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The Royal Botanic Society

Source: The Illustrated London News, June 15, 1850, p.424

The second exhibition of plants and fruits took place on Wednesday, and the fete was certainly most successful of the season. The eagerness to gain admission to the gardens even before the appointed hour for the opening of the gates was unusually great; and the tickets distributed, exclusive of the those of the Fellows, amounted to not less than 18,000 for this and the succeeding show, of which number it was calculated that upwards of 16,000 were used during Wednesday. The exhibition fully maintained their former well-earned reputation, the collections being both choice and abundant. The display of fruit was extremely good considering the lateness of the season, a circumstance to which may be attributed the comparative smallness of the quantity sent for competition. A great novelty in the exhibition were some cut specimens of the new Water Lily, Victoria regia, grown at Sion House, the seat of the Duke of Northumberland: two of its enormous leaves measured more than five feet in diameter. There were also shown some very beautiful vases of flowers modelled in wax. The chief feature of the gardens, however, still continues to be the magnificent assemblage of American plants, without exception the most unique of all the floricultural expositions hitherto seen. The bands of the three cavalry household regiments were in attendance. Among the company were their Royal Highnesses the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, and the Princess Mary, attended by Lady Augusta Cadogan, the Baroness Ahlefeldt and Mr. Edmond St. John Mildmay, the Dukes of Wellington and Norfolk, the Marquisses of Sligo and Ailsbury, the Earls of Egremont and Rosebery, Lord Walsingham, Barons Colborne, Blaney, and Goldsmid.