صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

general at this place, that I have been able to devote my personal attention to this object. I shall be glad to afford you any farther information that you may wish on the subject.

Madeira, Nov. 26. 1839.

We received from Dr. Lippold the specimens alluded to, which are of most extraordinary vigour. With respect to manufacturing the tea, Mr. Veitch is doubtless acquainted with Mr. Bruce's Remarks on the Manufacture of Tea, and on the Tea Plantations in Assam, which he will find, accompanied with an original map of the tea district, in Jameson's Journal for January, 1840, p. 126.- Cond.

Art. Vil. On Emigration, with reference to Gardeners; and on the

Prospects of Botanical Collectors. By PerituS. Communicated by K. B. D.

[ocr errors]

I don't think I would have troubled you so soon again, had it not been for your asking my opinion as to your emigrating? I should decidedly say no. There may certainly be some difference between your plans and those of others who have gone out in search of plants, and thereby to make a livelihood, but still, the uniform want of success, hitherto, ought to make any one very cautious, and calls for much careful consideration ere such a step is taken. Take poor Drummond's case: he went out under most auspicious circumstances, and was well patronised; and his plants, both living and dried, were eagerly bought up; and yet he was unable to realise even his very moderate desire, to purchase and stock a few acres, and to settle with his family. Look also at Douglas : he barely got a living at the best, and was often in most distressing circumstances; and that, too, after sacrificing his health in search of plants. Others I might mention, but they all tell one melancholy tale. And as to patronage, what is it? Parties die, fashions (for there is a fashion even in fower-growing) alter, and tastes vary; and then, when, perhaps, you have embarked all your energies in the work, thrown up all your prospects for its sake, you discover your mistake.

me, if you can, of one instance which has been successful. Perhaps you may cite Australia as a place where a gardener might do well. He is, perhaps, in receipt of large wages, or may apparently be doing well; and yet look at the heavy prices he has to pay for the necessaries of life. Besides, the states of Central America are the most unsettled of all the portions into which Spanish America was split; and, unless by your influence over a number of individuals, you can hardly

Nay, tell

.

consider your life safe, and must join either one side or other in the horrible intestine war which continually rages there. Not only these things compel me to dissuade you from emigrating, but I think, with your talents, you may look forward to doing much better in England. There are curatorships of botanic gardens now and then vacant* ; nursery establishments either to be disposed of, or opened with every prospect of success : and I would advise you to look to these rather than emigration. However, I can only judge from report, and there are many who can form an opinion much better than myself, and who, no doubt, will gladly give you their advice. Tweedie was an old man when he went to Buenos Ayres; he depends upon the profits of a store which his family attend to for his support, and not his plants. Matthews and Bridges both, I believe, had other sources of income than the plants and animals, &c., they sent over. Cunuing is the only one of collectors that has made any thing, and that was by his shells and corallines.† How his trip to the Philippines may turn out, I don't yet hear. makes little but what barely keeps him; indeed, a gentleman wrote me, only a short time ago, that it would require every exertion to enable him to continue his researches since the death of the Duke of Bedford, who subscribed largely to his mission. You ask what he is doing? Little, I fear, in the way of plants : there was a collection of seeds and some plants received from him a few weeks ago, and something is expected shortly. A propos to emigration, I have sent to a relative for a copy of a letter on the subject of emigration to Australia, written by a friend who had been many years in India, and who was desirous of investing his large capital in that “ land of promise,” which contains some good remarks on the fine stories we read of the settlers there; and, if I receive it, I shall enclose it to you: at any rate, I must write to you again in a day or two, when you shall have it.

Feb. 5. 1840.

* A propagator who could furnish the councils or committees of such gardens, the London and Caledonian Horticultural Gardens included, with the lowest estimate at which common plants could be propagated and brought to market, would have a better chance of a curatorship than a skilful or scientific gardener.-K. B. D.

† Mr. Cuming had his first ideas of gathering plants from Mr. Anderson, during Captain King's voyage. Anderson went out one day looking after plants, and met Cuming among the rocks at Conception, looking for shells, &c. They were strangers to each other, but felt the greatest delight, when they found they were from the same country, and almost on the same pursuit, on this savage and inhospitable coast. Ever since this circumstance, they look on each other as two brothers; and Cuming learned from Anderson how to dry plants, and the other duties of a collector. — K. B, D.

a

re

ART. VIII. Description of a Glass Case for growing Plants in Rooms.

