* A Distributed Proofreaders Canada eBook *

This ebook is made available at no cost and with very few restrictions. These restrictions apply only if (1) you make a change in the ebook (other than alteration for different display devices), or (2) you are making commercial use of the ebook. If either of these conditions applies, please contact a FP administrator before proceeding.

This work is in the Canadian public domain, but may be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. IF THE BOOK IS UNDER COPYRIGHT IN YOUR COUNTRY, DO NOT DOWNLOAD OR REDISTRIBUTE THIS FILE.

Title: The Canadian Horticulturist Volume 01, No. 12

Date of first publication: 1878

Author: D. W. Beadle

Date first posted: Feb. 12, 2018

Date last updated: Feb. 12, 2018

Faded Page eBook #20180216

This ebook was produced by: Delphine Lettau, David T. Jones, Cindy Beyer & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net



Table of Contents added for convenience








VOL. I.]DECEMBER, 1878.[NO. 12.


Although the late spring frosts of 1878 very considerably lessened the quantity of apples, they probably had the effect of improving the quality of those that remained, by the thinning out which the fruit received. There has never been a finer display of apples at any of our Provincial Exhibitions than that presented in the Horticultural Hall this year. The quantity of fruit which was entered for exhibition was so much in excess of previous years, that the building designed to contain the horticultural products was quite inadequate, and the managers found it necessary to remove the flowers to the Dairy building. When the exhibits were finally arranged, the grand gathering of apples, pears, plums, peaches and grapes was a most magnificent sight, and told a tale of the fruit producing capacities of our country, for which every true Canadian may well be grateful. It is something indeed to have one’s lot cast in such a land as ours. Such rich and luscious fruits, beautiful to the eye and exquisite to the taste, in such variety and profusion, are not the least among the valuable products of our soil and climate.

It may be interesting to the readers of the Canadian Horticulturist to take a glance at the varieties of apples and other fruits that in the opinion of the judges merited the highest honors. Such a review is often not only interesting as a matter of curious inquiry, but of no small importance to one who is seeking to acquaint himself with the best varieties, so that he may have some guide in the selection of sorts for his own planting. Prizes were offered for the best collections of thirty different kinds of apples, and of twenty different sorts; for the best six varieties of fall and of winter for table use, and for the best six sorts of fall and of winter ripening apples for the kitchen. In so large a number as thirty or even twenty different kinds, it is not to be expected that only those of the highest excellence will be shewn, yet the number of varieties of apples now in cultivation is so great that a collection of thirty sorts should not contain any kinds of inferior quality.

