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.
The English Crystal Palace Company is having the experience unfortunate amateurs often have. We, in this country, often see that when a gentleman finds himself in straightened circumstances he rarely gets his laundry girl to take in washing; his cook to fill in her extra time in making pies for the pastry cook, his coachman in taking up passengers for a quarter, or hiring out his piano for church fairs or theatricals; but the gardener is called on to sell plants or vegetables. We never understood the system of this selection, but we have generally seen that the result is from bad to worse. The garden department becomes an annoyance and a loss, and we never knew an instance where bankruptcy was staved off by the effort, and the reason is very plain to business people. A gardener who has been educated to garden for pleasure, seldom has any idea of gardening for profit, and he has no chance whatever to compete with those who have long-made a business of their labor, and who by competition among themselves have already reduced prices down to the lowest paying profit.
Moreover it is hard to explain to the gardener suddenly called on to go to "market" where his "extra" time is to come from, if the garden is to be kept up as formerly.
However, this is what the Crystal Palace Company is now to do. It is poor. It is short of funds to keep the gardens going. It has not had men enough or plants enough to keep things decent. When the writer of this saw it two years ago half the plants at midsummer had not been set out, for lack of hands, and dilapidation prevailed among the fountains and statuary. Now we see by the papers that the directors have ordered the gardener to "sell the extra plants, to aid in paying expenses," and of course the gardener resigns. It is a lesson for all of us as well as Englishmen.