J. C. (John Claudius) Loudon.

An encyclopaedia of gardening; comprising the theory and practice of horticulture, floriculture, arboriculture, and landscape-gardening, including all the latest improvements; a general history of gardening in all countries; and a statistical view of its present stat, with suggestions for its future online

. (page 199 of 313)
Online LibraryJ. C. (John Claudius) LoudonAn encyclopaedia of gardening; comprising the theory and practice of horticulture, floriculture, arboriculture, and landscape-gardening, including all the latest improvements; a general history of gardening in all countries; and a statistical view of its present stat, with suggestions for its future → online text (page 199 of 313)
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and mats or canvass should be placed at hand ready to cover the bed on such emergencies ; but it will not
be necessary to defend it from moderate rains or slight frosts: for too frequent and long covering will de-
prive the roots of the due action and influence of the air, which ought to be avoided as much as possible :
it were even better to run the hazard of incurring a slight injury by the omission of covering on some oc-
casions, than overdo it to the certain detriment of the plants. If frost is permitted to penetrate so far into
the soil as to reach the bulbs, especially about the time that the plants begin to appear above ground, it
will produce a singular effect, by causing some of them to shoot forth or discharge their stems and blos-
soms ; but if the roots become entirely frozen through, they are in danger of being destroyed. The earlier
sorts will begin to open and show color about the beginning of April ; it will be proper to screen such from
the too powerful effects of the sun, which, if not prevented, would bleach and tarnish their colors, parti-
cularly the reds and deep blues ; but if they are properly defended from it, their colors will be preserved,
and they will, in some measure, be kept back, so as to be in full bloom with the later sorts, especially if the
roots of the early sorts have been planted about an inch deeper than the rest : it is a very desirable object
to have a uniform bloom. It will be necessary to support the stems as they advance in height ; for this
purpose, small sticks or wires, painted green, should be forced into the ground, immediately behind the
bulbs, either in an erect position or leaning a little backwards, to which the stems are to be rather loosely
tied with small pieces of green worsted, as soon as they begin to bend, or are in danger of breaking with
the weight of the corolla or bells : this operation must be repeated as they advance in height, for it is im-
possible to do it at one time so as to answer the purpose. When the greater part of the bed appears in
color, a covering, or awning, should be erected over it and the path in front : the awning should consist
of a strong frame of wood, ten feet high in the centre, and seven feet at the sides, covered with Irish or
Scotch sheetings, or Russia duck, which will effectually keep out rain, and admit a great degree of light;
it should come down close to the bed on the north side, in order to preserve it from cold winds, which are
prejudicial to the bloom. The covering (fig. 591.) should be
so const urcted, by means of lines (a) and pulleys (b), as to be
easily and expeditiously rolled up, or let down, as occasion
requires, to afford the plants the full benefit of light and air,
at all favorable opportunities, that is to say, when the air is
mild, and light clouds intervene, so as to blunt the sun's ray.
This sometimes, and, indeed, often happens to be the case
from seven to nine o'clock in the morning, and from four to
six in the evening, at which time the sun has also less power
than in the middle of the day. A bed of hyacinths never
requires to be watered at any period ; the rains that happen
after planting are generally more than sufficient both for
the roots and the bloom ; and after the bloom is over they
are rather prejudicial than otherwise, except when very
moderate. Although covering in the manner described
presents and exhibits the bloom to the greatest advantage,
yet it evidently has a tendency to weaken and injure the
bulbs, and ought not, therefore, to be continued more than
two or three weeks at most ; but as soon as the general
bloom declines, the beds should be immediately exposed to
the open air, and the mats and hoops should be replaced, as before, to keep off heavy rains."

6235. Taking up the bulbs. " It is the practice in Holland, to take up the bulbs about three weeks or a
month after bloom, in the following manner : As soon as the plants begin to put on a yellowish decayed ap-
pearance, they take up the roots and cut off the stem and foliage close to, or within half an inch of the
bulb, but leave the fibres, &c. attached to it ; they then place the bulbs again on the same bed sideways,
with their points towards the north, and cover them about half an inch deep, with dry earth or sand in
the form of a ridge, or little cone, over each : in this state they remain about three weeks longer, and dry
or ripen gradually ; during which, as much air is admitted as possible, but the bed is preserved from heavy
rains, and too hot a sun ; at the expiration of this period the bulbs are taken up, and their fibres which are
become nearly dry, gently rubbed off; they are then placed in a dry room for a few days, and are afterwards
cleaned from any soil that adheres to them, their loose skins taken off, with such offsets as may be easily
separated. When this dressing is finished, the bulbs are wrapped up in separate pieces of paper, or buried
in dry sand, where they remain till the return of the season for planting. Another, and less troublesome,
mode of treatment after bloom, though perhaps more hazardous, is to keep the bed airy, and rather dry,
till the stems and foliage appear nearly dried up or consumed ; this will seldom happen to be the case in less
than two months ; the bulbs are then to be taken up, cleaned from the fibres, soil, &c. and preserved in
sand or papers as before directed."