The collection of thirty varieties which received the first prize was grown near to St. Catharines by one of the active members of the Fruit Growers’ Association, Mr. Allen Moyer, of Jordan Station. It was composed of the following sorts: Alexander, a very large and showy sort introduced from Russia, and which thrives well in Ontario, particularly in the northern sections, ripening in November, and is valuable for the kitchen. Baldwin, a native of the State of Massachusetts, quality “very good,” keeping well through the winter, tree tender in the colder sections, but where it is not affected by the winter an early and abundant bearer, and considered one of the most popular and profitable of market apples. Ben Davis, a variety that has not been very extensively grown in Ontario, but one that has a reputation at the west for being very hardy, bearing young and abundantly, fruit fair, even size, carrying well, and keeping until March, but quality not above “good.” Blenheim Orange, an old English sort, large, handsome, showy, sells well, and is a good cooking apple until January. Cayuga Red Streak, also known as Twenty Ounce Apple, very large, showy, cooking fruit. Cranberry Pippin, a handsome apple that keeps until February, and is esteemed for the kitchen. Chenango Strawberry, also known as Sherwood’s Favorite, a very pretty, oblong conic apple, of “very good” quality, ripe in September and October. Colvert, a large oblate, fall cooking apple, the tree is a handsome grower and immense cropper. Esopus Spitzenburg, one of the very “best” in quality, of good size, and bright red color, keeping until March and April, but the tree is not a good bearer, except on limestone soils. Fall Pippin, many years ago this was one of our best late fall apples, excellent for table and for cooking, keeping until Christmas; for some years it has been liable to spot and crack, but where it escapes this spotting it is an excellent fruit. Gravenstein, a very handsome and popular September and October apple, excellent for the table and for cooking, tree bears early, and is very productive. Golden Russet, a profitable market apple, medium size, “very good” quality, keeping well until May. Gloria Mundi, a very large, greenish yellow, November cooking apple. King of Tompkins County, a large, dark red, winter fruit, “very good” in quality, but not proving to be as profitable a market sort as was anticipated. Melon, or Norton’s Melon, an apple of the “best” quality, very tender flesh, and agreeable flavor, but the tree is a very slow grower. Pomme Grise, a favorite Canadian Russet, small in size, but of “best” quality. Rhode Island Greening, a very well known and exceedingly profitable and popular winter apple. Ribston Pippin, one of our “best,” of good size, handsome appearance, and commanding the very highest price in the English markets, ripening here in October and keeping until New Years. Roxbury Russet, also called Boston Russet, a very late keeping sort, of “good” quality, and popular in the markets. Rambo, of medium size, quality “very good,” thriving best in light, sandy soils. Swayzie Pomme Grise, in quality very “best,” size medium, keeps until May and June, a valuable Canadian dessert fruit. St. Lawrence, another popular Canadian apple, thriving best in the colder sections, ripe in October, quality “very good.” Swaar, a very fine fruit, quality “best,” tree tender in our colder sections, thriving best in a warm sandy loam, fruit ripe in March and April. Snow Apple, also called Fameuse, an exceedingly popular Canadian fruit, quality certainly “very good” if not “best,” handsome dessert, keeping into January; the tree is hardy, and the fruit finer flavored when grown in the northern districts. Northern Spy, a fruit of high quality, almost “best” when well grown, keeps all winter, retaining its spicy sprightly flavor to the last; tree comes late into bearing, and requires high culture. Talman Sweet, the best sweet winter apple for cooking that we have, tree hardy and productive. Vandevere, or properly Newtown Spitzenburg, handsome, medium size, quality “best;” in damp, cold soils the fruit spots badly, but in warm limestone soils it is free from blemish, keeps until February. Wagener, medium size, very tender juicy flesh, quality “very good,” is becoming popular, and likely to be extensively planted, ripe in January and February. Yellow Newtown Pippin, quality “best” when well grown, succeeds best in a warm limestone soil, fruit very apt to spot and become scabby in our climate, and although the fruit sells for the very highest price in the English market, is not likely to prove a profitable variety here. Yellow Bellflower, large, oblong, quality “very good,” ripe in January and February, not profitable for market.

The first prize for the best twenty varieties of apples was awarded to W. Hill, of Barton, near Hamilton. In looking over the varieties shown by him we noticed only four sorts not to be found in Mr. Moyer’s collection of thirty sorts. These are Peck’s Pleasant, good sized, when ripe, clear yellow with a blush on the sunny side, and having a very pleasant aromatic flavor, quality “very good,” ripe in January and February; this variety has not been much planted in Canada, the tree being so moderate a grower when young that nurserymen will not be likely to grow it largely. Maiden’s Blush, a very handsome fruit, ripe in autumn, good only for cooking. Keswic Codlin, a popular cooking variety, in use from August to October. Dutch Mignonne, handsome russety yellow, striped with light and dark red, quality “very good,” ripe in January.

In coming down to smaller selections we find that the first prize was given to Allen Moyer for the best six varieties of fall table apples, in which he exhibited Gravenstein, Fall Pippin, Chenango Strawberry, Ribston Pippin, St. Lawrence, and Snow; and that A. M. Smith, of Drummondville, took the first prize for fall cooking apples, with Alexander, Blenheim Orange, Cayuga Red Streak, Fall Pippin, Fall Janetting, and Maiden’s Blush; and likewise the first prize for winter table, with Ribston Pippin, Pomme Grise, Swayzie Pomme Grise, Spy, Seek no Further, and Wagener. The six varieties of winter cooking that took the first prize were Baldwin, R. I. Greening, Yellow Newtown Pippin, Ribston Pippin, King of Tompkins County, and Spy.

A glance at these lists will show our readers what varieties of apples ripening in the fall and winter are most esteemed among us, and from which any intending planter will be able to make a selection suited to his own tastes and objects. Necessarily an exhibition held late in September must be wanting in our summer fruits. We look usually in vain for such varieties as Early Harvest, Red Astracan, Benoni, Summer Rose, and often fail to find the hardy Duchess of Oldenburg. With a few of these one can make the circle complete if he wish, and enjoy apples at dinner all the year round.

