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        Garden and Forest

Garden and Forest:
A Journal of Horticulture, Landscape Art, and Forestry (1888-1897)


Garden and Forest at the Library of Congress
with essays on the history and significance of  the magazine.
Garden and Forest at the University of Michigan's Making of America

Advice on Cape Cod gardening, Vol. 1, 1888
Cape Cod cranberry cultivation, Vol. 3, 1890
The Province Lands at Provincetown, Vol. 4, 1891
Cape Cod cranberries, Vol. 4, 1891
In the Shore Towns of Massachusetts.-V., Vol. 5, 1892
    (featuring Orleans and Wellfleet)
In the Shore Towns of Massachusetts.-VI., Vol. 5, 1892
Early Autumn near Cape Cod, Vol. 5, 1892
review of The Old Colony Town and other Sketches, by William Root Bliss. Vol. 7, 1894
Seacoast Planting, Vol. 8, 1895


Garden and Forest. / Volume 1, Issue 24. [August 8, 1888, 286-287]
    Correspondence.

        To the Editor of GARDEN AND FOREST:
Sir.--I should be grateful for some advice as to the best plants and shrubs for the adornment of a small place at Falmouth, on the southern extremity of Cape Cod. Excepting a strip of the original ground, the land has been reclaimed from a salt marsh. The place seems too limited to justify the calling in of a professional landscape gardener, but I am inclined to spare no pains to make the planting effective.
  
        Falmouth, Mass.

[Our correspondent, in common with nine hundred and ninety-nine persons in every one thousand, who want to treat a small piece of ground to the best advantage, makes the mistake of thinking that "the place seems too limited to call in the aid of the professional landscape gardener." A trained artist is needed to develop the possibilities of beauty, convenience and usefulness in a small as well as in a large piece of ground, and his knowledge and ingenuity may be more seriously taxed to make the most of a plot of ground containing a few hundred square feet than of a park of hundreds of acres. It is, of course, quite outside our editorial duties or aims to give specific instructions or advice about laying out or planting particular places. Such advice to be of any practical value must be based upon exact knowledge not only of local conditions and surroundings, but of the taste and wishes of the proprietor in regard to the character of his place and of the amount of money he is able or willing to spend on it. It may be said generally, however, that this particular location, in common with many others on the shores of Cape Cod and at other points on the New England coast, is exceedingly exposed to high, cold winds, and that the soil is thin and light, and therefore seriously affected by droughts in all but exceptional seasons. Trees, even if they could be made to grow at all in a position so near the snore, would not be very satisfactory, and a lawn of close-cut turf had better not be attempted, as it would be pretty sure to be burned brown all summer long, and to be anything but an object of beauty. Much of the New England coast-region is unsuited for gardening, as that term is popularly understood, an art which finds expression in trim lawns and in beds of plants with colored foliage. The art of true gardening consists in making the most of natural conditions, and not in attempting the impossible or the unnatural for the sake of imitating the fashions of other countries. A large part of the region in question is covered with broad expanses of shrubbery composed of dwarf Plums and Viburnums, Huckleberries and  Blueberries, Sumach and Wild Roses, Bayberry, Sweet Fern, Inkberry, Smilax and other dwarf shrubs, combined together in natural masses unsurpassed in their peculiar way in any other part of the world, and which are bright and fresh from the early days of spring until the autumn frosts make them blaze with new beauty. It is from among these native plants of New England that the material for the embellishment of the grounds of New England sea-shore homes should be selected, and the combinations of these plants which Nature makes are those which must be studied, if the best which these homes can be made to express in beauty is to be attained. Let any one compare a mass of the native shrubbery sweeping down to the  shore on Mount Desert, or on the southern shores of Cape Cod, with the ordinary improved grounds which may be seen about the villas in these places, with brown lawns and sandy walks, with here and there a stunted Scotch Pine or a Cut-leaved Birch, and with beds half filled with forlorn Geraniums or dried-up Coleus, and he will see that large expenditures of money, when not directed by adequate knowledge and taste, may, in attempts at gardening, expel from a spot naturally beautiful all its native charms, without supplying anything in their place--either artistic or pleasing.--ED.]
 


Garden and Forest. / Volume 3, Issue 139. [October 22, 1890, 509-520]*
 
 Cape Cod Cranberries.

CRANBERRY-GROWING is unique among our horticultural industries. All a man's knowledge of gardening and fruit-growing in general is useless when he undertakes to grow this berry. He must lay aside his common notions of soils and tillage, and even discard the very tools which from boyhood he has considered essential to any kind of cultivation.

    The Cranberry-growing sections of the country are few and scattered. The Cape Cod district is the pioneer ground of Cranberry culture, and it still undoubtedly holds first rank in general reputation. In provincial parlance the Cape Cod region includes all the peninsular portion of the state, beginning with the lower and eastward projection of Plymouth County. The Cranberry region extends from this eastern portion of Plymouth County eastward to the elbow of the peninsula, or, perhaps, even farther.

    Upon one of the upper arms of Buzzard's Bay is the old town of Wareham. Here the tides flow over long marshes bordering the inlet, and rise along the little river which flows lazily in from the Plymouth woods. Here the sea-coast vegetation meets the thickets of Alder and Bayberry and Sweet Fern, with its groups of Wild Roses and Viburnums. And in sheltered ponds the Sweet Water Lily grows with Rushes and Pond Weeds in the most delightful abandon. In the warm and sandy glades two Dwarf Oaks grow in profusion, bearing their multitude of acorns upon bushes scarcelyas high as one's head. The Dwarf Chestnut-Oak is often laden with its pretty fruits when only two or three feet high, and it is one of the prettiest shrubs in our eastern flora.

    Driving northward over the winding and sandy roads into the town of Carver, where the largest Cranberry plantations are located, our journey lies in the Plymouth woods. And here the surprises begin! We see no fields of Corn and Grass, and snug New England gardens, and quaint old houses whose genealogies run into centuries; but we plunge into a wilderness! --not a second growth, half-civilized forest, but a primitive waste of sand and Pitch Pine and Oaks! The country has never been cleared, and it is not yet settled! And in its wilder portions deers are still hunted and lesser game is frequent!

    And only fifty miles away is the bustling Hub of the universe!

    This Cape Cod region is but a part of the sandy waste which stretches southward and westward through Nantucket, along the north shore of the sound and through a large part of Long Island; and essentially the same formation is continued along the New Jersey seaboard. Similarities of soil and topography are always well illustrated by the plants they produce. The Pine-barren flora of New Jersey reaches northward into the Cape country, only losing some of its more southern types because of the shorter and severer seasons. But more diligent herborizing will no doubt reveal closer relationship between New Jersey and Cape Cod than we now know. An instance in my own experience illustrates this. The Striped Sedge (Carex s/hiata, var. brevis) is recorded as a rare plant, growing in Pine-barrens from New Jersey southward, and yet in these Plymouth woods, in the half sandy marshes, I found it growing in profusion. Even eastern Massachusetts is in need of botanical exploration! So the floras run along this coast; and it is not strange that Cape Cod and New Jersey are both great Cranberry producing regions.

    The country comprises an alternation of low, sandy elevations, and small swamps in which the Cassandra, or Leatherleaf, and other Heath-like plants thrive. The Pitch Pine makes open and scattered forests, or in some parts Oaks and Birches and other trees cover the better reaches. Fire has overrun the country in many places, leaving wide and open stretches carpeted with Bearberry (Arctostaphylos) and dwarf Blueberries. Clear and handsome little lakes are found in some parts of the wilderness, and everywhere one finds clear and winding brooks, abounding in trout. And over all the open glades the great-flowered Aster (Aster s ectabilis) is brilliant in the autumn sun.

    It is in the occasional swamps in this sandy region that the Cranberry plantations or "bogs " are made. In their wild state these bogs look unpromising enough, being choked with bushes and brakes. I am filled with a constant wonder that the sandy plains are not also utilized for the cultivation of Blueberries. These fruits now grow in abundance over large areas, and they are gathered for market. It would only be necessary to enclose the areas, protect them from fire and remove the miscellaneous vegetation, to have a civilized Blueberry farm. Certainly  Cranberry and Blueberry farms would make an interesting and profitable combination. The expense of growing the Blueberries would be exceedingly slight, and  the crop would be off before Cranberry picking begins. To be sure, wild berries are yet common, but they would not interfere with the sale of better and cleaner berries which would come from improved plantations. Wild Cranberries are still abundant over thousands of acres, and the production of cultivated berries is rapidly increasing; yet the price has advanced from fifty cents and one dollar per bushel, with an uncertain market, fifty years ago, to fifteen and twenty cents a quart.

    The largest cultivated bog in existence lies about six miles north of Wareham, and is under the management of A. D. Makepeace, one of the oldest and most experienced Cranberry growers in the country. This bog is 160 acres in extent.
    Other bogs in the vicinity belong to the same management.

    These bogs are all as clean as the tidiest garden. The long and level stretches, like a carpet strewn with white and crimson beads, are a most pleasing and novel sight. Here in early September a thousand pickers camp about the swamps, some in temporary board cabins, but most of them in tents. The manager furnishes the provisions, which the campers cook for themselves, and he rents them the tents. One hundred and twenty pickers constitute a company, which is placed in charge of an overseer, and each company has a bookkeeper.

    Each picker is assigned a strip about three feet wide across a section of the bog, and he is obliged to pick it clean as he goes. The pickers are paid by the measure, which is a broad sixquart pail with ridges marking the quarts. Ten cents is paid for a measure. There is wide variation in the quantity which a picker will gather in a day, ranging all the way from ten measures for a slow picker to forty, and even fifty, for a rapid one; and in extra good picking seventy-five measures have been secured.

