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THE

BOTANIC GARDEN;

CONSISTING OF

HIGHLY FINISHED REPRESENTATIONS

OF HARDY

ORNAMENTAL FLOWERING PLANTS,

CULTIVATED

IN GREAT BRITAIN;

WITH

THEIR NAMES, CLASSES, ORDERS, HISTORY, QUALITIES, CULTURE,

AND PHYSIOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS,

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“Not a tree,
A plant, a leaf, a blossom, but contains
A folio volume. We may read and read,
And read again, and still find something new,
Something to please and something to instruct.”

HURDIS.

London;
SIMPKIN, MARSHAL, AND CO., STATIONERS' HALL COURT:

SHERWOOD AND CO., PATERNOSTER ROW.

:

gl.i.179

PREFACE.

The completion of another volume affords us the gratifying opportunity of again addressing our readers, in closer conference than is practicable on other occasions. They must have observed (though we allude reluctantly to our own doings) that every manifestation of favour towards our work, as it proceeded on its now lengthened course, has stimulated us to fresh efforts; not only to retain, but to merit an increased measure of their patronage. To the descriptions of the plants figured, with which the work started, there has been added, the “AUCTARIUM," in order that every thing connected with gardening, which seemed likely to interest the subscribers, or enable them to cultivate every department of it more successfully, should be regularly chronicled, without interfering with, or overcharging, the descriptions.

At a subsequent period, the “ FLORAL REGISTER," was added, that the readers of the Botanic Garden, may have information, every month, of all such newly-introduced plants as are interesting, which either come under our own notice, or have been introduced to public attention by respectable authors. This feature is sufficiently prominent and intelligible to render further comment unnecessary.

Our Monthly Calendar has, too, and still will, we trust, spread much original information, founded wholly on practice. We speak with confidence on this point, inasmuch as it contains numerous valuable hints, for which we are indebted to one of the most talented practical culti. vators of the day — the assiduous Curator of the Birmingham Horticultural Society's garden, Mr. David Cameron. We would now desire to direct further attention to the future; and here we are happy to announce that we are enabled to present to the subscribers to the Botanic Garden, a portion, in every successive number, till completed, of Pro sor Henslow's Botanical Dictionary. Of the value and excellence of this production it is superfluous to speak.

Another topic presents itself, on which we willingly discourse. The progress of British conquests and commercial treaties, promise us access to a region replete with vegetable riches, To China we look with anxious expectation, seeing that it possesses such variety of climate. The productions of the southern parts of China are unsuitable for the open garden in this country; but the vast inland, stretching many degrees towards the north, displays an almost exhaustless field, whence to obtain a rich and varied harvest of hardy plants, and it is these that are the sterling prizes of both the cultured garden and wide domain.

In the more northern inland regions of the Chinese empire, snow lies for a considerable portion of the year; the rivers are frozen for months together, and the mean annual temperature, even at Pekin, is 9o lower than that of Naples, owing chiefly to the prolonged dry or winter

So thoroughly are our horticultural societies, nobility, and nurserymen, impressed with the conviction of the value of this unexplored portion of the Chinese empire, that they are already preparing to dispatch Col. lectors to penetrate it, for the purpose of selecting from its riches. The results of their zeal and exertions we intend to bring regularly before our readers. They will be delightful as the trophies of peace— more welcome than the amplest tributes of war. They soften and harmonize, by presenting an indissoluble union of affection and natural piety. For, to use the words of Miss Twamley, in her beauteous volume,“ The Romance of Nature,”

" What so fair,
So pure, so holy, as their fragile forms ?
Earth's loveliest offspring, whom the mighty sun
Looks on with smiles, and whom the careful sky
Nourishes with soft rain, and whom the dew
Delights to deck with her enclustered gems,
Which each, reflecting the soft tint it lights,
Gains, while it gives, new beauty."

season.

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