This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
May I take the liberty of asking if you have visited this State, and if so, if you have seen the Rev. Mr. Drayton's Azalea and Camellia garden on the Ashley River? If not, I can assure you it would be well worth the journey, if you came for nothing else. This spring we measured a plant (a blaze of beauty) twenty feet across and twenty feet high; others were equally large.
As there is much talk about "the freezing of sap," I must give you a curious example of recovery. An oleander (double rose) in my garden, about five feet high and very bushy, was apparently killed by our fearful ice storm of December last. The whole plant has up to the present time looked dead, the leaves not fallen but burnt up as dry as possible - the stems twisted. The ice lasted I think five days, every green thing in the garden encased in it. The hollies weighed to the ground, the live oaks crashing to the earth, and now their beauty ruined for many a day. In fact, twenty years would not renew the work of that storm. But to return to the oleander. The other day I perceived that the dry stalks had green patches along them, and to-day tiny green shoots are visible everywhere. The oleander generally blooms with us the last of May, consequently my plant has made no effort till almost flowering season. I must add that all through the village the apparently dead oleanders have been pulled up and thrown away as hopeless.
My lemon trees are killed, the orange trees recovering.
This spring the weather is so cold that I do not feel any inclination to leave my cottage, which is now bright with beautiful roses. I am very successful with rose cuttings, and in our three-years-old garden with a miserably sandy soil, have already quite a number: Cloth of Gold, Niel, Jacques, Duchess of Edinburgh, Niphetos, Cooks; but fail miserably with Perle des Jardins, and why, I can't imagine.