Antebellum GardenOn Reclaiming a Southern
Antebellum Garden Heritage:
An Introduction to Pomaria Nurseries, 1840-1879
by James Kibler, Athens, Georgia
`Every garden is a volume of nature’s poetry”
—William Summer, 1860
I n the November 1840 issue of the Charleston Southern
Cabinet of Agriculture and Horticulture, an anonymous author noted
that on a visit upstate to
Newberry District, he met a
gentleman who “has imported the
choicest varieties of fruit trees” to
his plantation . The traveler
continued: “It is hoped that its
reputation for good fruit will
freely entitle it to its classical and
appropriate name .” 1

That name
was “Pomaria,” a Latin coinage
from the female adjectival form of
“pomum,” meaning “fruit,” and
echoing the name “Pomona,” the
Roman goddess of the orchard.
With his brief announcement of
1840, our correspondent gives the
first record of the founding of
what was to become one of the
South’s largest and most
Pomaria Plantation House, built 1826-27, seat of Pomaria
influential nurseries in antebellum
Nurseries. times, and as good a nursery as
existed in America . 2
When a traveler from Pennsylvania visited Pomaria Nurseries six
years later, its proprietor reported that the visitor “came from the
heart of the fruit region of the north” and said he had never seen
Continued on page 2 . . .
Inside
this
Issue
Page 13 Roses of Natchez
Page 14 The Plant Reporter
Calendar
October 2nd-4th, 1993, Richmond,
VA: Maymont Centennial Weekend . Please
contact The Maymont Foundation, 1700
Hampton St., Richmond, VA 23220 for more
information.
October 7th-9th, 1993, Winston-Salem, NC:
“Many Peoples, Many Cultures : The Shaping of
the Southern Landscape,” the Ninth-Biennial
Conference on Restoring Southern Gardens and
Landscapes . All Southern Garden History Society
members are being mailed brochures and
registration materials . For further information,
contact Mrs . Jackie Beck, Registrar, Restoring
Southern Gardens and Landscapes, Old Salem,
Inc., P.O. Box F, Winston-Salem, NC 27108,
Tel. (919) 721-7352, or FAX (919) 721-7335.
October 15th-16th, 1993, St. Francisville,
LA: This year’s Southern Garden Symposium
will include several workshops, demonstrations,
lectures and tours . Pre-registration is required.
Contact The Southern Garden Symposium, P .O.
Box 2075, St . Francisville, LA 70775 for more
information.
May 6th-8th, 1994, Colonial Williamsburg,
VA: Twelfth-Annual Meeting of the Southern
Garden History Society.
Pomaria Nurseries
Continued from page 1
“better specimens there, and of some specimens,
he did not see them so fine . ” 3 By 1861, Pomaria
excelled not only in its original intention of
providing fruit trees for Southern orchards, but
also in its large and impressive “Ornamentals
Department” that included both exotic and native
plants, some of them extremely rare . One of its
very strong offerings was roses, which its
proprietor acknowledged as the glory of the
garden — especially the repeat-blooming Mosses
and Bourbons, Damask Perpetuals, Teas and
Noisettes. Pomaria’s 800 varieties of “New and
Select” roses in 1860 comprised what was one of
the largest and most sophisticated nursery
collections of this plant ever assembled on the
continent . By April 1849, Pomaria’s roses “of every
hue and color”4 had become celebrated; and by
1860, they drew visitors from throughout America.
The Nurseries’ sphere of influence went
beyond South Carolina, even in its early years.
Orders from the extant Nursery Ledgers (1859-
1863) note a wealth of customers in North
Carolina, with an agent in Charlotte who did a
good business. The Greenville, South Carolina
agent served western North Carolina, including
Flat Rock and Hendersonville, North Carolina ; but
the Nurseries had an Asheville agent as well.
Pomaria also had agents in Augusta, Georgia;
Mobile, Alabama ; Fernandina, Florida; and New
Orleans, Louisiana . Orders came from all these
states, as well as Mississippi and Arkansas . There
was a scattering of Northern patrons, including the
William R . Prince and Co . Nurseries of New York.
Perhaps the best illustration of Pomaria’s influence
in the Deep South comes by way of a recollection
passed on to me in 1978 by a Pomaria
descendent:
In the summer of 1916, when I was
teaching at Beth-Eden Institute in
Winston County, Mississippi, a farmer
drove up to the house where I was
staying and asked for me . “I heard the
teacher was a Miss Summer from
South Carolina,” said he . “Did you
ever hear of the Pomaria Nurseries?”
He smiled broadly when I explained
that I was from Pomaria and William
Summer was my great uncle. Then he
gave me a big basket of delicious
fruit, explaining that the trees which
bore the fruit came from the Pomaria
Nurseries about 1850 . A number of
families who came out to Mississippi
from Newberry County brought young
trees from Pomaria with them — the
Kinards, Livingstones, Krumptons . “In
fact,” said he, “I think all the orchards
and ornamental shrubs in this area
came from Pomaria Nurseries .” 5
The evidence of the extant ledgers proves that
there is at least some measure of truth in the
gentleman’s claim . Some of the heirloom roses
turning up today as far away as Texas may have
had their origins at Pomaria.
Although the Nurseries were not founded
until 1840, their proprietor, William Summer
(1815-1878), had been collecting the best
local fruit tree seedlings and testing imported
ones on Southern soil since he was a young man
in the mid-1830s . To A . J. Downing, Summer
wrote in 1849 that he had “for fifteen years past
[i .e ., since 1834], amused myself with the
introduction of many of the best fruits known to
American Pomologists .” In this activity, he was a
Southern horticultural pioneer. “When I commenced,”
he wrote Downing, “there were but few
choice fruits known in our State, and I was forced
to throw myself on the veritable honesty of
vendors of fruit trees . Upon testing many trees, I
find that I have been frequently imposed on .”
Over the next decade, Summer tried to continue
to produce a good product despite the Northern
tree peddlars who often traded off Pomaria’s
reputation by selling trees under Pomaria’s own
name. Their lack of knowledge about proper
nomenclature added to the confusion of “the same
fruits under a half a dozen different names” which
Summer was striving to clarify . Of his own pioneering
endeavor, he wrote Downing in 1849 that
he hoped through his experiences to be able to
point out many things for those who
may follow me, whereby they may
avoid difficulties under which I have
labored. I hope to be able… to give
you an account, from my own
observations, of such Northern and
European fruits as succeed well in the
South, and in order to further the
extension of fruit culture in our
“sunny-land”, take the liberty of
introducing, through the medium of
your journal, a few of my Seedlings,
which I have tested, and for our
region, am satisfied with . I may add,
that I have so often been deceived by
descriptions and praises of new fruits,
that I am exceedingly loath to claim
for my seedlings more than ordinary
qualities – but so many of my
experiments have turned out as
abortive as the attempts of parsons to
raise steady men out of their sons,
that I think I will do no one ill in
sending these, the choicest results,
into the world of trees, with my name
attached to them ; so that if I am
mistaken in their excellence, the
blame of their sponsorship may
rest on me. 6
Summer then forwarded Downing
descriptions of his own Ferdinand, Fixlin and
Aromatic Carolina apples, his Upper Crust pear,
and Poinsett and Mrs . Poinsett peaches.
