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.
A friends of yours has kindly sent us this year's numbers of your Gardener's Monthly which have given us the greatest pleasure, so much so, that I am induced to write about a pineland in South Carolina, little known to the lovers of trees and flowers. For affections of the throat and lungs our climate is truly wonderful. Our Southern people fully appreciate its restorative powers, and many reside here who cannot live on the seaboard, Charleston being our nearest city.
This village is certainly unique, every house built to suit the taste and fancy of its owner, without the slightest consideration as to effect or order, consequently the village covers a large area. Immense pines tower straight and tall above the cottages, while ever and anon you come on noble groups of Live Oaks shadowing the sandy soil. The white roads meander among the houses and through the woods, crossing innumerable little streams surrounded by swamps filled with lovely trees and flowers. In Spring and early Summer, I mean from March till the end of June, and again from the middle of September to the first of November, there is a constant succession of wild flowers. I have succeeded in bringing many into my garden. A Styrax about twenty feet high, with a glossy leaf and small white, sweet-scented flowers blooming all down the stem, is very graceful. An Andromeda, I think, with pendant racemes of white bells, each raceme fully ten inches in length, is the most elegant shrub I have ever seen, the blossoms without a green leaf, covering the tree like snow. Another, like a heath, with pink, rose colored, or white waxy bells and a bright shining leaf about a foot high.
The Sarracenias are now in full beauty, golden yellow, pale straw, deep red, dark brown, yellow with brown throats, crimson hoods, speckled with white, pale green, touched with white or lined with spots like a snake. Some tall and strong; some slender as a shaft; and others, tiny crimson hoods not longer than your little finger, with pale yellow blossoms with drooping heads beside them.
Why is it you seek foreign countries for your trees and flowers while you neglect the rare beauties of your Southern clime? I fancy the dread of malaria has deterred many a one from searching our woods; but round our pineland we drive with impunity for many miles. For ourselves, a spade, a trowel, and a terrible looking knife with a rough bag always are ready at the bottom of the carriage; and our coachman does double duty, he drives and he digs.
[The readers of the Gardener's Monthly will, we feel sure, highly appreciate this brief sketch of South Carolina rural scenery, and would enjoy as many more as the lady may feel inclined to write. It is remarkable that though most of the settled Southern States are among the oldest in the Union, we know less of their gardening, their wild scenery, and of their native flowers, than of the newer portions. Even to the mere botanist the wild woods of the South at this time furnish more new plants than the unsettled portions of the Western Territories. As we write these lines, Professors Gray and Sargent, and Messrs. Canby and Redfield of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, are hunting for new and rare species in the Southern Mountains.
Communications from other friends such as this with which we are now favored would also be acceptable. - Ed. G. M].