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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood

Messrs. Adams & Son's Nursery

page 143

Messrs. Adams & Son's Nursery.

About 300 yards beyond the East Town Belt, in Gloucester-street, is situated this establishment, which was started ten years back for the purpose of acclimatising bulbs and growing flower seeds. During that period the work has been steadily prosecuted until, at the present date, some 1500 varieties of bulbs have been imported and successfully acclimatised to the soil and climate of New, Zealand. Indeed, looking at the catalogue issued by the firm, the day is not far distant when the list of bulbs will rival those issued by the leading firms in England. Special attention has been devoted to the Hyacinth, and in addition to the best varieties from Holland, a large stock has been grown from the seed, and these bulbs may be fairly considered as New Zealand Hyacinths. They are superior to the Dutch sorts in, intensity and variety of colour, and, as may be expected, in vigour of growth. The collection of lilies is very complete, and comprises some of the rarer varieties from California and Japan. Ixias, Gladiolus, Anemones, Narcisscis, Tulips, Crocus, Snowdrops, Iris, and Pæonias, are grown by the thousand, and can now be obtained, fit for blooming the first season, at moderate prices, without the risk of importation and the tedious process of acclimatisation.

The growth and harvesting of florists' flower seeds is a part of the business to which a considerable amount of care has been devoted. By starting with the best strains procurable from England and the Continent, a superior class of seed has been secured, which will produce flowers of equal merit to the latest varieties in England, and free from the unreliability which must always attend the imported article. There is also a growing foreign trade done in native seeds, which are collected every season by expeditions organised for the purpose. The seeds are neatly made up in collections, accurately named, and form Acceptable presents to friends at Home.

Hardy flowers are also extensively grown, and the list of hardy perennials is very extensive. All the principal groups are well represented in healthy specimens of Delpheneum, Hepatica, Saxifrage, Panstemon, Convallaria, Agapanthus, Tradescantia, Spiræa, Hilleborus, Anemone, Lychuis, and Antrietia.

Many greenhouse plants of the latest and most approved kinds, of Fuchsias, Calceolarias, Cinerarias, and Cyclamen; stone plants, comprising Poinsettias, Gardenias, Dipladenias, Gloxinias, Begonias, Dracœnas, Adamandas, Lapagerius, Stephanotis, and Orchids; in fact, it is difficult to say what cannot be obtained either in bulb, seed, or plants, at the omnium gatherum of this establishment.

page 144

Ferns, both native and exotic, are to be found here in great numbers and variety. The indigenous sorts are, as may be supposed, in great demand in England, and extensive shipments are made in the season.

Since the direct steamers have commenced running, an export trade in native plants has also sprung up, and the firm have sent expeditions to the Southern Alps to collect the Alpines and other varities, which are afterwards established in pots and. shipped to London.