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)
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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