Page images

with ample surface-food, I have had fiveyear-old clumps giving such a mass of splendid bloom as cannot be obtained from younger plants. Phloxes will flower to perfection in situations where they never see the sun at all, and this is the only way to keep the vivid but fugitive salmon-scarlets from bleachingan inseparable defect of their quality. It is a pity that the badly-named Phlox suffruticosa -the name is much more appropriate to the larger Phlox decussata-has almost disappeared from our gardens and nurseries. The probable reason for this neglect is its still greater impatience of drought and its earlier season, bringing it more into the heat of .summer. But the refined wax-like texture of its flowers, especially in the white varieties, makes it well worthy of care in our cooler soils. G. H. Engleheart.



I HAVE not noticed that either of your correspondents have mentioned Mabbott's Pearmain. This I find a very prolific variety, of a suitable size either for market or private consumption, handsome appearance, good flavour, and what many now prefer, soft-fleshed. This is in excellent condition during October. It follows James Grieve, and is in turn followed by Cox's Orange Pippin, thus bridging over what is sometimes an awkward period in keeping up a regular supply for dessert. I am not sure whether James Grieve will not be more satisfactory on the crab than on the Paradise stock, unless the nurserymen confine themselves to the one kind of Paradise stock. Worcester Pearmain has colour to recommend it, but beyond that one


may go into the Devonshire orchards and find a sweet cider Apple equally good. Wealthy is fit for use during October, but is too acid for many. It crops well, and the fruits colour well. T. H. Slade, Poltimore, Exeter.

-I think that your correspondents (see pages 249 and 920) will find all that they require in September Beauty, an Apple very like in appearance and quality to the good old Ribston Pippin. The tree is a good bearer and clean grower, and the fruits ripen in the last half of

[blocks in formation]

-The late Mr. Harrison Weir stated in a letter to the Gardeners' Chronicle (vol. xxxvii., page 124): "Some people prefer an acid or semiacid Apple, others one that is less so, while a large number give preference to varieties that are sweet, and not a few like what is termed a pine flavour." When reading the recent notes on "Early Dessert Apples," the opinion then expressed came to my memory. Are there not Apples which ripen in September possessing the flavour, and in some cases the colour, to suit the most fastidious? It is true that locality, soil, &c., have an important bearing on this question, and trials of the various kinds cannot always be undertaken, but the following Apples ripen in September, possess a distinct flavour, and have been pronounced excellent individually:-Akero syn. Okera, Duchess's Favourite, Devonshire Quarrenden, Kerry Pippin, Langley Pippin, Red Astrachan, September Beauty, Worcester Pearmain, William's Favourite, and Yellow Ingestre. Care must be taken when purchasing Yellow Ingestre that a true stock be obtained. C. R.



NEPETA WILSONI, DUTHIE N. SP. * A HARDY herbaceous perennial, 2 to 24 feet high, with crenate leaves and large, handsome, dark blue flowers arranged in distant clusters. Its affinity is with N. macrantha of Fischer, from which it may be distinguished by its crenate leaves and much broader bracteoles. It was introduced by Mr. E. H. Wilson from Sungpan, in the extreme west of China, and flowered at Coombe Wood for the first time in August, 1905. (Hortus Veitchii, p. 425.)

NEPETA VEITCHII, DUTHIE N. SP.† A HANDSOME herbaceous perennial, with crenately dentate leaves and large light blue flowers arranged in distant clusters. This plant is very similar both in habit and foliage to specimens collected by Soulié (No. 948) near Tongolo, in E. Tibet, during the year 1893. In the latter, however, the leaves are more distinctly crenate, the flowers are smaller, and the bracts are proportionally much broader. N. Veitchii was raised at Coombe Wood from seed collected by Mr. Wilson in Western China. The accompanying illustrations are from photographs kindly taken by Miss Temple, at Kew, from a living specimen.

NEPETA WILSONI n. sp. Herba perennis 3-4.5 dm. alta. Caules acute quadrangulares, angulis puberulis, sæpe purpureis. Folia 6.3-7.6 cm. longa, 2.5-3.2 lata, breviter petiolata, superiora subsessilia, ovato-oblonga, obtusa, basi truncata vel rotundata, marginibus late crenatis, supra subglabra, subtus pallida et puberula: costâ venisque prominentibus, rubescentibus. Flores violacei, in verticillastros distantes dispositi, breviter pedicellati. Bractea inferiores foliacea, sursum minores, apice basique acutæ, marginibus integris. Bracteolæ oblique elliptico-lanceolatæ, acuminatæ, calyce breviores, marginibus ciliatis. Calyx bilabiatus, 1.3 cm. longus, dense pilosus, labio superiori breviter 3-fido. inferiori ad medium 2 fido. Corolla circa 2.4 cm. longa, tubo gracili, basi albo, sursum curvato, superne ampliato; labio superiori 2-fido, lobis lateralibus rotundatis, terminali suborbiculari, emarginato, marginibus reflexis, medio elevato, piloso. Stamina superiora paulo exserta, filamentis glabris, antheris demum divaricatis. J. F. Duthie, Kew.

