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The Carrot, Daucus Carota, is a biennial plant, a native of this country; and although in its wild state it approaches but little to the appearance of our garden Carrot, yet it is allowed by all writers to be the original stock from whence all the cultivated varieties have sprung: the roots of the latter are of a red-yellow or orange colour, yellow, purple, or white.
The following are the principal sorts at present cultivated here, and also in the French and Dutch gardens :
1. Common Early Horn,
Carotte Rouge Longue. 2. Early Short Red Horn. 6. Long White Carrot.
Carotte Rouge Courte Hâtive. Carotte Blanche. . 3. Long Horn.
7. Long Yellow. Long Red Horn.
Carotte Jaune Longue. 4. Long Orange.
8. Purple Carrot. Sandwich Carrot.
Carotte Violette. Carotte Rouge Pale de Flan- 9. Yellow Carrot. dres.
Carotte Jaune. 5. Long Red.
The Altringham Carrot is an intermediate variety between the Horn Carrot and the Long-rooted.
For early crops the two first are the most proper ; they are sown on hot-beds in February, or on a warm south border early in March. The early sowing on the border will require a shelter of haulm, or fern leaves, occasionally, in the event of frost and cutting wind.
The Orange and Altringham Carrot are sown from the middle of March to the middle of April, and are the principal sorts for winter use. Succession sowings for drawing as young Carrots may be made in May, June, July, and August.
17. CAULIFLOWERS. The Cauliflower, Choufleur of the French, is esteemed the most delicate of the Cabbage tribe : it is annual, and produces its flower in the autumn, if sown in the spring. We possess two varieties only, viz. :
1. Early Cauliflower.
2. Late Cauliflower.
For spring Cauliflowers the seed is usually sown from the 15th to the 20th of September, and the young plants sheltered through the winter, either by planting them under hand-glasses, or in frames, so that they may be covered during cold and frosty weather, and air given them when it is mild. For the autumnal crop, the seed should be sown upon a moderate hot-bed the end of March, or under hand-glasses; these will come in during August : and for a later crop, the seed should be sown the beginning or middle of May ; this sowing will produce its heads in October and November. If some of the plants of this last sowing be taken up and laid in as directed for Broccoli, they will be more secure, in case of cold wet weather at the end of the season.
18. CELERY. The native wild Celery, Apium graveolens, is found in ditches and marshy ground, especially near the seacoast, in various parts of England. It is biennial, and flowers in August and September. The seeds and whole plant, in its native ditches, are said by Sir J. E. Smith to be acrid and dangerous, with a strong taste and smell. By culture it becomes the mild and grateful garden Celery. The following are the principal sorts cultivated in our gardens :
The leaf-stalks, when blanched, are used raw as a salad ; they are in season from August to March in the following year; they are also used to flavour soups, and sometimes are boiled as a dinner vegetable. The root only of Celeriac is used. It is excellent in soups, in which, whether white or brown, slices of it are used as ingredients, and readily impart their flavour. With the Germans it is also a common salad, for which the roots are prepared by boiling, until a fork will pass easily through them ; after they are boiled and become cold, they are eaten with oil and vinegar. They are also sometimes served up at table, stewed with rich sauces. In all cases, before they are boiled, the root, and the fibres of the roots, which are very strong, are cut away; and the edible part of the root is put in cold water on the fire, not in water previously boiling.
For an early crop of Celery, the seed should be sown in a hot-bed the early part of March ; and when the plants are two inches high, they must be pricked out under hand-glasses, where they are to remain till they are six inches high. They should then be planted out in trenches, preserving all their leaves, but pulling off every offset or sucker which appears springing from the upper part of the root.
For the succeeding crops, the seed may be sown upon a bed of rich mould in March, and again in April, where the plants may remain till they are large enough to plant into the trenches. In taking up the young plants, they should be raised with the spade, and planted with the roots entire, merely cutting off the extreme fibres, leaving the roots at least six inches long. The second and third sorts are the most valuable.
The fourth sort should be sown upon a hot-bed, under glass, in February or March ; when the plants are two or three inches high, remove them to another hot-bed, and prick them out two inches apart, under a hand-glass.
In June prepare a rich piece of ground, and transplant them upon a flat bed, fifteen inches apart each way : water them frequently and plentifully, and increase the water as they increase in size : they require hoeing only to keep them free from weeds, and the roots will be fit for use in September or October. See an excellent paper on this subject in the Hort. Trans. Vol. vi. p. 119.
19. CHAMOMILE. Chamomile, Anthemis nobilis, is a perennial plant, a native of Britain. The double-flowered variety is that cultivated in the garden. It is in considerable repute both in the popular and scientific Materia Medica. The flowers, which are the parts used, have a strong and fragrant smell, and a bitter aromatic taste; both are extracted by water and alcohol. Medicinally, the flowers are considered tonic, carminative, and slightly anodyne; yet when a strong infusion of them is taken in a tepid state, it proves powerfully emetic.
The flowers of Chamomile should be pulled from time to time, as they are produced ; for the plants continue to blossom in succession for several months. When gathered, they should be gradually dried, partly in the sun and partly in the shade, by being spread upon a mat or sheet; removed out of the sun in the heat of the day, and placed in it mornings and evenings..
Chamomile is propagated by dividing the roots in March or April, and planting them out in small patches, in an open situation, at six or nine inches apart, according to the size of the patches divided from the root. In some gardens they are planted as edgings to borders : in either way the plant is of the most easy culture.
20. CHERVIL. Chervil, Cherophyllum sativum, is an annual plant, a native of England, and is cultivated in gardens
for the young leaves, which are used as a small salad along with mustard and cress; and it is used also in soups, to which it imparts a warm and aromatic flavour. There are two sorts cultivated in our gardens :
Both sorts require to be sown in drills, in the manner of other small salading, every three or four weeks during the summer season. The curled sort, however, had better be sown thinly broad-cast, as, when the leaves are fully grown, they make a very handsome garnish for dishes. To keep this sort very true, the most perfectly curled plants should be taken up carefully, and trans. planted out into a bed to run up for seed. This latter variety is by no means common ; but I have seen it in great plenty in the gardens at Hampton Court, when under the direction of the late Mr. Padley.
21. CHIVES. Allium Schenoprasum, or common Chive, is a native of Britain, found in Oxfordshire, Berwickshire, and Argyleshire : the root is perennial, composed of small slender bulbs, pale, forming dense tufts.
The leaves are used early in the spring for salads : they are generally cut off close to the surface, but sometimes the whole of the plant is made use of as a substitute for young onions..
It is cultivated by dividing the roots, which should be planted out in small patches, six or eight inches apart, in almost any soil or situation, where they rapidly increase, and soon make large bunches, which will last for three or four years.
22. CLARY. Salvia Sclarea, or common Clary, is a biennial plant, a native of Italy, and introduced into England in 1562.