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.
When some time ago we noticed the filthy condition of the public squares of Philadelphia, and which give the city such an unfavorable impression in the eyes of strangers, much discussion ensued about the way in which the public money was squandered, and a great deal of talk about the putting of the right men in the right places, and so forth. There is no doubt from what any one can see that the men employed in these squares, do comparatively little work. Men who understand garden work ought to do more than these do. But when the appropriations were made the past month we noted'that only about $5000 were voted for the keeping of all the city squares; of course it is not possible that very much can be done for so small an amount, and the fact ought to go to the credit of the city commissioners. We are led to these remarks by the report of the Superintendent of Boston Public Squares now before us. From this it appears that $44,000 were appropriated for the squares of that city. There are, we believe, about eight of these in Philadelphia, all of some considerable extent, while, exclusive of the Common and Public Garden there are thirty-eight in Boston. As however, very small sums such as $5, $15, $20, etc., are given as the amount of expenses on some of them, it is probable that many of these "squares," so far as the gardening goes, are but a few feet of grass around a monument.
We will take out the Common and the Public Garden from the ex. pense fund, and this will leave about $15,000 for the same work that Philadelphia appropriates $5,000; so that Boston ought to be much brighter in her garden apparel than Philadelphia. This is also in Boston's favor that in Mr. William Dougue, she has an intelligent superintendent: and, as we can see by this clear report, in such hands $15,000 can be made to double the work it would do when mere " politics" fills the bill.