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.
The monthly record of shows commences with that held at South Kensington, by the Royal Horticultural Society on the 20th of April. This one of the series of small but interesting bi-monthly exhibitions had Azaleas and Rhododendrons as the leading features. Generally the former were shown as nice, small, but well-flowered pyramid bushes, generally characterised by that formal stiffness of training so common with this class of plants. Mr Turner of Slough took the Nurseryman's prize for six plants, with some standard Azaleas, trained in the Belgian style, on stems about 2 feet in height. The varieties were Hercules, Alba striata, Madame Jean Vervaene, Hovibronkii, Antoinette,and Marie Vervaene. The best specimen Azalea - Sir Charles Napier - came from Mr Wilkie, Addison Road, Kensington; the next best was Flower of the Day, from Mr Turner. Messrs Lane & Sons had the best collection of Rhododendrons in pots; Messrs Standish & Co. came next with some seedlings.
Mr Turner had, as might have been expected, the best twelve Auriculas; they comprised the following self-flowers, Master Hole, Bishop of Lichfield, Eliza, Crown Prince, and Prince Alfred; and of green, grey, and white edged flowers, the following, Galatea, Earl of Shaftesbury, Exhibitor, Stapleford Hero, Buck-stone, Admiral Napier, and Colonel Champneys. Mr James of Isleworth had the best six in the amateurs' class, including Meteor Flag and Mrs Smith, self-flowers; and of the other divisions, Conqueror of Europe, Lovely Ann, Bright Phoebus, and Ne plus ultra. Mr Turner's group of twelve Alpine Auriculas were admired much more than what are termed the show flowers, and made a very effective display. The advance made in the improvement in the Alpine Auricula by Mr Turner and others, during the last few years, was manifested in this fine group, all seedlings of Mr Turner's. Mr James of Isleworth had the first prize for nine Pansies in pots, which were excellently grown and bloomed; and consisted of Novgorod, Rev. H. Dombrain, Sunset, and Queen of England, self-fiowers; J. B. Downie, Chancellor, and Dr Smith, yellow grounds; and Isa Craig and Princess Helena, white grounds.
As is usually the case, the miscellaneous groups of plants made up by far the largest portion of the exhibition. The collections of Orchids exhibited by Mr Demning, gardener to Lord Londesborough, contained a noble specimen of the purple variety of Cattleya Skinneri, with ten fine spikes of flowers; Dendrobium Jenkinsii, with pale buff flowers, edged with yellow; and Odontoglossum hystrix, very handsome - to each of which special certificates were awarded. In a group from Messrs Veitch & Sons was a specimen of Oncidium sarcodes, with a spike of flowers 6 feet in length - awarded a special certificate; Odontoglossum Phalae-nopsis, a fine specimen of Anthurium Scherzerianum, etc. Equally attractive was a fine group of plants from Mr B. S. Williams, and similar groups came from Messrs Rollisson & Sons, Tooting, and Mr J. W. Wimsett, King's Road, Chelsea, inclusive of six large and well-bloomed plants of the new hybrid Ivy-leaved Pelargonium Wilsii. Mr May, gardener to Lady Ashburton, Melchet Court, Romsey, sent two splendid spikes of Phalaenopsis Schilleriana, to which a special certificate was awarded.