This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
In order to aid the good cause of floriculture, I am most anxious to lend you some assistance; and as every district in the kingdom has its favourite flowers, its seedlings, and peculiarities, so the part of the country in which I reside has in some measure added to the common stock; and though many flowers are now out of date and forgotten, still others retain their hold on our admiration and regard; a brief notice of these may not be unacceptable to your readers.
Whilst much around us changes, so also does taste or opinion in floral matters; for if we revert to the illustrated floral periodicals, even for so short a period as ten or twelve years, we shall find that very considerable improvement has been made since that period. I will take, for instance, some Tulips which were originated in Derbyshire and the adjacent counties, as illustrative of this position; at the same time pointing out those which I consider worthy of cultivation at the present time. Sherwood of Derby originated a considerable number from seed; but few of them will now come up to the improved standard.
Two of the early broken flowers were named Mrs. Darwin and Lady Colville, flamed roses, and, though occasionally exhibited, call for no particular remark. This, however, will not apply to Lady Wilmot, a very splendid flamed rose, a trifle above the standard, but first-rate in colour and style of marking; with some growers, and in some sorts of compost, this fine sort blooms perfectly clean, whilst on strong heavy soils it is apt to stain; when in its best state, however, it is a "gem of the first water".
Lady Middleton, also raised by Sherwood, is a beautiful thing; though of this there are various breaks. The best is able to dispute the palm of excellence with any feathered rose I have yet seen. The inferior strain is known here as Lady Crew, though many contend they are distinct varieties. The latter is distinguished principally by the inequality of its marking, the feather being thick in one place and thin in others, occasionally breaking out altogether, whilst the former flower feathers deeply and regularly.
Turner's Lord Hill is another of Sherwood's, and though stained, and too long, still its splendid colour and marking ensures it a place in many beds. Josephine is a superior break, and is a rich and, when well-grown, a magnificent bed-flower: this I have seen quite clean.
Duchess of Newcastle, or Queen Boadicea, a feathered rose, raised at the same time with the above, when caught fine (which is very seldom), is a noble flower. It slightly stains, and requires considerable bleaching. A great number of seedlings have been raised from this variety at Manchester, and elsewhere in the midland and northern counties.
Some years ago, the founder of the Chilwell nurseries, near Nottingham, raised a considerable number of seedlings. None of them, however, appear to be now much thought of. Amongst the best were:
Princess Charlotte, a flamed byblcemen; long in the cup, without any decided character about it, though occasionally winning. Of this sort I recollect once, and only once, seeing a perfectly feathered flower, and in this character it was really beautiful.
Princess of Wales, a delicate, rosy-feathered byblcemen; very shy in its growth, but pure, and nicely marked: this, I believe, was never out of the raiser's possession, as it died soon after it flowered.
Lord Hill, dark-flamed rose.
Fair Ellen, also a singular, pale-looking flower of the same class, of little value.
Duke of Wellington, a feathered bizarre, with a better cup than the preceding varieties, but stained.
I shall not now describe any of the varieties termed Chillastons (though report gives Swarkston, Derbyshire, the credit of their parentage), as it would lengthen this article too much, but will resume the subject in an early Number.
I must not, however, omit to mention Amelia (Abbot's), also a Derbyshire flower; this is better shaped than the majority of the Sherwoods, and in the breeder state is very pure and beautiful. When rectified, it is a most attractive feathered flower; but, singular enough, has the stamens much stained immediately below the anthers. As an advocate of perfect purity in these beautiful flowers, this imperfection is a sad drawback with me.
The party who raised Amelia has also a very beautifully feathered byblcemen, which will make a first-class flower. It combines form, purity, and marking in an eminent degree, and is termed Gem, a designation it richly merits. I believe that an immense number of seedlings are rapidly progressing to a blooming state throughout this part of the country; and it will be part of my duty, as well as pleasure, to give your readers early notice of the novelties which fall under my notice. H. S. M.