Book II.



6236. Van Kampen and son say, " We take up the roots as soon as the leaves begin to wither, that is, when
their plants begin to turn yellow. We then break off the stems an inch above the bulbs, which we afterwards
cover with earth, in which they are to he till the gross moisture be dried up by the warmth of the sun.
We make a little heap of earth, and place the roots in it, bottom downwards as they grew ; and the heap is
covered with an inch or two of soil. When the bulbs have lain in this heap for three weeks, thev are
to be taken out in fair weather, and laid on a board in the sun for an hour, after which, they are to be
cleared of the earth and offsets about them, taking great care not to give the least bruise or wound."
(QuoL by Nail, in Hort. Tour, 558.)

6237. Herbert says, " The bulbs should be placed in an airy store-room, and not suffered to touch each
other ; a moveable stage of open lattice-work, furnished with drawers, may be used, and the utmost atten-
tion should be paid to ventilation." A French florist, Baudry, is said (Caled. Hort. Mem. iv. 76.) to have
lost annually a number of his hyacinth-bulbs through dampness until he adopted the expedient of placing
them in the store-room with the base of the bulb upwards. Drawers of lattice-work would effect the same

6238. Diseases. " Hyacinths are subject to various diseases, arising from different causes ; that distem-
per commonly known by the appellation of the ring-sickness, is of all others the most dangerous and most
difficult to cure ; in short, the only effectual remedy is to cut out the diseased part, till no brownness, yel-
lowness, or other symptom of distemper remains. The sound part will survive the operation, if it consist
of no more than the outside tunic of the bulb, without any heart ; but it will, in such case, only be able
to produce offsets, and will never recover itself so as to flower again : as soon as the operation is performed,
the wounded part should be exposed to the sun, till it becomes dry, to prevent mouldiness, and it will be
best to replant it in some dry situation soon after." " The Dutch," Herbert observes, " are much troubled
with this disease; the cause of which appears to be a fungus, the spawn of which is nurtured in the
cow -dung. The only remedy is the removal of the distempered bulb, and the compost that was in contact
with it."

6239. Duration of bulbs. " The hyacinth delights in a sandy soil and saline atmosphere ; of conse-
quence it succeeds best on the sea-coast, or in situations very near to the sea. In more inland parts, it
will generally be found necessary to procure an annual reinforcement of fresh imported bulbs, in order to
make good or supply the deficiencies arising from the loss, or impaired health and strength of many of those
that have bloomed on the best bed the preceding spring. Those who are well acquainted with the hyacinth,
always allow about one bulb in twelve to fail, notwithstanding no visible blemish or decay is discernible at
the time of planting ; such generally have a corps de reserve, in narrow deep pots, which, at the com-
mencement of bloom, they plunge or sink into the bed, wherever a vacancy, or weak sickly plant makes
its appearance ; by which means the uniformity and regularity of the bed is preserved, without any visible
defect or alteration." Herbert says, " My own experience enables me to say, that the nurseryman in the
neighborhood of London may produce hyacinth-bulbs equal, if not superior," to those imported from Hol-
land ; though, perhaps, with* greater loss from disease, owing to his not being able to procure the dung of
cattle fed upon hard food, and free from straw." {Hort. Trans, vol iv. p. 168.)

6240. Forcing the hyacinth. Plant the roots in narrow deep pots, tilled with sandy loam, in October ;
plunge them in and cover them with old bark-leaves or sand ; they will soon throw down roots, and a part
may then, say in November, be plunged in bottom heat, which will come into bloom by Christmas, and
successional supplies can be taken from the store planted in October, and a bloom thus kept up till they
flower in the open air. The best sorts to force are the single blues and reds.

