This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I see you have got a kettle to the tail of my "Fremontia" dog that howled in the March number (page 87).
In many cases the kettle is the more important appendage, but it seems to me that in this instance the dog is the most valuable, for the kettle wont hold water, whilst the dog as you see is still able to howl. I may have howled on a false note, for it seems to have grated on the editorial ears.
Though we were both harping on the same string, we neither of us seemed aware of it. "I" also wish to say a word for American Horticulturists, those of them who are so in the broadest sense of the word - not the Calendulae-culturists but horticulturists with a big H - and "American" enough to try American as well as foreign plants.
I do not "suppose" there is a "dislike to American plants." My orders and letters prove the contrary, but the use of them is not as common as it ought to be. And I still maintain that to be American is a smirch upon a plant's fair name. But that "nine-tenths of all the plants in cultivation in the Atlantic States are of American origin," makes such a hole in your kettle, that the sun shines through it in the most obvious way - in fact" nine-tenths" of it is gone. I fear you have made a miscalculation, change the ninth digit for the first one and you will be nearer correct; don't you think so - now?
I have no quarrel with Japan or other foreign plants. I only wish florists would introduce more of them. As to California trees not doing well at the East, who has tried them, and what sorts and where and for how long ? Give us more light on this point, 0 most sapient editor!
What my object in howling as I did, was "to speak a word for American horticulturists," that will set them thinking that our own land has many handsome plants well worthy of attention ; to create a love for plants to the manor born, as well as foreign, not to the exclusion of either. I have nothing but good to say of the Sauls, Parsons, and Suchs of America, and a few others of that ilk - who are or try to be in the lead in the introduction of good plants - and to whom we owe much; but to the Calendulae-culturists who get their seeds "by the assortment" from Germany, at him I howl my loudest, and I'll bite him too whenever and wherever I get the chance - "Cave Canem" (beware the dog). Despise not the common because it is common ; praise not the new because it is new; "hold fast to that which is good," but try-try-try-is my motto. Wishing you every success horticulturally, floriculturally, but not calendulae-culturally.
[We look on a neighbor's garden from our window, as we read this, and see Arborvitae, Silver Maple, Am. Beech, Hemlock, White Pine, Mahonia, Poplar, Birch, Am. Hornbeam, Cornus Florida - all American. The only foreigners we see from this limited window glance are Norway Spruce and Tree Box. There is a vision of his last autumn's perennial border. Well, we are not yet prepared to retract the "nine tenths". - Ed. G.M].