This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V29", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
By Dr. J. M. Anders. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 1886.
Dr. Anders is well-known, not only in America but in Europe, as the discoverer of the emission of ozone from flowers, and as the author of some exceedingly interesting observations on the transpiration of plants. Chiefly by his good work it is becoming an acknowledged fact that plants in living or sleeping rooms are not only not unhealthy, as former sanitarians had taught, but that their agency is highly beneficial. Such an original observer is just the person to write a book, for books generally, and flower books in particular, so often tell over again what others have told,and it is emphatically an original book. He goes into the details of the march of thought during the past to the present belief in the sanitary value of plants about our homes. He tells of malaria and how it originates. He discusses the whole question of hygiene so far as plants can influence it - of ozone and the means by which it is generated, and the happy relations of plants to the improvement of the sick, of the value of plants to consumptives. Then there is a practical chapter on the management of house plants, contributed by Professor Thomas Meehan, and other chapters on the influence of forests on general health.
To say that it is an original work, brought down to the advanced science of our day, is no small praise, but it is a pleasure to add in addition that it will certainly be welcome to every intelligent person who may love to see our homes and business offices counterparts, as far as art can effect it, counterparts of the glories of forest and field.
Myoporineous plants of Australia. By Dr. F. Von Muller. Australia, 1886. Published by the Colonial Government.
When the botanist talks of Verbenaceae or the Verbena family, the horticulturist thinks of the small creeping plants known as Verbena in gardens. A large number of them are, however, shrubs or small trees, and when we think of the Lantana or Aloysia (Lemon Verbena) we may understand what appearance these arborescent plants would have in their native woods. Myopor-aceae is a family of plants closely related to that of Verbena, and they exist in large numbers in Australia, growing into large trees, and forming shrubby undergrowth. Up to the present time 74 species have been described from that region, and all of these are beautifully illustrated in the work before us. Besides a branch in flower, complete detail drawings, even to plant hairs and stamens, and embryos, are given. The text has not yet been written, but will probably appear next year as a part of Decandolle's Prodromus. It is a good thought, as it seems to us, to issue these pictures in advance of the body of the work, as it will familiarize the general public with the plants and enable those who give thought to the subject to communicate any fact to the author, so that everything known to anybody may get credit when the final volume appears. The practice might be extended to great advantage.
Some of the species are insignificant, but many are quite showy, and would be great ornaments to gardens in our country where Gardenias, Pittosporums, and such like plants would survive. It is much to be regretted that our large cities that have fine parks or zoological gardens do not take in hand the work of putting up greenhouses for plants of this character. Unfortunately those who manage these places have no idea what to do themselves, and are above consulting with those who know, and hence if anything is attempted it is in such costly lines that the tax payers get disgusted, and everything soon tumbles with decay. The conservatory at Fairmount Park is an illustration. This was put up at a cost bordering on a quarter of a million dollars scarcely ten years ago. It took an enormous amount of boilers and pipes to keep the temperature to a tropical degree, and after all only a few Aroids, tree Ferns, and Palms will grow in it. Only ten years ago ! The thing is already tumbling down, and the Commissioners ask for #50,000 to temporarily save it from falling; but Councils could only spare $5,000 for temporary shores. Why not build houses for plants that do not require this enormous expense for heat - plants that require simply to be preserved from frost.
What a magnificent Australian house could be built for a quarter of a million, so strong that it would last for a century, and so cheaply managed that no tax payer would grumble at the expense. Perhaps we may have this good judgment some day, and then see these pretty plants themselves, as well as the lovely pictures Baron Mueller here gives us.