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.
Mr. Joly has recently enlightened his brother horticulturists on English horticulture, and, as we have recently noted, horticulture in America. Now he has an equally interesting paper on Algeria.
It is well known that Algeria in the North of Africa is a French colony. and M. Joly compares the method of colonization with methods pursued in our United States colonization, in which he pays great compliment to our immigration companies and contrasts our fertile soil, coal, oil, mines of all kinds, and other attractions, with the fanaticism of the Musselman, ever an evil, not only by the antipathies of race, but also of religion, and of whom the French colonist has 500,000 to contend with. Then there are no regular rivers of water, but by irrigation there is great success in the production of fruits, legumes and flowers, notwithstanding the frequency of the question how is it possible to successfully colonize a place like Algiers, which is without water, without vegetation and without animals in a state of nature? The atmosphere is excessively dry, but not more so, he thinks, than in some of the arid regions of California and other parts of the United States. M. Joly, however, believes that by persistently planting trees over this arid region the climate can be changed, and rain be made to fall as plentifully as over the most favorable portions of the earth. He would begin by planting such as have been found to do tolerably well in dry places. Some eucalyptus and acacias are named.
The Evergreen oak and the Pinus Halapensis, dates, palms, bamboos, bananas, Dracaena draco, yuccas, aloes and agaves would be relied on, and if planted on a sufficiently extensive scale might so far change the climate as to make other plants practicable for culture. Of flowers now under culture, the most are grown for perfumers, the geranium leaf having a prominent place. Grapes and wine have a prominent place in fruit growing, the wine-making, however, seeming to provoke especially the fanaticism of the Musselman. The author concludes by observing that " notwithstanding the absence of rivers and of coal, there are mineralogical riches of various kinds, under soil, which is favorable to the demands of almost anything which the climate will permit it to produce, and among the certainties are wine, oil and the cereals. For all the discouragements, the day is approaching, he hopes, when Algeria will rank among the richest colonies of the world."