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 should like to call the attention of your readers to a valuable plant growing profusely in these regions, known in the botanical parlance as Liatris odoratissima, but to us at the South as Vanilla Grass. The young leaves are delightfully fragrant. The flower is a single stem, bearing many double daisy-like flowers of a deep lilac or purple.
Two years ago I was told that the leaves strewn among woolen goods would effectually preserve them from moths and other noxious insects. In the past two springs I have packed away blankets and carpets, etc., with the leaves (and nothing else) with such perfect success that I cannot but feel that the discovery should not be confined to our Southern land, for nothing would be more easy than the collecting of great quantities of the leaves and sending them to the carpet warehouses and furriers of the Northern States.
In the beautiful Azalea gardens - now become so famous - on the Ashley River, South Carolina, belonging to our esteemed and good friend, the Rev. Mr. Drayton, there grow on the edge by a little lake, some Magnolia trees, the habit of which resembles the common Weeping Willow. Long pendant branches droop gracefully downwards, the lowest almost sweeping the water.
The trees are, I suppose, about sixty feet in height, and they appear to be in full vigor, their long shining leaves being particularly beautiful, though without the red brown velvety back which the leaves of our Magnolia forest trees have. It would, I think, be properly called a swamp laurel, of which there are so many lovely varieties in our State.