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.
This, the first show of the season, took place in the City Hall. As a floricultural display it was not equal to many of its predecessors. As regards Hyacinths, there was not that decided quality nor the quantity of plants sometimes seen. Mr G. Irvine, gardener to T. Blackwood, Esq., Port-Glasgow, and Mr N. Glass, gardener to J. C. Bolton, Esq., Carbrook, took the leading positions. The nurserymen's class was not so well contested as it should have been. Miss Cook deserves special notice for bringing out a lot of well-managed bulbs, grown in water, and the foliage of which was neither blanched nor drawn up from want of light and air, as is the case with indoor Hyacinths improperly tended. This is a fact that never ought to be lost sight of by window gardeners for at least a month before the blooming period. It has occurred over and over again that Von Schiller has been singled out as the best spike at exhibitions, and we have again the same fact to note. Among Tulips the chaste white Pottebakker, the effective and well-named Vermilion Brilliant, and the orange and red Tournesol, maintained a front-rank position. Of the Narcissus, Grand Monarque, a fine white, and Soleil d'Or, a good yellow, were incomparably the best.
As to Crocuses, none can vie with the whiteness and size of Queen Victoria, or be more captivating than the suffused lavender-and-white Albion. Another bulb that is gaining in importance is the Hippeastrum section of Amaryllids. They afford such great variety, they are not difficult to cultivate, and the whole of them are so ornamental, that we are surprised they are not exhibited in greater numbers at early shows. The Cyclamens from Messrs Boyd and Walker were well cultivated. Cinerarias were well grown and shown by Mr M'Dougall and others. A seedling of decided value in the Messrs Austin's collection, named Countess of Eglinton, had a blue disc, with a prominent ring of white, and then a deep violet ray. Chinese Primroses are seen everywhere just now enlivening the greenhouse or the entrance-hall or boudoir. Lily of the Valley is so much sought after, that we do not wonder the fine pots of it shown by Mr Graham, Garscube, were so great a source of attraction. Camellia plants and Camellia flowers were much beyond the average, Messrs Walker and Boyd having Mathotiana and Countess of Orkney respectively, in praiseworthy condition. Tree Mignonette was very good, although scant in quantity. Azaleas, as usual, were quite a feature of the show.
The Tree Ferns from Oak Park House, Mount Vernon, decorated the orchestra, and it is a pity there were not more of them distributed throughout the hall to tone down bright colours, and to assist in breaking uniformity. Mr Methven, gardener to Colonel Campbell, Blythswood, sent a very meritorious box of Cherries.
The directors, judges, and a few friends, dined, after the Show, in the Crown Hotel. Mr James Graham, Garscube, presided, and Mr Thomas Granger, Partick, officiated as croupier. After the usual loyal and patriotic toasts, Mr Anderson, Meadow Bank, proposed the " Glasgow and West of Scotland Horticultural Society;" and remarked that he was glad to see a continual infusion of new blood among exhibitors, and especially of new plants upon the exhibition tables.