    Various devices have been contrived for facilitating Cranberry picking. The Cape Cod growers like the Lurnbert picker best. This is essentially a mouse-trap-like box with a front lid rising by a spiral spring. The operator thrusts the picker forward into the vines, closes the lid by bearing down with his thumb), and then draws the implement backward so as to pull off the berries. Perhaps a fourth of the pickers use the implements. Children are not strong enough to handle them continuously, and where the crop is thin they possess little advantage.     Raking off the berries is rarely practiced in the Cape Cod region. It is a rough operation, and it tears the vines badly. Late in fall, if picking has been delayed and frost is expected or pickers are scarce, the rake is sometimes used. An ordinary steel garden rake is employed. The berries are raked off the vines, and the bog may then be flooded and the berries are carried to the flume, where they are secured.

    This picking time is a sort of long and happy picnic--all the happier for being a busy one. The pickers look forward to it from year to year, and are invigorated by the change and the novelty.

    The berries must now be sorted or "screened." If there are no unsound berries, the fruit can be fairly well cleaned by running it through a fanning mill; and some growers find it an advantage to put all the berries through the mill before they go to the hand screeners. A screen is a slatted tray about six feet long and three and a half wide at one end and tapering to about ten inches at the other, with a side or border five or six inches high. The spaces in the bottom between the slats are about a fourth of an inch wide. The screen is set upon saw-horses, and three women stand upon a side and handle over the berries, removing the poor ones and the leaves and sticks, and working the good ones toward the small and open end, where they fall into a receptacle. The berries are barreled directly if they are not moist, but if wet they are first spread upon sheets of canvas-old sails being favorites, and allowed to remain until thoroughly dry.

    The cultivated Cranberry is a native of our northern states. It was first cultivated about 1810, but its culture had not become general until forty or fifty years later. The berries naturally vary in size and shape and color, and three general types, named in reference to their forms, were early distinguished-the Bell, the Bugle and Cherry. So late as 1856 there was no record of any particular named varieties aside from these general types. But there are many named sorts in cultivation now. Mr. Makepeace showed me seven varieties in his largest bog.

    The common favorite is the Early Black, valuable because it comes in three weeks ahead of the medium sorts. Picking begins upon this variety about the 1st of September here.

    When fully ripe, the berries are purple-black, and for this reason they are favorites with consumers, for it is a common though erroneous notion that pale berries are unripe. In late fall the foliage of the Early Black assumnes a purplish tinge, which quite readily distinguishes it from any other variety.

       The Dennis is a bugle berry, of good size, productiveness and bright scarlet color. The fruit is picked late in September and early in October. The foliage is darker than that of the Early Red.

    The McFarlin, an oval, dark red berry, is probably the largest late berry grown.

    The Gould is a productive pear-shaped berry, of medium season, with a bright purple fruit and light colored foliage.

    The Lewis is probably the most brilliantly colored of the Cranberries. It is a very bright glossy scarlet, medium in season and pear-like in shape.

    The Franklin is a comparatively new pear-shaped sort, as late as Dennis, purple-red, with a high habit of growth. It appears to have little to recommend it above older sorts.

    A new berry which Mr. Makepeace showed me appears to combine more merits than any berry which I have ever seen. Some twelve years ago he observed the original plants in a neighbor's bog, occupying a space about six feet square, and he procured a few cuttings. The small bog which he now has of it is well worth a journey to see. The berries are unusually large, cherry-shaped, a little later than Early Black, and a bright rose-purple. It is probably the largest early berry. I take pleasure in calling it the Makepeace.

    It is an arduous duty to subdue a wild bog. The bushes and trees must be removed, roots and all, and it is usually necessary to remove the upper foot or so of the surface in order to get rid of the roots, bushes and undecayed accumulations.

    This process is termed "turfing." The turf is commonly cut into small squares and hauled off. It is necessary to leave the surface level and even, in order that all the plants may have an equal chance and thereby make an even and continuous bed, and to avoid inequalities in flooding. Although the Cranberry thrives in swamps and endures flooding at certain seasons, it nevertheless demands comparative dryness during the growing and fruiting season. The swamp must therefore be drained. Open ditches are cut at intervals of four or five rods, about two feet deep, and these lead into the main or flooding ditch. It is also often necessary to run a ditch around the outside of the bog to catch the wash from the banks. The areas enclosed within the intersections of the ditches are called sections, and each section is planted to a single variety. The main ditch is usually a straightened creek, or it carries the overflow from a reservoir which may be built for the purpose of affording water to flood the bog. Growers always divert a creek through the bog if possible. In the Cape Cod districts these creeks are often clear trout brooks. The main ditch is strongly dammed to allow of flooding.

    Before planting, the bog is sanded. This operation consists in covering the whole surface with about four inches of clean and coarse sand, free from roots and weeds. The chief object of sanding is to prevent too rapid growth and consequent unproductiveness of vines. In wild bogs, the Cranberry rarely roots deeply in the muck, but subsists rather in the loose sphagnum moss. Vines that grow in pure muck rarely produce well.

    The sand also serves as a mulch to the muck, mitigating extremes of drought and moisture. It also prevents the heaving of the vines in winter, and it aids in subduing weeds.

    Every four or five years after the bog begins to bear it is necessary to resand it, in order to maintain productiveness. These subsequent applications are light, however, seldom more than half an inch in depth. The Cape Cod bogs are fortunate in their proximity to the sand.

    It was once the practice to plant Cranberry-vines in " sods," or clumps, just as they are dug from the swamps. There are several vital objections to this operation, and it is now given up. It is expensive, the vines are apt to be old and stunted, an even "stand" can rarely be secured, and many pernicious weeds and bushes are introduced. Cuttings are now used exclusively. These are made from vigorous runners and are six or eight inches in length. They are thrust obliquely through the sand, about an inch and a half or two inches of the tip being allowed to project. They are set in early spring, about fourteen inches apart each way. In two or three weeks they begin to grow, and in three or four years a full crop is obtained.

    The subsequent cultivation consists in keeping the bog clean. A small force is employed during the summer months in pulling weeds. Under ordinary conditions it costs from $300 to $500 per acre to fit and plant a bog.

    There are those who contend that flooding is not necessary.   It appears to be generally held that bogs are longer lived and more productive if judiciously flooded. The reasons for flooding, so far as I know, are five: (1) To protect the plants from heaving in the winter; (2) to avoid late spring and early fall frosts; (3) to drown out insects; (4) to protect from drought; (5) to guard against fire, which sometimes works sad havoc in  the muck. Mr. Makepeace prefers to flood but once a year, unless insects appear in serious numbers. He lets on the water in December and draws it off in April or early in May. Just enough water is used to completely cover the vines in all parts of the bog.

    There are many hindrances to Cranberry growing. The chief are spring and fall frosts, hail, numerous insects and some fungous diseases. During the summer season the bogs are not flooded, and insects must be kept in check by insecticides. Tobacco water is commonly used. The liquid is applied with hand pumps from tanks. It is supposed that it has some value as a fertilizer also.

    Fifty barrels per acre is a good crop of Cranberries, yet 200 barrels have been produced. The grower usually gets from $5 to $10 per barrel of 100 quarts. It does not appear to be known how long a well handled bog will continue to be profitable, but Mr. Makepeace assures me that he knows a bog thirty years old which is still in good condition.

-Professor L. H. Bailey in American Garden.

 
Garden and Forest. / Volume 4, Issue 191. [October 21, 1891, 493-504]
 
    Correspondence.
The Province Lands at Provincetown.

To the Editor of GARDEN AND FOREST:
Sir,--During my recent search for public holdings in the shore-towns of Massachusetts, for the Trustees of Public Reservations, I examined the province lands at Provincetown, and traced the course of legislation regarding the title to them. They are undoubtedly the property of the commonwealth, and thus constitute an important and extensive public reservation already in existence. It comprises all that part of Provincetown lying west of the westerly fence of the eastern schoolhouse, and extends southerly from the said fence about eighteen degrees east to the harbor, and from the said fence northerly about eighteen degrees west to the ocean. A large part of the village of Provincetown stands on this land, and besides the tract thus built upon there is an unoccupied area which the town officers estimate at 4,000 acres. At a very early period in the history of the colony these lands were, by specific action of the Government, reserved as a colonial fishing-ground, and from it the colony obtained a varying revenue. At a later date this territory was set apart as a fishing-right to be held in common by the people of the province. The records of the colony show that it was enacted by the court in 1661 that no stranger or foreigner shall improve-that is, use-our lands or woods at the Capefor the making of fish without liberty from the Government, and that all who obtain the privilege shall obey orders and pay sixpence a quintal for the colony's use for all the fish they catch. In 1670 the colonists were required to pay sixpence a barrel for mackerel caught at Cape Cod, and foreigners one shilling and sixpence.

    After this there is a long succession of grants and regulations for this fishing-ground, which constantly assert the title of the colony to these lands. Some of these grants were made to support schools, some for bounties for soldiers or their widows. In 1690 the court specifically asserts its possession of all the soil and royalties at Cape Cod. In 1736 three men, as agents for the inhabitants of the Precinct of Cape Cod, presented a petition to the court asking that the precinct be made a town, and the court granted the request, with this condition, "Provided it do not prejudice the right and title of the province to the lands nor obstruct any person in the fishery, which is a privilege in common." The precinct was made a town in 1727, and called Provincetown, and in the act of incorporation the term "province lands " is first used officially. This is the act: " Be it enacted, etc., That all the lands on said Cape-being province lands-be and hereby are constituted a township by the name of Provincetown, and that the inhabitants thereof be invested with the powers, privileges and immunities that any of the inhabitants of any of the towns within the province by law are or ought to be invested with; saving always the right of this province to said land, which is to be in no wise prejudiced. And provided that no person or persons be hindered or obstructed in building such wharves, stages, work-houses and flakes and other things as shall be necessary for the salting, keeping and packing their fish, or in cutting down and taking such trees and other materials growing on said province lands as shall be needful for that purpose, or in any sort of fishing, whaling, or getting of bait at the said Cape, but that the same be held as common, as heretofore, with all the privileges thereunto in any wise belonging."

