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.
Henry Webb, Esq., Vice-President, in the chair. Mr Dancer, Little Sutton, sent Reinette de Caux and Dutch Mignonne Apples, and the Committee were of opinion that the two varieties are essentially identical. Mr Moore of "Warwick sent four varieties of seedling Apples. One, a seedling from Wyken Pippin, was a very handsome small dessert Apple of the size and shape of Golden Pippin. This was thought highly of by the Committee, but had been gathered too soon and had become shrivelled. Another, raised from Bess Pool, was also of excellent quality - tender in the flesh and of delicate flavour. These the Committee would like to see again. The others, too, were not thought to be an improvement on existing varieties. Messrs W. Paul & Son exhibited a dish of Theresia Nevill Pear, a new variety raised by Mr John Mannington, the raiser of Mannington's Pearmain Apple. It is of good size, rather irregular in shape, like Ne Plus Meuris, of a fine firm buttery flesh and delicate aroma, with a rich flavour. This is a valuable winter Pear, which will, no doubt, be heard of again.
Mr Killick of Langley sent a dish of an Apple called King William - a handsome, somewhat flattened, highly-coloured Apple of very rich flavour, which was highly commended.
Sir Charles Strickland, Bart., reported on the varieties of cooking Apples that were submitted to his examination at last meeting. Dr Hogg, raised by Mr Sydney Ford, "very like the White Calville - probably a seedling from it. Melts perfectly, does not fall at all, juicy, slightly acid, very rich and sugary, delicate aroma. A first-rate baking-Apple. If the tree should prove hardy, healthy, and productive, this will be a valuable Apple. I should like to try its quality later in the season." This was awarded a first-class certificate. Mr Sydney Ford exhibited six dishes of Apples, to which a letter of thanks was awarded. Messrs Ross, Coates, & Co., Dunster House, Mark Lane, exhibited Apples cut in slices and dried, received from the United States. They preserved all the briskness and flavour of the fresh Apple, and were commended.
Mr J. Douglas, Loxford Hall, Essex, exhibited bunches of Golden Queen and Royal Vineyard Grapes grown in the same house and under the same treatment, the object of which was to show the unhealthy constitution of the former, which had begun to decay in every berry, while the latter was quite firm and fresh.
Mr G. F. Wilson, F.R.S., Heatherbank, Weybridge, sent dried fruit of Bananas, which were considered good as a sweetmeat.
Mr D. Wilson, The Gardens, Castle Hill, South Molton, sent two very handsome smooth-leaved Cayenne Pine-Apples, weighing respectively 8 lb. and 7 3/4 lb., to which a cultural commendation was awarded. Mr W. Iggulden, The Gardens, Orsett Hall, Romford, sent a dish of Trophy Tomatoes, to which a letter of thanks was awarded. Mr R. Gilbert, of The Gardens, Barghley, sent a brace of Taylor's Montrose Cucumber Dispatch, to which a cultural commendation was awarded also Cabbage Broccoli, which was awarded a first-class certificate for its high quality when cooked, the flavour being quite new in the Cabbage tribe.
Collections of fruit were received from Mr Gardiner, The Gardens, Eatington Park, Stratford-on-Avon, consisting of forty varieties of Apples and six of Pears, to which a silver Knightian medal was awarded from Mr Killick, Langley, Kent, thirty varieties of Apples, to which a cultural commendation was awarded.
Mr C. Noble in the chair. The entrance vestibule was completely tilled with Messrs Lee's imposing collection of "hardy winter bedding-plants." Some of the "plants " were pyramidal variegated Hollies 10 to 15 feet high, and standard Hollies, standard and pyramid Bays, Yews in great variety and of various sizes, some of them drooping, some pyramids, some table-shaped, some cones, some vase-shaped, a few of the common being grafted with variegated kinds, thus having golden heads. Some trees of the Golden Spruce showed to advantage; also Cryptomerias in various sizes, with smaller specimens of Taxodiums, Junipers, Thujas, Cupressuses, Retinosporas, and suchlike elegant Conifers, amongst which were arranged, with great effect, standards of Euonymuses and Ivies of the Arborea section - some green, others variegated. These were on stems from 2 to 4 feet in height, with compact heads about a foot in diameter, and were extremely ornamental. The collection was further relieved by Yuccas and several plants of Gynerium compactum elegans.
