Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

from its foliage being in such a situation seen against the sky, is in its way as pronounced, boid and striking in character as our rule requires. But let us see how less abrupt prominences require corresponding gradations of boldness in foliage. Here is a sharp shoulder or buttress projecting from the side of a ridge into th cleared valley; its profile is very steep, but not much broken by crags or cliffs. It is of course quite dry and rather sterile in soil, especially toward the top. Its foot-slope is cleared up to where it is quite steep, the "pockets" or retiring nooks on each side, are cleared also. Now the dry and barren top will probably have its sprinkling of sprawling birches and dark cedars, do not disturb them unless it be to set an American mountain ash or so in an open spot, or a few red pines. Lower down, red pines; then as the soil becomes more moist, white and Scotch pines, with a sprinkling of spruce and larch, and along the edge of the cleared base, let a few aspens mix in for edging, but do not suffer any bordering of shrubs or small growth here; let the change be instant from full-sized pines with low-branched bodies, to the smooth foot-slope. Of course, this planting will be varied by exposure and shelter; on north and east slopes, if you are able to cultivate well, you may venture on hemlock, and edge with yellow birch; on southern and western aspects, put in the more cedar and red pine, and if very hot and sandy, the pitch pine may be better still.

In the more hilly parts of this State much hill land is already cleared, and more, doubtless, will be. Its best use is for pasture, as its liability to destructive washing making it ruinous to till it. Here then we shall, or should, have open pasture, groves, and woodlands mixed and melting into each other; for by repeated cutting we already see our woodlands opening into glades of grass, and pasture lands spring up into clumps of timber. Here again let us try our hand at matching contour of ground with character of foliage. A sweep of hillside, much of it open pasture; the gentler slopes, cultivated fields and groves of hard maple (hard, indeed, in tone and outline), spotted along the slopes, peeping over the summits, and nestling in the moister ravines, relieved by dark evergreens, yellow-green aspens, and grave oaks.

If the face of the country is only undulating or rolling, landscape effect requires different character and handling of foliage. Here the converse of our second rule applies; the more gradual the

[ocr errors]

slope, and the more gentle the elevation, the softer in outline, the more neutral in coloring, and quiet in tone the foliage of the woods. Here edgings of shrubbery and dwarfer trees are in place to shade off the larger growths; cottonwoods, willows, and scarlet and burr oak being less stern and rigid in character than the white oak, the elm, and linden, the silver maple and river birchshould relieve each other. I say relieve, for strong contrasts are not in keeping upon such ground, and should be sparingly employed, and very bold or harsh forms like firs, spruces, and poplars should be well kept under by distance, and very few of them in sight at that. A row of Lombardy poplars on the top of a swell, appearing against the sky once in a day's journey or so is enough; near by they are about as sightly as telegraph poles. I know they are said, like spires of churches, to "point heavenward," but so few people ever look at a guide-board to that place so long as they are ablc to be out of doors, that they are practically useless in that capacity. The conical evergreens are even worse; in a group of soft foliage, one or two appear well, but when set in numbers in their naked harshness of color and form, they are disagreeably like stacks of poles in a hop-yard. The pines although formal enough are, the white and Scotch pines especially, better adapted for massing in groves upon elevated swells and stony or poor ridges and as wind-breaks, as well as additions to scenery would be first-rate. And here again, we should find use and beauty to coincide in calling for a bordering of hardy shrubs and trees like the red cedar to shelter the young pines from prairie winds and soften the abruptness of the transition to open ground.

In general, for every situation, in considering the character of foilage as scenery, regard must be had to distance, framing and accompaniments. By framing of natural scenery I mean the apparent surfaces in front of, on each side of and behind the object looked at. This framing may be sky, water, open ground, or foliage as we direct our attention to one object or another in the view. But there must be a correspondence in character and intent between the picture and its frame. We do not surround a mourning picture of the tomb, the funeral cypress and weeping figure, with light carving and gay colors, nor enclose the portrait of a delicate woman in the rich and massive frame necessary to support the likeness a fat, red-faced citizen. Of accompaniments like framing it may be said that they and the central object are continually changing places in natural scenery, that is in many cases. Thus, sheep, horses and cattle in a field, and the turf, foliage, individual trees, rock, etc., may each iu turn be principals and accompaniments. On the other hand, some objects irresistibly attract the eye to themselves and hold it; a giant elm in a meadow, a lightning blasted oak, a deep gulf far below us, filled with a rolling sea of green boughs; a far off rock or cliff ; a peculiar contour at some point on the horizon, these or many other natural or artificial objects may make the principal points in the view, and reduce all in their vicinity to the rank of accessories. In such situations, planting or removing foliage for effect, as in other cases, requires, as I have said before, good sense and good judgment, that having eyes, one should see, and having powers of comparison, reflection and analysis he should exercise them; and last but not least, having exercised and improved, not debased and starved the imaginative faculty, he should use and prize that as a good gift, intended to raise him to a higher plane than that occupied by the mere sordid wants, cares and ambitions of life.

