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Society of American Florists and Ornamental Horticulturists
Story of Landscape Gardening Work to Be Done

1884                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   1906

Society of American Florists and

Ornamental Horticulturists



Preliminary Program


The 22nd Annual Meeting and Exhibition to be Held at Dayton, Ohio


August 21 to 24, 1906


Story of the Landscape Gardening Work Done

By The National Cash Register Company


     Landscape gardening work carried on by The National Cash Register Company has had three results that are tangible and visible.  It has transformed what were once commonplace factory premises into beautiful, park-like grounds, giving the N. C. R. factory buildings a setting such as may not be found elsewhere in the country;  it has made over a piece of a city’s ragged skirt into one of that city’s most adorning garments by changing an unsightly neighborhood into one of comfortable homes prettily located; it has spread its influence throughout the city as school gardens and other improvements everywhere show.

      The invisible effects, just as sure and far more valuable, the effects upon the minds, health and morals of people, may not be enumerated because there is no standard by which such effects can be gauged.

      In these pages an attempt is made to give concisely, in their sequence, the most important facts concerning the Company’s work.  The plan the Company has followed may be one that can be adopted to advantage by others.  The effort is made to present the concrete and the practical in the hope that visiting florists may find something in it they can use to advantage in their own work.

     Florists and horticulturists have a vital interest—because it is pecuniary, if for no other reason—in seeing people aroused to the value of landscape gardening as applied to both home and civic improvement.  Perhaps this story will suggest to some visitors plans for overcoming apathy in their own communities.

     Like the outskirts of most American towns, the N. C. R. neighborhood ten years ago was dreary and uninteresting to the eye.  Weather-stained cottages, built for shelter, not for beauty, straggled along ill-kept streets.  The new factory, despite its substantial architecture, lost much of its pleasing character by reason of its unsightly setting.  Trees, shrubs and flowers were almost unknown.  Front yards were little squares of clay or neglected sod jealously fenced in.  Back yards were given over to rubbish, broken furniture, piles of empty cans and boxes. The worst yards and dwellings were ugly.  The best were commonplace.

     Work done in such surroundings cannot be of the first quality.  Health and cheerfulness are the two essentials of sustained effort.  The Company had already realized this and had begun Welfare Work for employes.  The beautifying of the factory premises and the betterment of the neighborhood marked a great step forward in its efforts to make labor safe, pleasant and healthful for the men and women employed at the N. C. R.

     The change began with a general clearing up.  Rubbish was removed from the grounds.  Fences were torn down.  Walks were straightened and rebuilt.  The spaces about the buildings were sodded.  Flowers, trees and shrubbery were planted.  Conventional models were followed and the improvement was marked from the beginning.  But the results were not entirely satisfactory.

     The carry the work further it was decided that the aid of an expert in landscape gardening was needed.  To secure a competent man was the problem.  President Patterson had had an unfortunate experience with a landscape gardener, who began his “improvements” by chopping down the most valuable tree on the President’s grounds.  The absence of trees about the factory reassured the management, however, and the Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Massachusetts, were asked to submit plans.  They were and are still the foremost exponents of the “natural school” of landscape gardening in America.  They had designed the grounds of the World’s Fair at Chicago, Mr. William Rockefeller’s enormous country place in the Adirondacks, and the Vanderbilt estate, “Biltmore,” at Asheville, North Carolina.


Olmsted Laid the Plans


     Mr. John C. Olmsted came to Dayton.  He viewed the factory grounds, noted the direction of possible growth, and began planting.  He did not stop with the N. C. R. buildings and lawns.  He extended his plans to cover the neighborhood.  He showed by actual example how simple and easy the art of the gardener is, applying it on the one hand to the spreading factory grounds, on the other to the tiny plots usually allotted to modest town dwellings.  He planted vines and shrubs and a dreary place became a pleasant picture.  He showed that one could be an artist when using Nature’s colors in tree and flower as well as when employing brush and paint on canvas.

