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It has a very strong scent, and was formerly used in medicine. A wine is made from the herb or flower, boiled with sugar, which has a flavour not unlike Frontignan.
The seeds should be sown in the open part of the garden in March or April ; and when the plants are three or four inches high, they should be thinned out, leaving them six or eight inches apart. From this time nothing further will be necessary than to keep the plants clear from weeds till the time of their flowering, in July or August in the following year, when they become fit for use.
23. CORIANDER. Coriandrum sativum, or Coriander, is an annual plant, a native of England.
The leaves are strongly scented; the fruits, which are slightly aromatic, are used to conceal the taste of senna, and in spices as currie powder ; and they are also covered with sugar as a sweetmeat.
The seeds require to be sown in March or April, in an open part of the garden, and will require nothing further to be done than to be kept clean from weeds : the fruits will be ripe in August or September.
24. CORN SALAD, OR LAMB'S LETTUCE. The common Corn Salad, Valerianella olitoria, is an annual plant, a native of England. It is used through the winter, and early in spring, partly as a substitute for small lettuces, and partly to increase the variety of small salad herbs. Till lately this species was the only one cultivated in our gardens. We have now, however, another species which has been introduced from France. It is superior to the common sort in the quality of its foliage, which is milder in flavour, and in coming earlier into use. The two sorts may be stated thus:
1. Common Corn Salad.
2. Italian Corn Salad.
The principal difference in appearance between the Italian and the Common sort is in the colour of the leaves of the former, and the greater length of the footstalks. Besides its use in a crude state in salads, the Italian species, when dressed in early spring as a spinach, is very good, and has been in much request for that purpose.
The seeds of both sorts may be sown in August for winter and spring use; they may either be sown broad. cast, or in narrow shallow drills; and when the plants are an inch high, they should be thinned out to the distance of three or four inches from each other.
25. CRESS. The sorts of Cress cultivated in England are the fol. lowing:
1. American Cress.
2. Common Cress.
Cresson Doré of the French.
The American, or Belleisle Cress, is a perennial plant, a native of England, and used in salads during the autumn and winter. It is best sown broad-cast, under the protection of a north wall, in April or May, and when the plants are two or three inches high thinned out to six inches apart : it transplants readily, and therefore some of the young plants may be pricked out three or four inches apart, so as to be covered with a hand-glass in severe frost and snow, which will thus keep it perfectly sweet and tender: it is, nevertheless, a very hardy plant, and will stand through our most severe winters.
The Common and Curled Cress, Lepidium sativum, are annual plants, and, like Mustard, used only as small salading : the former is sown in narrow drills during the spring, summer, and autumn, and in pots, or upon the bottom of a drill (not covered) in the back bed of the stove in winter.
The Curled Cress should be sown broad-cast, at intervals of three or four weeks, during the spring and summer; the radical leaves are those used, and are frequently employed as a garnish, as well as for salads.
The Curled Cress, if neglected in its cultivation, is liable to degenerate to the Common sort ; but if properly treated it is capable of being improved in a very high degree: for this purpose I have for many years supplied one of the first houses in London with a stock which has never been surpassed by that of any other. This is effected by selecting every spring a number of the most perfectly curled plants as soon as they can be discovered, and pricking them out at five or six inches apart from each other, and at a distance from the Common sort : the seed from these plants may be considered as stock seed ; and from the plants of this seed should all the succeeding plants be annually selected, taking care, if possible, to make choice of those only which are more thickly curled than the stock from which they have been obtained
The Golden Cress is rather slenderer in growth than the Common Cress. It is very dwarf, and is consequently short when cut as a salad herb for use. It has a mild and delicate flavour, and affords a pleasant addition to our stock of small salads. It should be sown and managed in the same manner as the Curled Cress.
26. CUCUMBERS. The varieties of Cucumber, Cucumis sativa, are numerous : the following are those most generally cultivated :
1. Early Frame.
5. Green Turkey
The two first sorts are those principally used for early crops in frames, and in the forcing-house; the Green Turkey and White Spined for later crops; and the Long and Short Prickly for ridges in the open air. For this last purpose, the plants are raised in frames, and when large enough to transplant, two or three plants are put into a pot: they are to be kept in the frame till they are strong enough to turn out under the handglasses, in the latter part of April, for the first crop. For the last crop, the seeds are sown under the glasses in May and June. It is a great advantage to the crop in the open air, to cover the ridges with clean straw or pease haulm, when the plants are grown long enough to train upon the ridges : this will serve to keep the sun from parching the ground in hot dry weather, and to prevent the blossoms and young fruit from being covered with soil during heavy rains. The covering of the ridges with straw or haulm has another advantage--that of preventing, in a great measure, the fruit from becoming spotted when the autumn is wet and cold : the thickness of this covering should not be less than two inches when pressed close to the ground.
The Patagonian Cucumber is grown in the open ground; and whilst young, the fruit is sliced and pickled in the manner of Mango.
27. ENDIVES. Cichorium Endivia, or Garden Endive, is a hardy annual, a native of the East Indies, and, according to the Hortus Kewensis, was cultivated here in 1548. For many years there were only three sorts cultivated in our gardens, namely, the Batavian, and the Green
and White Curled. Lately there have been several other varieties introduced by the Horticultural Society of London.
The following are the sorts which have been reported in the Hort. Trans. Vol. vi. p. 133.:
1. BATAVIAN ENDIVES (SCAROLES of the French). 1. Broad-leaved Batavian. 4. Large Batavian. Common Yellow 1 of the
Scarole de Hol. 2
lande 2. Curled Batavian.
Curled Yellow of the 5. Lettuce-leaved Batavian.
Fine Curled ] Dutch. New Batavian. 3. Small Batavian.
Scarole à feuille
I of the
! Scarole Blonde J"
2. curLED ENDIVES (CHICORÉES of the French).
10. Dutch Green Curled. Chicorée Frisée Fine d'Italie. Large Green Curled, of the 7. Small Green Curled.
11. Long Italian Green Curled. Chicorée de Meaux.
12. White Curled.
White Endive. 8. Large Green Curled.
Chicorée toujours Blanche.
of the Germans.
Under the Batavian Endives are included all the varieties with broad leaves, generally rounded at the points, with the margin slightly ragged or torn, not curled. These are called by the French Scaroles.
No. 1. is the common Batavian Endive of our gardens. It is one of the hardiest of the broad-leaved sorts; and as the lower leaves are much longer than the inner ones, it ties up well for blanching.