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.
It is interesting to note the hardiness of various trees or shrubs not yet well known in the country. Though the past winter has not been a cold one in the northern states, yet the alternation of heat and cold have been so frequent as to affect many half hardy plants quite as much as a much lower state of the atmosphere usually docs.
The young shoots of the latter have either been quite killed by the frost - even when the plants have been covered; while the former, though not absolutely killed, becomes so browned and enfeebled that it can never be looked upon as a hardy tree north of Philadelphia. In the climate of Baltimore and southward, we have no doubt that both these trees will prove quite hardy.
Pinus excelsa, abiet Smithiana, Picea ce-phalonica, Thuya filiformis, prove perfectly hardy in all exposures. The Deodar cedar, we are glad to mention, is quite hardy, and flourishes admirably in this climate, and will soon be extensively planted as one of the most beautiful of evergreens. We have still some doubts about the hardiness of the Araucaria or Chili pine. It certainly stands the winter - but still it seems enfeebled by it. This tree seems to demand a soil composed of three-fourths sand as a necessity. In rich, damp, loamy soils it neither grows nor bears the winters - even about Philadelphia - while in a somewhat shaded position and in very sandy soil, it thrives as far north as the Hudson Highlands. Whether it will take to our climate as it does to that of of all evergreen trees - remains yet to be proved.
One of the handsomest of all the new evergreens, is the new Yew-like tree from Florida - Torreya taxifolia. Its rich, dark green foliage, its extremely elegant habit and rapid growth, recommend it particularly to amateurs. It has borne the past three winters about New York and in this neighborhood quite without protection.
Rhododendron catawbiense and its many beautiful varieties, sent out here from English nurseries, prove much better adapted to hardy culture than even the R. maximum of our native woods. They should find a place in every good garden - and should be planted in a deep shady border composed of sand and leaf mould.
Wiegela rosea, Spirea prunifolia pleno, Buddha, Lindleyana and Fortythia viridissima - three of the finest new deciduous shrubs lately introduced, prove perfectly hardy in all situations. The evergreen Euonymus and its two varieties with gold and silver striped foliage, are quite hardy about New-York, and seem particularly well suited for town gardens, where verdure in shrubs during winter is desirable.