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Charcoal may be substituted for pebbles. The house should front south or south-east. The front glazing should be lower than the back, and may be within eighteen inches of the ground. An evaporator or large pan of zinc or boiler-iron should be placed upon the flue to render the air moist. Hang
ing-shelves may be introduced if needed: they are very convenient for bringing your plants near the glass. A. C. H.
Orchis metadata superba. — A fine variety of the well-known spider orchis found in Ayrshire, and which this year received a first-class certificate from the Floral Committee of the Royal Horticultural Society when exhibited by Messrs. Osborn of the Fulham Nurseries. — L 'Illustration Horticolc.
Jaearanda digitaliflora albiflora. — A variety sent to M. Verschaffelt from Rio de Janeiro, and having white flowers with a yellow throat. — Ibid*
IONA AND DELAWARE.
These varieties of our native grape may be compared and classed with those grapes of Europe, such as the Pinot, sometimes called the Burgundy grape, and of which their most excellent Burgundy wines are made; the Riessling, or Klamer, known also under many other local names, of which the fine German wines of the Hock class are made; including Steinburg and Johannisberg, the most precious and costly wines of Europe. That the Iona and Delaware do compare favorably with those named, no one who has tasted the wine made from them, side by side with the best brands of the celebrated wines named, can doubt. The Delaware loses nothing in comparison, while the Iona gains; for it undoubtedly has qualities superior to all, which are brought out and clearly proved to the mind of the most inexperienced wine-taster by this comparison.
It is difficult for one of us to believe, that, while yet grape-culture is in its infancy, we have already a grape fully equal, and in some respects superior, to the best known in the Old World, — the must of Iona made from grapes fairly ripe weighing 120; while that from fruit more perfectly ripened, slightly shrivelled, but yet taken directly from the vine to the press, weighed 140. Compare this must with that made from the most thoroughly ripened fruit of Catawba, Clinton, or Concord, and remember the Iona has no excess of acid, and also remembering the exquisite flavor of the grape, and who can doubt its making a wine equal to the best in the world? I have a bunch of Iona grapes now before me: it was put away last fall for the purpose of saving the seeds in best condition for planting this coming spring. Looking it up to-day, I found it as perfect a cluster of raisins as I have ever seen. It has been, since taken from the vine, in a cold, dark, damp room in which there has been no fire. I did not think it possible for any grape to dry into a raisin under such circumstances. A bunch each of several varieties was with it; but all had decayed, except the Iona.
Concord and Clinton may be classed with that European family of grapes known as Gamai. This class of grapes is distinguished for its early and abundant productiveness, but of great inferiority of quality; so that its
VOL. T. 36
produce is unfit for commerce. It is sold very cheaply, and is emphatically a poor man's wine. It is produced mostly by those who rent their land for a term of years. Its early produce and wonderful productiveness, often yielding two thousand gallons to the acre, make it more desirable to them than the better kinds, which do not come into bearing before the seventh year; and then the produce is small, comparatively, — never more than two or three hundred gallons per acre. There is no such reason for making the planting of poor grapes desirable here in America. Any one able to plant a vineyard at all can be the owner of the land: besides, there is no such disparity between the early and abundant productiveness of our best kinds and those far inferior. With the care and attention given to the vineyards in other countries, we can get early, abundant, and regular crops from such varieties as Iona and Delaware; and in locations where it is not subject to disease, and the season is long enough to ripen its fruit, the Catawba.
A well-ripened Catawba is indeed a good grape; yet in my own location on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, where it always ripens, and only once in fifteen years has the crop been injured by rot or mildew or any other disease, even now many are planting Concord, because, though of poor quality, its produce is abundant, and it is believed to require less care in its cultivation.
Though, with good cultivation and management, the Catawba produces as large a crop as could be desired, and is even more certain than is a good crop of corn, yet it is thrown aside by many that they may plant varieties infinitely inferior, simply because they require, or are supposed to require, less care. It seems to be a constant study with some how they are to grow grapes with the least work and attention; caring nothing for quality, so that the vines produce grapes.
