This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"A Reader," Geneva, N. Y., says: - In your account of L. Van Houtte it says he begun work between one and two in the morning, continuing until 8 P. M., with less than one hour's intermission. Is there not a mistake here, or is it usual for European horticulturists to begin work in the middle of the night, and eat only one meal a day?
[We do not know much of the habits of European nurserymen, but we have known of many American ones, whom the necessities of their business often compelled to be up till near daylight before they could go to bed. The writer of this paragraph, in the earlier days of his business life, had often enough to be up by " one or two in the morning" - not occasionally, but as a tolerably regular thing. We doubt whether there is any body of men who work so hard and get so little, in Europe or America, as the nurserymen. Our school books used to tell us, "if you are industrious, you will be rich; "but it is a well known fact, that after all these long hours of industry, nine-tenths who start the business fail. It seems to a looker-on a very simple thing to plant a nut and wait four years only to sell it for a dollar. Scores are misled by these appearances every year, and sink money. Success in the nursery business means "early and late," and then the chance is often ten to one against you. This experience of American nurserymen is the best help we can give our " Reader " to: understand Van Houtte's case. - Ed. G. M.]