This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I can tolerate life said a would-be philosopher, if I have abundance of books and flowers, and he was not far wrong. Somebody makes the following verse:
" The hunter a fawn to Diana will slay;
The maiden, with roses will cast to the hours, - But the wise man will ask ere oblation he pay
For a house full of books, and a garden of flowers".
But the "envoi" of the writer in the International Review is this:
" Gods, give or withhold it! Your yea and your ' nay,'
Are implacable, scornful murmurs of ours, What is life? 'tis not here you can bribe me to stay For a house full of books, and a garden of flowers.'
Gardening in its higher sense, is both an art and a science. It has arrived at this estate by gradation, - slow compared with the development of many other pursuits; but that is consequent upon the complex nature of its parts. The development of a knowledge of geology, chemistry, meteorology, vegetable physiology, and botany - indeed something from all human learning has gone to perfect the science of Agriculture and Horticulture, - pursuits affording as wide a range of research in their ramifications as any topic occuping the mind of man, and as important in their results as any occupation of man. Gardeuing, which is agriculture upon circumscribed spaces, has ever shared with the latter the esteem of mankind. Socrates said, "It is the source of health, strength, plenty, riches, and honest pleasure." And an eminent English writer said, " It is amid its scenes and pursuits that life flows pure, the heart more calmly beats." - Burnett Landreth on Military Post Gardens.
The development of field and garden culture to its present condition, is the result of the union of theory and practice. The greatest expansion has been in a chemical and physiological point of view, and this development, strange as it may seem, dates back not farther than forty years. - Ibid.
To Notes and Queries, as well as to the editor of the Monthly, whose strictures are nevertheless deserving of attention, I beg to say that after careful examination, the best Cedar of Lebanon at Laurel Hill Cemetery is not yet cut down; only the second best of the three has been ruthlessly destroyed by ignorance and folly combined. The larger and cone-bearing, was a week ago erect and glorious, but from the same causes may soon be no more. The owner of the lot in which stood the doomed tree, no doubt feels the rebuke; he had no other right to be remembered.
And now; what a pity that accident sometimes places ignorant men in care of public institutions. They may ride in their own carriages, with horses fed perhaps on the profits of quackery, but are too ignorant to be entrusted with ornamental places; they may shoot wild geese - arcades ambo, - and turn out guinea fowls to be again wild for sportsmen's folly to be amused at; but they should be contented with their idleness and preposterous assumption. How differently Kew Garden is managed; and just here let me read aloud to all Park Commissioners, whose law may be good but their practice abominable. Planters of cemeteries and parks should have the enlarged ideas dominant at Kew, where the study is to promote rational recreation and the improvement of taste, from the familiarity with exquisite forms and combination of coloring, aided by the attendant prevalence of order in every department. Both these public institutions should afford opportunities for culture by examples of all kinds of beauty. That they do not do this is somebody's unpardonable fault.
After ten or more years of bad government, Fairmount Park is found to be overrun with poison vines!