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 am sorry to see the unbecoming strictures of an " English Gardener," from Lafayette, Indiana, p. 276, on the remarks (p. 162) of Mr. Peter Henderson on the London Market Gardens. Instead of analyzing and disproving (if he can) the assertions of Mr. Henderson one by one, as an impartial critic would try to do, he straddles over all without attempting to disprove any single one. He says, " A florist in this country cannot know everything about gardening in England." No; nor does any gardener in England nor from England.
Mr. Henderson said, in 1872, at the time of his visit to London, plows were not used in the London market gardens, and that they were not is a fact. Also that the London gardener had not then found out that the plough and harrow can pulverize the ground better than the spade; this statement I also corroborate. But an " English Gardener" objects and writes, "John knew how to plough and pulverize before Columbus discovered America, better than Americans do now." Such an irascible and absurd statement is too ridiculous for comment.
An "English Gardener " excuses the absence of the plough in the market garden to the "ground in spring is too wet and cold," also " they do not want to get on the ground with heavy horses in wet weather to tighten the bottom, when labor is so cheap," likewise "sometimes the ground is very stony, which throws the plough out! " I maintain that ground too wet to plough is far too wet to spade. The horse-feet story is a vacant excuse, and that in or immediately around London there is not a single market garden too stony to be ploughed. If your correspondent dissents to the 8tony refutation, would he please individualize, and not generalize, the instance and give the name of the lessee. He says the workmen get $3.50 per acre for digging; would he please mention the market garden of ten acres or more in or immediately around London, where men are paid in that fashion?
In justice to Mr. Henderson I will say that he and I are strangers to one another.