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.
It is a pleasure to note the increasing strength and activity of this young society. It promises, if it continues in its present course, to become the most popular society in the United States.
It is particularly gratifying to note that it has adopted one of the suggestions we have often made as essential to the prosperity of a society in these modern times, namely: advertising its successful exhibitors. Every month with its programme for the forthcoming meeting, it gives in the circular the names and exhibits of the successful competitors, and these meritorious contributors therefore have their good works distributed far and wide. In old times when there were no newspapers, and little use for printers' ink, people were expected to go and see every thing for themselves. Now people are satisfied to read about them. Then people who exhibited were satisfied to know that people saw their products, and such " advertising" was thought to be a full equivalent for a good exhibit in many cases, but now, in addition, an exhibitor wants to see his name in print, and, as we have often said, if the societies take care to do this for the ■exhibitor, the exhibits would largely increase. Hitherto horticultural societies have been satisfied to spend a large amount of money on elaborate "schedules," and on begging letters, and begging committees, urging plant growers " by all they love," to " send something." The exhibitors go at an enormous expense; the •committees read their awards before half a dozen members, and if some newspaper is generous enough to print the "report" without cost to the society, it is all well, and if not the exhibitor must be satisfied.
Now, in a local community, interested in their immediate neighbors, the local newspaper may be tempted to print these long reports; but a cosmopolitan paper cannot do this. For instance, does a Californian, or a Maine, or a Florida reader of the Gardeners' Monthly need to know that John Rosebud, of Smithville, had the premiums for six best cabbages? But the reports could be made of interest to everybody everywhere. For instance in the excellent plan of advertising the successful exhibitors which has been adopted by this society, what is to prevent the description of the exhibits? For instance, when we read in the report of the New York Horticultural Society, that "in the collection of Mrs. Morgan, the Cypripedium caudatum was especially fine," why not tell us how many flowers it had, and how large it was across? It is something to know that Cypripedium caudatum can be grown so as to be admired, but it would much better to have particulars. Distant people would then be interested in reading the reports as well as those who know the exhibitor, and the " advertising " be immeasurably advanced.
The other matter we have so often urged, namely, discriminative premiums instead of competetive ones, would make all this unnecessary. Mrs. Morgan would have had a premium for Cypripedium caudatum " because it had twenty-four flowers on, and the plant measured two feet across," and not simply as now announced by the committee it was "all very fine," which means anything the reader may choose to imagine.
We are tired of recommending these "steps with the times," to those fossilized institutions all over the country, many of whose active leaders do not even subscribe to a horticultural magazine to get the latest ideas about the wants of the community, but go staggering on under loads of discouragement, wondering "why the thing has run down so;" but seeing the wisdom which seems to run in with the management of this young New York Society, we are moved to revert to the subject once more.
They meet at Republican Hall, 55 West 33d street, New York, on the first Tuesday of each month.