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to a weak, drawn shoot of the pelargonium; and it is the same with most insects: come they do, and whatever they attack is checked in growth, and more or less reduced in health, vigor, and fertility. In whatever state a plant may be attacked, whether weak or strong, the effects are the same: it becomes impaired in strength and vigor; and, when freed from insects, it regains both. Surely this does not show that constitutional ill health and impaired vigor are essentials to insect attacks. I believe that they are not induced so much by any peculiar condition of the plant as by the atmosphere being favorable to the development and increase of the insects. Make a plant as unhealthy as we may, it will not be attacked by the insect peculiar to it until we also produce an atmosphere favorable to that insect.
That the red spider delights in and is encouraged by a dry atmosphere, none having experience of it will doubt; and it is most abundant where the heat in houses is artificially derived from flues or hot-water pipes. I can also affirm, from many years' daily observations, that where there is a , plentiful supply of atmospheric moisture, a temperature from fire or natural heat no more than the plant requires, and thorough ventilation, that the attacks of red spider are not grievous. Any one having experience in forcing vines, melons, &c., knows how much more liable to the attacks of red spider are the crops obtained by employing great artificial heat than those to which less artificial heat and more air are given; nor can those who wash or syringe their peach-trees have failed to find how free of red spider such trees are, while others not syringed are literally eaten up if dry weather prevail. A dry atmosphere, too high a temperature, especially at night, and insufficient ventilation, are the conditions under which red spider presents itself; but there are cases in which it will appear when none of the conditions favorable to its existence are present. Still the fact of the insect's existing may be taken as evidence that the air is too dry, too hot, or imperfectly ventilated.
(To be continued.)
A COUNTRY HOUSE.
The present design is for a one-and-a-half story wooden cottage; and, even at present prices, can probably be built for $1,000.
It should face the east, that the living-room may receive the sun from the south in winter. The arrangement of the grounds may be varied as desired. The bam may be very plain and un expensive. For convenience of communication between the different rooms of the house, this plan will be most desirable.
East Jaffrky, N.H. L* L. Pierce.
NOTES AND GLEANINGS.
Cattleya Dowiana. — The genus Cattleya contains some of the most beautiful orchids, many being unsurpassed in color and size. All are, however, excelled in both respects by the subject of our notice, which is one of the most magnificent of recent acquisitions. It was originally discovered in Costa Rica by Warszewicz; but the plants forwarded to England were'in bad condition, and were lost. It was rediscovered in 1864 by M. Arce, a zealous naturalist, who was collecting specimens of natural history in Costa Rica. The plants sent home by him were purchased by Messrs. Veitch & Son, and flowered in 1865.
The flowers resemble in shape C. Mossic e; but the nankeen and purple colors are utterly unlike any known cattleya. They are about seven inches in diameter, and produce five or six on a stem. They are nankeen-colored, except the lip, which is dark velvet-purple, uniformly streaked with golden threads, radiating from the centre, where they meet three other golden lines, passing longitudinally. It is named for Capt. J. M. Dow, of the American packet service, and is figured in Curtis's " Botanical Magazine," tab. 5,618.
Aquilegia Pyreniaca.— This pretty little dwarf columbine does not exceed nine inches in height. It is by no means a new plant, but has for years met with unmerited neglect. The foliage is small; but the pale lavender flowers are large, and freely produced. It delights in a warm, sheltered situation, and grows in the sandy detritus of the rocks; facts which must be studied in the cultivation of the plant. Its hardiness in New England must be proved by experience.
Besides this species, Aquilegia alpina, with large purplish-blue flowers with white centre, growing about fifteen inches high; A.glandulosa, described and figured in our February number; A.fragrans, with pale lemon-colored flowers; and A. Vervcenana, with variegated foliage, — are well worthy of cultivation. The subject of our notice is figured in " Floral Magazine," plate 322.
Raising Currants From Cuttings. — In raising from cuttings, the first object to be attained is a clear stem about six or eight inches high, and free from suckers. The cuttings are procured from the growth of the previous year; and for them the strongest, straightest, and best-ripened shoots should be chosen. All the buds on the portion to be inserted in the ground should be carefully picked out, leaving three or four of the terminal ones, and reducing the cutting to about a foot in length by taking off the unripened points. By removing the buds, or eyes, the trees are prevented from throwing up suckers, which are injurious, besides being unsightly, and troublesome to displace. The cuttings may be planted in a shady situation, in rows about eighteen inches apart, and about nine or ten inches asunder in the row. They will generally, in the first season, produce about three shoots each; all of which may be allowed to grow during the summer, in order to assist in the production of roots. If it is intended that the trees shall be grown in the open quarters, in the usual bush form,— open in the centre, — then, when the leaves have fallen in the autumn, two out of the three may be cut away, leaving the third, the most upright, for the future stem, and shortening it down to about three buds. The lowest bud below the cut must be about eight inches above the ground. Three shoots will usually be produced in the following year; and, in the autumn, the trees will be ready for their final planting. — Cottage Gardener.
