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.
Taking the effects of the season into consideration, the fruit at this show was exceedingly-good, many of the late Grapes showing fine finish, but to the Pine-apples must be awarded the palm for size and culture. For one smooth Cayenne, Mr P.
Stewart, gardener to ------ Tennant, Esq. of The Glen, had some difficulty in getting first with a fine fruit, weighing 8 lb., Mr Laing, Pitcairlie, being bis close opponent with one about the same weight, but rather too ripe, which was placed second. Though these are not wonderful nowadays, yet they are the best that we have seen shown this season. Mr Methven, Blytheswood, also competed in this class. For one Queen Pine, Mr Laing was first. For two bunches Muscat of Alexandria, the Rev. W. Bushby, Dalkeith, had an easy first, with marvellously perfect examples. The bunches, though small, would have done credit to the best of seasons, and the most celebrated practical grape-grower. Mr P. Stewart was second. Mr Shaw, Donisla House, Edinburgh, had in his first-prize collection of four varieties Muscat of Alexandria, Gros Coleman, Alicante, and a 5-lb. bunch of Barbarossa, all fine productions. Mr Hannah, Burnhead, was second with fine Lady Downes, Black Hamburg somewhat deficient, good Alicante, and Mrs Pince. Mr Greig, Craigend Park; Mr Macintosh, Luss; and Mr Brunton, Gilmerton, Drem, had good examples. Mr Shaw was first for the single bunch of Gros Coleman, with a bunch large in size but very deficient in colour.
Two bunches Lady Downes, first, Mr Macintosh Leslie; second, Mr Hannah. Mr Hannah was first for one bunch Black Alicante, perfect in colour, as was Mr Shaw's second. White Lady Downes was well shown by Mr Greig, who obtained first amongst competitors with nicely-formed, firm, well-coloured bunches. With one bunch of Muscat of Alexandria, Mr P.. Stewart had first for flavour in whites; Black Hamburg from Mr Summers, Polton House, Lasswade, taking first amongst blacks. For any variety of black, Mr Leyden, gardener, Whitehill, had first with West's St Peter. For whites, Mr Brunton and Mr Greig showed Bowood Muscat and Chasselas Napoleon in excellent condition. Mrs Pince was well shown by Mr Hannah, who appeared to grow this variety well. Though prizes were offered for Madresfield Court Grape none put in an appearance.
Apples and Pears were very fine. For the twelve varieties of baking, and twelve dessert Apples, Mr Brunton came first. Mr Anderson, gardener to the Earl of Stair, Oxenford Castle, taking first for Echlinvale seedling; Mr Cummings, gardener to the Earl of Wemyss, Amisfield, having the same for some beautiful King of the Pippins. Mr G. Barrel, Salton Hall, Mr Gillan, Ormiston Hall, and Mr Anderson, Ashlay, exhibited splendid fruit of Pears. Mr Anderson, Oxenford, had first for Marie Louise, very fine. Mr Croshd had first for Beurre Niel; and Mr Allan, Rathro Park, for Louise Bonne de Jersey. Millet de Nancy and Winter Beurre were prominent amongst other collections.
Much credit is due to the nurserymen who furnished the greatest part of the hall with magnificent collections of fine plants, Messrs P. Lawson & Sons having the orchestra tastefully decorated in their usual style; while the surrounding tables were principally filled from the collections of Messrs Downie, Laird, & Laing, Methven & Sons, Drummond & Brothers, and Gordon & Sons.
Conspicuous amongst small collections of plants were Mr N. Fraser's collection of six Ferns from Canonmills Lodge. These comprised Adiantum Farlay-ense, A. cuniatum, Aspleniuin fragrans, Goniophlebium sub-auriculatum, Pteris umbrosa, and Todea superba - large plants in excellent order. Mr Paul, Gil more Place, was first for two Epiphyllums, finely in bloom, compared with the others, which were unworthy of notice. Orchids were few, Mr Currie, Salisbury Green, having a first award for a lot, in which Loelia anceps was a noble specimen, bearing over a dozen spikes, each producing a number of flowers. The same was given him for ornamental berried plants, and also for a collection of Dracaenas. Mr Shaw came first for the white and pink Primulas with a fine strain of well-grown plants. Chrysanthemums were not numerous, the greater bulk of them coming from the nurserymen.
Vegetables were in abundance and of fine quality, Mr Anderson, Ashley, being first for the twelve sorts, with some fine London Cauliflower, beautiful Beetroot, grand Sandringham dwarf white Celery, etc.
Downie, Laird, etc Laing exhibited a quantity of splendid winter Cucumbers. Unfortunately we could not ascertain their names, but they were remarkably good for the season.
First-class certificates were awarded to Mr Thomson, Tweed Yineyards, Clovenfords, Galashiels, for an excellent basketful of Gros Coleman Grape, with most exquisite colour and finish, bearing a superior stamp in size of berry to any Grape there, with a flavour equal to the finest Lady Downes or Alicante; and to the Rev. W. Bushby, for a box of magnificent Muscats, most equal in size of berry and quite amber-coloured, the whole forming a collection which ranked amongst the finest displays of Muscat Grapes we had ever the pleasure of seeing.
Mr P. Stewart, The Glen, had a cultural commendation for three smooth Cayenne Pine fruit, with a combined weight of 22 lb.