&2i\. Blowing hyacinths in water-glasses. Blue or dark-colored glasses are more favorable to the pro-
gress of the roots than light ones, light being injurious to all roots. The bulbs to be blown in the glasses
should be planted in October, in earth in which they push their fibres more regularly, and taken up as
wanted, washed from the earth, and placed in the blowing-glass : the glasses may be kept in a warm room
or in a stove. The water should be soft, and the glass so full that it may rise a fourth of an inch on the
bulb. As often as it becomes fetid, it should be renewed.

Scbsect. 2. Tulip. Tulipa Gesneriana, L. {Bot. Mag. 1135.) Hex. Monog. L. and
Lilue, J. Tulipe, Fr. and Ger. and Tulipano, Ital. {fig. 592.)
6242. The bulb of the tulip is solid, and sends up an upright stern from twelve to eigh-
teen inches high, with glaucous leaves, and a large erect flower, the petals in its wild state
having a black base. It is a native of the Levant. It is common in Syria, and is sup-
posed by some to be the " lily of the field," referred to in Christ's address from the mount ;
though Sir J. E. Smith thinks the amaryllis lutea is there meant. In Persia, where the
tulip is abundant, it is considered as the emblem of
perfect lovers. " When a young man," says
Chardin, " presents one to his mistress, he gives
her to understand, by the general color of the
flower, that his body is on fire with her beauty, and I
by the black base of it, that his heart is burned to a I
coal. " According to Gesner, the tulip was brought
to Europe in 1559. It was cultivated in Eng-
land by James Garnet, in 1577, having been intro-
duced, according to Hakluyt, from Vienna. To-
wards the middle of the 17th century, the tulip
became the object of considerable trade in the
Netherlands ; it rose to its greatest height in 1634,
and the three following years. According to
Beckmann {History of Inventions, art. Tulip), for
one root of a variety called the Viceroy, articles to
the value of 2500 florins were agreed to be de-
livered. The Semper Augustus has been sold for
2000 florins; one person agreed to give 4600 florins (about 4601.), with a new carriage,
two horses, and complete harness ; and another agreed to give twelve acres of land for a
single root. The trade was generally followed for a time, and having no foundation in
real utility, like the Missisippi and South Sea schemes, it was a mere gambling business,
and rightly named Tulipomania. John Barclay, the celebrated author of the romance of
Argenis, is said to have had this mania to such an excess, that he placed two mastiffs as


sentinels in his garden. This was between 1600 and 1621, when he lived at Rome, in
an ill aired and unwholesome habitation ; in which, however, he chose rather to continue
than abandon his favorite flowers. {Chalmers's Biog. Diet.) The taste for tulips in Eng-
land was at its greatest height about the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th cen-
tury ; about the year 1730 or 40, it had declined and given way to the taste for botany,
and new plants from America and other foreign countries. The tulip, however, is still
much cultivated both in Holland and England, near large towns, though in the latter
country there are now very few good collections in the private gardens of the higher classes.
Like the auricula and some other flowers, it is more the flower of the tradesman and oper-
ative manufacturer than of the botanist or man of fortune.

6243. Varieties. Parkinson, in 1629, enumerates 140 sorts: but " to tell of all the kinds," he says,
" which are the pride of delight, they are so many, and as 1 may say almost infinite, doth both pass my
ability, and,-as I believe, the skill of any other." In Parkinson's time, tulips were divided into pracoces,
or early blowers, and serotina?, or late blowers, with an intermediate division of dubia: medue, doubtful
or middle blowers, which, for the most part, however, belonged to the serotinte. The early blowers have
short stems, and the Due Van Tholl is almost the only variety in repute among modern florists. The great
variety in the catalogues is produced from the late blowers, which have tall stems and much richer colors ;
of these the catalogue of Maddock in 1792 contained the names of 665 sorts. In Mason's catalogue for
1820, are six sorts of earlv tulips ; four of perroquets, or middle blowers ; 22 double sorts, and upwards of
600 single late sorts. The'Dutch florists class their late-blowing tulips as under : a variety will last an un-
known number of years
Prime baguets [baguette, Fr. a rod or

wand) ; very tall ; fine cups with white
bottoms, well broken with fine brown,
and all from the same breeder,
{iiets Rigaut's (supposed from Iti-
: flo ' '

well formed cups, with white bottoms,
well broken with fine brown, and all
from the same breeder.
Incomparable Verparts ; very perfect
cups, cherry and rose, and white bot-

toms, well broken with shining brown.
By blomens, or next flowers, the Jlamands

of the French florists, with bottoms
white, or nearly so, from different
breeders, and broken with variety of
Bizarres (bixarre, Fr. odd, irregular) ;

ground yellow, from different- breed-

1 br

ers, and broken with variety of colors.

