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.
It has been impossible to work up all the notes we made of our hurried trip to the Far West last summer, or a few days spent at Salt Lake City would have had a chapter ere this. The gardening of this famous city is very good indeed, and much of this has been through the intelligent influence of Mr. John Reading, who, besides the management of a florist's establishment, seed store and nursery, gives considerable time to landscape gardening, and has had the arrangement of some of the most beautiful grounds in the place. Mr. Reading is from Cubbington, in Warwickshire, England, and came first to Philadelphia, where he was located as gardener in one of the best places in Germantown. He left there with his wife and family for Salt Lake City in 1861, taking with him the best wishes of his employers and all who knew him. His first efforts were as a nurseryman; but with 100,000 trees eaten up by grasshoppers, he was somewhat discouraged, and started as a florist, building the first greenhouses in Utah in 1869. These we found, on our hurried visit, enlarged and extended to accommodate a very large business. He expected to have at least 50,000 pot plants for the present spring trade.
It was a surprise to find that, even in this far-away part of the world, horticulturists were keeping up with the times, and steam-heating was being introduced!
It seemed hardly credible that on what was once but an alkaline desert, and where it was necessary to turn on mountain streams of water to wash out the alkali from the soil before anything would grow, we should now be in the midst of such beautiful flowers and a beautiful home fairly embosomed in vines and handsome plants. Mr. Reading's wife and daughters deserve a good degree of credit in the success which has attended his efforts, and get in the city a good share of the honor which he so eminently enjoys.