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.
The "Notes of a Southern Cemetery," in August, "Rural Cemeteries" in October, and "Disgraceful Public Parks" in November much interested me, as subjects long on my mind, and worthy of the attention of every intelligent horticultural journal. The last one has too harsh a heading to accomplish any improvement. Mild persuasive argument is more powerful in convincing wrong doers of the errors of their ways. It would be much better to show that efforts at real improvement, would result better to a good name, and actual benefit, than neglect of one's duties will do.
If properly shown to the managers, surely every cemetery company would see that it was to its interest to have a skilled gardener. One of this class would require no higher wages in many cases, than an ignoramus, - and even in larger enterprises the gardener and the engineer would both work together for each others' benefit. Some people talk of politics as the reason why unskilful men are in charge of park gardens and other public positions; please let me ask how many skilled gardeners are there in the Philadelphia cemeteries, where there is no politics to interfere in the matter? There are a very few intelligent and worthy exceptions, - but the majority are no better than those who get places in public work and under political influence. There are good politicians and there are corrupt ones; there are good nurserymen, and nurserymen who are governed by avaricious motives, who would crowd in stock good bad and indifferent, and men to suit, if it served their avaricious purposes: and one kind of management is no worse than the other.
What we want is honest, intelligent management in public parks and city work. We want men who will not "bow the knee to Baal".
Philadelphia has long been famous for her skilled horticulturists. She is known all over the Union as the city of good gardeners.
[All that Mr. Elder says is true, but he has not told us what we are all longing to know - how to get these intelligent people into the places where their knowledge will tell. His point on the wretched material often found in situations wholly outside of politics is a very good one, yet there is probably a much better class as a general thing in these situations than find their places in city grounds.
And we really think the trouble comes from what we have stated. That is to say, A., an excellent gentleman, does not want the office. B., a poor stick, does want it. A. and his friends remain at home and do nothing, believing that the office should seek the man. B. has his friends actively at work. They tell C. D. E. F. and so on, what a magnificent fellow B. is, and that if he is elected there will be work for all, and perhaps more which the demagogue knows how to put forth plausibly, and the result is that B. goes into the office.
Now, the problem for our good-wishing friends to solve is, how to get the office to the good man who does not want it, and to keep out the bad but industrious worker who is not fit for it. - Ed. G. M].