We turn now to look at the pears, and learn what varieties are grown in Ontario that stand highest in the estimation of the judges of fruit. The first prize for twenty varieties was awarded to Gage J. Miller, of Virgil, near Niagara, comprising the following sorts: De Tongres, much resembling the Beurre Bosc in form and color, of large size, and “very good” quality, ripening in October. Vicar of Winkfield, a large pyriform fruit, pale yellow when ripe, in use during December and January, very variable in quality, sometimes “good” to “very good.” Beurre Clairgeau, large and handsome, fawn color shaded with crimson, quality “good,” ripe in November and December. Lawrence, of medium size, russeted lemon yellow, quality almost “best,” in use in December and January. Gansel’s Bergamot, large, obovate in form, quality very variable in our climate, sometimes “very good,” often very poor, ripe in September and October. Flemish Beauty, very large, handsome, quality “very good,” ripe middle and end of September, tree very hardy, and succeeding well in cold sections of the Province. Beurre Gris de Hiver, full medium size, “very good” in quality, ripe in January. Beurre d’Anjou, large “very good,” ripe in November and December; a favorite fruit with the Hon. M. P. Wilder, President of the American Pomological Society. Beurre Bosc, large, handsome, pyriform, quality “best,” ripe end of September and often continuing through October, tree not hardy enough to endure the climate of our northern districts. Louise Bonne, large, very juicy, quality “good,” yet somewhat variable, especially on light soils. Seckel, a small, well known variety, of the very highest quality, ripe in September, and continuing in October. Bartlett, a large, yellow, handsome, well known sort, largely grown for market. Belle Lucrative, medium to large, very juicy and sweet, quality “very good,” ripe late in September or beginning of October. White Doyenne, full medium size, pale yellow, high flavored, quality “best,” ripe in October, of late years this fruit has been liable to spot and crack very badly, often destroying the whole crop. Josephine de Malines, medium size, greenish yellow, “very good,” ripe in January and February, one of the best of the late winter varieties. Duchesse d’Angouleme, very large, greenish yellow, quality “good,” ripe October and November; grown on the quince stock the fruit is of better quality than when grown on the pear stock. Goodale, large, light yellow, “very good,” ripe in October, tree very hardy. Sheldon, medium to large, flavor rich and vinous, quality “very good” to “best,” ripe in October. Howell, large, waxen yellow, “very good” quality, ripe latter part of September and first of October. Winter Nelis, not more than medium size, yellowish green with considerable russet, quality “best,” ripe in December and January.

There were some very finely grown specimens of many of these varieties exhibited by W. T. Taylor, of Rochester, New York, for which he received the prize for the best ten varieties, with Beurre d’Anjou, Duchesse d’Angouleme, Beurre Bosc, B. Diel, B. Gris de Hiver, B. Clairgeau, Bartlett, Louise Bonne, Sheldon, and Howell.

A. M. Smith, of Drummondville, received the first prize for the best fifteen varieties, which collection contained, in addition to the Seckel, D. d’Angouleme, B. d’Anjou, Bartlett, Louise Bonne, White Doyenne, Vicar of Winkfield, Sheldon, and Flemish Beauty, the Mt. Vernon, medium size, light russet, quality “very good,” ripe in December and January, tree very prolific. Beurre Diel, large, very variable in quality on light soils, on clay soil usually “very good,” ripe in November. Easter Beurre, large, late keeper, ripening in March, quality “very good.” Buffum, small to medium, “very good,” ripe in September, does well on sandy soil, though somewhat variable in quality. Glout Morceau, large, greenish yellow, “good” to “very good,” ripe in December; the tree is one of the most subject to blight of all the pears.

The prize for the best six varieties was awarded to Geo. Leslie, Toronto, who exhibited Beurre Clairgeau, Louise Bonne, Sheldon, Bartlett, Flemish Beauty, and Duchesse d’Angouleme.

