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.
Mr Parker of Tooting was placed equal second with the above; in his collection were Cypripedium superbius, with four grand flowers; two good spikes of Oncidium divaricatum, and Lajlia Brysiana, with five fine flowers.
Ferns formed a very effective display. The best twelve in the nurserymen's class came from Mr B. S. Williams, who had in his group excellent examples of Todea Africana, Marattia elegans, a grand mass of Gleichenia Speluncse, Cibotium Schiedei and princeps, and Lomaria gibba. Mr T. Baines stood first amongst amateurs, with splendid bush-like masses of Gleichenia flabellata and Speluncse, admirable specimens of Davallia bullata and tenuifolia, etc. In Mr W. Taylor's second prize collection were nice specimens of Gymnogramma ochracea, Asp-lenium Fabianum, Adiantum formosum, and Microlepia strigosa, etc. Mr A. Wright was third. First for hardy British species came Messrs Ivery & Son, Dorking, with a large and exceedingly well grown collection, comprising many fine varieties of Athyrium Filix-fcemina, Polystichum angulare, and Scolopend-riums, etc.
The best group of plants arranged in flower-garden style was furnished by Messrs E. G. Henderson, whose collection was tastefully set out on a gently sloping bank, with a very pretty effect. The first and outer row consisted of dwarf bushy plants of Guaphalium tomentosum; next a line of blue Lobelias; then came a row of Coleus; then a wider row of such plants as Centaureas, Alternantheras, Sedums, Coleus, and Pelargoniums, arranged alternately in square masses; in the fifth row the same arrangement was followed with Iresine, a fine Heliotrope named Jersey Beauty, and other subjects; and the whole was backed up by a miscellaneous collection of greenhouse and bedding plants. Mr T. S. Ware was second with a neatly arranged assortment of hardy plants, etc.
There was, as there generally is, at the last exhibition of the Botanic Society, a good show of fruit. The best collection came from Mr W. Millar, gardener to Earl Craven, Combe Abbey, Coventry, this being the third year in succession Mr Millar has taken this prize. The collection consisted of his very nice Queen Pines; fine dishes of Black Hamburg and Foster's white seedling Grapes, Chichester Prize Melon, fine Royal George Peaches and Elruge Nectarines, Waterloo cherries, and British Queen Strawberries. Mr Johnson, gardener to the Marquis of Salisbury, was second with a fine Providence and a good Queen Pine, Trentham Hybrid Melon, Black Hamburg and Tottenham Muscat Grapes, Violette Hative Peaches, Elruge Nectarines, and a fine dish of La Constante Strawberries. Of Pine-Apples, the best was a Providence, 6 lb. in weight, from Mr Bailey, gardener to T. T. Drake, Esq., Shardaloes, Amersham. The best Queen, which weighed i\ lb., came from Mr J. "Ward, gardener to T. N. Miller, Esq., Bishop Stortford. Mr Ward also took the first prize for a fruit of any other sort with a fine Prickly Cayenne, which weighed about 5 lb.; Mr Bailey being second with the same.
As usual there were plenty of Melons. The best scarlet-fleshed fruits were: Standish's Perfection, Clarke's Hybrid, and Princess of Wales, the prizes being awarded in this order. The best green-fleshed were an unnamed variety shown by Mr B. S. Williams, Holloway, and awarded the first prize, Hybrid Cashmere and Queen Emma.
For Grapes, any variety, in quantity not less than 12 lb., the 1st prize was taken by Mr Miller, Combe Abbey, with beautifully finished Black Hamburgs; and Mr Davies, Friern, Barnet, was second with good well-coloured bunches of Muscat of Alexandria; whilst certificates of commendation were bestowed on Mr Henderson, of Cole Orton, who showed the Black Hamburg, and Messrs Standish & Co., who contributed the Royal Ascot; Mr C. Ross, gardener to C. Eyre, Esq., Welford Park, Mr G. Thomas, gardener to Mrs Child, Whetstone, and Mr Osborn, Finchley, also exhibited good baskets of Black Hamburg. The best single dish of the latter kind was sent by Mr Henderson, of Cole Orton, who had three rather small bunches, but the berries were remarkably fine in size, well coloured, and showing a spendid bloom; Mr J. Douglas was second with very fine examples, and the other prizes were taken by Mr Bannerman and Mr J. Simpson. Messrs Standish & Co. stood first for Muscats with three nicely-finished bunches of Muscat of Alexandria; the same variety was shown by Mr Kemp, gardener to the Duke of Northumberland, Albury Park, and Mr Bailey, who took the second and third prizes respectively. The three bunches shown by the latter exhibitor were very fine in size and shape, but were evidently not quite ripe.
Mr Bannerman was first for a single dish of Black Prince, with three good bunches; Mr 0. Goldsmith, was second, and Mr Sage, gardener to Earl Howe, Gopsall Hall, third. Mr W. Cole, gardener to J. S. Budgett, Esq., Ealing Park, was first in the class for a single dish of any other kind, with Buckland Sweetwater; Mr Bannerman was second, with excellent examples of Grizzly Fron-tignan; and Mr Douglas third, with. Buckland Sweetwater.
In the class for two dishes each of Peaches and Nectarines, distinct kinds, Mr Miller of Combe Abbey, and Mr Jack, gardener to the Duke of Cleveland, Bat-tie Abbey, were equal first, the latter having well-coloured Elruge and Violette Hative Nectarines, and Royal George and Bellegarde Peaches, some of the latter weighing 11 ounces; the former showed Elruge and Oldenburg Nectarines, and Grosse Miguonne and Royal George Peaches, in very fine condition. The second prize was awarded to similar kinds exhibited by Mr G. Masters, gardener to Earl Macclesfield, Tetsworth.
Of Cherries the best black kinds were Black Circassian, from Mr Turner; Tartarian, from Mr Hill, gardener, Poles, Ware, Herts; and May Duke, from Mr J. Budd, gardener to H. D. Barclay, Esq., Eastwick Park. Mr Hill was first for Whites, Mr J. Hepper, and Mr W. Dobson, gardener to C. H. Mills, Esq., M.P., Sevenoaks, also contributed nice dishes.
For four varieties of Strawberries the first prize was taken by Mr J. Douglas, who had very fine fruit of Sir Harry, President, Premier, and La Constante. Amongst miscellaneous subjects exhibited were four very nice Queen Pines from Mr J. Hepper; three good bunches of a handsome-looking Black Grape, named Black Mammoth, from Mr Henderson, Cole Orton, were greatly admired. It was said to be a seedling sent to this country from Australia by the late Mr Wood of Nottingham. The bunches were nicely finished, berries large and oval, somewhat resembling the Black Morocco, though perhaps longer, and not quite so bluntly ended as that variety. Messrs Standish & Co. exhibited the Royal Ascot Grape growing in pots, trained on the umbrella fashion, averaging about six bunches each. Mr B. S. Williams had a fine brace of Holloway Rival Cucumbers, and Mr Turner three fine fruits of the new sort named Blue Gown.