This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
In the United States and Canada, instruction in horticulture is part of the publicly maintained colleges of agriculture. In Canada, these colleges are provincial rather than national or established by the Dominion. The Canadian colleges of agriculture are: Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Truro, N. S.; Quebec, Sainte Anne de Bellevue (only in part provincial); Ontario, Guelph; Manitoba, Winnipeg; Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; British Columbia, in plan at the university being established at Victoria.
In the United States, general horticultural education is mostly a part of a national system of professional and applied education of collegiate grade or name. There is a college of agriculture in every state in the Union, being part of a national system with cooperation and aid from the State. (For list, see Experiment Stations, p. 1195.)
There is little development, as yet, in North America of the training-school idea on either a private or a public basis, and relatively few institutions or establishments in which persons are trained for "gardening," as they are trained in the Old World. There is no recognized apprentice system for gardeners. The whole subject, therefore, needs to be considered quite by itself and not in comparison with systems or methods of education in horticulture in other and older countries; and it is necessary to understand something of the system of publicly endowed industrial education, of which instruction in horticulture is a part. The general nature of these institutions in both Canada and the United States may be understood from a brief discussion of the land-grant institutions in the latter country.
The public industrial education of the United States, of college grade, is founded on the Land-Grant Act of 1862. By the terms of this great instrument, every state received from the federal government 30,000 acres of land for every representative that it had in Congress, the proceeds of which are to be used for "the endowment, support, and maintenance of at least one college where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislature of the states may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life." This endowment has been supplemented by subsequent direct federal appropriations, to further the objects for which the original grant was made. On this foundation, all the forty-eight states comprising the Union have established colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts, about half of them separate institutions and about half of them connected with or part of state universities or other general institutions.
The states themselves have supplemented and extended the proceeds of the land-grant. These and the Canadian colleges represent many types of organization and method. Their purpose is increasingly to train young men and women broadly by means of agricultural and country-life subjects. They are now exerting great influence in re-directing rural civilization. They are rapidly putting agricultural and rural subjects into educational form, and are demonstrating that such subjects may have training and even cultural value equal to that of historical subjects.
The agricultural colleges contain many departments, and horticulture is usually one of these departments, coordinate with the others. Some of these departments, aside from the work in the fundamental arts and sciences, are as follows: agricultural chemistry, agronomy, entomology, plant physiology, plant pathology, bacteriology, plant-breeding, soils, farm crops, farm management (the principles of business as applied to farming), horticulture, pomology, floriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, poultry husbandry, veterinary, dairy industry or dairy husbandry, home economics, farm mechanics and engineering, rural economy or agricultural economics, landscape gardening or landscape art, drawing, rural education, meteorology, and extension teaching. It will be seen, therefore, that horticulture is only one contributing part in an educational establishment for the teaching of agriculture in a broad way.
Aside from these publicly endowed or maintained institutions, there are a few other regular colleges that teach horticulture with other work, but they have not made great headway, although the subject may assert itself strongly in some of them in the future. There are two or three training-schools, one for women. More training-schools will be needed.
The students in agriculture in the colleges of agriculture number many thousands, in some cases 1,000 and more in one institution. They come from all walks and conditions of life, and from city and country alike. Some of them, of course, have strong inclinations for horticulture, and soon specialize in that subject. The full course of instruction is four years, following college entrance requirements, and the student at graduation receives a diploma carrying Bachelor of Science or a similar degree. In many of these institutions, post-graduate work in a variety of subjects is provided, leading to a master's degree or even to a doctor's degree.
The first institutions to develop horticulture as a separate subject appear to have been those in Michigan, under W. W. Tracy, Chas. W. Garfield and successors, Mr. Tracy having been instructor in horticulture as early as 1867; New York (1874) and in Ohio under
W. R. Lazenby; and in Iowa (1876) under J. L. Budd. The instruction by means of horticulture has now grown to great importance in many of the colleges, the staffs comprising, in some cases, as many as fifteen to thirty persons.
The horticultural work in the colleges.
We may now consider the horticultural teaching work of these colleges in more detail.
In the early days of such instruction, the horticulture was set over against the agriculture, and these two comprised the main applied groups. The breaking-out of the group of horticulture was really the beginning of the broadening of these institutions and of their more perfect articulation with the conditions before them.
Horticulture, as understood in these colleges, comprises fruit-growing, flower-growing, vegetable-gardening, together with the nursery and glasshouse subjects naturally associated with them. With the further differentiation of the curriculum, horticulture tends to be split or separated into its three main parts, with separate units or teacherships for each, but this division has not yet proceeded far in most of the institutions. If this division is ever carried to its conclusion, the name "horticulture" as an educational unit may pass out.
In the colleges, horticulture is regarded as a phase of the general agricultural field. For the most part, the student approaches the subject from the point of view of farming by means of fruits or vegetables or even of flowers. The strictly amateur phase is incidentally emphasized as a rule, and this undoubtedly is one of the weaknesses of the American horticultural instruction. The amateur attitude, however, will appear more markedly as the country develops and matures. The present attitude very well represents the development that America is now making, as expressed particularly in the great orchard interests. The gardeners, as a group, have had relatively little touch with these institutions in the way of dictating or even influencing their development. So far as institutions are concerned, the gardening phase of horticulture is well expressed where the great collections are, as at the Shaw or Missouri Botanical Gardens, Arnold Arboretum, New York Botanic Gardens, and others; and these institutions will also produce highly trained specialists in small numbers in related scientific lines.
The content of the work in the land-grant colleges varies greatly, depending, of course, on the constituency of the particular college as well as on the staff. Naturally, in the states in which horticultural interests are large, the work will express itself strongly in the college. Some of the courses in horticulture now offered in different colleges of agriculture may be displayed, showing how the subject is divided and what is considered to be the content of the instruction. These examples are chosen only to show the kind and the range of representative courses, and the writer makes no comment on them. Other courses might be chosen from the catalogues, but these are sufficient for illustration. In some cases, practically the same subject is entered twice: this represents the way in which the subject is phrased in different institutions. Some of the courses in landscape work that are given by departments of horticulture are also included.