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: The first horticultural exhibition over held in this county, came on the 31st ult., and I take great pleasure In communicating to you that it was successful entirely beyond the anticipations of its projectors. The display, for a first effort, and among the mountains, where but little attention has been paid to gardening until within the last two or three years, was fine indeed. I know you cannot afford me the room to particularise, and I will merely mention that, as the first best thing we could offer to a cultivator of flowers, we proposed the Horticulturist for a year, for the best display of pot plants, and that it was awarded to Mrs. Lloyd Knight, our Lutheran pastor's wife. Second premium for pot plants to Mrs. Daniel Bolinger. First premium for cut flowers (Buist's Flower Garden Directory) to Miss Anna Baker. Second premium for cut flowers (American Florist'sGuide) to Mrs. Jas. A. MoCahan. Complimentary notice was taken of contributions of pot plants and cut flowers, by Mrs. Thad. Banks, Mrs. J. Penn Jones, Mrs. A. F. Osterloh, Mrs. 0. A. Traugh, and quite a number of others. The contributions of fruit and vegetables were not so good.
I will add, only, that the exhibition was a most agreeable and pleasant affair, and that we are so well pleased with it that we mean to have another in the course of a month or six weeks. Yours, etc, - -.
Dear Sir: If you will allow me the requisite space at your " Editor's Table," I should like to inquire whether any of our public-spirited cultivators of greenhouse plants, have yet introduced - or tried to introduce - living specimens of a remarkable tree known as the Snake-Nut-Tree of Guiana. Specimens of the nut - so curious for the striking resemblance of the kernel to a snake coiled up - are occasionally to be met with; but I have never seen, nor heard of, a living plant in any of the rich collections in or around Philadelphia. Germinating seeds, and young plants, might surely be brought hither in Ward Cases without difficulty; and a sight of the growing trees would be a most interesting treat to the botanists and lovers of vegetable rarities. May we not hope that some of our enterprising gardeners or amateur florists will take measures to afford us such a treat at an early horticultural exhibition? The tree is indigenous on the banks of the River Essequibo, and its tributaries in British Guiana, and specimens might doubtless be readily procured through persons trading to that region.
There is a brief but interesting account of it, by R. H. Schomburgk, in the fifth volume of the Annals of Natural History. Endlicher, also, in the first Supplement to his Genera Plantarum, has given its botanical character after Schomburgk, hellenizing the English name - Snake-Nut - into the generic one of Ophiocaryon. Trusting that we may yet have an opportunity to look upon such a curiosity, I am, very respectfully, W. D.
West Chester, Pa., Feb. 7,1857.
Dear Sir: - Having between four and five acres of lawn which I am desirous to keep in the best order at the least expense, I beg to solicit your opinion of the merits of the lawn-mowen which I frequently see alluded too. My lawn is tolerably smooth, but the grass is thin. It has been seeded down for three years, but does not thicken or cover the ground to meet my expectations. The great trouble with me has been to get it cut just when it required it, as I am satisfied that allowing the grass to grow long before being cut is very injurious to the roots. Now I wish to learn whether or not these mowers will act upon an undulating surface? can they be used to advantage near trees and shrubs 7 in short, would it be advisable for me to procure one for the quantity of ground to be cut? C. E.