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and West, will agree with my Western friends. But, as we did not set out to discuss the term market-fruits, let it be laid aside for the present, lest the limits of this paper be transcended.
Influence of Soil and Climate. — Having thus set forth in brief terms the history of Western orchards, the sources whence they were derived, some of the mishaps which befell them, and the conclusions reached by the intelligent fruit-growers of the country, let us now inquire what may be some of the causes, which, after an average of twenty years' trial and observation, have forced them to these conclusions.
First let us consider the entirely different soils in which our orchards are planted. Upon the granite rocks, covered with a drift formation resulting from the glacial action of a former era upon the primary metamorphic and schistose rocks of the mountain region, there originated varieties of fruits which proved themselves adapted to that soil. These varieties have been removed to soils which rest upon the fertile diluvial drift formation of the West, which covers the horizontal strata of limestones and coal measures. They have been planted also in the rich alluvial deposits of lakes and rivers that have left their traces so manifestly upon our Western plateaux, long after the glacial action had ceased.
Next we must not overlook the influence of our seasons, nor forget that the climate of an elevated interior basin is necessarily very different from that of a mountain country with its narrow valleys that communicate directly with the ocean, itself calculated to exert a marked influence upon the atmosphere. Our weather may be too variable, with violent and sudden changes of temperature; the atmosphere may be at times too wet, at other times too dry. South of latitude forty degrees, it is quite probable, that, for many of the Northern varieties of fruits, our season is too long, causing the premature development and maturity of the seeds, and the consequent early decay of the pulpy fruit.
The result of twenty years' trial with the New-England varieties over a wide extent of Western orchards, and with an experience which has reached more than eighty years in some parts of the Ohio Valley, has shown us that most of the winter varieties of apples become autumn sorts, and are thus of greatly diminished value in the commercial orchard, because they do not keep well into the winter. Of twenty-three kinds introduced into the Ohio Purchase from Connecticut by the Marietta settlers, most have fallen into disrepute, and have long since disappeared from the nursery-lists, while very few remain in cultivation.
In closing this hasty sketch of the condition of Western orchards, we are forced to the conclusion, that the West has a work of its own to perform. All intelligent pomologists willingly acknowledge a heavy indebtedness to their Eastern friends and brethren, and freely accord to them the meed of praise, and of thanks for their valuable contributions of information; but, in the West, there are many important problems which must be solved by her own sons upon her own soils. Though we have ever been accustomed to look hopefully to the East for bright rays to illumine our pathway, and to aid us in solving the difficulties and in removing the obstructions that beset us, we can here expect but little assistance from that quarter. We must experiment, observe, and study, and endeavor to surmount these obstacles, for ourselves.
We are happy in feeling that many of these difficulties have already been nearly overcome. The introduction of shelter-belts of deciduous and evergreen forest-trees, of hedges, the closer planting of orchards, the low-headed trees, the use of root-pruning, and well-selected fruit-lists adapted to the several localities, and of hardy and productive varieties, have enabled us to demonstrate what was formerly believed to be an impossibility, — the production of fruitful orchards on the prairies, now known to be an accomplished fact.
Our Eastern friends must not hastily conclude from these remarks that we are willing to sunder our relations with them. No: the approaching meeting of the American Pomological Society in St. Louis has been hailed with universal joy by almost every horticultural association in the West, and a larger attendance is anticipated than has ever been seen at the assembling of that body. A feeling approaching to veneration is entertained for the veteran leader of that society, and his worthy coadjutors in the Eastern States, many of whom we hope to see among us in September. To their words of wisdom we shall lend, attentive ears.
John A. Warder.
