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.
The special character of this exhibition requires we should give its details rather more space than we usually allot to horticultural shows. It was held at Cambridge, on the pleasant grounds of King's College, on the 25th of May last, in connection with the first great show of the Cambridge Horticultural Society. The itinerant character of this Society is well known to many of our readers, holding its meetings in one locality one year, and in another the following year, the arrangements being conducted by a local committee appointed for the purpose.
The premier prize was a silver cup, value 5 guineas, for the possession of which there were five competitors, offered for 12 Tulips, 4 each of Bizarres, Byblce-mens, and Roses, two feathered and two flamed flowers of each. This was won by Mr S. Barlow of Manchester with a fine stand of flowers, containing the following varieties: -
Bizarres - Garibaldi and Royal Sovereign, feathered; Sir J. Paxton and Polyphemus, flamed: Bybloemens - Martin's 101 and Talisman, feathered; Duchess of Sutherland and Bacchus, flamed, the last a superb flower. Roses - Mrs Lea and Charmer, feathered; Aglaia and Rose Celestial, flamed. 2. Mr Richard Headly, Stapleford, with Bizarres - Demosthenes and Richard Headley, feathered; Prince of Wales and Dr Hardy, flamed: Bybloemens - Mrs Pickerell and W. E. Gladstone, feathered; John Kemble and John Thorniley, flamed. Roses - Sarah Headly and Queen of Beauty, feathered; Semiramis and Circe, flamed. 3. Mr D. Barber, Derby, with Bizarres - Sir Charles Napier and Jacomb's Perfection, feathered; Sir J. Paxton and Dr Hardy, flamed: Bybloemens - Exile and Mrs Pickerell, feathered; Constancy and Duchess of Sutherland, flamed. Roses - Heroine and Mr Lomax, feathered; Mary Barber and Triomphe Royale, flamed. 4. Mr W. Lea, Leigh, with Bizarres - Lord Byron and Sir J. Paxton, feathered; Everard and Dr Hardy, flamed. Bybloemens - Queens of the North and Adonis, feathered; Talisman and Adonis, flamed. Roses - Aglaia and Sarah Headly, flamed; Industry and Heroine, feathered.
The remaining exhibitor was Mr John Serjeant, Haslingfield.
The next class, for twelve Tulips, consisting of four blooms each of the three classes, brought seven competitors, one or two of whom were disqualified from having too many blooms of one class. Here the Rev. S. Cresswell, of Nottingham, was placed first, with Bizarres - George Hayward and Storer's Seedling, feathered; Sir J. Paxton and Dr Hardy, flamed. Bybloemens - Nepaulese Prince, and Lord Denman, feathered; Duchess of Sutherland and Adela, flamed. Roses - Vicar of Radford and Heroine, feathered; Aglaia and Heroine, flamed. 2. Mr William Willison, Whitby, with Bizarres - John Sanderson and Royal Sovereign, feathered; Seedling 1283 and Sir J. Paxton, flamed. Bybloemens - Sarah (Leach) and Mrs Sharp, feathered; Eliza (Willison) and Nepaulese Prince, flamed. Roses - Queen and Juliet, feathered; Seedling 3S0 and Juliet flamed. 3. Mr Thomas Haynes, Derby, having of Bizarres - Sir J. Paxton and Orion, feathered; and Lord Palmer-ston and Sir J. Paxton, flamed. Bybloemens - Beatrice and Van Amburgh, feathered; Mrs Cobden and Sarah Ann, flamed.
Roses - Heroine and Orion, feathered; Rose Celestial and Lady C. Gordon, flamed. 4. Mr G. Pickerell, Nottingham. It may be stated that exhibitors contending for the cup could not appear also in this class.
