This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
The exhibitions of the Horticultural Society of London and of the Royal Botanic Society having closed for the season, we are inclined to offer a few remarks for the consideration of fellows and exhibitors; and shall feel satisfied if we draw their attention to one or two points which, in our opinion, require it.
And first, why should there not be a greater exhibition of flowers in general cultivation? If the bringing together of any particular variety in competition for prizes be promotive of superior cultivation and improvement, - and all will acknowledge it has this effect, - then we say it is worthy of the Council of the Horticultural Society to consider how far flowers the most generally cultivated can be made the objects of exhibition. There is nothing satisfactory to us in being told, that if you have flowers shewn which can be brought from any poor man's garden, you will have a class of exhibitors that cannot be tolerated. It should be our aim to effect improvement in exhibitors as well as in their productions, and nothing will tend so much to raise the conduct and feelings of our humble floricultural friends, as being brought into contact with exhibitors whose conduct is above reproach. Our memory reminds us of much which was objectionable that once passed at Chis-wick, which would not be borne now for a moment; and which is better forgotten, since powerful rules and more powerful examples have effected a cure. We wish also to place the subject in another point of view.
It may be held as a rule, that whatever we take an interest in must be attractive; consequently, if there was a display of objects the most generally cultivated, it would add to the number of interested visitors to our exhibitions. And these objects should be all placed together. Many, whose time is short, and who attend not for the company or the music, or to idle away a leisure hour agreeably, but for the sake of information, want, like the Athenians of old, to hear of new things, and to see them too. It is a great error to have them scattered about without any proper arrangement. A man need have the energy of a fox-hunter to discover them as they have been placed latterly at the shows of both Societies.
A rule also should be adopted of Nurserymen and Amateurs always exhibiting in separate classes, except in new plants or seedlings. We are frail creatures, and have our weaknesses, and amongst them is a dislike to being beaten by the Nurserymen we purchase plants of. It also prevents considerable competition, for many of both classes will not come forward under other circumstances. One more word, and we have done. All exhibitors should receive equal attention, and suitable places be appointed for their productions. It is not to be expected that exhibitors (and fellows too) will be satisfied to wait hanging about until all other things are arranged, before they can stage their flowers. This was the case with the Carnations and Picotees on the last occasion at Chiswick. In thus freely expressing our views, we think it due to state, that both Professor Lindley and Mr. Marnoch, upon whom devolve the weight of the arrangements, have no slight task to perform, nor one free from many difficulties, which we very much question the ability of any others to overcome so well.
We know that they are both most anxious to promote the excellence of the great exhibitions under their care, and we gladly bear testimony to their untiring energy and zeal.