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be quick to observe the depredations of any insect enemies, and destroy them in their incipiency, and thus save much after labor, prevent great loss if not entire failure. Proper care must be observed to prevent an accumulation of rubbish around the tree that will harbor mice; careful tramping the first snow of the season around the tree will afford protection on this point.
I believe that about all the pruning that is necessary, is to see that all diseased or dead branches are taken off, and all branches removed, from time to time, that indicate a close or bad fork, for if left they are sure to injure the tree.
If the above suggestions are observed, particular care taken in the selection of hardy and well-tried varieties, and adapting these varieties to their proper location and soil, I believe there are but very few
in this State, who own a farm of even forty acres of good arable land, who cannot raise fruit enough, for at least a reasonable supply for family use. If proper use is made of the knowledge in fruit-growing that we have gained by the experience of the last thirty years, I believe that the day is not far in the future when we shall not only be able to abundantly supply our own State with the best of fruit, but we will have a surplus to export, to supply the deficiency that exists in less favorable locations.
MRS. M. M. DAVIS, BARABOO.
I cannot hope in this little paper to give you much that is instructive, or even interesting. The subject is a hackneyed one; almost every periodical we take up in these modern times, contains something in regard to floriculture. “Window gardening," " House Flowers in Winter," "What Shall we Plant," etc., have become every day themes, and are we not exhorted in newspaper after newspaper to make our homes attractive, not only by cheerful looks and words, but by every device of ornamentation and embellishment? Less than fifty years ago, botany was considered a very suitable study for young ladies, and that it was so considered, was not complimentary to the young ladies or to science. There has, however,
been a great advance since that period, and some of the greatest scholars of the present day are engaged in investigating the mysteries of plant-life. In our own country, the cultivation of plants and flowers has only of late years received much attention. Within the last fifteen or twenty years much interest in floriculture has been shown by the masses of the people. Early in this period there was a preceptible awakening which has increased until the present time, and now we find almost everybody devoting more or less attention to their culture.
As I go back to the home of my childhood, among the mountains of Vermont, I remember but one home where there was any real pretension made to flower-culture, and what a bright, sunny spot is that in my child-life. It was the home of an old couple who had not much money 'tis true; they lived in a rickety old house, inelegant and uncomfortable in many ways, and they lacked a hundred little things necessary for their comfort and ease that many other homes possessed, yet they were contented and happy. In their only sunny window there was a trailing, coarse, rampant growth of petunias—the white and dull purplish red-old familiars of thirty years ago, from which the rose, lavender, violet, blotched and striped of to-day have sprung. Over their doors, vines were growing. In their little garden-patch, all the old-fashioned garden favorites were opening their blossoms to the sky. While memory serves to furnish pictures I shall not forget this one. They were as ignorant of botany as they were of any other science. But what cared I, that the old lady called her Lilacs “Lalocks," her Peonys “Pineys," and her Asters “China Oysters?" "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
The popular study of botany now means more than the learning of the Latin names of plants and the parts of plants, and the becoming familiar with the mythical sentiment and poetry of flowers. I think our greatest need, at present, is a more general dissemination of practical, useful knowledge of plants and flowers, and their culture, adapted to the wants of inexperienced amateurs.
Should I undertake to give you a list of those most suitable for common window-gardening for those who are not blessed with the luxury of a green-house, it would be a mere re-hash of the catalogues. Yet many catalogues go through with a list of green-house or window plants which are really no more fit for window-culture than the hickory tree or sunflower. The most careful beginner will make many mistakes, but in this, he will find no cause for discouragement. The most skilled has always something to learn. We are obliged to resort to an infinity of ways to protect our house-plants from the influences of a rigid climate, and with some, this is an impossibility. A few hardy, well selected plants, either for the house or yard will give more enjoyment to the cultivator, than a large variety in a neglected condition, and it is astonishing how much at home they are with one who really feels an interest in their growth. Yet many house-mothers say, “ It is too much trouble," "I have no time." I know that some things must be crowded out of the possibilities of accomplishment in every woman's case.
