This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
The midsummer show of this society was held on the 20th ult. The day preceding was very unpropitious, and led us to apprehend an unfavourable morrow; but the night was fine and tranquil, and the day itself, during the time the visitors were present, was all that could be desired. It is not a very easy matter to introduce in a novel garb the subjects exhibited. The prizes offered are, with a few exceptions, for the same quantities of the same species; let us therefore, in a word, say, that the whole formed a very fine exhibition.
The Orchids, numerous and brilliant, filled one side of a long tent; whilst a beautiful bank of Pelargoniums occupied a similar space on the opposite side - the whole presenting such a mass of beauty, as to render it a difficult and slow process to examine the plants, on account of the crowd of admirers which surrounded them. We observed little that was novel; but we must not pass over a beautiful purple-flowered Cattleya from C. B. Warner, Esq., whose specific name we did not learn. The next tent, filled with stove and greenhouse plants, also found abundant admirers, as did that in which the Queen of flowers appeared in all her glory and in considerable abundance. Perhaps the most attractive portion of the Roses was the boxes of cut blooms, and amongst them some new varieties shone conspicuously. Exquisitely glowing and beautiful was Geant des Batailles, the most handsome new crimson Hybrid Perpetual Rose we have. Soleil d'Austerlitz was another of a similar colour. Moss Rose Laneii, figured in our fifth Number, was also shewn in fine condition by Mr. Lane, as was also the blush-pink variety, Comte de Rambuteau, which forms a companion embellishment in the same Number. We must not pass over our excellent correspondent Mr. Rivers' contribution of cut Roses (not exhibited for competition), amongst which, conspicuous for size, was our old friend Baron Prevost, some of whose blooms measured 5 1/2 inches across.
Cape Heaths were shewn in usual abundance; those from Mr. Epps of Maidstone deservedly received the first prize.
Of new plants there was little or nothing to remark, as the most prominent are noticed in our report of the Horticultural Society's show, in another page. A pale blue-flowered Pentstemon exhibited by Mr. Henderson, we hope will prove a valuable addition to varieties in general cultivation. Ferns, which are growing in favour as objects of exhibition, from the agreeable relief they form to the general mass of flowers, were abundant and fine. A very good specimen of Asplenium alternifolium was exhibited by Mr. Williams, in his group of British varieties. There were some very well-grown specimens of Fuchsias; and if not very novel, they formed an interesting background to the Pinks, Pansies, Ranunculuses, and seedling Pelargoniums, all of which were sufricientlv numerous to attract so considerable a crowd in front of them, as to make it a work of patience to get near them, so slowly did the observers circulate in this part of the tent; indeed it is worthy of remark, that these flowers seem generally most attractive. It is always pleasant to find the objects which have formed our illustrations taking prominent places amongst their compeers.
Young's XX Pink, shewn by Mr. Turner, and sent out by him, was there to prove how worthy it is of a place in every stand, and in every stand but one it was to be found.
In Ranunculuses, our friends Tyso and Costar again distinguished themselves; indeed, we cannot help being gratified at seeing the place taken on these occasions by the contributors to The Florist. We may, at a future time, when our space is less occupied, draw attention to the number of first prizes taken by them, for the sake of shewing our readers how successful is the practice they recommend to others in our Calendar. Seedling Calceolarias are so abundant, and the markings upon them so similar, that it was difficult to find any thing extraordinarv in this way. Of seedling Pelar-goniums there was a considerable display of yearlings by the usual raisers; and we are mistaken if 1850 does not see some two-year-old plants which will astonish those who believed that no further improvement could be effected in this flower. We really have no room on this, our making-up day, to notice the Rhododendron part of the exhibition, of which we have notes for a paper at a future time.
The Queen and Prince Albert paid an early visit to this exhibition, - a circumstance we are glad to mention; and it cannot fail to gratify her flower-loving subjects to learn as much.