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&c. 8vo, pp. 164, with seven lithographic plates and several woodcuts. Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London, 1843.
We regret we cannot say a single word in favour of this book. If the author had been well advised, it would never have seen the light. Arboriculture: A Paper read before the Geological and Polytechnic Society of the
West Riding of Yorkshire. By James Hamerton, Esq. 8vo. Leeds, Bains.
“Like us, he does not object to a little pruning when trees are very young; but then only, and in cases of absolute necessity, would he permit it.” (Dr. Lindley, in Gard. Chron. 1843, p. 698.) Guide to the Conservatory; being a concise Treatise on the Management of the
Hothouse and Greenhouse; the Forcing of Bulbs, Shrubs, 8c., and the best Mode of keeping a Succession of Bloom through every Month of the Year, exemplified in a select List of the most admirable Plants of the present Day under the Arrangements both of Jussieu and Linnæus, including their native Country, Propagation, and the Soil udapted to each. By Richard Bainbridge, FlowerGardener to the Right Honourable Lord Wenlock. From Notes of the Author's Daily Practice, and Communications furnished by liberal eminent Floriculturists. 12mo. London, 1842.
Noticed as being in the press, in our Vol. for 1841, p. 628. Flora Odorata; a characteristic Arrangement of the sweet-scented Flowers and
Shrubs cultivated in the Gardens of Great Britain, with Directions for their Propagation, Management, &c. &c. By Frederick J. Mott. fcp. 8vo. London
and Leicester, 1843. A. Paul and Sons' Catalogue of Roses for the Autumn of 1843, and Spring of
1844. Pamph. 8vo, pp. 20. Catalogus Plantarum Cæsarei Regü Horti prope Modiciam ad Annum 1842.
Catalogue of the Plants in the Royal Botanic Garden of Monza near Milan in the Year 1842. 8vo, pp. 207. Milan, 1843.
M. Manetti, the director of the Monza Garden, and the author of the Catalogue, informs us in his preface that it has been compiled in obedience to the commands of His Serene Highness Prince Rainer, a nobleman of great botanical acquirements, in consequence of the vast influx of plants since 1826, when the previous list was made out. The nomenclature is, for the most part, that of DeCandolle and Sprengel. Want of leisure prevented him from making the Catalogue as comprehensive as he could wish, but he hopes at some future time to arrange the whole on the plan of our Encyclopædia of Plants, and thus render it “a source of pleasure and instruction both to the botanist and the gardener.”
The Catalogue is in alphabetical order; and after each specific name, the authority, the habit of the plant, whether a tree, whether ligneous or herbaceous, perennial, biennial, with male or female flowers, &c., and its native country. The garden seems very rich in species. On turning to the genus Cratæ gus we find 29 species and 17 varieties. Three of the species, C. coronata Wendl. fil., C. pruinosa Wendl. fil., and C. sphæʻrica Wendl. fil., we are unacquainted with under these names.
The Catalogue has been got up with very great care, and is highly creditable to its author. It will be found useful to collectors in this country, as it contains a number of species little known in England. A Treatise on the Culture of the Vine in Pots. By J. Mearns, F.H. S.
12mo. London, 1843. A Comprehensive Practical Treatise, or a New Era in the Culture of the Vine
under Glass, fc. By James Roberts, Gardener to M. Wilson, Esq., Eshton Hall, near Skepton, Yorkshire. 12mo. London, 1843.
Culture of the Grape Vie in Australia and New Zealand, wilh Remarks on the
Vineyards of Europe, Asia, fc. By George Sutton, F.L.S. 8vo. Lond.
1843. Elements of Practical Agriculture, comprehending the Cultivation of Plants, the Husbandry of the Domestic Animals
, and the Economy of the Farm. By David Low, Esq., F.R.S.E., Professor of Agriculture in the University of Edinburgh, &c. &c. London and Edinburgh, 1843. 8vo, pp. 817, and numerous wood-cuts.
