It had sheltered General Gage, land for many acres around had belonged to him. He was an enthusiastic gardener, and imported, among a hundred other fruits and plants, the "Queen Claude" plum from France, which was successfully acclimated on his farm. In New York a plum of that kind is still called a "green gage."
Yet it had been plenteous enough to keep off the "rust," from which the dryer upland plantations were now suffering. Neither the "boll-worm" nor the dreaded "army-worm" had molested the river-fields; so the tall pyramidal plants were thickly set with "squares" and green egg-shaped bolls, smooth and shining as with varnish.
So in South Africa, about the month of April, the Matabeles light huge fires to the windward of their gardens, "their idea being that the smoke, by passing over the crops, will assist the ripening of them." Among the Zulus also "medicine is burned on a fire placed to windward of the garden, the fumigation which the plants in consequence receive being held to improve the crop."
The female I placed on a lemon tree in a shady spot, and the male at the extreme far side to see how soon he would find her. We had supposed it would be dark, but they were well acquainted by dusk. The next morning she was dotting eggs over the plants. The other cocoons produced mostly female living moths, save one that was lost in emergence.
By the middle of the Coal-forest period there was a very large and varied animal population on the land. Like the plants, moreover, these animals were of an intermediate and advancing nature. No bird or butterfly yet flits from tree to tree; no mammal rears its young in the shelter of the ferns.
Give the future American botanist the physical geography of a country its average rain-fall, temperature, etc., and the plant zone in which it lies, and, whether explored or unexplored, he will give us the general character of its vegetation, and name most of the plants and trees peculiar to its soil.
Here too are represented; in the three manners before-mentioned, views and sites of Egypt, Greece, Italy, France, and all other countries; cascades, such as those of TERNI, NARNI, and TIVOLI; sea-pieces; landscapes, parks; and gardens; arabesques after RAPHAEL; new and picturesque plants; in a word, decorations formed of an assemblage of every thing most perfect in art and nature.
At the same time he quite unconsciously and unintentionally stocked the islands with a fine vigorous crop of European weeds, so that the number of kinds of flowering plants included in the modern flora of my little archipelago exceeds, I think, by fully one-half that which I remember before the date of the Portuguese occupation.
The water in the ground dissolves the rock or the loose earth into little particles so fine that the tiny roots, or root hairs, drink them up, and so the rock furnishes a part of the nourishment, or food, of plants. "Without the water that the clouds bring no plant could grow. It gives life and growth to everything that lives, and then sinks deep into the earth.
Of public gardens Seville has many, the prettiest of these being Las Delicias, a walk stretching for nearly a mile along the banks of the river Gudalquivir, and planted with orange-trees, pomegranates, palms, roses, and all kinds of rare plants. This is the Champs Elysées of Seville, and when lit up at night, with innumerable coloured lamps, bears no slight resemblance to them.