This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I have had one hour of real pleasure with old Mr. White, of Ellis Park. Fresh as a lark, and full of enthusiasm, he was turning out his greenhouses into the park, and his own lawns. It is such a pleasure to find a plant-lover and a horticultural scholar, that I feel five years younger for my visit. Mr. White's hobby is the geranium. Now that this plant begins to approach perfection in symmetry and color of both leaf and truss, it is worthy of devotees.
I found in friend White's collection the excellent home seedlings of Mr. Desmond, of this city, one of our thorough workers; also the admirable results of the skill of John Goode, as well as the importations from Dr. Dean and others whose names are famous abroad. The best bronze in the collection was Marechal McMahon. Close beside it stood that marvellous affair, Happy Thought. Whose happy thought it is I have forgotten; but it is probably a quiet conception of nature in one of her happy moods. Flaming grandly in orange scarlet stood No. 1, Royal Horticultural Society prize, Sautry. Near it Richard Dean, Daniel Webster, Pliny, Brindley, Master T. Hammer-sley, Crujan, Charley Casbon, Adalina Patti, Mrs. George Smith, Ianthe, Ephraim, Sir John More, Mercy Grogan, and many more, including all the newer and the best of the older names. "Nothing for sale," so that it will do to advertise and praise a good thing for once.
Chicago never can become really a floral city, owing to its short seasons and its constant winds. We need flowers that come rapidly into show, and do this best while they have a chance. The geranium does well by us, and deserves to be a favorite. But in Mr. White's collection of plants there are some very rare and choice specimens, over which he broods with paternal care. Our happy hour drew to a close with a wish that we had more such genuine sons of Flora in Chicago.