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 show took place in the grounds of the Radcliffe Observatory, a place very suitable for it, as it was pleasantly situated, nicely sheltered by trees, and the site far less rough than at Manchester. Our space will not admit of a detailed report; we can therefore only indicate a few of the more salient points of the exhibition.
In the class for the best 20 fine foliage and flowering plants, Mr Baines, gardener to H. Micholls, Esq., was well first, with large and excellent specimens of Bou-gainvillea glabra, well bloomed Ixora aurantiaca, Allamanda nobilis, Dipladenia amabilis, Erica obbata, very good; Ixora coccinea, very fine trusses of flowers; Croton angustifolia, large and well coloured; Yucca variegata, Cordyline indivisa, Verschaffeltia splendida, first - rate; Stevensonia grandifolia, very handsome; Gleichenia rupestris, a grand specimen; and a first-rate Croton variegatum. In Mrs Cole & Sons' collection, which came in second, were a large well-grown plant of Kalosanthes punica, Aphelexis humilis grandiflora, Hedaroma tulipifera, very fair; Erica Cavendishiana, very good, but a very "old stager;" and good specimens of Crotons, Dracaenas, Dicksonias, Palms, etc.
The best 9 foliaged or variegated plants in the amateurs' class were shown by Mr Johnson, gardener to the Marquis of Ailesbury, Savernake Forest, who had splendid specimens of Pandanus elegantissimus, Sanseveria angolensis, Croton variegatum, Alocasia macrorhiza variegata, very handsome; Sphaerogyne latifolia, very good; Alocasia metallica, a very good specimen; Caladium Bellemeyii, etc. The next best group came from Mr A. Wright, gardener to C. H. C. Roberts, Esq., Avenue Road, Regent's Park, with very good and familiar specimens of well - known plants. In the corresponding class for nurserymen, Mr B. S. Williams came in first with, amongst others, a very handsome specimen of Cycas revoluta, Cordyline indivisa, Croton picturn and angustifolium, Alocasia metallica, very fine; Chamaerops humilis, &c; the second prize being taken by Messrs Bell & Thorpe, with a very good group.
The best specimen stove plant in flower was a remarkably fine Allamanda cathartica, from Mr Baines; Messrs Standish & Co. being placed second with a very good specimen of A. Hendersoni. Mr Perkins exhibited a large plant of the curious but offensively - smelling Aristolochia ornithocephala. Mr Baines also supplied the best specimen greenhouse plant in flower - Erica Fairreana, very large and well flowered. The second prize was taken by Mr A. Wright, with a large nicely flowered specimen of Kaloisanthes Madame Celeste Winnans. From Mr B. S. Williams came the best 6 Palms, which were very handsome specimens of Livistonia Jenkinsii, Stevensonia sechellarum, and Verschaffeltia splendida, etc., large and well-clothed specimens. Messrs Rollisson & Son were placed second, with a very neat group; and Messrs Bell & Thorpe third. The best 4 Dracaenas, large handsome examples of D. atrosanguinea, lineata, australis, and umbraculifera, also came from Mr B. S. Williams, who also exhibited in the same tent one of the largest and most beautifully furnished specimens of Cycas circinalis we have ever seen.
Orchids were sparingly shown; the best came from Mr B. S. Williams. Exotic ferns were very fine. Especially grand specimens of Cyathea dealbata, Dicksonia antarctica, Todea Africana, Cyathea princeps, Cibotium Schiedei, and C. furcans, from the same exhibitor.
Messrs Ivery & Son, E. J. Lowe, and J. E. Mapplebeck were exhibitors of British ferns, the two last named especially having collections of rare merit.
The only exhibitors of 4 hardy Clematises in pots or tubs were Messrs Jackman & Son of Woking. The plants were one of the special features of the show, and attracted a large share of attention on account of their extreme beauty. They were grown in pillar form, from 3 to 5 feet in height, and about 3 feet through, and were well covered with blooms. The best were Jackmannii, Rubella, these two very fine; Launginosa Candida and Lady Bovill.
Fuchsias were indifferently shown: it would have been well if one or two prizes awarded had been withheld on the ground of insufficient merit. There were no large flowering or fancy Pelargoniums, and the Zonal Pelargoniums were below the average.
The class for 3 double Pelargoniums brought several competitors, and some very well grown and flowered plants. The best 3 came from Mr F. Perkins, Regent Street, Leamington, whose plants were of medium size, a trifle deficient in habit, but well formed. The sorts were Madame Lemoine, Marie Lemoine, and Wilhelm Pfitzer. Messrs Downie, Laird, & Laing were second, with large and well-grown plants, not carrying so much flower: the sorts were Madame and Marie Lemoine, and Gloire de Nancy. Messrs Standish & Co., Ascot, were third, with Gloire de Nancy, Capitaine l'Hermite, and Madame Lemoine. The best 6 plants competing for the special prizes offered by the Rev. W. V. Harcourt, came from Mr Wm. Bragg, Star Nursery, Slough, and were nice young plants, well grown and bloomed, the sorts being Gloire de Nancy, Madame Lemoine, Capitaine l'Hermite Victor Lemoine, Marie Lemoine, and apparently Victor, though named Victor Lemoine. 2d, Messrs Bell & Thorpe, with Triomphe de Thumesnil, Marie Lemoine, Hector, Miss Evelyn, a deep-coloured Madame Lemoine, with fine full flowers; Gloire de Nancy, and Wilkelm Pfitzer. These were larger and well-grown plants, but somewhat spare of bloom.
The best 6 variegated Pelargoniums came from Mr Turner, who had young, finely grown, and healthy plants of Princess Alexandra, May Queen, Miss Bridges, Jane, Albion Cliffs, and Com-pactum; 2d, Mr J. E. Mapplebeck, with large but old plants, having the usual defect of small growth; 3d, Mr F. Perkins - but this group contained two gold and bronze kinds, not usually classed with the variegated kinds. In class 18, for 6 variegated Zonals, not only were the plants extremely well done, but the competition was very close also. The best 6 came from Mr T. Welch, gardener to D. Putter, Esq., Hillingdon, Uxbridge, having capital examples of Lucy Grieve, Sophia Cusack, Countess Tyrconnell, Italia Unita, Sophia Dumaresque, and Lady Cullum; 2d, Mr J. Stevens, Ealing, with plants scarcely inferior, but losing, perhaps, about half a point in the matter of growth; his kinds were, Mrs Turner, Gamos, Sophia Dumaresque, Sophia Cusack, Lady Cullum, and Italia Unita; equal 3d, Messrs C. Turner and J. Tomkius, Spark Hill Nursery, Birmingham: the former with small but finely-developed plants, the latter with large ones.