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The last remedy which I have to note is sprinkling the floors, walls, &c., morning and evening, with four ounces of Peruvian guano dissolved in a gallon of water, and especially at the time of shutting up the house. The atmosphere is thus largely impregnated with ammonia, and in such red spider cannot live.
Prevention is, in all cases, better than cure; and to this end a dressing applied in winter to trees that are liable to be attacked will be found effectual, coating not only the stems and branches, but the walls. This dressing may be made of soft-soap, at the rate of four ounces to every gallon of water, with enough of this to equal parts of flowers of sulphur and fresh lime to bring them to the consistency of paint for the trees, and of whitewash for the walls. The application should be repeated on the walls and heated surface when the leaves attain their full size, and again when the fruit commences to ripen. Its action depends on the fumes of the sulphur being generated by artificial or sun heat; and the soft-soap causes the mixture to adhere: the lime, too, is a powerful remedy against spider, and its more formidable rival, mildew. By thus dressing the stems and branches, the eggs are destroyed.
Lastly, daily sprinkling the floors and every available surface, from the time that growth commences, with soot-water, — made by placing in a cask a peck of dry soot, and pouring over it thirty gallons of water, — will produce an atmosphere in which red spider will rarely appear. Soot-water, with the addition of a peck of sheep's dung to thirty gallons of water, is excellent for filling evaporation-troughs; and so, too, is guano, at the rate of four ounces to the gallon of water. For syringing, the soot-water should be clear, and it will not injure the most delicate foliage ; but guanowater for syringing should not only be clear, but strained, and not stronger than one ounce to the gallon. Dressing, with soot, borders in which are trees or plants liable to be attacked, is a very good preventive ; also watering overhead with guano-water in the evening : but the best of all preventives and remedies is to keep the plants moist, to give plenty of air, and to maintain as cool an atmosphere as is consistent with their healthy development.
G. Abbey, in “Cottage Gardener.”
NOTES AND GLEANINGS.
BEURRÉ CLAIRGEAU PEAR. – Take it for all in all, the Beurré Clairgeau, though not first-class in all respects, is a pear which ought to have a place in every garden which is not of the most limited extent. It combines in itself so many of the qualifications that go to make a good fruit, that, wherever there is room, it ought to find a place. Its size is of the largest, and its color the brightest; its form is most graceful ;; and its quality, in certain situations, is excellent. For the dessert it has few rivals ; and, as its season extends from the beginning of November till January, it is invaluable for keeping up a supply. The tree is of remarkable fertility, and of moderate size. It does not produce a very vigorous growth, and is, consequently, well adapted either for bush-culture or for pyramids. To have the fruit in the finest possible condition, it ought to be grown in one of these forms. We have seen dwarf bushes laden with fruit of immense size, where proper attention has been paid to thinning, and exposure to the sun's rays, and particularly so when it was so near the soil as to benefit from the radiation. On espaliers, or against an east or west wall, we have also seen it produced in high condition. When grown upon quince, the tree succeeds better if double worked.
This beautiful pear originated at Nantes, about the year 1838, in the garden of Pierre Clairgeau, a gardener in the Rue de la Bastille of that city. It first fruited in 1848 ; and that same year he exhibited it, on the 22d of October, at the Horticultural Society of Loire-Inférieur. It is believed to have been produced from a cross between the Brown Buerré and Duchesse d'Angoulême. The original tree was purchased by M. De Jonghe of Brussels, and formed part of his collection at St. Gilles in the suburbs of that city. — Adapted from the Florist.
LABELS FOR TREES. - At a recent meeting of the Institute of Technology, held in Boston, Hon. M. P. Wilder made a statement relative to a new method of labelling trees, accidentally discovered by him. In the use of zinc labels, which were the most durable in character, an indelible ink was used ; but, not having the ink at hand on one occasion, he wrote upon the zinc with a lead pencil. This writing, although it could be rubbed off when first made, grew more distinct and durable with age, and, after several years, could not be erased, except by scraping.
