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.
On this occasion a new feature was introduced in the shape of Dephiniums, Pentstemon, Phloxes, Lobelia fulgens, and Herbaceous plants cultivated in pots. There was, however, no competition in any of the above classes; Messrs Downie, Laird, & Laing were awarded the first prize with a very attractive group of six Phloxes, Pladda, Mrs Taylor, Captain Speke, George "Weynss, Monsieur Saison, and James Mitchell.
For twelve Herbaceous plants in 12-inch pots. Mr R. Parker, Exotic Nursery, Tooting, was awarded the first prize: Campanula carpatica, Coreopsis lanceolata, and OEnothera venusta, were very showy.
For twelve cut Carnations, and the same number of Picotees, the competition was very close between Mr C. Turner of Slough and Mr Norman of Plumstead, Mr Turner being first for Carnations, and Mr Norman first for Picotees. The following Carnations were very fine: - Colonel Wyndham, Juno, King John, Sarah Payne, James Merryweather, Antonio, Falconbridge, Eccentric Jack, Poor Tom, Premier, Sir D. Wood, Splendour, Delicata, Royal Scarlet, and Dreadnought.
The best Picotees were Christie, Admiration, Mrs Fisher, Miss Turner, Mr Sutton, Purity, Gem of Poses, Empress Eugenie, Lord Valentia, Master Norman, Morning Star, Mrs Brown, Prince Arthur, William Ingleton, and Miss Davies.
The Metropolitan Floral Societies' prizes were equally divided between Mr Norman and Mr Pizzey, gardener to E. Perry, Esq., Slough, the former being first for Picotees and the latter for Carnations. Miscellaneous collections contained some really handsome specimens and the best of the new plants. Messrs Veitch of Chelsea had the following very fine Cypripedium doininyauum, a cross between C. caudatum and C. Pearcei; it was, as shown, exactly intermediate between the two; Grammatophyllum Elisianum, with thirty-two fine flowers on its pendent spike; Dracaena amabilis allied to D. Guilfoylei, with broader leaves and more attractive colour. Mr B. S. Williams had a splendid pot of Cypripedium super -biens (Veitchii) and other specimen plants. Messrs E. G. Henderson & Son had in their collection the best Caladium I have yet seen; it was named Prince Albert Edward; it has the leaf colour of Belleymei, but with crimson midribs. Mr Denning, gardener to Lord Londesborough, had a splendid specimen of Oncidium macranthum, with a spike 10 feet long; the flowers were of large size and highly coloured; twenty-nine were fully expanded.
Mr Bradley of Littledale, Halam, Notts, received a first-class certificate for a new Strawberry, "The Amateur," of large size, obovate, slightly cockscomb in shape, of a bright crimson colour and delicious flavour. The same award was given to Messrs Standish & Co. for Ascot Citronelle Grape; the bunch and berries are medium-sized, berries round, greenish white, and a delicious piquant Frontignan flavour. Messrs Rivers of Sawbridgeworth sent a small branch, with fruit, from a pot-tree, of a new large black Cherry, very handsome in appearance, and of good flavour, named Bigarreau Noir de Schmidt; it received a first-class certificate. Messrs Carter & Co. offered prizes for a collection of vegetables. Mr Miles, gardener to Lord Carrington, Wycombe Abbey, was the only exhibitor, and took first prize with a large collection.
The Floral meetings have been rendered highly interesting this season, from the numerous fine plants sent by the foreign exhibitors. M. Jean Verschaffelt of Ghent sent a dozen Agaves; one of them was a very distinct and handsome sort named A. elegantissima; this, and A. Regeli macrodonta, A. Mescal foliis striatis, and A. sp. nova, received first-class certificates. The highest award was also given to M. Verschaffelt for Zamia sp. nova, from New Caledonia; Encephalartos Vroomi, a really noble species; and a new Dicksonia, from St Catherine's, Brazil. The same award was given to M. Makoy & Co., Liege, for Tillandsia (platystachys) complanata. M. Wendland, the Royal Gardens, Herrenhausen, Hanover, sent aechmea Marie Regina, with large rose-pink bracts; this is really magnificent in appearance, and well deserved the first-class certificate awarded. The following also received first-class certificates: - Lobelia speciosa, White Perfection, from Messrs Lee, Hammersmith; a dense mass of pure-white Lobelia erinus, "Brilliant," dwarf, deep blue, and "Celestial Blue," of the primula section, pale slaty blue, very free flowering, from E. G. Henderson & Son; Rose Comtesse d'Oxford and Louis Van Houtte from Messrs Paul & Son; Fuchsia "Sunray"from Mr Milner, Bradford, a distinct variety with yellow and pink variegation; Picotee, Morning Star, and Mrs Brown, from Mr Norman, and one of the second class for Lady Holmsdale from the same exhibitor.