     Mr. Olmsted did not stop with planting for the future.  Permanent vines and shrubs are slow of growth.  Accordingly, everywhere he set out a hardy vine or shrub he planted a temporary, annual vine or shrub to fill the blank space until the sturdier plant got its growth.  He did not give the new enthusiasm time to cool while waiting for results.  He secured results with his annuals the first season, and made converts everywhere in the community.

     Within the year a radical change had taken place in the appearance and in the spirit of the neighborhood.  A definite idea of the thing to be taught had also been developed.  This idea stands for good taste and beauty in the house and in its surroundings.  It means green, smooth lawns, whether the premises be large or small,  vine-covered houses, clean streets and alleys, the removal of nuisances, the improvement of working and living conditions, the rousing of interest in the physical, moral and intellectual welfare of the community and the creation of a public opinion which will demand that these ideals be put into practice in everyday life.

     Interest in the decorative use of shrubbery and flowers had always existed in Dayton.  The Soldiers’ Home, with its park-like grounds, had been to many residents an example of what could be done to improve their surroundings.  The trouble was that all such effort had been haphazard, without plan or purpose.  Nature’s way of planting was never studied and knowledge of the first principles of outdoor art was completely lacking.  To remedy this deficiency and to spread the teachings of Mr. Olmsted and Prof. L. H. Bailey, of Cornell University, who analyzed what the Olmsteds had done and formulated the principles on which they worked, a systematic campaign of education was planned and executed.

     Beginning with its own employes and residents of the factory neighborhood, The N. C. R. Company’s teaching was in time extended to the whole city.  Simple booklets on landscape gardening, telling what to plant and how to plant it, were printed and distributed by thousands.  Stereopticon lectures on outdoor art, illustrated with striking colored pictures, were delivered in every quarter of the city and in all the chief cities of the state.


Taught by Means of Pictures


     Pictures teach more forcibly than works and thousands of lantern slides were accumulated to show every phase of landscape gardening.  The lessons of the lecture room were further illustrated by practical examples of planting.  The vines and plants recommended by the Company’s gardeners were shown clinging to the factory walls or blooming on the borders of the factory lawns.  Car-load lots of these were brought to Dayton and sold at actual cost to all who applied for them.  To make sure that the best vines and shrubs would be used, an  N. C. R. gardener talked with each purchaser and suggested the plants most suitable for the case.  To the doubtful, object lessons in planting were given.  Close watch was also kept of the neighborhood during the season, and the vines and shrubs which failed to thrive were given expert attention.


Principles of Nature Discovered and Applied


     Out of the mass of material thus accumulated three primary rules were formulated as the basis of all outdoor art.  These rules are:   a. Keep center of lawn open.

                                                      b. Plant in masses.

                                                      c. Avoid straight lines.

     These simple principles—the A B C of landscape gardening—were the foundation of all the instruction given in turn to the N. C. R. neighborhood, the community and the state.

     The illustrated lecture on landscape gardening was given for all N. C. R. employes and the N. C. R. neighborhood clubs.  It was delivered in the public schools, before Sunday schools, improvement associations and business men’s organizations.

     Its effect was widespread and immediate.  The district about the factory, long known as “Slidertown,” grew to be like a park in the number and beauty of its trees and shrubs.  Fences were first hidden under vines and finally removed.  Rickety sheds came down.  Yards were cleared.  “Slidertown” was forgotten and in its place South Park became one of the show neighborhoods of the city.


Company Offered Prizes


     Not content with preaching the gospel of outdoor art, the Company offered rewards for its practice.  A series of substantial yearly prizes was established for the best-kept premises, the most beautiful vine effects and the most decorative window boxes.  A committee, unacquainted with the contestants, selected the winners.  The prizes were awarded in a big mass meeting which was itself a great factor in promoting enthusiasm for the work.

