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.
It is said Rhododendrons should not be overhung by trees, as the roots of trees would be injurious. It is also recommended to use charcoal liberally. Growing in their native places, they do not get charcoal; neither do trees or roots appear to injure them, being found under trees and in thickets. In the beginning of the month of June, 1873, I was on a rambling excursion on what is called the Seven Mountains, near the central part of Pennsylvania. My visit was partly to see and study the native habits of several evergreens, seldom found elsewhere; then try to imitate them as near as possible. I took up a lot of small Rhododendrons from two to six inches high and packed them in damp moss. They were out of the ground one week before I got them home. I prepared a bed for them, planting them rather shallow, imbedding their roots well in wet moss, with a covering of moss and a mixture of sand, with some light loose loam over all as a mulch. Above the bed, some two feet high, was placed a partial shade made of evergreen boughs; the first summer when dry weather came an occasional watering was given. Every plant lived and made a growth of from six inches to one foot annually.
The third season several bloomed; the fourth season - this year - they all bloomed, and a more beautiful sight was seldom seen. For the two last summers I transplanted on our lawn, close up under evergreen trees, in the shade among their roots. They all did finely. They need some protection, particularly in the winter, from the noon-day sun and winds.
The American Yew is another evergreen shrub that is but little known. I have succeeded very well in growing this from cuttings. It will grow upright from cuttings. It requires near about the same mode of treatment when permanently planted as the Rhododendron. These two American evergreen shrubs I consider the best amongst all our foreign and native trees and shrubs. Last spring I potted several Rhododendrons and placed them in the greenhouse. About the 1st of July and for several days when in bloom we had no plants to compare with them in beauty.