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.
(St. Pr-tersbi'rgh - Florists - Among the different florists of St. Petersburgh, M. Alwarch, a German, stands first. He cultivates nothing but those plants which are universally sought after in Kussia, viz: good evergreen shrubs and bushes. These plants, which are brought into Kussia in pots, are sold in large quantities to the nobility, who, in winter, and the commencement of the fine season, use them for the internal decoration of their houses. We may mention more especially Gardenia florida; Ixora coccinca and others; Lantana; Musa; -F.schy. nanthus; Asclcpias curassivica and Hova car-nosa; Echinum; Gesncra; all of which are cheaper in St. Petersburgh than in Paris. Such is not the case with the hundred-leaved, crested, four-seasons, and Belladonna Roses, which, when in flower, fetch 2s. 6d. and 5s. The Myr-tie-leaved and Chinese Orange trees are also very dear, as are also Pelargoniums and Fuchsias. Franciscea odorata, and Hopcana, are great favorites; Begonias and Gloxinias cost half as much again as they do in France. Camellias and North American Azaleas fetch most extravagant prices.
The same gentleman has a large collection of Rhododeidron ponticum maximum, and other species; but we look in vain for out-door Azaleas, Calceolarias, from Chili, or Cacti from Tropical America. As for Myrtles, Pomegranates, Laurels, Jasmines, climbing Roses, Dahlias, Pinks, and Spanish Jasmines, they are rare and costly.
Besides evergreen shrubs, M. Alwarch cultivates, though upon a smaller scale, out-door shrubs. We principally noticed some bushy plants, capable of resisting the severe frosts of the country, such as Cornus mascula, alba and sanguinea; Elders; Spiraea laevigata, rosea, and ulmifolia; common Lilacs; Chamse cera-su8, Snowdrops, Snowberries, Service trees, Sweet Chestnuts, Pteleas, Poplars, especially the true sweet-scented suaveolens; Caragana, with which beautiful undulating hedges are made; the charming red-fruited Acer latari-cura; Buckthorns, and particularly the one from Tartary, which constitutes a large part of the live hedges in the country; lastly, Crataegus purpurea, with its handsome foliage, far surpassing in color that of Cr. alba. The latter plant attracted my especial attention; its beauty, the rapidity of its growth, and other excellent qualities, enable the Russians to make live hedges, which we should very much like to see introduced into our own country.