    From 1727 to 1854 there is, so far as I can ascertain, no record or indication of any abandonment or modification of the title of the province or commonwealth to these lands, and in 1854 the legislature enacted that " The title of the commonwealth, as owner in fee to all the province land within the town of Provincetown, is hereby assorted and declared, and no adverse possession or occupation thereof by any individual, company or corporation for any period of time shall be sufficient to defeat or divert the title of the commonwealth thereto."

    "The provisions of the 12th section of the Revised Statutes, chapter 119, shall not be held to apply to any of the province lands in said town of Provincetown." These paragraphs are sections 8 and 9, chapter 261, of the Laws of 1854. The 12th section of chapter 119, here referred to, provides for the acquisition of title to land by undisputed possession or occupation for a prescribed term of years, and these province lands are expressly excepted from its application. The people living on these lands are merely occupants and holders. They buy and sell the land, and give, receive and record warranty-deeds, but these, though they may be good as against the claims of individuals, are of no force or validity against the right and possession of the commonwealth, which holds by an absolute title, indefeasible by adverse possession or occupancy by any individual, company or corporation for any period of time. There is no reason to suppose that the state will ever disturb or eject these occupants of the lands belonging to the commonwealth. Nobody, so far as I know, is in favor of any
interference with the occupancy of those who have been permitted to appropriate portions of these common lands to their individual use; but a large number of the inhabitants of the town of Provincetown are dwellers on the public domain, and have no title in fee to the land which they occupy. The most important feature of the matter is the fact that, besides the territory thus used and dwelt upon, there remains an area entirely unoccupied which is estimated at about 4,000 acres, or six square miles. This region embraces and constitutes the extreme end of Cape Cod. About half of the tract is fairly well wooded, being covered by a thick growth of " hard Pine" (Pinus rigida), Oak, Maple and other trees, with a dense undergrowth of shrubs and vines. This wooded portion lies nearest the village of Provincetown, and probably contains about 2,000 acres. The part nearest the shore, constituting the point of the Cape, appears to be of nearly equal area. It is a region of moving sand, which is blown by the wind into great billows, or irregular ridges, which are every year rolled farther and farther inland toward the village, swallowing and burying the forest as they advance. I saw Maple-trees more than twenty feet in height which are entirely covered as they stand, except a few sprouts from the highest branches, by which the tree is struggling to raise its lungs above the suffocating sand. It is a painful spectacle to a lover of trees. The whole of this area of 2,000 acres of unstable sand was covered by a Pine-forest when white men first came to the Cape. This desert is not natural, but was directly created by human agency. The trees were cut away, and much of the space-perhaps all of it-burned over, thus destroying the soil and the mat of vegetable fibres which held it in place. All the conditions which maintained the stability of the surface being destroyed, the sand of the shore began to move inland before the wind, and it has continued to advance with increasing depth, volume and velocity until now. The stumps of Pine-trees are still visible where the wind blows the sand away down to the original surface.

    Much money has been expended in efforts to stay the progress of this ruinous and resistless tide of sand, but nothing has been accomplished except to demonstrate the futility of the methods employed. The planting of beach-grass has been the means chiefly, or wholly, relied upon to bind the shifting and flowing surface; but it is almost entirely ineffective, owing to the depth and mobility of the sand and the great force of the wind. A ridge or plateau of sand, from ten to twenty feet in depth and several acres in extent, is sometimes removed in a few hours. I think the whole of the desert area might be reclaimed and rendered stable and productive, and the wooded region defended from further injury; but no effort for these ends can be successful unless the means used are adapted to the essential conditions and requirements of the problem. These have been entirely disregarded hitherto. The work of restoration must, of necessity, begin at the edge of the water, at the place where the wind which moves the sand first exerts its force. A temporary barrier or wind-break, extending a considerable distance along the shore, would be required. A hedge or wall, formed of several rows of closely planted Cedar-saplings, or something of a similar character, would afford the protection needed, and under the shelter of this hedge could be planted such cuttings and young trees as are thought best adapted to growth in such conditions, some species of Willow and of Poplar, the Pitch Pine and other suitable trees. One species of Poplar grows rapidly and becomes very large along the streets of Provincetown, where it is absurdly called the "Silver Oak."

    The hedge of Cedar-saplings would not be planted to grow, but it would last a long while, would catch most of the sand that might be raised by the Wind between the hedge and the sea, and would afford shelter for the growth of the cuttings and young trees planted at its foot on the landward side. Only a narrow strip could be thus defended at first, and, therefore, only a narrow strip could be planted at once with any possibility of success. The planting of a broad area at the beginning of the undertaking would be entirely unscientific and impracticable. After the young trees of the first narrow strip of plantation along the shore have begun to grow, another narrow belt, on the landward side of the first, can be planted, but the requisite shelter for later strips or belts of planting can be supplied only by the growth of the first belt. The essential requirements for the enterprise would be a small beginning, careful attention to details, unremitting watchfulness and fostering of the young plants and the extension of the plantations by successive narrow belts. After a beginning is successfully made, short lateral spurs could probably be extended from the base line of the planting at frequent intervals and at various angles. Much time would be indispensable, and great patience and faithful industry. This state reservation is under the care of a state agent who is appointed by the governor and council. He is by law empowered to give permits for the cutting of timber and of sods on the state lands. The sods are not of grass, but of the roots of the bushes and shrubs growing on the land, and when these sods are removed all the soil is taken up with them, down to the inert sand, which is then blown away by the wind, thus adding to the area of desert. The sods are much desired and much used by the people of the village for "bulk-heads," terraces, banks, walls and many similar constructions. It is almost the only building material available for the people of the village without cost, but it does not belong to them. It is the property of the state and ought to be protected from spoliation. The removal of the soil is robbery of the most fatal kind. The state agent is not, in any considerable degree, efficient. He appears to be extremely honest and conscientious in wishing to avoid expense to the state in the administration of his office. He grants very few permits. The fee for each permit is one dollar. All fees are turned over to the public treasury, and the agent is allowed three dollars a day for time actually employed in the duties of his office. He told me that, to save expense to the state, he seldom visits the reservation. I think that, as a matter of fact, he gives it no considerable attention, and scarcely ever sees much of its area. As a consequence, people do not take the trouble to apply for permits to cut wood or sods, but take what they want without permission. The reserve is despoiled of both wood and sods without scruple. Many of the Portuguese laborers in the town obtain fuel for domestic uses from the state lands, carrying home the wood on their backs after the regular labor of the day is over; but the native Yankees also contribute their full share to the spoliation.

    The proximity of thousands of acres of wooded land, without apparent ownership or efficient supervision, is a perpetual provocation and inducement to theft, and it would have a similar effect anywhere. I have repeatedly observed about the same state of things on Indian reservations in Dakota and Idaho, and on the public domain in the Coast-range region. While this Massachusetts reservation remains unguarded and  uncared for it must continue to exert a demoralizing influence upon the adjacent community. I think the law relating-to the administration of the reserve should be so changed that no cutting of timber for use outside of the limits of the reservation shall be authorized or permitted, and the removal of sods and soil should be entirely prohibited. The town officers of Provincetown and other leading citizens would be glad to see an efficient supervision of the province lands established and maintained by the state. There is much talk of various schemes of real-estate men for the use and improvement of this state property as a means of attracting summer visitors and revenue to the village, but the first thing for the people of the state to consider is the need of proper care for the property of the commonwealth, and the adoption of an efficient system of treatment for the reclamation of the desert area and the preservation of the extensive wooded region which still remains unburied. So far as can now be understood or foreseen, the advancing sand will in time, if it is let alone, bury the remaining woodland and destroy the village and harbor.

Boston, Mass.
J. B. Harrison.



Garden and Forest. / Volume 4, Issue 195. [November 18, 1891, 541-552]

The Cranberry Bogs of Cape Cod.

    EVERYBODY knows that Cape Cod supplies the world with its best Cranberries, and that the business of growing that fruit has transformed many hitherto worthless marshes in that region into land worth a thousand dollars an acre and upward. The word "bog," however, carries with it to few persons any suggestion of rural beauty, and yet the Cranberry Bogs of Cape Cod, apart from their economic value, make pictures of rare attractiveness at all seasons, and particularly at harvest-time. The ridges of rock and sand which form the Cape would naturally be considered unpromising places to search for ponds and lakes, but not only do such ponds abound in the higher ground, but many beautiful trout streams wind down from the hills into the bay or the sea. As these streams have comparatively little fall, in the course of ages the booty which they have gathered from the hills has been deposited on either side of them until in time they are bordered by wide, marshy, bottom-lands, in which shrubs and plants and trees which love water grow in tangled luxuriance.

    Many of the Cranberry Bogs are made on the marshes which border these streams. It is a slow process to cut off the thick swamp-growth and grub out and burn the stumps and roots. In many places it is necessary to "turf" the whole area, as
it is called-that is, to peel off one or two feet of the entire surface soil with the living and dead, but undecayed, material which has accumulated there. Then the land has to be drained, because, although the Cranberry is a half-aquatic plant and needs to be flooded with water at certain seasons, yet it must have dry and solid root-hold during the season of growth and fruitage. This means not only that dams are built across the track of the stream at intervals, but deep ditches are cut across and often around the bog to catch the drainage from the bank, so that a series of levels or sections is made, each with its dam and system of ditches, until the bottomlands are all made ready.

