Friday, 19 March 2010

Paris Camellia Show 1846

Paris Camellia Show, 1846.—It is to the lady patronesses of the Societe Royale and Cercle General d'Horticulture that we are indebted for an exhibition of these splendid plants, which, moreover, they propose to continue eveiy spring. It certainly is a fortunate thing that ladies, moving in the highest circles of rank and fashion, should take so great an interest in horticulture, otherwise we must have been content with one annual show from each society, as heretofore. It is incomprehensible how the directors of these societies (which, by the by, are most liberally patronized by the public) can rest satisfied with remaining stationary while all the world beside is progressing at rail-road pace ; but such is the fact. It must be obvious that exhibitions, when honorably conducted, conduce perhaps more than any thing else to the prosperity of horticulture ; this has been the case both in England and Belgium, and would be the same here were the status quo got rid of. Let us hope the spirited conduct of the ladies may be the dawn of anew era. Upon the present occasion, they offered a gold medal for the finest and moat numerous collection of seedling or new camellias in flower, and another gold medal for the finest and most numerous general collection ; also a silver medal for the finest and most numerous collection of rhododendrons, and another for azaleas ; beside other prizes for the second best in each class. It is to be regretted that the programme was indefinite as to the number of plants; because it has too frequently happened that the most numerous collection has been rewarded, and a smaller one, every way superior, altogether passed over. The show was held in the grand gallery of the Palais du Luxembourg, from the 18th to the 22d of this month (March); unfortunately, intimation was only given to growers within the last three weeks, and the collections were not so numerous as might have been wished. No doubt, camellias would have been better ten days or a fortnight ago, but that would have been too early for azaleas; perhaps there may have been other reasons, otherwise how shall we account for the fact, that only ten exhibitors could be found among the multitude of public and private growers round Paris? It is but too notorious that a spirited collector, with a long purse, is in a far better position to gain a prize than the most skilful cultivator of a moderate-sized collection; this system would not be tolerated in England ; here it is openly practised, and plants gain a prize which have been purchased but a few days previously. On the whole, considering the shortness of the notice, both the public and exhibitors have reason to be satisfied ; there were some fine specimens, and not a


few beautiful new things; the wards were, moieover, strictly just. The competitors of camellias were Messieurs Cels, Courtois, Durand, Gontiers, Hardy, Margottin, Paillet, and Souchet; for rhododendrons, Messieurs. Durand, Guerin, and the Barons James and Salomon de Rothschild ; for azaleas, Durand and Margottin. It was expected that the Abbe Berleze, so well known by his splendid " Monographie du genre Camellia," would have been among the exhibitors ; his collection was considered the finest private one in Paris ; it appears, however, that he has, within the last week, disposed of it to the proprietors of the new winter-garden of the Champs Elysees for the sum of 1200£. The gold medal for the finest general collection of camellias was awarded to Mr. Paillet, who is one of the best Parisian growers. In his collection were some fine large plants from six to eight feet high, especially delicatissima, alba fenestrata, Clowesiana, Chandleri, Henri Favre, picturata, imbricata alba, and Wardii de Floy ; among the smaller plants: Cockii, imbricata rubra, Gousonia, Lineata, Queen Victoria, magniflora plena, Reevesii, eximia, and Chandleri elegans, were conspicuous for their perfection of form or color; but the gem of this collection was Preniland, a most beautiful cupped flower, large, very double, and the color a delicate pink ; to which may be added Marguerite de Gouillon and Pirzio, two pencilled flowers of great beauty. Mr. Souchet gained the gold medal for the finest collection of new varieties; among them I noticed two or three of extraordinary beauty, and perfectly distinct from any thing yet out. I regret not being able to give the names or numbers ; they were almost entirely without either. The flower which was most admired was of a pale pink, rather veined and regularly bordered white ; it was large, of good substance, and double, and no camellia grower will be without it; another was in the way of miniata, but far better; another like Lord Ker, but the stripe more distinct. He also gained the second prize for a general collection. The plants were not large, but well blown, particularly imbricata rubra, Marguerite Gouillon, Henri Favre, Juliana, Augustina superba, Colvilli, King, Decus Italicum, picturata, Lord Ker, Chandleri, Duchesse d'Orleans, and Queen Victoria. Prizes were also awarded to Messrs. Courtois and Goutier. The silver medal for rhododendrons was awarded to Mr. Grison, gr. to Baron Salomon de Rothschild, for a large collection of well grown plants, among which I noticed Smithii elegans, Lady Warrender, Duchess of Wurtemberg, speciosum, &c. ; the only thing wanting was a greater diversity of color. The second prize was awarded to Mr. Guerin, for a smaller collection ; his plants of Smithii roseum, Lady Warrender, formosissimum, and superbum, were every thing that could be wished. It was evidently too early for azaleas. The silver medal was gained by Mr. Margottin ; his best flowers were Smithii coccinea, variegata, liliflora, Youngii, and hlacina triumphans. The second prize was awarded to Mr. Durand, for a small collection, consisting of coccinea grandiflora, variegata, Orange pink, liliflora alba, Mazeppa, phoenicea, Danielsii, and two or three others ; to which he added about twenty varieties of A. pontica, of no particular merit. (Gard. Chron. 1846, p. 206.)

No comments: