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.
It is perfectly amazing to find how rarely a fact can be cor. rectly reported. This is not merely true of the common people, but appears in the writings of the best scientific men. As the work of the writer of this is often alluded to, he has more than usual opportunity to observe this. He once reported to a learned society that most of the wild blackberry plants spread from roots, - that of the thousands of wild seeds that matured every year, the smallest possible proportion resulted in plants. In a learned German work, which is used as a standard work of reference all over the world, he is made to say that the blackberry rarely matures seed in America! Not long since he had occasion to say that the Cumberland Valley, and probably some of the larger valleys of Pennsylvania, had no timber trees on them before the white man settled on them, these valleys being annually burned by the Indians to keep them in grass for the buffalo. Straightway a learned editor sets himself to show how ridiculous it is for the State Botanist to say there was no timber "in Pennsylvania " when the white man settled there. "We know there were squirrels, and how could there be squirrels if there were no trees?" Some time since the writer also reported that in a number of cases of divided buds he had produced one in which the result was a slight change, that is to say, the tree produced the large white flowers of the Rhode Island greening, with the exact fruit of the Red Astrachan. Here before us is the report of a very estimable scientific gentleman, who says: "Mr. Meehan claims to have produced graft hybrids from the split buds of apple trees." The transition from "one hybrid" to "graft hybrids" is not much; but it is just enough to give the impression that "graft hybrids" is not an uncommon event with the "Editor of the Gardener's Monthly," whereas, one only successful result, and that a very small one, attended his experiments.
Recently the Gardener's Chronicle called attention to the fact that in an article in a London daily paper, the editor of this magazine was referred to as "Professor Gray Meehan," and the compass plant as a "graceful tree." So it goes all round. It will not hurt people in all ranks of life to cultivate habits of strict accuracy more. Certainly science would profit by it.