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These hardy species may be transplanted in the spring before they begin to grow, or in the fall after they have ceased growing. Removed at these, seasons, the roots may be entirely separated from the soil with safety, and transported by mail or express to almost any distance. But I have received roots taken up while the plants were in flower, which, with care, have succeeded well. In this case, some of the native soil or turf should be taken up with the roots. The great danger in their cultivation lies in their getting dry during the season after they have bloomed. If a good growth is not made during the summer, they will not have gathered strength enough to flower the following spring, and perhaps not constitution enough to keep alive a second season. They should, therefore, be grown in the shade, and carefully watered through the summer after flowering, and perhaps mulched with moss. Mine, however, do well without mulching. C. acaul e is an exception to this treatment, as it regularly fails with me. It evidently requires a dryer and sandier soil than the others; yet it is found in its native state both in dry and wet situations. C. parviflorum is less particular as to soil and moisture than any of the species. They are all, however, impatient of being disturbed, and can only be domesticated by being left alone when once transplanted. It is well (not necessary) to protect them in winter with a thin covering of leaves or light litter.
The strips of ground on the north side of house-walls, generally so desolate, where the sun's rays do not reach, and where even grass will not thrive, may be converted into the most picturesque and attractive portions of the garden by the introduction of hardy Cypripedia and ferns.
All of the native species may be successfully grown in pots in a cold plant-house: but I have had no experience in this mode of culture. Mr. L. Menand of Albany, a professional florist, grows them in this way, and seldom fails to flower them in the early spring.
There is a very rare and beautiful little native orchid, Calypso borealis, that resembles the Cyprijxdium in the sac-shape of its lip. I received a number of its tiny bulbs in full flower, last spring, from Canada. It has a single leaf, with a scape three or four inches high, bearing a large, variegated purple and yellow flower, the lip of which is three-fourths of an inch long. George B. Warren, Jun.
Troy, N.V., February, 1867.
(To be continued.)
The little blue flower, commonly known as Forget-me-not, divides with the pansy, heart's-ease, or lady's-delight, a multitude of tender recollections. Botanically, the plant is known as Myosotis; and the true forget-me-not of poetry and popular love is M. palustris, a native of England, and now everywhere naturalized.
The flowers are blue, with yellow eye, and in most places are produced all summer, and ripen abundance of seed.
Besides this, there are many other species, both annual and perennial, some tender, others very hardy: the annual are increased by seed; the perennials, both by seed and division. M. Alpestris is the well-known species of the Alps, with pretty dark-blue flowers. M. Azorica is a fine, tall, showy perennial from the Azores, as its name signifies. M. ccespetosa (tufted) intermedia, and nana, are natives of England ; and M. rupicola is a Scottish species, thriving, as its name implies, in the clefts of the rocks, and blooming very early in the season. All the above are perennials, except M. palustris. Of annuals we may mention M. arvensis alba, with white flowers; M. collina and M. peduncularis, both with blue flowers; and M. commutata, also with blue flowers, which is a biennial.
The variety which we figure is a seedling, recently obtained in Prussia by hybridizing between M. Alpestris and M. Azorica, and has been called Myosotis Imperatrice Elizabeth, or Semperflorens hybrida. It seems to have the fine, erect habit of the latter, combined with the compactness of the former; and in beauty, and abundance of flowers, leaves nothing to be desired. The flowers are deep, rich azure-blue, with dark-yellow eye. It flowers most abundantly during the whole season, from early spring until the severe frosts of autumn; a quality which must give it preference over many other varieties the period of whose flowering is very short.
It is hardy in Europe, and would probably stand our winters, certainly if protected with a cold-frame.
For forcing it is admirably adapted, and makes a charming pot-plant.
The plant is for sale in Europe, and will probably be obtainable of florists in this country the present summer. E.
THE CONCORD GRAPE.