By Sir John Robison, Sec. R.S.E. I have been getting up a plant case of the kind described in the Gardener's Magazine for 1839 (p. 481.), in which I think I have introduced some essential improvements : Ist, instead of an expensive brass frame for small panes of crown glass, I have substituted four sides and a flat top of plate glass, which, requiring only corner astragals and a top frame of wood, is cheaper than the other, and greatly better looking: The sketch fig. 15. will serve to give you some idea of it. The principal innovation is, in providing for the perfect isolation of the air within the case from commixture with the air of the apartment it may be placed in. It appearing to

15 me that the contraction of bulk consequent on duction of temperature during the night, must necessarily cause an introduction of air from the apartment at a time when it was most likely to be contaminated with sulphuretted hydrogen from the gas lights and other causes, I have introduced a small tube through the bottom of the case, passing upwards to the surface of the soil. On the exterior end of this tube there is a coupling screw, by means of which I connect it with a flat bag of M•Intosh cloth hung under the case, half-full of good air at the time of its attachment: the alterations of bulk consequent on changes of temperature, therefore, are provided for by the dilatation or shrinking of the bag, and no pressure is ever exerted to pass air through the joints of the case. Unless, therefore, the plants themselves cause a permanent change in the constitution of the air (which some of the best-conducted experiments seem to render improbable), it will remain unvitiated, and be subjected to those compensating changes only which the plants appear to make in light and darkness.

I do not mean to fill the case with permanent plants until May next, and in the mean time shall make use of it to Power hyacinths, &c. If you have attended to the subject of Mr. Ward's system, and should choose to suggest any experiments which the condition of this case may render practicable, I shall be happy to undertake them for you on your explaining your wishes.

Dec. 28. I have filled the case for three quarters of its depth with soil, have set on it several hundred bulbs (from snowdrops up to hyacinths, &c.), and have filled all the interstices between the bulbs with green moss. I have given only two gallons of water (Mr. Ellis's appeared to me rather moist), and have closed all up: some time must elapse before any judgement can be formed from the appearance of the vegetation ; but already the circulation of the water is beautifully shown by the condensation on the glass plates, and the trickling down of the miniature rain. In the morning the glass plate which is nearest to and parallel with the window-sash, and which has consequently been losing most heat, exhibits both the condensation and running down of the water in a remarkable degree; while the inner plate, receiving heat from the air of the room, or by radiation from the objects near it, remains quite clear. I have planted a few bulbs in another receptacle (and in the same way as to soil and moss), by keeping which in the same room, but exposed to the air in the usual way, some judgment may be formed of the relative advantages of these different modes of raising such plants.

In the sketches (figs. 15. to 18.) I have not represented the outlets for superfluous water which are much in the same way as Mr.

16

Ellis's above referred to. Neither have I shown the contrivance for maintaining the identity of the air first enclosed in the case ; it would have confused the drawing, and will be easily understood from description. The size of the plates of the sides and top of

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

а

figs. 17, 18. is 3 ft. 7} in. by 224 in. A piece of tinned brass tube, a quarter of an inch in diameter, and a foot long, is passed through the bottom of the soil trough at one corner, and soldered to the lead lining. The part of the tube within the trough rises perpendicularly, and ends a little above the level of the surface of the soil. The shorter portion, which is without the bottom of the trough, is turned horizontally, and terminates in a brass connecting screw, to which a corresponding screw of a small stopcock is attached; to this stopcock a second stopcock, previously inserted in the end or corrier of a MʻIntosh air-pillow, is to be screwed on. This air-bag should be of such dimensions that it may be concealed within the frame on which the soil trough stands, in the hollow of which it may be supported by tapes or strings passed from side to side under the bag. At the time the bag is attached to the stopcock on the brass tube, the temperature of the air in the conservatory should be observed, and if it be at or near its maximum of elevation (and the air consequently near its maximum of dilatation), the bag should be nearly full of air; and vice versa, if the temperature be low, the bag should be very flaccid when attached, in order that it may have capacity to receive the air expelled from the case when dilatation takes place on the temperature being raised. By this means the air contained within the case and bag, though constantly changing place, will never communicate with the external air, and its identity will be maintained with considerable exactness.

« السابقةمتابعة »