Right now I am struggling with the bold text. Can anybody help me?

He had gently bent down a low-lying fan of leaves and bloom, and not content with exhibiting one by one living specimens of a spotted-blue, iridescent little beetle, a horned kind of cockchafer, and a dappled black-and-yellow-mottled ladybird, all of them following their lives in these surroundings; he had also chased, in vain, a couple of exotic butterflies down the slope of the garden, and had pointed out little clumps of saffron and sky-blue flowers, and a rank, ungainly weed with a cluster of black helmet-shaped florets at its tips, asserting that they were as rare, as unprecedented, in those parts as the tree itself. "You don't mean to say, because the thing's brought its own vermin, that it's any the better for that? We can do that in the fruit trade." "It's brought me," said the other, mooning meanwhile in the opposite direction. "And where do you raise your potatoes and artichokes and scarlet runners? It looks to me like a damn' waste of soil." The wandering greenish-gray eyes had rested for a moment on the puffy, contemptuous face a few inches beneath them without the faintest symptom of intelligence.

The Tree, Walter de la Mare, 192?

In the first sentence, the question, he seems to be saying the tree is not better than the other trees only because it has brought its own vermin. But I can make no head or tail of the fruit-trade sentece ...

Thanks a lot.