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.
Dear Sir: It appears that my remarks on the Penn. Horticultural Society have been misunderstood by Mr. Buist. Being myself a member of the society, I cannot well avoid knowing something of its rules and regulations, as well as the profession and abilities of its executive members.
Mr. Buist tells us that the committee of arrangements are all practical gardeners, who subdivide on exhibitions, etc., so that he has endeavored to make my remarks inapplicable to that society. However, I will explain where the difference of opinion lies, so that Mr. Buist, and the readers of the Horticulturist, will see at once that my sentence, " as gardeners have no direct influence with the gentleman of that society," is emphatically applicable where it was intended to apply.
The difference is simply this. Those who Mr. Buist thinks proper to call practical gardeners, are nurserymen, and not gardeners at all; and what I mean when speaking of gardeners, is to denote those who hold situations, and are paid as such. But as I never before understood nurseryman and gardener to be a synonymous term, he, Mr. Buist, will probably excuse my error; and perhaps when a few more summers suns have acted upon my dull brain, I shall be able to comprehend that gardeners and nurserymen are synonymous. My remarks in the January number were written purely for the benefit of the working subscribing competitors; also my remarks on plants and fruit, strictly confined to our own society - for there alone, we have plenty of room for im-improvement, without travelling further from home. Allow me to ask Mr. Buist, did he suppose the party that revised the prize schedule last January, to be all practical gardeners, who discarded the prize for early grapes in pots, and substituted in its place a collection of Cacti, for which they offer a silver medal.
What, I ask, is there to be seen in a best named collection of Cacti, not even restricted to be in flow-er, or part in flower - for a very good reason - they know it is almost impossible to obtain 20 cactuses in flower at the same time, from one proprietor.
What a desirable acquisition will be this new collection to our saloon? But, by-the-bye, there is ouly one practical who grows them, so that the silver medal will be a walk over. Where is there another society in the world, composed of pruclicals, that would make such a revision as this? I am asked, where are our Ericas. Fuchsias, Pimelias, Epacris, Sic. I answer I don't know - but I would suggest to our prac-tic ah, to pull the weeds out of their pots previous to placing them on the exhibition tables, and then, perhaps, we shall be able to see where they are. Yours very respectfully, A Working Gardeher. Philadelphia, March 15.