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Very thin, green; but when fully ripe, it is stained through by the pulp to a brownish cast: the inside is purple, and will stain linen or paper. Pulp high flavoured, especially in warm seasons. Ripe towards the end of August. 21. LARGE WHITE. Hanbury. *ru* large, oblong, with a short foot-stalk. Skin white and thin. Pulp white, but often more or less tinged with purple, sweet and rich. Ripe in August. 22. LARGE WHITE GENoA. Miller, No. 4. Forsyth, Ed. 3. No. 4. Fruit large, globular, a little lengthened towards the stalk. Skin thin, of a yellowish colour when fully ripe. Pulp red, of a good flavour. Ripe about the end of August. Mr. Forsyth says this bears two crops annually. 83. MARSEILLEs. Hort. Soc. Cai, No. 48. White Marseilles. Ib.
Fruit small, about two inches in diameter, and nearly the same in height, slightly ribbed, somewhat turbinate, and flattened at the apex. Skin pale green, becoming yellowish white when highly ripened. Flesh white, dry, sweet, and rich.
Ripe in August.
The Marseilles Fig has been for many years cultivated by Mr. Knight at Downton Castle; and he informs me that it succeeds well in the highest temperature of a pine stove. °4. NERII. Hort. Soc. Cat. No. 55.
Fruit rather less than the Marseilles, and more long in shape. Skin pale greenish yellow. Pulp similar in colour to that of a pomegranate. - -
It is much the richest of its species; and there is in its
juice a slight degree of very delicate acid, which renders it peculiarly agreeable to most palates. The Nerii Fig is also cultivated by Mr. Knight at Downton Castle, who has been so obliging as to furnish me with the above description, dated Sept. 23. 1830. He says, “It offers fruit very abundantly; but the whole falls off alike in the stove and in the open air; and it succeeds only in low temperature, under glass. I have obtained it, in high perfection, by bringing the fruit forward, till it was about one third grown, in the stove, and then removing the pots in which the plants grew to a conservatory.” 25. SMALL EARLY WHITE. Langley, t. 52. Early White. Hort. Soc. Cat. No. 23. Small White. Hanbury. Small White Early. Forsyth, Ed. 3. No. 3. Fruit somewhat round, a little flattened at the apex, with a very short foot-stalk. Skin thin; when fully ripe, of a pale yellowish white colour. Pulp white, sweet, but not high flavoured. Ripe in August. Mr. Forsyth says this sort produces two crops annually. It scarcely differs from the Marseilles. 26. SMALL GREEN. Nursery Catalogues. Little Green. Hanbury. Green Red within. Hort. Soc. Cat. No. 32. Fruit small. Skin green and thin. Pulp red and
Cyprus. Ib. Hort. Soc. Cat. No. 42. Fruit large, of a pyramidal form. Skin yellow when fully ripe. Pulp purple, and well flavoured. The leaves are large, and not much divided. Ripe in September.
The tree is a very luxuriant grower, but it does not produce much fruit in this country.
A Selection of Figs for a small Garden in the Southern and Midland Counties of England.
Black Ischia -
3 Pregussata - - 14 Brown Turkey - - 7 Large White Genoa - 22 Brunswick - - 8 Marseilles - - 23 Chestnut - - 9 Nerii - - - 24 Malta - - - 11 Small Early White - 25
In the North of England and in Scotland Figs cannot be usefully cultivated except under glass.
It is much to be regretted that our knowledge of figs should be so imperfect, and our means of obtaining any interesting information respecting them so confined.
I have searched for authorities and descriptions to enable me to point out those differences which should distinguish one sort from another; but I have not succeeded in satisfying myself. I have, indeed, found names in books on gardening, accompanied by what the writers might have considered as descriptions; but several of them have been so defective as to give the reader but little chance of applying them to the fruit they were intended to designate. Many sorts therefore still remain
imperfectly described here, for want of better ma: terials.
Figs are propagated by cuttings, and by layers: the latter method is the best, as plants at the end of a year are fit to take up from the stools, and to plant out where they are intended to remain. Cuttings taken from plants where layers cannot be admitted may be planted singly in pots, and placed under a frame, in a gentle heat, in March, and they will make good plants at the end of the year.
Pruning and Training.
There is no description of fruit tree more easy to manage in its formation than the Fig: it produces shoots in abundance, and they grow readily and luxuriantly in every direction.
This being the case, it is not very material whether the plant be particularly handsome when it is first planted out, provided it be clean, strong, and well rooted. Should there be any suckers rising up from the root, as there generally will be when the plants have been raised from suckers, they must be carefully removed, cutting them clean off at the place where they are produced.
If the plant be put out in the autumn, it must be protected by some light dry covering, to prevent its head being injured by frost; and it must also be well mulched to secure its roots. It is, however, sufficiently early to plant the fig in March ; and the latter end of April it may be trained to the wall, if the head be large enough and sufficiently handsome : if not, it should be headed down within nine inches of the ground, in order to its forming a new head. Should the plant be strong, it will, after this, throw up six or eight shoots : these must be trained obliquely, at regular distances, from one side to the other, and continued till the autumn. Previously to the frost setting in the top must again be protected, and the ground mulched as before, in case of a severe winter. In the beginning of April, the covering must be removed, and the branches shortened to a foot, or eighteen inches, according to their strength. During the summer the young shoots must be trained in a horizontal direction at a foot distance from each other. Horizontal training appears the most eligible for the fig, as it checks its luxuriance, and by this means adds materially to the ripening of its wood; for, unless this be accomplished, it will be in vain to look for fruit. In some parts of England it is difficult to prevent the fig from being injured by the severe frosts in winter; in many others it is seldom affected; but in those situations where danger is to be apprehended, the safest way will be to protect the trees, with some sort of loose, soft, dry covering. For this purpose, fern, or dry straw, or the latter mowings of meadow hay should be tucked in among the branches, and the whole covered over with a single or double mat. This covering must be continued till the beginning of April, selecting a fine day for its removal. The trees should now be pruned and mailed to the wall: such of the branches as may have had their ends killed must be pruned back to the next sound bud : the others must be continued at length, at a distance of twelve or fifteen inches from each other, as from the upper ends of the last year's shoots the young figs are produced ; if these are shortened back, the crop will be destroyed. In the summer pruning, nothing more is necessary than to cut out all such vigorous growing shoots as are not wanted, particularly those which rise immediately at or near the root: those which are retained should be such only from which there is a prospect of getting fruit the following season. A supply of these should be kept up, in every part of the tree, by which means a crop of fruit will be obtained from the top to the bottom.