    After all this, the beds must be covered with sand from three to five inches deep--a laborious task where a hundred acres are to be dressed, and one which would entail an expense that could not be borne but for the happy circumstance that the material is close at hand in the banks which border the bottoms. When the smooth sanded surface has  been prepared at a cost of from $250 to $1,000 an acre, long cuttings of the plants are doubled up and thrust through it at intervals of fifteen inches each way by means of a wooden paddle; these quickly root in the rich soil below. During the first summer the slender vines, which spread out in rays from each cutting, make a beautiful tracery on the white sand, which helps to hold the warmth, to serve as a mulch, to alleviate extremes of drought and dampness, to smother weeds, to keep the plants from being lifted out by frost in winter, and to check a rampant growth and consequent unproductiveness of the plants. The next year the whole area is covered with a net-work of trailing plants and leaves, and the third year, and for no one knows how long thereafter, the whole field will be covered thickly with short upright fruit-bearing branches so full of berries in autumn that one can hardly run his fingers under them anywhere without pulling out a handful.

    Very beautiful in summer is this lawn-like expanse of glossy green, and it is still more beautiful as the green or white or red or dark purple fruit appears among the thick leaves. Standing on the high bank which usually borders one of these bogs, and looking across it, the level foreground, with its winding brook, stretches away for ten or a hundred rods, according to the width of the bottom, while the further boundary is usually another steep bluff, at whose base Viburnums and Wild Roses, Bayberries and Sweet Ferns are rioting, and above them are Dwarf Oaks, with a forest of Pitch Pine and Oak on the summit to form a waving sky-line as a fitting finish to the prospect. From some points, looking downward through the valley, glimpses of the sea are caught; again a gray road is seen winding up the opposite slope and finally lost in the woods, and every detail of the picture is charming.

    At the harvest-time a new element of interest is added by the pickers, who camp on the bluffs and have a picnic for a month or so. For the actual work of picking, white cords are stretched across the bog about a yard apart at right angles to the straight line of the ditch, where the gathering begins. Each picker gets down on his or her knees and takes the fruit clean between two of the cords, so that the entire force of harvesters move forward, side by side, like an advancing line of battle; and as they are men, women, and children of all nationalities and various costumes, the bright colors of their head-gear and other apparel form a picturesque addition to the scene. A small harvesting party is portrayed in the picture on page 545. Pickers are usually employed in groups of a hundred or more, and as fast as a measure, which holds six quarts, is filled by one, he turns it in and receives a dime for it. It is not an uncommon thing for a superintendent of a bog to receive from Boston by express several thousand dollars in ten-cent pieces to be distributed among the pickers for a day's work. Expert pickers sometimes make five dollars a day, and when they use machines, with which the fruit is stripped off by handfuls, they earn considerably more.

    The Cranberry Bogs of Cape Cod furnish a striking example of what may be accomplished by specialization in economic horticulture. It has taken long years of experiment and practice to determine what the Cranberry-plant needed in order to reach its highest possible productiveness, and now, with intelligent preparation and enrichment of the soil, close attention to every cultural detail, constant watchfulness against weeds and insects, frosts and fungi, a yield of 150 barrels of solid, evenly colored berries to the acre is not surprising. How thickly the fruit must hang on the vines which yield such a crop may be imagined, if it is remembered that this means a barrel of berries on every sixteen feet square.



Garden and Forest. / Volume 5, Issue 202. [January 6, 1892, 1-12]*
 
    Correspondence.
In the Shore Towns of Massachusetts.-V.

To the Editor of GARDEN AND FOREST:
Sir,--Orleans is a town of beautiful landscapes and attractive building-sites, and the summer people are beginning to appropriate them. A wise foresight would provide a large area here for out-of-door rest and recreation, a pleasant reach of shore-land, where thousands of inland people might bathe and walk by the sea, but there is no park or common or public beach.' The time is coming, as in other shore regions, when there will be throngs of people all summer long-the autumn is the best of the year on the Cape-and when there will not be much more space or freedom for them than convicts enjoy in the state prison, marching in lock-step to dinner and away from it again. The summer dwellers here will have their rooms in the cottages and in great hotels and boardinghouses, and they will have the freedom of the sidewalk and the public road. There will be no rambling over breezy uplands, or musing where the rolling surf beats and thunders on the shore. The uplands will be an almost continuous village, and the shore everywhere will be in somebody's backyard. Those who wish to see the Cape country before its wildness and freedom are displaced by the new stage of civilization, with its warnings "Private grounds" and "Keep off the grass," forbidding visitors to leave the highways, should visit it within the next few years. Orleans can advertise one attraction which I suppose not many towns can rival. The alms-house is not needed for its original purpose, for long and long it has had no pauper tenants, and has been constantly let for a dwelling. Think of living in a town where  even the poor-house brings in an annual revenue! Who says the Capeis a barren region and poor? There are many inland ponds or lakes here, some salt, many fresh. If they had been made expressly for purposes of pleasure and recreation they could not have been better. The Orleans Cemetery Association owns the new part of the cemetery. It is on a hill, with a fine view of the ocean and bay, and the summer people go there in numbers. The old part is not so high. The title to it is probably in the town. There are three wind-mills in Orleans, each about 150 years old. A man from the city with a new place here thought he would buy one of these mills and set it up in his grounds as an article of " bigotry and virtue," but the owner of the mill asked $300 for it. The summer resident concluded that he would try to get along without a wind-mill, and the " boom " in these antiquities came suddenly to an end. The town clerk bought one fourth of the one at Orleans village for $25, and it pays for itself by its tolls every year. These mills are about thirty or thirty-five feet high, and twenty feet in diameter at the base, which is square or octagonal. They are not picturesque objects, though it is the fashion to say they are. They are too small, and all their lines too severely simple to be impressive, and they are interesting only because they are unfamiliar to most visitors.There is a valuable public library here, and the town owns a very small area around the library building. The town-hall lot should be considerably extended while land is cheap. It is far too small for permanent public convenience. Hon. John Kenrick, A. T. Newcomb, David L. Young and George S. Nickerson are much interested in the objects of the Trustees of Public Reservations, and will aid them in any convenient way. There was a meeting here early in December to consider the need of open spaces for public resort. After experimenting with the topic at meetings in Boston and at Provincetown I found here that an average country audience responds readily to a direct presentation of the essential facts and obvious deductions related to this matter. It is always interesting to try the effect of a new subject on audiences of different kinds. Eastham has no considerable public holdings. The early history of the town is interesting, but it receives little popular attention. I noted that in 1705 the town voted to fine any freeman living within seven miles of the polls if he failed to attend an election. Some interesting experiments in Asparagus-culture made here during the last few years give promise of a new and highly profitable industry for farmers and market-gardeners, and Turnips grown in this region are said to distance all competition. Under existing local conditions such facts are of great interest and importance.

    Wellfleet is an attractive town. All its interests are at present much depressed by the decay of the old industries of its people-fishing, whaling and boat-building. Much land has been bought here by non-residents within a few years, but not much of it has been occupied or improved. The town formerly owned Great Island and Beach Hill, but sold these holdings a few years ago to Mrs. France B. Hiller, of Wilmington, Massachusetts, who also bought much land of private owners in the town. I believe she is to expend a specified sum within a certain term of years in improving the lands bought from the town, otherwise the title will revert, and the property become again a public possession. No improvement has yet been made. People in the town say that many persons made claims for compensation for their rights in one of the private estates bought by Mrs. Hiller, and that " she bought them out, a thousand of them, for a dollar apiece. Whoever wanted a dollar said he was one of the heirs, and she paid him a dollar, and he signed away his right, whatever it was." Perhaps this is the beginning of the growth of a legend. The town long ago planted a considerable tract on Great Island with Pines, and they have grown well. It owns a small piece of woodland-no one knows its area-which supplies all the fuel needed for the schools of the town, and will do so for many years to come, though the timber does not grow as fast as it is cut. It is but a few acres in extent, and is said to have belonged to the last survivors of an Indian tribe, and to have reverted to the town at their death. Wellfleet recently bought a playground near the High School building at a cost of $150. The area is 280 by 286 feet. There is an old cemetery on Taylor's Hill, owned by the town. Its dimensions are 171 by 144, 149 and 167 feet. Beach grass, no trees. The hill is seventy or eighty feet high. No interments for many years. A land company is operating at South Wellfleet, and has sold hundreds of lots. Wellfleet had once 160 sail of seagoing vessels, now not over twenty. The valuation of property for taxation is declining. A profitable beginning at garden-farming has been made here and in the next town, Truro, and there is room for a great extension of this industry in both towns. There are some historic places in Truro which should be marked, and the early history of the town is worthy of far more attention than it receives from the present inhabitants. Popular interest in the local history will probably have a new development, as Mr. Shebnah Rich, of Salem, has written an interesting and valuable history of Truro. Several small tracts of land have reverted to the town by non-payment of taxes. None of them is suitable for a reservation for public resort. All visitors here go to Highland Light. I refer my readers to the accurate and entrancing description of the excursion in Mr. Frank Bolles' new book, "The Land of the Lingering Snow." All this shore should be forever accessible to the public. (My report on Provincetown was published in GARDEN AND FOREST for October 21, 1891.)

    I have just reread Thoreau's book on Cape Cod. It is interesting but one-sided, as it was meant to be. The author walked along the shore, keeping to the very edge of the water nearly all the way down the Cape. He did not see the country inland, and appears to have had an entirely erroneous idea of it. He says himself, " Our story is true as far as it goes. We did not care to see those features of the Capein which it is inferior or merely equal to the mainland, but only those in which it is peculiar or superior. We cannot say how its towns look in front to one who goes to meet them; we went to see the ocean behind them. They were merely the raft on which we stood, and we took notice of the barnacles which adhered to it, and some carvings upon it." The Cape region is much better wooded, has better soil, and is far more interesting and attractive than his account of what he saw along the beach has led people to believe. His book is usually read as if it were an adequate description of the Capecountry; but all his readers should make large allowance for Thoreau's love of paradox, even when he  has seen what he describes. I suppose that what he says of the few people whom he saw during this excursion is strictly true, but it does not apply to the Cape people in general any more than to the people of the author's own town of Concord; or, to give a better idea of it, it is exactly of a piece with his description of Boston: " I see a great many barrels and fig-drums, piles of wood for umbrellasticks, blocks of granite and ice, great heaps of goods, and the means of packing and conveying them, much wrapping-paper and twine, many crates and hogsheads and trucks, and that is Boston. The more barrels, the more Boston. The museums and scientific societies and libraries are accidental. They gather around the sands to save carting. The wharf-rats and custom-house officers and broken-down poets, seeking a fortune amid the barrels, their better or worse lyceums and preachings and doctorings, these, too, are accidental."