NEPETA VEITCHII, n. sp. Herba perennis, tota pilis minutis subhispida, caules usque ad 18 poll. alti, acute quadrangulares. Folia decussata, infima petiolata, superiora sessilia, 2.5-4.5 cm. longa, circa 1 cm. lata, anguste oblongo-lanceolata, acuta, basi cordata, marginibus valde crenato-dentatis,supra rugosa, subtus prominenter reticulata. Verticillastri 6-7-flori, internodiis inferioribus 4.5-5 cm. longis. Bractea inferiores foliaceæ, sursum minores, Bracteolæ setaceæ, calyce breviores, 1-nerviæ. Flores manifeste cœrulei. Calyx 23 cm. longus, ad medium bilabiatus, tubo 15-nerviis, lobis anguste lanceolatis, apice

setaceis, marginibus ciliatis. Corolla 2.8 cm. longa, lateraliter oompressa, tubo 1.9 cm. longo, deflexo, superne ampliato, labio inferiori 3-lobato, lobis lateralibus rotundatis, terminali medio elevato, apice late emarginato. 1. F. Duthie, Kew.

[merged small][merged small][graphic]


crop grown in these parts about which there is extraordinary keenness, and no small amount of speculation. Here is a brief example. Only yesterday 45 mules arrived here, the previous understanding being the buyer was coming for Potatos at Rs.2.8 per maund, say, 3s. 4d. per 100 lb. ; but the market is rising, so my seller is given a hint, the mule men have come 25 miles, an Indian altercation takes place a very characteristic affair-words flow, mules go half a mile, a halt is called, another conference-and a good smoke-during which time they all sit down in the road; result, after two hours vigorous parley, Rs.2-10-9 per maund. It takes an Englishman a quarter of a lifetime to understand the finesse of dealing with the very astute Indian.

At this time of year innumerable ponies, mules, donkeys, and coolies are incessantly on their way up and down the hills for about six weeks, all taking Potatos down to Haldwani, a small town some four miles below the foot of the Himalayas. The aggregate of these amount to a lakh or two of maunds (a lakh is a hundred thousand, and a maund of Potatos, that is, Haldwani maund, is 100 lb.).

While it remains a fact that the bulk of these Potatos are for consumption, it is yet true that many hundreds of maunds are sold for "seed." It is likewise true that October is the great month for digging up in the Himalayas, and also the great sowing month on the plains, and that, too, with these self-same Potatos. They go direct from the Himalayan field to be sown on the plains field, and a matured seed Potato, as understood in England, is quite an impossible institution-that is, on the plains of India. Here in the Himalayas, with a climate which much more closely approaches a mild West of England clime than that of the rest of India,

we get the matured Potato and plant in April much as in England.

These October-sown Potatos come to maturity on the plains principally in February, and while they do not produce such a large crop, and the tubers and quality are not equal to the Himalayan-grown Potato, nevertheless Potato culture on the plains from hill seed is quite a success. But such are the hot season and the subsequent monsoon on the plains, that up to this date the plains Potato-grower has wholly failed to save seed for succeeding year from plains crop, and it is quite certain that every mountaineer Potatogrower is ready to respond, "Amen, so let it be," for in his inability to save seed" depends the permanent demand on the mountains for many tons of Potatos annually.

[ocr errors]

It is a remarkable circumstance that while we have a marvellously forceful period of full three months-July, August, and September-during which time the rainfall is enormous, and vapour dense and prolonged, my own estate enjoys one of the smallest rainfalls in the province, as during these three months it was 40 inches, while the town of Naini Tal, 14 miles away, had in the same time upwards of 100 inches, yet the real Potato disease is unknown here.

By far the worst evil is supertuberation, due in nearly all cases to delayed monsoon, or erratic seasons.

I would draw the particular attention of Potato experts to the fact that something more than rainfall, and moisture in abundance, are necessary to establish these, and these alone, as the great predisposing causes of the disease. We have a vastly greater and continuous rainfall for three months, with dense vapour prolonged for many days together, veritable cloudland, but no Potato disease!

At the same time important differences should be noted. During this period the temperature rules high by day, and about 60° by night; the elevation is great, and possibly the density of vapour is less than in sea-level countries. But the main fact to which I personally attach much importance is gradient. There is no such thing as water-logged soil, drainage is everywhere perfect, so much so in fact that after, say, a 6-inch rainfall, the next day will afford no visible evidence of any such fall: it simply rained the previous day. The mountains summarily reject all excesses of rainfall. Hence, after heavy rain, the surrounding ravines roar like distant thunder, with rushing waters from the mountain slopes.

I suggest herein is the great matter. The dominating cause of [the growth of the fungus causing] Potato disease is, in the main, a question of drainage, far more than of atmosphere; and I suggest to those having land with gradient to try experiments, running the Potato lines with the gradient, and never across it or obliquely; earth up well, and see the results. For example, the Welsh mountains should grow Potatos wholly free from disease, that is, if sound Potatos are planted to begin with. F. W. Seers, Hassia Dunga, viá Naini Tal, India.


