This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
In answer to our application, Messrs. Veitch and Son, Nurserymen, Exeter, have obligingly furnished us with the following particulars respecting the subject of our present Illustration, and a notice of the services of their collectors, the Messrs. Lobb, which we hope will prove acceptable to our readers. It is an act of simple justice on our part to record the names of those who enrich our collections by their researches in foreign lands. Nothing would be more interesting than the publication of extracts from the journals of such enterprising men. The drawings were made from life, and have been ready some time, but we have not been able to present them before.
T. Smith sculp.
1. Hoya Bella.
2. Mitraria Coccinea.
To ourselves it is a pleasing, and to lovers of flowers an interesting circumstance, that in your accompanying plate you have most happily succeeded in grouping together two lovely plants, sent to this country from different hemispheres by those ardent and indefatigable travellers and brothers, Messrs. William and Thomas Lobb.
The Hoya* comes from the Taung Kola mountains, in Moulmein, Straits of Malacca, East Indies; the Mitraria from the island of Chiloe in South America. Both plants are of easy culture; the former delighting in the heat of the warmest stove, whilst the latter equally luxuriates in the coolest greenhouse or conservatory.
We find the Hoya succeed admirably in the hottest department of our Orchid-house, planted in a wire basket, in a mixture of chopped sphagnum moss, fibrous peat, leaf-mould, and sand, and suspended from the roof as we do our Ăschynanths and the pendulous-growing Dendrobes. In this position it produces in great abundance and constant succession, throughout the summer and autumn, its most deliciously scented bunches of crystal-like flowers. Sir W. J. Hooker, in writing of it, calls it "the most lovely of all the Hoyas," "first gem of the air," and likens it to "an amethyst set in frosted silver".
* We have reason to fear there is a spurious plant sent out by some parties as this Hoya; it will be well, therefore, for all persons wishing to possess it, to make sure that they get the true Hoya bella of Hooker.
Although we cannot say the Mitraria is a perfectly hardy plant, yet, from its having stood with us the two last winters against a north wall without protection, and with but very trifling injury, we have every reason to believe it will do well in the open air, in sheltered places, especially when protected by other shrubs, It is, however, as a hardy conservatory plant that we recommend it. We pot it as we do Eriostemons and such-like plants, in a mixture of turfy loam, fibrous peat, and silver-sand. It is a close, compact-growing shrub, of neat foliage, and the blossoms, which are quite equal both in colour and size to the figure, are produced in great abundance. It blooms freely in a small state.
We consider the present subjects two of the very best of our as yet published introductions through the Messrs. Lobb; and it is with great pleasure we avail ourselves of the opportunity of your thus uniting the fruits of their successful labours in your publication, to do them thus publicly an act of justice by recording our sense of their energetic, persevering, and in every way meritorious labours. It is an additional satisfaction to know that the greatest botanists of the day highly appreciate their exertions.
It may not be amiss to inform your readers that these gentlemen, whose names will long be remembered as botanical collectors, are practical gardeners; and that for the last seven years, actuated by a love of botanical science, they have explored, the one in the Eastern, the other in the Western hemisphere, Peru, Patagonia, the island of Chiloe, the Organ mountains, Java, the Philippine islands, Moulmein, Mount Ophir, and Acte, with but little illness, and without meeting with a single accident, or with any insult or molestation from the natives.
Nursery, Exeter. Veitch and Son.