    The wonderful "CapeCountry," with its indefinable charm, seems to me the most interesting region in New England, or anywhere. There ought to be a new book about it. It has no such place in our literature as it deserves. As I walked through it, the extraordinary purity of the air made me feel that I should like to be a gypsy and camp out in all the towns. After we pass Chatham, going down the Cape, the atmosphere is the same as if we were on a small island far out at sea.

    Every possible breeze is a sea-breeze, no matter from what quarter it blows. I once camped out for a while in the snow on the mountains in the Crater Lake region, in sight of Mount Shasta, and that is the only time I have ever tasted elsewhere an atmosphere so vivifying as that of the Cape Cod country. The number of ponds and lakes on the Capeis much greater than most people know, and the inland scenery is serene and restful, but not dull or tame. For people who want sea-air our country has no better region, and in a few years it will be thronged and crowded by summer dwellers, from Provincetown to the shores of Buzzard's Bay. It will be a paradise for women and children while the wildness and freedom remain unspoiled. Unless great areas here are made public holdings, free for the people's enjoyment forever, the time will come when the tired dwellers in the cities, and in the vast interior of our country, who are driven by the heat of summer to seek rest and new life by the sea, will find here the city over again, and be "cribbed, cabined and confined" in conditions very like those from which they are trying to escape. That would be a sad sight for thoughtful men.

Franklin Falls, N. H.
 J B. Harrison.

Garden and Forest. / Volume 5, Issue 209. [February 24, 1892, 85-96]

In the Shore Towns of Massachusetts.-VII.

To the Editor of GARDEN AND FOREST:
Sir,--While my principal errand in the shore towns was to find out what open spaces for public resort have already been provided, I also tried to learn as much as possible of the industries and resources of the people, of their thought and public spirit, of the local history, and whatever might tend to promote the objects of the Trustees of Public Reservations. I found everywhere recent changes in the ownership of land and a movement of people of means from the cities and the interior of the country to the shore regions of the state. I found leagues and leagues together of the shore-line all private holdings, without a rood of space in these long reaches to which the public has a right to go. I walked across the domain of one man who owns about six miles of shore-line. I found a great population inland hedged away from the beach, and all conditions pointing to a time, not remote, when nobody can walk by the ocean in Massachusetts without payment of a fee, as we formerly had to pay for a glimpse of Niagara. I could see that the movement for open spaces for public resort has vital relations to civilization, and has been instituted in response to a pressing need. I note some of the impressions which were oftenest repeated and most distinct.

1. Except in a few instances, the public holdings in these towns have not been measured, and their area is unknown. It would be well to have them accurately surveyed, the bounds marked and their area made a matter of public and authoritative record.

2. In a large proportion of the shore towns the public holdings have diminished in extent. Not only have all the old common lands, town pastures, woodlands and extensive shore holdings been parceled out to private possession, but the towns have permitted serious encroachments upon the smaller public holdings which were intended by the founders to be permanent. It is often evident that the first settlers had a pretty clear idea of the value of open spaces for public use in towns and villages, and they showed much foresight and public spirit in providing for them. But in later times these public holdings became the object of perpetual assault and invasion, and an astonishing amount of energy and ingenuity has been employed in the effort to appropriate public property to private use and possession. It often seems that the same labor in any legitimate industry might have brought prosperity to men who always remained poor, but they appear to have attributed their poverty to the failure of their attempts to seize the last small remnants of the public holdings of their towns. Those who have wished to despoil and appropriate the property of the town have, however, usually found their opportunity and incentive in the indifference of the community regarding public rights and duties, and invaders of the public holdings have gained title by undisturbed occupancy. The man who has wrongfully seized and kept the largest portion of the town lands is often regarded with admiration. "He was too long-headed for the town; he beat'em at last."

3. In a large proportion of the shore towns there are no open spaces of any kind for public resort. Some inconvenience is already felt on this account, especially in the matter of places for picnics and out-of-door assemblies of the country people.

4. Wherever the summer people have bought land on the sea-shore they show a disposition to exercise the right of exclusive domain, and to repel as trespassers all who wish to enter upon their grounds, and the people of the region are thus excluded from places where rights of public resort and passage have been exercised for generations. Even where the ancient public rights are clearly legal they are being generally relinquished.

5. The most important feature in the present condition and prospects of the shore towns is the change in the population which is going on everywhere, and the resulting transfer ofthe title to the land to new holders. There is a general movement of moneyed people from the cities and towns of the whole country east of the Mississippi River to the shore towns of this state. Individuals, companies and associations are buying land everywhere along the shore. Besides what is done openly, some citizen in each town acts as agent for principals who prefer not to be known. Some of these say they are buying for New York men, but capitalists in various interior cities are investing here. It is largely a movement of people able to have fine places for either summer occupancy or permanent residence by the sea. The extent of some of these new holdings on the shore is remarkable and ominous.

6. Except at Salisbury Beach, Plum Island and a few other places there is not yet much foresight of the need of sites for summer cottages to be leased to people of moderate means. Most of the real-estate men prefer to sell their land outright. They do not want the trouble of leasing it or of collecting rents. The hope of a great advance in the price of their land is more attractive to them than a permanent revenue from property requiring supervision and management. Yet even money needs care and oversight, unless it is handed over to the endowment societies or invested in some of the insecurities with which New England people have made acquaintance during the last few years. At some points on the shore money invested in cottages or sites rented to persons of small income would probably yield a good return.

7. Many farmers and residents in the shore towns have recently sold their land at very low prices, being rather surprised at any actual offer. When it sells at a great advance soon afterward, they feel that "the times are out of joint." When the native farmers sell their land, they ought to have fairly good prices for it. It is not likely that many of them will ever own land again.

8. Many of these men will be obliged to find new occupations, in order to make a living. The industries of the shore towns will be greatly changed by this movement into them of so many people, who seek only residence and recreation. Population of this character does not invite or support manufactures, but distinctly repels them. The old industries--fishing, whaling and ship-building--are nearly extinct, and much depression, anxiety and hardship result from the failure of the accustomed means of obtaining a livelihood. Some young men may find employment as coachmen, gardeners and common laborers for the summer residents, but foreigners from the cities. are more likely to fill these places, and such communities do not offer employment to many laborers of any class except cooks and house-servants.

9. It is time to inquire what resources or opportunities will remain for the native people of the shore towns. There is one resource which has received comparatively little attention of late--the soil. The soil of most of the shore towns of Massachusetts appears to me much better than the popular estimate of it. It has greater capabilities than are yet recognized. This is especially true of the Cape Cod country. The soil there is better than that of southern New Jersey, and I have seen many Massachusetts men in Dakota, Montana and Idaho trying, in great privation, to make a living in regions much more forlorn and hopeless than any part of the shore country of the old Bay State. The productive power of the soil should be tested with crops for modern markets. It is not yet known what can be most profitably grown. Asparagus has been tried in Eastham and Orleans with encouraging results, and Turnips grown in other towns are said to distance all competition. The Cranberry industry is still expanding, and fruit-growing and marketgardening can probably be extended almost without limit and yield a good profit on the labor of the owners of the land. I think these towns might yet support a great population by a highly developed agriculture and horticulture, and that the owners of the land might wisely keep it and cultivate it. This would tend to delay the complete absorption and appropriation of the shore regions by summer residents from the cities, and would render the transition to new conditions less sudden and abrupt than it is likely to be without this modifying effect, and such a postponement of the coming change is in every way desirable. If the farmers and land-owners of the shore towns can adapt themselves to the new conditions of life and make a good living out of their land, they would better hold on to it and stay where they are. But the army of summer incursionists will win in time, and will ultimately " occupy the land," as few American farmers have foresight enough to hold out against the offer of "a good price."

10. For any considerable improvement or development of the resources of these towns two things are indispensable--first, a readier acceptance of the necessity of downright hard work; and, second, a greater flexibility of mind and disposition on the part of many of the native inhabitants, enabling them to recognize the changing conditions of the time, and to take advantage of the opportunities which these changes present.

11. Although this movement and incursion of a new population is going on all around them, many of the native inhabitants are not aware of it.  They know that two or three farms near them have been sold and have heard that a land company has bought a stretch of shore in the next town, but they do not put these things together or see their connection with a general movement. They have not observed that there is any movement or tendency in any direction, except that "times have been getting worse for some years now." They " rail at fortune in good set terms," and would rather rail than work. They lament the decay of the old good times, when their town had a fleet of several hundred sail and every man on Cape Cod was the captain of a ship, and they have no perception of the chances which the present time offers to resolute and capable men, and they thus sometimes neglect and reject opportunities of great value.

12. Some of the native people have a feeling of impatience regarding the changed conditions around them. They are depressed and snappish, and so make unfavorable impressions on strangers who are looking for land, or studying the country with a view to a choice of regions for investment. They do not think of the possible effect of civility or its opposite upon their own interests and affairs. One man, who found that he had been rude at the wrong time, remarked, in his astonishment, "I didn't suppose he was lookin' for land. I could a' sold him just the piece he wanted."

