This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In your January number, page 8, referring to the culture of the chrysanthemum, you say: " It is reported that at the New York show they had a plant five feet in circumference. It would interest many of our readers to know if this came from the open ground also".
At the chrysanthemum exhibit of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society last fall, there were scores of plants over ten feet in circumference, and Dr. H. P. Walcott exhibited one plant of Golden Mlle. Marthe lacking a few inches of five feet in diameter, which in common with all the plants exhibited at this show was grown from a cutting struck in March. No good growers about here - and I may say parenthetically that in no part of the country is the chrysanthemum grown so well as around Boston - would attempt to grow this plant except from cuttings. Old stools are well enough in their way, but they never give such fine flowers or make such symmetrical plants as young vigorous root sprouts. They are grown in the open ground and lifted and transferred to pots, and very small pots at that, in September. Our summers are too exhaustive and arid for continuous culture in pots, as in England. I have, however, seen enormous plants covered with leaves down to the seven-inch pot, in which they were flowered.
The New York chrysanthemum exhibit was very fine and creditable to the society which is doing such good work there for horticulture, but the chrysanthemum shows of the Massachusetts Society have for years been unequalled. Last fall the immense upper hall was filled with the most magnificent lot of plants ever shown in this country, embracing all varieties of the flower, new and old, and rivalling - so say those who are familiar with English shows - the best exhibit across the water. It is not unlikely that at the show of 1884 both halls of the society will be filled, and if such is the case, the display will merit any trouble which may be taken to witness it.
In reading over this short article, it occurs to me that some of your readers outside of Massachusetts may charge me with egotism, but there is no question about the facts stated, and if your readers wish to substantiate then let them come on next October and take in our show, when I think they will acknowledge the truth of what I have written.
In connection with this subject let me ask, why our leading horticultural journals like the Gardeners' Monthly do not imitate their English contemporaries and publish comprehensive descriptions of the leading flower shows of the country, written by some one who can give an intelligent idea of what is exhibited. Most of this work is left to the daily press, whose writers, unfamiliar with the subject, make sad business of their task. Such splendid exhibits as those of the Massachusetts and New York Societies are worthy of more intelligent description than at present vouchsafed by the horticultural press. Boston, Mass., Jan. 24. [The only reason why the Gardeners' Monthly does not give place oftener to comprehensive descriptions such as our correspondent now kindly sends us, is simply that they are not sent. The Secretaries of many societies do send us "reports," and they generally read, "1st prize, potatoes, John Smith; 2d prize, Henry Jones; 3d prize, Paul Brown," and so forth; and we do not publish these, simply because it cannot possibly interest Johnson in Chicago to know Smith in Philadelphia had a dollar for a peck of potatoes at the great exhibition.
We have presented the fact over and over again in these columns - till we tire from seeing no good come from presenting it - that it is the duty of a horticultural society to honor its successful exhibitors by letting the people know of the excellence of their productions, that the society's duty ought not to end with a mere publication of names of the successful exhibitors, and the few dollars given to them. At any rate, whenever we get the "comprehensive descriptions" we cheerfully make place for them, and "B" has our best thanks for his paper and his presentation of the subject. - Ed. G. M].