The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 5: Gardens in Asia, America, Africa, Australia

Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India

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763. The Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India, in the first volume of its Transactions, has given the translation of an Indian book on horticulture, which, although it may contain some useful directions, shows the low condition of that art in the East. In it we are told that there are trees which bring good luck, and others that bring bad ; how we ought not to sow or plant but on certain days of the week or month ; and how we may change the nature of the fruits of mango, by steeping the grains in the fat of a rabbit for the space of a month, &c. It, moreover, recommends to rub and prick the roots with different substances, in order that they may carry fruit a longer time. A description of the gardens and fruit trees of Cashmere, by Mr. Moorcroft, contains many interesting details. The fruits of that country are the same as those of the south of Europe ; such as apples, pears, peaches, quinces, apricots, plums, cherries, walnuts, pomegranates, almonds, &c.; but there are many varieties of these fruits, and it appears that some are superior to those that have been obtained in Europe. The author thinks that advantage might be taken of the vicinity of Cashmere to British India. In the kingdom of Cashmere, where there are many lakes, they construct floating gardens, in which they cultivate a great quantity of melons and cucumbers. The president found a new mode of grafting in use in a western district of Bengal, which he thus describes : - 'In the season of the year when the bark easily separates from the wood, having previously cut off the end of a small branch which was considered unripe, about a quarter of an inch above an eligible bud, the operator makes an annular cut round the bark about half an inch below the bud; and then, with a cloth in his hand, forcibly pulls off the ring of bark, taking care not to injure the bud ; after which, he proceeds in the same way with the buds below. Having collected a sufficient number, and kept them fresh in the hollow of a leaf with a little water, he proceeds to the stocks to be engrafted, and, having cut off the head, where the stock appears of a proper size, he strips the bark in small shreds all round to a sufficient depth, until a ring of the bark being applied fits very exactly. Tho shreds are then collected over the ring of bark, tied above, and bound together by a little moist hay, taking care not to press upon the bud. This perhaps combines the advantages of being the most successful, the most easy, and most simple mode of engrafting or budding used in any country.' (Jameson's Jour., Oct. 1831.) This mode of budding has long been practised in Germany, with a very slight variation. It will be found described and figured in the proper place, as flute grafting.