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.
If the reader would wish to know what is doing in this country, in the importation of new plants, he must visit Exeter. Near that ancient city lies a gentle valley, forming the nursery occupied by Messrs. Veitch & Son, in which alone will be found more new and valuable plants than in any place in Europe, with the single excep-tion of the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew - plants obtained by private enterprise for commercial purposes, and not gathered together by the power of a mighty government. By means of excellent collectors, (two brothers of the name of Lobb,) and liberal disbursements, California, Pern, Chili, Chiloe. Patagonia, in the West ; and the Khasija hills, the provinces of Tenasseriin, Java, Malacca, and the ghauts of Malabar, in the East,, have been gleaned, and the result is gathered into hot houses or transferred to the open air, in the fertile soil and happy climate of Devonshire. Let us record a few of the species which caught our eye on a recent visit to this wealthy establishment.
First among the new plants is to be mentioned Saxe Gothoea conspicna a most beautiful ev-ergreen from the Andes of Patagonia, with the aspect of a Yew tree, which H.R.H. Prince Albert, has permitted to bear one of his names This tree has lived four years in the open air, and has all the appearance of being as hardy as an Araucaria. From the same country comes Fitz-Roya patagonica. another valuable Conifer with drooping branches, and also the habit of a Yew; with the Libocedrus tetragons, an Arbor-Tits-like tree, having four-cornered shoots: all exclusively in the possession of Messrs. Veitch.
Among other evergreens, the existence of which in England is unsuspected, is the great Oblique Beech tree from Patagonia, (Fungus obliqua;) Eucryphia cordata, with hard heart-shaped leaves, and flowers like a Tea plant; Castenea chrysophylla, the Evergreen Califor-nian Chesnut; great bushes of Philesia, just beginning to produce their crimson tubular flowers, two inches long, in the midst of hard stiff deep green leaves; Pernettya ciliaris, with its black-green broad leaves and heaps of dull purple berries, not to mention the other species mu-cronataand augustifolia, loaded with pale berries, gay with ruddy tints; Larus aromatica. a Chilian evergreen, whose leaves are much more fragrant than Sweet Bay; Embothrium cocci-neum, with long tufts of crimson blossoms; Eugenia apiculata and Myrtus Ugni, Chilian Myrtles, the latter with a fruit like a purple Guava; and finally, the rare and curious Desfontuinia spinosa, with the air of a Holly bush, and the flower of a scarlet trumpet Honeysuckle. Of this, one single flower has been produced upon a cutting in a pot.
Many are the new or little known evergreen Berberries collected here; Berberries Darwinii, growing into round, glittering, exquisitely beautiful bush; B. flexuoso, a handsome shrub, with straggling branches; B. lutea, a pretty diminutive thing; and several other spiecies at present undetermined. Eurybia alpina, from New Zealand, here vindicates its claim to hardiness, along with the Escallonia Paeppigiana, a Peruvian bush, loaded with white flowers early in the summer, and a great stiff-leaved Dracaena, from New Zealand, which may be Dr. indivisa.
Nor are deciduous hardy plants less common here. An Indian palmated Rubus is loaded with yellow fruit as large as an Antwerp Raspberry; great masses of a north wall are covered with the scarlet perennial Tropaeolum specio-sum, which disregards frost but abhors the sun; the hairy-stemmed Tropaeolum Lobbianum, is curling round a rough stake, and decorating it with its vermillion colored flowers; and Pavia Califoraica, the California Horse Chestnut, has established itself in the open quarters of the nursery. Quantities of the huge Indian Lilium giganteum are hastening to prepare for flowering another year, and heaps of rock-work are glittering with Oxalis speciosa.
Among plants of home origin, we ought to point out the Hedera Ragneriana, a kind of Ivy, with monstrous heart-shaped leaves; Cotoneas-ters and such plants worked half standard high on the common thorn; a noble looking Holly called Ilex alta-clerensis, which seems to have some of the blood of balcarica in it; a handsome variety of Arbutus Andrachine, called photiniaefolia, and most beautiful specimens of that noble Fuchsia corallina. whose origin has lately been disputed, but which bears unmistakable evidence of having been derived in part from F. radicans or some allied species.
This sketch of the hardy plants that are already saleable in this establishment, renders an account of the tender plants less interesting for the moment. To them we may return hereafter. For the present it is sufficient to name among the new plants, Lapageria rosea, a climb-ber from Chiloe, with very large crimson blossoms; a fine Hova, with long leathery leaves, some most elegant Indian Sonerilas with variegated foliage, a Peruvian Begonia, whose leaves are one confused stain of crimson, purple,green, and silver gray; Cinchona Condaminea, one of the true peruvian bark trees, a plant with a most delirious perfume, now flowering for the first time in Europe; and quantities of Indian Or-chids, among which the D, albesanguineum stand pre-eminent. As to the Orchids, no plants can exceed their health and beauty, unless it be the choicest of M. Rucker's collection. In short, turn where you will, the eye meets nothing but what is most fine and rare, in this surprising collection of the Messrs Veitch. - Gurd. Chron.