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most interesting tribe of lovely blooming plants. To elucidate the mode of management so as to have bushy plants, it will be necessary to commence with the plants at their earliest stage.
The beginner must procure small sized plants of those he is desirous to grow, being careful to obtain them in a healthy condition, so that there is a prospect of their continued progress ; and they ought not to be more than two years old, and such as have had the leading shoot stopped not higher than one inch from the surface of the soil in which it is growing.
On obtaining such plants, examine the roots, by carefully turning them out of the pots, " keeping the ball entire,” and if there be plenty of healthy roots, give them a shift into pots that will allow one inch (not more) of additional fresh soil beyond the present ball. This process of re-potting should be repeated according as the state of the roots indicate; when such are numerous, and of a clean healthy character, then promote their health and growth by an additional shift to the extent as above described. If the plants have been shifted early in spring and properly managed afterwards, they will require another shift about midsummer; this more particularly applies to the quick growing kinds, such as E. hyemalis, Wilmoreana, and some of the ventricosas. Particular care must be taken not to overshift such kinds as E. tricolor and its varieties, retorta, Hartnellii, &c.
During their progress in growth, attention must be given to train and form the plants as may be desired. To have them bushy, however, the hearts of the young shoots must be pinched out when such shoots have extended to a suitable length. This is all the pruning attention that is necessary, and the plant being looked over twice during the growing period, is readily done, and the satisfactory form of the plants, as well as the bloom being much more increased in quantity and quality, most amply repays for such attention.
The young plants must not be allowed to bloom till they are good sized specimens, consequently as fower-buds appear, they must be carefully clipped off at their first appearance. If permitted to bloom the plants would be weakened in proportion, but prevented, they are strengthened thereby, and so much earlier they attain to a desirable size and form, and when this is secured, then the blooming must be promoted.
With the requisite degree of management in forming the plants, it will be many years before one becomes so unsightly as to require to be cut in as it is termed. I would not adopt it, for as young plants are easily obtained from cuttings, or can be generally bought at a cheap rate, “and properly formed,” a race to succeed any that may be too large for circumstances, is readily provided, and the others can be dispensed with.
When, however, it is desired to retain an overgrown specimen, and it be of the soft-wooded class, it may be successfully cut back to the size required, and a supply of young wood be obtained. If there be too many new shoots produced, they must be duly reduced, and the hearts of those retained be pinched out, as recommended with young plants. “Hard-wooded” kinds do not successfully bear cutting in to any extent, if a trial is made short pruning will be best. If proper attention to stopping the young shoots, &c., is given, especially with the hard-wooded kinds, it will be seldom necessary to have to cut in even an old plant. The best time to cut back any large plants is immediately “ after they have done blooming."
There has been a prevalent opinion, that this charming tribe of plants was most difficult to cultivate, this only arose from the improper treatment pursued by some cultivators. With very little, “but regular” attention to their management, no class of exotic plants is more easily cultivated.
My reasons for recommending such small plants to commence with, is, “ the certainty of their succeeding,” which is hazardous with old ones, when they are even obtained in a healthy state. I have known instances where valuable old plants, in a healthy state, have been properly removed to a distant part of the country, where the air, soil, and water have been somewhat different from what they had been accustomed to, immediately become sickly and soon die.
If they even survive, under such circumstances, they soon, from loss of foliage, become naked and unsightly. Young plants will succeed, and readily become acclimatized, and inured to the circumstances and situation in which they are placed.
From long and extensive experience with this tribe of plants, I recommend that they be grown in cold-pit frames during the summer, the floor having a good bed of cinder-ashes, and the plants not to be crowded, but where a circulation of air can readily go round each. Instead of giving the plants large quantities of water during hot, dry weather, give only a moderate supply, and, at the same time, “well soak” the bed of ashes on which they stand, this will keep the pots in a cool, moist state during the heat of the day. I find a pit frame is much more suitable for the summer situation of Heaths, than having the plants, as is generally done, arranged out upon the open ground, where the sun and dry scorching winds operating upon the pots, greatly damage the delicate fibrous roots, often to the destruction of the plant ; but in the pit (not a deep one) the roots, &c., have protection and a suitable atmosphere; besides the advantage of being able to protect the plants from heavy rains so frequent in the summer months, by readily placing the “glass lights” over them.
