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.
The azalea and rose exhibition held at the Boston Horticultural Hall, March 20 and 21, was a great success, not only showing the advancement of horticulture, but also that the taste for flowers and plants is becoming popular among the general public; evinced by the fact that between five and six thousand persons visited the hall, a number never attained before at a similar show. The plants and cut flowers were arranged in such way that everything could be seen to its best advantage. Along the sides were many fine and well-bloomed specimens of azaleas, rhododendrons, ericas, lilies, roses, cinerarias, cyclamens, hardy primroses, and a profusion of hyacinths, tulips, and lilies of the valley; a fine lot of cut flowers of camellias, roses and pansies. On the center stage was a fine display of cut flowers in variety, also two nicely arranged baskets. The center of the hall was devoted to orchids and aroids, and every one, connoisseur or not, was admiring the brilliancy of their flowers. There was a large number of plants, also cut blooms.
Among them we may notice fine varieties of Odontoglos-sum Alexandrae, O. Pescatorei, O. triumphans, O. naevium majus. and O. Roezlii; Dendrobium Jenkinsii, nobile, Wardianum and macrophyllum; Cattleya citnna, and many fine cut blooms of C. Trianae, Cypripedium Boxallii, C. insigne Maulei, C. Dominii, and fine specimens of C. Dayanum and C. villosum, Masdevallia Veitchii, Harryana, and Shuttleworthii. A fine pan of Ccelogyne cristata, cut flowers of Phalaenopis amabilis, P. Schilleriana, P. grandiflora. Amcng the new and rare things, I noticed Phajus tuberculosus, Odontoglossum Alexandrae, var. flaviolum; Phalaenopis amabilis, var. grandiflora; two fine varieties of P. Stuartiana, Laelia anceps, var. Veitchii, and the little gem Restrepia elegans. The Anthuriums were represented with many spathes of A. Scherzerianum, A. Andreanum, and the two new hybrids, A. Ferriense and A. Roths-childianum. A collection of over a hundred species and varieties of narcissus occupied a table with a few Anemone fulgens, and other bulbous and alpine plants, which produced a charming effect, and did not fail to attract the attention of the numerous visitors.
Botanic Gardens, Cambridge, Mass., April 4, 1884.
At the June meeting the rhododendrons were a special feature. A correspondent says: "The rhododendron show to-day was the finest ever made in the society's rooms. The display of rhododendrons, which give name to the exhibition, was perhaps not so extensive as in some former years, or so full as it would have been a few days later, but any deficiency in this respect was more than made up by the great variety of other plants exhibited. Most prominent among these was a magnificent pyramidal plant of Azalea decora, nearly covered with its rich, crimson flowers, from John L. Gardner. Mr. Gardner also filled a stand near by with delicate heaths and large flowered pelargoniums. Edwin Sheppard contributed a finely flowered plant of Laelia purpurata, and James Cartwright one of Dendrobium densiflorum. J. W. Manning's collection of herbaceous plants was very interesting To come back to the rhododendrons. Directly facing the spectator on entering the hall was the collection of three tender varieties, from the president of the society, which took the first prize Auguste Van Geert, Duchess of Connaught, and Lady Dorothy Neville - and we venture to say that three finer trusses were never seen. The first of these three kinds is, to our taste, the most beautiful of all the half-hardy rhododendrons.
Near these was a truss of Lady Grenville, which took the prize for the best single specimen of any tender variety. A table on the left of the centre was completely filled with fine specimens of rhododendrons from H. H. Hunnewell, and one on the right with rhododendrons, azaleas, and cacti, from C. M. Hovey. Francis Parkman contributed a collection of seedling azaleas, comprising some unique colors. The contribution from Jackson Dawson of the Arnold arboretum included, besides rhododendrons and azaleas, a great variety of hardy flowering shrubs, among which were eight species of roses. The vegetable table was filled with asparagus, rhubarb, carrots, cucumbers, etc., all fine specimens. The number of visitors who crowded the hall showed that the beauty of the exhibition was fully appreciated".
The schedule of premiums for the coming year has been distributed, and contains liberal offers for the encouragement of every branch of Horticulture. In the line of new fruits, vegetables and flowers, there is a long list of offers ranging from $30 to $60, for seedlings of approved merit. Copies may be had from Robert Manning, Secretary, Boston, Mass.
At the meeting of July 19 a special feature was an exhibition of wild flowers by two competitors - one by Mrs. Richards had thirty-four species, Mr. Hitchings had eighteen. At the Germantown Horticultural Society's meeting as many as seventy, and on one occasion a hundred have been on the table in bloom at one time. These exhibits do much to make known the great beauty of our native flowers. Fay's Prolific currant was exhibited, and pronounced more acid than the white Gondouin exhibited at the same time.
It was voted to take an active part in aiding Boston exhibitors to do credit to the great exhibition at New Orleans, and also to be represented at the great French exhibition in Rouen. Dr. H. P. Walcott will represent the society there.
At the meeting on July 26th the bouquets of sweet peas from J. H. Woodford were much admired. All the fruits of the season - raspberries, currants, blackberries,gooseberries, and early pears were represented by good specimens; of gooseberries very large specimens of Speedwell were shown by Warren Fenno, and Whitesmith by Mrs. E. M. Gill. In the vegetable department the most noticeable exhibit was by B. K. Bliss & Sons of New York, of vines of Bliss's Abundance and Bliss's Everbearing peas. One of the former bore seventy-one pods, and one of the latter seventy-five, and another (of the latter kind), which was not counted, was thought to have a hundred pods. They were raised on the eastern end of Long Island, N. Y.
Mrs. P. D. Richards exhibited a fine collection of native flowers, and we give the list, as it will be a good indication of what pretty herbaceous plants may be in flower at the end of July:
Nuphar advena, Linaria Canadensis, Lechea minor, Hypericum perforatum, " ellipticum,
Spiraea salicifolia, " tomentosa, Desmodium Canadense, Penthorum sedoides, Circaea lutetiana, Galium cire;ezans, Helianthus divaricatus, Lobelia cardinalis, Lysimachia lanceolata,
" ciliata, Verbena hastata, Cuscuta Gronovii, Alisma plantago.
Sagittaria variabilis, Eriocaulon septangulare, Eupatorium purpureum, Antennaria margaritacea, Gerardia flava,
Pycnanthemum lanceolatum Chimaphila umbellata, Brunella vulgaris, Scutellaria galericulata,
" lateriflora, Pontederia cordata, Elodea Virginica, Dianthus Armeria, Saponaria officinalis, Polygala polygama,
" verticillata, Mentha Canadensis, Veronica Scutellaria, Anagallis arvensis, Prunus pumila.