In Plums there was a very good display of varieties, but not the profusion of exhibits we have sometimes had. The collection of twenty varieties exhibited by Gilchrist Bros., of Guelph, to which the first prize was awarded, will give a very good idea of the sorts that can be successfully grown and that are held in estimation among us. The collection embraced the Peach Plum, large, light red, juicy, “very good;” McLaughlin, large, yellow marbled with red, “best;” Duane’s Purple, large, reddish purple, “good;” Yellow Egg, very large, yellow, a cooking plum; Quackenboss, large, purple, “good;” Bradshaw, large, reddish purple, “very good;” Prince Englebert, large, deep purple, “very good;” Victoria, large, yellow shaded with purple, “good;” Lombard, medium size, violet red, “good;” Glass Seedling, large, deep purple, “good;” Columbia, very large, brownish purple, “good;” Prince of Wales, large, reddish purple, “good;” Marten’s, large, yellow dotted with red in the sun, “very good;” Red Gage, small, brownish red, “best;” Early Orleans, medium size, dark red, “good;” Green Gage, small, yellowish green, “best;” Reine Claude de Bavay, large, greenish yellow, “best;” Pond’s Seedling, very large, bright red on a yellow ground, “good;” Saint Catharine, medium size, pale yellow, “very good;” Coe’s Golden Drop, large, light yellow, “very good.”

There was also a very good display of grapes, unexpectedly good, remembering the unusual trials through which our grapes passed during the last season. The prize for the best twelve varieties, and the prize for the best six, grown in the open air, were awarded to S. Woodley, of Hamilton. His collection of twelve varieties comprised the Delaware, small in berry and bunch, light red, sweet and sprightly; Wilder, large, black, sweet, and rich; Agawam, large, dark red, vinous, and a little musky; Martha, medium, greenish yellow, much like a Concord in flavor; Iona, also medium, light red, vinous, and excellent; Rebecca, medium, light greenish yellow, sweet and pleasant; Rogers’ No. 44, large, black, sweet; Barry, large, black, juicy, and sweet; Senasqua, full medium size, black; Concord, large, black, sweet, musky; Creveling, medium, black, very agreeable flavor; Perkins, medium, copper color, foxy.

The display of peaches was smaller than usual, the fruit having ripened up so early that little was to be found at the date of the exhibition wherewith to make a display, and any enumeration of the varieties that were exhibited would fail to convey any adequate idea of the kinds that are grown in our peach growing districts.

We close this already too lengthy article in the hope that it may prove valuable as a guide to many of our readers who are planting orchards of fruit trees, or seeking to make additions to those they already possess; and with the suggestion that this annual fruit exhibit affords an excellent opportunity for becoming acquainted with at least the external appearance of many of our most valuable fruits.




An anxious amateur wishes to know how to winter Geraniums. I had a very fine bed four years ago, and when frost set in was loth to lose them. I dug them up, cut them down, shook the earth from the roots and hung them up in the cellar all winter, and not one grew the following spring. I tried the same method next fall, but did not cut them down until spring, the same results followed, not one grew. Last fall I dug my bed up with as much earth as possible, put them in boxes, gave them winter quarters in the cellar, gave them a little water now and then. When planting time came round I cut them down to about five inches, every one grew and made a splendid show all summer, and at this moment (Oct. 12) are brilliant. I brought them up and nursed them two or three weeks before planting out; but the better plan for amateurs is to take cuttings at the end of September, plant them in equal parts of turf, mould, and sand, nurse carefully through the winter, and they will have much better plants for bedding out in June.




The last number of the Canadian Horticulturist contains a list of what are described as the “four best sorts” of Tomatoes. Permit me to recommend three others to the notice of your readers, the Hathaway, the Acme, and last, but not worst, the Criterion.

The last named I have grown for the first time during the past season, and have been much pleased with it. It is plum shaped, and rather small, but of a delicate flavor and pleasing appearance, and is a most prolific bearer. Its color is red and yellow, and in many instances it is very prettily mottled. At our last horticultural exhibition it attracted much attention, and obtained a first prize. I enclose a water-color sketch of one of an average size, many are larger and some smaller.

While writing about tomatoes, I may mention that in our neighborhood we have been much plagued by an immense number of the larvæ of the Five-spotted Sphinx, S. quinquemaculatus, during the past summer. The caterpillars are commonly called “Tomato Worms,” and are vulgarly supposed to be poisonous; I need scarcely add that the latter imputation is altogether foundationless. Like many other larvæ, they eject, when handled, a drop of liquid from their mouths, but this is quite innocuous. I killed about one hundred of these caterpillars in my own small garden, a number which, if left to their own wicked wills, would speedily have utterly defoliated the whole of my stock of plants.


