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.
A long drive through the suburbs of Pera, and over the bare undulating downs separating the Golden Horn and Bosphorus, brought me, on the afternoon of my arrival, to the sweet waters of Europe, a pleasant valley at the head of the Golden Horn, with long reaches of quiet waters and pretty groves of trees, interspersed with a few handsome buildings, including one of the Sultan's numerous palaces, and environed by steep bare hills on all sides. Leucojum aestivum formed large tufts in the bottom of the valley, and the hill slopes were covered with Poterium spinosum, one or two species of Erica, and several Ornithogalums, and other bulbous plants. On the evening of the following day I availed myself of an invitation from my friend Mr. Millen-gen, of the Imperial Ottoman Bank, to visit Buy-ukdere, on the Bosphorus. The Judas tree, Cercis Siliquastrum, was in full Spring glory, its brilliant rosy-crimson flowers contrasting with the dull masses of Cypresses rising out of the almost continuous bordering of white marble palaces, barracks, and villages which line the Bosphorus on both shores.
The hills between Buyukdere and the Black Sea, attaining a height of 500 or 600 feet, are, for the most part, covered with scrub of Erica arborea, Cisti, Arbutus Andrachne and several small evergreen and deciduous Oaks, with occasional patches of trees, including the Yelonia Oak, Chestnut, Beech, Horse Chestnut, Plane, Poplars, Elm and Stone Pine; but there is no extent of wood till the Belgrad Forest is reached, a few miles inland on the European side. Crocus pulchellus is most abundant among the underwood, varying occasionally with white flowers; and Mr. Millengen informs me that a variety with double flowers is sometimes met with. The shady dingles running down to the Bosphorus abound with herbaceous and bulbous plants, including Lilium martagon, which here occurs within 100 feet of the sea level. Fritil-laria pontica, several Ornithogalums, a Geranium, Epimedium pubigerum, Helleborus orientalis, Hypericum calycinum, Colchicum byzant-ninum, and several species of Muscari and Bel-levalias also occur about Buyukdere.
On the slopes and summit of Chamlijah I found a second annulate Crocus out of flower, with narrow leaves, probably C. biflorus. This was accompanied by Colchicum variegatum and a very small Iris, with the habit of Iris pumila,b ut with much narrower leaves; also many leguminous plants, one or two Ericas, Poterium spinosum, Muscari, Ornithogalums, and other bulbous plants. The public garden of Pera is of very limited extent and poor in arrangement and detail, but the standard Roses were exceptionally fine. Small Plane trees planted in winding avenues are extensively used, and yellow Banksian Rose intermixed with Wistaria had a remarkably good effect. Ligustrum Japonicum is planted in masses bordered with Yuccas. The Loquat, Wellingtonia gigantea, and Cedrus Deodara also thrive, but the attempt at flower gardening everywhere is poor in the extreme. - G. Maw, in "Transactions of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh."'1