The next class was for six dissimilar Tulips, one feathered and one flamed of each class. 1. Mr D. Barber, Derby, with Bizarres - Royal Sovereign, feathered, and General Lee, flamed. Bybloemens - Mrs Pickerell, feathered, and First-Rate, flamed. Roses - Heroine, feathered, and Rose Celestial, flamed. 2. Mr G. Pickerell, Nottingham, with Bizarres - Storey's Model, feathered, and Sir J. Paxton, flamed. Bybloemens - Mrs Pickerell, feathered, and Duchess of Sutherland, flamed. Roses - Heroine, feathered, and Aglaia, flamed. 3. Mr William Willison, Whitby, with Bizarres - Henry Steward, feathered, and Sir J. Paxton, flamed. Bybloemens - Leach's Sarah, feathered, and Queen, flamed. Roses - Inimitable, feathered, and Captivation, flamed. 4. Mr J. P. Sharp, Birmingham. 5. Mr R. Headly, Stapleford. 6. Mr T. Haynes, Derby. Nine collections competed here.
Class 4 was for three feathered Tulips, one of each class; and here twelve competitors tried their strength. Mr Lea, of Leigh, was first, with Bizarre - Sir J. Paxton: Bybloemen - Adonis: Rose - Heroine. 2. Mr J. P. Sharp, Birmingham, with Bizarre - Sir J. Paxton: Bybloemen - Adonis: Rose - Industry. 3. Mr T. Haynes, Derby, with Bizarre - Masterpiece: Bybloemen - Mr Pickerell: Rose - Heroine. 4. Mr S. Barlow, Manchester, with Bizarre - Seedling: Bybloemen - Violet Amiable: Rose - Heroine. 5. Mr W. Lea, jun. 6. Mr D. Barber, Derby.
Class 5 was for three flamed Tulips, one of each class, which brought ten stands of flowers. 1. Mr T. Haynes, with Bizarre - Dr Hardy: Bybloemen - Lord Denman: Rose - Triomphe Royale. 2. Mr William Willison, Whitby, with Bizarre - Sir J. Paxton: Bybloemen - Willison's Queen: and Rose - Inimitable. 3. Mr J. D. Hextall, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, with Bizarre - Prince of Wales: Bybloemen - Duchess of Sutherland: Rose - Aglaia. 4. Mr Pickerell, Nottingham, with Bizarre - Storer's Orion: Bybloemen - Duchess of Sutherland: Rose - Aglaia. 5. Mr Shorthouse. 6. Mr J. P. Sharp.
Class 6 was for one feathered and one flamed flower of any class, and brought seven competitors. 1. Mr S. Barlow, with Talisman, flamed Bybloemen, and Heroine, feathei'ed Rose, the last a beautiful flower. 2. Mr J. D. Hextall, with Duke of Devonshire, feathered Bizarre, and Aglaia, flamed Rose. 3. Mr J. P. Sharp, with Heroine, feathered Rose, and Triomphe Royale, flamed Rose. 4. Mr G. Pickerell, with Aglaia, flamed Rose, and Chellaston Beauty, feathered Bybloemen. 5. Mr T. Haynes, with Masterpiece, feathered Bizarre, and Prince of Wales, flamed Bizarre. 6. Mr W. Willison, with Sir J. Paxton, flamed Bizarre, and Henry Steward, feathered Bizarre.
Class 7 was enough to drive the judges to despair. It required the best single blooms of each of the six classes; and eight prizes, in all 48 prizes, were given in each class. Altogether 186 flowers were staged: of flamed Bizarres, 39, the best being Seedling 1224, from Mr Willison, a flower of very fine quality and superbly marked. 2. Mr Willison, with Henry Steward. 3. Mr Wardle, with Lord Sydney. 4. Mr J. Hague, with Lord Sydney. 5. Mr Hextall, with Charles X. 6. Mr S. Barlow, with Royal Sovereign. 7. Mr S. Barlow, with Pactolus. 8. Mr Wardle, with Sir J. Paxton.
