Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

about 30 units; and is not injurious, otherwise than by eating garden fruits or grains, — items that I do not consider in the present discussion. From the middle of September until November, its food loses much of its fruit character, because of the failure of supply; and it feeds at least two-thirds on insects and other noxious animals: it is therefore beneficial 30 units, and is not injurious; and, during November and December, it i«t beneficial to about the same extent that it is in February and March, or about 40 units.

We have now but to condense the foregoing results, and we have, in the aggrej ite, the sum total of the crow's merits and demerits.

We find, that, during the whole year, it is beneficial to the amount of 229 units, and that it is injurious to the extent of 4,918 units. If, for the sake of the greatest indulgence, we take but one-fourth of this enormous disproportion as the actual fact, we still have an exhibit that proves at once that these birds are not only worthless, but are ruinously destructive.

In presenting this short article, I will say that I am not moved in the least by prejudice or ill feeling for a much-disliked bird; but that I state the facts as they are, and simply to throw a little light on a subject that has given rise to much discussion and controversy. In conclusion, I will say that the jays are equally injurious with the crows, and that they are not deserving of a moment's indulgence or protection at the hands of the ruralist.

E. A. Samuels.

TABLE DECORATIONS.

During the last few years, much attention has bean attracted in England to the decorations usually employed for the dinner-table; and the result has been the general disuse of the old style of clumsy, awkward epergties, composed of heavy-plated white metal and glass, and the introduction of a neater, lighter, and more artistic form of ornament. These new styles depend mostly for effect on the flowers and foliage with which they are filled; the material of the epergne filling, as is proper, a secondary place. At the International Horticultural Exhibition in London, in May last, liberal prizes were offered for the best designs for table-decoration; and the result was the production of many, which, for simplicity, neatness, and elegance, can hardly be excelled.

VOL. I 7

In this country, much improvement is possible in this respect; and we commend the subject to the notice of our horticultural societies.

The following description of some of the decorations which attracted most attention may prove interesting :—

[graphic]

The above figure represents one of the dinner-table decorations. Such ornaments for the dining-table are confessedly the most difficult arrange

[ocr errors]

ments that taste has to achieve. If very dwarf, they are insignificant, except to the guests beside them; if of medium height, and closely ornamented with flowers and foliage, they intercept all vis-a-vis communication, and destroy the effect which ought to be produced by the tout ensemble of the fable; if tall, so that a portion of the floral decoration is above the heads of the guests, and the remainder on the level of the table, the effect of those separated portions of decoration is extraordinarily weakened. This design, we think, avoids all these defects. Though of medium height, the uppeT part is of a form not to obstruct the eye of the guest in any direction ; yet Ihe floral decoration is sufficiently raised to entirely rescue it from being considered insignificant, even by the guests most distant from it.

The figure may be thus briefly described: A glass stalk rises perpendicularly from the centre of a circular glass minor; and, from the outer edges of this mirror, glass chains connect it with the top of the central stalk. These glass chains are not by any means small and fragile, but sturdy-looking links, stouter than those of iron that are used by wagoners for yoking horses; and they, not being tight, give a graceful and easy bend to what is, in reality, a brace. The outer rim of this mirror is very tastefully dressed with flowers and foliage; and a little, but very little, of these is laid against the three chains, which form so important a part of the design; the whole requiring very little of either flowers or foliage.

The flowers used are blue and white iris and double narcissus, foliage of the same, and a few ferns and variegated leaves in character. For the border, small plants of lily of the valley and of ferns, intermixed with ivy. Side devices, rather smaller than the centre, may have crimson and rose rhododendrons, with buds and foliage of the same ; a few variegated leaves; Virginia-creeper leaves round the top border; and some maiden-hair fern.

The frame of this device, or epergne, is of solid glass, and rests on a plateau of silvered glass, ornamented with glass chain-work; and there are three corresponding chains of glass from the top to the base.

The specimens shown were intended for a large banquet or buffet. The proportions would require to be reduced for an ordinary dinner-table.

Another dinner-table decoration consisted of three circles of lookingglass, having an edging of ferns, lycopods, and a few flowers, interspersed; with a few taller fronds, and pieces of the white-variegated Cyperus alternifolius, standing above the rest, or hanging over the glass. The central glass, which was the largest, was arched over with white coral, partially concealed by fronds of adiantums and golden fern. Altogether, this was a tasteful and elegant arrangement.

[graphic]

The drawing room decoration, of which we give a representation, has for its flowers lily of the valley only, — with the exception of a purple lselia, — with three blooms in the centre; a few variegated stove-plant leaves, and Japanese honeysuckle, twining up the stem. There is a glass rod in the centre, to which are attached three light glass chains; and the glass dish supporting the rod is placed upon a silvered glass plateau, encircled with crystal beads.

The use of glass, in many graceful forms, produces effects far better than those produced by metal. If silver light is needed, the required effect may be given by employing silvered glass. Ferns and the larger lycopodia are very useful in table decoration; and the maiden-hair fern (adiantum) is peculiarly adapted to this purpose.

We have seen a very effective table decoration in the form of a circular glass dish, about fifteen inches in diameter, from the centre of which springs a silvered glass rod about an inch thick and eighteen inches high, supporting another flat, round glass dish about half as large as the lower one. These glasses, filled with delicate flowers and ferns, with a graceful vine twined round the central stalk, make by far the prettiest table decorations we have seen.

Adapted from English "Journal of Horticulture?

CULTURE OF ROSES IN POTS, AND FORCING.

Thk best roses for forcing are those which have been established a year in pots, particularly if required to bloom early, — say in January. I shall presume that the plants for early bloom have been obtained in May. They should be shifted from the small pots in which they are usually received into pots six inches in diameter, draining these to one-fourth their depth with broken pots, with a little of the rougher parts of the compost over the drainage. I have found no better compost for pot roses than that formed of turf from a pasture the soil of which is rather strong hazel or yellow loam. The turf — having been pared off two inches thick, and laid up in alternate layers with sheep-droppings, or, where the latter cannot be procured, with horse-droppings instead—should be allowed to lie six months, and then be turned, and, in three more, again turned. At the end of twelve months, an excellent compost will be the result. Previous to use, it should be chopped with a spade, and made somewhat

« ZurückWeiter »