By autumn Crocuses we do not mean Colchicums, which are often so called, but true autumnal flowering Crocuses. Many of these are, or were till lately, in great beauty in the open air at Kew, but bearing in mind the uncertainties of the climate in November, it would seem preferable to grow them in a cold frame. All the species were monographed in these pages both by Mr. Baker and Mr. George Maw. The last-named botanist eventually published a superb monograph of the genus with 67 coloured plates.

CROCUS HADRIATICUS.-A white flowered species native of Greece and Albania. The leaves are ciliate at the edges. Maw (tab. 30), though retaining the specific name, says he cannot distinguish

it from C. sativus except in the colour of the flowers, but there are white forms of sativus growing at Kew.

C. CANCELLATUS.-A species of wide oriental distribution, great altitudinal range and consequent great variation in colour, whence several varieties, or, as some would say, species have been enumerated. The typical form is blue. Maw, tab. xxxib.

C. TOURNEFORTII.--A Grecian species with lilac flowers. The stamens are densely pubescent thus offering a point of distinction from C. Boryi.

C. ASTURICUS, a common species in the north of

and producing whitish flowers, with much divided, orange-coloured stigmas, longer than the anthers. In the variety marathoniseus, according to Mr. George Maw, the stigmas are less divided, and do not usually exceed the anthers in length. The transverse section of the leaf shows the margins of the leaf recurved, and a midrib very prominent but flattened on the under surface. Our illustration was taken from a specimen exhibited by Mr. Reuthe, of Keston. For full details we refer to Mr. Maw's paper in Gardeners' Chronicle, vol. xvi., p. 559, and especially to his Monograph of the genus Crocus (1886), p. 241, tab. 47b.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

Spain, with flowers very variable in colour, ranging from lilac, deep purple, or pure white.

C. CLUSII is also a Spanish species extending into Portugal. The rich red papillose seed, says Maw, serves to distinguish it from any other west European species.

C. OCHROLEUCUS, a native of Syria, with flattish corms and cream-coloured flowers. Maw, tab. xi. C. LONGIFLORUS, a native of southern Italy, Sicily, and Malta; distinguished from C. sativus by its glabrous leaves and red seeds. Maw, tab.


C. BORYI MARATHONISEUS.-Crocus Boryi is a Grecian species, flowering in late autumn,



THE GREENHOUSE AT KEW. MOST of the varieties of Chrysanthemums are well-known decorative kinds, practically all Some of the the sections being represented. bushes of the single, pink variety Ladysmith must be nearly 6 feet through. Specimens of Sœur Melanie, Ryecroft Glory. James Salter, Source d'Or and La Triomphante are almost, if not quite, as large. Most of the plants are naturally grown bushes, and very little disbudding has been done. Dotted here and there amongst them are seen examples of the beautiful blue-flowered Salvia

azurea grandiflora (syn. Pitcheri) and Cosmos bipinnatus. The latter plant is naturally late in flowering outside, but grown in pots it is very useful for the cool greenhouse. The plants average 6 to 8 feet in height, and have rose, purple and white flowers. Two large standard plants of Sparmannia africana, already well clothed with flowers, from the quantity of buds visible, give promise of continuing effective for some time to come. The giant Groundsel, Senecio grandifolius, is conspicuous with its very numerous goldenyellow flowers, forming a head 18 inches to 2 feet across. Readily propagated from cuttings in spring, the plants can be plunged in pots outside in summer, until the flowers commence to open usually towards the end of September.

Probably the most interesting plant in the house just now is Montanoa (Montagnea) mollissima represented by a specimen 10 feet in height. A handsome shrubby Composite from Mexico, the ray florets are white and the disc florets yellow. Judging from the habit and free-flowering qualities, it should be a good plant for cultivation in large conservatories. The specimens in a group of Cassia corymbosa growing in 5-inch pots, average 18 inches to 2 feet in height. Each plant has two or three growths terminating in corymbs of yellow flowers. Raised from seeds last year, the plants were cut back to within 3 or 4 inches of the base in spring. Towards the end of July the pots were half plunged in ashes in the open air and liberally supplied with manure water. The orange-red flowers of Leonotis Leonurus are very prominent on one of the side stages with a groundwork of Begonia Knowsleyana. Tecoma Smithii is represented by good heads of tubular yellow flowers. Growers often fail with this species, because the plants do not perfectly mature their growths. A rich patch of yellow is furnishe by Jacobinia chrysostephana, quite a contrast to another member of the same genus close by, namely J. Ghiesbreghtiana with less conspicuous, red flowers, Lindenbergia grandiflora is a pretty HimaJayan plant with numerous axillary, yellow flowers. The white variety of the Willow-leaved Angelonia, salicariæ folia succeeds well treated as an annual. The half-hardy perennial Saxifraga Fortunei with its light panicles of white flowers and dark green leaves is growing in 5-inch pots. The re-introduced Buddleia asiatica has very fragant flowers, thickly arranged on long racemes. The following species and varieties of Ericas are in flower here. E. mammosa, E. gracilis, E. conspicua, E. verticillata major, E. melanthera, E. hyemalis, and the variety alba. D. D., November 7.


