This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
Considering The Florist the best medium to convey information to the floricultural public upon some of our favourite flowers, a desire and anxiety to do justice to the splendid Tulip in question induces me to contribute this paper. The accompanying sketches* are made from recollection, and it will be seen have no claim whatever to commendation; they are only sent as rough copies of the original, to give some idea of the colour and other properties of this variety. The principal difficulty lies in producing colours to vie with the brilliancy of the flower itself. It is here that my slight knowledge in art must be manifest. It has been admitted by some of our most competent judges to be unique, and different from any other Rose Tulip yet produced: it may be hoped the present season will afford many an opportunity of seeing the flower, and judging for themselves of its merits. The impression it invariably leaves on the mind will often recur to the memory when Tulips become the subject of discussion, more especially in their time of bloom.
It was during the month of May, 1848, that I first saw the flower in a collection belonging to Mr. Holmes: the feathered variety attracted my notice most; but he had others broke with flame and feather, all of them superb. These were grown near London, and therefore not quite so fine as those grown farther in the country. I afterwards saw it at Mr. Headley's, a gentleman possessing the most accurate judgment, and one of the best collections in this country. With him it was most beautiful. I will here attempt to give some description of this gem of the Tulip-bed. The form or outline will rank with our most established favourites, and may be called almost faultless. The substance of the petal exceedingly good and broad; the base or bottom perfectly clean and pure; the markings of the petals partake of feather, flame and feather, sometimes ribbed and feather, and of the brightest scarlet carmine. The white is of a remarkably pearly transparency seldom met with. It will take its place in the Tulip-bed about the third row; and it must ere long become a universal favourite with amateurs and others.
While upon this Tulip, I think it necessary to mention the circumstance of there being another distinct break of this flower, having a tinge of straw-colour, but soon bleaching to a very pure white. The first-named variety must be the one most coveted.
It is to Mr. George Haward the Tulip Fancy is indebted for this fine flower. It was raised by him from seed saved from some Rose-Tulip, probably Rose Brilliant; but of this he is not quite certain. They were carefully attended to; and the year previous to their blooming he requested Mr. Milner, a neighbour, to take charge of them for him. He had the satisfaction to see them bloom here; and so beautiful were they in the breeder state, that he used to say one or two of them would be an acquisition to any bed, where they would surely become the objects of admiration.
* With the above paper S. S. obligingly forwarded two drawings of different breaks of the Tulip, Haward's Magnificent, which was figured in Vol. I. We hope our Note-book of the present season will afford our Tulip-loving readers some information upon a variety that is claiming so much attention. - Editor.
Mr. G. Haward, soon after the above time, took up his residence in London, and was, in consequence, obliged to relinquish their cultivation, although he remains as great an enthusiast in the flower as ever. From Mr. Milner's hands they got into the possession of Mr. Alexander, from whom Mr. Haward purchased some few of them back again, being unable to obtain any of them otherwise.
S. V. S. S.