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.
Seat of J. B. Greenshields, Esq.; John Hele, gardener. Raywood, the name of this place, is finely managed, both in its laying out and keeping. It is situated on a steeper slope than most we have mentioned, but nature seems to have designed the ground-plan, and art has stepped in to aid and complete a scene that has few compeers in America. By raising the knolls here and there, the finest possible views are obtained, and most beautiful and comfortable ornamental seats brought from Scotland, are placed in the happiest positions. A carriage road is made to wind in perfect taste among trees and flower-beds, exotics, etc., to a mansion of elegance and comfort. The fruit garden and grape house deserve notice, but we can only mention these features, here so universal.
It should be observed that the ascent of the mountain was covered with trees when the improvements were commenced; these have been left,, and advantage taken of all that were worthy of preservation. Where a mound or bank was necessarily to be increased, a stone wall has been built round the butt of the tree to admit air toits roots, sometimes to a very considerable height, and the tree thus preserved. Altogether, we have rarely seen anywhere a finer sight, or a country seat in better taste; Mr. Green-shields has set an example, of which Montreal may well be proud If one's surroundings are no unimportant adjunct to happiness, Mr. G. has his materials of enjoyment in great perfection.
John Redpath, Esq., has a very fine site in immediate juxtaposition, and possesses some remarkably fine evergreens - white and black spruce - with other older artificial planting. His views over the city and beyond are not to be outdone by any of his neighbors. Neither Mr. R. nor his gardener were at home, but even without their aid we made many discoveries of beauty, which we have not space to chronicle.
Hon. Charles Wilson possesses about six acres; John Carrol, gardener; his lawns were in the full glow of new cutting, his iron fences and hedges in the best condition, and all enlivened by views, flowers, and a laughing spring day. The places of Mr. Guy, Mr. Mosson, and Mr. Judah's, which time precluded us from entering, are evidently also in fine keeping.
The Seminary Gardens, belonging to the Roman Catholic priests, are an older formation, with features of a large farm highly cultivated, and with an endowment in the nature of a Seignorage over all Montreal, that has long given the establishment the advantage of a large income. Here is found the celebrated Bon Chretien Pear trees, planted by the original French settlers, two hundred or more years ago, and which are still in full bearing. This pear is the great fruit of the neighborhood, generally producing good crops on both old and new trees. The proprietors have planted large numbers of dwarf apple trees, and apples seem to be in high favor, a staple product in most of the gardens of Montreal, producing a larger return than any other orchard or garden fruit. They possess in this an advantage over Quebec, where it is less productive; in many neighborhoods at least.
The Hon. George Moffat has a fine place on the St. Antoine road; Mr. Wheeler, gardener; a grapery, as usual, and the place in good keeping.
Ira Gould, Esq., a native of the States, has a handsome house and grounds.
John Torrance, Esq., has a most charming house and grounds, greenhouse and vinery, with every luxury that can be desired, including a good library, works of art, etc, etc. These advantages seem to be general, and the stranger is strongly impressed with the excellence of the people, their high refinement and hospitality.
Rose Mount, the seat of the Hon. John Young, is situated on the side of the mountain, commanding an extensive view of the Island of Montreal. His gardener, John Archibald, unites with the experience of many years devoted to horticulture, excellent taste in the management of the grounds. This is manifest in the successful cultivation of the flowers and fruits, in the well-trimmed hedges, the extensive walks, and carefully kept banks of grass, as well as the picturesque moss-houses which adorn every part of these beautiful grounds. Every flower seemed the most perfect of its kind a triumph of floral skill. Mr. Young is a man who has identified himself with the history of Canada, and the same enterprize and zeal which has characterized him in the service of his country, is manifest in his devotion to horticultural pursuits. All that wealth can procure and a cultivated taste can suggest, he has gathered around him at his beautiful residence.
The residence of Don Ross, Esq,, in the mountain notch, might appropriately be called "Inter-Montes." It has the highest elevation of any of the mansions which adorn Mount Royal. Mr. Lowe, his intelligent gardener, has a thorough knowledge of his profession. The green-house is very extensive, and contains fine collections of plants in excellent order. This place is comparatively new, and when the improvements now in progress are complete, it will be one of the most attractive on the island.
Returning to town, we next visited the mansion of the Hon. James Fer-rier; J. Nairne, gardener. This well-ordered place is situated in the heart of the city. From the drawing-room you enter a beautiful gothic arched green-house, from the gallery of which a coup d'oeil is presented of a large collection of rare and valuable plants. Conspicuous is the Fern tribe, of which Mr. F. has 105 varieties. The stove-house contains a beautiful collection of the Lycopodiae; many varieties of the air plants; a specimen of the Banyan Tree; and several new Begonias, which we do not remember to have seen elsewhere; the whole in the finest condition. Mr. F. has grapes in full bearing trained on the outside of the green-house, which seems a most favorable position, and at the same time has a very pretty effect. This appears to most a new application or use of glass; the vines trained on the outside receive benefit from the heat within, which at night may be more or less considerable. In this way we were assured very fair crops of Black Hamburgh grapes are often produced, even out of doors, in Montreal. The grounds, though not extensive, contain all the requirements of an elegant and retired residence.