     In the work of interesting children, the Patterson School on Wyoming Street blazed the way for the other Dayton schools by beautifying its neighborhood and establishing a flower and vegetable garden for pupils.  A huge adjoining lot was made into a miniature park, and window boxes secured for all the school windows.  The Men’s Improvement Club of Rubicon carried neighborhood work to the southern limits of the city, offering on its own account a series of children’s prizes for the best front gardens and window boxes.

     Briefly, this is the history of one phase of  N. C. R. Welfare Work which has, by reason of its effects, been its own reward.  Slowly the results were obtained, because much of the work was along untried paths.  The outcome, however, has justified the patient effort.  Today the factory has none of the dreary atmosphere of the old days.  The visitor, on approaching, looks across broad lawns bordered by masses of shrubbery to buildings whose walls are relieved of monotony by clinging vines.

     The N. C. R. neighborhood has felt the effects of the movement not less than the factory itself.  From a section of Dayton once shunned it has come to rank as one of the most desirable of neighborhoods.  Prettier dwellings, well-dept grounds, paved streets and many other improvements have followed in the wake of the landscape gardening.  The value of property in South Park has been increased fourfold as the result of all this activity.  But the cost? comes the query from the practical individual.  The reply The N. C. R. makes after ten years of experiment is that the work costs much in effort, but little in money.  The factory owner or the householder who is eager to make his property something besides a smudge on the face of Nature, who enjoys beautiful surroundings and hates the dreary,  who would rather be an influence for good than for evil, who seeks opportunity to develop the finer instincts in himself and in those about him rather that let the coarser gain power—to such a man or woman the cost lies mostly in the enthusiasm with which the work is prosecuted.


Outlay is Not Expensive


     Seeds and slips are not expensive.  If careful selection is made at the beginning, a few dollars will provide a garden capable of giving infinite pleasure for years.  As Professor Bailey says in his “Garden Making”: “One plant in a tin can may be a more helpful and inspiring garden to one mind than a whole acre of lawn and flowers may be to another.  The satisfaction of a garden does not depend upon the area, nor, happily, upon the cost or rarity of the plants.   It depends wholly upon the temper and fancy of the person who makes it.”

     In the slums of New York, where as many as 1500 persons are herded on a single acre of ground, there are many window sills which hold geraniums reared in tomato cans.  The plants are starved and scrawny.  The sun may never strike down into the light shaft where they put forth their pathetic flowers.  Yet to the owner of the pitiful little garden the can and its flower represent all nature, and the plant is tended with as tender and loving care as a horticulturist might bestow on a rare orchid.

     These tomato-can gardens of the slums are indictments returned by the tenement dwellers against the dwellers in our smaller cities and towns.  The cans are accusations against these citizens for failure to make use of their opportunities and of Nature’s willingness to make all things beautiful if she is given the slightest encouragement.  The smallest  bit of a yard or the tiniest porch affords possibilities of artistic effects as well as do acres of ground.  If the gardener cannot find a large canvas to paint his picture on, let his art and his purpose be shown in miniature.


Organization the Great Thing


     Even when the enthusiasm of the gardener carries him into broader fields, the expense need not be great and usually can be shared.  Organization is the great thing.  One enthusiastic, public-spirited person can weld the individual efforts of a community into an effective working force.  And there is need for such work.  Institutions of all sorts where men and women labor—factories, stores, railroads, churches, schools and homes—will find in landscape gardening an object worthy of their best endeavors.

     The cost of neighborhood meetings is nominal.  Lantern slides are low in price, but invaluable in effect.  A firm, club or an association, starting with a definite plan, can gradually collect photographs and slides as did The N. C. R., which now has about 20,000 slides, 5000 of them illustrative of outdoor art.

     In the schools, The N. C. R. lectures have been given with marked success, children eagerly absorbing the principles of natural beauty taught.