In the present edition the author informs us he has “entered somewhat more than in the previous ones into an explanation of what may be termed principles.” The soil, the external agents which influence it, and the nature of those substances which, when added to it, increase its productive powers, have been enlarged on. In various parts of the work it has been endeavoured to show “ the mistaken applications which may be made of principles to the practice of the farm, and the errors into which persons little conversant with practice are apt to fall, with respect to the kinds and degrees of knowledge required to be possessed by the practical farmer.” The author has evidently been roused by the
attention recently paid to the chemistry and geology of agriculture by the English Agricultural Society ; and by the very remarkable fact, that the agriculturists of Scotland have joined together, and agreed to give an eminent chemist 5001, a year for analysing soils, besides an extra payment for each analysis. It would thus appear that the practical men are taking the initiative of the professor.
In the chapter on the Chemical Analysis of Soils, after enumerating the various matters which enter into their composition, “ soil being in fact one of the most compound substances in nature,” the following conclusion is arrived at. “The farmer is able to determine the nature of his soil by its texture, its depth, its productiveness of plants, and other sensible properties, and, bappily, the knowledge so attained is sufficient for all the ends of useful practice.”
“A knowledge of the intimate chemical constitution of the soil is highly worthy of being obtained, and the subject would deserve to be pursued by men of science, were there no other aim or result than the resolving of chemical and physiological questions. But too much must not be looked for from such enquiries, as teaching the farmer new methods of practice. The farmer knows, for the most part, better than the chemist, when a soil is good or bad, when it is improvable by ordinary means, and when it is too barren to repay the expenses of culture ; and he knows better than the chemist how to keep it clean, dry, and as productive as the means at his command will allow, with a due reference to return as compared with the expenditure. But this latter knowledge is not derived from the laboratory, but the fields, and is a branch of a practical business, in which chemistry can render little aid. Whatever results chemical analyses of the soil may hereafter conduct us to, it must be admitted, that as yet they have been interesting to the scientific enquirer rather than useful to the farmer. Every garden and well-cultivated field shows that the soil may be brought to its maximum of fertility without dependence on any conclusions yet arrived at by the physiologist and the chemist. Perhaps not more than a dozen of chemical analyses of soils have yet been made in Europe, sufficiently exact to aid the purposes of science, while the great mass of those which are made, and communicated to farmers as something necessary or useful to them, are equally worthless for science and practice.” (p. 23.)
The chapter on the Geological Relations of Soils is entirely new, or at least it is not in the second edition (the third we have not seen). After going over the different formations, and showing that the soil of any tract may be totally different from what the rocks on which it rests, or which abound in its vicinity, might lead us to suppose, from the intermixture of soils or debris of rocks brought from a distance by the action of water, the professor con. cludes with the following paragraph :
“We see, therefore, that the mere knowledge of the geological formations of a country does not afford the data for determining the nature and properties of the soils in the manner required for practice. Speculative writers, indeed, have maintained that a knowledge of geology is not only eminently useful to the practical farmer, but even necessary to enable him to distinguish soils, and adopt the suitable means of improving them. It is surprising that such statements should be hazarded. The farmer, as all experience shows, can distinguish soils by their agricultural characters much more certainly and readily than the geologist can by their geological ; and it does not appear in what manner geology can give that knowledge to a farmer which can enable him to cultivate and improve his land. The farmer, it is manifest, must regard the soil which he has to till, not in its relations with a whole district, but with reference to its own characters and fertility. He may find the soil, not only of a single farm but of a single field, varying in every degree; and it will be necessary that he adapt his management to these variations, whatever be the geological formation in which he may be placed. It were greatly to be desired, indeed, that the practical farmer would acquire a knowledge of geology, and learn to read a portion of that marvellous history which is written on every rock and mineral bed around him. Such knowledge would give a charm to rural pursuits, and connect a liberal and interesting study with the observations of daily life ; yet such a knowledge, however excellent, will not enable the farmer to discriminate soils better for the ends of practice, much less enable him to cultivate them with greater skill, which is knowledge he must derive from agriculture, and not from geology.” (p. 45.)