William’s younger brother, Adam G. Summer
(1818-1866), also aided him in this enterprise from
his nearby plantation, Ravenscroft, where Pomaria
Nurseries had “the majority of the trees” for
nursery sale in 1852. 7 Although both men were
knowledgeable across the range of plants,
William’s expertise lay primarily in fruit trees,
roses, chrysanthemums and dahlias, all of which
were grown out at Pomaria Plantation ; while
Adam’s tended toward native and exotic
ornamental trees and shrubs for the landscape,
planted largely at Ravenscroft . William admired
the homely, domestic and practical, whereas
Adam was a published poet and author of
humorous stories. From family tradition, Adam is
recalled as the “family extrovert,” a lively and
dashing “dandy” who nearly broke his father with
fiddle dances, barbecues, valets, high fashion, fast
horses and extravagance of every sort – `”even
jewelry, champagne, waistcoats, and heaver hats .”
He was much loved for “disinterested kindness
and generosity” and admired as a real “character.”8
Sober, serious and introspective William was
always the sole “proprietor” of the establishment,
but Adam must be given due credit . Although
admitted to the bar in 1840, and a busy
professional man during this decade, he was an
important influence on the Nurseries throughout
the next decade, until 1857, when he purchased
land near Ocala, Florida and established his
plantation, Enterprise, there. Adam’s notes in his
copy of Mrs. Loudon’s Gardening for Ladies (New
York: Putnam, 1843) reveal something of his
interests . He jotted: “Halesia tetraptera grows on
the streams in middle County [either Lexington or
Newberry County] – flowers early April .” “The
plant pointed out to M . Lecouvery by Mr. M.
McCord as a Dogwood – Stuartia . ” “Valparais plant
to be had in Charleston S .C. – Edwarde .” 9 His
interest here was obviously in procuring plants,
and in the properties of the useful ornamentals
native to Carolina. Both Stewartia and Halesia
tetraptera were offered in Pomaria’s catalogue of
1853.
As complementary personalities with
complementary interests, the two brothers gave
2
the Nurseries a breadth and depth they may
not have had otherwise . Adam’s chief
contribution to Pomaria came in the period
1852-1857, when ornamentals first became a
major emphasis at the Nurseries, possibly
through Adam’s involvement . The decade of the
1861 Descriptive Catalogue
OF
d Southern and Acclimate
FRUIT TREES,
Evergreens, Roses, Grape Its,
RARE TREES, SHRUBS, &C .,
CULTIVATED AND FOR SALE AT THE
POMARIA NURSERIES.
ADRDESS
WM. SUMMER. POMARIA, S. C.
COLUMBIA AGENTS:
DR. C. H. MIOT AND ROBT. M. STOKES.
CHARLESTON AGENTS: MESSRS INGRAHAM & WEBB.
FERNANDINA, FLA .. AGENTS .
MESSRS. ROUX & CO.
COLUMBIA S . C.:
STEAM-PRESS OF ROBERT M. STOKES.
1860.
Title Sheet from Pomaria Nurseries’ Catalogue,
1861.
1840s had been a busy one for him as a lawyer,
newspaper editor, author and official Printer to
the State ; and with his return from Columbia to
Ravenscroft in 1850, he served in the State House
of Representatives (1850-1854) . Still, the decade of
the 1850s saw him more often at home and with
an increased interest in agriculture, in introducing
new methods of farming, agricultural implements,
machines and livestock . Thus, until 1857 and his
removal to Florida, he devoted more time to the
Nurseries; but it was always divided with a range
of other duties, from cotton planting to raising
Cotswold Sheep, Essex and Chester Swine and
North Devon Cattle.
The proprietors of Pomaria had a proper
enlightened nurseryman’s philosophy and put it
into effective practice . They wanted the best
exotic ornamentals and offered them only after
testing in the Southern climate . They did not slight
the native ornamentals, and felt them to be
as significant as the exotics . William
developed new varieties of fruit trees, tested
their worth and made the best ones
available . In this capacity, he created nine
significant new apples that became widely known
throughout the South, and 24 other good ones;
ten excellent peaches, and 34 of merit found
locally and disseminated through the Nurseries;
three very important pears ; and two new plums.
These were widely dispersed throughout the
region, and some were grown in Europe . A .J.
Downing and John J . Thomas acknowledged
several as worthy . 10 The Proceedings of the
American Pomological Society during the 1870s
and ’80s tracked the popularity and westering
progress of many of Pomaria’s fruit trees into
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and
Arkansas. Both brothers often won prizes for new
fruits at agricultural fairs in the region . For
example, the Southern Cultivator of September
1856 noted that Col . A.G. Summer “exhibited 50
varieties of fruit at the inaugural meeting of the
Pomological Society of Georgia in Athens,” a
collection that was deemed “very attractive .” The
hundreds of other varieties (either of his own or
introduced varieties) that William tested and found
unsuitable to the Southern climate or otherwise
unworthy, he neither listed nor sold . The
catalogues offered only a select gleaning from a
much larger collection of plants . The Nurseries
were thus providing, in essence, an early Southern
experiment station for fruit trees, and William and
Adam were well aware of their service to the
South in this capacity.
In his preface to the 1860-1861 catalogue,
William Summer thanked his “liberal customers,
throughout the Southern States” for the generous
patronage that had increased the Nurseries’ sales
“regularly, each year, in a most satisfactory
manner.” For fruit trees, he gave “a descriptive list
of each variety as have been tested and found
adapted to our climate .” Again, later, he
emphasized that he had selected the varieties of
fruits “with great care” in the “constant endeavor
to cultivate only such as are adapted to our
climate .” Summer continued:
In the Ornamental Department, the
same care has been observed…. It has
been a constant desire to have in
cultivation all the best varieties of
Fruits, as well as Ornamental
Evergreens, Trees, Shrubs, and Roses,
which are suited to our climate,
and to supply these of a thrifty
growth and condition to my
patrons. As I am “to the manor
born,” the proprietor trusts that
persons about to plant will well give
encouragement to their own Nursery
at home before sending their
patronage abroad.
He invited customers to come, see, learn and
choose in person : “The Nursery is situated 1 1/2
miles south of Pomaria Depot, on the Greenville
and Columbia Rail-Road; and, upon being
previously advised by letter, I will always have a
carriage awaiting the arrival of any visitors, and
will entertain them in rural style at my house
during their stay .” 11 Graciousness and hospitality
also softened the hard business edge of this
enterprise in a most Southern way . Summer was
making a good profit ; but clearly a larger
satisfaction came in providing a service in a
genial, personal and enjoyable way.
