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head, much in the same way as in thinning and pruning standard apple trees, so as to leave the general outline of the tree the same as it was before pruning; in fact, at a distance, the head looks better and more regular than it did before the operation. I am further convinced, although not by actual experience upon similarly prepared trees, that, had the trees at Allanton been pruned in the above manner at the time of their removal, their effect upon the scenery would not have been deteriorated, whilst their larger and healthier foliage in immediate as well as after years would have been more pleasing, and left no cause for the observations in Strictures on Steuart's Planter's Guide, quoted in the Gardener's Magazine, vol. vi. p. 91,
There are many fine old ornamental trees to be found in parks, &c., apparently verging to decay, which might be renovated, at least for a few years, were their tops regularly thinned out so as to throw fresh vigour into the remaining branches ; and, in those districts where faggots are in request, the prunings would pay the expenses. Trees in demesnes by the sides of public roads are sometimes to be seen in want of this kind of pruning, in consequence of much of the rain that falls, and which ought to go to their roots, being carried off without penetrating the soil
. Young trees from the nurseries are also much benefited by pruning at the time of planting; not by removing a certain quantity of the lower branches and leaving those near the top untouched, but by a regular thinning out of a portion of branches all over the plant, and shortening some of the more straggling shoots of those left, particularly two or three of the stronger shoots near the top, in some kinds of trees, which seem to contend with the leading shoot for leadership. The lower branches should only be gradually removed in after years, as the trees advance in growth. By keeping the heads regularly thinned, the trees, while in a young state, are less exposed to be tossed about with the wind, than if they were only to have their lower branches cut off, giving them much the appearance of long birch brooms, with their handles stuck in the ground. (See some of the young trees in Hyde Park, between Knightsbridge and Kensington.) Were the young plantations partitioned off in Hyde Park, it would be an excellent plan to give the different methods of pruning a trial, by pruning each partition in a different manner; and, from observation in that public situation, the most successful methods would soon be introduced throughout the country. The above remarks do not apply to the fir tribe ; they do not seem to be benefited by pruning; and branches once removed from them never push out again, while the hard-wooded deciduous trees do again push out shoots in abundance where smaller branches have been removed. - E. B. Oct. 24. 1842.
Comfortable Habitations for the Poor with Gardens attached. (Vol. for 1842, p. 637. to 642.)- I entertain the hope that the nobility and gentry will become alive to this important subject, and numbers of them are so already. But many small capitalists in country places find a profitable investment for their little moneys in buying old stables, and outhouses of various kinds, and converting them into human habitations. A large old cottage, originally adapted for one family, will be divided into three or four tenements, with scarcely any garden ground to each. For these, the allotment system of the Labourer's Friend Society seems to be especially adapted. However, nothing can compensate the moral evils resulting from crowding families together; and men, finding their houses uncomfortable and no garden employment for their spare time, resort to the beer-house and the publichouse, and are thereby debased and degraded, and, in fact, ruined. I know of no remedy for this, but by the nobles and gentlemen of England having such comfortable cottages as you design and recommend erected for the use of all young and newly married people. — T. M. Reigate, Dec. 16. 1842.
ART. I. On Horticultural Exhibitions. By James BARNES,
Gardener to the Right Hon. Lady Rolle. Having all my life been engaged in gardening, and having been anxious to see the skill and industry of gardeners rewarded, I have carefully watched for many years the effect of the encouragement given at horticultural exhibitions to working gardeners. If the conclusions that I have come to differ from those arrived at by some of my brethren, I trust the circumstance will not be attributed to any partiality on my part, but rather to a want of more extended observation and experience.
The general impression on my mind is, that, under the present system of exhibiting, it very rarely occurs that either skill or industry gets properly rewarded.
For instance, at our principal leading exhibitions, encouragement is held out for the production of certain articles, no matter what may be their native country, the part of England they come from, who may exhibit them, or how long they may have been in the possession of the exhibitor, provided only he has had them long enough to make them his property. For this purpose, it will be sufficient if they have been purchased the very morning of the exhibition ; and I can state with confidence, that some of the leading exhibitors of the present time never think of growing the productions they exhibit, but scour the country over in search of them, to the no small satisfaction of the nurserymen from whom they are purchased. Whether this shows a taste for horticulture, or a taste for exhibiting, I leave others to determine. What chance has a gardener who grows his plants from their infancy with exhibitors of this kind, who can show, at every exhibition, a dozen of plants for his one or two? A number of respectable men get chosen as judges for such exhibitions, who very often are totally incapable of estimating the merit of the articles for want of practical knowledge. Horticultural exhibitions have, no doubt, done good by stimulating to exertion, but, for some
time past, I have thought them degenerating into something like horse-racing.