The above engraving of the Criterion Tomato has been prepared from the water-color sketch of Mr. Clementi, and will enable our readers to form a just conception of its size and general appearance.




How to Pack a Barrel of Apples.—Few growers of fruit are aware how much their success in the markets depends upon the manner in which their fruit is packed. And this matter is worthy of especial attention now that the apple is becoming so important an article of export from Ontario, because only such as have been properly put up will be purchased for shipment to foreign markets.

The best place for packing is in barns, or under cover of sheds, where wet weather cannot hinder, for apples should always be dry when handled to preserve their bright fresh appearance. They may be brought into the store house on a drag, either in bushel baskets or in barrels, which latter need not be emptied till packing time. If emptied in heaps, a few inches of straw should be first placed upon the floor, and the depth should not exceed two or three feet. Practically however, the most of our orchardists pack from heaps in the orchard.

The following suggestions for packing may prove useful to some of the readers of the Horticulturist.

1st—Put the name of the variety on the head of the barrel with a stencil, in the first place, because when headed up mistakes are easily made as to the kind enclosed.

2nd—Take out the bottom end and pack first the end intended as the head, placing in the first two layers by hand with the stems downward, so that on being opened the barrel may present a nice even appearance.

3rd—Select carefully, throwing out all wormy, spotted or bruised specimens, to be sold as culls or made into cider, and making the quality uniform throughout the barrel. The deceptive practice of making a fair show at both ends, and hiding poor stock in the middle deserves the severest censure as dishonest; besides proving the worst policy in the end, for what buyer would be twice deceived by such contemptible fraud.

4th—The barrel should be gently shaken several times while being filled, to settle the apples closely; after which the end will need to be pressed down only about three-quarters of an inch, for which purpose a lever or screw press will be found almost indispensable. Experience will soon teach just how much pressure is needed to keep the fruit from shaking about in transit. This is an important point, for nothing would sooner spoil a cargo of apples, or indeed of any other fruit, than rattling about in the barrels or other packing cases.

5th—Line both ends securely, for it is not an uncommon occurrence for the barrels to burst open with rough usage on the passage; and tighten all hoops, using only enough nails to hold them in place.

6th—Mark upon the head of the barrels the address of the consignee with a stencil plate, adding also some distinctive mark or monogram by which the shipper may be known in the market.

The reward of such care may not be reaped the first year or the second, but in time a reputation may be gained that will command a corresponding price for all fruit shipped.

The King of Tompkins Apple.—This apple is proving itself very desirable for cultivation in Ontario, at least on the Niagara peninsula; this season particularly, it has yielded an abundant crop of beautiful fruit. It is supposed to have originated in Wayne County, New Jersey, and has borne in different places the names, King Apple, Tom’s Red, and Tommy Red. We have seen it growing in Chenango Co., N. Y., where it is accounted a very sparse bearer, but with us it has yielded for more than one season an abundance only surpassed by such heavy bearers as the Baldwin and Roxbury Russet. It has fewer culls than the Northern Spy, which is the only large apple we would rank superior to it in quality; the latter producing a great many small uncoloured specimens on the under branches, while if the King hangs until about the first week in October, every specimen will become deeply shaded and splashed with crimson, and be uniformly large and showy. So fine a size does it attain that we find it not uncommon to fill a barrel with one hundred and eighty specimens of average size. The flavor is exceedingly agreeable, being rich and vinous, making it the best for cooking purposes; its large size alone debarring it from being also classed as best for dessert. It keeps nicely until February or even March, so that in this respect it has the advantage over the highly esteemed Esopus Spitzenburg.

As a market apple it is rising rapidly in favor. In Glasgow, where red apples are very popular, the King commands the highest price, and only this season has been quoted at from $5.00 to $7.00 per barrel, which however it may be wise to look upon “cum grano salis.”




When now I look back to when I was a boy,

And muse on those objects that then gave me joy;

Though few things of childhood in manhood will please,

There’s sometimes a life-long attachment to trees.

Some flowret or shrub in our garden or lawn

Oft carries us back to life’s earliest dawn;

And there’s nothing impress’d on my memory more plain

Than the old Kentish Cherry that grows in our lane.

The Snow-drop and Crocus, the vanguard of spring;

What bright recollections these little flowers bring.

