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.
Roses in pots were the principal feature at this meeting, besides the collections of miscellaneous subjects. The Roses which were put up for competition in the open classes were magnificent examples of skilful cultivation. Classes 1 and 2 were for 9 and 6 Roses in pots, the size of the pots unlimited. Messrs Paul & Son were first for 9, and Messrs Veitch first for 6, with equally well-grown plants to those of Messrs Paul, but smaller in size. In the class for amateurs 3 plants are required, and Mr James, gardener to W. F. Watson, Esq., Isleworth, was awarded the third prize. Class 4 - 12 Roses of 1S68-69-70 in 10-inch pots. This was an interesting class, as it brought out the best of the new Roses. Messrs Paul & Son were again first, Mr C. Turner of Slough occupying the second place, as he did in the class for 9. The best of the Roses which have not been previously noticed were - Noisette Reve d'Or, Comtesse d'Oxford, Dupuy Jamain, Duke of Edinburgh - the most brilliant Rose shown, Edouard Morreu; Charles Lawson is a grand pot Rose; Marie Baumaun was also very fine - it is also a very constant variety; President, fine Tea, and Paul Verdier.
Show and Alpine Auriculas. Mr C. Turner was first in the open classes, and Mr James second, the last-named exhibitor taking the first place in the class for amateurs, and the Rev. H. H. Dombrain second. Richard Headly, Smiling Beauty, Jessica, and a new variety, which received a second-class certificate, sent by Mr Turner, and named Alderman Wisbey, were the best show varieties of Alpines. Queen Victoria, Mercury, and two unnamed seedlings in Mr Turner's collection, were very fine.
Greenhouse Azaleas were again far behind the mark. Messrs Dobson & Sons, Isleworth, were second in* the open class for 6: and in the amateurs for 3, Mr Baldwin, gardener to B. Drew, Esq., was first; Mr Woodward, gardener to Mrs Torr, Ewell, second; and Mr G. Wheeler third.
Six Exotic Orchids (open), Messrs Rollison of Tooting were first, and Mr W. Bull second. In this collection was a very fine plant of Cypripedium caudatum superbum with two fine flowers.
For 6 Herbaceous Calceolarias, Mr James was first with an excellent strain of seedlings, the flowers being very large, but not very perfect in shape.
Miscellaneous collections were as usual very fine: Messrs Veitch had a grand specimen of Dendrobium Devonianum with three spikes of flowers 3 feet in length; an equally remarkable Cypripedium laevigatum with five spikes, four and five flowers on each. The beautiful filmy Tree-Fern Leptopteris Wilkesiana; Pandanus Veitchii, the leaves handsomely striped with white: this will be a grand plant both for decorative purposes and for exhibition.
Mr C. Noble, Bagshot, had a very attractive group of his new Clematis in fine condition; Duke of Buccleuch had very large flowers of a purplish slate; Mr W. Bull had an effective collection, in which was a basket of the Primula japonica, introduced from Japan by Mr Fortune: this plant created quite a sensation, it is so entirely distinct from any other; the leaves resemble strong examples of the common Primrose, from the centre of which the spikes resembling those of a Phlox are thrown up; the flowers also resemble those of the Phlox, are in whorls of a pleasing carmine purple, with a deeper-coloured eye.
A seedling Pine-Apple was sent by Mr Green, gardener to Mrs Honeywood, Marks Hall, Kelvadon. The leaves are smooth and broad like the Cayenne, with a greater number of prickles at the points of the leaves: the fruit weighed 3 lb., is quite distinct, abundantly juicy, and of excellent flavour - it will be seen again.
A new Cucumber was sent by Mr Douglas, gardener to F. Whitbourn, Esq., Ilford. It is a smooth free-bearing variety; the examples sent were very handsome, and were 2 feet in length; it was named by the committee "Tender and True," and received a first-class certificate.
Extraordinary examples of Biggareau and Black Eagle Cherries were sent by Mr Stevens, gardener to the Duke of Sutherland, Trentbam; a branch loaded with fruit of the largest size, and two dishes besides. An extra prize was awarded.
Some very interesting subjects were sent to this meeting; the Primula japonica and its variety lilacina, both sent by Mr W. Bull, received first-class certi6cates. The same award was made to Messrs Veitch for Croton Johannes, an erect-growing species with long narrow recurved leaves, having a deep golden variegation; also to Agave festiva, a distinct species with erect-growing leaves and dark spines. The same award was also given to Leptopteris Wilkesiana. First-class certificates were also given to Mr B. S. "Williams for a species of Sobralia, and also for Amaryllis marginata perfecta, with distinct scarlet flowers streaked with white. Mr Green, gardener to W. W. Saunders, Esq., sent Dyckia brevifolia, a species with deep-green Yucca-like leaves, also Elisena longipetala, a rather curious bulbous-rooted plant with white flowers from Peru: both received first-class certificates. A similar award was made to Messrs Rollison for a very fine Gloxinia with drooping flowers of a brilliant crimson with distinct purple spots on the throat; it was named Rev. H. H. Dom-brain. Messrs Downie, Laird, & Laing received first-class certificates for Iberis gibraltarica, a large-flowered species with pink-tinted florets; and for Tropaeolum Mrs Bowman, a variety with perfect-shaped flowers of a light-orange scarlet.
Mr R. Wood, gardener to W. B. Kellock, Esq., Stamford Hall, received a first-class award for Gasteria nigricans, with a singular-looking spike of glossy-red flowers. A first-class certificate was also given to Mr Masters, gardener to the Earl of Macclesfield, Sherburn, for Bougainvillea speciosa variegata, having well-marked yellow variegations; and one of the second class for perpetual-flowering Clove Miss Jolliffe, a very desirable flesh-coloured variety. Tea-Rose Earl of Eldon, in the way of Madame Falcot, but a better flower, from Messrs Paul & Son; and Rose Princess Beatrice, light Rose, full and beautifully cupped, and promises to be a fine exhibition variety, - both received first-class certificates.