     With a little more interest among our educators in this work, the coming generation will effect a marvelous change in the appearance of our cities.  That a pioneer effort to apply the principles of landscape gardening was made by The N. C. R. company is a cause of pride.  In the lectures given before school children-—more than 5000 pupils of the schools of Dayton and neighboring towns heard the lecture at the factory during the last year—lies the promise of greatest and most enduring success.. Children are instinctively interested in Nature.  The impulse to plant things and to see them grow is in every child.  All that is needed is to wake this impulse and encourage actual work out of doors.


How to Apply Nature’s Rules to Yard and Garden


     The simplest explanation of  the principles of landscape gardening can be made by applying them directly to the “yard” of the average town or suburban house.  How to beautify the little square at the front, the narrow strip at the side and the larger area at the rear is the problem that most of the readers of this book will want solved.  With taste and knowledge the work is easy, and the smallest “yard” that sun and wind find entrance to, may be transformed in to a “garden” in the best sense of that abused word.

     Plan is the first essential.  Before a spade is struck into the ground, study what you have to do and what you are going to do it with.  The first sight of the house is generally from the street and the impression your gardening makes will be influenced largely by the first view of it.  Cross the street, then, and study the details of your house, and the area before it.  Note the proportion of house to area.  If you have plenty of space, you may use large masses of shrubbery and tall shrubs.  If the “front yard” is shallow, you must be content with a border of low-growing plants, and get your broad green effects with vines trained over the house.  You probably have some shrubs and flowers planted.  Unless they violate the  A B C of landscape gardening, don’t touch them.  Use them as the starting point of your picture.  Make note of the bare spaces and crowded spots in your garden and then begin your plan.


Aim to Make Outdoor Picture


     Remember that you are aiming to make an outdoor picture, using flowers and vines instead of paint and canvas.  The effect you get will depend upon the whole picture, not on one or two interesting details and you must work accordingly.  What this means may be seen by reference to the diagrams printed on this page.  In Figure 1 is shown the “spotted” or nursery style of planting.  The trees and shrubs are scattered evenly about the yard.  They seem unfriendly, uncompanionable, with only one purpose in common—to hide the house.  Each tree and shrub may be beautiful in itself, but the lack of a central idea in arranging them, a failure to conceive the picture as a whole has lost the finest part of the effect possible at first.

      Turn now to the other plan—Figure 2.  From the street, the house is seen across a smooth, green lawn, framed on either side by masses of trees and shrubbery.  Here all is friendliness and companionship.  Flowers blend into the shrubbery, which in turn blend into the trees massed in the rear.  The eye is directed immediately to the home, which is the central object and ought to give the keynote of the picture at the first glance.

     This picture effect must be kept constantly in mind, or else—to adapt Professor Bailey’s remark—the observer will exclaim, “What beautiful bushes!” when the comment always should be “What a beautiful home!”

     To gain this effect the three primary rules of gardening, already referred to as the A B C of outdoor art, must be observed:

a.        Keep center of lawn open.

b.       Plant in masses.

c.        Avoid straight lines.

     Nature made the rules.  Man deserves credit only for having observed them.  The successful landscape artist is the one who seeks his models directly from Nature and is content with Nature’s laws.

     Applying these principles, plan the general effect for the front and back areas of the house.  The treatment of the space at the side must depend on its size.  If it is large, the same broad effects used in other instances must be reproduced.  Most houses, however, have only a narrow strip of plantable ground on either side.  These should be treated more in detail.  This can be done by carrying  the flowers and shrubs of the border around the sides.

     The use of flowers in the picture must be carefully studied.  The formal flower bed squatting in the middle of a lawn is unnatural and far from beautiful.  But when the flowers are planted along the base of the wall, against the background of green foliage, which ties the house to the ground, they become an artistic part of the effect.  Professor Bailey says in this connection: “Flowers are incidents in a landscape picture.  They add emphasis, supply lawn and the mass planting make the framework.  One flower in the border, and made an incident of the picture is more effective than twenty flowers planted in the center of the lawn.


