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.
About the first of last June, on the route north of the Mississippi River, I stopped at Natchez to visit Mr. Andrew Brown, who had said that if I would call on him he would show me a fine garden. I did not expect to see anything extra, but was happily disappointed. It is situated under the hill, on the banks of the river; while the high bluff back of the garden is covered with native trees and shrubs. The part devoted to ornamental trees, shrubs, and flowers, contains about seven acres, at the farther end of which up the river is the residence of Mr. B. Near the entrance of the large gate on each side of the carriage-way, are two large green mounds, covered with Bermuda grass, which here makes a fine lawn. Each of these mounds is ascended by a spiral walk to the top, which is flat, with a live oak in the centre, beneath which is an iron settee, where one can sit and look at the river; and close beneath are crooked walks extending far among Magnolias, Camellias, and thousands of Roses, scattered amid a profusion of rare tropical plants and flowers.
Evergreen arbors, and screens, and other mounds add to the scene, which certainly combines more beauty and has a greater variety than any other garden in the Southern States. It far exceeds the Hampden garden, at Columbia, S. C, or any in the vicinity of Charleston, S. C.
Many beautiful evergreens thrive in the climate of Natchez which cannot endure the winters of the Northern States. Mr. B. has a great abundance of the Magnolia grandiflora, the most beautiful of native evergreen trees. Some of his Magnolias begin to flower in early spring/ and continue to bloom occasionally during the summer until early autumn.
I lingered about this charming spot during several days. As the sun one evening was about to set amid distant mountains of clouds, I ascended a retired mound near the bank of the river, and, seated alone on an iron settee, enjoyed the magnificent prospect of red, crimson, and golden mountains far away up the river, gilded by the departing sun. Finally, as I was about to retire, I thought, This is a very beautiful garden in a very beautiful site; yet it is far inferior to my Father's garden, which is variegated with lofty mountains and clear streams. Trees, great and small, and an infinite number of different shrubs and flowers are scattered over its hills and dales. Gay birds sing there; and there the little squirrels play, while multitudes of animals sport and are happy amid its shades and dells. Old ocean dashes against its sides, nor are mighty waterfalls and clear lakes wanting to complete the scene. I love to wander in this garden, to study its trees and flowers, and I thank my Father who has given roe a taste to enjoy the manifold scenes belonging to Him. Yes, all this vast and delightful variety is mine - mine to see, to admire, and to study; and may I ever be grateful to that good Parent, who has surrounded me with so many blessings.
S. B. Buckley, Shreveport, La.