To further his aim of service, William, like his
brother Adam, helped found and support various
agricultural societies, both local and regional, and
edited two agricultural periodicals, The Southern
Agriculturist (1853-1856, co-edited with Adam)
and The Farmer and Planter (1859-1862, co-edited
with Robert Stokes) . Here, he published monthly
talks with the reader on vegetable and flower
gardening, and essays on such wide-ranging
topics as the benefits and civilizing effects of
gardening; “The Forest Trees of the South”;
reforestation ; soil conservation ; terracing and
trenching ; sparing the songbirds around the farm;
and beautification through planting of trees — all
showing an enlightened, humane and strong
environmental concern. 12 William Summer also
contributed essays and managed the agricultural
column in Adam’s newspaper, the Columbia
South Carolinian (1846-1847), Adam’s journal,
South Carolina Agriculturist (1856), and A.J.
Downing’s Horticulturist. Summer was in fact an
agent in South Carolina for Downing’s periodical
in 1848. The second edition of Downing’s Fruits
and Fruit-Trees of America (1869) acknowledges
his help and includes fruits of Summer’s
propagation.
As a leading horticulturist and pomologist,
Summer was known and respected by more than
Downing. His horticultural friends included Joel
Poinsett, of Poinsettia fame, who sent him seeds
from his far-flung travels to grow out and test ; and
the naturalist John Bachman, who often
visited Pomaria, entertained the Summer
brothers in Charleston (where he introduced
them to his botanist friends), and, according
to family tradition, had brought John James
Audubon to Pomaria . 13 Summer was acquainted
also with the Rev . John Drayton of Magnolia
Gardens fame, and William Henry Ravenel, who
worked with Summer to promote viticulture.
Ravenel, in fact, mentioned Pomaria’s link to Van
Houtte in 1861 : “Mr. Summer of Pomaria… is in
correspondence & exchange with Van Houtte of
Ghent, Belgium, & English houses, & wants many
of our native plants from here & asks me to aid
him.” 14 Which “English houses” Ravenel is
referring to is unknown, but his comment is
extremely significant. We already know that
Pomaria imported directly from France, and
Ravenel adds England and Belgium to a growing
list .
William Summer’s life is as interesting and
inspiring as his work . Physically handicapped
from youth and often in great pain, he was unable
to participate in the vigorous, youthful sporting
activities of plantation life and instead took an
interest in plants . They were indeed his friends, as
he recalled in “The Character of a Pomologist,” an
essay in which he pays tribute both to the
amateur pomologist who taught him his love of
the art, and the art itself:
It seems that those who follow up
nature, and who, by study, master her
secrets, are listless to the vexed
excitement of the business world, and
by refinement of the temper, and
gentleness of thought, become the
best of men… The habits of the
Pomologist are frugal – his thoughts
elevating . His studies lead him to
make discriminations in other things
than the mere distinguishing of the
different varieties under his care, and
even his labor to recognize those
under their true name and history,
amidst the confusion of names and
synonymns that prevail and perplex
every man who attempts to make
improvements in fruit growing, is
beneficial; and he arises from his task,
pleased with having rendered
service…. Followers spring up like his
own trees, and partaking of his zeal
and intelligence, the young sprouts
become themselves skilled in
cultivation and distinguishing
different fruits and examining
nicely their peculiar qualities
and habits of growth . This is the
reward of the honest-hearted
Pomologist – he lives not altogether
for himself, but for those who
surround him, and those who are to
follow after him in the ever-moving
march of life . Political strife never
reaches his subjects – they are safe
from proscription, and he is happy.
The wickedness of the world does not
entangle his footsteps, for his loved
trees, from flower-bud to fruit, teach
him lessons of virtuous innocence . He
reads and stores his mind from the
interesting and instructive living pages
of nature’s beautiful book, and
looking up to “nature’s God,” is ever
ready to depart when he may be
called to the final home.
We, too, have lived long enough
to have our followers, and it will be
the gilding pride of our declining
years, if they should entertain for us
the same grateful feelings which cause
us to honor and love the true-hearted
man who imparted to us a taste which
has relieved the monotony of what
would have proved an unbearable
existence . 15
This excerpt is typical of a Summer essay : deeply
felt, personal, honest and engaging . He was a
prolific and exuberant garden writer and a
philosopher of gardening . In the latter capacity,
consider this excerpt from his “Beneficial Effects
of Flower Culture”:
From the humblest cottage enclosure
to the most extensive pleasure
grounds, nothing more conspicuously
bespeaks the good taste of the
possessor, than a well cultivated
flower garden . . . .Flowers are, of all
embellishments, the most
beautiful . . .The love of them
commences with infancy, remains the
delight of youth, increases with our
years, and becomes the quiet
amusement of our declining days. The
infant can no sooner walk than its first
employment is to plant a flower in the
earth, removing it ten times an
hour to where the sun seems to
shine most favorable . The
school boy, in the care of his
little plot of ground, is relieved
of his studies and loses the
anxious thoughts of a home he may
have left. In manhood, our attention is
generally demanded by more active
duties, or more imperious, and
perhaps less innocent occupations;
but as age obliges us to retire from
public life, the love of flowers and the
charms and delights of a garden
return to soothe the latter period of
life .
To most persons, gardening
affords delight as an easy and
agreeable occupation . . .but to the close
observer of nature, and the botanist,
beauties are unfolded, and wonders
displayed that cannot be detected by
the careless attention bestowed upon
them by the multitude . In their
growth, from the first tender shoots
which rise from the earth through all
the changes which they undergo, to
the period of their utmost perfection,
he beholds the wonderful works of
creative power: he views the bud as it
swells, and looks into the expanded
blossom, delights in its rich tints, and
fragrant smell, but above all, he feels
a charm in contemplating movements
and regulations, before which all the
combined ingenuity of man dwindles
into nothingness. 16
“Gnothi sautor,” the ancient Greeks carved at
Delphi: “The beginning of wisdom is for finite and
flawed man to know his place before the Creator .”
Summer says here that the thoughtful gardener is
taught this wisdom . He is properly humbled
before the awesome design . Gardening is thus
allied to the religious, and elevated to the highest
plane of human experience . Summer may prove
to be one of the better nature writers of his day.
As he had said in his preface to his 1860
catalogue, he was “to the manor born,” the great
grandson of an early pioneer of this community
settled by German and Swiss in the mid-1700s.
The land on which Pomaria Nurseries was
established was granted to his family by King
George III . Summer was thus plantation bred and
6
++++++++’b+++
raised in its traditions on the land of his
ancestors ; and he died there in 1878 . Unlike
his brothers Adam and Thomas, he did not
travel widely, but stayed close to home.
