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.
All know me as an old fogy soon to pass away to, I hope, a land where trouble or doubt has no abiding place - but while here among my fellow men I cannot rest, without now and then pencilling down my thoughts as I read their teachings.
In your general directions, page 34 of February number, you are correct, but as you are now the only Horticultural Magazine Editor for all except California or southwest thereof, should you not occasionally tell novices as to the time period of the bud swelling; when to prune, please? "With March all should be finished" - will not quite pass in our more Northern sections, and it is too late for the South. I suggest that you tell us how to prune, and then give touching the breaking of buds, etc., as to the location of your readers.
Perhaps you will reply to me as follows: "We write for those who are educated, not for those who have had no knowledge either of books or practice." All right, but here let me object to your item of how to make shapely specimens. I would not pull out the strong shoots, but I would shorten them, and cut in close the weak one, and then as the buds on the strong shoots struck but laterals, I would pinch them back, here an inch and there three inches.
But you need not publish this of mine; for in this article I have been picking at, you have so complimented the ladies, and told so many truths of what we should and what we should not do, in the use of spade as compared with fork, or the hoe as compared with the rake.
Eight again, and keep it before your readers until after the April number, "That no good gardener loses a tree in planting, because another has injured its roots." As you say, the experienced hand in tree planting keeps always in mind the old motto, "never say die."
Now I am along when you have been putting "Sam Slick" on me, but I forgive; yet am afraid it will make somebody try to throw me out of office should I ever gain another berth, and so I. Well, well, no matter, let me turn over to the few words of Pinus Cembra, please; for the planting in grounds when space is restricted, we have nothing superior to it, in hardiness, beauty of form, color of foliage, and compactness.
Wild Gardens. Let us have more of them. Who is ever afraid to gather a flower of the wild Azalea, or the common Kalmia, or who hesitates to pluck a fern leaf when wandering in our wild, wild woods. If you have any of that kind on your list, take them into some of the rocky woods of Connecticut, etc. Let us have more of the old shrubs and perennial flowers. Why should we continue to dress and decorate in gaudy colors, when simple blue and rosy white, are the shades that tinge on green so sweetly in nature.
Spiraea sorbifolia. Once more I must call attention. Never cut it clear down, except when first planted, then do it and cut out the poor puny stems, shorten the strong shoots and take out the laterals that tend to thicken too much the centre, and shorten back the laterals that come out, to assist you in giving the shrub a cone or round head, etc., as you desire.