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.
The account of a visit to Kew Garden is continued in this number, and will be concluded in the next; its object will have been attained if it interests the reader to reflect on the immense variety of products which the vegetable kingdom supplies, varying no less in properties than appearance. We are lost in wonder at the marvellous nature of those processes, in which a difference, undiscoverable by all our most refined means of research, are productive of such a number of widely different results. And at the same time, the reflecting mind cannot forget that these results are all of a kind most valuable to man, furnishing him with the necessaries, the comforts, and the luxuries of life; support in health, medicine in disease, and the materials of great part of his clothing, his books, and various articles which minister to his mental and moral improvement. Kew is a vast museum, where the collected plants furnish opportunities of minute inspection from which no thoughtful individual can retire without having his mind enlarged and elevated; he will rejoice, too, that such an opportunity is offered him, by the patronage of a wise government affording not only the facilities to collect these wonders of nature, but with discrimination to appoint to their care the best men of the century for such a paternal object.
The flower gardens at Eew were the great social question round London all the past summer; they were in everybody's mouth, and Parliament at last yielded to the old adage, that "what everybody says must be true," and granted thirty thousand pounds sterling for the authorities at Kew to spend in such a way as to keep the gardens up to their character of " the best gardens in England, or in all Europe." Think of a hundred and fifty thousand dollars appropriated in one season!
The number of visitors on one day, Monday, June 2, at the Royal Kew Gardens, near London, England, was no less than 59,152. Good order prevailed everywhere, and not a plant was damaged willfully or by accident. Such an audience to see plant exhibition only, never was heard of in America, although over 105,000 persons have been known in a single day to enter the fair grounds at St. Louis.