Mathiola Bicornis.— " An evening-scented stock of unrivalled fragrance, from the mountains of Greece. No annual in cultivation, even including mignonette, surpasses or perhaps equals this in the powerful and yet delicate perfume of its flowers. At a hundred yards' distance, the scent of a bed of this annual, on a summer's evening, is often so strong as to arrest special attention. The plant grows one foot or more in height; the upper half or two-thirds being a branching spike of pink and lilac blossoms, partially closed during the daytime (when the scent is feeble), but expanding fully towards evening, and remaining so during the night and early morning. Unlike some 'night-scented' flowers, this is pleasing in color, and, especially when grown in a mass, forms quite a pretty effect. The perfume resembles that of the stock and sweet-scented clematis combined. It must be treated as a common hardy annual."
Stocks For Camellias. — Propagating Azaleas. — The best kind of stock is the single-flowering camellia. The stocks are raised by sowing the seed, or from cuttings ; but the latter are not nearly so free-growing. The beginning of April is a good time to graft camellias. The varieties of Azalea indica are propagated by cuttings taken from the shoots of the current year when about half ripe. Inserted in very sandy peat and silver sand under a bell-glass on a gentle heat, they root freely.
Conservatory Glazing. — Those of our readers who have rooms and conservatories with a north aspect, or which are overshadowed by Other buildings, will be aided by the following note of a suggestion by Sir David Brewster: "If, in a very narrow street or lane, we look out of a window, with the eye in the same plane as the outer face of the wall in which the window is placed, we shall see the whole of the sky by which the apartment can be illuminated. If we now withdraw the eye inwards, we shall gradually lose sight of the sky till it wholly disappears, which may take place when the eye is only six or eight inches from its first position. In such a case, the apartment is illuminated only by the light reflected from the opposite wall, or the sides of the stones which form the window; because, if the glass of the window is six or eight inches from the wall, as it generally is, not a ray of light can fall upon it. If we now remove our window, and substitute another in which all the panes of glass are roughly ground on the outside, and flush with the outer wall, the light from the whole of the visible sky, and from the remotest parts of the opposite wall, will be introduced into the apartment, reflected from the innumerable faces, or facets, which the rough grinding of the glass has produced. The whole window will appear as if the sky were beyond it; and, from every point of this luminous surface, light will radiate into all parts of the room."
Primula-seed Sowing. — To have good primulas, seed from good flowers must be sown; and, to secure this, the purchaser must give rather a high price. Good primula-seed is dear. Our plan is this: The seed is sown in the first week in March, in pans one-third filled with broken pots, an inch of moss, cocoa-nut fibre, or the siftings of the compost, being placed thereon; and the pans are filled to the rim with turfy loam, sandy peat, leaf-mould, and silver sand, in equal parts, passed through a half-inch sieve. The surface is made smooth, the seeds scattered thinly over it, and just covered with the same compost. A gentle watering is then given, and the pan is placed in gentle heat, such as that of a cucumber-frame. Care is taken to keep the soil moist, but by no means wet; and, when the plants appear, the pan is brought near the glass, so that they may have abundance of air, and all the light possible. Here they remain until they are of sufficient size to pot off. They are gradually hardened off, and removed to a vinery or other house, and in June, or early in July, transferred to a cold-frame, where they are shifted as occasion may require.
Use Of India-rubber Bands For Grafting Roses. — First, the Manetti stocks were taken out of the ground previously to being grafted, their roots trimmed, and their heads cut back. I also gave them a good washing before taking them in doors, in order to keep all clean and tidy. The Indian-rubber bands used were such as are commonly sold for the purpose of holding papers together, and may be had at any stationer's. The length and breadth depend altogether on the size of the stocks. Those I grafted being small, I found a ring a little over two and a half inches in diameter, and not quite half an inch broad in the band, sufficient for two. The operation is performed in this way: Take the stock in your left hand, and place the thumb, with one end of the band under it, on the lower end of the scion, when you have it properly fitted, pressing it firmly to keep it in its place; then, with the band considerably stretched, bind upwards to half an inch or so on the graft, and return; taking care, in binding backwards, to close every opening in order to prevent the admission of air, which, on account of the elastic nature of the material employed, can be done most effectually. At the bottom, — that is, a little below the junction, — fasten the end with a piece of soft thread or bast, to prevent it springing back. This finishes the operation.
In planting out, it is not necessary to slacken or remove the binding. The bast or thread, being under the surface of the soil, will soon rot, and set the Indian-rubber free, which will unwind itself or expand as the stock increases in size. — L. N, in Cottage Gardener.
Lilium Auratum. — This new and beautiful species seems to grow to an immense size under good culture. We clip the following description from an English journal: The bulb is now in a fifteen-inch pot, with three stems. The largest two are each nine feet six inches high from the surface of the soil, — one