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.
Our papers often note the planting of memorial trees by distinguished people in Europe, but it is right to record that this pleasant practice also prevails among ourselves. General Grant recency set out one in Chicago, an d by the following from a Washington paper, it will be seen some have been set out in Washington:
"One of the most attractive and interesting places in the city is the Botanical Garden. It is situated between First street west and Third and Pennsylvania and Maryland avenues. Its history dates back before 1800. When the Car-rolls, General Washington and others laid out the grounds around the capitol, this site was selected for the botanical garden. It was not much improved until a Scotchman by the name of Wm. R. Smith was appointed superintendent. Now it is noted for its choice and rare collection of flowers, ornamental and historical shrubbery in the greenhouses, while the grounds are dot. ted all over with historical and foreign trees, which add a great value to the grounds. Mr Smith is still the superintendent, having occupied the position for twenty-six years, and done enough valuable work for a monument to any man's memory. As you enter the gate on First street, to the left of the walk stands an oak planted by Hon. J. J. Crittenden, of Kentucky. The acorn he brought from Kentucky. It is now quite a tree, and its acorns are eagerly sought after by bis admirers and people who take an interest in such matters.
About fifty feet south of it stands a modest hemlock, planted by Senator John P. Hale, of New Hampshire. Near the east end of the main conservatory, which is three hundred feet long, stands a pine from Japan. It has a very peculiar appearance and is quite a curiosity. Just south of the fountain, on the walk leading south to Maryland Avenue, stand the cypresses. The one on the right was planted by Forrest, and the one on the left by Col. Forney. Just before you reach the fence stands the famous Sumner-Bingham tree. When congress was attempting to pass an appropriaton to improve and grade the park east of the capitol, Sumner made one of his finest speeches to save a particular tree that he thought was an Italian Beech. John A. Bingham, of Ohio, also had an admiration for the same tree, which almost amounted to reverence. He spoke to Mr. Smith about it, and he (Smith) proposed to plant one of the same kind in the Botanical grounds for them, and it stands there to-day in honor of the two distinguished statesmen. Just north of the fountain stands two evergreens from California. The west one was planted by Senator Latham, of California. This tree is very thrifty and has a beautiful foliage. The east, one was planted by Senator Pierce, of Maryland. This tree presents quite a drooping appearance.
Senator Latham pressed the Pacific Railroad bill, and Senator Pierce was its bitter opponent and leader of the opposition. Personally they were friends. So, when the bill was passed, Senator Latham had two trees, of a peculiar kind of evergreen that grows in California, sent to him. One he planted himself, in honor of his triumph; the other he gave to his friend, Senator Pierce, who so sternly opposed the measure. On the west side of the grounds stands an oak, planted by Mal-lory, of Kentucky, who so ably represented the Louisville district. Just west of the main conservatory stands the evergreen planted by Speaker Kerr, of Indiana. Near enough to it to almost mingle with its branches stands the fir tree, planted by James F. McDowell. Some forty feet north-east of these stands a buckeye, which came from Thomas A. Hen-drick's home. Thad. Stevens was a great friend of the Botanical Garden, and managed and controlled the appropriations for it in the house. A tree was planted in honor of him, but it happened to stand over the raging Tiber, which burst from its bounds and destroyed the Stevens tree.
I have given a fair synopsis and a general idea of this garden: of course it would be too tedious to give an account of every valuable and foreign tree".
The Dukes of Connaught and of Edinburgh, recently planted some oaks as memorials of visits on important occasions.
These pleasant mementoes were not uncommon with distinguished people of former times. In the garden of W. W. Seaton at Washington is an apple tree planted by Daniel Webster, a pear tree by John C. Calhoun, and a cherry tree by Mr. Benton. It is said these trees show signs of decay.
Germantown is famous for its neat gardens, nurseries and florists' establishments: its woolen, cotton, carriage, and carpet establishments: its newspapers, and for its Revolutionary history, - and strangers should remember when coming to the place for any special purpose, that it is nine miles long ! Many a person has had half a day's hunt, because he did not get his exact directions before leaving home.
Dr. Rivinius, of German-town, grandson of the celebrated botanist after whom the Rivinia or Rouge plant is named, planted on July 31, 1879, a Purple Beech tree, and on the same day in 1880 a large White Pine, commemorative of the birth days of two of his children. Both of the trees grew remarkably well. Apart from the interest attached to the planting of memorial trees, it may be news to many, that trees can be successfully planted at any time during the summer season, if intelligently handled.