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The Florida Agriculturist.
Tol 1. Contents of this Number. Pajte 161—Floriculture; Some Facts from a Practical Agriculturist; A (Jouiparisou. Page 163—The Lover’s Choice, poetry; The Good-for-Nothing; A Parrot’s Prac tical Joke; Recipes. Page 163—Bud Your Orauges; Legal Noti ces; Advertisements. Page 164—Work for October! Another Fine Lemon; Effects of the Storm on Our Winter Prospects; Floridiana. Page 165—Legal Notices; Advertisements. Page 166 —The Keeping of Bees a Source of Wealth; The Sand Pear; The Fruit Stands of Cnicago; Tobacco Culture, Page 167—Cooking Poultry; Advertise ments. Page ICB—Telegraphic; Advertisements. Floriculture. BY D. S. PLACE. The following article was prepared by special request, for a certain meet ing of the State Fruit Growers’ As sociation. But as circumstances prevented the attendance of the writer it has never been delivered ; and as we have hitherto said little on the subject we give the entire article as it was originally written In future numbers we will give a more complete list of such plants as we have tried and found to succeed. “Godmighthave bads the earth bring forth Her fruit botti great aud small, The orange. a the fig tree. Without a flower at all. “ Our outward life requires them not. Then wherefore have they birth 1 To minister delight to man, To beautify the earth.” In presenting this short treatise on the culture of flowers which I hastily promised and have as leisurely re gretted, I shall not enter into any of the, directions.of their erat Culture "which might bo commot to all countries, but shall coniine my self to the treatment of flowers in the soil and climate of those portions of Florida with which lam familiar. I need offer no apology for choosing this subject, for it has claimed my attention from early childhood.— When I was a barefooted bo} 7 , I had my little flower beds in the old home garden alongside of those of my sis ters ; and the pretty “ May Pinks ” and “June Pinks,” “Touch-me-nots,” “ Four O’Clocks,” “ Lark Spurs,” and a host of other familiar pets, and some that have long siuee been forgot ten, gave our garden an air of beauty that made no mean comparison with the hothouse exotics of receut intro duction. I grew flowers when a boy for the love of it. I grew them for the love of a widowed mother, for the love of my sisters, aud for the love of other little girls. And to-day, while a lew silvery hairs may rob me of a por tion of the bloom of youth, I find my self as much in love with the flowers and with the little girls, and the “lit tle older girls,” as at any time during my past life. On my arrival in Flor ida late in June, some years ago, fresh from the broad and beautiful prairies of the West, I was disap pointed to find a country so .barren of the beauties that have given it its world renowned fairy name. I laud ed at Cedar Keys, where I found more “ sand hills ’’ than gardens, and more “fiddlers” than flowers. A rapid transit thence to Fernaudina, partially in the night and in a flood of rain, with little scenery save the “ flat woods ” aud water, did not im prove my first impressions to any considerable extent. At Fernandina I was delighted with the happy change for the better, yet there was ample room for improvement. , A JOURNAL DEVOTED TO STATE INTERESTS. Like most Northern gentlemen I thought I knew it all, and set out to teach “ these people ” a few' gratui tous lessons, and to show my lady friends what a flower garden ought to be. I procured a large assortment of Chinese Families, a magnificent collection of Dahlias. Hyacinths, Cro cuses, etc., with Snowballs, Lilacs, and many other choice plants that decorate our Northern grounds and bloom so handsomely when the cold storms and biting frosts of winter are gone. I gave my plants the best possible care and attention, and yet all my efforts only resulted in hope less failure. A few of my plants bloomed the first year. Some drag ged out a 6ickly existence to the sec ond and third years, but finally, I be lieve, all are gone. We are all par tial to the beauties of our native country. If a Floridian florist should remove to the cold regions of Minne sota be would take with him his fa vorite Okanders, Cape Myrtles, and Jastniues, and be surprised when they were killed by the first frosts of Au tumn. But our first impressions are not always correct. Florida is not so barren of flowers as I was at first inclined to believe. She is indeed a rich field of native beauty aud botan ical interest. While the prairies of the West may put on their gaudy hues and dazzle the eye of the ad miring beholders for a time, the flow ers do not compare in variety or in dividual beauty, or botanical interest, wy.ld flo.werg-.gf And whoever baa visited tne St. Johns river and beheld upon its margins the magnolia in ira grandeur, the wild morning glory in its robes of white, covering vast masses of vines and trees w'ith their glossy green foliage aud flowers of every hue; who ever has witnessed these scenes and others of other waters which evident ly gave the first impressions of the country, will never wonder that the first explorers, be they French, Span ish or Indian, should