This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
As before observed, one of the most striking features of the meeting was the extensive display of Cyclamens. Mr H. B. Smith, Ealing Dean Nursery, Ealing, contributed quite 300 plants. Part of the group consisted of pure white, crimson, and red-throated varieties intermixed. The other part of the group was composed of about 120 plants of a pure white variety, all the plants being as dwarf and even as if they had been cast in one mould. They were admirably grown and compact, with good foliage and splendid flowers. Such a collection is rarely seen. It was greatly admired, and a large gold Bank-sian medal was deservedly awarded to the exhibitor. First-class certificates were awarded to Mr Smith for Cyclamen Picturata, a splendid variety, having petals 2 1/2 inches in length and nearly an inch in diameter. The colour is satiny white su ffused with rose, the base of the petals and throat purplish crimson; leaves small, marbled, and serrated; flower stems stout, and a foot in height; plant floriferous and very attractive.
Also for Crimson King: flowers medium-sized, colour glowing magenta crimson; flower stems mottled, and a foot high; foliage large, round, and smooth; a variety of great promise.
Messrs Edmonds & Son, Hayes Nursery, Hayes, Middlesex, also staged a very pleasing group of Cyclamens; some of them were very large plants, on one of which were 220 fully expanded flowers, the corm being fully 7 inches in diameter; the whole of the plants were well flowered, and some of the colours were very rich. A silver-gilt Banksian medal was awarded. Mr R. Clarke, Twickenham, also exhibited 100 plants of a very highly coloured crimson variety, and about the same number of mixed varieties. The plants were somewhat smaller than those in the preceding collections, but the colours were very bright and striking. A silver Banksian medal was awarded.
We now notice a group of Orchids of extraordinary merit contributed by Sir Trevor Lawrence, Bart., M.P., Burford Lodge, Dorking (grower Mr Spyers). About thirty-six plants were staged. It were impossible to speak too highly of the splendidly cultivated and densely bloomed plants; the richness of colouring of some, and the chaste purity of others, were most striking. Three large plants of Dendrobium Wardianum, the centre plant in a pot, the other two growing on blocks, were all alike healthy and grandly flowered. Each plant had about ten vigorous growths, many of them having eight tiers of blooms, or more than 100 large and fresh flowers on each plant. A large plant of Dendrobium nobile ccerulescens was profusely bloomed and very beautiful; Cypri-pediums Boxalli and villosum were large and grand. A magnificent plant of Coelogyne Lemoineana, pure white and lemon throat, was very chaste; Odon-toglossums crispum and crispum roseum were very beautiful, as was also a well-coloured plant of Phalsenopsis Schilleriana. Dendrobiums crassinode Barberi-ana, D. crassinode grandiflorum, and D. luteolum, the latter with several pale lemon flowers, were all of them very attractive.
Odontoglossums Rossii, Lind-leyanum, speciosum, Cervantesii roseum, triumphans, etc, various Ccelogynes, Lycaste Skinneri, the very curious Spathoglottis Lobbii, and Masdevallia poly-sticta, were all well represented; and exceedingly striking was a fine plant of Cymbidium eburneum with eight grand wax-like flowers; also Laelia anceps alba with two flowers, and the brilliant Laelia harpophylla, the finest plant we have ever seen, and perhaps the brightest Orchid in cultivation. The flowers - there were twenty-one of them - are in form not unlike those of Tritonia aurea, but larger, and are of the most intense orange scarlet imaginable. A large gold Banksian medal was awarded for this fine collection.
A silver Flora medal was awarded to Mr H. Benham, gardener to the Earl of Stradbroke, Henham Hall, Wangford, Suffolk, for four profusely bloomed plants of Phalaenopsis Schilleriana with magnificent foliage; and a first-class certificate was awarded to Messrs Hugh Low & Son, Clapton, for a remarkable Orchid Cymbidium Lowianum. In growth the plant resembles C. Hookerii. The spike, which was gracefully arched, contained twelve flowers, each 4 inches in diameter. The sepals and petals are pale olive green faintly striped with cinnamon, the throat creamy white, and lip a rich velvety reddish brown. It is novel and very striking. A similar award was made to F. A. Phillbrick, Esq., Q.C., Avenue Road, Regent's Park (Mr Heims, gardener), for Ipsea speciosa, an Orchid first introduced from Ceylon in 1840. The plant had two bright yellow Dendrobium-like flowers, borne on the summit of a stem 2 feet high, very clear in colour and distinct. The same exhibitor was awarded a vote of thanks for a fine spike and variety of Odontoglossum Andersonianum. Mr Green, gardener to Sir George Macleay, Bart., was awarded a vote of thanks for Odontoglossum crispum Macleayi, with crimson blotches.
