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.
North Easton is a town on the Old Colony Railroad and about an hour's ride from Boston. Twenty-seven years ago, beyond the vegetable plots of the villagers there was but little attempt at gardening, but a change "and such a change!" has taken place since then. It is now one of the most horticultural towns in the Commonwealth and includes five pretentious greenhouse gardens, namely, Mr. Oakes Ames', Mr. Oliver Ames', Mrs. Ames', Mr. Gilmore's, and last, but more important than all the others combined, Mr. F. L Ames', and which is the one we have in view.
It is mid-winter; snow lies deeply on the ground, the ponds are frozen over, but in ten minutes' walk distance from the depot we reach the greenhouses where all is bright and gay and summer-like enough. Within the past few years the first built range of greenhouses has been partly altered, and a large and well-adapted plant stove formed out of what used to be a grapery. A roomy conservatory is contiguous, then a grapery in two compartments. Extensive greenhouses for cool and tropical orchids and ferns have been added within a year or two; there are span-roofed pits for rose-forcing, propagating and growing small plants, and a spacious apartment wherein to house somewhat tender evergreens and other plants that need slight protection in the winter. The garden contains a choice and numerous collection of orchids, pitcher plants, Crotons, dracaenas, palms, and other handsome exotics; indeed, it is one of the few comprehensive and progressive gardens in the country that are "right up to the times." It deals not much in the paraphernalia of the graveyard and public garden but pursues the more potent policy of intrinsic beauty of bloom or elegance of form within, and the promotion of natural but refined adornment without.
Mr. Robinson is the gardener, and much credit is due to him for the proficient manner in which he executes his trust.
The conservatory is gay with seasonable flowers and festoons of Tacsonia. Stenocarpus Cunning-hamii has had its stems and branches thickly fringed with blossoms. Begonia rubra, rank and stout, bears lots of pendant bunches, and some of the newer handsome-leaved Begonias are bold and showy. In the stove, Ipomaea Horsfalliae runs along the roof for many yards, and but a month ago its leaves were scarcely seen for flowers-Fine-leaved plants are widely represented. Palms and Screw pines reach nearly the roof, Bananas are in fruit and ripe, Anthurium marocqueiana has leaves four feet long by eighteen inches wide-A. Dechardii has large and fragrant blossoms' the spathe being porcelain-white, and the spadix, yellow; Tillandsia musaica is handsomely variegated, and several Bertolonias - jewels of the stove - as Van Houttei and Mirandae glitter under glasses. Crotons and Dracaenas are numerous and beautiful; the following are among the prettiest Crotons: Queen Victoria, Challenger, variabilis, Hamburganus, majesticus, and Earl of Derby; Dracaenas - hybrida, Bausei, Bella Harris (raised by Mr. Harris, Wellesley, Mass., and one of the finest), splendens, Hendersoni, amabilis, Frederica, Baptistii, and Renardiae.
Burbidgea nitida is one of the newest novelties. It is one of Burbidge's recent introductions from Northern Borneo, a gingerwort, distinct enough to typify a new genus, which is named in compliment to its indefatigable discoverer. B. says it" is found at a place called the 'Devil's House' * * * and grows on low wet sandstone boulders on which its rhizomes and roots form a perfect mat, and among the plants as thus ele vated decayed leaves and other forest debris are blown by winds or washed by rains." They grow "in rich shady forests, subjected to a heavy rainfall, high, fresh and often windy atmosphere; the plants rarely exceed a yard in height."
(Te be continued.)