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, in all probability, closes the large exhibitions of the Royal Botanic Society. It is stated that they have not been financial successes, and in consequence they are to be abolished. It was in all respects a fine exhibition, the various classes were well filled, and notwithstanding the lateness of the season, the plants were generally in good condition. The Orchids sent from the collection of A. Turner, Esq., Leicester, were remarkably fine, and the group formed one of the principal attractions of the show, which was largely and fashionably attended.
In the amateurs' class for ten stove and greenhouse plants, the best came from Mr Chapman, gardener to J. Spode, Esq., Hawkesyard Park, Rugeley, who bad a magnificent bush of Phaenocoma prolifera, about 5 feet through, and beautifully flowered; a large and finely-bloomed Pimelea diosmsefolia, well-furnished specimens of Erica tricolor Holfordiana, and E. Parmentieriana, the latter a handsome bush, about 3 feet through; Polygala cordata, large, and covered with flowers; an equally well-grown and flowered Dracophyllum gracile, and a very good Ixora coccinea, etc. Mr T. Baines, gardener to H. Micholls, Esq., Bowden, Cheshire, was second, and contributed a nicely-flowered specimen of Ixora javan-ica, about 5 feet high; a large Bougainvillea glabra, covered with blooms; a magnificently-furnished specimen of Darwinia (Hederoma) tulipifera, with flowers of remarkable size and colour; a grand bush of Erica obbata, and Ixora coccinea, etc. Mr D. Donald, gardener to J. G Barclay, Esq., came third. In the corresponding class for nurserymen, Mr Ransley Tanton of Epsom was first, showing a well-furnished and finely-flowered Aphelexis macrantha purpurea, a very good Allamanda Hendersoni, about 5 feet high; a splendid specimen of Kalosanthes miniata splendens, not fully in bloom; Allamanda grandiflora, in good condition; Stephanotis floribunda, a good specimen, nicely flowered; and a smallish, though remarkably healthy, Phseaocoma prolifera Barnesii. Mr B. S. Williams was second with very good specimens of Ixora javanica, Allamanda cathartica, Stephanotis floribunda, and Anthurium Scherzerianum, with twenty of its brilliant scarlet spathes, etc.
Messrs Jackson & Son, Kingston, were third. The best six in the amateurs' class came from Mr J. "Ward, gardener to F. G. Wilkins, Esq., who had a beautiful Allamanda grandiflora, about 5 feet high and 4 feet through, well flowered; also Clerodendron Balfourianum and Bougainvillea glabra, both well flowered; a nicely grown and flowered Phrenocoma prolifera Barnesii, Ixora amboynensis. and Dracophyllum gracile, in good condition. Mr J. Wheeler was second with a very good example of Aphelexis rosea, a small though well-bloomed Clerodendron Balfourianum, a good Bougainvillea glabra, and a neat pyramidal bush of Ixora javanica floribunda, etc.
The best ten fine-foliaged plants, in the nurserymen's class, came from Mr B. S. Williams, who had a small but fair specimen of Sanchezia nobilis, nicely-coloured examples of Croton pictum, large and fine Latania borbonica, Theo-phrasta imperialis, Yucca quadricolor, and Cordyline indivisa, etc. Mr J. Burley stood second with a good Cordyline indivisa, Chamserops humilis, Fortunei, Yucca aloifolia, Dicksonia antarctica, etc. In the corresponding class for amateurs, Mr Fairbairn, gardener to the Duke of Northumberland, Sion House, took the first prize with a fine group, amongst which were a grand Thamnopteris Nidus, Anthurium acaule, Alocasia metallica, and A. macrorhiza variegata, in good condition. Mr W. Taylor, gardener to J. Yates, Esq., came second, showing in his collection nice specimens of Littsea juncea, Encephalartos latifrons, Dion edule, and Cycas revoluta, etc. Mr T. Baines was third with, amongst others, a grand mass of Sarracenia purpurea, a large and well-grown Gleichenia Speluncre, Croton pictum, and Alocasia Veitchii, etc.
Mr Fairbairn was also first for six with good specimens of Phcenix fariuifera, Anthurium cordifoliutn, Adocasia zebrina, Theo-phrasta imperialis, Croton variegatum, and Cocos sp.
Of Orchids there was a fine display, occupying the usual position devoted for their reception. First and foremost in the whole collection stood the eight sent by Mr W. Archer, gardener to A. Turner, Esq., Leicester, consisting of Cattleya Skinneri, a grand specimen, about 3 feet through, covered with its beautiful rosy-purple flowers; a large and well-bloomed Cattleya Mossise, with fine flowers, though rather pale in colour; a magnificent Cypripedium barbatum, covered with flowers too numerous for us to count; a finely-coloured Lselia purpurata, Saccolabium guttatum, with ten good spikes; Phalamopsis grandiflora, with three spikes of large flowers; and awell-floweredspecimen of the charming Odontoglos-sum Pescatorei, etc. Mr Wilson, gardener to W. Marshall, Esq.,Enfield, came second, showing a very good Lrolia purpurea, Cattleya Leopoldi, with one good spike; Aerides Larpentse, a beautifully - flowered Odontoglossum Alexandra, Cypripedium Stonei, with two nice spikes; and Dendrochilum filiforme, a small but well-flowered specimen, remarkable for its gracefully drooping greenish-yellow lace-like flowers. Mr B. Peed came third, showing in his collection a well-grown Aerides odoratum, scarcely forward enough; a well-bloomed Oncidium sessile, Cypripediums, etc.
For six, the first prize was taken by Mr I. Hill, with, amongst others, Cattleya Aclandise, Trichopilia tortilis, and Aerides Fieldingii, charmingly-flowered, etc. Mr J. Wheeler had Oncidium leucochilum, with a good spike about 5 feet long; and good specimens of Odontoglossum hastila-bium and Epidendrum atropurpureum. Mr J. Lawrence, gardener to the Bishop of Winchester, Farnham Castle, showed a small plant of Trichopilia turialvse, having fourteen beautifully whitish-yellow flowers distributed regularly around the rim of the pot; small nicely-flowered specimens of Odontoglossum caudatum and Epidendrum vitellinum, and the curious "Turk's saddle " Acineta, A. sella turcica. The best six in the nurserymen's class were furnished by Mr B. S. Williams, who had a good well-clothed Sobralia macrantha, with nine good blooms; a fine Aerides odoratum majus, with sixteen spikes not yet fully expanded; and Saccolabium guttatum, with two fine spikes, etc. Messrs Jackson & Son were second, contributing Dendrobium Dalhousianum, with one spike; Odontoglossum citrosmum, Epidendrum phceniceum, and a nice spike of Oncidium obryzatum, etc.