THESE lovely South African bulbs constitute a genus of beautiful and desirable plants. There are not more than a dozen species, but varieties and hybrids are numerous They are all natives of the Cape, excepting N. japonica, syn. Lycoris radiata. Some may be grown in the open air in the warmest parts of the country, such as the well-known N. sarniensis, or 66 Guernsey Lily." One chief point of value in Nerines is that they flower during the autumn. Their colours are Vivid, and range from the most brilliant scarlet, through rose and pink, to the most delicate tints. Their requirements are easily afforded, but, unlike a good many bulbous plants, they make their growth during the dark days of winter, and should therefore be afforded all the light possible at that time.

After the flowering period, which is during September and October, the plants should be grown on shelves near the glass, in a cool, well-ventilated house, facing due south, having an atmospheric tempera: ture at night of 45° to 50°. Watering should be judiciously done during the last two months of the year, one or two applications each week being quite sufficient for their requirements; but with the turn of the year and brighter days

they require looking over every other day. When they commence to show signs of decay, water should be gradually withheld. While at rest the plants should be cleared of all dead foliage and placed in frames in the full sun, baking them all through the summer months, keeping them entirely without water until the flower scapes appear, which will be at about the middle of August. Any potting that is necessary should now be taken in hand, shaking the roots free from all the old soil, and replacing it with good fibrous loam and sand. Use comparatively small pots, a pot-bound condition being favourable for the production of flowers. This operation provides an excellent opportunity to clear the bulbs of any pests that may infest them, mealy bug being the most troublesome. Stand the plants, whether repotted or not, in pans containing water, allowing them to become thoroughly soaked, afterwards placing them in the glasshouse to flower. All the species may be crossed freely with each other, and advantage should be taken of a sunny

[ocr errors]



IN reference to A. D.'s note, p, 305, I recom-. mended, when lecturing some few years ago, the culture of autumn-sown Onions to market-gardeners. I knew that they grew a large quantity of these Onions, but all were pulled up when they were green, and my advice to them was that they should leave some to mature, as large Onions were in demand, and were largely imported. Some of the members of my audience gave significant nods to each other, which I took as signs of approval of my remarks, but I afterwards learned that they were smiling at my ignorance, for the growers had found to their sorrow that persons refused to purchase these home-grown Onions, whether spring or autumn sown. They prefer those grown in Brittany or in Egypt, for they contend that these are milder in eating. Is this due to climate or to the variety? In this part growers sow the white Lisbon variety, the bulbs of which are white, and for that reason sell readily in the



day for pollinating the flowers. When the seeds are ripe they should be sown in a light, sandy compost, in pots containing good drainage, only affording the seeds a very slight covering. Stand the pots in an atmospheric temperature of 70°, and afford water freely to the roots till growth is well advanced. Prick off the seedlings into pans or pots filled with a similar compost, after which place them in an atmosphere of intermediate temperature well up to the glass. Young bulbs usually flower when four to five years old, whereas, if one has a frame in which frost is excluded, planting out the young bulbs in a good light soil would, no doubt, bring about a stronger growth and the plants would flower at an earlier period than if kept in pots.

The accompanying illustration (fig. 136) shows Nerine flexuosa alba, which belongs to a distinct group, differing from the N. sarniensis type in having small and differently shaped flowers. The plants were treated as described above, and not as evergreens, as in some establishments. G. H. Banks, Botanic Gardens, Cambridge, October 30, 1905.

[ocr errors]

market. These Onions are dibbled into the ground. and the growers are not particular if they drop two or three plants into the same hole. By this manner of planting they are said to winter well. Tons of this vegetable also come from other parts of the country, for Onions are hawked about before our Lancashire bulbs are ready. W. P. R., Preston. POTATO SEED-TUBERS FROM IRELAND.

THE trials of Potatos undertaken by Messrs. Sutton & Sons at Reading have attracted widespread attention. The comparative trial of South of England, Lincolnshire, Scotch and Irish-grown seed seems to be regarded as the most important and far-reaching of the series.

Having had the honour of contributing the Irish seed of five out of the eight varieties tested. four of which came out "on top," and having been unable to accept Messrs. Sutton and Sons' kind invitation to be present at their demonstration when the facts could have been stated, I beg to ask your kind permission to make the explanation now.

The seed" of Up-to-Date supplied had been

[blocks in formation]

The supremacy of the Irish-grown seed in this unquestionable test, supplemented as it has been by similarly marked success in other English trials, notably those of the Harper-Adams Agricultural College in 1906, and of the Surrey County Education Committee in 1905 and 1906 (for both of which I also supplied the Irish seed), is a factor of much importance to Ireland.

