This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This was attended by many ladies and gentlemen among New York's leading citizens. President Sloan claimed that it should be considered as a continuation of the old society started in 1822. He did not know why Scotch gardeners so loved flowers, when history recorded their country's chief product as thistles. The best after-dinner speech was by Hon. Chauncy M. Depew. He summed up the advantages of horticultural societies in the following pleasant paragraph, which we find in the New York Tribune:
"I met a man the other day who has been for the last forty years speculating in Wall street successfully, though he never gave me a point, and who spends his afternoons riding out. I said to him, "Why do you ride?" "Because," said he, "When a man is past fifty years of age the only pleasure left to him is to drive a horse." Now that man ought to join this Society, and then he would find, as Dinsmore and other eminent men have found, that whenever they have abandoned financial pursuits, and from the cares of Wall street have hidden themselves in their country seats and become familiar with the secrets of the garden, and with the culture of flowers, they have not only increased the pleasures, but have added ten years to their life and twenty years to their enjoyment. [Applause.] Now, these horticulturists are a social people, agregarious people. There is much said in English literature about the solitary English gentleman who broods upon his farm or country seat. But what we want is to build a country place, and get a first-class garden and then a first-class gardener.
Yet all this amounts to nothing unless we are in the association of gentlemen such as I see around me - men who go up and down on the train and brag about what they have got. [Great laughter.] Mr. Sloan would sell his place at Garrisons for two-and-six-pence if he could not beat Jay Gould in his conservatory [laughter], and William E. Dodge may recall the foundation of this society, but the welfare of it is nothing compared with the fruits he has produced at Irvington that beat those that J. Pierpont Morgan can show up at West Point..
Laughter.] So the whole philosophy of the horticultural society is emulation, the attrition of ideas; in the interchange of communication and knowledge a man improves by bragging that he has produced better flowers and fruits than his neighbor, and so teaches that friend something that he did not know before."