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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Transactions of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society. Proceedings, essays and reports at the annual winter meetings, held at Madison, Feb. 1, 2 and 3, 1870 and Feb. 7, 8 and 9, 1871
(1871 [covers 1870/1871])

Hobbins, President
Annual address,   pp. 10-15 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 14


14       WISCONSIN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.
interest is the interest of agriculture. Practically speaking, if they are
not one,
they are too intimately related to be easily divided.
The efforts made by this society to advance the interests of horticulture
in this
state are everywhere acknowledged and appreciated, not only by our own people-
as is shown by the formation of a number of local horticultural societies,
the in-
creasing crowding of visitors in our horticultural ball at the state fair,
the crowding
of the legislative halls to listen to our annual discussions and addresses,
as well as
for the demand for our transactions (published, be it remarked, by order
of the
legislature for the benefit of the people); but beyond and beside all this,
by the
people of other states, as is evinced by the very fattering things said of
us in their
press and state societies. So with regard to the experimental gardens, to
speak of
the liberal and handsome donations .made to it by our own members, may scarcely
be if good taste; but it is nothing more than simple truth to say that this
society
has originated and conducts the first and only state experimental horticultural
gar-
den in the United States; that it is in part planted by the generosity of
our mem-
bers and in part by handsome contributions by nurserymen in different parts
of the
country. To state also that free horticultural lectures have been given by
members
of this society to the students of the State University; that it is one of
the cher-
ished objects of the society, not only to teach horticulture theoretically
but practi-
cally, but to disseminate through these students, and the members of the
legislature,
and the local horticultural societies, all the information to be gained by
experiments
in these gardens, as well as the trees, vines, plants, shrubs, etc., which
are found
suited to our state; in fact, to imitate to some extent, but on a more impartial
basis, the action of the Agricultural Department at Washington-is but doing
sim-
ple justice to ourselves, and is, in fact, due to the legislature whose confidence
and
assistance we are seeking.
Such, it seems to me, should be the course of argument addressed to our legisla-
tive bodies. Let us show them that we are earnest, capable and disinterested
men,
doing a good, useful and necessary work. Let us give to the state our services
as
we have done, and be the first to donate to the people, and we shall find
that the
legislature will do as the people have already done-acknowledge our services
and
comply with our wishes, as they are already pledged by implication to do,
in the
publishing of our transactions. If our transactions are worth publishing
by action
of the legislature for the benefit and honor of the state, surely our practical
labors
in the experimental garden are equally worthy of recognition by the same
intelli-
gent body. Theory and practice should not, as it seems to me, be separated
by legis-
lation,
There is another reason why the state should encourage the experimental garden.
Horticultural experience and experiment everywhere show that plant-life depends
for its character upon the conditions surrounding it. Not only climate and
soil,
elevation and exposure, a dry and a moist atmosphere, but also an infinity
of cir-
cumstances-all deserving of study, because all playing an important part
in deter-
mining the very color, form and character of what is grown. Such influences,
with
their relative effects, are everywhere acknowledged and taken advantage of
by the
scientific horticulturists of the old world. And let me ask, to whose benefit
does


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