This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
What size should a ladies' hand-bouquet be? is a question often asked, but never satisfactorily answered. It would not be difficult to reply to if simple taste alone decided the point, but it is one of those matters in which fashion interferes, and just now fashion requires that bouquets should be large, very large; and bouquetists are by no means slow to follow the lead, for obvious reasons. At a popular concert held a few days ago, a prima donna brought into the orchestra an immense bouquet, which she appeared to gladly deposit in a chair as speedily as she possibly could. It was, doubtless, a superb work of art, a huge mass of white flowers with a kind of central crown of blossoms rising two inches or so higher in the center, but it was as formal looking as a Cauliflower. In London, which is the center of fashion, size is the first requisite; but one can scarcely refrain from pitying the womenfolk who have to carry them, or the attendant cavalier who has to bear the burden covering unauiaung spaces below, formed a. combination of pleasing effects not easily realize a , and a tent in the rear of the boudoir, formed by greenery and palm leaves, produced a scene of rare beauty.
The lovely decorations on the occasion of Mrs. C. H. Wilson's ball, at 32, Grosvenor Square, will also be vividly retained in the memory of all who witnessed them. Mrs. Tennant's decorations, at No. 45, in the same square, was also a great success, as was also Mrs. Hey wood-Lonsdale's, in the same square; while the balls given by Mrs. Charles Waring and Lady Wilson were perfectly unique. Nothing like them had ever been seen. It would almost be invidious to describe them separately; they were faultless in conception, perfect in arrangement, and worthy of the liberality of each patron of floral decoration. One of the great features in Mrs. Charles Waring's decoration was the lovely beds of lily of the valley and roses arranged in the front balcony and over the portico. The floral balls depending from the staircase was quite a new idea, and used on that occasion, we believe, for the first time. In Lady Wilson's decorations the fountains and beds of natural water lilies, and the glorious display of orchids, never before surpassed for quantity and quality, were the principal features - (see Gardeners Chronicle). Lady Mowbray and Stourton's decorations were also superb, the retiring-rooms and ball-rooms being festooned with garlands of roses, whilst the mantelpieces and fire places were filled with the choicest flowers.
"Bridgewater House was also splendidly decorated, the noble palms and tree ferns being very striking in the lofty hall and corridors. Lastly, the state apartments and ball-rooms at Buckingham Palace were, as usual, decorated in the highest style of the florist's art, and at Marlborough House every room is kept continually filled with flowers, her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales being passionately fond of flowers.
"The Foreign Offiee, late in the season last year, on the occasion of the Marquis of Hartington's reception, was made to assume a gay appearance by the splendor of the floral decorations on the grand stairs, the reception and dining-rooms. The beauty of the decorations was much enhanced by the large palm and bamboo leaves sent up from Chatsworth".