Irish farmers should, in the words of the Farmers' Gazette, now turn their energies to the great market for the disposal of large quantities of sound, reliable Potato seed" which lies open before them, and it is entirely dependent on their own tact and enterprise whether they shall go in and take possession of the advantages offered.

As was wittily said at the Sutton demonstration, "The Irish growers have the ball at their feet if they had only elbow grease enough to kick it."[!]

Unfortunately for the average Irish farmer, there appears to be only one Potato-the wornout Champion. This, in spite of constant and widespread failure, he still clings to, and he will doubtless continue to grow it long after it has caused his death from starvation [!] J. F. Williamson, Summer Hill, Mallow, Co. Cork, November 9, 1906.


(The Editor does not hold himself responsible for the opinions expressed by his correspondents.) RAINFALL AT LEONARDSLEE. - During the month of October, the rainfall was 4:50 inches, and during the present year 21.86 inches; from November 1 to November 8, 3:17 inches have fallen. In October, 1905, the rainfall was 141 inches, and for the year 18:13 inches. W. A. Cook, Leonardslee,


RIVERS' CONFERENCE PEAR is now in use and comes in well between Souvenir du Congrès and Pitmaston Duchess. It flowers later than most varieties and sets a fair proportion of fruit. It is of excellent flavour and has flesh of a deep reddish colour. Here, at an altitude of 300 feet, we have had a good crop of Pears. The rainfall for the month of October measured 4.96 inches. Wakefield, Yorks.


COLOUR IN APPLES.-D. (p. 295) when raising the question of the merit that colour possesses in a culinary Apple, might have gone a step farther and made the same inquiry in the case of dessert kinds. In both instances this skin-deep beauty is about the first thing to be discarded before the fruit is eaten, and everyone knows that a greenishcoloured fruit of Blenheim Pippin is excellent in eating. In judging Apples, however, colour in all classes should, I think, be taken into account, just as the bloom" on the Grape and the "netting' on a Melon merit attention. Generally the external appearance of a fruit is an evidence of good cultivation, and in Apples it may be due to the influence of stock, soil, or locality. Growers in districts where fruits do not usually colour well are handicapped when in competition with others from districts where high colouring is general. In such a case, and at a great fruit show, two sections of a given class would meet the objection: for example, Cox's Orange Pippin (a) and Cox's Orange Pippin (b), the colour being regarded in the one class and disregarded in the other. E. II. Jenkins.

NATIONS.--I may remindNew Yorker (p. 314) that, al-
though the flowers of Carnations may be identical in
colour and in general build, it does not prove them to
be of the same variety, since the habit of growth
in the two plants may be, and often is, quite dis-
tinct. As to the new variety Mrs. W. T. Omwake
and Rose Enchantress New Yorker, while blaming
the importers for this so-called renaming, seems
to be unaware of the fact that certain of the
American horticultural journals freely advertised
the variety for some weeks, and some growers on
this side of the Atlantic bought it under the two
names and now, at flowering time, they are dis-
covering them to be one and the same variety.
It is obviously a case of sporting in several districts
spontaneously and hence different names have
been given. I believe Enchantress has sported,
not only in America, but in Guernsey and in Eng-
land, a case in point being White Enchantress and
Iver White, which are identical. Royalty
and Fascination (not Fascinator) are not parallel
instances, for these were, I believe, renamed by
market growers.
To show that British firms have

some sense of just dealing, I may instance that
Messrs. Cutbush, in their new Carnation list, cite
Mrs. W. T. Omwake as a deep pink sport of
Enchantress."' Could anything be more clear

than this? although the firm adheres to the
name under which the variety was imported. E.
H. Jenkins, Hampton Hill.

[ocr errors]

Mr. Engelmann's letter (see p. 328) certainly enlightened me respecting Carnation Mr. W. T. Omwake, but I guess he is wrong when be calls Rose pink Enchantress no good. The true sport is undoubtedly the finest Rose-pink Carnation existing as yet, and is being bought in thousands by the Chicago growers, but it only proves the foolishness of English growers buying from stocks they know nothing about, and from firms they never hear of again. Further, Mr. Engelmann displays lack of information by classing Mr. W. T. Omwake (as grown in England) with Helen M. Gould. I have seen the latter on show, also growing at home. It is a winner. If Mr. Engelmann's stock of Enchantress has thrown off twelve sports, he can calculate that it is a very poor one, and I advise him to change it, but he will find that many of his so-called sports are not fixed. My main object in writing was that the raiser of Victory may be given fair play, and if it eventually proves that St. Louis and Victory are identical, could not the Royal Horticultural Society step in and prevent the use of the second name? No one would think of robbing a famous artist of the credit for painting a great picture, New Yorker.

[ocr errors]

At the banquet given to the Jury and Officials of
the French N.C.S. at Caen, M. Philippe Rivoire
announced that while at Marseilles he had learned
that the two grand-daughters of M. Blancard were
living in London, and were in a state of pecuniary

some to dispose of, I should be only too glad to learn of so desirable a market. Again, from my experience, he is wrongly informed when stating that the open-barked Willow is used only for cricket bats, as it is the close-barked or white Willow that makers of bats are so keen in obtaining and who will only give a very poor price indeed for the other variety. I believe, when planting, if young trees, say from 10 to 15 feet in height, grown from small cuttings could be obtained they would be far preferable to sets. George Wood, Brandon.

