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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.
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 heaths, 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 notwithstanding the attacks of the worm. (S. Oram, in Gard. Chron., 1843, p. 693.)
How a young Gardener should travel by Railroud. - 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 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. 141., 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 the apple or pear. The only precaution that is necessary in this operation is, to take prominent buds from the first growth of this season, as inany of the family have made a second growth this month. Variegated hollies may now be grafted and budded with the greatest freedom. The rhododendron being thinrinded, it does best by side grafting, and buds of it also had better be inserted after the manner of side-grafting, with a portion of the soit wood retained behind the bud; all autumn buds may thus be inserted. I scarcely ever used clay in the first instance for excluding the air from these experimental buds and grafts, so that, with this useful precaution, there will be no fear of success.
The following observations may be useful to those little versed in these matters. Insert autumn grafts as you would buds, leave about an inch of the graft out, at the top of the incision, and use the firm part of this summer's growth for the stock. If the bark of the stock be very thin, or if it does not part freely from the wood, you had better put in the grafts and buds as in side-grafting, cutting out a thin slice, and preparing the grafts so as to fit the place; and tie rather gently, as the stock is soft, for fear of bruising the bark. if the graft be put in on the north side of the stock, it will be an additional security from the heat of the sun. The best grafting clay is made by putting a lump of soft clay in the bottom of a small pot, with a little water over it ; then stir it with a stick until it is rather thicker than paint, and with a small brush, made with strips of matting tied to a little stick, paint over the tying; and, while the paint is wet, dust a little dry sand or mould over it. When it becomes dry, no rain will wash it off, and the sand will keep it from crack. ing. (D. Beaton, in Gard. Chron. for Sept. 2. 1843, p. 616.)
Disbudding Shoots with the Leaves on. — This is practised by Mr. James Roberts, the author of the Culture of the Vine under Glass, a book that ranks with the Treatise of Mr. Hoare. While the leaves are yet green, the shoots or spurs are divested of such buds as are not intended to produce fruit the following season. The result of this is, that the organisable matter prepared by 50 or 100 leaves is concentrated in 20 or 30 buds, instead of being divided among three or four times that number, as it is by the general system of management. Though this is merely an extended application of the principle of the concentration of the sap practised in disbudding and various allied operations, yet it is one of immense importance when applied to the vine, and to the shoots of ligneous plants with the leaves on. The buds, in consequence of having so much sap concentrated in them, become highly excitable, and, with the slightest application of heat in early spring, they push with the greatest vigour. There may, under certain circuinstances, be a fear of the premature bursting of the buds ; but this, in general, may be prevented by leaving two or three small laterals on the most vertical part of the vine. Though Mr. Roberts, who is decidedly the inventor of this system, has chiefly applied it to vines under glass, yet it is said to be equally applicable to out-of-door vines. Of course, if it is applicable to one bud-bearing plant, it must be applicable to all, whether ligneous or herbaceous. * You may,” Mr. Roberts observes, “ proceed to disbud, beginning at the bottom of the vine, leaving a bud you think well placed on the side of the shoot (preferring that to either the top or under side); then cut clean out the two following, leaving the fourth, taking out the next two, and so on till you reach 8 or 9 feet in height, as to that length the cane must be cut back. Proceed again at the bottom, disbudding the other side in the same manner, so that, in that length, you wil be able to leave eight or ten permanent eyes to form fruit-bearing spurs for the following year, or five on each side. I particularly caution against injuring the leaves when the bud is cut out, as they may not naturally drop for weeks after, and may yet be useful in more perfectly maturing the stem and remaining buds. In a few days the wounds or cuts will have dried up; touch them with a little paint, keep them cool and dry until the leaves have commenced dropping generally." (W. P. Ayres, in Gard. Chron. for 1843, p. 677.)
An imperishable Bread, made of flour and rice meal, and in every respect well tasted and wholesome, is said to have been invented by Mr. Alzard.
The bread, it is said, will keep two centuries without the slightest alteration, if required. If this should really be the case, it will, of course, supersede in a great measure the troublesome modes of preserving wheat in sieves, and other underground excavations, now practised on the Continent, and indeed, together with rice, in most parts of the world. (Standard.) The Arab in Egypt generally buries his rice to conceal it from his enemies ; often, as St. John informs us, in the floor of his miserable mud hut. — Cond.
l'erbenas and Petunias. — After seeing all about London, and collecting nearly fifty varieties of the verbena, I reduced them to twelve sorts, and three or four of these are for neutral beds ; that is, beds with no decided colour, Petunias must be dealt with in the same manner. (D. Beaton, in Gard. Chron. 1813, p. 592.)
Best time for eating Pears.- No pear, if gathered and eaten when fully ripe on the tree, is so good as when gathered as soon as it has attained its full size, and laid by in a dry place until it is ripe. (J. Hayward, in Gard. Gaz, 1843, p. 153.)
Manuring Vines. — We find several gardeners throughout the country, who have read Liebig's work, manuring their vines with the summer's prunings chopped small, and slightly dug in immediately. Of course the plan will succeed where very slight crops are to be taken, but not otherwise. — Cond.
