This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
Took place, as advertised, in Upton Park on the 15th of June, and drew together a considerable number of plants, nine competitors, and several amateur cultivators from distant parts of the country.
The arrangements for this exhibition were well carried out upon the ground, and the day was of a character to shew the flowers in cloudy, clear, sunny, and wet weather, so variable was it on this occasion. The varieties selected for the four prizes were elected by ballot in the following manner. When the plants were arranged side by side, and in a row, the exhibitors (the alone judges) entered the tent, each receiving a voting card. After careful examination of the several plants, and a declaration from the exhibitors that they were ready to vote, each placed on his card the number of the variety he selected for the first prize, and the greatest number of votes of course carried the prize with it. The other three were awarded in a similar manner. The first prize of Five Pounds was awarded to Foster's Gypsy Bride, of which a specimen plant was exhibited covered with buds and expanded blossoms. This flower is of first-rate quality; general form circular, and very good; perfectly smooth petals, no crumple; edge first-rate, free from indentures; upper petals a dark crimson, with brilliant distinct edging, and terminating white and waxy in the neck. The lower petals are a deep rose, shading off into a whitish eye.
The size of the flower is too small, and the lower petals are veined and rather flat in colour. Habit of the plant very good.
Three Pounds Ten Shillings, the second prize, was awarded to Foquette's Magnificent, a beautiful bright rosy vermilion flower, with a dark cloudy blotch on the upper petals, which are all free from crumple. It is very constant, a free bloomer, of good habit and foliage. Its faults are, imperfect shape, too long, too funnelled, and the blotch on upper petals not even, whilst the ground-colour is very good in this respect. Altogether it is a flower of great refinement both in colour and quality.
Symons's Field Marshal, the property of Messrs. Veitch and Son, received the third prize of Two Pounds Ten Shillings. This is a high-coloured variety, of strong robust habit, and great freedom of bloom, but deficient in refinement. It will make a great show on the stage, whether at home or at an exhibition. The colour of the upper petals is a rich dark scarlet, with an undecided deep blotch veining off towards the margin, and terminating with a small feather in the neck. The lower petals have a bluish tinge upon them, which deepens as it approaches the eye. Want of smoothness in the upper petals and delicacy are its great faults; but few, if any, will surpass it in brilliant effect, especially when distant from the eye.
Aurora's Beam (Beck's) came in for the remaining prize of One Pound Ten Shillings. It is a large stout flower, but calling for no particular notice, as the raiser will not send it out, considering it inferior to others in his possession intended for that purpose.
Mr. Hoyle exhibited his Prince of Orange, which received the silver medal at the Royal Botanical Society's exhibition, Regent's Park, last month, for its high colour; also his Christabel and Satisfaction, which were awarded similar prizes at the same place and time. The first is an orange-scarlet flower of good size, good breadth of petals; but wanting in intensity of blotch, which prevents the flower from producing that striking effect which would otherwise be the case from its very high colour. It is thin, but possesses great refinement and evenness of colour, - a characteristic of this gentleman's productions.
Christabel is a fair, delicate, wax-like flower, fine broad bottom petals, of a flesh colour delicately tinged with orange. The upper petals have a dark rich blotch, shading off very evenly into an orange ground edged with rosy lilac. The feather in the eye gives a little poverty to the general appearance of this pretty flower.
Satisfaction, a very good-shaped middle-coloured flower, but not distinct enough in other respects to require further notice.
Many other varieties were exhibited; some had better have been absent, whilst a number of others possessed very considerable amount of merit; but we shall not enter into them here. It is the place flowers take in the exhibition-stands which must be considered the great test of their value in the eyes of those readers of The Florist who cultivate the Pelargonium, and such will not be displeased at our bidding them make a note of Hoyle's Crusader, which appeared on this occasion, and which will be found in every first-rate collection in 1850, unless we are mistaken.
We ought not to pass away without a line or two in praise of the efforts of others to give a general interest to this exhibition by the contribution of other flowers and plants to adorn the tents. Amongst them we found our friends Edwards and Tyso with Pansies, Pinks, and Ranunculuses, - the latter capital. Turner too was there, and Mr. Bragg, who, by the by, at his inn at Slough, provided our inward man with most comfortable and abundant refreshment, which we regretted to find so small a circle partake of. There was not upon this occasion so much interchange of opinion upon the points forming a perfect Pelargonium as we had hoped; but there was a most agreeable and friendly spirit, in which money was again freely subscribed towards a similar object; time and place to be settled as way may open. A statement of the subscriptions and disbursements will appear on our cover.