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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Transactions of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society. Proceedings, essays and reports at the annual winter meetings, held at Madison, Feb. 1, 2 and 3, 1870 and Feb. 7, 8 and 9, 1871
(1871 [covers 1870/1871])

Willey, O. S.
Report of the recording secretary,   pp. 15-20 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 18


18          WISCONSIN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.
of this system to the various committees, and the better opportunity for
visitors to
study and compare sorts competing for the prize-it being one of the chief
objects
of the society to afford facilities for the 40,000 visitors to see and inform
them-
selves-I say will this not more than counterbalance the inconvenience spoken
of
above, which inconvenience I hope might be remedied before another fair,
by more
room to our building, thus enabling us to give a wider space for the exhibitors'
aisles? With this brief notice of change, for the fall exhibition, I pass
to what I
have no doubt you are all anxious to hear something of, viz:
2llc Horticultural Gardens of thi Society.-And I am sorry to be obliged to
report any less favorably than in my last annual report, and perhaps I have
no rea-
son to do so, yet, under the present arrangement, we cannot say that we are
likely
to get the benefit of such a garden as the founders have a right to expect
The
reasons of this are obvious to those who have participated in its management
and
now, without a complaining spirit, I shall speak briefly of its objects,
how managed?
and make suggestions for the future. Our idea of an experimental garden is
one
in which different fruits, trees, plants, shrubs and vines are grown, and
a complete
record of the same is kept For instance, if vines, when set, age and sort,
growth
from time to time, how trained, when pruned, winter protection, what and
when
given, condition of vine when put into winter quarters, and date of same,
in what
condition it wintered, and time of uncovering in the spring. This now, compared
to or with some other sort, other things being equal, and we have gained
some
knowledge that ought to be of public good. I am sorry to say that under the
present
arrangement no such lessons of instruction are gained; and why? The entire
planting and care of the grounds are left to the farm superintendent under
the gen-
eral supervision of the President of the University, who, I rejoice to know,
has a love
and desire for the success of these grounds beyond your most sanguine expectations.
The grounds have been reasonably well cared for. Donations have been limited,
both in number of contributors and quantity. A. S. Fuller, C. H. Greenman
and
A. G. Tuttle were the principal ones who forwarded donations. Planth have
grown
reasonably well; but I am sorry to report that it is next to impossible to
keep up a
record as mentioned above with one set of men to do one part and another
to do
the rest. For instance, when are the strawberries, grapes and other plants
to be
uncovered? Your secretary goes out with paper and pencil; farm superintendent
has no time or men to attend to it to-day; will be ready at such a time;
then the
secretary, perhaps, is miles away or busy in his other affairs. The remedy
is sim-
ple and easy. The department of agriculture at the University is carrying
on and
conducting experiments all the time. Their time is fully occupied. What can
be
done? I will tell you. These grounds are nominally under the care and manage-
ment of this society, although the regents have really paid the expenses,
and what
we need is that they allow this society to expend a certain amount of labor
in the
planting and care of these grounds, not necessarily more than it now costs
them.
By this means this society will be enabled to direct what shall be done,
and place a
laborer there who is competent to record the various items essential to making
a
history. This is the first thing to be gained. Without it we can see but
little en-
couragement for continuing the care of the garden. After this there should
be some


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