Mr Green had also a similar award for some other rare plants; he also exhibited a bloom of VandaCathcartii, which had been open for six weeks and had been cut from the plants three weeks. A plant of Maxillaria (Bifrenaria) Buchaniana was exhibited by H. J. Buchan, Esq., "Wilton House, Southampton. The throat of the flower is golden yellow striped with brown, petals white, and sepals rose - highly perfumed. The same exhibitor staged cut spikes of Orchids, and was awarded a vote of thanks.
A very attractive collection was staged by Messrs James Veitch & Sons, consisting of fine fringed red and white Primulas, a very superior strain of Cyclamens exceedingly well flowered, a row of dwarf plants of Aucuba japonica profusely berried, several very handsome and striking Amaryllises. To one of these, Virgil, a first-class certificate was awarded. The flower is very large and of excellent form. It measured upwards of 7 inches in diameter, the well-rounded petals being 3 inches across. The prevailing colour is cream with a greenish tinge, the centre of the petals being flaked and spotted with scarlet. It is of the Leopoldii type, and an extremely fine variety. A similar award was made to the same firm for a new and very graceful Fern, Davallia Mariesii, an evergreen species from Japan, and both on account of its hardiness and elegance will prove very valuable. Several Palms were included in the group, also a plant of Camellia reticulata flore-pleno with very elegant flowers, resembling both in the bud and in a half-expanded state Roses in the same stages; also a beautiful plant of Laelia Veitchii with eight richly coloured flowers.
Messrs Veitch further exhibited small plants of a new and highly distinct Dracaena from the South Sea Islands. This plant, which is named Princess Marguerite, is even more elegant in habit than D. Cooperii, and is coloured almost exactly similar to Aspidistra lurida variegata, two-thirds of the leaves being creamy white, tinted with pink and flaked with green. On account of the evident free growth of the plant and of its clear colours, it can scarcely fail to prove valuable for decorative and market purposes. A vote of thanks was awarded for the collection.
From Mr W. Bull came several attractive Palms, Encephalartos villosus and cycadifolius; smaller groups of Odontoglossums Phalaenopsis and cirrhosum intermixed with small Palms, Cattleyas, Lycastes, Oncidiums, etc.; also several plants of the much-admired Dracaena Goldieana, A very large plant of Odontoglossum cirrhosum, with ten spikes; Vanda suavis, with a terminal raceme of flowers; Dendrobium Wardianum, with enormous flowers; and the distinct and chaste double Epacris onosmaeflora flore-pleno nivalis. A silver-gilt Banksian medal was awarded for the collection.
Mr B. S. Williams sent an attractive collection of Amaryllises, well-bloomed plants of Dendrobium Wardianum, a large centre plant of Cypripedium villosum, Odontoglossum Alexandras, a pan of Dracaena Bausei, a pair of the pretty and neat-flowering Primula denticulata, the new Azalea Princess Maude, very bright; some very dwarf plants of Aucuba himalaica nana, very profusely berried; and a very superior strain of Primula sinensis fimbriata alba and rubra intermixed. A silver Banksian medal was recommended. From Messrs Osborn & Son came an excellent group of decorative plants, consisting of Palms gracefully weeping over well-bloomed Rhododendrons; Azaleas, Dendrobium nobile, Spiraeas, and several small plants of Cocos Weddelliana completed the group, for which a silver Banksian medal was awarded.
Messrs W. Paul & Son contributed sixteen boxes of Camellias, which were very much admired. They contained about fifty splendid varieties. Some of the boxes were composed of one variety, amongst which we noted Fimbriata, two boxes of Alba plena, Belle Jeanette, Imbricata, Eximea, Marchioness of Exeter, and the crimson Bealli, very bright indeed. Souvenir Emile Dufresne is a very striking red flower of good substance, with a white stripe down the centre of the petals. Very effective were some fine flowers of Mathotiana and Madame de Strekaloff. Princess Charlotte, Elegans, La Reine, and Montironi were among the best white varieties not named above. Mr Paul also exhibited a plant of the splendid white Camellia Ninfa Egeria, which is not more remarkable for the great excellence of its flowers than for its compact growth and dark glossy foliage. A silver Flora medal was awarded. Mr Cannell, Swanley, Kent, sent two boxes of Pelargoniums, very bright and fine; some very dwarf Agera-turns, Cannell's Dwarf, worthy of its name, and will be valuable for small beds and edgings; and sprays of Fuchsia cordifolia splendens, laden with bright Corraea-like flowers. A vote of thanks was awarded.
A similar award was granted to Mr Blond, gardener to Mrs Graham Smith, Cranbourne Court, for a basket of well-cultivated Neapolitan Violets. A cultural commendation was awarded to Mr Tidy, gardener, Stanmore, for a large plant of Primula sinensis; and a vote of thanks to Mr James Redlees, Isleworth, for fine and highly-coloured flowers of Cinerarias. Several Primulas and Imantophyllum miniatum were sent from the Society's garden at Chiswick; and Messrs Prentice Brothers, Stow-market, exhibited samples of their new fertiliser "Florivita" - Life of Flowers - a pale pink powder and perfumed. - Journal of Horticulture.