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.
I have been looking at the work of propagating them to-day, and the spirit moves mightily to write out a description of three new applicants for positions in our gardens; and I Inow I shall earn the thanks of all lovers of good trees by so doing.
Cercidiphyllum Japonicum is a new tree with a tall, fastigiate growth, and cordate foliage, two or three inches long, roundish, and named from its resemblance to the cercis, in leaf. The new shoots are reddish, and the general clean and cheery look of the tree always brings to mind the rock maple, although they are quite dissimilar in detail. This is a tree so hardy that it has stood six or seven years at Boston, since the first seeds were planted, and has never lost a bud by winterkilling or any other such cause, and will be hardy at Bangor, no doubt. It is of great beauty, and of a distinct style all its own; in fact, there is hardly a native tree to match it in those qualities of growth which make a tree an object of admiration and a source of comfort even in winter.
I do not want to hang this tree with adjectives, as a fir tree with lights and colors at Christmas, for they tend to make old cultivators suspicious, so I will hold back all enthusiasm, and say, simply, that if this thrifty, clean, hardy and distinct tree does not make a place for itself among our leading trees, I shall be ready to renounce all claim to good taste in the matter of fine trees.
Two shrubs are the other things that claim a hearing, a Ligustrum and a Hypericum. Ligus-trum Ibota comes from Japan, and has as distinct features, foliage glossy green above and red-purple underneath, and curved racemes of white flowers that suggest Leucothce racemosa, and are as graceful and pretty as the best Andromedas. This is, so far as I know, the first Ligustrum that has proved valuable as a flowering shrub.
Lastly - we Americans are apt to put anything native last - a new native species of Hypericum, H. aureum. This species is, in brief, perfectly hardy at Boston, has flowers as large as those of the tender species, H. calycinum, and as double as dandelion blossoms, which they very much resemble. It is the only Hypericum that is worth cultivating in New England - all the rest are either insignificant in flower, or else are too tender to stand our severe winters. This species was discovered on the mountains of North Carolina a hundred years ago, and named by Bartram, and seeds of it were but recently sent to Boston by a botanist, and has never been offered in nurseries, I believe, before.