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for our limits are already exceeded. We are tempted, nevertheless, to pause a moment more, to notice a fine hardy plant introduced within a few years. This is a variety of mule-pink, known in France as CEillet Hon, from the name of its originator, and set down in English catalogues under the barbarous name of Dianthus hybridus multiflorus. It blooms in large clusters of brilliant rosy red; and a large well-grown plant is a splendid object in early June. It is increased by cuttings, or layers, and blossoms on the growth formed in the preceding year. A cutting struck in spring, and planted out, will make a large plant before the season is over, and bloom superbly in the following spring, and for several successive seasons. It is excellent, too, for forcing in the greenhouse. There is a striped variety, and also a white one.
Here you have an outline, and nothing more, of what may be done towards filling the dreary gap between the crocuses and hyacinths of spring and the annuals and bedding-plants of July and August. May and June
are the months when the appetite for floral beauty is apt to be most active. If we should set forth in full the means by which it may be gratified, we should be compelled to convert our article into a descriptive list, so numerous, though so little known, are the plants available to this end. We allude now to perennials.
A large number of flowering shrubs, better known to the general cultivator, should also be included,—tree paeonies, halesias, viburnums, cytisus, hardy rhododendrons and azaleas, hawthorns, Wistarias, Philadelphus, lilacs, and many more; not forgetting the beautiful Cercis Canadensis, blushing with its innumerable rosy blossoms. Francis Parkman.
Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Cestrum Aurantiacum. — This plant will flower most freely if it be planted in a compost of turfy loam two-thirds, leaf-mould one-third, and sharp sand one-sixth, either in a greenhouse border or in a pot. It may be trained to a pillar, roof, or wall, its shoots being thinned so as to have plenty of air and light; and no creepers or other plants should shade it. If thus treated, it will flower freely in autumn and winter. It is one of the sweetest and handsomest plants for the pillars of greenhouses or conservatories; but it will not flower without plenty of air and light, and its roots being rather cramped or confined. Do not stop the shoots; for it blooms from their points: keep it well supplied with water; and afford occasional applications of manure-water at intervals, especially if the root-room be small, not only when it is growing, but flowering. After blooming, keep the plant dry for a month or six weeks; then prune it rather closely; and, when the new shoots appear, thin out the weakest; top-dressing with rich soil if in a border, or repotting if it is in a pot. Afterwards keep rather close and moist, also shaded for a few days, until the roots are working in the fresh soil. Keep it well supplied with water, and encourage growth by frequent syringing; then lessen the supply of water, but not so as to cause the leaves to turn yellow, and fall; expose fully to air and light, and you will find the shoots thicken at their points. When the shoots commence to show bloom, water freely, and afford a supply of liquid manure once a week. — Cottage Gardener.
SUMMER-PRUNING OF THE GRAPE.
At the winter-meeting of the Lake-shore Grape-growers' Association, at Cleveland, O., there were present some of the most intelligent men of the country who are engaged in this interesting branch of cultivation. The discussions were directed to the practical questions which are constantly arising in a new line of business; and were of value to those present, as will appear in the report of the society, soon to be published.
Among the topics discussed, one of the most important was that of summer-pruning. Many of the members were loud in their denunciations of the practice as it is often pursued in the vineyards, particularly where these are managed by European vine-dressers. Some went so far as to say that they preferred to let their vines go without any pruning at all, rather than to have them subjected to such a terrible " summer slaughtering" as was occasionally to be seen. They pleaded for the leaves, claiming that they were necessary to elaborate the sap, to perfect the crop of fruit, and to ripen the wood and the roots for the future healthiness of the plant .
After a full expression of similar views by these tender-hearted vinedressers, who adopted the motto, "Laissez /aire," in regard to summer treatment, a member, who has long had extensive opportunities for practice and observation in the vineyard, stated that he should advise a middle course, consisting of judicious and systematic, but perhaps some would think severe summer-pruning, as the best method of directing the sap into the proper channels, and of increasing the production of large leaves, good fruit, and of healthy, vigorous shoots, where they were needed for the renewal of the vine. These results he preferred to the extremes that had been alluded to, — the sacrificing of the growth and foliage on the one hand, such as had been styled "summer slaughtering;" or, on the other extreme, allowing an indiscriminate and profuse production of shoots and leaves, that must interfere with the perfect development of the vine and the proper ripening of the fruit.
