This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Dr. Schom-burgk has just issued his report for 1878, on the gardens and plantations under his charge. The report deals extensively with agricultural and arboricultural subjects as well as with horticulture; there is also a lengthy paper on the vine phylloxera. The report is dated 26th February. At that time the highest readings of the thermometer had been 113 degrees in the shade, and 166 degrees in the sun in Adelaide, while in the north it is stated to have reached 124 degrees in the shade. A drought of nearly four months duration, only interrupted by one or two light sprinklings, had injured many plants and destroyed some, though the losses had not proved so great as might have been expected. Flowering plants suffered greatly, the report stating that this has been the worst season for flowers for many years past; fruit crops have not reached their usual perfection and flavor. Commencing with the Experimental Ground, the doctor states that the artificial grasses and other fodder plants have this year undergone a still more severe test than the last in consequence of the drought, though several kinds have withstood the drought bravely and show very little effect of it. Efforts have been made to introduce the esparto grass for paper, and these are likely to succeed.
Our Phytolacca, or poke-weed, is also successfully introduced, it being in much request by Homoeopathic physicians. The Herbarium already contains specimens of 16,000 species of plants, and the doctor considers it next in importance to the Victorian Herbarium, under Baron Yon Mueller. Many improvements have been also effected in the park.