13. A wholesome competition in hotel-keeping would be a great benefit to some of the towns. There are some excellent houses which attract summer visitors, and give to all strangers favorable impressions of the country. Others reminded me of the mining-camp lodging-houses in the Rocky Mountain and Coast-range regions, and these hotels exert a potent influence in keeping people away from their neighborhood. I saw a New York man treated very uncivilly by the clerk and the company of hangers-on in the office of one of these houses. As we walked to the railway station next morning he remarked:-- "Some men are naturally civil; they are born that way; and a man with any sense learns to be civil because business requires it; but some infernal fools won't be civil even when they could make money by it." In another place I was talking with a town officer by the road-side, early in the morning, when some Boston people came along. They had passed the night at the hotel, and, finding it intolerable, had started out to try to find breakfast somewhere else. The ladies of the party were homesick, and wished they could take a train for Boston at once without waiting for anything to eat. The men joked the resident about his town and the hotel. He laughed, but made a gesture of vexation as he replied: Yes, it's an old story. Everybody complains. Those who go there never want to see the place again. It would pay the town to buy the house and shut it up."

14. All the pleasant and comfortable sites along the seashore of Massachusetts are likely to be taken up, either by summer dwellers or permanent residents, before any general attention is given to the interests involved. The movement toward the shore has only fairly begun, and it is certain to increase with the density of the population of our country and the growth of wealth. Even now along vast reaches of the coast there is no area outside of the narrow highway to which the public has a right to resort to enjoy the sight or air of the sea. These conditions will be intensified, and the people of the state will be excluded from all interesting and attractive portions of the shore. These are abnormal and undesirable conditions, unfavorable to civilization, and all possible wisdom and foresight should be employed in the effort to secure adequate open spaces for public resort at different places along the coast.

15. Two questions constantly present themselves to one observing present conditions and tendencies in the shore towns. 
a. Should there not be a broad public road or highway, or strip of public land, along the whole length of the sea-shore of
the state? It need not always follow the water's edge, perhaps, but could be carried inland above the worst marshes.
b. Would it not be well to consider the question of limiting the length of the shore-line or ocean front of private holdings?
The extent of the shore-line of the state is impassably limited, while the population of the country is certain to increase to an extent which is now almost unimaginable. Is it consistent with the public welfare that a few persons should have absolute
possession and control of unlimited areas of the shore? What are the actual benefits which a man derives from the exclusive ownership and occupancy of four or five miles of sea-shore? What are the reasons which justify such a monopoly? The problem of title to the shore, and of the use and enjoyment of it by the people of the state, will in time be a vital and important public question here.

16. The subject of adequate playgrounds is forcing itself upon public attention in some of the shore towns, where the right of peaceable assembly out-of-doors is denied to boys, and they have no right to meet anywhere in the open air for athletic exercises, amusement or self-improvement. Every village and neighborhood should have out-of-door places of resort for the happy play and education of the children and youth of the region.

17. Some methods of acquiring public reservations are already provided by law in Massachusetts. There is, I believe, no general law under which towns may acquire land for the establishment of a system of water-supply. The towns which have done this have acted under separate special acts. But there is an act which enables water boards of towns to condemn land to protect the purity of their water-supply.

18. Chapter 157 of the laws of 1885 enables village improvement associations to improve public grounds or open spaces in any of the streets, highways or townways which the town may designate as not needed for public travel. They may grade, drain or curb such spaces, may set out shade or ornamental trees, lay out flower-plats, erect fences or railings, and otherwise improve such spaces, subject to the authority of the Selectmen or Road Commissioners. Approved April 13,
1885.

19. The Public Domain Act, approved May 25, 1882, authorizes a public domain loan and the taking of land by any town or city for the preservation, reproduction and culture of forest-trees, and for the sake of the wood and timber thereon, or for the preservation of the water-supply of such town or city. The title of all lands taken under this act shall vest in the commonwealth, and shall be held in perpetuity for the benefit of the town or city in which such land is situated. I think no action has ever been taken under the provisions of this law, and it is not likely that it will ever be carried into effect in practice.

20. Under the Park Act, approved April 13, 1882, towns and cities may take land within their limits for parks by vote of two thirds of the legal voters present and voting in a legal town meeting called for the purpose, or in a city by the vote of twothirds of each branch of the Council. The act authorizes bonds for a public park loan. Land beyond their own limits cannot be reached by towns or cities under this act. A number of towns have taken action under its provisions.

21. In Chapter ***Iog of the Laws of I882 county commissioners are required, on request of ten or more freeholders, to ascertain the correct location of a public landing if it is doubtful or not readily known, to erect necessary bounds, and to make record of their proceedings, as in the case of highways.

22. The act to incorporate the Trustees of Public Reservations, approved April 21, I8gr, ***confers powers which are practically almost unlimited within the scope of the objects for which the board was created. The corporation is authorized to acquire and hold by grant, devise, purchase or otherwise real estate, such as it may deem worthy of preservation for the enjoyment of the public, to the value of a million dollars, and another million of real and personal property to pay for taking care of the first million's worth, and to support or promote the objects of the corporation. The board can apply and use its funds in any way or manner adapted to support or promote these objects. No doubt the limitation as to amount could be extended if necessary, so that the board could receive and hold all that may be offered to it. It was understood at the time of its passage that this act would meet a want already existing, that some persons had property which they wished to transfer to such a corporation to be held for public uses, and that such gifts would be offered at once. The immediate consummation of such purposes would be a useful advertisement of the objects of the board.
 
23. The newspapers have been most prompt and cordial in their recognition of the undertaking, and their aid has been so intelligent and efficient that the popular knowledge of the enterprise is much more extensive and substantial than we could have expected to produce in so short a time. There is, however, no reason to expect that the objects of the movement can be attained without considerable direct effort to promote and support them. Means will be required for the systematic propagation and diffusion of ideas until the people of the state in general regard the enterprise seriously, and recognize its relations to civilization and the public welfare. If the movement is to be adequately successful much repetition will be necessary in the educational work required to produce a distinct and fruitful impression on the public mind.

24. Most people are so busy that but a limited amount of mental alertness or energy remains available for the objects of this movement. There is always much vague talk about progress, or the capacity for it, but no analysis of the subject has been seriously attempted in this country. I suppose the most that can be said by thoughtful men regarding it is that a narrow zone of improvability runs through the life of the best races. It is broader at some times than others, but it is never very wide. How far it extends, and what capabilities it includes, can be ascertained only by strenuous and intelligently directed effort to occupy and utilize it fully. Few efforts to influence public opinion are adequately directed, and the methods employed for this purpose are usually haphazard and unscientific.

25. I think the trustees should have a library and collect all local histories-of places in the state-and whatever materials for local history may be available in any form. Some of the old town histories are very valuable, and copies are becoming scarce. All town reports should be collected and preserved, and those of certain boards and commissions. The work of the trustees will doubtless produce a general increase of interest in local history a most wholesome and desirable result. In many of the shore towns the descendants of the oldest families, although educated in the public schools, are almost entirely ignorant of the history of their own towns and of the part their ancestors had in it. Many of the teachers in the schools are no better informed on this subject. The lack of popular interest regarding it is often astonishing. In one of the towns the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the organization of the church came and passed without any observance or recognition whatever. There was not even a prayer-meeting, or any allusion to the date in the sermons or services either before or after it. I think that every town should prepare a brief compend, or manual, of the principal facts in its own history, and provide that it shall be studied and taught in the town schools. It would be the natural introduction to state and United States history. Once, at least, each year the schools should visit and examine the most important historic places in the town.

26. The neglect and desecration of many of the old graveyards in the shore towns is a matter for most serious regret. I have not mentioned all the instances that came under my observation. There were too many of them for separate description, and the story became monotonous. It is unaccountable that, in several cases, with vast areas of barren and worthless ground on every side, the citizens should have decided to run a public road directly through the old cemeteries, thus violating the graves of their forefathers and destroying the head-stones, by which alone the resting-places of their dust could be identified. The sites of some of the smaller early burying-places are perhaps irrecoverably lost and indistinguishable, but steps should at once be taken to mark and protect all that remain.

27. It was encouraging to find so many highly civilized men in the office of town clerk, and out of it. My thanks are due to the town officers and citizens in general everywhere.

Boston, Mass.
J. B. Harrison.
Garden and forest. / Volume 5, Issue 240. [September 28, 1892, 465-466]

    CORRESPONDENCE:
    Early Autumn near Cape Cod. Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer.
 
Early Autumn near Cape Cod.
To the Editor of GARDEN AND FOREST:
Sir,--I should much rather write myself down as living on Cape Cod than near it, for there is a distinctiveness, not to say distinction, in its name, a share in which all its neighbors covet. Every one knows where Cape Cod is, and thinks he knows what it is, although accurate knowledge on this latter point is, as a fact, extremely rare, while to say that one lives on the western shore of Buzzard's Bay conveys a very vague idea to most persons of other than New England birth.

    However, though we are only three miles to the westward of the Wareham River, on the eastern bank of which Cape Cod begins, no one worthy to speak to the readers of GARDEN AND FOREST could claim to belong to " the Cape." For its nominal beginning is a true geographical beginning, and this means a distinct botanical beginning, or, more exactly, a distinct botanical leaving off. Everything that grows on Cape Cod grows here, from Cranberries to Pitch Pines. But many things grow here which do not grow beyond the Wareham River-White Pines, for instance, in profusion. And many other things flourish here which just cling to existence there, so that the whole aspect of our woodlands and road-sides is different; and as one drives still further to the westward, the difference grows ever more strongly accentuated, so that even five or six miles from the shores of the bay one can hardly believe that the sandy, heathy, boggy, rough-and-tumble stretch of the  Cape country is covered by the same sky which covers these verdant rolling meadows, the sturdy Oaks and Maples and White Pines of the woodland, and the great Poplars and Locusts by the cottage-doors.