However poorly I have succeeded in the performance of my task, I know that I shall not be without sympathy with and comprehension of its purpose, and in this trust offer it, with no apologies save for hasty and imperfect execution.

WHAT VARIETIES OF FRUIT CAN BE RAISED CHEAP

LY AND WITH PROFIT IN THIS STATE.

BY GEORGE P. PEFFER, PEWAUKEE.

As our State has been divided into fruit-districts, and a committeeman appointed to report on all matters pertaining to fruit-raising in each, it will probably be of little use for me to say much on this subject; but a few hints given may serve to call attention to the advantages we have in the line of fruit-production, and a statement of some of the facts in relation to what has been accomplished, may induce some of the doubters to still have faith in the fruit-producing capabilities of Wisconsin, and convince them that we can still

[ocr errors]

claim to be classed among the fruit-growing states of the northwest. The manner in which the horticultural products of the State were represented at the Pomological Exhibition at Chicago, last September, was a surprise to some of the eastern and southern states. The show was very creditable to us as a State, but had the members of our society contributed as they might have done, or even as well as they did do at our state and other fairs, we should have taken the second, instead of the third premium,on "State display of fruit." It is sufficient to say, that the exhibition clearly proved to all who saw it, that we can raise fruit in Wisconsin, notwithstanding our severe winters and "polar waves." It is true that Michigan, and perhaps other states, are more favored than we are for this purpose, being nearly surrounded by water, so that the cold winds are greatly modified before reaching their shores; but they are not wholly exempt from loss. Last winter (1874-5) Lake Michigan froze over, and, in consequence, fruit and the trees in Michigan suffered, and more damage was done than with us.

Some portions of this State are much more favorably situated for fruit-raising than others, as along the shore of Lake Michigan the ameliorating influence of the water on the atmosphere is so great that froin within one to eight miles of the lake nearly full crops of fruit were realized the past season, and from ten to twenty miles back varieties that are commonly regarded as tender will live and yield fruit, while in the interior and western portions of the State, as a general rule, only the hardiest varieties can be depended upon. Scattered through the State many localities can be found where the conditions of soil and aspect, etc., are so favorable that plums, pears and many even of the tender varieties of apples can easily be raised; in many others only the Russian and Siberian apples, the improved wild plums, and small-fruits will succeed. There are few farms on which locations cannot be found where some of these can be grown successfully. The area adapted to the cultivation of the smallfruits, such as strawberries, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, currants, gooseberries, whortleberries and cranberries, is very large. The two last are specially adapted to large portions of our State, and though mostly grown in a wild state, they already have considerable commercial value, as large quantities are yearly picked and shipped to our own and other markets. Owing to dry weather and early frosts the yield the past season was far from an average, but sufficient quantities were gathered to supply the demand at inoderately high prices. The prices of all kinds of fruit were comparatively low the past season. The average quotations in the Milwaukee and Chicago markets were from $1.50 to $3.50 per barrel for apples, and from $8.00 to $10.00 for cranberries. Good apples were sold from wagons in the streets of Milwaukee, last fall, for twentyfive and thirty-two cents a bushel, and good Siberian apples at twenty-five and fifty, per bushel Raised in proper localities they yield a good profit at these figures.

There is a large demand for all kinds of small fruits in our cities and large towns, and their cultivation can be made profitable if carried on economically, in supplying the home market; and along the line of our railroads, large quantities can be raised and shipped to advantage to other markets. Fruit and vegetable canning factories, where established, (and many others would be started if there were sufficient enterprise on the part of our farmers and fruit-growers to supply them with fruit,) will consume large quantities of small-fruits with great advantage to the grower, the place where located, and the general public. Many of the small-fruits when dried are a staple in the market and have a uniform demand at fair rates, so that farmers and cultivators of small-fruits can, when the market happens to be full and prices low, secure fair prices for their labor by drying the surplus, for which they will find a ready sale.

In places where there is no market for fresh fruit, and even where they are near at hand and prices are low, it will pay to raise fruit to dry. The cheap modern conveniences for drying fruit by the heat of a small fire or of : lamp have greatly lessened the expense and labor attending it. A cheap sun dryer may be made by fitting a window sash to the top of a box, putting ventilators in the sides so as to let out the moisture and give fresh air. If the ends or sides are open at the top and covered with wire gauze, the fruit would have the needed air and be protected from flies and insects.

Some will ask what varieties are best and most profitable? Of strawberries, we would say, the Wilson and Green Prolific; of raspberries, Doolittle, Davison's Thornless, and Mammoth Cluster for marketing and drying; the Philadelphia and Clark, for canning and preserving; of gooseberries, the Houghton and Mountain for canning; of currants, the Red Dutch, and White Grape; of grapes, the

« AnteriorContinuar »