Here our record of the exhibitors' names ceases in relation to these classes, as the cards had not been placed on the flowers at the time of leaving the grounds. We, however, give the names of the winning flowers: Flamed Bizarres. - 1. Ajax; 2. Pilot; 3. Dr Hardy; 4. Ajax; 5, 6, and 7. Sir J. Paxton; 8. Shakespeare. Feathered Roses. - 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Heroine; 6 and 7. Mrs Lea; 8. Charmer. Flamed Hoses. - 1. Aglaia; 2. Mrs Lomax; 3 and 4. Aglaia; 5. Incomparable Romano; 6, 7, and 8. Lady C. Gordon. Feathered Byblamens. - 1. Adonis; 2. Violet Amiable; 3. Bugart; 4 and 5. Beatrice; 6 and 7. Adonis; 8. John Thor-niley. Flamed Byblozmens. - 1. John Linton; 2. Violet Sovereign; 3 and 4. Duchess of Sutherland; 5. Adonis; 6. Duchess of Sutherland; 7. Excelsior; 8. Lord Denman.
The Breeders' classes were a somewhat interesting feature, seeing that it was practically a show of self-Tulips. Some of the violet and purple flowers were very striking. In class 9, with six breeder plants, two of each class, Mr R. Headly was first with a fine lot of blooms, all of perfect form; in fact, Mr Headly is very strong in breeders this season, one bed at Stapleford being very fine on the occasion of our visit; 2. Mr T. Haynes, Derby, with some good flowers, among which Parker's Rose of England stood out very distinct as an extremely beautiful flower as a breeder; 3. Mr S. Barlow; 4. Mr W. Lea. Ten other stands also competed. Though six prizes were offered for stands of three breeder Tulips, but four competitors entered the list. The best three were from Mr W. Willison; 2. Mr S. Barlow; 3. Mr Shorthouse, in whose stand there was a splendid bloom of Industry, the colour being very fine; 4. Mr T. Haynes. The best single bloom of a breeder Tulip in the show came from Mr Headly; the premier feathered Tulip was Bybloemen Mrs Pickerell, from Mr S. Barlow; the premier flamed Tulip, Bizarre Sir J. Paxton, from Mr D. Barber. A stand of species of Tulips, furnished by Mr J. J. Chatter, was extremely interesting for the curious and uncouth appearance presented by some of them; they comprised the rich rosy crimson-coloured Tulipa Gesneriana, T. viridifolia, T. carinata rubra, T. carinata violacea, T. Clusiana, T. Persica, T. cornuta, and one of those singular monstrosities known as the Parrot Tulips. The judges of Tulips were Messrs Storer, John Ball, Royal Nursery, Slough; and Mr Picard - a judge being taken from the north, midland, and southern districts.
Their task was an exceedingly onerous one, but they discharged it well and patiently.
The 'Gardener's Magazine' thus describes the appearance of the tent during the process of staging the flowers: - "Meanwhile the tent in which the Tulip-growers were arranging their flowers had been for some time the scene of great activity. There were veteran growers, with grey hairs, failing sight, and stooping gait, and yet as full of fire and enthusiasm as ever they were in the whole history of their cultivation of these gorgeous flowers; and there were young men, on whose shoulders the cares of manhood were just beginning to press, bending over their flowers, giving a touch here or a finishing-stroke there, watching with keen and anxious glance the while the flowers of his neighbour, and calculating the chances of success. Who shall say there is a lack of floral enthusiasm among us? and if he should see a Tulip show, he will soon learn his inference had been too hastily drawn. To stand at the entrance to this tent and watch what was going on within was a study of human nature, and well worthy the attention of a philosopher. For several hours the one absorbing passion was the best arrangement of a stand of flowers so as to win a prize: the value of the prize was of small moment - it was the winning the prize for which all strove.
At length, and not till the sun had reached its meridian, was the tent cleared, and then only by the exhibition of some authority, as each exhibitor seemed extremely loath to leave the flowers he had tended with so much care and regard; and at last the judges were enabled to commence their work, and no one envied them the task set before them".
Mr Thomas Haynes of Derby has very kindly forwarded critical remarks on some of the leading flowers staged on this occasion, which we are obliged to postpone to next number.