BY CLERICUS, SOMERSET. SOME remarks on the beauty of this shrub were inserted in the last Number of this Magazine. It is a favourite of mine, and I have twenty fine Standards, the stems being four feet high, and the heads four feet in diameter. The shrubs are grown in tubs, and they are placed along the sides of a straight broad walk, leading from the dwelling-house to a conservatory and flower-garden. At all times the plants have a pretty appearance, but especially so from November to May during the time they are in bloom. The plants were formed by training up a single stem, divesting it of side shoots as soon as they
appeared, and when high enough the head was readily formed. They far exceed the Orange tree in its blooming state, the numerous heads of waxy white flowers expanded, and the red buds of those not open have a charming appearance. Since I adopted this mode of treatment, eight years ago, the same process has been pursued by some of the nurserymen, and plants are now offered for sale.
Two years ago I bought two dozen of Standard Rhododendrons, about the same height as the Laurustinus, and when the latter are going out of bloom, the former are commencing, and I place them between the Laurustinus. Arbutus in bloom and fruit, red and yellowberried Hollies, are treated the same, and are beautiful through winter.
STRIKING CUTTINGS OF ERICAS.
BY AN EXTENSIVE PROPAGATOR. The shoots must be the young wood of the present year's growth, the earlier in the spring the better, but may be successful later. They must be half-ripened at least, a little beyond the better, but neither soft nor hard. The ends of leading, or side shoots, be cut off clean, to about an inch, or a little more. The leaves must be dressed off with a small sharp razor, close as possible to the stem, so that not the least part remain. Dress them off about half the way up, as high as they will be inserted in sand. Be careful not to injure the bark of the cutting. Take cuttings from healthy plants. Cut each cutting clean, horizontally, close below the origin of a leaf. Insert them in white sand, first moistened and pressed firm ; let the bottom of each cutting touch the sand; if a vacuum is allowed the cutting will perish. Press the sand close around the cutting but do not bruise it. Plunge the pot to the rim in some suitable material, in a cutting frame where there is a bottom heat about new milk warm, not more. Either cover with bell, or hand-glasses, or have a small frame placed in a cutting-house as is done at the Clapton Nursery.
With other continuous and due attention, nineteen out of every twenty cuttings will grow. The same kind of treatment with Epacris, Pimelea, Boronia, and similar tribes of greenhouse plants, Azaleas, &c., will be equally successful, striking root with the greatest readiness. As the earlier part of the year is the best for such operations, any late pushing plants should now be placed in a higher temperature than usual, to promote the production of proper ripened shoots at an earlier period.
PLEASANT REMINISCENCES OF A FLORAL PARTY.
BY ONE OF THE FIVE. It was on a beautiful serene sunny afternoon, in the third week in June, that I had the pleasure of incidentally meeting at the house of a friend four ardent admirers of the charms of Flora. The men of our party were of different age, profession, position in life, but they each possessed one point in common. There was a ready response in each bosom when PLEASANT REMINISCENCES OF A FLORAL PARTY.
one topic was touched on, indeed there appeared to be no other which could, with any power, enlist the sympathies of all present-need I say that subject was floriculture. The scene of attraction was not the hall, the market, the news-room, or the tavern ; it was a quiet unpretending flower-garden, in the south-eastern compartment of which there were stretched out, before the admiring eye, some half-dozen Ranunculus beds in gorgeous bloom.