gaud, some eminent florist's name, or
ruuffeauile, red-faced) ; not quite so tall,
but with strong stems, and very large

' 6244. The names of the different varieties, classed under these heads, being perfectly arbitrary, and con-
stantly changing, their insertion here could be of no use. (See the Annual Catalogues of Bulbous Roots,
published by the nurserymen and florists.) What are called breeders are procured from seed, and consist
of one plain color on a white or yellow bottom. These being cultivated on a dry and rather poor soil be-
come broken or variegated, and produce new varieties. The time that elapses before they break varies
from one to twenty years or more, and sometimes this change never takes place, so that whoever thinks
of raising new varieties of tulips from seed must be possessed of an ample fund of patience and persever-
ance. The early dwarf tulip, known among florists as the Van Tholl, is a distinct species, T. suavcolens.
Formerly there were several varieties of early dwarf kinds.

6245. Criterion of a fine variegated late tulip. "The stem should be strong, elastic, and erect, and
about thirty inc-hes above the surface of the bed. The flower should be large, and composed of six petals :
these should proceed a little horizontally at first, and then turn upwards, forming almost a perfect cup,
with a round bottom, rather widest at the top. The three exterior petals should be rather larger than the
three inferior ones, and broader at their base : all the petals should have perfectly entire edges, free from
notch or serrature ; the top of each should be broad and well rounded ; the ground-color of the flower, at
the bottom of the cup, should be clear white or yellow, and the various rich-colored stripes, which are the
principal ornament of a tine tulip should be regular, bold, and distinct, on the margin, and terminate in
tine broken points, elegantly feathered or pencilled. The centre of each leaf, or petal, should contain one
or more bold blotches, or stripes, intermixed with small portions of the original or breeder color, abruptly
broken into many irregular obtuse points. Some florists are of the opinion that the central stripes, or
blotches, do not contribute to the beauty and elegance of the tulip, unless confined to a narrow stripe, ex-
actly down the centre, and that they should be perfectly free from any remains of the original or breeder
color : it is certain that such appear very beautiful and delicate, especially when they have a regular nar-
row feathering at the edge ; but the greatest connoisseurs in this flower unanimously agree, that it denotes
superior merit, when the tulip abounds with rich coloring, distributed in a distinct and regular manner
throughout the flower, except in the bottom of the cup, which, it cannot be disputed, should be a clear,
bright white or yellow, free from stain or tinge, in order to constitute a perfect flower."

6246. Propagation. By seed for new varieties, and by offsets for continuing approved sorts.

6247. By seed. Select such breeders as have tall strong stems, with large well formed cups, clear in the
bottom, and save seed from these in preference to the finest of the variegated or broken sorts, as the seed
of such sorts produces nothing but poor weak breeders of no value. " It should remain growing on the
stem till the pericarpium becomes of a brownish color, and begins to open; it is then sufficiently ripe, and
should be cut off, with six or eight inches of the stem, and treated afterwards, in all respects, agreeable to
the direction* given for the management of hyacinth-seed. Some of the seedlings will bloom by the fourth
or fifth, and most, if not all, by the seventh year."

6248. By offsets. These should be planted soon after they are separated from the parent bulb, in beds of
fresh sandy loam, with a little rotten cow-dung placed from seven to twelve inches below the surface, in a
dry airy situation, from two to four inches deep, according to the size of the roots. The beds should be
raised six or eight inches above the alleys, formed rather convex on the surface, and may be provided
with hoops and mats, to be used to guard them, as occasion may require, from heavy rains and severe frosts.

6249. Choice of full-grown bulbs. Select such as have not lost the brown skin, are not mouldy or soft at
the root end, and are full, solid, and rather pointed at the other. Just before planting, strip off' the brown
skin so as to leave the root perfectly bare and white, performing the operation with great care, to avoid
bruising or wounding the root, especially at the lower end, where the fibres are formed, which is, at the
season of planting, extremely tender.