The Nursery buildings were burned and
the Nurseries pillaged and largely destroyed in
February 1865 by Sherman’s Left Wing and Judson
Kilpatrick’s Cavalry . The Nurseries’ Columbia
branch, established in 1861 as a new center for its
Ornamentals Department and a public arboretum
of specimen plants, was completely destroyed . 17
Both brother Henry’s Crossroads and Adam’s
Ravenscroft plantations were burned to their
foundations . The house at Pomaria was pillaged
and set on fire several times, but the fires were
extinguished by the family . Summer reckoned the
value of his losses at the Columbia branch alone
to be over $114,000. His losses also included
lands for a public garden that he was in the
process of creating for the city. In 1861, Summer
described the project as covering “some thirty
acres… the front is now being laid out in the
Natural, or Modern English Landscape Style, and
will contain specimens of all the rarest and finest
Conifers and other Ornamental Evergreens,
Deciduous Trees, and Flowering Shrubs, Roses,
Herbaceous Plants, etc . . . . A range of glass houses,
22 by 200 feet, has been erected in a line beyond
this, for the cultivation of all the choicest and
rarest Exotics . . . . All the newest and most desirable
species of latest introduction have been ordered
from the first establishments in Europe, a
Catalogue of which will be published early in
1862.”18 No copy of this important
list has yet surfaced, and nothing
remains of the arboretum. The
purchase ledgers of the Columbia
branch have survived, and from
them we can compile an impressive
list of greenhouse and bedding
plants – sold in great quantity even
in the midst of the War Between the
States.
At the end of the conflict, on
Summer’s account hooks were
$25,000 in uncollected debts, which
he felt he could not press for,
considering the desperate situation
of his customers in Carolina . “The
people are not able to pay,” he
wrote in 1867 ; “and knowing their
condition, I cannot ask them for
money, although I need it as bad as Southern Agriculturist .
anyone .” 19 A large number of his customers
were in the direct line of Sherman’s march
from the sea “from Beaufort to Yorkville,” as
Summer put it and had been served in the
way of his own family with burning and looting
by the over 50,000 soldiers in their midst.
After the war he carried on valiantly and
slowly revived the Nurseries . By 1867, he reported
the nursery business as “growing .” He was
“farming half my lands with about twelve
freedmen and one white man… to work with
them.” From the fall of 1866 into 1867, he took the
position of “assistant assessor” for taxes in
Newberry. “The pay is $6 per day,” he wrote to a
friend, “and it will help me get up again . “20
Even during these hard years of distraction
from his Nurseries, he produced what was one of
his greatest gifts to pomology: the Hebe Pear . This
won the highest prize of the State Agricultural
Society in the year 1871 . It is listed in Andre
Leroy’s Dictionaire Pomologie and is called “the
greatest of his class of fruits .” A. J. Downing’s 1872
edition of Fruits described the fruit as buttery and
sprightly, and the tree thrifty and productive . In
1872, Summer published, rather miraculously, a
sixty-one page catalogue of offerings, down from
the 108-page catalogue of 1861-62 . By this time,
he had again established his business, and without
the aid of Adam, who had died in 1866. He
continued his work for six years until his own
death from pneumonia in 1878 . The catalogue of
1878, a diminished 52 pages, was the last,
although the Nurseries continued at least into 1879
Pomaria Nurseries ‘s Garden Royal Apple . An illustration from The
under the guidance of William’s nephew,
John Adam Summer. 21 It was William’s
hope that the Nurseries would continue, but
circumstances, particularly those occasioned
by war, doomed the Nurseries to extinction.
His old customers of the plantation past, who
“now had to pay their high taxes and feed their
children a day at a time could no longer buy
plants,” here where “a bought rose is the deepest
of luxuries .”
The Nurseries’ flushest years were the period
1860-1862 . From the 10,000 apple trees of 150
“varieties of rare excellence” advertised in the
Southern Agriculturist of 1 January 1855, 22
Summer progressed (as described in 1860) to
“(s)pecimen orchards, now numbering
thousands of trees, including 500 varieties
of Apples, 800 of Pears, over 300 of
Peaches, 100 of Plums, 70 of Cherries, 15 of
Apricots [the catalogue of 1860 actually lists
22], and the same of Nectarines [21 in the
catalogue].” Summer noted that, in addition to
these, he had procured “many hundred varieties
of the Pear,” which he was in the process of
testing for their suitability to the Southern climate.
He continued:
. . .The late Northern varieties of the Apple
prove early autumn kinds [in the South] and to
supply this defect, the best native Southern kinds
have been procured… I have now added to my list
To get an idea of the relative size and merit of Pomaria’s operations, it is helpful to make comparison to a
known, respected nursery of the day . We are fortunate to have for comparison the 1860 catalogue of both
Pomaria Nurseries and the famous P J . Berckmans’ Fruitland Nursery of Augusta, Georgia, one of only two
Southern nurseries of the period mentioned in the standard history of American horticulture to 1860 by U .P.
Hedrick. Here is how their two catalogues compare that year:
List of Fruit Trees Offered
Fruitland
Apple varieties 205
Pears 252
Peaches 112
Cherries 28
Plums 31
Nectarines 17
Apricots 15
Figs 7
Pomegranates 2
Medlars 0
Quince 4
Jujube 1
Mulberry 4
Service 1
Nut trees 4
Grapes 112
Berries and roots 5
Strawberries 37
For Sale in 1860
Pomaria
333 [growing at Pomaria in 1860:
600 varieties total ; 300 Southern seedlings]
365 [800 varieties growing]
207 [600 varieties growing]
51 [70 varieties growing]
99
21
22
16
6
2
10
1
4
1
11
21 [minimum 100 growing at Pomaria]
0
16
List of Ornamentals Offered For Sale in 1860
311
38
406 [Listing is for Ever-bloomings ; 800
varieties growing in 1860]
13 19
1 [one generic listing] 163
1[one generic listing] 62
0 2
TOTAL VARIETIES OFFERED
FOR SALE IN 1860: 878 1,186
Trees and Shrubs 215
Climbers and Vines 16
Roses 315
Miscellaneous
Dahlias
Chrysanthemums
Grasses
8
of Peaches choice Southern kinds, which
keep up a good succession, from the
rfiropset.n.i.n. Tgh eof the earliest until
Pear, either as a standard or as dwarfs, is
well adapted to our climate ; and I can, with
the greatest confidence, recommend the culture of
this delicious and wholesome fruit…. The Cherry
succeeds best in all locations with us, when
grown upon Mahaleb stock.