With a view to the immediate application of knowledge to practice, we entirely agree with Professor Low. No chemical analysis or geological section of a soil would induce us to take a farm on the strength of the data they afforded ; but, if we saw or had a list of the plants either indigenous or cultivated which grew on the soil, we should offer rent for the land without the slightest hesitation. But we have already stated this in the Encyclopædias both of Agriculture and Gardening. Nevertheless we readily acknowledge that it would add to our confidence in the productiveness and improvableness of a soil, and perhaps lead to improvements that we do not even contemplate, to know that it contained a considerable proportion of lime and other alkaline earths and mineral salts; and we think the importance of this kind of knowledge, in connexion with that of the analysis of plants, has not been overstated by such agricultural chemists as Professor Johnston and others, though this knowledge may not yet be in such a state as to be available by the rentpaying farmer. There is a very short method of improving the agriculture of England, if landlords would agree to it: that is, granting 21-years' leases, and requiring at least half the rent in kind, or kind's value; but for this the landlords must first be visited by such a degree of poverty as will render a greater income from landed property necessary, or such a degree of liberality as will induce them to treat their tenantry as independent men, and not, as at present, as a set of political slaves. Illustrations of Indian Architecture. By Markham Kittoe, Esq. Parts IX. to
XVII. inclusive. Oblong 4io. Calcutta and London, Our notice of this work in our Volume for 1840 will show the favourable opinion which we have of it. The numbers before us increase in interest as they proceed; they abound in a great many curious specimens of Indian design, which are calculated to assist the inventive powers of the artist not only in Indian architecture, but in architectural composition generally. They are particularly rich in specimens of parapets, and what are called jali, or stone trelliswork. Many of the latter designs afford excellent hints for flower-gardens.
We are sorry to find that the talented and industrious author of this work was in bad health in Calcutta, in December, 18+l; he was then about to depart for Europe, with the intention of finishing the work in Lon'lon. We sincerely hope he will be able to effect his object, and, what is still more desirable for himself, recover his health, and enjoy the result of his labours for many years.
ART. I. General Notices. PARCHMENT Labels. — Some nurserymen use these without any preparation, writing on them with ink; others slightly moisten the surface of the label and write with a black lead pencil, or with ink; some, as Sir Thomas Frankland (see Hort. Trans.), write with Indian ink instead of common ink; others again rub a little white paint on them, as is done in writing names on wooden tallies ; but the mode at present considered most efficient is to rub the surface of the parchment with white lead mixed with a little red ochre, and write with a black lead pencil. The writing thus made, Mr. Rivers informs us, is so durable, that he has seen the labels quite readable at the end of the second season, though exposed to the weather the whole of the time.-Cond.
Garden Pots. — “I have just made a good improvement on the common flower-pot, which deserves to be universally adopted. The shape, size, and expense are not altered. I have done away with the hole at the bottom altogether; and, instead of the flat bottom, the maker pushes in the centre of it, like the bottom of a common black glass bottle, only not with so sharp a turn inside, and the drainage-holes are round the sides at the bottom. From 2 to 6 holes, according to the size of the pot, will do all the business of drainage. The roots cannot get through the bottom, neither can the worms get in, and water cannot hang under the pot in winter, which, for beaths, is the best part of the change.” (D. Beaton, in Gard. Chron. 1843, p. 372.)
Application of the Principle of the Balloon to Landscape-Gardening: - It is often desirable to know the effect, and more especially the height, which tallgrowing trees will have when full grown. On a level surface this is comparatively easily ascertained by means of trigonometry or perspective; but in the case of an irregular surface on hills, or in irregular narrow valleys, it has only been satisfactorily done hitherto by fixing in poles of spruce fir, such as those used by builders in their scaffolding. A more economical mode would be to have small balloons, say balls of balloon silk of a foot or 18 in. in diameter, which might be filled at the nearest gas-house ; to have a cord attached to each ball of considerable length, say 150 ft., with the opposite end of the cord attached to an iron reel like that of a garden line. This reel would serve as an anchor to the balloon, and the line might be let out to such an extent as the tree intended to be planted was expected to attain in height. In all this there would be very little expense; but balloons as large as trees might be formed, and thus groups and plantations of various kinds held in suspension in the atmosphere in such a manner as to show with greater accuracy than has hitherto been done, the ultimate effect that would be produced at particular parts of parks or pleasure-grounds by planting. Even buildings might be exhibited in this way. Calm weather, of course, must be chosen for such experiments.- Cond.
