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but this could scarcely occur also to those of the second and third year, or even to those which were only a few weeks later in their vegetation.
It is not possible to enumerate a general rule relative to germinating temperatures requiring no exceptions, but, in general, for the seeds of plants natives of temperate latitudes the best germinating temperature is about 60° F.; for those of half-hardy plants 70°; and for those of tropical plants about 80° F.; and the necessity for such temperatures depends upon the same causes that prevent the hatching of eggs, unless they be kept for a certain period at a temperature of about 100°. The requisite changes are not produced either in the seed or in the egg, unless it be submitted to the propitious temperature—but why this is requisite to develop the forms, aud effect the changes, without which there is no vitality, is a secret at present withheld from man's understanding by their Creator, and we must rest satisfied with the approximate knowledge that heat is the vast and all pervading agent he employs to call life into existence.
Although temperatures ranging between 60° and 80° are those most usually propitious to germination, yet a much higher temperature can be endured by a seed without its vitality being destroyed, and, indeed, may be employed with great advantage when the seed from age or other cause germinates with difficulty. Dr. Lindley found the seeds of a raspberry germinate, though they must have endured a temperature of 230° in the boiling syrup of the jam, whence they were taken; and other instances are known where peas submitted to a temperature of 200°, and left in the water for twenty-four hours until cool, germinated more readily than other peas not so treated. The seeds of Acacia lophantha also produced seedlings after being boiled in water for five minutes. The effects produced by this high temperature are to permanently soften the cuticle of the seed, and render it more readily permeable by the air; also aiding the conversion of the starchy components of the seed into saccharine matter; but if the boiling be continued until the composition of the germen (or young plantlet) is altered, the germinating power of the seed is destroyed.
ment in fruit culture than in any other department of gardening-it is to be hoped, we repeat, that they have not found the attention required in the summer's culture altogether uninteresting. We can fancy how a keen-set amateur, bent on following out principles in preference to mere rules, must inwardły rejoice when, from the adoption of the platform or dwarfing system, he begins to perceive his trees assuming a compact and short-jointed character; and those portions formerly a complete chaos, through the confusion of rival breast shoots, now studded with innumerable fruit spurs, each macintoshed for the winter.
Let any one who doubts the efficacy of dwarfingplans carefully and truthfully compare the embryo blossom-buds on trees pampered, and those placed under a systematic control. Let him take a pear or a quince stock on a sound soil and subsoil of prescribed depth, and compare it with one of the same kind on a free stock in rich soil, with unlimited powers to range in quest of food. In the latter he will find a bloated tree possessing all the characteristics of a bush, fitting to stop a gap in the hedge : branches long, joints, or internodes, long-everything wildlooking. On the other hand, the same kind on the quince and placed under control, a compact, sturdy, short-jointed, and manageable tree, manifesting its properties at the first glimpse, viz., brown and wellripened wood and abundance of plump fruit spurs: as different in aspect from the former as a London alderman is from a Paris quack doctor. This is not imaginary; it is a fact on which we have kept our eyes fixed for many years.
But some critic will say, what has this to do with your text, “ the planting season ?" In answer, be it understood, we would fain pave the way to an enlarged amount of confidence in the principles which we would have carried out It is best, according to an old maxim, “to begin at the beginning,” and, whilst the season is young, we would impress on the minds of our readers that the planting season is the time for these considerations. It matters not who prunes or who dresses, for we could so plant a fruittree of any kind as to nullify and bid defiance to all the arts of the pruner-a tree always in perfect health, but for many years totally unproductive and unmanageable through inveterate grossness. If this be a fact, then, it is an illustration of, and a prelude to, the principles of planting which we intend explaining
MECHANICAL TEXTURE OF Soils.-Apart from the question of manurial matters, and, as a preliminary step to the consideration of making plantations of fruit-trees, we may offer a few remarks on this head. Drainage, it is well known, exercises the most powerful influence on the texture of water-logged soils. By removing superfluous moisture, a free admission is afforded to the ameliorating effects of the atmospheric action; but even the most thorough drainage will not suffice on many soils, as to fruit culture. The oozy and elastic bog wants consolidation, combined with a mechanical separation of its particles; the clay requires a gritty or sandy medium in order to permit the rains to percolate or slowly pass through it, and by consequence the air to enter freely; whilst the loose sandy soil requires some body to give adhesion to its parts, and, indeed, as the opposite of the clayey soil, to prevent the rain from passing through too rapidly, and carrying away manurial matters in its course.
Those, therefore, who are about planting a whole garden, or section of one, at once, should thoroughly consider this question, and, after examining well the
THE FRUIT-GARDEN. THE PLANTING SEASON.Having carried our readers through the routine of summer management, such as training, stopping, disbudding, &c., we will now turn our attention to business connected with the rest period, which is ushered in by the decay and fall of the leaf in deciduous trees: and the majority of our fruit-trees are of this character. It is to be hoped that those ardent amateurs and cottagers who have had faith in our directions, and who think, as we think, that there is in reality more room for improve
Our hints here, then, will, we trust, put people on the alert to obtain forthwith some material to improve the texture of their soils according to the principles here explained. One thing we had almost forgotten: those who are improving stubborn plots in the vicinity of towns should always keep a look out for the old mortar or plaster from the pulling down of old buildings: this is a capital ameliorator.
We shall shortly resume the subject of "station" planting, for the majority of our friends, no doubt, merely want to pop in a tree or two; and we will show them how to carry this out both economically and successfully
soil and subsoil, endeavour to procure eligible materials for correcting faults in the staple.
