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.
The following is a sketch taken of the Philadelphia City Councils by the Philadelphia Ledger. It is on the question of appropriation for the coming year: -
"When the items in reference to pumping were reached, the Chief Engineer stated that at the Fairmount works, in addition to two engineers at $900 each, nine assistant engineers at $675 each, two policemen at $675 each, and two watchmen at $675 each, there were employed a bricklayer, carpenter, stonemason, painter, rigger and gardener, with a helper for each on the day's pay-roll.
" Mr. Clay - What does the gardener do?
" Chief Engineer McFadden - He gardens.
" Mr. Clay - But what labor does he perform?
"Chief Engineer McFadden - What any other gardener does. I would suppose that every gentleman would know that.
" Mr. Clay - What could he do in the months of January and February, when snow is on the ground?
"Chief Engineer McFadden - He cleans the walks. If I had known that these questions Were to be asked I should have had the gardener here to answer them.
" Mr. Clay - I would like to know specifically what this gardener does, and the Chief should answer, without attempting any evasion.
" Chief Engineer McFadden - I have been in the habit of meeting gentlemen, and I do not propose to be browbeaten by Mr. Clay.
" Mr. McCormick - I think it is the duty of the Chief to give all the information concerning the department asked of him. He has been asked a civil question and should give a civil answer. This thing has gone far enough.
" Chief Engineer McFadden - In an experience of nine years I have never had such questions put to me, but I am always willing to give all the information that a gentleman wants.
" Mr. McCully - Probably you never had as green a committee as this before?
" The Chief explained that the gardener took care of the grounds around and about the Fair-mount works, and after some discussion as to whether it was not under the jurisdiction of the Park Commission, the committee adjourned."
It is clear Dr. McFadden will have to get a pig or two, or else a cow or some goats to look after or boots to black, or knives to clean, before the City Councils of Philadelphia will understand what a gardener has to do. No wonder an intelligent gardener feels mortified when he has to apply for a situation under these folks. To the really intelligent gardener January and February, though "the snow is on the ground," are among the most important and active months ot the year. Even though the councilman's idea of a gardener seems to have gone no higher than a lawn mower, Dr. McFadden's retort that snow on the ground at least required a snow shoveler, was a perfectly civil answer.