6250. Soil and situation. " The situation for the best bed should be in an open airy part of the garden ;
when that is fixed upon, the ground should be marked out, agreeable to its intended dimensions, and the
soil taken out twenty inches deep ; the bottom is then to be filled up with sound fresh earth, ten inches thick,
upon which is to be placed a stratum of two-year-old rotten cow-dung, and earth of the above description,
about one haVf of each, well mixed together, twelve inches thick ; and again, upon this is to be placed an-
other stratum of the same kind of earth as that of the bottom ; this is only to be two inches thick at the
sides, and three inches at the middle, which will give it a small degree of convexity; this is to be per-
formed about the 20th of October, i. e. a week or two before planting, to give the bed time to settle ; at
the expiration of two weeks, the earth will have subsided, so as to be about two inches higher than the cir-
cumjacent paths ; but if heavy rains intervene between this preparation of the bed, and the time of plant-
ing, it will be proper to keep them off, in order to preserve the temperature of the earth, as it would be
rendered too compact and adhesive, by a redundancy of moisture for the fibres to pass freely through it,
which ought to be avoided." Hogg recommends a fresh, rich, loamy soil, of rather a sandy nature, which .
should be dug twelve months at least before it is used, and a small portion of well rooted dung must be
added. He says, an intelligent old tulip-grower assured him, that the best compost he had ever hit on

was three fourths rich yellow loam ; one fourth leaf-mould ; one sixth two-year-old horse-dung ; and

Book II. TULIP. 833

one eighth sea-sand, well incoqwrated, and laid in a bed, or stratum, for the plants, two feet deep." (7V.
.>; the Carnation, Auricula, Tulip, &c. 142.)

6*251. Planting. The most proper time is from the end of October to the tenth of No-
vember. On the day made choice of for planting, rake the surface of the bed smooth
and even, still preserving its convexity, and mark the exact situation for every root upon
it. The proper distance between each root is seven inches from centre to centre ; and if
the rows are seven inches asunder, the roots will form squares of similar diameter on all
parts of the bed. A bed consisting of seven rows makes the noblest appearance, when
it is of sufficient length, with a path round it about two and a half or three feet wide ; but
where the number of roots is small five rows may suffice, and the path, in that case, may
either extend quite round the bed, or only on one side, at pleasure. If, therefore, the bed
consists of seven rows, it should consequently be fifty inches wide, which will allow a space
of four inches between the outside rows and the sides of the bed ; but if the bed contains
only five rows, it will only require to be three feet wide, to give the roots similar distances.
Having sprinkled a little clean sand where the roots are to be set, place them with great
exactness and add some very sandy earth, so as to completely envelope each root in a lit-
tle cone of it; then cover the whole very carefully with strong, sound, fresh loam, about
four inches thick at the middle of the bed, gradually decreasing as it approaches the sides,
where it should be about three inches thick ; thus will the convexity of the surface be in-
creased in a proper degree, and the roots will be covered with soil, to a depth propor-
tionate to their size and strength ; the largest and strongest having been placed in the cen-
tre rows, and the smaller and weaker on those of the outside. No tulip-root, whatever
may be its size or strength, should be planted more than four inches deep from the upper
side of the root ; nor should any blooming root be planted less than two and a half or
three inches deep, however small it may be. The soil made use of for covering the bulbs
shoidd be frequently turned over, and thoroughly exposed to the sun and air, some time
before it is made use of, that it may be rendered perfectly sweet and free from the acrid qua-
lity that most soils are suhject to, when taken considerably below the surface. But if the
bed is only to contain five rows, with a path in the front, and none behind, then it will be
proper to plant the smallest and lowest growing roots in the front, next the path, and so
gradually to increase in the size of the roots to the fifth or last row, which should con-
tain the strongest and largest of all ; when the roots are properly covered with soil, as
before directed, the surface of the bed will slope one way, forming an inclined plane : it
will be necessary to support its. highest side at least with boards or brick- work, otherwise
the earth would be liable to crumble down and leave the roots bare or too shallow.

6252. Future culture and management. " When the operation of planting is concluded, the bed may be
hooped over, and taken care of, in the manner directed for hyacinths, i. e. so as to preserve it from very

Online LibraryJ. C. (John Claudius) LoudonAn encyclopaedia of gardening; comprising the theory and practice of horticulture, floriculture, arboriculture, and landscape-gardening, including all the latest improvements; a general history of gardening in all countries; and a statistical view of its present stat, with suggestions for its future → online text (page 199 of 313)