Let us have a care that it is not the best things that we let go. If she would consider that upon her depends, in so great a degree, the cultivation in those about her of refined tastes, and the “lifting up of the life into something higher than the mere doing of life's drudgery," she would not exhaust all her strength upon those things which are perfectly absurd and useless for her to do. Yet women, over-worked women, who have no time for the cultivation of flowers, or to spend amid the marvels of nature, will patiently sit, hour after hour, stitching little calico patches together, and will continue to do so as long as agricultural fairs offer premiums for such work,
How much better to take a day's pic-nic in the woods, occasionally, with the children. These days, scattered along through the pleasant months, would demand but little time, and would lighten wonderfully the monotony of daily routine, and give a freshness to common pleasures that, because they are common, are undervalued. We need to be brought face to face with God in Nature. We become strengthened by it. It is profitable, as Byron says, to
“Go abroad upon the paths of nature,
And when its voices whisper,
Kneel at its altar." I wish I might be able to show that the cultivation of flowers, so far from being too much trouble, will give more value for less work and expense, than anything which can be done or bought to inprove the surroundings of a home. It is only because flowers are so plentiful that we forget, or fail to see that they are so surpassingly beautiful. It is strange- that anybody can grudge the little cost or pains their culture requires. Winter-bound, as we are for more than half the year, it is something to have a bit of summer gladness in our homes, and it is very pleasant to look upon these bright, fresh plants which greet us every morning with their opening leaves and fresh flowers, assuring us that we have not planted in vain. "After all, what is the real use of all your flowers?" many people say. Not the slightest use in the world to any one who could ask such a question. They seem to have a lesson, however, for some. Prof. Swing says: "I study the flowers of the field, and come home a tenderer father, and a better believer in God." And it is much that this "spirit of beauty" that pervades our work is not left without a witness in the hearts of those with whom we dwell.
PLANTING AND CARE OF ORCHARDS.
A. C. TUTTLE, BARABO0.
I was requested by your secretary to read a paper before this society at this time upon some horticultural subject. I am most certainly a novice in horticulture, compared with a majority of those present, and especially so in essay writing. But I will endeavor to give some directions and suggestions for the use of those contemplating planting orchards. I procured these from observations taken, and remarks heard during the past twenty years of nursery-business in this State.
1. THE SELECTION OF THE SITE.—Have it as near the house as possible, no matter what the soil, aspect, or elevation may be. If it is in a deep, mucky swale, all right. If'a stony side-hill, open to the blasting winds of winter and the scorching sun of summer, so much the better, as it is useless for any other purpose, and no choice wheat land is sacrificed. A tree that is all right should grow anywhere and under all circumstances.
2. PURCHASE OF TREES.-It makes little difference of whom you purchase, as every individual nurseryman is a natural and educated swindler of the first water, whose daily study is to trap the unsus
pecting customer, therefore approach him with your eyes and ears open and a settled determination to use your own judgment in every particular. See all the trees he has before you select, as size is the principal feature sought for; if they have borne two or three crops in the nursery, don't throw up your hat, as he might put on another five cents, but you can chuckle to yourself over your superior intelligence. You must get some of all the varieties he has, as you will get so many more labels, and will have so much more fun in harvesting the crop. “Variety is the spice of life." If you happened to have been born in New England, or some eastern fruit-growing State, where your ancestors have been known to have turned their cattle and hogs into their orchards to consume some of the immense surplus of apples, of course, it is useless for any one in this far-off, heathen country to attempt to advise, as to the best varieties to plant. And when you ask this benighted treepirate for Baldwins, Roxbury Russets, Rhode Island Greenings, and other varieties of undoubted excellence, and he replies that they are too tender for this climate, tell him you know why they are too tender, it is because he has none of them in his nursery. You will then convince him that he has a sharp man to deal with, and he will be sure to let you have your own way and take just such trees your superior judgment selects.
3. But little need be said about preparation of soil, as you should be governed entirely by the wants of the grain you intend to sow in your orchard.
4. DISTANCE APART TO PLANT.-If you decide to devote a piece of land entirely to orchard, ten feet apart, each war, is ample, as the trees in five years would occupy the whole ground; the dense shade would keep down weeds and grass, thereby doing away with need of cultivation, and the sun could not reach the trunks to scald them, or start the sap-in mid-winter.
5. MODE OF PLANTING.—As this is to be done at a time when so much work of more importance is crowding, of course you should follow the most expeditious plan; the following is practiced by many and will recommend itself: Dig a post hole say one foot square, by two feet deep, wad up the roots, and ram them to the bottom, poke in grass, straw, sticks, dirt, or any thing that is handy and will fill up, tamp down thoroughly with a bean pole or fence rail, incline the tree to the northeast, as the sun in the hot part of