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Since the publication of Price's book no writer has appeared advocating any particular theory or system of gardening. Principles and practice have become of a like composite order, and in general it has been left to the gardener to adopt, at his own pleasure, the stucco, and cast-iron and wire ornaments, that fashion has from time to time produced, to suit the last importations or the favourite flower of the season. The early part of the nineteenth century presents a great coolness in the garden mania with which the eighteenth was so possessed; and it was hardly till after the peace that public attention again took this direction. We presume that it will only be in the philosophical fashion of the day to say that this was a natural reaction of the public mind, after the turmoil of a foreign war, to fall back upon the more peaceful occupations of home. The institution of the Horticultural Society of London, however, took place a little earlier, and it no doubt gave both a stimulus and a stability to the growing taste of the nation.
It may be amusing to run over some few statistics of the progress of horticulture since that time. It is now only thirty-three years
since the foundation of the London Society, the first comprehensive institution of its kind : there are now in Great Britain at least 200 provincial societies, founded more or less upon its model. We find merely in the Gardener's Chronicle' for last year notices of the exhibitions of 120 different Societies. Everything else connected with gardening has increased in the like proportion. There were at that time not more than two botanical—and those strictly scientific-periodical works: there are now at least twenty monthly publications, each entirely devoted to some branch or other of botany or horticulture; and, what may perhaps still more surprise those of our readers who live apart from the influence of the gardening world, there are, or were very lately, published every week three newspapers professedly monopolised by horticultural subjects. Even during the last year two new Societies have sprung up in the metropolis- the London Floricultural and the Royal Botanic, each taking a line of its own, distinct, though not antagonistically so, from that of any previously formed institution; and both, we believe, prospering, and likely to prosper.
Many of our readers, who have heard of a fashionable, and a scientific, and a sporting, and (stranger name still!) a religious WORLD, may perhaps be in unhappy ignorance of the floricultural one.
But such indeed there is, with its own leaders, language, laws, exclusiveness - ay, even its party bitternesses and personal animosities. And shameful indeed it is that such pure and simple objects should be the source of the unseemly quarrels and bickerings which are too often obtruded into floricultural publications; that men should extract 'envy and malice and all uncharitableness' out of the purest of all human pleasures' —
* Even as those bees of Trebizond,
Which from the sunniest flowers that glad
Draw venom forth that drives men mad!'-Lalla Rookh. The division of labour, both in the horticultural and floricultural world, is carried to an extent that the uninitiated little dream of. There are not only express exhibitions for each particular plant that has been adopted into the family of florist's flowers'-as for the tulip, dahlia, pink, and heartsease--but there are actually several existing cucumber clubs' and 'celery societies;' and, within a very short period, four or five treatises have been published on the culture of the cucumber alone. Then we must speak of the 'flake' of the carnation—the 'edging' of the picotee-the crown' and the `lacing' of the pink-the “feather and flame of the tulip—the 'eye and depth of the dahlia—the 'tube, the truss, and the paste' of the auricula—and the “pencil' and blotch' of the pansy. Besides these peculiar pets of the fancy, there are the old-fashioned polyanthus, the ranunculus, the geranium, the calceolaria, the crysanthemum, and the hyacinth, which are also under the especial patronage of the florists; and, lately, the iris, the gladiolus, the fuchsia, and the verbena may be considered as added to the list.
The tulipomania of Holland is well known: it was at its height in the year 1637, when one bulb-its name is worth preserving—the Viceroy'—was sold for 4203 florins; and for another, called “Semper Augustus,' there were offered 4600 florins, a new carriage, a pair of grey horses, and a complete set of harness !*
The florimania, as it has been called—we should rather say 'anthomania'-has never reached so ridiculous a height in England, nor, with all our love for flowers, is it likely to do so, though there are staid men of business among us who would doubtless be amazed at the sums of money even now occasionally lavished on a single plant. A noble Duke, munificent in his patronage of horticulture, as in everything else, and who—though till quite lately, we believe, ignorant of the subject—now understands it as thoroughly as he appreciates it, is said to have given one hundred guineas for a single specimen of an orchideous plant; and we know of another peer, not quite so wise in this or perhaps other
* At the sale of Mr. Clarke's tulips at Croydon, in the year 1836, 1001. was given for a single bulb, “Fanny Kemble;' and from 51. to 101. is no uncommon price for the new and choice sorts. We see also frequent advertisements of geraniums and dahlias, the first year of their coming out,' at the like price.
VOL. LXX. NO. CXXXIX.
matters, who, seeing a clump of the rich and gorgeous doubleflowering gorse, instantly gave his gardener an order for fifty pounds' worth of it!
Before we have done with the florists and botanists, we must say one word about their nomenclatures. · As long as the extreme vulgarity of the one and the extreme pedantry of the other continue, they must rest assured that they will scare the majority of this fastidious and busy world from taking any great interest in their pursuits. Though a rose by any other name will smell as sweet,' there is certainly enough to prejudice the most devoted lover of flowers against one that comes recommended by some such designation as Jim Crow,'.or Metropolitan purple,' or • King Boy,' or Yellow Perfection. When indeed calceolarias and pansies increase to 2000, named varieties, there must of course be some difficulty in finding out an appropriate title for every new upstart; but in this case the evil lies deeper than the mere name: it consists in puffing and palming off such seedlings at all, half of which are either such counterparts of older flowers, that nothing but the most microscopic examination would detect a difference, or else so utterly worthless as to be fit only to be thrown away. This is an increasing evil; and if anything gives a check to the present growing taste for choice flowers, it will arise from the dishonesty and trickery of the trade itself.
