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.
With regard to the plants in the interior of the palace, concerning which we hare hitherto been silent, we have now to State that when we last saw them they gave great promise of a fine effect, and that they were all in a satisfactory state of health. The noble Orange trees, and Car more noble Pomegranates, from Neuilly, were most especially deserving of notice. But we have no intention of examining this branch of the great work until after the succeeding winter. In the meanwhile the reader must rest satisfied with Mr. PHILLIPS' description, which we quote entire: -
"And first let us speak of those trees and plants which are common to the whole length of this splendid avenue - the Orange and Pomegranate trees - of which there are altogether 110, forming a bright perspective of converging green, giving additional effect to the long vista of the nave. These trees, some of which are 400 years old, were originally selected from the different palaces of the Orleans family by Louis Phillipe, in order to decorate Neuilly, his favorite residence. When the property of the Orleans family was sold by public auction, this fine collection was purchased by Sir Joseph Paxton for the Crystal Palace Company, much to the regret of his Majesty, the Emperor of the French, who greatly de-ired to preserve the beautiful and matchless natural productions for his country. Suspended above the lower galleries, the visitors will notice long lines of baskets filled with flowers. From these ornamental and floating vases, of which there are upwards of 300 in the palace, fall trailing plants. Around and across the columns creepers are planted, which in course of time will clamber over every part of the building and line with grateful shade the great arches of nave and transept.
"The south end of the palace and the south transept contain a selection of plants, consisting chiefly of Rhododendrons, Camellias, Azaleas, and other choice conservatory plants, most carefully selected; in the south transept, especially, are arranged the finest specimens of these plants that can be seen. Opposite the Pompeian Court are placed two fine specimens of Aloes, and, conspicuous opposite the Birmingham Industrial Court, are two Norfolk Island Pines Opposite the Stationery Court are two specimens of Moreton Bay Pine, as well as several specimens of Telopea speciosissima from Australia. Under the first transept may be noticed two remarkably fine Norfolk Island Pines, presented by his Grace the Duke of Devonshire.
"The garden facing the Egyptian Court is principally filled with Palms; and on either side of its entrance are two curious plants (resembling blocks of wood) called 'Elephant's Foot;' they are the largest specimens ever brought to Europe, and were imported from the Cape of Good Hope by the Crystal Palace Company. This plant is one of the longest lived of any vegetable product, the two specimens before the visitor being supposed to be 3000 years old. Before this court will be noticed also two fine Indian-rubber plants - a plant that has lately acquired considerable interest and value, on account of the variety and importance of the uses to which its sap is applied. Here will also be noticed an old conservatory favorite, though now not often met with, the Sparmannia Africana. Amongst the Palms will be remarked many of very elegant and beautiful foliage, including the Seaforthia elegant, one of the most handsome plants of New Holland, and the Chamoedorea elegant of Mexico. On the left of the entrance to the Egyptian Court will be seen perhaps the largest specimen in Europe of the Rhipidodendron plica-tile from the Cape of Good Hope. Opposite the central entrance to the Greek Court, and in front of the beds, are two veriegated American Aloes. The beds are filled with a variety of conservatory plants, and have a border of Olive plants.
In front of the Roman Court will be observed, first, on either side of the second opening, two large Norfolk Island Pines, presented by her most gracious Majesty, and His Royal Highness Prince Albert. The beds, like those before the Greek Court, are principally filled with Camellias and Rhododendrons, and are also bordered by several small specimens of the Olive plant Between the two foremost statues, at the angles of the pathway leading to the second opening, are placed two specimens of the very rare and small plant, which produces the winter bark of commerce, and which is called Drymus Winteri. The garden in front of the Alhambra is devoted to fine specimens of the Pomegranate. Having passed the Alhambra, we find the garden of the whole of this end of the building devoted to tropical plants, including a most magnificent collection of different varieties of Palms. "Between the sphinxes are placed 16 Egyptian Date Palms, (Phoenix dactyliftra,) recently imported from Egypt, and which owe their present unfiourishing appearance to the delay that took place in their transmission, on account of the steamer in which they were conveyed having been engaged, on her homeward passage, for the transport of troops.
Amongst the different varieties of Palms, the following may be noted, either for their large growth or beautiful foliage: an immense specimen of the Sabal palmetia from Florida, and a fine Sabal Blackburniana; also several fine specimens of the Cocos, among which is the Cocos plumosa, reaching the height of 35 feet; numerous specimens of the Wax Palm (Ceroxylon andricola), natives of Columbia, and the curious Calamus maximus, which, in the damp forests of Java, grows along the ground to an immense length, and forms with its sharp prickles an almost an impenetrable underwood, are also here. Sagueras saccharifera of India, noted for its saccharine properties, and the vegetable Ivory Palm (Phytelephas macroearpa), deserves attention. The specimen of Pandantu odor-atissimus, from Tahiti, is also remarkable, on account of its sweet smell.
"Opposite the Byzantine Court, the garden is filled with different varieties of Palms brought from South America, Australia, and the Isle of Bourbon. Before the Mediaeval Court may be noticed two Norfolk Island Pines, and close to the monument at the entrance of the English Mediaeval Court, are two Funeral Cypresses, brought from the Vale of Tombs, in North China, Close to the Norfolk Island Pines, on the right, facing the court, is a small specimen of the graceful and beautiful Moreton Bay Pine. The garden in front of the Renaissance Court is filled with conservatary plants, consisting of Camellias, Azaleas, etc. On either side of the entrance to the Italian Court are two very fine American Aloes, the beds here being filled with Olives, and other green-house plants. In the garden in front of the Foreign Industrial Court, will be noticed two fine Norfolk Island Pines." - Gardeners' Chronicle.