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To superintend the opening of every grave, and take special care that no coffin is placed nearer the surface than 6 ft.; and that, when more than one coffin is placed in a grave which is filled in with earth, there shall be at least 6 ft. between the coffins, unless the two coffins are deposited at the same time, in which case the one may be placed on the other.
To take special care that a protecting stone [before described, p. 216.] be placed in every grave filled in with earth, that is to be reopened, at the proper distance (6 ft.) above the last-deposited coffin ; and to take care that, when a grave with a protecting stone is reopened, the protecting stone shall be taken out, and again replaced at the proper distance, or taken away altogether if the grave is to be finally closed.
To attend in like manner to the interments made by hermetically sealing up the separate coffins, whether by intervening flag-stones, or by embedding them in cement as before described.
To keep the whole of the grounds in the neatest possible manner; to watch the progress of the trees and hedge plants, and stake them when loosened by the wind, or water them when dry. To see that all the implements, planks, &c., are kept in order, and laid up in their proper places.
To pay the graves-men and body-bearers according to some sca either of fees, or by the day, as may be arranged after ascertaining the rates of payment in the Cambridge churchyards.
[The remainder is omitted, as being either too local to be generally useful, or so general as to be included in Divisions II., III., and VII.]
(To be continued.)
Art. III. Bicton Gardens, their Culture and Management, in a Series
of Letters to the Conductor. By James Barnes, Gardener to the Right Honourable Lady Rolle.
(Continued from p. 306.)
LETTER XV. The Rust in Grapes.
In the course of my practice I have seen grapes in different noblemen's and gentlemen's places much injured by what is termed the rust. I have heard various opinions given regarding the cause of this injurious pest, which I need not now enlarge on; but I will here briefly state a few facts amongst the many I have observed, which have caused or induced rust on grapes. I have been long fully persuaded, or rather convinced, that it is produced by the treatment they receive inside, and not in any way through the bottom or border. The season is now so far advanced that every one who has vines under glass has them progressing in some stage; and some of your numerous readers, perhaps, will be able to ascertain in this present season some one or other of the causes I have observed, and which I am about to mention. Prevention certainly is better than cure; and, as the causes which produce either disease or vermin are not natural, how often do we see the one brought on in attempting to destroy or expel the other!
A nobleman's gardener some years ago called on me, and wondered how it was he never had seen red spiders or rust amongst the vines under my charge, as he was continually pestered with both. He then had three houses of grapes in different stages coming on, and the red spider was making sad ravages with the earliest house, which was at the time about stoning. The man asked me how he could expel the pest. I readily told him to dredge the flues cautiously with sulphur vivum; for, without caution, the remedy would prove worse than the evil. The man used the sulphur on the flues when hot, and also steamed them when hot; the consequence was, his grapes that had previously been clear from rust were immediately affected with it.
Another gentleman's gardener, of the old school, had a fine large vinery, with the vines trained under the rafters in a complete bundle or faggot. His vines were constantly troubled with all the injurious diseases and vermin; and he attributed it to the bad bottom, which was every thing that a man could wish, lying high and dry, with a subsoil of open loose gravel and sand, to a great depth. That man always made it a rule to water the flues when warm, to keep the red spider down, as he said: which was not only the means of increasing the spider, but brought him the rust into the bargain : and, no doubt, he still continues the same unnatural treatment.
I have seen rust brought on grapes by allowing the house to continue shut too long without air in the morning, and then, suddenly opening it when the external air was cold and chilly; the sudden change produced rust on different parts where the current of cold air was strongest. I have seen the rust produced by syringing with cold water; likewise through unskilful handling in thinning out the bunches, more particularly when thinning has been done late in the morning, and the vapour has been allowed to rise on the fruit before the house has had air given to it. It is sudden checks that produce rust generally, such as we ought to guard against in houses, pits, &c., of all kinds and for all purposes. Out of doors we often see it produced after a sudden change from still, warm, growing weather to stormy, cold, and windy weather; not only on grapes, but on plums, apricots, pears, &c., more particularly when the fruit has been in a tender, thriving, growing state.
I have always noticed out of doors, after a storm with driving wind, if the sun break out suddenly on the tender fruit before it is dry or has had one night's repose, the rust is certain to make its appearance ; therefore, I always make it a rule to guard against sudden changes with every thing under glass.
Some day soon I will write you a letter on the system I follow all through with grape-growing, if acceptable. (It will be particularly so.]
Bicton Gardens, April 29. 1843.