POTATO TRIALS AT WISLEY.-With a desire to see trials of Potatos at Wisley conducted on a much wider basis than now exists, those hitherto conducted there and at Chiswick being limited to a test of varieties only, I suggested at a recent meeting of the Fruit and Vegetable Committee that the Council of the Royal Horticultural Society be invited to have at Wisley a series of trials of Potatos relating entirely to the results seen in planting tubers of the same variety derived from diverse localities, and M. Wright said the matter shoul ! have full consideration. This question of the effect of planting seed-tubers from Northern, Irish, and Midland soils here in the South is of first-class importance. My own limited trials have shown it so conclusively that for the moment the matter holds first place in Southern Potato commerce. I trust that not only will the Council sanction the proposed, trial, but will also authorise Mr. Wright t obtain seed-tubers of not fewer than twelve varieties which may have been grown at Wisle this year, and of which some thirty tubers it! each can be saved for planting, getting duplicates of these varieties from both the East and West coasts of Scotland, from Yorkshire, Essex, and Ireland, and using those of his own sowing from the Wisley sand. Ireland must be on no account left out of the trial, because tubers from that country are found to have first-class reproductive powers. With respect to the planting of immature or unripe tubers, and mature or ripe tubers of similar varieties, as a farther trial, that cannot be done at Wisley next year, the immature tubers not being available. But were, say, a dozen tubers of as many of the varieties from Scotch or Irish seed planted separately from the former trial to be lifted whilst still immature and the tips green, then the farther trial could be carried out the following year on lines of the utmost fairness. In both these matters the Wisley Potato trials would have interest of the highest importance for all concerned in Potato culture. 1. D.

THE MARKETING OF FRUIT.-The announcement by the Swanwick and District Fruitgrowers' Association (Hants.), that one of the chief objects of its existence is to check the

There is no need to remind the readers

of the Gardeners' Chronicle that we owe the intro-
duction of the large-flowering Chrysanthemum to
M. Blancard, who in 1789 imported it from China
into France. Considering the enormous success of
this flower in England during the time that has
elapsed, I am sure there must be many growers and
admirers of our popular autumn flower who would
like to spare a trifle to help these two ladies. The
French N.C.S. started a subscription list with 100
francs, which will be supplemented by other don-
ations on the part of French Chrysanthemum
growers and admirers. M. Rivoire has asked me
if I will interview the ladies later, and I have
promised to do so, as they are living in London.
This is a matter that will be brought before our
own National Chrysanthemum Society in due
course, but if there are any readers of the Gardeners'
Chronicle who are not members, but who would like
to help these ladies no matter in how small a way,
I should be extremely glad to hear from them, or
to receive any contributions they may like to send
me. C. Harman Payne, 141, Wellmeadow Road,
Catford, S.E., Foreign Secretary, National Chrysan-
themum Society.

WILLOWS. Mr. Adams (see page 327), is no
doubt right in advising that the close barked
Willow only should be used, as, without doubt, at
the present time it is much more valuable than
any other variety, but I fear he must be wrong in
stating that Willow of this class realises from
12s. 6d. to 15s. per foot cube. Never having been
able to obtain anything approaching this figure
when selling this class of timber, and now having

unreasonable dealings of salesmen," has brought forth a letter of remonstrance from Mr. W. B. Shearn, vice-president of the London and Provincial Fruit Buyers' Association. Mr. Shearn writes:-"I should like to point out to the fruit-growers their own unreasonable mode of dealing, in the strawberry season especially, when they send their strawberries in catchweight baskets instead of using baskets of an average weight, as they have been asked to do for years. The baskets they send hold from 24lb. to 61b., and that is where the unreasonableness of it comes in, as the grower who sends the 24lb. basket expects as much money returned as the one who sends the 6lb. basket." The foregoing letter bears out in a remarkable degree the remarks contained in an article entitled The Strawberry Crop "-and which referred to this particular district of Hampshire-published in the Gardeners' Chronicle of July 28 last (pp. 72-74). The passage in question ran as follows: "If the Hampshire grower could improve his methods still further by using baskets of one uniform size with a guarantee to the salesman (and the subsequent purchaser) as to the nett weight of the fruit, the kind of package he employs could hardly be improved upon." It is indeed a great pity that the English fruit-grower cannot bring himself to adopt more careful methods in his business. In this respect he has much to learn from the foreigner, who learned long ago that his chance of disposing of his goods at satisfactory prices depended a gre, t deal upon the manner in which those goods were marketed. The English grower, on the

other hand, often seems to think that it does not matter in the least how he sends his fruit to the shop or the salesman, the outcome of which state of affairs is a feeling of mistrust between grower and distributor-a feeling which extends to the customer when he finds that he is

