1834: Flowers and fruit

Collected from local newspaper reports by the Gardener's Magazine, X (1834).

Guernsey Horticultural Society.May 1. This exhibition was highly creditable to the island; and a number of fine plants were shown from the gardens of Sir Thomas Saumarez, Mr. J. Hubert, Mr. F. C. Lukis, Mr. W. De Jersey, &c. Among the fruit, we noticed some apples of last year, which appeared almost as fresh as if they had just been gathered from the tree. There was a small quantity of strawberries, a few cherries, and some very good gooseberries; an early Battersea cabbage, exhibited by Mr. Collyer, was a most extraordinary one, in point of size, for the season. It is highly creditable to the island, that from one of its cottagers' gardens should have been gathered such a bouquet as that to which the first prize was awarded; containing, as it did, so many valuable and well-grown flowers. We are convinced that the slightest encouragement held out by the Society cannot fail to promote and improve the practice of floriculture among a population which has always evinced a decided partiality for it, throughout all classes, from the highest to the lowest. We hope it will especially tend to make the cottagers careful to select for cultivation only the choicest and most beautiful sorts; a vast number of which, fortunately, require no more attention than the most common. The green peas and early potatoes, for which there were three competitors, were remarkable, not only for their forwardness, but for their appearance and quality. We cannot help noticing, as worthy of particular praise, a bunch of twenty-five heads of asparagus, of the Gravesend variety: we feel warranted in saying that it might challenge competition with any bunch of the same sort ever produced. A double prize was given for this asparagus to the grower, Mr. John Falla. (Comet, May 5.)

July 8. This show was still better than the last. The fruit was particularly beautiful and abundant; and the culinary vegetables would have been admired in any county. The cottagers' articles were improved both in quantity and quality. Nearly forty prizes were distributed. (Ibid., July 10.)

Oct. 16. The sizes of several articles which obtained prizes are given below, as interesting to show their respective habits of growth in Guernsey. A prize for six Chaumontel pears, grown against a wall, was awarded to Mrs. Baldock. Among that number, the largest weighed 24 oz., the next 20 oz., and another 16 oz.: these three grew upon the same spur. The other three weighed 46 oz.: making altogether 106 oz. We also noticed six fine Crassane pears, sent in by Sir Thomas Saumarez. Of the six extra-pears, known by the name of the Duchesse d'Angouleme, the largest weighed 21|oz. We observed, also, six other Chaumontel pears, grown against a wall, weighing 112 J oz.: the largest, 24| oz.; and the other five, 88 oz.; and six others, very fine, grown out of doors. We remarked, also, as worthy of notice, a fine plate of strawberries (known by the name of Metheven Castle, or Duke of Kent), by Sir T. Saumarez. There were several bunches of beautiful grapes: among which we remarked one of the black Hamburgh, weighing 2 lb. 11 oz.; one known by the name of black Jamaica, weighing 2 lb. 9 oz.; one of the white muscadine, weighing 1 lb. 12 oz.; and the muscat of Alexandria, weighing 2 lb.: the whole of which were sent by Mr. F. Mansell of the Vauxbellets. Among the vegetables there was a string of onions, fifty in number, worthy of notice (the whole weighed together 22J lb.), the property of Mr. Harry Dobree, jun. A very large parsnep, belonging to Mr. George Foote, attracted our attention; it measured 21 in. in circumference: and, not far from it, we noticed a beet root, appertaining to Mr. Henry Carré, that weighed 24 lb. There were exhibited six fine heads of Cobbett's Indian corn, presented by the bailiff; and Mr. Harry Dobrée sent in, also, six heads of Baron Louis's Indian corn, upon one of which we reckoned as many as thirty grains in one row on the length, and twelve rows in the girth. (Ibid., Oct. 17.)