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 considered one of the reproaches of English gardening that it is limited to few materials. In some specialties they have great variety. In coniferous trees for instance, English people ransack the globe, and give long Latin names to trifling varieties, to swell the importance of every little form. So in Rhododendrons, and those fibrous rooting plants which thrive only in porous soil, and to which they give distinctively the names of "American plants," of which they have many forms under culture. But in deciduous trees, shrubs and hardy border plants, one sees the same dozen or so of things over and over again. It is not quite so bad here in America. Very much more variety appears; but still not near to the degree there might be. In some grounds of extent we often see a hundred trees of one kind, when it would have been just as easy to have had half a dozen kinds, and this is true of shrubs and flowers. Much of this lack of variety in planting, no doubt, comes from ignorance that so much variety can be had. Improvers have not studied for themselves.
They have relied on the "agent," who, in most cases, takes but a few things in hand, and which he "rushes." The "agent" or "peddler," must necessarily buy very cheap in order to cover the enormous cost of board bills and traveling expenses, and it is only when things are common enough to be raised in large quantities at a low figure, that the "agent" can take anything in hand. There are hundreds of good things in all the best nurseries which it will not pay to offer through "agents", and those who would have these charming things in great variety, should accustom themselves to personal relations with the nurseries, and to reading the best works. We hope that those who wish to have tasteful grounds, have kept notes the past year of the rarer trees and shrubs noted in our magazine from time to time, and that the forthcoming season of planting, will show increased attention to setting out these pretty things.