How to Transform Bare Walls


     From the illustrations in this article the use of vines in decoration can readily be learned.  Ugly, bare walls are transformed by judicious vine planting.  The scrawny, skeleton-like porch usually attached to houses can be made the framework for most charming foliage effects.  In the planting and training of vines for house decoration, the gardener can exercise the greatest ingenuity in the choice and combination of climbers, though a word of caution must be given against “freak”designs.

     When flowers,  vines  or shrubs are made to grow in ways never intended for them, when a gardener writes names in plants, or fashions shrubs and trees into monstrous birds and beasts, he only advertises his own egotism and shows that he has not studied the beautiful models Nature has given him in field and wood.

     When vines are grown on frame houses, they should always be given a support of some sort.  Woven wire fencing—common “chicken wire” –which may be bought at any hardware store, is the best and cheapest for this purpose.  It should be tacked upon two-inch strips of  light wood nailed to the sheathing.  Some of the most desirable vines form such a heavy blanket of foliage that unless a little space is left behind them for the circulation of the air the boards will decay.  The wire netting, too, makes it easy to remove and replace the vines when the house is painted.


The Best Hardy Vines


     Boston ivy (Ampelopsis Veitchii) and Virginia creeper (Ampelopsis quinquefolia) are easily the best of the hardy vines to grow.  Boston ivy has rich, glossy foliage, the leaves shaped somewhat like a maple leaf.  It will climb any wall, needing no support, but its heavy foliage, shutting out the sun, makes it safe to use without the wire netting only on brick walls.  It requires three or four years to get such a growth as is shown in the pictures in this book.

     Other splendid vines for porches are the common wild grape (Vitis riparia), white and purple clematis, honeysuckle and wistaria.  All of them are called hardy climbers, and take at least two seasons to make much of a showing.  While they are coming to their growth, annual vines like morning glories and moon flowers may be used to cover the bare spots.

     Flower boxes for windows and porch rails can be built and planted at nominal cost.  By putting vines in the ends of the boxes and training them over a canopy of wire netting, a cool green shade can be provided for a window or a screen supplied for a corner of a porch.  A pleasant effect in box planting is obtained by using only scarlet geraniums (Hetherantha) or dark red geraniums (General Nutt), and overhanging vines such as vinca mayor or asparagus sprengerii.

     The simplest effects in window and porch boxes are the best.  Choose the one or two flowers, the one or two vines you like best and use no other.  Even a tangle of nasturtiums will appear to better advantage than a box planted with a dozen different kinds and colors of flowers.  If it is desired to bring the window or porch box into the house during the winter, it can be filled with boxwood or small trees—juniper, pyramid evergreen or Adam’s needle.  English ivy trailing over the sides will add very much to its appearance.

     It requires well-trained judgment to refrain from overcrowding the garden.  To gain effects in simple ways with few materials is as difficult in gardening as it is in dressing, painting or writing letters or books.  The great artist is the one who does these things simply.  When it comes to the planting, do not put flowers or shrubs or vines everywhere they can be crowded in.  Rather put them where a quiet taste says they may be planted.  It is here that the gardener displays the possession or the lack of good taste, which in these days has a commercial value.

     In selecting the kinds of flowers and plants to use, climate and locality should have influence, and also the likes and dislikes of the gardener.  There is no fun and less profit in raising flowers which are distasteful.  It is best to use the hardy perennials which come up themselves every spring.  Of shrubbery, the native varieties, such as dogwood, redbud, elder and many others, can be readily combined with the choicer varieties, such as lilacs, Japanese quinces, the flowering mock-orange, the golden bell, the bridal wreath spirea, hydrangeas, dwarf sumacs, weigelia, forsythia and others.