exclaim in their wild delight, “ Behold the Land of Flowers.” Bat while Nature has done her part well, and enriched our forests and streams with her beauty and fragrance, we are compelled to acknowledge a fearful deficiency in well tilled flower gardens in our midst. In our own city, Jacksonville, the pride of the State, where all our northern visitors congregate in win ter, not a single park, or scarcely a flower garden worthy the name, with, perhaps, a single exception, may be found. Fernandina, Gainesville, Tal lahassee, and other cities in the inte rior, far surpass us in this direction. This fact is attributable to many causes. Our people are to some ex tent a migratory people. They spend their Summers in the North, and, af ter an absence of four months m the heat of Summer, with less care, and stealage, a tine garden will have little leit to make glad the heart of the re turning proprietor. Another great obstacle is the poverty and worthless ness of our soils, as I may say, the “sand hills,” upon which our city is built; and another is the long, dry Summers to which we are sometimes subjected. These dry seasons invite the red spider aud other insects. Another fruittul cause of failure is the selection of varieties unsuited to our soil and climate. To remove or modify these causes, DeLand, Florida, Wednesday, October 2, 1878. is the object of this article. Do this, and our plants will flourish, and our gardens become a marvel of beauty. I call attention to the spils of Jack sonville, because they are known to all, and known to be poor, and it is the poor lands we wish to take under consideration—the rich jvill take care of themselves. It is well known that we have plenty of clay under lying most of our high, sandy soils throughout the State, and particular ly, near the surface, in, and in the vicinity of our city. Also that all our low lands abohnd with the richest muck. To give us a soil upon which our gardens all succeed, we need equal portioips of this clay and muck spread upon the sand, two to four inches of give good results, and with the addition of more or less cow manure, or bone dust, ap plied annually, or at such times as may be convenient, will give all that may be desired in the way of garden soil. Really tlie better way in small places would be to remove the.sandy soil to the depth of teWor twelve or even fifteen inches, and replace it with a compost of clay, muck and stable manure. This may at first ap pear somewhat expensive, but it is not if a handsome garden is in any way appreciated. Few of our gar dens cover a space of more than bOO square yards, and any lady of taste, or gentleman of some experience, will so arrange the wplks and other appendages, that oge-jhalf, or one •f* by tbem,\and only the remainder need be so prepared. Fifty dollars will as a rule make a first-rate small flower * garden, that will last for years, on any of the poorest soils of Florida; or a very much less sum, and only a few days labor will in most cases give a few very handsome flower beds. With this base for future op erations, all fertilizers that may be applied are saved and their full value realized ; or it will do without further fertilizing. While “ Sand on clay is thrown away. Clay on sand man Hires the land.” Having our soil thusj prepared, all that remains to be doufe is the prop er planting, thorough Itivation and a little extra watering in our dryest seasons. While it would be impossible for me to give anything like a perfect list of all that woulc he desirable, and that would succetd, I may give some items which I bsve learned by experience and otherwse. First of all we wculd procure a good supply of our native shrubs and plants which havtbeen brought under cultivation, anc many others equally hardy and sccessful have been naturalized by lag cultivation and are perfectly at iome with us. These need not here le enumerated, nor will they cost muh. They are, as a rule easily propa.ated, and can he selected from yar neighbor’s garden. The next most beutiful line of plants we would comiend would be the Japan lilies. The are at home with us, and make thanost magnifi cent display of all flwers. Varie ties to suit tastes cn be selected from the florists’ catlognes. The gladiolas are equally i home in our climate, and no handjmer line of Summer flowers nee be desired' The choico varieties ffill give all shades of color and will give a suc cession of bloom for a very long time. The rose is at home, and the perpetuals are the most desirable of all plants ; they, with good care, will give a rich harvest of “ bud ” and bloom all the year round. So with the verbena. With the rose too much care cannot he exercised in selecting good varieties. A good bud is the great desideratum in a rose. The camelia, too, the queen of flowers, is at home in our climate, but a soil composed largely of clay is best suited to its wants. Many of the annuals of the catalogues will give good results, and also many ex otics of tropical and semi-tropical countries will do well with us. Try them and all others sparingly, and the ones we name liberally, and with the soil and culture we commend, and we will guarantee the best re suits. Let all who can grow flowers. When our fellow citizens leave the frozen regions of the North, to come to our country, let them find a “ land of flowers ” indeed, and let them, like the Queen of the East, return to iheir homes and tell of the riches and glory of Florida.