more often than not buying a "pig in a poke." The customer likes to know the quality and quantity of what he is buying, but he is often very much in the dark in both these respects when he purchases fruit put up in growers' original packages, as Strawberries from the Swanwick district usually are. It is as bad a policy to give short weight as it is to put the inferior fruit underneath and the good on the top. A salesman will naturally be more pleased to handle fruit which is carefully graded and carefully weighed, because the sale of such fruit is easy and entails little trouble in handling. Growers who are particular in these respects will therefore get the top prices of the market, and their fruit will be sold first, while the improperly-graded and short-weight consignments of others wait until the majority of the salesman's customers are satisfied. Fruit packages of this latter description are profitable neither to the producer, the salesman, the retailer, nor to the eventual purchaser. It is very evident therefore that while the British fruit-grower may have many grievances, the remedy of which is quite outside his power, the salesman has similar reason for complaint against the producer. the sooner that every fruit-grower realises that it pays to be especially careful in marketing his fruit, the better will it be for the reputation of British fruit generally. Above all, it will do more than anything to keep the foreigner out of cur own markets. We should, at least, not be too proud to learn for ourselves what he has peen teaching us to do ever since he invaded the markets of Great Britain. East Sussex.




THE PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION BILL.As a 45 years' subscriber without a break, perhaps you will allow me to join A. T. and J. F. in protesting in this matter, that some your correspondents, like A Briton, for example, have had their say. I am neither going to condemn nor defend the discount practice, but I protest against the conspicuous manner in which gardeners and other private estate employees have been dragged into notice in the Parliamentary discussion of the Bill, and by almost every paper that has discussed the subject, as if they were the greatest and only sinners, whereas, probably, their share in the business has been infinitesimal. Gardeners' average salaries are, if anything, below the living wage figure, and probably no class stands more in need of the discount on their comparatively insignificant purchases, or are to be more excused for accepting it. Gardeners who accept discount are, at any rate, in first-class company. The practice pervades nearly all industries. The poor gardener and nurseryman "cannot hold candle" to the big manufacturer and his customers. What would you say of a pair of ponies, worth a hundred guineas each, and a carriage, given in the expectation of favours to come or already had, in the way of discount, or of cellars stocked with wines same principle, probably without the word "discount" ever being uttered? These are samples of what happens, and could be vouched for, between vendors and purchasers of "materials" for certain nameless departments and contracts. I am not personally concerned in such transactions, but the facts are common knowledge in certain quarters, and I am sometimes so placed that I cannot help knowing of them or being told. Indeed, Chambers of Commerce have often alluded to such things at their meetings. I am not pleading justification, but I am a gardener-an honest one, I hope, and have been disgusted at the way in which the gardener has been made a scapegoat, and one of the excuses, at least, for the Act. The authors of the Bill, when it was introduced, were careful to avoid giving offence by any allusion to corruption among the audience they were addressing, some of whom must have grinned. The gardener, the coachman, the cook, and the butler are the wicked ones. The idea conveyed to outsiders was that the promoter or promoters of the Bill had quar relled with their domestics about perquisites, and rushed to Parliament in a vindictive tem

on the

per against the whole fraternity. What would be far better than any Act of Parliament would be for employers to allow their gardeners to receive the few shillings or pounds discount after bills and prices had been scrutinised and goods got at a reasonable price. At one nobleman's place that I can speak for this was done, and, in order that the heads of departments might have their proper share of the discount, the gardener, coachman, cook, housekeeper, and butler were all allowed to pay their own bills, and then return the vouchers to the estate office. It is not discount that hurts estate owners so much as gross neglect and mismanagement in high quarters. As regards the Corrupt Practices Bill itself, as far as its practical application is concerned, it is not worth twopence halfpenny of bad money, because it may be easily defeated without risk or danger. That anyone with the least glimmer of common sense can see. The Act is being simply treated with derision in business circles at the present moment. Let your "influential body of nurserymen" come out with their manifesto by all means, and publish the same in their catalogues, and we shall see who gets the discount. It won't be the buyer. That game was tried years ago by a well-known London firm now defunct, and gentlemen were flooded with circulars on the subject. The failure was complete, and much fun was made of the reformer in the gardening Press at the time. There is, moreover, another aspect of the subject. Gardeners' working hours are, nominally, about the same as those of others, but the hours gardeners actually work, or are obliged to be on duty, including Sunday and night work, average 14 hours per day or more, for which they seldom receive or expect any acknowledgment. A few shillings or pounds discount under such conditions need not cause any great qualms of conscience. Scotch Thistle.