CYPRIPEDIUM INSIGNE. — It is scarcely possible to overestimate the merits of this old winter-blooming orchid for decorative purposes. In December, I introduced into my sitting-room, which is not one of the warmest, a plant just on the point of expanding its chaste slipper-like flowers; and it has far exceeded my expectations regarding its suitability as, a decorative plant for such purposes. The blossoms are scentless, and this is the only drawback to the plant; for, in every other respect, it is all that can be desired.
The cultivation of Cypripedium insigne is extremely simple, and propagation is readily effected by small offsets at almost any season; but February and March are, on the whole, the most suitable months. My plants are growing in common loam, leaf-mould, silver sand, and broken potsherds, and are well drained. Even in this common and generally-attainable compost, they thrive remarkably well. During the early part of the season, this Cypripedium requires plenty of heat and moisture, and shade from excessively bright sunshine : it grows well under the shade of vines, -as well as, if not better than, in an orchid-house. About the middle of October, the plants may be introduced into a warmer atmosphere, that of a warm sitting-room for instance; and, by the first or second week in December, they will reward the cultivator with the sight of their exquisitely-shaped blooms.
For the decoration of rooms I would not recommend too large plants to be grown, but rather to divide them more frequently. Large plants are not, in general, so suitable for the purpose as those of smaller size. — 7. L., in Florist.
OLD PLANTS versus New. —"Have you any thing new ?" is the question most frequently asked of florists, and always answered in the affirmative, though frequently the plants are new only in name. New plants in thumb-pots are as plenty as the stars of heaven, and every spring brings fresh discoveries. Florists are not to blame for this inundation of new plants; they only cater to the public taste, and strive to meet the demand : and so each year we have new carnations, new verbenas, up to the costly screw-pines (Pandanus) and rare stove-plants, which one year excite attention, only to be forgotten the
Old plants should not be neglected for new,- indeed, in many cases, should have the preference; as we value an old friend who has never failed us more than an untried fresh acquaintance. A good rule is, to always have an eye to novelty, but never to prefer it to quality. Were this adopted, how much disappointment would be saved with vaunted noveities which experience proves worthless!
True, there are good new plants in the classes of stove, greenhouse, bedding, and garden: but we probably have more good old ones; so old, indeed, that most persons consider them new.
Can we prove this better than by mentioning Daphne cneorum ?-a very old plant, yet just coming into notice ; possessing every requisite, - perfectly hardy, evergreen, free-flowering, brilliant in color, exceedingly fragrant, and of easy culture. Iberis sempervirens, Sedum Siebodii, Spirea, or Hottya Japonica, are all of the same class, yet were introduced twenty-five years ago ; and the list might be increased tenfold.
The well-known fraxinella (Dictamnus albus, or D. fraxinella) is one of the best hardy perennials, of fine habit, brilliant and fragrant, and keeping in good foliage long after its season of bloom is past. A dwarf evergreen Alpine plant, which we seldom see, is Saxifraga pyramidalis, or S. cotyledon, suitable for edging, and bearing handsome pyramidal spikes of white flowers from eighteen inches to two feet and a half in height.
What can be prettier than our native butterfly-weed (Asclepias tuberosa), called also pleurisy-root, and the large lady's-slipper (Cypripedium spectabile), both easily grown, and two of the handsomest plants of the Northern States, yet rarely seen in cultivation ?
In the greenhouse, what new plant can compare with Arbutus andrachne, introduced to cultivation a century and a half ago ?
It is one of the best winter-blooming plants we have, coming into flower about Christmas, and lasting till March. All the acacias, of which the oldest are better than the newest, flower in winter, but can be retarded, if desired, until spring.
Of Ixoras, of which many species have been latterly introduced, there is nothing better than the old Ixora coccinea, which is one of the most brilliant and showy of hot-house plants. It bears large heads of phlox-like flowers of a brilliant orange-scarlet, which last several weeks in perfection; and the plant is of good habit, bushy, with large camellia-like leaves.