Old –Fashioned Flowers Delightful


     Old-fashioned flowers, as they are sometimes called, are most delightful; such as marigolds, pansies, gladioli, goldenrod, wild asters, china asters, hollyhocks, mignonette, scarlet poppies and so on through a list which will be suggested to almost everyone.  Some of the wild roses are useful, but most varieties are not attractive enough to repay the constant care which they require.

     Trees are usually too thickly planted.  Large elms and maples are frequently seen but ten or fifteen feet apart.  In consequence they are misshapen and stunted, forming a shade so dense that neither sun nor air can reach the house.  The linden, hackberry, Norway maple, sugar maple and the white ash are all fine trees.  In street  planting there should be an agreement among property owners to keep uniform the varieties of trees planted and the methods of planting in the neighborhood.


Gardens Solve “Boy in Summertime” Problem


     No part of the landscape gardening work of The N. C. R. Company has had happier results than have come from the Boys’ Gardens.

     The gardens were established in 1897.  President Patterson originated the idea of these gardens and his own explanation of his reasons for establishing them follow:

     “I asked one of our foremen in 1896 why he built his house on a $2000 lot three miles from the factory, when he could have bought a lot near the factory equally good for $500.  His reply was: ‘I don’t like the neighborhood.’

     “Upon investigation, we found that three boys gave the neighborhood its bad reputation.  We made an estimate of the value of the land these boys influenced in South Park within a radius of four blocks of the factory.  The estimate showed that the boys cost the property owners in the district $30,000.  Ten thousand dollars for a bad boy!  Studying further the cause of the trouble, we soon found that the boys were made bad by idleness.  Nothing to do was the secret of their difficulty, as it is of most of the evils city life holds for boys and young men.

     “We lost no time in determining to establish the Boys’ Gardens.”


Ground, Seeds and Tools Provided


     Near the factory was a plot of ground adapted to the purpose.  Two acres of this were plowed and forty lots, 10 feet by 130 feet each, were laid out.  Seeds of various kinds were provided, as well as all necessary tools and equipment.  A competent gardener was secured to instruct the boys.  The age limit of the gardeners was fixed at ten to fourteen years.  The members of the neighborhood boys’ club were given the preference in allotting gardens.

     It was wholly a new enterprise and at first there was difficulty in getting the small boy to “catch” the idea.  But this obstacle was overcome, and with the forty boys started, interest developed rapidly.  By the time the seeds began to sprout, the young gardeners had become enthusiastic.  Even a dry season and the necessity of carrying water did not diminish their interest.

Meanwhile the Company had announced a series of prizes, amounting to $50, for the best gardens of the year.  It had been agreed from the first that the boys were to own whatever they might raise.  This proved profitable to many of the youngsters, some of them clearing good sums from the products of their little farms.  Others kept their families supplied during the entire summer with the best of vegetables.


Young Farmers Liked Their Work


     Only two or three dropped out of the class during the summer, and so the results of the first year were highly satisfactory.  The next season there was no difficulty in forming the class.  On the contrary, applicants were far in excess of the garden plots available.  Results, too, were more marked.  Crops were larger and the influence of the work on the conduct of the boys was greater.  More than any other effort of The N. C. R. towards neighborhood betterment the Boys’ Gardens are responsible for the improvement of conditions in South Park.

     Since then the project has grown continuously.  The location of the gardens has been changed and the space devoted to them enlarged.  Pipes have been laid and ten hydrants obviate the tiresome work of water carrying.

     A definite course of instruction is given in gardening.  It covers a period of two years, at the end of which diplomas are awarded to those students who have successfully completed the work.  The diplomas are awarded at a banquet given by President Patterson to the young gardeners each year at the Officer’ Club.  The prizes take the form either of cash awards or of trips to various cities where the boys can study the park systems and other landscape gardening.

     Application for membership in the gardening classes is made by card each spring.  This year there were three times as many applicants as there were gardens to assign.  In consequence, a movement has been started to promote home gardens for those boys who failed to secure Company plots.

