This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
The first show for the season took place at the Horns Tavern, Kennington. The day was the most unfavourable that could be for an exhibition, the wind being sharp and frosty, with occasional snow-storms. Nevertheless, with the exception of stove and greenhouse plants, which were rather behind last year in point of numbers, the show was a good one, and pretty well attended.
Passing over stove and greenhouse plants, among which there was nothing above mediocrity, we come to Cinerarias, and of these there was a good display. Mr. Henderson, of St. John's Wood, sent the best collection. It contained - Rosette, purple; Consuelo, blue; Alboni, white, edged with pink; Wellington, white, edged with purple, dark centre; Coronet, white, with a dark disc, and edged with purple; Zenobia, bluish purple; Fair Rosamond, white, faintly edged with pink; Annie, a clean-looking flower, white, with a purple centre, and petals tipped with the same colour; Cerito, now becoming well known, one of the best; Emperor, a large rosy crimson; and Diana Vernon, purple. These were dwarf well-managed plants. Another collection was supplied by Messrs. Ivery, of Dorking. Groups of eight came from Messrs. Robinson, Pond, and Mocket. Among these were plants of Beauty of St. John's Wood, Attraction, Compacta, and various others.
This Society held its second show of the season on the 17th ult. in the Surrey Zoological Gardens. As a stove and greenhouse plant show it was an excellent one, and there was a large display of Pelargoniums and Roses; the former chiefly contributed by Mr. Beck, Mr. Parker, and Robinson of Pimlico. Cinerarias, Calceolarias, Azaleas, and Cape Heaths, were also exhibited in tolerable quantity; but as a Tulip-show it was a failure. The season being so backward, the flowers were not sufficiently forward for shewing.
In the stand of Mr. Lawrence of Hampton, who gained the first prize in the Nurserymen's class, we remarked fair blooms of Duke of Devonshire, Fabius, Strong's King, Madame Vestris, and Prince Albert. The first prize in the Amateurs' class was awarded to A. Lane, Esq., of West Wycombe, in whose stand were Triumph Royal, Violet Blondeau, Fabius, and David. Mr. Edwards of Hol-loway, who was second, had Platoff, Cerise Blanc, Polyphemus, and David.
The best exhibition of Pansies was produced by Mr. Turner, of Slough. Among his blooms we observed, Mrs. Hamilton, Zabdi, Climax, Juventa, Exquisita, Duke of Norfolk figured in our last Number, Supreme, and Mrs. Bragg. Mr. Bragg was second. Mr. Edwards was first in the Amateurs' class. He had good blooms of Zabdi, Mrs. Hamilton, and Gem. Mr. Lane was second. Mr. Turner received a certificate for Mrs. Beck, the light variety figured in our last Number; Mr. Schofield for Negro, and Mr. Lane for Emma, - all seedling Pansies.
Some seedling Pelargoniums were exhibited by Mr. Beck, who obtained certificates for Emily, a fine flower in the way of Centurion, but larger; and for Dowager, also a showy variety: these were seedlings of 1848. He had likewise one of 1849, named Pontiff, a promising flower of bright glowing colour. Mr. Gaines received a certificate for two seedling fancy Pelargoniums, named Hero of Surrey, and Gem; the former a desirable flower.
The third meeting for the season took place in the Surrey Zoological Gardens on the 12th ult.; and a pleasant gathering it appeared to be, if we may judge from the many happy faces assembled in the afternoon to hear the music, see the flower-show, the menagerie, the gardens, and the fireworks in the evening, consequent on the storming of the fortress of the clever representation of Badajoz. This society eminently deserves encouragement, if it were only for the cheap treat it affords on the occasions of its exhibitions to the pent-up citizens of our great metropolis, who cannot spare the admission-money to go to Chiswick or Regent's Park.
On this occasion they had, on the whole, a good show, though fewer plants were present than at former meetings. The different subjects of exhibition were arranged in three tents. A side of one tent was filled with stove and greenhouse plants from Messrs. Cole, Bruce, Young, Hamp, Hook, and Pawley; the other side, with Cape Heaths from Messrs. Fairbairn, Bruce, and Cole, and with Orchids from Mr. Beck and Mr. Bruce One side of the next tent was occupied with as beautiful a bank of fancy and other Pelargoniums as any body could desire to see, from Messrs. Beck, Gaines, Robinson, Foster, Ambrose, and Staines. This exhibition of Pelargoniums constituted the principal feature of the show. The other side of this tent was filled with cut flowers, Roses in pots from Mr. Francis, and Calceolarias from Mr. Gaines. Finally, in the third tent, we found the exhibition of Pinks, etc. which, on account of the backwardness of the season, were this time a failure, onty three stands having been produced. Messrs. Norman and Ellis had the best specimens; but even these were not shewn in good character.
There were six stands of Ranunculuses, all good, but the best from Messrs. Keynes and Bettridge. Alpines and variegated plants were shewn by Mr. Turner, and Mr. Wood of Norwood.
Seedlings - Pelargoniums. First-class certificates were awarded to Mr. Beck for Major Domo and for Rosa; to Mr. Gaines for Flying Dutchman and Ne-plus-ultra (fancy); to Mr. Ambrose for Donna Inez; and to Mr. Hine for Striata coccinea (fancy). To Mr Turner for a Pansy named Viceroy, and for a Fuchsia named Falstaff, a large flower, with violet corolla and bright crimson calyx; and to Mr. Gaines for a Calceolaria named Ne-plus-ultra. Mr. Turner also shewed the seedling Pansy Mrs. Beck, the left-hand flower figured in our May Number, and a Pink named Forget-me-not.