Contrast with this the well-known laurustinus (Viburnum tinus), with bunches of pure white flowers. This is, however, a hardier plant, and will bear twenty to twenty-five degrees of frost without injury. If well cared for, it may always be depended upon for flowers, and can be forced or retarded at pleasure. Though perhaps not so easy to grow as some of the new eupatoriums or stevias, in point of beauty it is inferior to no plant new or old.
Now, will some enthusiast for new plants show me any better plants in their class than those above mentioned ? I am ever a learner, but cannot sacrifice quality to novelty, real excellence to uncertain worth.
Anthrophilus. TROY, N.Y.
PRUNING CONIFERS. — The pines require little or no pruning. When a specimen loses its lead, some attention is necessary to secure a fresh one without spoiling the form of the tree. All loose rambling branches should be kept within bounds by timely stopping.
The spruce-firs also require little or no pruning, save stopping straggling shoots, and attending to the leads. The hemlock-spruce, however, requires considerable attention in pruning to secure handsome specimens.
Some of the silver-firs require a good deal of pruning, especially Picea Cephalonica and pinsapo. The young growth of P. Cephalonica, like that of P. Webbiana and some others, owing to its early budding forth in spring, is sometimes killed by the late frosts; and the plants, in consequence, have a stunted appearance. One of our best specimens had all its young growth killed by a late frost ten years ago, except the leading bud, which escaped uninjured. That same season, all the energies of the plant being thrown into this single bud, it made a wonderful shoot; and the tree has ever since continued to flourish in a remarkable degree, not a single bud having been the least injured since. Since that time, I have freely used the knife on other plants of this kind. P. pinsapo does not bud so early in spring as P. Cephalonica. The young growth is seldom or never injured by late spring frosts : but the trees, nevertheless, often grow very stunted and bushy, especially when young; and, when left untouched or unpruned, they often remain so many years. There are several promising young specimens here, all now growing away freely; but, when we got them, they were bushy, stunted plants, and for some years after they made little progress upwards, the growth of the leading shoots rarely exceeding a few inches in length, and in many cases not more than one or two inches. By å liberal use of the knife in well thinning the branches, and directing the energies of the plants into the leading shoots, I have now got the greater part of them into a free-growing state. This, of all conifers, requires the mɔst liberal use of the knife ; for, unless the branches are kept well thinned out, the leading growth is poor, and the plants get a stunted, bushy growth.
There are many kinds of conifers that require little or no pruning with the knife. When properly attended to from a young state, stopping and pinching will effect all that is required.
I would advise all who have charge of extensive and valuable collections of conifers to examine every specimen as often as they can find time to do so : they will then see any little matter that needs attending to, such as the loss of leading bud or shoot from accident or otherwise,-a loss which by timely attention is soon repaired without any detriment to the specimen, but which, if overlooked for some time, may not be so easily rectified. — M. Saul, in Florist.
GRAFTING RHODODENDRONS. — The best time to graft rhododendrons is towards the end of August, or early in September, when the shoots have ripened. The shoots of stock and scion should be of equal thickness, or as nearly so as possible. It is best performed by what is known as side-grafting, - putting in the grafts near the soil. The head of the stock should be cut off six inches above the union, leaving some leaves on it. To this the graft may be tied. After grafting, place and keep in a close cold frame until the union is complete, which will be the case in six or eight weeks. Then give air, and harden off. In spring, the part of the stock above the graft may be cut off neatly immediately above the point of union. The grafting may be done in spring just at the time growth commences, but success is not so certain in spring as late in summer.
RAPHANUS CAUDATUS. — The following note on the culture of this new vegetable may not be uninteresting:
Its treatment does not differ from that of the common radish ; only the pods, and not the root, is the part used. The seed may be sown in pots in good light soil about the middle of April, and placed in a gentle heat. When the young plants are large enough to handle, they may be potted off singly in small pots ; but a better plan is to sow the seeds singly in small pots, and, when a few inches high, to harden off, and plant out one foot apart every way, in a sunny, open exposure, the soil being in good heart. This radish prefers a lightish loam. Water will be necessary during hot weather. The seed may be sown in the open