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.
Mr. Lester Ward in the Popular Science Monthly for October, has the following good piece of reasoning: "The most frequent and prominent cause of these disturbances of the natural fixity of vegetation is the influence of man. There-suits of this influence may be said to be the products of agriculture, horticulture, and floriculture, on the one hand; and, on the other, weeds. But there may be many other causes of disturbance besides that produced by man, such as the appearance of new animals, geological revolutions, or climatal and meteorological vicissitudes. Anything which destroys the stability which the perpetually-operating vegetal forces impose upon the plants of any region is certain to reveal a latent vitality, which, when liberated, proves itself capable of profiting by conditions far different from, and superior to, those under which it is originally found. The willow, the alder, the elm, and the sycamore, hug the banks of streams because baffled and beaten back at every attempt to invade the drier ground. The wild-columbine and the saxifrage are driven into their rocky fastnesses by more powerful rivals for the rich forest loams. The thistle and the chamomile flourish in lawns and commons, because their human foes are less formidable than the enemies of the plain.
The fruit-trees, the cereals, and the roses, reach those wonderful heights of development under man's care, because he not only proves their friend, but wards off all their enemies. And just here it should be remarked that the alleged tendency of cultivated plants to relapse, when neglected, into their original state, upon which Prof. Agassiz laid so much stress as an unanswerable argument against transmutation, becomes, under the law of mutual repulsion, the necessary result of remanding them to their old conditions. As man's care and protection were necessary to enable them to advance, so, when these are withdrawn, they must be expected to again yield to hostile forces, and fall back to the level of their original state."
[We have long known that cultivated plants do not necessarily go back, as Agassiz urged against Darwin, when left to themselves. Varieties raised under culture reproduce themselves from seed just as well as true species, and we believe that so far as any inherent law is concerned, would go in with the ages just as well. They are crowded out by more powerful rivals. - Ed. G. M.]