It is well known that those who own vineyards in France and Germany, whose wines have a world-wide reputation, make it the business of their lives to produce the best in quality, knowing well that the extra price will repay them tenfold for any loss in quantity. And thus must our vine-growers do before they meet with great success.
The introduction of the Catawba grape gave to grape-culture in America the first glimpse of success. Mr. Longworth proved that it would make a real wine. This excited the masses among vine-growers that something yet better might be produced. Many varieties have been produced since then. The Iviana was the first that excelled the Catawba in quality, and earliness of ripening its fruit; and it is surprising that this grape, which has so many good qualities both for table and for wine, has not been more extensively planted. C. y. May.
Warsaw, Hancock County, Iii.
(To be comiuued.)
Som E of the most astonishing phenomena of Nature are the results of an aggregation of minute forces. So insignificant are these when examined singly, that it is scarcely credible, that, when indefinitely multiplied, they could become a beneficence or a terror. A single snow-flake floating in the air might be taken as an emblem of fragility and evanescence; yet myriads of them unite to stay the rush of a rolling engine as abruptly as a granite hill, and to build up a towering berg which crushes an oak-ribbed ship like an egg-shell. An atom of oxygen is scarcely appreciated in the chemist's nice scales; yet the immense numbers that mingle in the atmosphere give life to all breathing creatures, and feed the conflagration of cities. Should the farmar, when viewing some of his treasures through a powerful lens, discover an infinitesimally minute round body, so small as even under that magnifying influence to be scarcely apparent, he would hardly credit the fact, that in that little pellucid ball, so small that his unassisted eye would utterly fail to perceive it, lay the cause of his crop's failure and his own ruin. Yet such is the origin of the many pests which infest the farms and gardens of the world.
The various species of fungi which are grouped together under the general names of rust, smut, bunt, and mildew, belong to the lowest and simplest of all. Rust is the familiar term given to the yellow, brown, or reddish powdery masses which are found on the leaves or stems of a great variety of plants. Although mere coatings of adherent dust in appearance, they exhibit, under the microscope, a regular structure; and many of them are beautiful objects to behold. The genus Uredo infests the leaves of hosts of plants, but is less destructive than some of its congeners. The old genus included the black-spored species, which have since been separated under distinct names. As now limited, Uredo includes the yellow-spored forms, more or less circumscribed in spots or blotches. On the under side of the leaves, generally, of many plants, may be seen these yellow spots, sometimes scattered irregularly, and sometimes confluent over the whole leaf. They germinate within its tissues, the fungus being then merely branching threads, termed mycelium, which, at a certain stage of growth, give off from their ends little globules, which are individual cells, that fall away at maturity, and constitute the reproductive germs. They burst through the epidermis, and appear on the surface; and, as the threads of the mycelium continue to give off these terminal cells, they soon cover the leaf with a dense mass which looks like dust. Under a high power of the microscope, they appear as little pellucid globules- Their germination consists in a protrusion of their inner membrane from different points of the surface, which grows into similar branching threads to those which first gave them birth. This is the whole plant, a branching thread, and a terminal cell for a germ. If any one will hunt among the leaves of the low wild blackberry, he will find the under surface covered with a splendid orange-colored felt. This is the mass of spores of Uredo nitens. The winter-green (Pyrola rotundifolia) is infested with another species, Uredo Pyrolce, which appears in round spots. Another species is found on grasses and corn: in fact, these yellow rusts occur on a vast number of plants of all families.
Nearly identical with Uredo is the genus ALcidium, differing in having a surrounding membrane, distinct from the epidermis of the plant it infests, which breaks at the apex, and shows itself in a little lacerated margin which radiates irregularly around the mass of spores in the centre. It occurs on a great variety of plants. The common barberry will furnish specimens every summer. The leaves are spotted with a blistery pustule; which will be found, on close examination, to be dotted with little yellow points made up of a mass of yellow spores, contained in a membranous pocket, irregularly jagged at the edges. This is Aicidium Berberidis. Gooseberries are attacked by A. Grossularice. An allied genus, Rcestelia, is found on pomaceous plants. We have seen a young quince completely