Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 1) >> Simms the Gardener: Reconstructing the Gardens at Woodlands >> Page 20

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Page 20

Secondary Scholarship | 1993
Transcription or ericoides. The particular Budlea here named is a deciduous shrub sporting dark
purple flower spikes. As for the roses, Summer listed several hundred varieties in
this catalogue, from everblooming teas to noisettes, both of which Summer
recommended for Southern gardens. The Italian Cedar mentioned to Lawson does
not appear on the list; but the "other cedars" likely included the two Deodar
Cedars that Summer enumerates.
In the previous year, Simms had purchased the following plants on 21
February 1860: 16 Peach; 12 Apples; 10 Pears; 2 Apricots; English Walnuts; 2
Spanish Chesnuts; 12 Roses. Summer noted that he "settled" but gave no sum. The
same arrangement was made the same day for the Rev. John Bachman of
Charleston, the famous horticulturist and collaborator with Audubon. I surmise
that both Simms and Bachman came together on a visit to Summer and purchased
plants. Bachman, like Simms, was a good friend and frequent visitor of William
Summer while helping William's brother Henry found and establish nearby
Newberry College. Simms and Bachman are the only customers listed for this day;
and neither had a price given for his plants, and both "bills" were designated
"smtled"--not the usual procedure. Summer this time likely gave them their plants.
Summer during this period was a busy literary man as well. He was editing the
Farmer and Planter, an agricultural periodical, and writing good nature essays,
was encouraging reforestation, vineculture, and, in general, as a gardener, a love
and close student of nature, an editor and author, would have found much in
common with both men.
In 1862, the Pomaria ledgers record Simms' purchase of 11 February: 12
Dahlias; Evergreen Shrubs; Strawberries, etc.; 24 Roses; Seeds; 1 [Scotch] broom;
1 Berberis; 1 Juniperus sabina; 1 Cneorum tri-color, 1 Nandina; 1 Philerea
[Phyllirea]; 2 Deodar Cedars; 1 Mahonia; 2 English Laurels; 2 Spireas; 2
Deutzias; 1 Golden Bell [Forsythia viridissima]; 1 Weigelia rosea; 2 Horizontal
Cypress; 1 Budlea. The Sabin juniper, as described in Summer's Catalogue for
1861, is an evergreen tree, "very beautiful and remarkable." The evergreen
Cneorum tri-color is a "beautiful dwarf border shrub, with very distinct foliage."
Summer sold six varieties of the rare Meditterenean shrub Phyllirea, "beautiful an
highly ornamental" and forming "thick bushes." His varieties were Angustifolia,
Crispa, Latifolia, Media, Oleafolis, and Racemosa. Both the new oriental nandina
and the Chinese mahonia (Summer offered six varieties in 1861) were becoming
favorites of Southern gardeners. Spireas, deutzias, forsythias, weigelias, and
budleas were also becoming standard ornamental flowering shrubs, much beloved.
The horizontal cypress (Cupressus horizontalis or "Spreading Cypress") was a
choice exotic specimen described by Summer as a tree whose spreading branches
and delicate green leaves render it "one of the handsomest evergreens."
For 11 February 1862, the ledgers also list an order for J. R. and Dr. F. F.
Carroll of Midway for "24 extra peach trees" and "6 extra apples" with packing
and freight. This is for Julia Reynolds Carroll, recent bride of Dr. F. F. Carroll
a neighbor and distant relative of Mrs. Simms at Midway. (See Letters, I, xcvii;
IV, 153).