     With each garden and note book goes a set of tools—a rake, hoe, spade and trowel—each numbered to correspond with the garden and note book.  Separate racks are provided in the tool house for each boy’s outfit and he is required to keep the tools in place and in good order.  All the young gardeners pay dues of ten cents each month, as it has been found advisable to let the boys feel that they are making some return for the privileges received.

      The work of plowing and laying out the gardens is done by the Company before the boys are given possession.  This leaves only the easier preparation of the ground to the youngsters, which, with the planting, occupies the first four weeks.  All necessary seeds, bulbs and sets are furnished by the Company.

     Although considerable oral instruction is necessary, much of the teaching is done by example.  A blackboard is used with good effect to convey to the boys the special directions for each day.

     Scientific gardening is taught in a simple, practical way, so that the minds of the boys can grasp and apply its principles.  The gardeners raise several crops of lettuce and three or four plantings of radishes, thus learning to secure two crops from the same ground.

     Every inch of space is utilized to get the best possible results with the widest variety of vegetables.  Three co-operative plots were planted this spring, all the boys sharing in the work and the product.  Watermelons and muskmelons were planted in one of these, popcorn in another, and Spanish peanuts in the third.

     A certain standard of progress is required in all gardens.  If one boy lags behind the others in planting or cultivation, he is required to work extra time till he catches up.  Promptness in beginning and stopping work is insisted upon.  The gardeners’ working hours are from 6:30 to 7:30 a. m. and from 4 to 5 p.m.  If any boy wishes to work overtime, he must stop work with the others, report to the garden house, and receive permission to continue working after the others have quit for the day.

     All vegetables raised are weighed and their value fixed at market prices.

     From the forty gardens cultivated last year 18,217 pounds of vegetables were taken, their value being,  at market prices, $768.91.  Total number of hours worked by the boys was 9520.  Thirty  boys received diplomas last year.

     The boys are encouraged to make a beginning on home gardening at the same time that they are receiving the benefits of the Company gardens.  For this purpose additional seeds and plants are furnished to those that want them.  This helps to get habit firmly established at a time when the garden interest in such work is predominant over interest in all other occupations.

     “Form, not reform,” has been the animating principle in this gardening project.  Teaching the boys to work, and teaching them interest in Nature, were believed by the Company to be the right steps in forming character.  Instruction only puts facts into the mind, while education develops the mind.  Education brings out and strengthens character, trains one to meet and overcome difficulties, and cultivates courage, industry and ability.  It is this sort of education the gardens give.  The practice in measuring, in watching for things to come up, in learning to observe what they look at and to understand what they see, the increased love for Nature and things beautiful, the development of their bodies in the pure open air, the fixing of habits of industry, the prevention of idling on the streets — these are some of the benefits of the Boys’ Gardens.  They are benefits of far greater importance, both to the boys and to the state, than the value of the crops raised, which is considerable, while the cost of making the gardens is small.

     There is no kind of teaching that squares itself with educational thought better than gardening.  It educates because it deals with things and not with words.  It cultivates observation, and keeps the senses keen.  It shows that effect follows cause.  It gives full play to all the motor activities.  It broadens the mind and deepens thinking.  When it is considered that sixty-five per cent of American exports are products of the farm, it is easily understood what benefit children receive by being taught practically the fundamental importance of agriculture in social life.  The value of the moral training is beyond any concrete estimate.  By impressing children with the idea that personal, sustained effort is necessary to achieve a result they are given the first great lesson in citizenship.

     In Dayton the Patterson Public School has adopted the gardening plan and has had no cause to regret the attempt.  The school gardens have been the means of increasing healthfulness, besides stimulating the children’s interest in Nature.  The pupils are taught the elementary principles of landscape art in addition to vegetable gardening.  Just before commencement, each year, the vegetables are all harvested and autumn flowers planted in their stead.  During the vacation the gardens make a miniature park.