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.
At the north end is a rockery planted with ferns and mosses; two large plants of Alsophilga Australis, the silver tree fern Cyathea de Albata, and that very rare fern Cyathea Smithii, Cibotium Menzeisii and Chanunzii, Blechum Braziliensis, the beautiful Lomaria gibba and Dicksonia Antarctica represent the tree family. Fine specimens of Adiantum Farleyense a lovely maiden's hair fern growing in a pan of water, the climbing fern Lygodium Japonicum, Asplenium Belangerii and lucidum, Davallia Canariense and pyxidata, Doryopteris nobilis, the elephant's ear fern Hymenodium crinitum, the elk's horn and bird's nest ferns, Platycerium alcicorne and Thamnopteris Australasica and many others which add a singular charm to this corner of the palm house. Above this rockwork orchids were growing to perfection. The Stanhopeas in baskets were doing finely. S. grandiflora in bloom rilled this corner with its fragrance. Over an old stump the pretty Pothos argyrea was creeping; on the top a Cattleya mossiae was sending forth its curious shaped flowers.
This is a lovely spot, and one cannot but admire the cunning skill which planned this corner as the only entrance to the stove house beyond, through the open door of which one gets a glimpse of the new and rare plants growing therein.
To the right as we enter is a pond filled with gold fish in front of which is built a low wall of rocks. At one corner this is built up in pedestal form; on this is standing an elegant palm Thrinax elegans, its leaves hanging gracefully over the water, affording ample shade to the fish below from the sun's rays. This palm has a beautiful stem rounded at the base and covered with an amber colored lace-like net. At the back this rockwork rises several feet; ferns are growing in this wall, their fronds bending down touch the water's edge. On the top is growing a large plant of Anthurium regale, the leaves are a rich velvety olive green color the veins pure white, the young leaves look like burnished gold. The back wall is devoted to orchids and vines. On the front table were a pair of noble Kentias one on each side of a small propagating bed. Several plants of the most graceful palm in cultivation Cocos Weddeliana are growing alongside of its rival in beauty Phoenix rubicola. A dozen kinds of Carludovica. Arecas alba, aurea, Verschaffeltii, speciosa and monostachya; the wax palm Ceroxylon niveum and in fact nearly every palm in cultivation may be seen growing in this collection.
In the centre a hot water tank is built in the ground; over this a table is placed, the whole hidden by crystallized rocks obtained a short distance from this city and called " blossom rocks." Many beautiful conch shells are scattered among the pots giving an air of careless elegance to the whole. This table is devoted to pitcher plants and palms found in swampy bottoms. Most of these palms are covered with desperate looking thorns. The following are of striking beauty: Calamus ciliaris a stately palm, from the stem of which grows thread like filaments two and three feet long covered with minute reversed thorns which fasten securely to anything within reach; Calamus speciosa, Bactris choetorachis, Livistona Hoogen-dorppii, Licuala horrida, Acanthrophcenix crinita and the stolon palm Phoenicophorium sechellarum, known also under several other names. The leaves are banded and spotted with dull orange, looking very much like iron rust. The Nepenthes having pitchers were distiliatoria, ampullacea vittata, hybrida maculata, laevis a liliputian pitcher, Rafflesiana and Meehaniana. Dracenas, marantas and Crotons blend harmoniously their parti-colored foliage with the palms and the pitcher plants, and present to the vision a picture of oriental loveliness.