As the specialist in ornamentals, Adam
Summer had most of this stock at his own
Ravenscroft Plantation south of Pomaria . No
known description of this branch exists except for
a kinsman’s noting of nursery stock of arborvitae
and Cryptomeria growing there in rows. These, as
the kinsman related, were choices for cemeteries
in the antebellum era ; and Summer often
advertised his service of suggesting appropriate
plants for the ornamentation of graves . 24
In the 1850s, Ravenscroft had an European
gardener, James Crammond, whose specialty was
ornamentals, particularly the rose . Crammond was
so influential in the rose department during the
period of 1852-56 that a separate Catalogue of
New and Select Roses bore the names of
Crammond and Adam Summer as co-proprietors.
In this capacity, Crammond wrote many articles
on rose culture and ornamental trees and shrubs
in the Summer’s agricultural periodicals . At least
two other European gardeners and horticulturalists
follow Crammond at Pomaria: W.R. Bergholz and
Mr. DeHines, a German-speaking Frenchman who
came in 1863, and was “the last .” 25 Bergholz also
wrote articles on gardens in Columbia, rose
culture, ornamentals and landscape design; and he
managed a monthly garden column in William’s
Farmer and Planter in 1861. Unfortunately, little
else is known of the contribution of these three
men.
One must take into consideration that both
Pomaria Nurseries and P.J. Berckmans’ Fruitland
Nursery no doubt had more plants for sale than
their catalogues listed . (See sidebar page 8 .)
Certainly Pomaria did, for Summer noted in his
preface of 1860 : “In Fruit, Shrubbery, and Flower
stock, I always have on hand rare novelties, not
embraced in my Catalogue ; and from these such
selections will be made” if given the authority to
do so. Indeed, actual customer orders from
October 1859 to March 1863 reveal an array of
plants never officially listed for sale in his
catalogues, plants that otherwise would not have
been known to be at Pomaria .
From the Pomaria and Fruitland
catalogues themselves, we see the
ornamentals at Pomaria to be 1,002,
compared to 597 at Fruitland . The rose
varieties number 406 at Pomaria, compared
to 315 at Fruitland . In Fruit Trees, Pomaria listed
1,138 varieties to 679 at Fruitland . Although
Fruitland was to grow rapidly in the next years
and surpass Pomaria, there can be no question
which nursery had the more extensive offerings in
1860.
Such a general introduction as this cannot
hope to supply the tremendous amount of
material significant to the history of gardens,
gardening and horticulture. The Pomaria archive
(including ledgers, catalogues, letters and the
wealth of essays in various agricultural periodicals
by William and Adam Summer and their
gardeners) stands to alter, and in some cases
completely rewrite, Southern garden history of the
antebellum era . For example, the Pomaria Order
Ledgers will provide a very important listing of
plants that were actually purchased in the period
from October 1859 to March 1863. That hundreds
of specific gardeners and gardens throughout the
South are named in the orders provides invaluable
documentation for plantings in these particular
gardens. I know of the existence of no other such
documentation in the country. Beyond those
gardens that are named, we can now tally the
number of plants ordered from the Nurseries and
deduce a general “popularity” chart of favorite
ornamentals from this particular nursery on the
eve of the War Between the States . What a
valuable resource for historic garden restoration
and re-creation!
A cursory look reveals a gardening sophistication
that previously had been undocumentable.
We find Pomaria offering, for example, Torreya
taxifolia, Stewartia marylandica [malachodendron],
Chionanthus virginica, Halesia
tetraptera, Taxodium sempervirens [California yew
or redwood), Cupressus lambertiana [California
cypress], Thuja plicata [Western red cedar], Thuja
occidentalis [American arbor vitae], Kentucky
coffee tree, native azaleas “in all the hues of the
rainbow,” red buckeye, sweet shrub, devil’s
walking stick, Eastern hemlock – all in 1853 – and
on the same pages as tea olive, true olive, loquat,
Deodar cedar (described by Bergholz in 1861 as
“well known” in South Carolina gardens “for its
grandeur”), cedar of Lebanon, chili pine (monkey
puzzle tree), Brazil pine (probably Araucaria
)
angustifolia), Norway spruce, Minorcan box
tree, strawberry tree, Buddleia, African
tamarisk, Aucuba japonica “gold dust,” Ilex
latifolia, Viburnum tinus, Italian cypress
and Cryptomeria japonica.
Cryptomeria was thus offered for sale at
Pomaria and sold to Southern gardeners long
before the books on American gardening have it
introduced to this country . 26 (Donald Wyman’s
Trees for American Gardens gives 1861 as its
American introduction date .) Pomaria’s European
gardener, James Crammond, noted in the Southern
Agriculturist of October 1853 : “The Japan cedar
(Cryptomeria japonica) is another splendid and
rapid growing tree, recently introduced from
China; it grows from 3 to 5 feet in a season ; form
pyramidal and handsome; color brownish
green .”27 By 1861, Bergholz was calling it “the
prince of evergreeens .”28 Crammond’s mention of
its Chinese origins may give us a clue to how
Pomaria received it . William Summer was a close
friend of the famous plant explorer, Joel R.
Poinsett, who himself had travelled throughout
Asia. It is known that Poinsett had sent many
seeds for trial at Pomaria, including “Chinese
Wheat.” And the 1853 catalogue abounds in Asian
plants : Arborvitae, Chinese yew
n(ePw.o.d. ofrcoamrpus), Gardenia fortunei (”
China”), Magnolia fuscata (banana
shrub… “Fragrant Dwarf Chinese”), Nandina,
Cupressus torulosa (Himalayan cypress), Thuja
pendula (weeping arborvitae), Chinese juniper,
juniperus excelsa (tall juniper, from the
Himalayas), Chinese sand pear, Koelreuteria
paniculata (golden rain tree), Pittosporum tobira,
Chinese white Magnolia conspicua and Magnolia
purpurea. One of the most interesting of the
Chinese listings is Cupressus funebris. It was not
introduced into Britain until 1850, yet was already
being offered for sale at Pomaria in the catalogue
of 1853. Summer’s friendship with Poinsett might
prove fruitful in explaining why Pomaria had such
rare and unusual exotics, especially from the
Orient . Pomaria’s rose and camellia importation
directly from France, as well as contacts and plant
exchanges with various European nurseries, and a
series of European gardeners, might also provide
clues.
Summer’s 1853 catalogue had listed the
Cryptomeria for sale; and his preface to his 1857
catalogue noted further that the tree has “proven
to be a most valuable and desirable Evergreen”
and has shown itself to be acclimated to the
South. It and the deodar cedar are singled
out as deserving a place in the Southern
garden. By 1860, as his catalogue of that
year reports, Summer had grown, tested,
and was selling three varieties of
Cryptomeria: (1) Japan cedar, “a tree of very
distinct habits from japan ; it delights in rich soil, is
of pyramidal form, with large slender drooping
branches; growth from 30-50 feet” ; (2)
Cryptomeria viridis – green cedar. “The habit of
this species is more dwarf, and the branches more
densely set with foliage of a new dark green
color”; (3) Cryptomeria pendula – weeping cedar.
