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 first summer exhibition was held in the Botanic Gardens, Regent Park, May 25th and 26th. The great Whitsuntide exhibition at Manchester opened on the 26th, with greater inducements for exhibitors, and one or two of the principal competitors sent their plants there.
The usual large prize for a stated number of plants is withheld, and a group arranged for effect put in its place. This class usually brings out collections of ordinary nursery plants, from the principal firms, calling for no special comment. Messrs A. Henderson & Co., Pine-apple Place, were first, and Messrs Rollison second.
A class was provided for 24 Hardy Herbaceous plants in flower, and a most excellent and varied group was awarded the first prize, from Mr R. Parker of Tooting, containing several beautiful Pyrethrums, in variety rivalling the Chrysanthemum in shape, and of the most brilliant colours. Iberis and Alyssum sax-atile compactum, with deep yellow flowers: For 9 Stove and Greenhouse plants in flower, Mr Ward, Leyton, was first, with large well-managed plants; Mr Chapman of Rugsley being second. In Heaths and Stage Pelargoniums, Mr Ward again carried off first honours.
In the class for 20 Pelargoniums, distinct, Mr C. Turner of Slough was first with a collection of the best sorts; Corsair, Needle-gun, Favourite, Claribel, fine white, Hermit, Jerome, John Hoyle, Gratulation, and Prince of Orange, were the most select. Roses in pots from Mr C. Turner and Messrs Paul & Son were again of rare excellence; and it is worthy of note that no collection is staged without a plant of Charles Lawson. The best Roses that have been shown by amateurs were sent by Mr T. Terry, gardener to A. G. Puller, Esq., Youngsbury, Herts: his collection contained four Tea Roses and a fine Charles Lawson.
There were three classes provided for Orchids. Mr Ward was first for nine, with Cypripedium Stonei, Odontoglossum Bluntii, 0. citrosmum roseum, and a fine Oncidium bifolium; Mr Burnett Bull and Wright taking the remaining prizes. Mr Williams was first in the nurserymen's class, and Mr Bull second. Aerides Fieldingii and Cypripedium villosum were good. Exotic Ferns were numerously shown, Mr Wright taking first position with a fine collection of 6. Mr Williams was first in the nurserymen's class; Azaleas were well shown by Mr C. Turner, and Mr Little, gardener to J. Goddard, Esq., Roydon Lodge, Essex; the last-named exhibitor taking the first prize with 12 well-grown pyramids in 12-inch pots. A large number of new plants were sent to this exhibition, and numerous certificates were awarded. Messrs Veitch, of Chelsea, obtained botanical certificates of merit for Dioscorea retusa, a peculiar trailing plant, with a drooping inflorescence of small greenish-white flowers, sweet-scented. Fremontia californica, with a profusion of large orange-yellow flowers; Croton Johannis, Agave Regelii, A. festiva, A. Besseriana Candida, A. Roezliana, A. horrida hystrix, A. Kerchovei macrodonta, Dracaena magnifica, a grand broad-leaved species, D. Mooreana and D. porphyrophylla.
Messrs Veitch also exhibited a fine plant of the beautiful Epidendrum syringothyrsus; it had nearly a hundred flowers in one panicle, of a light purple colour, with a white throat. Mr W. Bull obtained the same awards for Primula japonica, and varieties, splendida, alba, carminata, and lilacina, Cypripedium niveum, Hippeastrum pyrochroa, Dremonorops cinnamomea, Anthurium Scherzerianum Dixoni, Elaphoglossum Herminieri, a peculiar Fern, the fronds of which lay flat on the ground; they are sword-shaped, 18 inches long, and of a glossy-green colour; Malortia simplex, Hydrangea stellata prolifera, and Arenga Bonnetii. Also to Mr Williams for Adiantum capillus Veneris crispulum, Caryota truncata, and Dracaena Lier-valii. To Messrs A. Henderson & Co., for Phyllanthus mimosaefolia; and to Messrs E. G. Henderson & Son, for Thalictrura adiantifolia, a species with pale green, very graceful, finely-divided leaves; Mr W. Thomson of Ipswich received the same award for Collinsia violacea.
Floral certificates were given to Mr W. Paul for Virgin Queen, white-leaved and white-flowered zonal Pelargonium; to Mr Turner for Silver Tricolor Mrs Ptousby; and to Mr Nye, gardener to B. Foster, Esq., Clewer Manor, for show Pelargoniums Blue Bell, Cresar, and Conquest.