A bystander might have supposed our party to have been quite aristocratic, for Queens, Princes, Dukes, Governors, and Presidents, were as familiar in their mouths as household words. Again, they might have been suspected of red-republicanism, for no high-sounding titles commanded their respect, the qualities of these personages were extolled or decried in manner most unceremonious. The truth is, the object of the afternoon was to select out of a thousand blooms the twenty-four best adapted for an exhibition; and hence Village Maids and Bonny Bessies were classified on equal footing with Princesses, Lords, and Dukes.
Our friend B., in whose garden we were, had that morning received from a distant grower a postal treasure, in the shape of a box of cut blooms, and this aided to enrich the proposed stand of flowers. Mr. F., in the pride of his heart, conceived he could outmatch the finest of the blooms in his four pets, Chimpanzee, Flaminius, Jane, and Jenny Lind; and as his garden lay within a mile, he started full of hopeful excitement to procure them.
It was agreed that thirty-six of the best varieties should be cut, numbered progressively, and staged ; that each of the visitors should have a vote of approval, and be supplied with a voting paper on which the numbers were recorded, and that each person should write off the twenty-four of his selection. The rule in gathering the blooms was, that if any two dissented from the choice the bloom should be rejected. The first sort, which was unhesitatingly selected, was of the edged class, viz., Şir John de Græme; its shape, size, and colouring, brought forth the ejaculation, “there's no mistake about that!" Secondly, came a patch of twenty blooms of Marquis of Hereford, a splendid crimson, full of petals, of great substance, smooth in margin, high in crown; this was accepted and cut. The third sort had five or six blooms expanded, the yellow was rich and clear, the spots distinct, the substance good, and this one, Indicator by name, was approved and gathered. A white flower was next the subject of some friendly disputation, good whites being really scarce. This issue was, that Wylie's Pearl was admitted to the ranks of competition. A fifth flower was Salome, the sixth John Waterston, the seventh the old fashioned, but still unequalled dark-self, Negro, or Naxara, and so on, up to the complimental number.
The flowers were soon arranged, and the work of censorship commenced. No arguments were used to influence the judgment. The choice was to be unbiassed, and when the votes were declared, the merits of the remaining blooms were to be debated over muffins and tea.
The following list will show the winning sorts, the class to which they belong, and the amount of patronage each one received :
Chimpanzee Indicator Sir John de Grame Pleaser John Waterston Flaminius Marquis of Hereford . Salome . . Alexis . . Sir H. Pottinger Enchanter Naxara . . Miriam . Festus . Jenny Lind Princess Royal Magellan Larne . Queen Victoria Interestor Lady Sale Prefect . Splendour Bijou . Pearl . Herald Coronation Mrs. Neilson . Verona . Lady Fitzherbert Eliza . Gulliver. Jane Alba maculata. Prince Albert. Olympia . .
White . . Edged . Yellow 1 Spotted . White . . Edged . . Yellow. Edged. White . . | Edged. Yellow . | Spotted Crimson . Self . . Cream. Edged . Yellow .
Spotted White . . | Edged. Yellow . Edged. Dark . . Self . White . . Edged . Yellow . Edged . . White . . Edged. Cream . . Spotted Yellow Spotted White . .
Edged. White . . Edged. White . . .
Edged. White . . Spotted Yellow ..
Mottled White . Spotted Yellow Edged . . White .
Self . . White. Edged.
Spotted . White .
Spotted . White. Edged. Straw . Self . . Sulphur Edged . White . .
Spotted . Sulphur . Spotted .
The first twenty-four were deemed elected as the best flowers of that day. The result was interesting to the party. The meeting was pleasant and instructive, and I have given a slight sketch of it with the hope it may be the type of many future gatherings.
REMARKS ON BROWALLIA JAMESONII.
BY MR. HENRY LAYTON, SPRING LODGE, LIVERPOOL. When this handsome, blooming, soft-wooded, evergreen, shrubby plant was first introduced by Messrs. Veitch, and bloomed in their establish