“Elegant and remarkably graceful, foliage bright
green.” At least three old Cryptomeria specimens
are to be found in the antebellum gardens of
Pomaria’s Upcountry South Carolina customers;
and two are present at the Summer family
cemetery at Pomaria itself. In this way, Pomaria
may write some rather large footnotes to American
garden and horticultural history.
Pomaria’s lists and careful descriptions of roses
alone merit monograph treatment . His categories
grouped for sale, as well as the descriptions of his
own rose gardens as being “in the greatest
perfection” in October, both tell us Summer
recommended “Ever-bloomings” for his Southern
patrons. His hundreds of offerings were in these
groups: (1) Damask Perpetuals ; (2) Hybrid
Perpetuals ; (3) Bourbon Ever-blooming ; (4) Tea
(“Sweet-scented and Ever-blooming”) ; (5) Everblooming
Chinas ; (5) Noisettes ; (6) Perpetual
Mosses; and (7) Moss, Garden and Banksea Roses
(“blooming in spring”) . The proportion of six
“Ever-blooming” categories to one “Springblooming”
clearly shows his enlightened
philosophy of tailoring rose growing to the
possibilities of the Southern climate – a wisdom to
which we have only recently returned. 29
The lengthy descriptions of the fruit varieties
as to color, shape, size, fragrance, texture, place of
origin, and time of fruiting, by one who knew
these plants so well, are just as valuable as
Summer’s detailed descriptions of the rose, and
again, like them, deserve a mongraph-length
study. Both works should help the scholar identify
and reclaim lost varieties . The historical plant list
from which to choose in re-creating period
gardens of the late antebellum period stands to be
greatly enlarged and enriched, thus resulting in
the potential for period antebellum garden
restorations to be themselves richer and more
sophisticated in plant variety . Especially in
] 0
Upcountry South Carolina, where Summer
had so many patrons, the accurate period
garden of, say, 1859, might very well
include a Cryptomeria, a plant that should
be denied period gardens in other regions.
(Between October 1859 and March 1863, Pomaria
sold 43 Cryptomeria to 34 Carolina patrons .) The
plant possibilities for the Southern garden had
been much the richer and more sophisticated
owing to Pomaria ; and as a result of our
reclaiming a knowledge of what it contributed, the
period antebellum garden restoration in the South
might become as well . All these are very
exciting prospects to pursue in the coming
years 4′
Notes
The epigraph is from Farmer and Planter (July
1860) : 220.
1. Southern Cabinet, ed. J . D . Legare, Vol. 2
(November 1840), 717.
2. The Pomaria catalogue of 18 7 8 corroborates the
founding date of 1840 by stating on its cover, “Established
in 1840.”
3. Letter of William Summer to G. A . Fike . 11
A visitor to Pomaria who described Summer’s hospitality, also gave the best contemporary description of
the Nurseries in 1860, one that corroborates and expands its proprietor’s own modest and conservative
account:
The soil is gravelly, and was rather poor, but dry, and is made rich by deep trenching, and heavy
dressings of peat, compost, and manure. The Nurseries contain about 35 acres – all are brim-full
with trees and plants…. Among his 500 propagated varieties of apples, are at least 300 kinds [of]
Southern seedlings . Among others, is ready to ship out, next winter, the new South Carolina
Seedling Apple, which took the first premium at our last State Fair as the best Southern winter
apple, which has been named “Susannah,” in honor to the lady that raised it …. the 400 trees,
which only could be propagated last winter, are already half engaged … it took the prize
contending against 22 North Carolina varieties.
Among vhairsie Ptye.a..r asn adre 2 new South Carolina seedlings . “Upper Crust,” an early
“Dr. Bachman,” called so to honor our old worthy friend, Rev . Dr. John Bachman, is one of the
very best of Pears, ripening about the end of August, with a rich vinous flavor . Mr. S. has about
600 varieties, propagated through Pear and Angers Quince stocks…. His 400 propagated varieties
[of peaches] embraces the very best sort yet tested, from the very earliest to the latest . Many of
them, and very good sorts too, are natives of the Palmetto State . The Nectarines, Apricots, Plums
and Cherries are all handsome, fine, strong, and healthy “stuff,” in the nurserymen’s phrase ; and
Chestnuts, English Walnuts, and Pecan nuts are propagated in such a large quantity, that most
every husband in this state, who wants, has a chance to get some to plant and raise some nuts
for his children to crack during Christmas time
Mr. S. has also very largely grown the Herbemont Everbearing Mulberry, which he says is far
superior to Downing’s Everbearing… It is the greatest food for hogs… and plenty of poultry
also…. How many thousand Grape-vines Mr. S. has ready for sale, we do not undertake to say,
but no more than the population of our State ought to want . – There are large squares of all the
principal old tested native varieties, grown from layers or cuttings ;… the new varieties, such as
Delaware, Diana, Concord, Anna, Hartford Prolific, To-Kalon, Union Village, Rebecca, and others,
are all plentiful on hand. He has also propagated in open air a fine selection of the principal and
best foreign kinds.
The Ornamental Department… is unrivalled, and the largest and best in the South, and shows
of Mr. S .’s good judgment and fine taste …. it would require the whole space of your paper to give
a full description of the various evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs.
He has also the largest and finest selection of the much admired Roses and Dahlias I have
ever seen. His 300 varieties of Dahlia we found all in full bloom; all shapes and shades of color
are united in them. . . His Rose Department numbers nearly 800 varieties, which, with exception of
the very newest kinds, are all propagated by cuttings ; and his budded plants have already made
heads strong enough to throw up all the sap which the root furnishes, and there will be no
danger that they will sucker much . . .23
Our correspondent went to Pomaria “in search of fruit trees” that October, and “we found what we wanted .”
He further noted Summer’s “standard Orchards” as containing “nearly 800 varieties of Pears, 600 of Peaches,
and 600 of Apples.” These were apart from the Nursery collection.
11
September 1846 . South Carolina Library,
University of South Carolina, hereinafter cited as
SCL.
4. Description by William Summer in a letter to
Fike, 12 April 1849, SCL.
5. Letter of Rosalyn Summer Sease to J . E.
Kibler, 9 October 1978.
6. Horticulturist, 4 (December 1849) : 275.
7. As stated by William Summer in a letter to L . Jones
of Columbia, S . C ., 11 December 1852.
8. As remembered by Rosalyn Summer Sease in a
letter to J .E . Kibler, 13 February, 1979 . An obituary by
O.B . Mayer says roughly the same.
9. This copy is in the collection of the author.
10. John J. Thomas, The American Fruit Culturist
(New York, 1867) ; A . J. Downing, The Fruits and Fruit-
Trees of America (New York: 1858), 114, and (New
York, 1872), Vol . 1, 79, 175 and Vol 2, 623 and 870 . Also in
J . A . Warder, American Pomology (New York, 1867), 533.
