This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Professor C. S. Sargent, as we see by the Boston papers, is doing Horticulture good service by showing Bos-tonians how much they have to pay for the lack of wisdom. Instead of going directly to the nurseries, and finding for themselves where they can get things the cheapest and the best, it appears the Boston City Fathers, like their brethren elsewhere, are attracted by pretty picture books, and smooth tongues, which come before them, and kindly"save them all trouble" for three prices on original cost! In addition to this evil, it is only the commonest kind of trees that are bought in this way, as it is only the overstocks doomed by the regular nursery trade to the bon-fire that get "pushed off "by this personal urgency or agency, and thus few of our rare or beautiful trees get a place in the public works. In this category of silly public officers, we must, however, exclude the Central and Prospect Parks of New York, when under the control of F. L. Olmstead; the Buffalo Parks, the Board of Public Works at Washington, and possibly a few others which employed purchasing agents of the highest honor and tree knowledge who were above receiving "commissions," or any other bribes for sales, and the result is, these places have trees which for rare value, and in the lowness of their cost, compare favorably with the trees of any public gardens in the land.
Robert R. Porter, in a recent paper on"Public Debts," says that the"trees in most of our public parks have ' steal' written all over them." We are willing to believe that it is as often ignorance or indifference as"steal;" but in any event they are most disgraceful, and we again thank Prof. Sargent for his good offices in trying to induce a better state of things.