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.
We have had occasion to note that the care of streets and sidewalks should properly be regarded as a work for horticultural societies or horticulturists to take in hand. What can be done when the right spirit prevails is shown by the following extract which we make from the annual message of Henry Probasco, Esq., mayor of Clifton, a suburb of Cincinnati:
"The public avenues are maintained in excellent condition, notwithstanding a steadily increasing travel, incident to the increasing population and pleasure travel from the city, which throngs them daily in fine weather throughout the year. Fifteen years ago they were without foundations, covered about fifteen feet wide with rolling gravel, never rolled, without crossings or footwalks, and to leave the centre of the track was to stick in the mud. Since then, without the aid of Commissioners to smile on contractors, and contractors to demoralize laborers, without creating debt, the grades have been improved, roads widened, with their foundations substantially macadamized, and crossings made wherever needed. Along the sides of the road drains, gutters, and culverts have been well constructed, with handsome footwalks. The widening and maintenance of all these costs less than one thousand dollars per mile annually, which preserves them in a condition which is superior to those of any other corporation in the State.
" Bryant avenue, 905 feet in length, has been made and completed the past year, the portion widened at the expense of the village costing about $1,300, the amount having been included in the road expenditures.
"The footwalks have been increased by adding a new one on the Carthage road, on the Clifton side, from Forest avenue north to Mitchell avenue, a distance of 4,280 feet, made at the public expense, adding materially to the comfort of property owners there, as well as to the immense foot travel from the city to and from St. Bernard.
"The footwalks are being steadily planted and replenished with handsome shade trees of many varieties, of which there are 1,000 in the village nursery, given by one of the citizens for public uses. These are growing in size and beauty, and will soon be available at any moment when required.
"The Clerk's annual report, duly attested on the 15th of March, and published according to law, shows a balance in the treasury of $7,279.99. No debts are contracted for any purpose whatever, nor has the last levy for taxation exceeded the average for the past seven years more than one mill on the dollar.
"All the principal avenues are lighted with city gas, supplied for private and public use on terms as favorable as those given to the city of Cincinnati. The number of gas lamps on the avenue is 143, and gasoline 48.
" In 1877 the Trustees of Besor Academy made valuable improvements to their building, which is mainly appropriated for the use of the public school, town hall, Council Chamber, jail, etc. It is used to its fullest capacity at present. The Trustees having been applied to for additional rooms for public school purposes, they have had consultations with the Council and Board of Education, caused plans to be prepared for an addition to the south wing of the present building, which will give ample accommodations for many years at a cost of about $5,000. These improvements, which are now very much needed, will be completed during the present year should the several parties take immediate action.
"The Town Hall is available at all times for public uses to the citizens at the cost of heating, lighting, and service, on application to the Mayor, who issues permits in accordance with the regulations adopted by Council.
" During the past year several villas and cottages had been built, improved, or in course of construction, adding beauty to the village, such as those of George A. McAlpin, John Morrison, Theo. Cook, John C. Sherlock, Charles H. Law, Nathan E Jordan, Alex. McDonald, and others, whose homes add somewhat every year to our social advantages. Nearly every one adds something each season to embellish their grounds by planting not only that most valuable evergreen " the everlasting Norway," but they are commencing to plant the rarer spruces from California and Japan; the silver fir from the same regions, as well as our own, quite their equals in beauty: our hardy hemlock, truly called the American Deodar; that most valuable and noble tree, our white pine, with its twin sister, the almost weeping Himalayan pine, as well as a dozen others of real merit. Then, too, they are planting the exquisite cypress of Oregon, the Countess Retinosporas of Japan, with their varied shades of color, the cedars of Lebanon, the Deodar and African cedar. With these are blended the golden and silver yews, the American and Japanese mahonias, the most valuable of all evergreen shrubs. Even the Caucasian evergreen laurel will be planted here by the hundreds this season.
The planting of such varieties with our native deciduous trees and shrubs indicates a decided advance in taste and study of arboriculture, a love for the suburban landscape, which may be made to compare with the pictures of Ruyadel, Hobbema, and Rousseau. Is it not of equal importance that a certain amount of this sort of home education should constitute one of the accomplishments to be expected as a matter of course in our families? Is it not a matter of interest to know whether the countless note of music was the voice of a thrush, the jay, or blackbird? Whether the daisy, the pansy, or the dandelion were one; whether the sweet shrub or the currant bush were alike? Whether the elm, the birch, the larch, the ash. the oak, the poplar, the lime, the hickory, were simply trees without names? Whether the lofty pines, the spruce, the firs, the cypress, the hemlock, were equally cedars, only one and all "just too lovely for anything?" Surely some cultivation in this direction would be of as much value, when acquired, as to know the latest figure in the lancers, or to possess the instinct which recognizes at a glance the creative genius of Worth in a new costume, or its facile imitation produced by the renowned modistes of the Queen City. It is gratifying to repeat that the village has always been distinguished for good order and the good character of its citizens.
The day and night police are men of good morals and experience, intelligent in their activity, and have faithfully protected property and person against trespassers, tramps, and disorderly characters, and deserve your confidence for the faithful discharge of duty.