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.
Our, readers, we are sure, will have noticed with pleasure that the Caledonian Horticultural Society have determined to hold another great show in 1875. Judging from the very great success which has attended the two previous great shows which have been held in Edinburgh, there is every reason to expect a grand display in 1875. It was Edinburgh which first inaugurated a more than usual liberal scale of prizes, and distinguished itself for efficient management and the generous treatment of judges and visitors; and we have no doubt this will not be forgotten on the forthcoming occasion. It is now an established fact that it is only where liberal prizes are offered that great and successful horticultural shows can be looked for. We need only point to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Manchester for proof of this. In 1862 we wrote as follows: " There is ample room and means too in Edinburgh for one well-worked society, but not for two. A financial condition which would enable a society to offer liberal prizes, with united and cordial effort, is wanted more than anything else.
Some may be inclined to say that this money view is sordid and unworthy, and that the love of gardening, and the honour of gaining prizes, however paltry, should secure good exhibitions; such, we venture to affirm, will never be the case, at least for any length of time. Reduce the prize-lists of the London great societies to the same figures which have been hitherto offered in Edinburgh, and we would very soon cease to see and hear of their great displays of plants and fruits. On the other hand, raise the Edinburgh prize-lists to something like those of London, and a very little time will suffice to bring as fine flowers and fruits to the exhibition benches as is usually seen in the south." The above supposition has, to a very great extent, been realised, and the results are exactly as then predicted. To have good shows, we must have good prizes; and in the case of fruits especially, Edinburgh took the lead, and we have no fear of a relapse.