11. “A Visit to Pomaria Nurseries,” Farmer and Planter
(November 1840) : 346-347.
12. I am currently preparing for publication The
Farmer and Planter’s Southern Garden Calendar, 1859-
1861, a compilation and conflation of Summer’s monthly
essays .
13. Letter of Rosalyn Summer Sease to J . E . Kibler, 13
February 1979.
14. Ravenel’s unpublished journal, 24 April 1861, SCL.
15. Farmer and Planter (April 1860) : 122.
16. “Beneficial Effects of Flower Culture,” Farmer and
Planter (May 1860) : 154.
17. William Summer to G . A . Fike, 8 April 1867 . In a
letter to Holloway, 23 February 1867 . he says that after
taxes, “(e)verybody is almost already bankrupt.” Berley
Papers, SCL.
18. Preface to the catalogue dated 1861.
19. Letter of William Summer to G . A . Fike, 8 April
1867, Berley Papers, SCL .
20. Ibid.
21. John Adam Summer advertised the Nurseries
in the Newberry Hearld (16 January, 1879).
22. Here, Summer also mentions an 1854-1855
catalogue “available upon request .” This catalogue
has not yet surfaced.
23. Farmer and Planter (November 1860) : 346-347.
24. Reported by O . B. Mayer. See Fireside Tales. 153.
25. Letter of Rosalyn Summer Sease to J .E . Kibler, 12
October, 1878.
26. U. P . Hedrick, A History of Horticulture in
America to 1860 (London: Oxford University Press, 1950),
283. Hedrick states that “compared with the North, the
South had few large nurseries before the Civil War. Only
two were outstanding… Richmond Nurseries . . . and
Berckmans’ Nursery .”
27. See the first notice of Pomaria Nurseries in Linda
Askey Weathers, “Digging into Gardens Past,” Southern
Accents (September-October 1992) : 88, 90, 92, 94, 96.
28. Farmer and Planter (April 1861) : 127 . Robert
Nelson, writing from Macon, Georgia, in April 1856, said
of the Cryptomeria that it was “introduced into
England… in 1846, by Robert Fortune . It boasts of a very
rapid growth, and has here, on sandy soil, grown as much
as 5 feet in a single season . It is perfectly adapted to our
Southern climate.” He describes his own “specimen tree,
about 18 feet high” that in “severe winters, turns perfectly
brown in January and February,… bears plenty of seed,
and strikes well from cutting .” Southern Cultivator, XIV
(1856) :158-159 . Andrew Gray, writing in December of
1854, described the country residence of J . Stoddard, near
Savannah, as having Cryptomeria japonica “planted out
here for several years… which seem to stand well,
and… will be a very handsome tree .” Horticulture, XXI
(February 1855) : 82.
29. Farmer and Planter (April 1861) : 127.
Of Interest
The Historical Gardener is a quarterly
newsletter for gardeners at historic sites,
museums and living history farms . The magazine
provides practical information for those desirous
of recreating not only what, but how our
ancestors planted and cultivated in their gardens.
A one year subscription is $12 . Those interested
in such topics may correspond with the quarterly’s
editor, Kathleen McClelland, 2910 West
Michigan Avenue #111, Midland, TX 79701, Tel.
(915) 699-7951 .
Former SGHS president Harriet Jansma,
who has agreed to serve as book review editor
for Magnolia, has recently contacted 100
academic and commercial publishing houses to
request review copies of books about Southern
garden history and related subjects . Review
copies of any book appropriate for review on
these pages may be submitted by any member
or publisher. Members interested in writing
reviews are encouraged to send Harriet their
areas of interest and expertise . Her address is:
900 Lighton Trail, Fayetteville, AR 72701 +
12
Roses of
Natchez
by Susan Haltom, Mississippi
Although it would appear that the perfection of
beauty had already been attained in the lovely
roses produced and disseminated during the last
ten years, there is still, each season, something new
and striking brought out; and yet there are many
old favorites, which have been prized and
cultivated for years, that stand altogether
unsurpassed.
– Thomas Affleck, Southern Rural Almanac, 1858
T his past May, rosarians from Vancouver to
Florida convened in Natchez, Mississippi, for the
seventh-annual meeting of The Heritage Rose
Foundation, a group dedicated to the collection
and preservation
of roses with
historic,
educational or
genetic value.
Many folks
associate Natchez
with azaleas and
Spanish moss, but
antebellum
Natchez had a
different look.
Chinaberries
(grown in a city
nursery to
encourage the
public to plant),
wax myrtle,
deutzia, sweet
olive, weigelia,
mock orange,
double flowering
peach, spireas and
the ubiquitous
privet all
contributed to the
sense of place . But
above all, Natchez was known for its roses.
In the decades immediately preceding the
Civil War, Natchez was called the “Persia of
Roses. . . .In no other part of the union have we
seen them attain such perfection and beauty .”
(U.P. Hedrick, A History of Horticulture in
America). Andrew Brown’s rose garden at
Magnolia Vale was a scheduled stop for
steamboat passengers on the Mississippi
River. Haller Nutt planted over nine acres of
roses at Longwood, his stylish octagonal
villa. Cloth of Gold, Devoniensis, Rosa odorata
and the monthly rose festooned mansion, Federal
townhouse and rough country dogtrot alike.
The man who supplied denizens of Natchez
with roses was Thomas Affleck (see Magnolia,
Summer 1991). Though he advertised 162 roses in
his catalog of 1851, many are unrecognizable to
today’s gardener. Some of Affleck’s roses survived
his nursery’s move to Texas and are perpetuated
by The Antique Rose Emporium.
Surviving roses interest historians and
rosarians, for as Charles Walker, President of The
Heritage Rose Foundation, stated, “You can never
eliminate the possibility that an isolated rose is an
unnamed seedling or the last rose of that type on
earth.” Tough roses also interest gardeners who
seek low-maintenance landscape plants.
SGHS Board member Glenn Haltom prepared
a walking tour map of Natchez with roses marked
for observation, and many folks took the
opportunity to stroll and get a feel for the town.
The Carpenter women at Dunleith . Henry C. Norman.
13
Lectures were given on “Decorated Yards of
African Americans in the South” by Richard
Westmacott; “Roses of Borough House in
South Carolina” by SGHS members Ruth
Knopf and Liz Druitt; and “Thomas Affleck’s
Roses” by SGHS member Susan Haltom.
Tours of historic gardens focused on those with
old garden roses or with past history of rose
gardens.
The Natchez City Cemetery, situated on a
bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, is
renowned as a repository for old garden
roses. Heritage Rose Foundation members
`”mapped” the cemetery by dividing into
groups and accurately
recording the location
and identity of old roses.
(The “find” of the
weekend was a tea rose
tentatively identified as
Spice and formerly seen
in Bermuda .)