The decision of the committee recently appointed to award the Greeley Prize to the best grape for general cultivation has the indication of merit, — that it has been thoroughly abused. At the first announcement that the Concord grape had been selected, every amateur was seized with a paroxysm; and even at the meeting of practical fruit-growers held in Rochester, N.Y., this award was so severely traversed, that a member of the committee who chanced to be present, perhaps fearing expulsion from the meeting,
TOL. I. 43
hastened humbly to disavow all responsibility for the decision, on the plea that he was "one of six."
Public attention thus awakened naturally inquires why it is (if this award has not some weighty reasons to back it) that the opinion of six gentlemen on a meagre exhibition of grapes should set the horticultural world into a ferment. Nursery-men would very naturally eye with disfavor any thing which would tend to make a twenty-five-cent grape-vine more popular than one which brings a dollar; but it is noticeable that this award has its worst enemies among the devotees of the science, who aim to foster fruitculture among their countrymen as an ennobling pursuit, and who view such questions disinterestedly.
There is no class of amateurs to whom America is more indebted than the amateur pomologists. To them we owe some of our choicest treasures, both of cultural knowledge and of varieties of fruit. But we submit, that, in such questions, the public occupies a different position from the amateur.
What is an amateur? He is a man whose cultivated taste demands perfection, without regard to cost. He is an epicurean in science or art.
What does the public demand in grape-culture? It demands, as cardinal points, certainty and cheapness of production. Quality, time of ripening, duration, are all secondary. It would actually prefer to raise with certainty a bunch of Concords for a penny, than to risk a doubtful chance of producing a bunch of Delawares or Rebeccas for a shilling.
"What taste!" cries an amateur. But can he or any one deny that these are essentials, without which no grape ought to be confidently recommended for general cultivation? Can he deny that the Concord grape is known to be hardy and prolific over as large a variety of soils and climates as any grape of as good a quality?
The amateur may enjoy his Dyer and Early Joe apples, his delicious Hooker strawberries, and his Dorchester blackberries; he may rest under the shade of his Delaware vine (if he can induce it to grow high enough), and commiserate at his leisure a public whose embryo tastes are satisfied with the Baldwin apple, the Wilson strawberry, or the Lawton blackberry: yet even he, scornful as he is, will not venture to gainsay the adaptability of these to general cultivation. Why should he be so opposed to placing
the Concord grape in the same category of unassailables? Is the Concord grape a whit more inferior as a grape than the Wilson is as a strawberry, or than the Baldwin is as an apple?
We would ask whether there is a surer way of adding to the number of intelligent grape-growers, and raising the general standard of taste, than by introducing to public notice some grape, albeit not of first quality, which will not disappoint either by mildew, lack of vigor, or paucity of fruit.
Will not every one who plants a Concord vine, and gathers his rich reward, be encouraged not only to plant more vines, but of choicer varieties?
Macedon, N.Y. Pro Bono Publico.
IONA AND DELAWARE.
The introduction of the Delaware gave us our first grape that could compare favorably with the best kinds of Europe. It is a grape of the highest excellence ; hardy and productive; free from disease in almost all locations. In the extreme hot summer of 1865, in my own vineyard, one hundred Delaware vines loaded with fruit showed not a sign of disease; while on the Catawba vines, in rows eight feet from the Delaware on either side, the fruit rotted badly. In other vineyards, the Delaware did equally as well. I have yet to see the first sign of rot, or of mildew to any extent, on my Delawares, of which I have over one thousand strong-bearing vines, and planted, last spring, six thousand young plants, of which I did not lose one.*
The introduction of the Iona grape was another step in advance. On sending it out, its originator (Dr. Grant) claimed for it many good qualities; so many, in fact, that it was at once marked as a humbug by some of our oldest vine-growers. They could not believe that such a grape had so soon been produced in America; and it at once became a mark for many pens (many honest ones, I have no doubt) to write at; and this has continued, to some extent, up to the present time. This was and is most unjust; first, because the half had not nor ever has been said in re
* The writer's location is specially favored; the great obstacles to the general cultivation of both the Iona and* Delaware are the tendency to mildew, the weak nature of the vine, and the long season required for the former variety.