The Daphne Mezereon, whose venturesome flower

Sends forth its fragrance with the first April shower.

Our own native Balsam with its silvery spray,

And that noble old evergreen Spruce of Norway;

These all have their charms, but my thoughts turn again

To the old Kentish Cherry that grows in our lane.

Through association some objects we prize,

Though the sight of them start a tear in our eyes;

Yon grapery Janet planted, south of the hill,

Though long she’s been dead, and her voice is now still,

’Neath that vine fancy sees her, and hears as of yore,

When sweetly she sang “Stilly Night” of Tom Moore.

And when I first heard her, oh, I mind it so plain,

’Twas beneath the old cherry that grows in our lane.

But apart from all this, I admire thee, old tree;

Through many long years thou hast fruit yielded me,

Which for canning, and drying, and baking in pies,

From thy high titled cousins thou bearest the prize.

And could I induce thee, ere saying adieu,

To marry thy flowers to some rich Bigarreau.

Throughout our lov’d country, through time, shall remain

The fame of the cherry that grew in the lane.

Paris, October 18th, 1878.



In the February number, page 22, we called attention to this new grape as one of considerable promise, it having received from that very careful and cautious body, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, a prize for the best early grape. Since that time it has been tested another season, and received from that society the prize of sixty dollars for the best new seedling grape. It has also been exhibited before other societies, and received several first prizes. We have been so fully persuaded that it was a variety worthy of the attention of those who grow grapes in Ontario that we have requested Mr. Moore to send us an engraving shewing the form and size of the bunch and berry, so that the readers of the Canadian Horticulturist may be able to form a correct estimate of its general appearance. We are happy in being able not only to say that Mr. Moore has kindly acceded to our request, so that we are able to give the engraving in this number, but has also sent an advertisement, which will be found in its appropriate place, informing our readers where, and at what price, they can secure plants that they can rely upon as being genuine.

This grape first bore fruit in 1872, being one of a lot of two thousand five hundred seedlings raised by Mr. Moore, and every year since that time it has been under examination by the fruit committee of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, so that they have taken ample time to test its merits before it received the sixty dollar prize. The fruit, as will be seen on looking at the engraving, is large both in bunch and berry, the berries being as large as those of the Wilder or Rogers’ number four. The color is black, with a heavy blue bloom, and the quality considered to be better than that of the Concord. The vine is stated to be exceedingly hardy, having been exposed to a temperature of twenty degrees below zero without injury, and has also been entirely exempt from mildew. It ripens ten days earlier than the Hartford Prolific, and twenty days before the Concord.

The fruit committee, who examined several hundred of the vines growing in the same vineyard with the Hartford Prolific, found the fruit fully ripe on Moore’s Early, while the Hartford Prolific was not ripe, requiring a considerable number of days more to bring it to maturity. The earliness and hardiness of this grape are qualities of considerable moment to all who grow grapes in our climate, whether they be grown by amateurs for their own tables, or on a more extended scale for the market. It is true that ripe grapes can be brought by express from more southern latitudes, and so come in competition with our earliest sorts, yet the more freshly gathered fruit will ever receive the preference, and the cost of transportation is always in favor of the nearer article. The large size and showy appearance of this grape will enable it to command attention in any market, while the quality of the fruit is sure to give satisfaction.

We hail with much pleasure the advent of these new grapes raised in high latitudes, believing that from them the Canadian will be able to make a selection of sorts that will make him quite independent of more southern vineyards. The Burnet Grape, disseminated by the Fruit Growers’ Association, of Ontario, last spring, we believe will prove to be a most valuable variety in Canada; and we expect to find other sorts, such as this Moore’s Early, and seedlings of Wm. Haskins, W. H. Mills, and others not yet sent out that will be planted with it, and give us a great abundance of delicious grapes, ripening early, and able to endure unharmed all the rigours of our climate.



