This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Nowadays, when everything possible is being done to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge by members of any particular craft or profession, I would suggest that concessions should be made in connection with public horticultural societies, by which journeymen would become members on the payment of say one shilling per annum, and be entitled to certain privileges, such as gratis admission to all the Shows, and be allowed to enter as competitors in certain classes for which they would be eligible; and probably, in the case of very flourishing societies, a special class or two could be provided for journeymen and foremen, the latter of which should be entitled to the same privileges as the former on the annual payment of, say, one shilling and sixpence.
This system, if adopted, thrown open, and made known to all the young uuder-gardeners in the country, would, I am confident, be highly successful, and prove a great advantage not only to Societies but also to young men, whose present interests in horticultural exhibitions would thereby become enhanced, and their professional tastes considerably elevated. In short, I think it would be one of the greatest boons that could possibly be conferred on those young men who are aspiring to fill in a satisfactory manner the positions of, or similar positions to, those now occupied by the men under whom they serve, and upon whom, indeed, they must depend for their chief source of practical information.
It might be argued that were this suggestion acted upon, a number of anomalies not easily dealt with would arise; but, for my part, I fail to see that any intolerable incongruities could possibly occur that might be detrimental to the interests of the Societies. On the other hand, I firmly believe that the Societies would be strengthened financially, and the present members would be gratified to know that they were encouraging in no mean way that love for the profession which must dwell in the breast of every young gardener who aspires to the attainment of giving satisfaction to those whom he may in future have to serve in the capacity of gardener. At any rate, it would be highly desirable to hear the opinions of more influential men and young gardeners too upon this subject, as I think it worthy of every intelligent gardener's careful consideration. If a society like "The Royal Caledonian Horticultural" were to take the initiative, I am bound to say others would speedily follow. James Boyd.