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.
So recently as our last number we had to note the generous action of this gentleman toward his aged gardener. It is now sad to have to record his death, at Buxted Park, in his eightieth year. It is remarkable how strange is the mixture of life and death! On the eighth of May came a brief word of his death, and two days after came to hand a letter from his own hands - which had come by an overdue steamer - and which was, perhaps, the last letter he ever wrote. In this letter he was planning for the planting of an arboretum wholly of American trees and shrubs on the estate of Buxted Park.
The intelligent love for gardening which he and Lady Catharine Harcourt always displayed, and the encouragement they gave to horticultural societies and horticultural progress, will make their loss felt, we are sure, in England. In the love for rose culture, there were few greater enthusiasts. Several leading rose grow-ers in England and France had standing orders to a certain amount per annum for all that was new or good in roses. The love was a sort of inheritance. His mother was Lady Leveson Gower, whose name, in connection with one of the most beautiful varieties, is a sort of " household word" with rosarians. The pleasure which they took in tree-growth was almost childlike, and seemed to give them just the same real enjoyment as children take, and makes us all wish we were like children again. When it was the privilege of the writer of this to be so kindly received by them at Buxted Park, and he was detailing to Lady Catharine the measurement of the original Robinia at Paris, some one was sent to measure the fine specimen in the Park to note the difference , and when the figures of the measurements of a tree of Pinus insismis at St. Clare, and one at Osborne House were given, and the result seemed in favor of the St. Clare specimen, the pleasure it seemed to give them will not be forgotten; "for," said Col. Harcourt, "we planted that tree at the same time Prince Albert planted his, and we were always watching each other's tree to see whose throve the best".
Col. Vernon and Lady Catharine Harcourt - both gone so recently - will be remembered by many. Though with the blood of numerous representatives of Earldoms and Dukedoms running through their veins they were naturally proud of the privileges of rank, they seemed to hold their power and immense possessions in trust for the general good, and instead of being jealous of the entry of any one of what in England would be considered the lower classes into their circle, they aided all they could in the general advancement, and cordially welcomed worth and intelligence wherever it was found - a sentiment they shared equally with their early friends and many-year associates, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.