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.
Whittier somewhere has some beautiful thoughts which we cannot now recall in the original verse, warning us against the belief that all that is grand has gone before. The glory of Sinai and the great mystery of the Burning Bush, are everywhere about us he says still, if we will only open our eyes to see. So thought we when reading recently a paper in a popular magazine on the lost arts of gardening. The glories of Persian flowers, and the hanging gardens of Babylon were spoken of as sights, the equal of which the world again would never see. Then, perhaps, we never may, even if the halo of age has not given them a charm they never themselves possessed; but beauties the ancients never saw are still in the world to day, and here in our own land we may have garden charms that no other portion of the earth may enjoy. We may not have just what other people have; but our warm summers, and dry and sun-lighted winters; our numerous spring flowers and brilliant autumn scenery, which of itself rivals Whittier's envied Burning Bush; all give us advantages together which cannot be had in any part of the world.
But unfortunately - the slaves of old world ideas to a great extent - comparatively few wealthy of our own people take the same personal interest in landscape gardening and garden beauty, as do the more independent class in the old world. Very seldom do we find any of this class willing to lead off in the encouragement of horticultural societies, as do the wealthy independents of the old world; and even a horticultural society, instead of being a body for the encouragement of a fine art, has in many cases come to be considered as little more than the adjunct to a farm; and in nine cases out of ten, the whole exhibition is mixed up with fat oxen, fast horses, or the dog show. Then our literature follows European garden literature, and even our best practicing gardeners receive their education in a foreign land. All this is not favorable to the distinctively American style of gardening, which we might have if more attention could be drawn to the "Burning Bushes" everywhere around. When we look on our woodland just as we write, gay with the brilliant tints of the black gum and sassafras; the broken underbrush where sumach and spice bush predominate; and the waste places brilliant with asters, golden rods and cinnamon ferns; and note how these elements alone might be improved on, we cannot but feel what a field is here.
For, be it remembered, that true gardening does not consist in forcing trees and shrubs and flowers into forms, the likeness of which we do not find either in the heavens above or the earth beneath, but in taking the best features of nature which she only exhibits here and there, and combining them into a beauty spot which even gay nature would herself stop to admire. And let this be our " Seasonable Hints "for this month. We usually devote our thoughts more to the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, in these chapters. To-day let us talk with those who love beauty, and gardens filled with it. It is surely their field-day, when all is so suggestive everywhere around. Study well what is to be seen. Think well over it during the coming winter months. Read works on landscape art and landscape work if you will; but let the lessons of American autumn scenery have a due place among your thoughts, and when in the spring-time you will have decided on what your garden shall be like for the next year, we are sure our hints here given will not be lost.