Art. IV. On protecting Fruit Trees against Walls. By N.M.T. DURING your journey through Scotland, as detailed in the Gardener's Magazine, I find a paragraph censuring the Scotch generally for not affording their fruit trees adequate protection while in bloom. I made a memorandum of the said paragraph at the time; and, after another year's experience, I would ask, Are you certain that protection, even the most popular sort of protection, confers the benefits imagined ? or, rather, is it not a positive injury ? These questions must appear very foolish to the mass of practitioners : a few years ago to me they would have appeared superlatively so; but my views are now changed, and it will not be a trifle that will restore the reputation of such protection to the place it held in my estimation. Some occurrences make a deeper impression than others of equal import, from the circumstances which attend them. This was particularly the case with regard to the experiments about to be detailed ; and if, by any possibility, I can avoid being too prolix, I will detail those circumstances, as the best means of rendering the care with which the experiments were performed apparent, which may, I hope, induce others to repeat them, as the subject is of much importance.
In 1839, the trees under my care being in a most exposed situation, and altogether unprotected, I prevailed upon my employer to allow me to procure enough of the most approved material to sufficiently protect the whole against the coming spring. Cow-hair netting was at the time being advertised, strongly (and I still think justly) recommended as possessing most of the qualities requisite for such a purpose. This sort was determined upon, and purchased accordingly. The material highly pleased me; and, not content with doing well (as I fancied) myself, I used my utmost endeavours to persuade others to do likewise, and in several cases succeeded.
But a near neighbour stoutly resisted all arguments that could be brought to bear on the subject : I might talk of the blighting influence of cutting winds and hoarfrosts until I was hoarse ; he remained obstinate, declaring that he had no doubt of his crops being as good as mine ; and, if they were not, he would not impute the blame to want of protection. Consequently I gave him up as impracticable, setting him down (as mankind generally do those opposed to them in matters of opinion) as steeped in the most pitiable ignorance; to remove which, I begged him to watch the progress, and mark the result, of the practice which I (following the best practical authorities, the fruitful source of so many errors) so strongly recommended; and concluded with a wish that the coming spring might be such as would, by its severity, test the merits of the appliance. In this I was amply accommodated; the spring was such that, in this quarter at least, it will be remembered by fruit-growers ; and, during the continuance of the boisterous, chilling, east winds that then proved so destructive to the bloom, if I did not feel half-pleased (which I am afraid I did) to think that my friend's trees were exposed to its unmitigated severity, I was highly gratified to think mine were snug beneath their truly comfortable-looking covering. The walls here are supported by buttresses, projecting a foot beyond the wall at bottom, and tapering to nothing at top ; into these strong iron eyes are fixed, through which three strong wires were stretched at equal distances, to which the netting was securely fastened, fully extended, presenting a formidable array of bristles, yet withal obstructing so little light, from the material itself being half-transparent, that we deemed their removal at any time unnecessary.
For a long time all seemed to do well; the bloom was splendid ; certainly finer than that uuprotected; but, when the fruit ought to have swelled off, all dropped, and the failure was complete. That what is meant by complete failure may be properly understood, I may state that there were not three dozen fruit upon 500 square yards of wall. A most striking proof of the injury done by covering so applied was accidentally furnished upon a wall against which young low trees were planted : a net covering only the lower half of the wall completely protected all these, except one; this had reached the top, consequently there was a deltoid-like piece above the net totally uncovered, which, nevertheless, produced more fruit than all the wall besides, the covered part being as bad as the protected trees generally.
Thus i was compelled to own to my observant antagonist that defeat was complete ; but I concluded (as half your practical readers must have done) that the disaster was entirely owing to the misapplication of a principle which I now, for the first time, doubted. I freely granted this error in judgement; and, now that attention was directed to the subject, I resolved upon increased vigilance during another season, when the netting, instead of being fastened to the horizontal wires, was furnished with rings to slide upon them, and was, I need not add, carefully removed every day that was the least favourable. The promise was again great, and success seemed certain ; but, alas ! the result was anything but satisfactory; that is, trees totally exposed bore better. I now began to think the benefit conferred by covering of at least a very negative description ; and, in the spring of 1842, the netting was put in its place, and applied in cases of severity only, and again without any perceptible advantage ; so that I resolved, be the spring of 1843 what it might, I would leave all to chance. This was strictly adhered to, and the crops are more than doubled. It may be urged, that the present is a season that seems to produce an excess of most kinds of fruit : granted; but, upon the other hand, it has also been a season above all others rendering protection, according to established notions, indispensable. March here was fine beyond all precedent; the continued warmth exciting too rapid vegetation, and rendering the check caused by excessive cold during April so keenly felt. So great indeed the change, that a thermometer suspended from a branch of a peach tree while in bloom fell to 28° ; potatoes in the border were completely killed; strong ice being formed several nights successively. Here, protection would seem most desirable; yet I have ascertained where it was applied without conferring any benefit.