    So, we think, we are repaid for not belonging to the Cape by the variety which our daily excursions can compass. The Cape is delightful, but it is all of a piece, and those who live on it cannot easily go elsewhere. But we can go to the Cape after dinner and be back to tea, and the next day can go to our pastoral inland country in an equally brief space of time. Nor do we always think that we must go far in either direction, for even the roads nearest about us offer perpetual variety, now crossing salt-marshes and causeways over rippling arms of water; now threading tall Pine-groves, and now Oak-thickets, to bring us out on modest elevations, which we are pleased to call cliffs, where, suddenly, the wide azure expanse of the bay is seen beneath our feet; now taking us between hay-fields and small fruit-farms, where the houses are prettily gray or white and the barns are bigger than the houses; and, again, leading us through miles of narrow roads, where woods of some twenty years' growth come close to the carriage-wheels, the boughs meet overhead, and the grass grows tall between the three ruts worn by the never frequent, but never altogether failing passage of the typical vehicles of the country; the shackly, faded buggy and the black-hooded, four-seated carryall, each drawn by its single horse. Two-horse conveyances cannot comfortably penetrate these wood-roads, although for a one-horse vehicle they offer very good driving, the sandy soil of the Cape only appearing here and there in very brief stretches. No visitor should bring his own one-horse vehicle to this part of the world, but should depend upon those he will find awaiting him. Our axles are so wide that an imported carriage does not "track," and the difference between driving in such a one and in one which does track is the difference between entire  comfort and an exasperating tilt and joggle.

    Of course, it is in the mountain regions of central and northern New England that the colors of the American autumn show in the grandest and most amazing way. But our vegetation "turns" very beautifully; and it reveals its beauty, so to say, in a much more intimate fashion. The finest autumnal features of an inland scene are distant stretches of parti-colored hill-side, tall, broken masses of variegated forest in the middle distances, and, sprinkled about in the nearer meadows, superb single examples of flaming red or yellow or purple trees. But we have no hill-sides; when we see a mass of woods in the middle distance it is low and draws a nearly straight line across the horizon; and, in our most characteristic drives, the trees are small, and one sees them very close at hand, crowded beside us, and their boughs close above our heads. Here and there we get fine open views of meadows and marshes bounded by woodland or sea. But they are all flat views, and, as a rule, there are few isolated large trees. The colors in autumn lie in low far-extending level masses, or, when we thread the forest-roads, strike the eye as a perpetual succession of details, rather than as broad effects. Roads such as these are called, I believe, "green ribbon roads" in some parts of New England. Ours are certainly ribbon-like, perpetually and gracefully meandering with never the smallest stretch of straightness, and in summer they have a green all their own, for no inland light brings out the keenest emerald tints possible to foliage as does the salt-spangled light of these sea-shore parts. But when we look along them in autumn we feel as though we had put an immense kaleidoscope to our eye, so many are the colors they assume, and so impossibly vivid each one seems.

    Of course, it is not in the first half of September, not until October, that, in these mild regions, one sees autumn in a very brilliant guise. But the beginning of the red and yellow season has a special charm of its own. Autumn is setting her palette, trying her effects with little streaks and spots and splashes, indicating what she means to do, sketching in her color-scheme; and every one knows that a great artist's sketches have a peculiar value to the understanding eye. A tricksy and willful sprite is this particular great artist, in those youthful days when her Christian name has not been changed from "Early" to "Late." There seems no reason in her work, although everything she does rhymes delightfully with the next thing. I pity any scientific student who should come to our woods in mid-September, trying to unravel why our foliage "turns." Neither frost, nor sun, nor moisture, nor dryness can be credited with any distinct influence; little can be laid to the account of family traits when tree is compared with tree; nor does soil or situation seem to have a discernible effect upon the gay beginning of the masquerade.

    We may say, in a rough sense, that the Tupelos turn first. But some of them turned in August, and some have not yet  begun to turn, while some are russet and others are redder than scarlet. And a green one may stand close beside the brightest red one, or one bough may be scarlet while all the others are emerald still. But even the Tupelos are not so individually willful as the Maples. They are all Scarlet Maples by name (the Sugar Maple does not grow with us), but they are not all equally scarlet by nature; or, at least, they do not  all reveal this nature at the same time or in the same way.

    This year they began to enliven themselves unusually early a week or more ago many of the smaller ones were already vivid. But I have never noted a year when they enlivened themselves in so fragmentary and fantastic a fashion. It is hard, as yet, to find an example which is red all over. I passed a wide swamp the other day which was surrounded by hundreds of them and thickly beset with others, all hardly more than saplings, gracefully tall and slender. Every one of them, I think, showed some brilliant red; but not one of them, as far as I could see, had more than one or two red boughs. It was not as though each tree had assumed a new garment; it was as though each had flung out a bold banner of its own. Often, in the narrow woodland roads, one comes upon a Maple with not a whole bough, but merely the end of a bough flaming; or not the whole end, but just a couple of swinging leaves.

    In my drive to-day I came upon a good-sized symmetrical specimen, still perfectly fresh and green, with one single scarlet leaf hung out over the roadway; and immediately beyond it was another with only half a leaf tinted, the line between green and red being as neatly drawn as though by a painter's brush. And as the Maples are behaving, just so are the Scarlet Oaks, while their big brothers, the White Oaks, give no sign that they know the summer is past.

    Where the roads skirt the salt-marshes splendid effects of color may already be seen, although these are less vivid than those which will soon follow. The marshes (we call them " ma'shes" here, and so, says an English friend, are they called in South Devon) are not orange-colored yet, but they are a fine dullish yellow, streaked with green and brown, and here and there accented by big patches and ribbons of a blood-like deep red. From a distance the plant which gives this remarkable color looks like some species of Salicornia, but I have never been able to get near enough on the yielding soil to see it distinctly. Around these marshes the woods are still chiefly green. No brown tones yet appear, and of yellow tones only the dull neutral tints of the little Birches. But a splash of scarlet shows occasionally where a Maple or Tupelo stands with its foot in the wet.

    Where the roads go beneath tall Pine-groves not a sign or symbol of autumn appears. The sparse growths beneath are as freshly verdant as the soft swirling canopy of needles above. But the open roadsides are gay, for we pride ourselves on our variety in shrubs and vines, and these turn early; and, moreover, the Asters and Golden-rods are still at their finest.

    No withered grayish plumes stand for the Golden-rod yet, but along the shores the thick-leaved maritime species is in perfection, and on drier-spots other tall or low paniculated kinds, and the softer, more poetic flat-topped masses of the corymbose species. The Vacciniums, which later will spread a carpet of glory along the roadsides and through the woodland glades, are already, some of them, bronzed and some of them red. Here and there a Clethra has turned bronze-like too. Once in a while we come upon a little Sassafras whose mitten-like leaves are yellow and red in spots like a particularly speckled apple. Now and then, like a flash of flame, a thin garland of Virginia Creeper encircles a Pine-tree trunk; near it flaunts a mass of Poison Ivy, and, further on, a streamer of Smilax tries to make us believe it is a Virginia Creeper too.

    Sometimes, lying low beside the road, beneath an arboreal canopy still entirely green, there is a mass of varied tangled color enchanting to behold; and, again, the undergrowth is as green as the trees, except for tiny spikes and spots of russet and scarlet.

    The eye which can appreciate accents as well as broad effects, which loves details as well as masses, and which can be delighted by a little colored leaf as well as by a huge colored tree, finds infinite satisfaction in our country in these early autumn days. And what a sky covers this diversified panorama of simple beauties! People who live among the hills must do without real horizons. They never know what it is to see the edge of their world in every direction, and to know what the sun's rays are about in all quarters of the sky. They never see a sunset as we see it here all around the margin of the heavens. This is particularly the month for sunsets, and we usually have four of them every night. There will be a crimson one flaring in the west and a rosy one blushing in the east; one with masses of dark purple clouds lying over a purple sea to the southward, and a colder, purer, even more enchanting one in the north, pale green as to its sky, palest lavender as to its clouds. No mountain region can do this for you, and you must come to our individual little corner of the world, just under the heel of Cape Cod, to know exactly what you miss by living in the mountain.

Marion, Mass.
M. G. Van Rensselaer.
 


Garden and forest. / Volume 7, Issue 318. [March 28, 1894, 121-130]

    Recent Publications.
The Old Colony Town and other Sketches. By William Root Bliss. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

