This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
A correspondent says: "Absolute sequence of the orders is a myth in any garden in the world, nor can they all be represented, and even were it possible the orders are too numerous and too tough for the digestion of the ordinary student. The simplification of botany is a prime necessity in this or any other country, and it seems to me that an arrangement by great family relations would go very far towards doing this in gardens".
We go farther and say that such arrangements are not only "myths " in practice, but the at-temps are absurdities. We study botany in these days by the systematic writings of botanical authorities, and we want the living specimens chiefly to verify what these authors tell us and to see for ourselves if we can observe anything new; of course when one is studying a genus it is convenient to have all the species near together, and in planting this may be remembered; but for this purpose it can make little difference whether one plant is twenty feet or two hundred feet away from another, the main point is to index or number the plots, and each tree in each plot so that the student can find what he wants in a few minutes. Every tree and bush should have a number and a name; and every plot should have a distinct centene or millene of its own, so as to provide for additions when with the annual catalogue in hand, anything can be at once found without worrying about classes, orders, cohorts, alliances and so on which one must be an accomplished botanist, and not a mere student to understand.
The attempts to arrange botanic gardens as we would arrange dried specimens in an herbarium, in these days of accessible botanical books and cheap printing seem like the arrangements of country seats in paste-board, putty, and colored everlastings, and which often " take the first premiums" at country fairs.