I mentioned in the beginning of this paper that several persons procured and applied the same sort of protection at the same time; and, being anxious to know how they had succeeded, previously to sending you this, I visited the place where it had been most extensively employed, and found, by a singular coincidence, that this spring there also it had been discontinued; with the exception of a large apricot, which was sheltered when the change in the weather became apparent, and there is not the tenth part of a crop upon it. I do not say protection destroyed that crop; but it proved wholly powerless to save it. Here, then, is the corroboration of a truly practical man, placed where fruit is a first consideration, practically convinced that protection, as usually applied, is totally useless.
I now very much regret that I did not this season, as a conclusive test, cover part of several trees, the only correct method of determining its value; as trees covered, and trees uncovered, however near or similarly situated, are liable to be affected by unseen agents, and their success or failure thus rendered of little weight.
Without entering at all into the theory of the subject, I have contented myself with a statement of facts with the hope of causing an investigation; and have said enough, I think, to effect this. It would be needless to appeal to your readers generally, as what is every body's business is seldom performed by any body : but, could you particularise a few individuals that would be guided by what occurred rather than by preconceived notions, the benefit conferred by their investigations would be useful to vast numbers that are, at vast trouble and expense, destroying half the produce of their trees, in case they are found unnecessary; and lead to something more determinate as to the mode of application, and the material to be employed, if they are really useful.
I have mentioned the cow-hair netting, as the material employed in the cases adverted to, and it is possible that vegetable fibre, similarly employed, might produce a different effect; at least, there is room for enquiry.
The atmosphere being made up of so many, and, after all, of so little understood, elements, it is impossible to say what changes may take place by its passing through such an obstruction as even a suspended net; and considering, also, the incomprehensible agency employed in the fertilisation of plants, this change may be more serious than at first sight would appear credible. If electricity, which so universally pervades space, bears an active hand, the material used becomes momentous, and renders it not improbable that the millions of hirsute points protruding from a hair net exercise an influence, injurious or otherwise. But all this I would leave to abler hands, satisfied with merely naming such points as worthy of being taken into account in the investigation.
Folkstone, May 13. 1842.
On Laying out and Planting the Lawn, Shrubbery, and
Flower-Garden. By the ConducTOR.
(Continued from p. 308.)
The design fig. 89. is for a flower-garden in the Elizabethan style, in a sunk panel; the beds are separated by grass paths 2 ft. wide, and the surrounding gravel walks, a and b, are 6 ft. wide. The walk a is six steps of 6 in. each, or 3 ft., above the level of the border d, and lower walk b. The ground is kept up to the higher level by the parapet wall c, which has piers at regular distances surmounted by vases ; and at each of the flights of steps there are two statues ; one on each side of the entrance at the upper steps, and a vase at each side of the lower steps. To harmonise with these statues there are in the flower-garden four, in the centre of as many beds, one of which is marked k. There is supposed to be a fountain in the centre of the basin q, which may be either a jet or a drooping fountain, according to the height and abundance of the supply of water. If the supply is direct from a hydraulic ram, a drooping fountain will be preferable, and the effect of the regular pulsations of the ram will be found very interesting. The border within the para. pet wall is supposed to be planted with low-flowering shrubs, chiefly rhododendrons, azaleas, and other Ericàceæ, including also mahonias, daphnes, cistus, genista, cytisus, coronilla, &c., selected so as to exhibit a show of flower from April to September. All the beds of the form e may be planted with white flowers; those of the form f with purple flowers, one plant of a species or variety, and so selected and disposed as to have as nearly as practicable an equal number of species in flower throughout the season, and the highest plants in the middle of the bed, sloping gradually to the margins. There ought, however, neither in this bed nor in any other of this design, to be any flowers planted which grow higher than 18 in., and all the smaller beds ought to be planted with Aowers which do not exceed 9 in. in height. In all the beds every plant ought to stand distinct, and there ought not to be two of a kind throughout the whole flower-garden. Hence there will be no plants in this garden that want either pegging down or tying up ; and if it is planted with perennials, without either bulbs or annuals, it will occasion very little trouble to keep it in order, and will look well all the year. Each bed may have a number, and a list may be kept of the plants contained in it, which will be less formal than numbering or naming each plant separately, and will be a better exercise for persons desirous of knowing the names. The beds of the form marked g may be planted with yellow flowers simi