Cemetery roses
included Safrano,
Archduke Charles. Louis
Philippe, Old Blush,
Duchesse de Brabant and
Mrs . B . R. Cant – all
tough, hardy roses that
thrive on a windy hill
with little or no care
from a gardener’s hand.
Someone called them
“delectable neglectables .”
The conference
ended with the planting
of nine historic roses at
the cemetery and the
hope that Natchez will
once again be known for its roses +
The Plant Reporter:
Pink Roman Hyacinths
Revisited
By Flora Ann Bynum, Winston-Salem, NC
t is time for an update on the saga of
Roman Hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis albulus).
My last Magnolia article on them was Spring, 1991,
following articles of Winter, 1991 and Summer,
1990. In these I related how pink and white Roman
hyacinths have almost disappeared throughout the
South, although many people remember them in
older gardens until fairly recently. The double pink
remains elusive, although Victorian bulb catalogues
listed it . Blue Roman Hyacinths are still very
common in Southern gardens.
We thought we had found the rare double
pink. In March, 1991, Florence Griffin and Bill
Welch spotted and obtained bulbs from an older
woman who had gotten them from her
grandmother. We were sure we had the old double
pink Roman hyacinth . However, I took a stalk in
bloom to the 1992 SGHS annual meeting in
Charleston, South Carolina, and Bill Hunt said
immediately, “That’s not a Roman hyacinth, but
one of the old double Dutch or garden hyacinths.”
All of my consultants now agree it is an old
cultivar of a Dutch or garden hyacinth . I sent
snapshots to Dr . Arthur Tucker in Dover, Delaware,
and to Scott Kunst, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, both
antique-bulb authorities, and both said it was
difficult to make an accurate identification from a
14
picture . Hopefully I shall soon have enough
bulbs to send them to grow.
Celia Jones of Sisters’ Bulb Farms in
Louisiana told me at the April 1993 SGHS
meeting in Texas, “You must call Cleo Barnwell in
Shreveport; she knows about some double pink
Roman hyacinths .” In early May I called Cleo who
related that about fifteen years ago she and her
husband and a close friend drove from Shreveport
into the White River area of Arkansas to look for
wild flowers. In a little town at the base of Mount
Nebo they spotted numerous pink Roman
hyacinths blooming in a yard . They stopped and
visited with the woman who owned the garden.
She was very cordial and said, “Oh, I’ll be glad to
give you some.” Cleo took her name and later
wrote to her. She sent Cleo a “whole bunch” of
the bulbs which Cleo shared with several friends.
On that same trip, they also saw the double pink
growing in two or three other yards in the little
town.
Cleo said these hyacinths are quite distinctive,
a very pale soft pink with two layers of flower
petals, and can easily be spotted from the road.
The foliage is the same as that of the blue Roman
hyacinth, and they are not at all like the double
Dutch or garden hyacinth. She has now lost hers,
but her close friend still has a very few of the
double pink and the single pink . Unfortunately,
Cleo did not record the name of the woman in
Arkansas, her original source. She has been plant
hunting in every section of Louisiana and
Mississippi and this one
little town is the
only place she
has seen the
double pink
Roman
hyacinths.
Now
with Cleo’s
account, we
have four
recollections
of the
double pink
– the account
of Julia Maud
Conrad, who
lived near Winston-
Salem and brought
bulbs to her own place
from the the old Conrad farm in the 1920s but
eventually lost them ; the flowers I
remember brought years ago by farm
women to our Farmer’s Market here: an
account given in Elizabeth Lawrence’s
Gardens in Winter (1961) of these hyacinths on
an old homeplace in Louisiana ; and now Cleo’s
account.
Cleo feels the pink and white Roman
hyacinths take much more care than the blue and
perhaps this is why they have not persisted the
way the blue have, which will live for years in the
same location with no care.
I have now grown for three blooming seasons
Roman hyacinths from two commercial sources
and they do not resemble the Roman hyacinths of
Southern gardens . Others report the same
experience with commercial bulbs.
Recently a friend brought a small clump of the
white Roman hyacinth from her homeplace near
here, my first . Celia Jones has obtained one pink
and two white Roman hyacinths from an
abandoned homeplace in Louisiana.
For three years I have advertised for pink or
white Roman hyacinths in the “North Carolina
Agricultural Review” with no results . So the search
for pink Roman hyacinths – especially the double
– goes on +
In Print
James L. Reveal’s Gentle Conquest is a
new look at the botanical exploration of
North America . Recently issued by Starwood
Publishing, Inc. (Washington, D.C.), it
includes many full-color illustrations from
the Library of Congress’ vast collection of
early botanical publications.
Patrick Taylor’s Period Gardens: New
Life for Historic Landscapes, which
chronicles the restoration of 12 projects in
Great Britain and the United States, was
published by Thames & Hudson +
+ + 4. +4 + +
Once again, Richard Westmacott has
been cited in the news, this time in a
lengthy article by Ann Raver for the Sunday
New York Times of August 8th . His groundbreaking
study, published last year in African-
American Gardens and Yards in the Rural South
(University of Tennessee Press), has received
national acclaim . Both Richard and Bill Welch will
be a part of the upcoming “Restoring Southern
Gardens and Landscapes” conference in Winston-
Salem this October (see Calendar).
MacMillian has recently published Peter
Loewer’s The Evening Garden, the first book
ever devoted to the garden in late afternoon and
at night. Illustrated by the author in black and
white, the book covers hundreds of plants that
either bloom at night or are night-fragrant, and
includes a chapter on the all-white garden . The
hardbound book sells for $25 .00 +
Deadline for submission of articles for the Winter
Issue ofMagnolia is November 1st.
Members in the News
SGHS Board Member Dr. William C.
Welch has received the prestigious “Member
at Large” award from The Garden Club of
America, an honor bestowed to talented and
dedicated individuals who have made significant
contributions to conservation, horticulture and
education. Only two selections are made each
year; Frank Cabot being the second for 1993 . Bill
was recognized at the GCA’s National Convention
in Chicago this past May for his work in training
volunteers (including Master Gardeners, nursery
professionals and garden club members), his
programs for resource efficient landscapes and his
special interest in exploring and interpreting our
southern gardening heritage through his books
and lectures.
Florence P. Griffm, President
Ben G. Page, Jr., Vice-President
Flora Ann Bynum, Secretary-Treasurer
William Lanier Hunt, Honorary President
Magnolia grandflora reproduced by courtesy of Rare Book
Division, Special Collections Department, University of
Virginia Library .
Editor.
Peggy C. Newcomb
Monticello, P .O.B. 316
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(804) 979-5283
Fax (804) 977-6140
Associate Editor.
Kenneth M. McFarland
Stagville Center, P.O .B. 71217
Durham , NC 27722-1217
(919) 620-0120
Fax (919) 620-0422
Southern Garden History Society
Old Salem, Inc.
Drawer F, Salem Station
Winston-Salem, NC 27108
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