ART. II. Domestic Notices.
THE Naming of the Trees and Shrubs in Kensington Gardens has had, as was anticipated, a beneficial effect upon the public mind, in awakening a spirit of enquiry, and exciting a taste for botanical and horticultural pursuits ; so much so, that gentlemen go direct from these gardens to the nurseries, with their lists made out from their own inspection. (Gard. Chron., 1843, p. 695.)
Paulownia imperialis has flowered in the greenhouse of Mrs. Wray of Oakfield near Cheltenham. The flowers are deliciously sweet, and are produced freely on very young plants, if forced for that purpose. The conditions to be attended to are, to keep the plants under-potted, to force them slowly in a cool stove, early vinery, or forcing-house, beginning early in the spring. By midsummer they will have finished their growth, have begun to show their flower-buds, and to cast their leaves; they will then require less water, and in six weeks or two months the flowers will begin to expand, and the plants, of course, will be brought into the conservatory, where they will take up little room, as they may be set anywhere, only leaving their heads of flowers free above other plants which surround them. Might not the Catálpa syringæfòlia be treated like Paulownia for the sake of its large trumpet-like Powers, which are produced in abundance in the neighbourhood of London and farther south, but are seldom to be met with in colder parts of the country? (Gard. Chron., 1843, p. 698.)
American Aloe.—'Íhere is a fine specimen of this rarely flowering exotic on the lawn at Charlton House, near this town (Wantage). The Hower stem has already attained the height of 16 ft., with 25 lateral branches, and nearly 4000 blossom buds. It is hoped that when this beautiful plant is fully in flower the public may be admitted to see it. (Jackson's Oxford Journal, Sept. 16. 1843.)
SCOTLAND. Sir Walter Scott's Monument. - It is well known that a number of situations have been from time to time pointed out as proper sites for this monument.
In some of these it would have been founded on a visible rock, and consequently the expense of the foundation would have been trifling, or rather there would have been no expense on that account at all. The committee, however, finally fixed on a situation on the edge of the North Loch, on the south margin of Princes Street, on a piece of made ground, where, in order to procure a sufficient foundation, they have been obliged to dig down 40 or 50 ft., and bury such an immense mass of masonry, that the committee are now coming forward to solicit “auxiliary subscriptions” on account of the
heavy expenses of the substructure.” (Scotsman, Aug. 30, 1843.) Independently altogether of the “heavy expense of this substructure," we put it to all men of common sense, whether it can be in good taste, in a locality like Edinburgh, where there are innumerable situations that supply foundations of rock rising to the surface, to build a monument, no matter for whom or for what, in a situation where any substructure is required at all. Why not have chosen a spot on the Castle Hill, or perhaps still better the Calton Hill ? The idea of burying so much money, where there never can be anything to show for it except the accounts, is in our opinion most repugnant to the feelings of a well-regulated mind, and anything but creditable to the committee. Economy of execution is one of the first things that ought to be attended to in every public or private work whatever. - Cond.
ART. III. Retrospective Criticism. The Improvements in Kensington Gardens. (p. 288.) — While I agree with you in admitting that great praise is due to the Earl of Lincoln, for the wish he has manifested to make the parks about the metropolis minister as much as possible to the instruction, as well as gratification, of the people, I cannot think that he has done well in introducing conspicuously the names of the trees and shrubs into our public gardens. I know that this is a favourite project of yours, and that it has originated in a most benevolent wish to blend instruction with amusement, and so to lead to a civilisation of our population. But, in the first place, I do not think that the beauty of all our parks ought to be destroyed, and all chance of a high love for the beauties of nature cut off, for the sake of instructing those who will not be at the pains to learn for themselves. Let there be, if you will, botanic gardens, where those who wish may find every kind of plant named, but let our parks be parks, and not schools; and be assured that you will attain your wish more certainly in this way than by the method you propose; for your idler will hardly recollect the name of a plant when he has had no trouble in learning it. And again, see to what your plan naturally leads. The plants are arranged, How ? - So as to produce the most beautiful scenery ? No.- Well, but so as to show their peculiar properties the best way? No.- At any rate they are grouped in classes, so as to convey broad characters to the observers ? No; they are arranged (see p. 288. 1. 2.) in alphabetical order! This reminds me of what once happened to me in walking through the conservatories at the Colosseum before they were finished. Finding the gardener disposed to converse, I entered into conversation with him as to the principles on which the planting had been conducted. He spoke in the highest terms, as well he might, of the talents of the extraordinary man who had projected the building and its accompaniments ; but added, with a feeling in which he expected me to sympathise (for from our conversation he found that I had some knowledge of plants), that it was a great pity Mr. Horner knew nothing of plants or their value.
Why, Sir, he has arranged them solely with a view to their picturesque effect ; and, in spite of my remonstrances, has removed to a distance plants that have cost five guineas, while he has placed in the front row others that are not worth one shilling!” Be it remembered that this was twenty years ago, and that there was more excuse for the gardener then than there would