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.
About a year ago a correspondence was carried on in the pages of a contemporary regarding the hardiness of this well-known shrub, which was disputed by some of the writers. Looking at its adaptation for general planting from a climatic point of view, it appears to thrive well under very different conditions in this respect. When on a visit to Ardmillan Gardens about the middle of March, two fine specimens were brought under my notice which were loaded with half-developed flowers. Being interested to see such fine specimens of this favourite shrub, I took the liberty of stepping round them for the purpose of getting some idea of their dimensions, and calculated the circumference of each plant at about 25 yards I thought it a pity to see such fine plants maltreated to such an extent with the knife, as they presented almost a hedge-like appearance.
In your April number Mr Garret informs us of a plant of Garrya elliptica at Whittinghame of nearly the same dimensions as those I have referred to, also doing well. As the difference of the mean temperature on the coast of south Ayrshire, where Ardmillan is situated, and that of East Lothian, is considerable, particularly in winter, it may reasonably be inferred that whatever be the conditions unfavourable to success in the cultivation of the shrub in question, climate is not a matter of so much importance as may often be attached to it. D. Mackie.