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 watched with more than customary interest the course of the leading English horticultural journals for the past three years, and have felt disposed, more than once, to say a word of compliment to the management of two in particular. The Garden, edited by W. Robinson, and The Gardeners Chronicle, edited by Dr. Masters, are, in our judgment, the model gardening journals of the world. Nothing that we know of, either in America, or the whole world wide, approaches them in masterly ability, typographical beauty, and good sterling common sense. We American members of the same editorial field, have reason to feel special good will toward them for their uniform kind words toward American journals. We have yet to see the first word of criticism or depreciation; we have seen no spirit or disposition of superciliousness which many, less successful, occasionally assume; and their interest and appreciation of American horticulture and gardening enterprises grow more and more positive and cordial. 'The Gardener's Chronicle has been pre-eminent in its hearty editorial comments upon the recent proceedings of the American Pomological Society, and its notices of our leading men of horticultural talent.
Scarcely a number appears but in its contents may be found a word or paragraph respecting American gardening; and its editor seems to feel, in spirit and actual work, the fitness of awarding to our great country some candid recognition of its vast and wonderful resources, as also the propriety of both countries exhibiting toward each other a warm mutual aid in the same occupations - rural literature and horticultural interests.
The Garden is, every number, a model of completeness. Pictorially made attractive with illustrations choicely engraved, its editorial departments are types of mast complete information, most practically and sensibly handled.
Conducted with high dignity, never descending to petty criticism with rivals or neighbors, its columns are witnesses of perfect courtesy to all, and a disposition to furnish the most abundant information its patrons could desire. In a recent notice of American horticultural journalism, it speaks frankly, awarding it great praise for its practical character, the clearness of style, intelligent handling of every subject, with no waste of words, and the uniform courtesy of writers toward each other.
To all which encouragement America responds with thanks. Our field is a difficult one to fill in the United States. We have editorial and contributors' talent to produce journals and volumes far beyond anything now existing. Many stand ready to offer services, of pen and picture, to make memorials of highest value to American gardening, but alas, we cannot find the financial support. Four dollar weeklies cannot find any home here. Five or six dollar botanical repertories of beautiful colored plates of flowers will find but a few purchasers. The mass of our people, although they admit their love for gardening, still are unwilling to give more for a gardening journal than for the cheapest agricultural monthlies. The number of highly educated lovers of gardening is limited. Not even the great horticultural trade, numbering over 6,000 different establishments, give us any support; not 500 of them take any gardening journal.
Our country differs in climate with each section. The West needs a different style of topics from the East; the South is another country altogether, and has no interest in our Northern projects or literature.
To our English friends we say these are some of the peculiar reasons why American gardening journals are not more successful or more attractive than they are. Our public must be met with high talent at cheap prices, and still have a more limited audience than any journal of agricultural character.
The number of skilled horticulturists is moderate; of gardeners, while the list is increasing, they too often drop the American journal to take their English favorite.
It is a pleasure to witness such successes as The Horticulturist.
The Garden and The Gardener's Chronicle. As long as they live and progress with such handsome strides, we think they will add incitement to American editors to emulate them, as well as give genuine delight to hundreds who know their actual worth.