This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
This newly started Society held its first meeting on the 8th and 9lh inst., and was very creditable to the promoters and practical talent of the neighborhood. We say the neighborhood, because the fine productions that were there exhibited were all from the immediate locality. Astoria and Ravenswood are two approximating and thriving villages, fast rising in importance, and around whose precincts are rapidly clustering those pretty rural dwellings with their accompanying neatly laid out and well kept gardens - an escape, it may be said, from the filthy, disease-engendering streets, and the closely pent in city of bricks and mortar, but heavily taxed New York. As respects the advancement of Horticulture, and the encouragement held out to the amateur fond of his garden, the above neighborhood holds out every inducement Its proximity to business, (only half an hour's ride by steamboat or stage from the city), situated along the banks of the romantic East River, and having in its midst several of the best horticultural establishments in the State, which are conducted by men whose abilities are amply verified in their practice, liberal minded, devoted to their profession, and always ready to give advice to the novice.
There are also several floral and nursery gardens, conducted by men who know well how to supply the wants of the people, and what will flourish in the locality, which is salubrious and sheltered, and we have nothing wanting. There appears at present to be a determination to have an earthly paradise here - may this present move be successful There is nothing to prevent it but the lukewarmness or backwardness of the public generally, which I am sorry to say was somewhat shown on the present occasion. Notwithstanding the exertions of the best practice, funds are wanted to support such institutions, and if not forthcoming, the thing cannot proceed. Several gentlemen have liberally come forward with their assistance, and we hope that the zeal of those who have so generously commenced in this good undertaking, may not be swamped by the want of means to render such a society permanent, and continue its usefulness.
This, and the neighboring Brooklyn society, are a secession from the New York one; they combine the "bone and sinew" of that institution, and have separated from it for reasons best known among themselves. If they could be induced to amalgamate into one body, we might.
Taken collectively, the show was very good, and the various exhibitors deserve the greatest praise. Among the best productions were Tetratheca verticillate, from Mr. Woolsey's gardener, Thomas Duncan, three feet across and loaded with its beautiful blue flowers to the pot edge Hoya Bella and Cyrtocerus reflexa, from the same. Clerodendrum Kaempferi and squamatum, from Mr. Hott's gardener, Alexander Gordon; four feet high and as much across, well bloomed. Torenia Asiatica, from Mr. Black well's gardener, Robert Morrison; a perfect gem. Fine Black Hamburgh Grapes from Alexander Gordon. Fourteen species of Mammillaria and Melocuctac, including a fine specimen of senilis, from Mr. Vandeventer's gardener, Wm. Grant, to which a special prize was recommended. Cattleya Forbesii, Dendrobium densiflorum, Oncidium flexuosum, Epidendrum purpurea (var.) and Cupressus funebris, from Mr. Hogg; not for competition. There were also several seedling Verbenas of good form and extra quality, from Mr. Isaac Buchanan among which was one nearly black, named Uncle Tom; not for competition.
Duchrydium cupressinum, twelve feet high, from Mesers. Thorburn; and Cryptomoria Japonica, eight feet high, from Mr. Marc.