This section is from the book "The Gardener V2", 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.
Even the great things Manchester has done in time past were eclipsed on this occasion, when Manchester held what was considered to be the finest show that has ever taken place in that city. There were some weak points, such as Roses, Fuchsias, Ericas, Pelargoniums, etc.; but these were more than counterbalanced by the splendour of the Orchids, stove and greenhouse and fine-foliaged plants, Ferns, etc, all of these being very fine. Our limited space will not admit of our doing justice to this fine Show. We may note, however, that prizes were offered for collections of 50 Alpine plants, though on this occasion the term Alpine was somewhat largely interpreted, as it included many things generally excluded from lists of Alpine plants. Messrs Backhouse & Sons were first with a most interesting group, containing Aquilegia Alpina, Dianthus sylvestris, Viola pedata, Lychnis or Pretrocoptis Lagascae, with pretty glowing pink flowers and a very dwarf habit; Armeria montana, Linaria origanifolia, Lithospermum prostratum, Iberis coriacea, Arenaria montana, Aquilegia glandulosa, Primula cortusoides amoena, Saponaria ocymoides, Rosa pyrenacia, Aubrietia Campbellii, Saxifraga longifolia, and Erinus hirsutus.
Messrs G. and W. Yates, who were second, had the new Spirea palmata, Silene montana, Polygonum Viviparum, Silene alpestris, Papaver croceum, Aster Alpina, and Dodecatheon media alba. Messrs Stansfeld & Sons came third with Piuguicula grandiflora, Gentiana verna, Primula farinosa, Cheiranthus Marshallii, Viola amoena, Iberis Gibraltarica, and Veronica saponaria; a very excellent lot, as the species and varieties named give the very cream of the three collections.
Mr Ward, gardener to T. N. Miller, Esq., Bishop-Stortford, staged five mag-nificent Pine Apples - viz., Queen's, Black Prince, and Envilles; and was first for 3 and 2 fruits respectively. Mr Potts, gardener to J. Knowles, Esq., had some of the most finely-finished Black Hamburg Grapes we have yet seen, grown on the spur system.