Along the sides of the groups were flat baskets artistically filled with dwarf plants, such as concentric lines of Retinosporas and Euonymuses, panels of plants of the same kinds; and some baskets contained masses of such plants as Ligustrum sinensis tricolor and Euonymuses edged with Box. This extensive collection embraced upwards of eighty species and varieties of shrubs and Conifers, all of which were in excellent condition, and attracted, and deservedly so, great attention. A gold medal was recommended for the collection.
Mr Bull was awarded a first-class certificate for Laelia anceps alba, a charming acquisition that will find its way into all collections. Mr Heims, gardener to F. A. Phillbrick, Esq., Q.C., Avenue Road, Regent's Park, was worthily and unanimously awarded a cultural commendation for a fine example of Sophronites grandiflora. It was growing on cork, and had upwards of fifty brilliant flowers. The same exhibitor sent Odontoglossum Warscewiczii, which somewhat resembles a pale variety of 0. vexillarium. Messrs Hugh Low & Co., Clapton, were awarded a botanical commendation for Masde-vallia triglochin, a tiny plant with leaves an inch long and one - eighth of an inch in diameter, and equally miniature flowers. Mr Green, gardener to Sir G. Macleay, Bart., Pendell Court, Bletchingley, was awarded botanical certificates for Billbergia nutans, with small drooping red flowers margined with purple; and Grevillea fasciculata. Mr Green also exhibited AEchmea Weilbeckii.
Mr Gilbert, The Gardens, Burghley, Stamford, sent plants of his double Primulas with large flowers in various colours and fine foliage. Most of them had been previously certificated, and only one variety, Earl of Beaconsfield, was honoured on this occasion with a certificate. The flowers are very double, 1 1/2 inch in diameter; petals slightly fimbricated; colour bright rosy magenta. The long stems of the individual flowers of these varieties render the pips valuable for bouquets. A vote of thanks was awarded for the collection. Mr Smith, Ealing Dean Nursery, Ealing, exhibited about fifty plants of Cyclamens representing an excellent strain, the flowers being very fine, the whites pure, and the dark varieties rich, especially those ruby-crimson in colour. A vote of thanks was awarded. Mr Hepper, gardener to C. 0. Ledward, Esq., The Elms, Acton, sent well-grown plants of Solanum pendulum, which resembles the old S. capsicastrum, but the leaves have distinct light midribs. It is an elegant variety.
A vote of thanks was awarded.
Mr Cannell exhibited stands of cut Zonal Pelargoniums of wonderful excellence. The varieties were Henry Jacoby, Lizzie Brookes, Belle of Surrey, S. Holden, Br Denny, D. Thomson, M. Panton, The Shah, Mrs Leavers, Mr Pollett, Rienzi, Circulator, Kleon, Remus, Mr Chandler, A. Henderson, Titania, Louisa, Miss Gladstone, Mrs Whiteley, Col. Seeley, Lady Sheffield, and Mr Palmer, - all represented by grand trusses, and producing a rich effect. A stand containing twenty-four trusses of White Vesuvius was charming, and almost equally so was Salmon Vesuvius; the striped variety was also well exhibited. It is noteworthy that one pip of White Vesuvius had two bright scarlet petals, the other three being pure white. This was the finest collection of its kind that has ever been seen in December; in fact it would have done credit to any man at any season. A vote of thanks was worthily awarded.
Mr George sent a seedling Abutilon Rose Queen, but it was passed by the Committee. Mr Thomson, Crystal Palace, sent fruiting sprays of Eucalyptus globulus. Mr Noble exhibited Thujopsis borealis aureo-variegata; and an ornamental tin plant-suspender was exhibited by Mr Peter Selby, 15 1/2 Nuttall Hill, Birmingham.
The thanks of the Committees were tendered to the chairmen and the Secretary, and the last of a successful series of gatherings during 1878 closed with a mutual interchange of courtesies. Many of the meetings have been rendered additionally instructive by elucidatory remarks by Mr Jennings, the Assistant Secretary, and other gentlemen; and Mr Barron and his assistants have exercised their usual assiduity in having the arrangements as complete as possible, and convenient to all. - Journal of Horticulture.