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last few days, which no one who sees it could think of omitting. It is a perennial, — a columbine called by botanists Aquilcgia glandulosa. Its blooming season is far in advance of that of its kindred. It is of low and modest growth, its tufts of delicate leaves seldom rising more than a hand'sbreadth from the earth; and the flower-stalk which they send up is from a foot to a foot and a half high. At its top it bears one, two, three, or half
a dozen superb flowers, in shape like stars, from two to four inches in width, the centre white, and the points bright blue. There is not on the whole list of perennials a more delicate or beautiful flower. The strength of its constitution is another matter. A large bed of them stood out last winter safely here, with a thin covering of leaves. If, however, this should eventually prove frail, there is another columbine, — Aquilegia alpina,— undoubtedly hardy, and almost as good. It differs from glandulosa chiefly in that the extremities of the flower-leaves are more pointed. The plant is, however, far more robust, and has borne the test of several winters unharmed. It is still rare; though other columbines are often sold under its name.
Funkia Sieboldii variegata.—This fine plant takes its place here, not in right of its flowers, which do not appear till some time later, but for the sake of its beautiful foliage, just now in perfection. It is one of the day lilies. Its large tufts of broad leaves, of a soft and delicate green, richly veined and marbled with pure white, make it one of the most ornamental of hardy foliage plants.
One more flowering shrub, and we close for the present, reserving the rest of this month of blossoms for our next. The shrub is an alpine daphne, — Daphne Quorum, — very dwarf in its habit of growth, with small leaves set thickly along its pliant stems, which bear at every extremity clusters of bright-pink flowers, as fragrant as they are pretty. We have heard imputations cast on Daphne Cneorum. Its maligners have said that it is not quite hardy, and needs the protection of its native snow. We only know that it has stood here for years uninjured, and that it is one of eight or ten shrubs that are the last we would part with.
There are some varieties of pears to which few persons, however critical, can for any reason object. Some of these are old favorites, and others are newer, but equally good sorts. The pomologist and experienced fruitgrower may think it unnecessary to call by name, and describe, such kinds as have been so long before the public, and whose good qualities have become so widely known; but it should be borne in mind that there is a large class to whom such information as this will prove acceptable. Since the apple-crop in the immediate vicinity of large cities, and along the sea
VOL. L II
coast of Massachusetts, has proved a failure, many persons have planted pear trees instead of apple, and almost to the entire exclusion of the latter. The majority of such persons are novices in pear-growing, and may not know the best varieties, such as can be planted with a reasonable certainty of success. It will be the object of this article .to give such information to this large class to whom we have referred. We shall begin with that old favorite, —
still seem to be greatly in favor of such a belief. Perhaps no pear in the country is so widely known, and so popular, as this noble fruit. It was cultivated extensively by Enoch Bartlett of Roxbury, whose name it bears; and was widely disseminated by him. Mr. Downing says," It is an English variety, which originated about 1770 in Berkshire, and was afterwards propagated by a London grower by the name of Williams. It comes from Europe generally marked " Williams." No pear succeeds better in every variety of soil and location, and no variety gives better crops of good fruit; and, though it may be of foreign origin, it seems perfectly adapted to our climate. Its earliness is also very much in its favor; for it comes at a season of the year when a delicious pear is very acceptable. The tree is an upright and good grower when young, with yellowish-brown wood, with a rather narrow, medium-sized, glossy, folded leaf. The fruit is large, pyramidal, sometimes a little uneven and knobby; stalk stout, about an inch long, set in a rather shallow, uneven cavity; open calyx, in a shallow basin, sometimes plaited; skin yellow, smooth, and thin, often with a beautiful blush on the sunny side, and, in some locations, with considerable russet; flesh white, fine-grained, melting, 'with a peculiar perfumed, vinous flavor, not admired by all; somewhat variable in quality. Time of ripening, 1st to 20th of September. It is a great bearer, and the tendency of the tree on this account is to premature old age. It does pretty well on quince, but is much better as a standard; and the fact that it comes into bearing very early renders it less desirable to dwarf it. One of our best fruit-growers gives the average age of the Bartlett-tree, after it comes into bearing, as twenty-five years, — a much shorter period than is generally accorded to pear-trees.
Seckel. — This is another well-known variety, and one that stands, in point of quality, before any other pear in the world. It is an American variety, the history of which is quite interesting, as given by Downing. It originated near Philadelphia, and seems to have been a chance seedling, as are many of our very best American pears. The tree is a slow grower, with short-jointed, dark-colored wood, and small, roundish leaves. It is quite compact and regular in form, healthy, and long-lived. The fruit is from small to medium size, quite regular in form, nearly obovate; color dull yellow, with russet, and generally with a bright-red cheek on exposed specimens; calyx small, nearly closed, in a shallow basin; stem short, slightly curved, rather slender, set in a slight depression; the flesh yellowish-white, very juicy, with a rich peculiar flavor and aroma, unlike
any other pear. It is, if possible, too rich, — almost cloying. The time of ripening is last of September to last of October. The tree is a long time coming to maturity, but lives to good age, and yields its rich fruit in abundance, which always commands a high price. It is very doubtful if a pear of better quality can be produced. It seldom does well as a dwarf, and should not be planted as such.
Urbaniste.—This is a variety of foreign origin that deserves a higher place among pears than it has yet received. It is several years coming into bearing, even on quince. It is, in all respects, a first-rate pear. The tree is a fair grower, of regular shape, and compact, very hardy, with rather shortjointed, yellowish wood, with peculiar roundish and prominent leaf-buds. When the tree once comes into bearing, it yields large crops of fine, fair fruit, which command a ready sale at good prices. Fruit medium to large size, obovate, obtuse at stem-end; stalk an inch or more long, often having one or more leaf-buds upon it, rather stout, set in a slight depression; calyx small, nearly closed, in a narrow, well-defined cavity; skin thick, generally