He claimed, that, by a proper performance of the different operations which make up the summer-pruning of the vine, in our attempts to furnish a renewal of wood suitable to produce the next crop, these several objects should be kept clearly in view :—
First, That we should prune in such a way as to avoid that very common evil, the over-production of fruit.
Second, That we should prune so'as to provide for the largest development of the foliage, and for a renewal of the leaves upon the fruit-bearing branches.
Third, That we should so direct the growth of the vine as to insure the production of vigorous, healthy canes to bear the next year's crop.
And, lastly, That we might, under certain circumstances, find it necessary to prune or to train in such a way as to check the growth by extension, and endeavor to develop the buds on the lower part of the canes that are to be appropriated to the production of the next crop. These topics were> considered seriatim.
The first operation of summer-pruning is, therefore, a process for thinning the fruit as well as for diminishing the number of shoots: but it does not follow that there will be any less wood produced; on the contrary, it will be found, at the end of the season, that there is more available and useful wood upon a vine that has had this important operation well carried out than upon one which had been so neglected that all its shoots had been allowed to remain and contend with one another to their mutual injury.
This first process consists in what is called rubbing-out. It should be performed early in. the season of growth, — very early, — so soon as the young shoots have made their appearance, and have developed themselves sufficiently to show their little bunches of embryo fruit: this will be when the largest have grown five or six inches long. It is evident, that, if delayed longer, there must be a greater loss to the vine.
The vine-dresser removes the weaker shoots by rubbing them off with his thumb. When there are twins, he should take away the weaker. Where the joints of the old wood are short, if the buds all break, the branches will be too close: in this case, alternate shoots must be removed, or even more than this, so as to leave the fruit-branches not nearer than six inches; in many vines, ten inches would be still better. If this work be well done, the after-labors of summer-pruning will be very much lightened.
This process of rubbing-out is very useful for correcting the evils of insufficient winter-pruning; as the surplus buds may be removed, and the
TOL. I. 35
amount of growth reduced to what the plant is capable of sustaining to advantage. A vine which may have been wholly neglected in the winter can still be thoroughly pruned for all the practical purposes of pruning by thus removing the surplus shoots, rubbing them out as they appear.
Some vine-dressers depend upon this plan of reducing their crop, instead of severe winter-pruning, which is the more direct method usually adopted. Sometimes, indeed, it may be advisable to trim the canes long, when there is apprehension that a portion of the buds have been winter-killed. Now, if they still break regularly, the excess can thus be reduced to the proper standard. In some vineyards the whole summer-pruning is done at once by the systematic and severe removal of a large portion of the shoots by ♦ rubbing them out, so as to thin the crop, which is afterward left to take care of itself.
Certain insects are busily at work at the time of this rubbing-out, doing a similar work by eating a portion of the buds ; but we cannot depend upon their judgment in the matter, and should kill the beautiful Haltica chalybca while we are disbudding our vines.
The second division of the subject, or pruning to effect the greatest development of the foliage, and to produce new leaves during the season upon the fruit-bearing branches, is accomplished by systematic, judicious, and early pinching-in of the ends of the shoots. This operation should be done as soon as it is seen which are the best and strongest, and before the blossoming of the vine; so soon, indeed, as the bunches can be seen: it is often practised at the same time as the rubbing-out, at least on the strongest shoots. This pinching is a very simple matter: it is done with the thumb-nail and the fore-finger. The point only should be removed. Sometimes one leaf, sometimes two, or even three, are left beyond the outer cluster of grape-buds; but, to produce the best effect, the former point is advised.
It has been observed that an early and close pinching is always followed by a remarkable development of the thrift and size of the foliage. The leaves attain double the size of those on an unpinched shoot, and the aggregate of the evaporating surface presented by them will be greater than that of all the leaves that would have been produced by the shoot if left alone. But this is not all: at the base or axil of each of these enlarged leaves the new buds will become very prominent, and will soon burst, and produce laterals. These are again pinched at one or two leaves,