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.
Recently we had to note that as a whole, the number of species cultivated in Cambridge, entitled it to the distinction of being the best botanic garden; that is to say, the best as regards the number of species grown. If we are to regard the beauty of the grounds in connection with botanical culture, then the Missouri gardens are much the best. We refer to this matter again, as we notice the subject is occupying much attention in Europe. Mr. Shaw's Missouri Botanic Garden, is wholly the work of one man, still living, and could hardly expect to be in competition with an old one, and one which is such a centre of botanical correspondence as that one at Cambridge is. Still it is a magnificent piece of work for even one man to boast of, and Mr. Shaw may well be proud of its eminence. Even in its botanical treasures it will compare with Cambridge. Its collections of Oaks and Cactuses are much superior to the Cambridge collections, and it is likely that some of the tropical collections are also superior.
Of Palms alone, there are sixty species in the Missouri Gardens, with nearly a hundred of large growing tropical plants that are rarely seen in any collections.
If we are then to decide this question, it must only be by defining what we have to decide. If a mere botanical garden as such is generally understood, then Cambridge is our decision already stated, - but if horticultural and landscape gardening features be, - and we really think they ought to be combined with a collection of plants of botanical interest, then the Missouri Gardens would be regarded as a better botanic garden than Cambridge.