From the articles recently appearing in your paper it appears to me that there is no need for so much alarm about the subject. This new Bill was never intended for the seed or nursery trade, but to put a check upon municipal and other large bodies. My experience of many years has been that the majority of gardeners in England are engaged at low salaries (and, in many cases, too low), with the understanding of the employer that, after the house is supplied, the surplus can be disposed of for the gardener's benefit, also that they are allowed to take 5 per cent. from nurserymen or seedsmen, and, in some cases that have come under my notice, the employer gives instructions for his gardener not to deal with firms who do not give this amount for themselves. I fail to see where

corruption" comes in in making a present to a man any more than giving a waiter a tip. There can be no bribery in that, as in both instances value has been received. I do not think there is a firm of any good repute that would offer bribery as an inducement to get orders, but a legitimate old-standing arrange. ment of 5 per cent. (not more) no employer could possibly object to, as it is simply an encourage. ment for the gardener to look properly after the seeds, plants, bulbs, or whatever may have been supplied. There should be a straight line drawn, and the sooner the better; and I think the London trade should all meet as soon as possible and settle the matter before the 1st of January, so that all connected with the horticultural trade should know how to proceed for 1907. "Viator" (Nurseryman).

The Week's Work.


By HUGH A. PETTIGREW, Gardener to the Earl of PLYMOUTH, St. Fagan's Castle, Glamorganshire. Climbers on trees.-In addition to those plants enumerated in these notes last week as being suitable for covering the stems of trees, there are many others, foremost amongst which are the Clematis, especially the early summer flowering C. mcntana, and C. flammula, which flowers late in autumn. For a giant Pine the Virginia creepers, particularly Vitis quinque. folia muralis (Ampelopsis Engelmani), would make a capital plant. One can readily imagine its fine colour in the autumn making a brilliant picture conspicuous to the eye from far and near. V. inconstans (A. Veitchii) on the

trunks of the least ornamental trees of the pleasure grounds proves effective, and its use in this manner is desirable. Schizophragma hydrangeoides (Hydrangea scandens), a Japan. ese plant, is a distinct climber, with picturesque habit, and is excellent for covering the clean boles of an Ash tree. In seashore gardens, as, for instance, in Coinwall, it grows with vigour, and attains to a great height, but it is doubtful if the species is sufficiently hardy in locali. ties other than those in the south and southwest. Polygonum Baldschuanicum is a beautiful hardy climber, eminently adapted for smothering a dwarf tree or shrub. It grows to the height of 20 or 30 feet in a very short time, and its graceful pendent fascicles of white-slightly rose-coloured-flowers, which appear twice a year, are distinctly pretty. P. multiflorum is even a quicker and more vigorous grower than P Baldschuanicum, but more tardy in its flowering. It is a desirable addition, however, to tree Climbers, for even without flowers it is handsome, owing to its peculiarly tinted foliage in summer, and in winter because of the attractive. ness of its numerous long, slender, reddish


The Ivy. In regard to ornamental trees care should be taken now and every winter to examine them all and remove that most rapacious of climbers, the common Ivy. If this has not been done annually, and the work is only to be commenced at the present time, then caution and much discretion must be exercised. If Ivy has once secured full possession of a tree, it is wise to leave it undisturbed, but means should be taken to safeguard sound trees from its attack.



By J. GIBSON, Gardener to His Grace the Duke of PORTLAND, Welbeck Abbey, Notts. Late Cauliflowers.-Cauliflower plants are not capable of standing so many degrees of frost as Broccoli. Any **heads " becoming fit for use should be cut immediately, and those not so far advanced can safely be lifted and transplanted into frames. The check to the growth suffered at this season of the year is not so severe as it would be during hot summer weather, so there need be no fear of failure. Young seedling plants wintering in frames need an abundance of fresh air, and this may be admitted on mild days. Keep the plants as hardy as possible.

Winter Cucumbers.-The next two months form the most critical period for this crop. The short, dull days are not favourable to the production of fruitful growth. Keep the young shoots thinly trained, and apply frequent top dressings to the roots to encourage them to extend. The water should be heated to the same temperature as that of the atmosphere before its use for syringing or for applying to the roots. It is advisable to keep a supply of young plants in various stages of growth, instead of trying to continue through the winter with an unhealthy or unfruitful batch; employ a succession of young and more vigorous plants. Bottom heat is an essential aid to cultivation in winter, and there should be plenty of material available at the present time at least for making hot beds. Lockie's Perfection is one of the best winter fruiters.

Tomatos. The present is a good time to sow seeds for raising plants to fruit early next year, and if successfully grown they should afford ripe fruits early in May. Select a variety that "sets" its flowers easily, such as Winter Beauty, a variety which is at the same time a good ser viceable one for any purpose. An excellent yel low fruit, somewhat plum-shaped, is Sutton's Sunbeam. Tomatoes are more eagerly sought for early in the year than at any other season. Tomato plants in bearing should have the side growths removed when they are still quite small. If the plants have set a good crop, a slight top dressing with soil having a little wood ashes and Le Fruitier manure mixed together, will sustain the growth and help the fruits to grow to a larger size.

[ocr errors]

Early Potatos.-"Sets" intended for early forcing should now be gently started into growth by placing them in boxes in any house having an atmospheric temperature of about 50. By Christ mas time the tubers should be nicely sprouted and the sprouts should be thinned to not more than two growths as soon as this can safely be done.

« PreviousContinue »