— lmmigrant. Some Facts from a Practical Agriculturist. Editor Floiida Agriculturist : I have frequently been asked by citizens of the community, I did not give through the columns of the Agrici'J/tukist some of n>y experi ences in orange culture and Florida iarming, gathered from long resi dence and extensive travels in every part of the State. I hope they will ascribe my silence hitherto rather to my modesty than indifference. I have never been affected wij.h the disease which Horace ascribes to scribblers and which he calls cacoethes scribcndi , and have rather an aversion to seeing my name in print; and yet whenever I have anything to write I never dodge behind an assumed or factitious name. Other writers, such as Mason and Fowler, have so thoroughly writen up the orange trees, that little new can be said. So I shall content myself in this article to pointing out certain errors that I see going the rounds of the papers— by way of warning. The first I mention is the use of kerosene on trees. Mr. Harrison Jones killed one of his finest trees by pouring a small quantity of the oil at the roots to distroy a nest of ants. The tree withered and died in a very few days- I tried the same experiment on the branches of some small trees and either killed or seriously injured the whole lot. Ley, either from ashes or the concentrated, is equally effective, cheap, and makes a good fertilizer when it drips on the ground. The soap remedy is also a good one. But a better plan is to destroy the auts out of your grove and not have any insects to eoutend with. I often hear it recommended, to pen a hog around an orange tree. I once killed several fine cherry trees by this experiment and have not tried it on the orange, but a Mr. Smith of Manatee has to deplore the loss of several fine bearing trees from this cause. The manure of the hog is certainly excellent, but it will be found cheaper and wiser to haul the manure to the tree. The rubbing ot the hog against the tree, fills the pores of the bark with dirt and oil, which lenders it so hard and crusty, that if not death serious injury at least will be the result. The rubbing of any stoek should be prevented. I see it recommended to bud your sweet seedlings to make them come into bearing sooner. This is auother error. If your object be to get known varieties instead of risking the uncer tainty of a seedling, it might be advi sable, and yet, seedlings generally. bear as nice fruit as budded trees; my advice would be to wait and see, Instead of early bearing being a desirable thing in any orange tree, it should always be deplored ; hence if the theory were true it would still be an objectionable practice. But, if you wish to have a few trees put on fruit prematurely, take a limb from the top of the tree and bend it down and tie it, it will be very apt to bear the next season. An upright limb rarely ever bears fruit. I simply state the fact and leave it for the scientific to explain. I have long since ceased to be a devotee at the shrine of science. I have found her to be an arrant humbug. She is a camp-follower, instead of the intrepid and gallant general that leads the van in the march of progress and invention. Let someone make a grand discovery and forthwith here comes the whole pack of so called scientists exclaiming at the top of their voice:—“ I told you so, f told you so. Hurrah for science; ” when the discoverer probably scarcely knew the first rudiments. She is a very unsafe guide when she leaves the old beateu track of common sense; and I would not give one well established, practical fact for a dozen of her chimerical theories. Instance Liebig’s mineral manure theory. Get your nitrogen and ammonia from the atmosphere, forsooth. This is feeding at the wrong end ; put it to the roots and I’ll warrant a bet ter and healthier digestion. But I will not longer trespass on your time or space, lest you he re minded of the couplet in liudihras. *• A little learning is a dangerous tbinur. Drink deep, or taste not, of the Pyriau spring.” Yours truly. 11. D. Bkacet. A Comparison. The U nited States Army and Navy Journal compares the relative expen siveness of six army officers, travel ing under orders, and the investiga ting committee going over the same route at public expense. The army officers handed in a bill of $5.25 for seven meals, with $1.50 for porterage, and the last charge was disallowed. The Congressmen on the other hand, had a bill for the following items, .that was paid : 2 cases of Mnmm’s Dry Verzena.v, at. $24 a case $48.00 1 dozen 1880 brandy 38,00 300 imported cigars at $lB 4&00 1 dozen Vinto de Past 10 Sherry 12.50 10-2 pouuds Stilton cheese at 25c 7.88 9 pounds Cheddar cheese at 80c 5[411 1 can cream crackers. ’’ f'os 1 can of Bent’s water crackers [ ” 3'25 2 dozen assorted meats " 12.00 2 large jars assorted pickles ! ' j*go 2 trunk .* 4)00 1 dozen Old Stag whiskey 15.00 Hatchet and corkscrew i!25 , Total 198.13 “ Reduce the army to 10.000 men.” No. 21.