Some time ago we noticed Mr. Bliss's Colonial Times on Buzzard's Bay, and the town with which he now chiefly deals is Plymouth, from which he makes brief excursions into more southerly regions. He gives us citations from old documents, and records which show how thickly wooded were once many regions which now are barren of forest-growth, or are covered only by dwarfed substitutes for their original riches. He shows us, too, that the early colonists were desperately afraid of the ruin which eventually overtook their inheritance in this direction, and that the fact of its arrival at a later day meant no want of wisdom on their part and no lack of legislation. For example, looking eastward from Plymouth Rock, says Mr. Bliss, "you see a long sand-spit stretching out from the south shore. It keeps the sea-swells from rolling over the harbor when the tide is in. It was once covered with trees; and a town-meeting of the year 1702 considering the great damage likly to accrew the harbour by cutting down the pine trees at the beach did order 'that henceforth Noe pine trees shall be felled on forfiture of 5 shillings pr tree & that Noe man shall set aney fire on said beach on forfiture of 5 shillings per time.' Now there is not a tree on it." Again, from Burial Hill you see "the barren sandy highland of Cape Cod, which, when the Mayflower arrived, was compassed about to the very sea with oaks, pines, juniper, sassafras and other sweet wood."' The promontory at the end of Duxbury Beach, which bears the Gurnet Lights, and in old times was called "the Gurnett's Nose," was likewise covered with trees. Seventy-five years after the landing of the Pilgrims their species were noted: Walnuts, Poplars, Cedars and Hornbeam, which last, says Mr. Bliss, "was a hard wood, used for the keel of ships." Probably Tupelos were meant; for a little farther to the south, near Buzzard's Bay, these trees are now common, sometimes finely developed in sheltered woodlands, sometimes near the edge of the water, so gnarled and torn and twisted that it is hard to determine their character without close examination; and the only name by which they are locally known is Hornbeams.
    Of Cuttyhunk, one of the islands which lie off the mouth of Buzzard's Bay, Gosnold wrote, nearly three hundred years ago, that it bore "noble forests," and was covered with "the elegantine, the thorn and the honeysuckle, the wild pea, the tansey and young sassafras, strawberries, raspberries, grape vines, all in profusion." Now, Mr. Bliss tells us, "its surface is a succession of hills and valleys growing coarse grass, without a tree or a shrub," or any vestige of its former forests. But on Naushon Island, not far away, are "old forests of Beech, Oak, Hickory, Pine and Cedar trees"-evidently owing to the fact that it has always been an undivided piece of property, and during nearly two hundred years was in the possession of only three successive families. Moose and deer were common on this island at least as late as the middle of the last century; and there are deer still, although no moose, in the woods of Plymouth County and Cape Cod.
    Mr. Bliss tells again the true story of Plymouth Rock, and  it is worth repeating, for, although often told before, legend thrives in our new western world as well as in the Old World across the seas, and here, as there, often receives the seal of official endorsement. "Up to the year 1741 this famous Rock... rested on the shores unnoticed. It was in the way of commerce, and some persons having, in the  phrase of the time,' Libertie to Whorfe downe into the sea,' were about to cover it with a wharf. Then Thomas Faunce, ninety-four years old, came up from the back country and protested, and told the wharf-builders that his father had told him when he was a boy that the Mayflower passengers landed on the Rock. The memory of a man of ninety-four is not likely to be correct in regard to words spoken when he was a boy. Moreover, Faunce's father was not a passenger on the Mayflower, and therefore he did not tell this story to his son from a personal knowledge of it being the landing. The wharf was built; and the Rock eventually became the doorstep of a warehouse...
    The only record of the first landing is in these words: 'They sounded ye harbor & founde it fitt for shipping, and marched into ye land & found diverse cornfeilds & little runing brooks, a place fitt for situation; at least it was ye best they could find.' From what point on the shore the men who were prospecting for the colony 'marched into ye land' is not known. Romance and a vague tradition have designated this Rock, the only boulder on the shore; but its remoteness from the island seems to forbid the supposition that the shallop went so far away from its direct course to find a landing-place. And yet there is some reason for believing the story of the Rock. Faunce was born in the year 1647." Therefore, until he was forty years old, some of the passengers on the Mayflower, including John Alden, survived. " When Faunce related his story the landing was not so ancient an event as to have lost its traditionary details; and he may have told what was already known to others, who, feeling that whether their ancestors landed on a rock or on the beach was a matter of no importance, did not trouble themselves to come forth and confirm Faunce's story."
    It is less than fifty years since popular attention and sentiment were directed to Plymouth Rock. Daily steamboats brought streams of pleasure-seekers from Boston to Plymouth long before the Rock was an object of attraction to them. But now, says Mr. Bliss, modern pilgrims to this stone "constitute a daily show which serves to entertain the loungers who are sitting atop of Cole's Hill.... They walk around the Rock; they put their hands on it; they gaze at it; they spell aloud the inscription '1620'; they step across it; they stand still on it and make good resolutions; and I have seen respectable-looking men and women meet on it and kiss each other." In short, it has become more than a relic-a fetich, an object of popular wonderment and adoration. "Elevated into the protection of iron pickets and gates, sheltered from sun and rain by a granite canopy, it has become to strangers and wayfarers a curiosity as extraordinary as a mermaid or a flying-horse would be."

    Burial Hill likewise gets more honor at the hands of modern sentiment than history can prove it to deserve. " It is not probable," says Mr. Bliss, " that any of the Mayflower passengers were buried in this hill. In John Howland's time, and long
before, it was the custom to bury the dead in the lands belonging to their homestead, where the burial was done with no ceremony of any kind; earth to earth, without even a prayer.... Many of the Mayflower company who died within the colony were probably buried in their own farms, and for this reason their graves are now unknown..... As the 'common house' in which the colonists worshipped stood, until the year 1637, at the foot of Cole's Hill, this hill became the churchyard according to a custom of Old England." Four skeletons, exhumed about fifty years ago from Cole's Hill, support the belief that this, and not Burial Hill, was the first burial-place of the colonists. " It has been said that graves on Burial Hill were leveled and sown with grain to conceal from the  Indians the losses of the colony. The tender sentiment of this poetic and oft-repeated statement is dispelled by the fact that the neighboring Indians were friendly; and if they desired to know, it was easy to ascertain what the losses had been by counting the heads of the survivors."

In 1637 a new meeting-house was built at the foot of Burial Hill, and then it did become the churchyard; but the fact that only five grave-stones exist here, bearing dates earlier than 1700, shows that the custom of laying the dead to rest in the lands whereon they had lived still persisted; and, indeed, as Mr. Bliss remarks, "the custom of burying in the homestead land still exists in New England."
 
 


Garden and forest. / Volume 8, Issue 399. [October 16, 1895, 411-420]

Seacoast Planting.

AT the late meeting of the American Forestry Association, in Springfield, Massachusetts, Mr. Leonard W. Ross, of Boston, delivered an address on the subject of seacoast-planting as practiced on the Province lands of Cape Cod, where an effort is made to prevent the shifting sands at the extremity of the Cape from injuring settlements and the harbor. Mr. Ross has kindly sent us all abstract of his address, which we herewith publish:
    The first work in connection with seashore planting should be a careful study of the individual case to be treated, as no two instances will be found to carry identical or even parallel conditions. Specific instruction to apply in every case is, therefore, out of the question, and only general suggestions can be made forsolving such problems. The material for planting should in all cases be in the best possible condition. The area to be covered should be carefully prepared before actual planting begins. Of course, the results which might follow an equal effort inland, or in sheltered situations, or in better soil, need not be expected. The soil to be planted is usually thin and sterile, if, indeed, it is anything better than sand. In nearly all cases it is best to make thick border plantations on the water side of rapid-growing trees and shrubs which have resistant power against salt and wind, and among these may be planted longer-lived and more sturdy-growing kinds, the former acting as a nurse or protection to the latter in their earliest days. When this has become established, other plantings may be made behind it with some certainty of success. It is generally supposed that the number of species adapted to this use is extremely limited, but experience shows that such is not the case. It becomes not so much a question of what to plant, but rather how to plant. In preliminary plantings the plants should always be set very closely, that one may protect the other. A good mulch should then be placed over the entire area and loaded down with stones such as may be usually found on the shore; the stones not only hold the mulch in place, but assist materially in retaining moisture during the dry season. Spring planting is safer than fall planting. It not infrequently happens, however, that plants set in early spring break into growth at once; then late spring storms follow, the tendergrowth is killed off and a secondary growth follows. This weakens the plants, and only such kinds as can endure these conditions should be used, especially for preliminary work. This may be avoided in a great measure by holding back the growth of the plants, by frequent transplantings in the nursery until the season is well advanced. Deep planting is found to be the safest in nearly all shore work, as the drainage is usually excessive.

    Planting on the Province lands of Massachusetts, although still in its infancy, so far as the work under the present administration has gone, has now passed the experimental state and is being developed into a system at once conservative, thorough and energetic. The entire area (over 3,000 acres) consists only of sand. A considerable portion of this is covered with a surprisingly luxuriant growth of trees and shrubs, deciduous, evergreen and coniferous, together with many creepers and climbers. On the outer or ocean side are many hundreds of acres of wildly drifting sand-dnunes or areas covered to a greater or less degree by Beach Grass, Ammophila arundinacea, and in the hollows and low places with other grasses. Many thousands of dollars have been expended in Beach Grass planting, and, while this has not been wholly in vain, it has failed to hold the sand securely in place. If properly watched, and all breaks attended to when first started, the Beach Grass might hold the sand in check, but it would require constant attention. It is thought safest to cover the area with a growth of woody plants and trees. There is abundant evidence that this outer area was formerly covered by forestgrowth, principally of Pine; the original layer of mold, with portions of stumps and pitchy heart-wood, is now frequently uncovered as the sand-hills recede inland.

    Experimental plantings were first made by us in April, 1894. Of the plants not blown out, or buried many feet deep by drifting sand, a fair proportion lived and made a satisfactory growth, but most of them were so cut by the drifting sand the following winter as to die to the surface of the ground. We have this year established a nursery on the lands for the propagation of stock to be used in future work, in preference to using imported plants, and shall extend it as our needs demand.

    We have now growing in the nursery over 250,000 young trees and shrubs, mostly raised from seed. Our stock of trees consists mainly of Pines (P. rigida, P. Austriaca, P. sylvestris, P. Strobus, P. insignis and P. Pinaster), Alder, Birch, Hornbeam, Ailanthus, Oaks, Silver Maple and several varieties of strong-growing Willows and Silver Poplar. Of shrubs, we have Privets, Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) in large quantity, Myrica cerifera and a few others, intending to put in next year several other kinds of native growth, as well as Tamarix Gallica and such others as may promise to be of service in this work.

    We make a preliminary planting of Beach Grass, setting strong clumps eighteen to twenty-four inches apart. This makes sufficient growth the first year to nearly cover the ground and to reach a height of about two feet. The following season we plant among this such woody plants as Genista scoparia, Myrica cerif era, Arnalanchier Canadensis, Rosa lucida, etc. Among these we intend to plant at the same time a considerable quantity of acorns of our native Oaks, to be followed in a year or two with the several varieties of Pine and other trees. Outside and to the windward of this we are making thick wind-break plantations of strong Willows, Silver Poplars, Locust, etc.

    It is expected that in time this entire area may be covered with a forest-growth which will not only serve to prevent the sand from drifting inland toward the town of Provincetown, and eventually filling and destroying a useful harbor, but will at the same time furnish a practical example of reforesting waste and useless land, of which our state has many thousands of acres now producing nothing of value.