Magazine of Horticulture 8: 83-85 (March 1842)
Nursery of Mr. Samuel Feast

Since the autumn of 1839, Mr. Feast has made many additions to his extensive collection; he has also enriched it with many excellent seedlings of the camellia, rose, azalea, Cacti, &c.

Mr. Feast erected one or two new houses the past season; one in particular for the growth of cacti, of which he possesses a large and extensive variety, many of which are seedlings. These we found in very fine condition: a larger part of the species and varieties are grafted upon the Opuntia braziliensis and vulgaris, Cereus triangularis, &c, and in this manner they form large and thrifty plants: growing them upon their own roots seems to have been mostly given up. In our former notice of this establishment, (Vol. V., p. 371,) we alluded to Mr. Feast's practice of grafting seedling cacti when only a few weeks old, upon the Cereus triangularis. Since then, we have tried the experiment ourselves, and with good success. Echinocactus Eyriesii, grafted on a tall stem of the Cereus triangularis, is a very beautiful object, when in bloom. In no department of plants has Mr. Feast given more attention than to the cultivation and production of roses from seed. He has raised many hybrids between the Michigan rose and the Herbemont's musk cluster and others, which are remarkably strong growers and free bloomers, producing immense clusters of blossoms. A great many of the new French tea and China roses have also been added to the collection, now comprising many fine kinds. The seedling azaleas comprise some very interesting new varieties. The last season, Mr. Feast has raised a great many plants from South American seeds, among which we noticed the Araucaria excelsa, and imbricata; we also saw some young seedlings of a Poinsettia, raised from Poinsettia pulcherrima and Euphorbia splendens. A great many seedling paeonies have also been raised the last year, and, among the number, Mr. Feast anticipates some new kinds.

Some experiments upon the growth of plants in charcoal have been made here. Mr. Feast had quite a collection of Orchidaceae, and as they had not thriven any too well, it occurred to him that he might make use of the charcoal with good effect. The whole of the plants were consequently repotted in a mixture of peat and charcoal: this was done in June or July, and when we saw them in August, many of the plants were throwing out new roots with much vigor. The charcoal seems to act as a conductor and retainer of heat, and, by keeping the soil light and open, facilitates the rooting of the plants. Mr Feast has also tried charcoal in rooting plants from cuttings, and has succeeded in growing in this way Herbemont's musk cluster rose, which he has been unable to multiply by cuttings, in the ordinary way. Combretum purpureum, a plant not easily increased, was speedily rooted in charcoal. We would recommend further experiments to be made, as we are convinced the system is attended with excellent results.

In the open garden, we noticed the Rose acacia (Robinia viscosa,) grafted as a standard, eight feet high, and forming a fine object when in bloom. The only objection to this mode of cultivating the acacia is its liability, from the brittle character of its stems, to be destroyed by the wind: if, however, the plants are placed in a situation not exposed to high winds, there would not be much danger. The common locust is a good stock, and those who have an abundance of them we would advise to try the experiment. Magnolia conspicua, a large plant of which we saw here in 1839, about ten feet high, was killed down to the ground by the severe winter of 1839 and 1840, after having stood out for a number of years. There is a Magnolia glauca here, thirty feet high: it is about forty years old, and produces an abundance of its flowers every spring.

In connection with this nursery, Mr. Feast has erected a building in the city for the sale of seeds and plants, to which he has a fine green-house, about thirty feet long, attached, in the rear. This is supplied with fresh plants from the nursery as fast as they are needed, to supply the place of those which have been sold.