The farmers of Ontario seldom need to be urged to plant fruit trees, they are awake to their value both for home consumption, in the restricted sense of the producer’s household, and for market. They would not like to be without their apples especially, they are so very convenient and agreeable, can be used in so many ways, and contribute so largely to the comfort of the whole household. But the same can not be said of the small fruits. They have not yet been allowed to command the share of attention which their value deserves. The reason of this may in a large measure be found in the fact that they require attention after they have been planted, else they will yield no fruit. The apple tree, once established, is able largely to take care of itself, and in spite of entire neglect will yield considerable fruit. Not so with our small fruits. They require cultivation, to be kept free from weeds, regularly supplied with food, and to be properly trimmed. To do this was irksome, especially to one who did not know how to do it properly. Besides, it was small business in comparison with the more important crops of the farm, and the farmer felt that weightier interests demanded all his time and thought. There is some change in this respect for the better, but not all that there might be, not all that a true appreciation of our small fruits will yet produce. Those farmers who live near to the larger villages and towns have many of them discovered than an acre or so of small fruits is a very profitable acre, and well repays all the outlay for planting, tilling, and fertilizing. In a pecuniary point of view it pays. But we wish to call the attention of our readers to the fact that a supply of small fruits sufficient for the daily use of the farmer’s family during their season pays large, pays better than the village or city market, pays in many ways, pays far beyond any money value. Will it be necessary just here to stop and demonstrate that the acquisition of money is not the most important object in life? True, many live as though it was. To very many it doubtless is. There are men who will sacrifice health, and peace, and even life itself in the acquisition of money. But does it pay?

There is something of value in being able to supply one’s table with an agreeable variety. It is not conducive to our happiness or our health to be confined to a very limited number of articles of food. And He who best knows the wants of the physical man has furnished us with not only the staff of life, but with many other articles of food as adjuncts to that, which play no unimportant part in the perfect development and healthful continuance of our bodies. The wise man will seek to avail himself of these, and will find in our summer fruits a convenient and designed supply. As the summer heat begins, how grateful is the strawberry, with its mingled sweet and sour, counteracting the bilious tendencies of the season, and refreshing while it gratifies. Scarcely will it have passed away before the raspberry comes to continue the acid tonic with a change of flavors, thus enticing us in the use of a diet so healthful, until the ripening of the currants, and the gooseberries and the blackberries, and the grapes, as the season advances, gives ample scope for all our likes and dislikes, and an abundant supply of nutritious food and most agreeable medicine. For the sake of your health then, and that of your families, you will set apart some convenient spot for the cultivation of these small fruits, so that from the time that the strawberries ripen until the frosts come again, there will be fresh fruit upon the table every day.

Besides promoting the health of yourself and family, you will be adding largely to the enjoyment of all, and especially of the children. Who has not noticed the eager fondness of children for fruit? There is scarcely anything that delights them more. If then a few rods of ground devoted to small fruits will contribute not only to the health but to the happiness of your children, will it not pay? Will not anything pay that makes home more attractive to your children? Home, with its delightful memories, not the least of them the visions of delicious strawberries, and fragrant raspberries, and scarlet currants, and huge blackberries, and clusters of grapes.

But it pays also in an increased intelligence. One cannot cultivate his garden of small fruits without calling into exercise his intellectual faculties, and that in many ways. He will think in a different line from that which his mind traverses when he is engaged in the other and ordinary pursuits of the farm. The mind is enlarged by the contemplation of an enlarged variety of subjects. To grow these small fruits successfully one must study their requirements, not a difficult study by any means, but this exercise of the mind in another channel quickens its perceptions and awakens its activities. Besides, from the very nature of the operations, so different from the rougher and more muscular operations of the farm, there is brought into action the more delicate, shall we not say the more refined, qualities of thought and action, so that the man becomes more complete and symmetrical intellectually. And the children will grow up with enlarged knowledge and more refined tastes, just in proportion as the ordinary routine of farm life is varied and enlivened by the cultivation of those things which are usually embraced in the term horticulture.

On the score then of intelligence, of refinement, of health, of enjoyment, we commend to our farmers the cultivation of small fruits. Remember, we say cultivation, not the planting and leaving of them to take care of themselves; that is worse than not to plant at all, for it only ends in disappointment and disgust. But a garden of small fruits, well and lovingly tended, will repay a thousand fold all the care and thought bestowed upon it, in the increased health, happiness, intelligence and refinement of its possessors.


Misspelled words and printer errors have been corrected. Where multiple spellings occur, majority use has been employed.

Punctuation has been maintained except where obvious printer errors occur.

Some illustrations were moved to facilitate page layout.


[The end of The Canadian Horticulturist Volume 01, No. 12 edited by D. W. Beadle]