A Trap for the Wire-worm. Edge the beds in which you have florist's flowers growing in fresh soil with daisies. Wire-worms will concentrate their attacks on the roots of the daisies and leave the plants in the beds untouched. From one row of daisies 300 ft. long, 2000 worms were taken in one day during summer. The daisy, being a free-growing plant, is able to exist not. withstanding the attacks of the worm. (S. Oram, in Gard. Chron., 1843, p. 693.) How
a young Gardener should travel by Railroad. - As there is scarcely any thing of more importance to a young man than acquiring habits of economy, we recommend all apprentices and journeymen gardeners, who are in good health, and can wrap themselves well up, to travel in third class trains. A young nurseryman who has been through great part of France, Germany, and Belgium, and who belongs to Russia, has lately passed 6 or 8 months in England. He has been all over the country, and also in Ireland and Scotland'; he speaks and writes four different languages, is an excellent draftsman, and a scientific botanist. He was supported by his family, who are wealthy; but he never, either on the Continent or in this country, travelled otherwise than by a third class train. He observed to us, that when he jumped out of one of these trains, well wrapped up in his cloak, he was the same man as if he had come out of a carriage of the first class, with this difference, that he had a good deal more money in his pocket. On mentioning this to a gentleman at Southampton worth at least 30,0001., he told us he did exactly the same thing when none of his family were travelling with him.-Cond.
To dry moist Air -- Chloride of calcium has so great an affinity for water that it absorbs it completely from any confined atmosphere, rendering it quickly and perfectly dry: For closets or rooms thoroughly air-tight, containing books, papers, or dried specimens of plants, this substance must be extremely useful in the winter time, when the windows cannot be opened, and where, perhaps, there are no fireplaces. It may also be useful in vineries, where late crops of grapes are kept hanging on the trees. — Cond.
Wooden Houses, of every kind, from the summer-house to houses for curates and rectors, of from four to ten rooms each, we observe by the advertisements, are manufactured by our friend Peter Thompson. They are constructed of Payne's anti-combustic wood, and sold either for home use or exportation, and at incredibly low prices. Mr. Thompson has published a small book of such buildings, with their prices, from which a choice may be made ; and it will be borne in mind that houses are exported duty free. Cond.
The “ Rule” and the “ Reason." — Horne Tooke, when at Eton, was one day asked by the master the reason why a certain verb governed a particular case? He answered, “I don't know.” “ That is impossible," said the master, “I know you are not ignorant, but obstinate.” Horne, however, persisted, and the master flogged. After the punishment, the master quoted the rule of grammar which bore on the subject, and Horne instantly replied, “I know that very well ; but you did not ask me for the rule, you demanded the reason." Gardeners will do well constantly to bear in mind the difference here pointed out. A principle ought always to be the foundation of a rule, which is nothing more than a precept taken from the principle ; and applicable, not universally, but only to a certain number of cases. A principle is of universal application. — Cond.
Approaching Similarity of Manners all over the World.- A writer in the Edinburgh Review for Feb. 1843., p. 144., laments the influence of railroads in assimilating the social and domestic character of our provincial towns to that of the capital. There is no originality in the country, he says; no escape from the eternal repetition of men and things. “Fifty years ago the manners in London differed essentially from those in country towns, and those again from each other," and so on. In our opinion, it is the coming glory of railroads, that they will equalise social and domestic character, as far as climate, government, and other physical and geographical circumstances will permit, ali over the world, till at last we have only one prevailing living language, one system of weights and measures, and many other inestimable blessings. — Cond.
A covered Garden in Paris, heated by a new and ingenious method, is proposed to be established. Cafés, shops, libraries, ball-rooms, restaurants, baths, and a theatre, are to surround it. Twenty-five millions of francs, to be raised by a company, is the sum to be called for. (Scotsman, Aug. 26. 1843.)
Grafting and Budding the Rhododendron. — The rhododendron, in the autumn, will bud as freely as the rose, and graft in the open air as easily as