It has been my opinion for some years, that, to reward the skill and industry of a gardener properly, the whole of the plants and gardens under his charge ought to be taken into consideration, by a committee of practical gardeners like himself. These ought to examine the fruits and vegetables which he raises, to see whether they are of good kinds, well grown, healthy, and without insects or diseases; to observe the order and beauty of his flower-gardens, pleasure-grounds, walks, and, in short, every thing under his care, from the stoke-holes of the furnaces, and root-cellar, fruit-room, onion-loft, and tool-house, to the botanic stoves and conservatories. Then let him only be rewarded who excelled in the greatest number of things, taking his place altogether; and had not only the best productions, but exhibited the best order and highest keeping. If something of this kind were set on foot, I am persuaded it would be a greater stimulus to improvement in gardening than the present mode of giving premiums for fine specimens, which are generally either produced by gardeners to the neglect of almost every thing else under their charge, or purchased by their employers in the spirit of gambling. At the same time, I would not altogether give up awarding prizes for single productions ; but I would do this under such regulations as would insure their being grown by the exhibitors.
Bicton Gardens, Dec. 1842.
Art. JI. 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. 34.) LETTER VIII. The Flower-Gardens. List of Plants. The first thing you noticed in the flower-gardens here was a peculiar sort of broom I have had made for sweeping up the grass walks, &c., the most useful and expeditious I have ever met with. I have light handles from 4 ft. to 10 ft. in length made to fit, which we adapt to the nature of the sweeping. If it is in hot summer weather, the grass short and dry, we use a handle of 10 ft. My largest size measures from side to side 4 ft., and the length of the centre is 3 ft. 6 in. Being thin and light, they easily sweep up all loose rubbish, and always keep themselves clean and dry. A man will soon brush over a large space; and at this season of the year, when there are a few loose leaves blown about, you have no idea how soon several acres can be swept over with these brooms, and the place made neat and tidy very quickly. To see the great bundles of rubbish tied to a stick, in many places, to be used as brooms, is surprising; and, when soaked with wet and dirt, a man carries it without being able to do any work at all. I call mine the hen and chickens broom. I will enclose you a small rough model of one. [Fig. 5. is taken from the model; the separate broomlets are tied with brass wire. You will perceive that the short fine birch, heath, or whatever you choose to make brooms of, is first of all collected and divided into the different lengths, and the longest of it is used for the middle. I have some made with two chickens on each side of the hen, others with three each side. I make brooms of three different lengths to suit the weather, and heavy or light work, which you will readily understand. If it is a long broom, each chicken bas two bands bound round it, the hen three; then they are all bound together to be ready for handling
Fig. 5. Fan Besom in use in Bicton Gardens. The following are a few of the specimens in the flowergardens here: Name. Height. Circumf.
Height. Circumf. Ft. In. Ft. In.
Ft. Ip. | Ft. In. Araucària imbricata,
Pinus palustris (aushandsome, branch
tràlis Arb, Brit.] 10 0 ed quite down to
C'èdrus Deodara 12 0 38 0 the ground - 11 10 36 0 Ribes speciosum, Yucca grandiflora 12 3
very large Abies Douglasi,
níveum do. branches to the
glutinosum 8 0 16 0 ground 25 082 0
malvàceum 7 6 32 0 Pinus Larício 15 0
6 0 18 Sabiniàna 20 0 54 0
lanceolatum 7 0 8 0
Large clumps of the new scarlet rhododendron, including R. arboreum, altaclerense, nepalense, Nobleànum, pulcherrimum, campanulatum, Glennianum, barbàtum, the Victoria rhododendron, and most of the new and valuable sorts. Many large camellias, of different varieties, from 5 ft. to 6 ft. high, and large round heads well furnished with flower-buds. Height. Circumf.
Ft. In. Ft. In. Edwardsia micro
5 0 12 0 asiática, large.
12 0 28 0 Cydònia sinensis Aristotèlia Mackài 12 0 63 0 japónica variegata
11 0 64 0 Medicàgo arbórea Escallònia rubra 4 6 32 Callistèmon sempermontevidensis 6 0 52 0 flòrens
8 6 20 0 floribunda
6 0 40 0 Aràlia spinosa 10 0
6 0 27 0 reöides, a
beautiful shrub 4 6 34 0 of other sorts.
Taxodium distichum 6 0 18 0 Cupressus lusitánica 14 0 48 0 Juniperus excelsa, thyöides
8 0 20 0 and many other
tamariscifolia Bérberis pinnata Lag.
chinensis [Mahònia fascicularis
phænicea Dec., and Arb. Br.]
Heimia salicifolia, very fine, with thousands of beautiful yellow flowers expanded at this time. To all appearance this plant has been standing for many years in the most exposed situation in the flower-garden. The reason why I am so particular in describing this beautiful plant is, that some of our clever men tell us decidedly that it is a tender plant. We have also large plants of Clématis cærulea, C. Sieboldti, Véstia lycioides, Casuarina equisetifòlia, myrtles of various sorts, and plants of different sizes; but, if I were to tell people in the neighbourhood of London that myrtles are to be seen in Devonshire 25 ft. high, I should not be believed; but it is so. Magnolias of all sorts and sizes, and, as standards, in all directions; even Magnòlia fuscata standing out, and flowering most part of the year. Two walls, each of them 230 ft. long, which enclose the flowergarden, covered mostly with M. g. exoniénsis, with hundreds of