is doing the damge. On primroses and violets ting about an eight of an inch of old moss or any they usually keep on the under surface of the similar rough material over the mass of “crocks” jeaves, and hence are very diflicult to be got at. to keep out the earth from amongst it. Little We have found the best thing is the plan first benefit arises from draining pots below four recommended some years ago in the Gardener's inch, the moisture filtering through the porous Monthly, to take warm water, say about 120° or pots quite fast enough; and the few pieces of 130°, just a little greasy, and with a little powi drainage" often thrown in with the soil placed dered sulphur floating on it, and dip the plant in right over, is of little or no use.
for an instant only. It will rarely destroy a leaf Ferneries are now so deservedly popular, that unless very tender, by growing too much in the we must have a word to say for them at times, shade, while it bothers the red spider badly. though their management is so simple there is The Green Aphis may be got rid of in the same little one can say. It is probably their ease of manner. management, and the great results obtained for the little outlay of care that has rendered them
FRUIT GARDEN. 80 popular. It should not, however, be forgot There are few things connected wlth fruit ten that the case in which they are enclosed is growing which gives greater pleasure than a not to keep out the air, but to keep in the mois- knowledge of the names of the varieties. Utiliture, as ferns will not thrive in the dry atmos- tarians may say with truth that of all the long phere of heated rooms.
A few minutes' airing lists in the catalogues and in the books, the half every day will, therefore, be of great benefit to of them are worthless, and of the other a dozen them. Decayed wood, (not pine), mixed with at most is all one need have. But there is a satabout half its bulk of fibrous soil of any kind, isfaction in a good number of kinds, and though and a very small proportion (say a tenth of the we find most men desirous to cut down their bulk) of well-rotted stable manure, makes a good lists to two or three kinds, they always hesitate compost. Most kinds particularly like well- to do it, when the time for action comes. As drained pots. This is usually effected by filling then people will have an “assortment' of kinds,
it becomes an important question how to label season. Orchard trees generally get too much them so that it shall be permanent, and yet not pruning. In young trees only thin out so as not take too much labor and trouble to accomplish to have the main leaders crossing or interfering In planting, the trees of course are in some kind with one another. Or when a few shoots grow or order, usually in rows, and a book should, at much stronger then the rest, cut these away. once on setting out, be provided, and the names Insist on all the branches in young trees growing entered therein in the order they run on the only on a perfect equality. On older trees which ground. But we do not want to have the book have been iu bearing a number of years, it will always with us, so must have labels attached to often benefit to cut away a large portion of the the trees in some way. The cheapest and easi- bearing limbs. By a long series of bearings, est is the Wilder plan with the zinc labels. branches will often get bark bound and stunted, These are cut about four or six inches long and preventing the free passage of the sap to the from one half to an inch wide, and after being leaves. In such cases the sap seems to revenge put in water a day or so to oxydize, are written itself by forcing out vigorous young shoots a long on with a common lead pencil. It needs no way down from the top of the tree. It is down “chemical " ink. It is not very legible at first, to these vigorous young shoots that we would but blackens with age. We believe such labels cut the bearing branches away. One must use will last perfectly plain for fifty years or more. his own judgment as to the advisability of this. The only trouble we have found is in the wear. If the tree bears as fine and luscious fruit as ever, ing away of the holes through which the attach- of course no such severe work need be done, but ing wire passes, by the wind. If some "eyelet” if not, then now is the time. of durable material could be stamped in the hole
And above all look after the nutrition of the for the copper wire to rub against, it would be trees. Some people say that land which will perfection. The wire must of course be loose raise good corn will grow good fruit trees, which enough to allow of the branch increasing in size, is all right; but they should add that like corn but even with this wires must be looked to some- they require regular and continuous manuring. times, for wood does not grow as we all thought There are some parts of the country where corn it did a few years ago, by a downward layer from can be successively taken for half a life time the leaves, which would naturally push out of without manure ; on these soils we need not mathe way any foreign thing on the outside of the nure fruit trees, but in all others we must to bark; but by the germination or budding out of have good results. This is particularly essential cells, and thus even a loose wire will be envel- where trees are grown in grass, as both the trees oped by the new growth of wood, as badly as if and the grass require food. Where trees are it fitted tight, provided the wire be perfectly sta- grown in grass, we prefer top dressing in June tionary. It is a good season to go over and ex or July, but if it has not been done then, do it amine the wires of fruit trees and attend to these now. Where trees are kept under clean surface other labeling and naming matters; of course culture, the manure is of course ploughed or when the weather is sufficiently warm to allow harrowed in with the crop in the spring of the of it being done with comfort.
year. To know whether trees require manure In young orchards some species of scale in- or not ask the leaves. If in July they are of a sects are likely to be troublesome. These should dark rich green, nothing need be done to them, be killed by washing at this season. If the trees but if they have a yellow cast, hunger is what is be very badly infested, cut back the young shoots, the matter. This of course is supposing they and the stouter branches can then be more are not infested by borers, in which case they thoroughly done. Some people use weak lye for will be yellowish in the richest soil. washing, with good results; we do not object to Yellowness will also sometimes come from some lime and sulphur going in with it. Old trees being in wet ground while they are growtrees are very much assisted by having the rough ing; but fruit trees should not be planted in wet bark scraped off of the trunk and main branches, ground. At the same time if one has a piece of wet and then coated with a similar wash. Never ground desired to be used for orchard planting, mind what people say about stopping up the we would not underdrain it. We do not think "breathing pores.” Try it once, and you will it ever paid any man to underdrain for an oralways want to repeat the practice.
chard. The roots in time, will very likely get This is generally supposed to be the pruning into the drains and choke them. We would