Meanwhile, let there be at least some propriety in the names given. We cannot quite agree with Mr. Loudon, who seems to approve of such names as Claremont-nuptials primrose' and Afflicted-queen carnation!' though they do point to the years 1816 and 1821 as the dates of their respective appearances : neither will we aver that Linnæus was not something too fanciful in naming his · Andromeda,'* and in calling a genus Bauhinia, from two illustrious brothers of the name of Bauhin, because it had a double leaf ; but surely there is marked character enough about every plant to give it some simple English name, without drawing either upon living characters or dead languages It is hard work, as even Miss Mitford has found it, to make the maurandias, and alstræmerias, and eschscholtzias -- the commonest flowers of our modern gardens-look passable even in prose. They are sad dead letters in the glowing description of a bright scene in June. But what are these to the pollopostemonopetalæ and eleutheromacrostemones of Wachendorf, with such daily additions as the native name of iztactepotzacuxochitl icohueyo, or the more classical ponderosity of Erisymum Peroffskyanum
* The following is his reason for thus naming this delicate shrub, one of those bog plants not half so much cultivated as it deserves to be :— As I contemplated it, I could not help thinking of Andromeda, as described by the poetsma virgin of most exquisite beauty and unrivalled charms. The plant is always fixed in some turfy hillock in the midst of the swamps, as Andromeda herself was chained to a rock in the sea, which bathed her feet, as the fresh water does the root of the plant. As the distressed virgin cast down her blushing face through excessive affliction, so does the rosy-coloured flower hang its head, growing paler and paler till it withers away. At length comes Perseus, in the shape of summer, dries up the surrounding waters and destroys the monsters, rendering the damsel a fruitful mother, who then carries her head erect.'-Tour in Lapland, June 121h.
like the verbum Græcum,
When one has nothing else to do.' As to poetry attempting to immortalize a modern bouquet, it is utterly hopeless; and if our cultivators expect to have their new varieties handed down to posterity, they must return to such musical sounds as buglosse, and .eglantine, and primrose, before bards will adopt their pets into immortal song. We perceive some attempt made lately in Paxton's Magazine and the better gardening journals to render the names somewhat more intelligible by Englishing the specific titles, as Passiflora Middletoniana- Middleton's Passion-flower, and the like; but this is not enough: the combination of a little observation and taste would soon coin such names as 'our plainer sires' gave in .larkspur,' and honeysuckle,' and bindweed,' or even in ladies'smocks,' and 'ragged-robin,' and · love-lies-bleeding.'
As names run at present, the ordinary amateur is obliged to give up the whole matter in despair, and rest satisfied with the awful false quantities which his gardener is pleased to inflict upon him, who, for his own part, wastes hours and hours over names that convey to him no information, but only serve to puff him up with a false notion of his acquirement, when he finds himself the sole possessor of this useless stock of Aristophanic compounds and insufferable misnomers.' Crabbe, whom nothing was too minute to escape, has admirably ridiculed this botanical pedantry :
* High-sounding words our worthy gardener gets,
And Artemisia grows where wormwood grew.' To make confusion worse confounded, our botanists are not satisfied with their far-fetched names; they must ever be changing p 2
them too. Thus it is a mark of ignorance in the world of flowers to call our old friend geranium otherwise than Pelargonium ; the Glycine (G. sinensis)—the well-known speciinen of which at the Chiswick Gardens produced more than 9000 of its beautiful, lilac, laburnum-like racemes from a single stem-is now to be called Wistaria : the new Californian annual Ænothera is already Godetia; while the pretty little red Hemimeris, once a Celsia, is now, its third designation, an Alonsoa; and our list is by no means exhausted. *
Going on at this rate, a man might spend the morn of his life in arriving at the present state of botanical science, and the rest of his days in running after its novelties and changes. We are only too glad when public sanction triumphs over individual whim, and, as in the cases of Georgina proposed for Dahlia, and Chryseis for Eschscholtzia, resists the attempted change.
One class of plants, which, though it has lately become most fashionable and cultivated by an almost separate clique of nurserymen and amateurs, cannot yet be said to rank with florists' flowers, is that of the Orchidaceæ, trivially known, when first introduced, by the name of air-plants. It is scarcely more than ten years ago that any particular attention was bestowed upon this interesting tribe, and there are now more genera cultivated than there were then species known. Among all the curiosities of botany there is nothing more singular--we had almost said mysteriousthan the character, or, to speak more technically, the habit of this extraordinary tribe. The sensation which the first exhibition of the butterfly-plant (Oncidium papilio) produced at the Chiswick Gardens must still be remembered by many of our readers, and so wonderful is the resemblance of the vegetable to the insect specimen, floating upon its gossamer-stalk, that even now we can hardly fancy it otherwise than a living creature, were it not even still more like some exquisite production of sanciful art. Their manner of growth distinct from, though so apparently like, our native misletoe, and other parasitical plants-generally reversing the common order of nature, and throwing summersets with their heels upward and head downward-one specimen actually sending its roots into the air, and burying its flowers in the soil. living almost entirely on atmospheric moisture,--the blossoms in some species sustained by so slender a thread that they seem
* There is a curious perversion of name in the tuberose, which has nothing to do with tubes' or “roses,' but is the corruption of its specitic name, Polianthes tuberosa, simply signifying 'tuberous:' so Jerusalem artichoke has nothing to do with the hill of Sion, but is vulgarized from the Italian Girosole, sun-flower, of which it is a species; so Mayduke cherry, from Medoc; and “grass,' from asparagus. Gilliflower is probably July-flower, but it would take an essay to discuss which is the true gilliflower of our great-great-grandmothers.