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.
We have for some time purposed giving the accompanying engraving of the residence of our correspondent, Dr. George Pepper Norris, and have only been waiting for the descriptive matter to do so. A correspondent of the Gardener's Monthly has recently been there, and has furnished a description that we like so well, that we take the liberty of transferring it to our own pages. We shall at another time give a description of" Rockwood," the residence of Mr. Shipley, and which is said to be one of the finest places in the country. The following is "Graptolite's " account of " Piermont:"
" The first place we visited is owned and managed by Dr, George Pepper Norris, whose name has been rendered familiar to the horticultural public by his essays, published in various journals. As the Doctor has excited a little sharp criticism, by his descriptions of other people's places, we went prepared to give him the benefit of a little close inspection of his own operations. The party consisted of your correspondent and a Philadelphia 'expert' in Grape culture, & c. On inquiring in Wilmington where Dr. Norris's country place was located, we were informed that it was about a mile out of town, near the Poor-house; rather an unpromising locality, we thought, for the most enterprising horticulturist in Wilmington, but still in a direction much traveled by some amateurs. A short ride up the hill west of the town soon brought us to the gateway leading to the cottage, and here the fine scenery which burst upon our view, over a panorama of hills, valleys, and rivers, the well-kept carriageroad, the handsome lawn, the fine specimen-trees, and the elegant buildings before us, dispelled all fears which we had indulged that we should find material for criticism on the doctor's grounds.
We felt sure that we were approaching the home of taste and skill.
"PIERMONT," RESIDENCE OF DR. NORRIS.
" Dr. Norris has, in truth, one of the most beautiful situations which it has been our lot to examine for some time, and he has improved it in a very judicious and tasteful manner. The Gothic cottage is built of dark blue Brandy wine granite, which blends its hues in a manner peculiar to this stone, giving an effect to the walls such as could only be obtained, with other stone, by the most skillful painting and shading, or by a mixture of paint and fine colored sand. The color is exceedingly rich and pleasing to the eye. The stable and other buildings are all built of the same kind of stone, in semi-Gothic style, and form a very handsome and comfortable-looking group.
"In Pear-culture the Doctor has made a good beginning, and fortunately has a good show of fruit this year. The Grape-houses, which, until lately, have been entirely managed by the Doctor himself are constructed with the latest improvements in borders, etc., and exhibit more than an average degree of success.
"Fruit-trees in pots, for the orchard-house, have also been cultivated with very satisfactory results, by bringing them forward in the Grapery, and ripening them out of doors. The Peaches and Plums, now in fruit, will rarely be excelled in appearance, even with the aid of a separate house for the purpose.
"Part of the form, under the care of an experienced vegetable-grower, is worked with great activity and skill, and produces a handsome return for the enterprise of the proprietor. We examined some acres which could scarcely be excelled in neatness and profitable growth by the veteran truckers of Philadelphia or New York.
"The place is yet new, and although it offers no remarkable points of instruction, or great novelties in planting or management, it presents these excellent distinctive features: it is magnificently located; it is laid out and constructed with taste and skill, and is finished up as far as its improvements have been attempted, while the whole of it is managed in a judicious and profitable manner. There is no foolish waste, and no rubbish about it* which is a vast merit. We think the Doctor may be permitted to hang up his hat on a high peg in the horticultural halls".