Flowers are valued by me very much as my pictures are. I have no picture-gallery, and I have no conservatory; but I have pictures and flowers to furnish my house, and to give an atmosphere which upholsterers and cabinet-makers cannot compass. They are companions to me as much as books are. I enjoy their peaceful society. They are a refined and constant resource. I have a sympathetic interest in books, pictures, and flowers: I love them very much as I love my wife and my children. In the room where I now indite these reflections, I am surrounded by their agreeable influence. I look up from my paper, and behold upon the shelves of
bookcases the works of Ruskin, Washington Irving, and Shakspeare; and, on the walls beside them, exquisite paintings in water-colors by Birket Foster and Mrs. Murray; while just at my left are the blooms of exotic orchids, Cypripcdia, Dendrobia, and Phalcenopsis, gracefully intermingled with ferns and variegated foliage. The satisfaction arising from these associations is, in a large degree, aesthetic. I know something of flowers and their scientific relations; but my botanical researches are only to inform and enlighten my judgment, that my aesthetic appreciation may be more critical and comprehensive. I have cultivated myself to understand some
what the best books in the different departments of literature, the chief merits of the different schools of art, and the rareness and peculiarities of the different classes of plants. I am just amateur enough in these things to enjoy understandingly the best. The profit of this innocent pleasure is not, generally, correctly estimated. To study for the purpose of becoming an author, a botanist, or a painter, is accounted worth the doing; but to inform one's self for the mere pleasure of appreciation is hardly deemed meritorious, certainly not profitable.- The great moral advantage is not perceived. The intellectual and spiritual profit is not inculcated in ordinary arithmetics, especially as to the acquirement of knowledge and taste respecting pictures and flowers. I hold, however, that all knowledge is profit; that taste is the result of knowledge, or at least dependent upon it. But to demonstrate the profit derived from the study of pictures and flowers would lead me into a discussion of the philosophy of life, and the nature and meaning of profit, which had better not be indulged in at the present time. Civilization is cultivation, and the highest civilization reaches into and is distinguished by exalted education in art. Horticulture is art, and high art too, as decidedly as literature, music, painting, and sculpture. At the Botanical Congress in London last summer, the importance of horticulture to botany and agriculture was fully explained, as also its general beneficial influence upon the moral and material interests of mankind, in the discussions evoked, and especially in the able and exhaustive essay of the president, M. de Candolle of Geneva. Its usefulness is recognized by scientific minds throughout the world, and is being developed, in a practical sense, by every year's added experiments. The profit, in a scientific way, is readily understood. The trouble is to see its value in the moral scale, and to admit the importance of its influence upon man's moral nature and upon the moral interests of society. The romantic associations of flowers, their poetic status, the most unappreciative will not deny; but picturesqueness, they contend, is not virtue, and aesthetics are not a safe code of morals. Yet, as we are surrounded by objects which appeal directly through our senses, it certainly seems wise that we should cultivate our senses to appreciate what is best and purest and most refined. The study of the beautiful is ennobling in directing our thoughts to the contemplation of whatever is symmetrical and graceful and pure and true. There is enough already said about the education of the intellect, but hardly a word about the education of senses, when it is known that character depends upon a man's sentiments and tastes rather than upon intellectual achievements. A man's pleasures — those things which occupy and amuse his leisure — mould and influence his moral character vastly more than his work. To educate the senses to apprehend and enjoy the noble and the beautiful is to elevate and exalt human nature. We must be taught what is beautiful and symmetrical and pure and true, and educated to find pleasure in the contemplation of excellence, if we expect to enjoy the highest sentiments, and to keep above the degradation to which the senses, unaided, might lead us.
There is so much contributed through the senses to make up the man, that we should analyze profoundly the capabilities and range of sensational pleasure. Sensational gratifications may be lofty or low; and they are so mysteriously mixed up with the subtlest elements of our being, that it is almost impossible to define their limits. I know the word "sensational " is, with the public, by no means a synonyme for spiritual or intellectual; and the very reason of its occupying so low a status is, because we allow the senses, in a great degree, to select their own avenues of pleasure, and to expatiate in the lower ranges of animal gratification.
The following sentiments of the great German poet (Goethe) express so appropriately the necessity of cultivating and keeping alive the aesthetic faculty by disciplining the senses to apprehend and enjoy the consummate and the excellent, that I am resolved to quote them here :—
"Men are so inclined to content themselves with what is commonest, sp easily do the spirit and sense grow dead to the impression of the beautiful and the perfect, that every person should strive to nourish in his mind the faculty of feeling these things by every thing in his power; for no man can bear to be wholly deprived of such enjoyment. It is only because they are not used to taste of what is excellent that the generality of people take delight in silly and insipid things, provided they be new. For this reason, every day one ought to see a fine picture, read a good book, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."
These philosophical ideas, however, may not be considered apropos in a horticultural journal; and I may incur the penalty of being called to order
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