This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
Our friends Messrs. Loddiges of Hackney, whose fame is worldwide in connexion with Orchids, have kindly favoured us with the following particulars of this beautiful variety of the species to which it belongs. Our drawing was made from the plant exhibited by those gentlemen at Chiswick, where it was much and deservedly admired. Though but a faint idea is given of its beauties in our illustration, still it will form a charming addition to the embellishments of our present volume.
Fredk. Smith sculp.
"With respect to the Cattleya spectabilis: we received a small parcel of Orchids from Brazil in the spring of 1849, amongst which were some Cattleyas having the appearance of Marginata; many of these flowered as such. This being stronger in growth, evidently appeared different, and flowered in June, when it was exhibited at Chiswick; it seems to be an extraordinarily fine variety of Marginata. We find it grows best upon a rough block of wood in a temperature of from 50° to 60° in winter, and should then be kept moderately dry, gradually increasing the moisture and heat to from 60° to 75° in the summer".
Many of our readers, we know, cultivate this curiously interesting tribe of plants, and one of the number on reading this will well remember inoculating us with a taste for them, by presenting us with a plant of Stanhopea grandiflora, accompanied with some disparaging remarks upon growing "only Geraniums." The consequence of that fatal gift has been the abandonment of the cultivation of Roses in pots, after we had beaten every body and been well beaten in return; their room being required by their more aristocratic neighbours, who had swelled themselves out into an importance too great for the little stove they had long been located in. Their present habitation is growing too small for them, or rather they are growing too large for it, in spite of the exercise of a liberal spirit in giving to friends what otherwise must have been thrown away; and. our fortitude must soon be exercised again in a resolute reduction of numbers; for now that our specimens of Cattleyas, Dendrobiums, Epidendrums, Aerides, Saccolabiums, etc. etc. are fairly established, they grow at a surprising rate.
Some day we may perhaps give our readers a little account of the Orchid mania which once possessed us, and which led us into a certain auction-room in Covent Garden, where we should most gladly have been on Feb. 26th last, had not prudence dictated our keeping on the other side of Temple Bar. The following will give an idea of the sums realised by Mr. Stephens for varieties, most of which are not in our collection.
Dendrobium Devonianum, from 1/. to 21. 2s.; Ccelogyne macu-lata, a new kind, with flowers as large as C. Wallichiana, white and yellow, with large blotches of crimson purple on the lip, from 21. to 3/.; the rare Dendrobium Cambridgeanum, from 21. to 31.; a large mass of Ccelogyne cristata, 5l. 10s.; smaller examples of the same, from 1/. to 51.; C. Wallichiana, from 21. 10s. to 61. 10s.; Dendrobium Farmerii, from 21. to 41. 10s.; D. Dalhousianum, from 1/. 18s. to 21. 4s.; D. Grifnthianum, from 21. to 41. 10s.; D. Paxtonii, from 21. 10s. to 41. 5s.; D. Gibsonii, 1/. 10s.; "a new species of Ccelogyne," from 21. 10s. to 41.; ditto Cymbidium, from 1/. to 21. There were in all 232 lots.