Where surface soils are naturally inclined to sand, either marl or clay will prove eligible to mix with them; or, what is better by far than either, the furrowings from old pasture lands of a strong or stiff loamy character. The latter, however, is only within reach of a few, and marl is the next best thing, but this also is not found everywhere. Where clay is very stubborn, we think that a burning process might be applied profitably. In addition to these materials, any old vegetable matter, whether it be rotten weeds, leaves, old tan, or, indeed, anything that carries the appearance of humus, may be blended with advantage. If, on the contrary, the surface soil is very adhesive, pure sand, sandy soil of a loose character, and even coalashes, may be incorporated with the volume of soil, and, indeed, a proportion of the decomposed vegetable matters suggested for the sandy soil. On such heavy soils we would, by all means, recommend spring planting: and, in that event, the holes should be excavated immediately, in order to undergo a long winter's action for the sake of breaking down the adhesive material. If the whole plot is to be improved, trenching and ridging should be resorted to; here, again, the winter's frost will amply compensate for the difference of a few months, and save labour.
In rendering boggy soils eligible for fruit-tree culture, a somewhat different course must be pursued. Here, however, it is necessary to distinguish nicely the character of the dark material. Some boggy soils are of an elastic character; that is to say, they will rebound on a stamp of the foot; this merely shows that much organised matter exists, in the main composed of by-gone generations of sphagnum, mosses, together with weeds, and grasses, in a state of decomposition. This is above all, perhaps, the most ineligible character of any for fruit-tree culture; nevertheless, it is not a hopeless case; albeit, much culture is requisite. Where a considerable depth of such material exists, burning may be had recourse to; this will correct the acidity and produce ashes, which will be of much utility in opening the texture of the soil. However, before other operations take place, the most complete drainage must be had recourse to. Without this, all other operating will be totally inefficient. Such soils require both sand and clay, or marl, after being rendered tolerably dry: these materials, well incorporated with the native soil, will, with culture, remove the spongy character of the mass, and produce a degree of solidification, which will give a permanency and stability to the crops.
We have been making these remarks with a view to assist those who are about reclaiming ungenial plots of land ; for, in going through the country, how many such inclosures we see, some taken from the sides of commons, others from the road sides, left incultivated in days when land was of less value, and when the population question did not press so heavily. Moreover, hundreds of little nooks have been split from out-of-the-way corners of farms, and not nutrequently composed of a soil of somewhat sterile character. Most of such little enclosures, as we have seen them, are placed under culture without due preparation; too little attention is paid to the amelioration of the staple, and, as a necessary consequence, fruit-trees in a number of cases do not succeed and prove as remunerative as they ought; for we would not only have the cottager to secure his own dumpling apples, but to pay a portion of his rental annually by the sale of apples, pears, black currants, &c., as the case may be.
THE FLOWER-GARDEN. WINTERING BORDER GERANIUMS, &c.— I have already said, the most pressing questions which are asked of us just now is, * how am I to keep cuttings of so and so over the winter? also the best way to secure favourite plants of scarlet and other geraniums, now out in the beds or borders; in short, how am I secure from frost the greatest quantity of young and old plants for the flower borders and verandas next season, having neither greenhouse nor pit?” This, then, we are to consider to-day: When we have received a cutting of a fine geranium from a kind friend, or valued relative, or in any other way -have struck it in the window, potted it, and afterwards seen it expand to a large size in the border, blooming most profusely, and covered down to the ground with such beautiful green large leaves; and, besides all this, having become acquainted with such a nice cheap gardening work as 'THE COTTAGE GARDESER, in which they answer all sorts of questions, I say, looking at all these circumstances, who can say that a question about such a plant can be frivolous, or not worthy of notice ? 1
well recollect the time when I was just at this stage of gardening, and to the present moment I entertain warın recollections of an older schoolfellow who used to assist me and give me advice about my plant experiments; and I dare say all the writers in these pages recollect something of the same kind. Who, then, need be afraid to ask us the most simple questions about such things, when we ourselves well recollect the time when we ourselves were in want of similar information ? All questions, whether simple or otherwise, we, therefore, look upon as of equal importance --but the fewer words they are put in the better. We like these questions asked briefly, because then they are much plainer and more easily answered. The greater part of my writing in the last two volumes was suggested from the columns of “ Answers to Correspondents ; and, with reference to the subject of this letter, all geraniums, fuchsias, salvias, heliotropes, and a few others for beds and borders, may be kept over the winter without a greenhouse or pit, in any dry room, or shed, from which the frost can be kept out, and now is the proper time to prepare them for the change.
All the larger leaves of geraniums, round the bottom and the centre of the plants, ought now to be cut close to the stems-not torn off'; this will check their vigour, and let in light and air to dry and ripen the soft parts. All the young shoots issuing from the bottom, or about the collar of the plants, should also be cut clean out, as they are too soft to stand the winter, and any other very young side shoots should be cut in to the last leaf or bud, and the main branches stopped by pinching out their tops just beyond the last truss of flowers. All this should reduce the plant to one half its foliage, and all the softest parts except the top of the leading shoots. Then the vigour of the roots should be checked, if not already done as I formerly advised, by thrusting down a spade not far from them. After this they will stand a smart frost with little or no injury; and the longer they are left in the ground free from frost the better. As all means of farther growth is cut off they will now ripen their wood fast, and the more hard and ripe they are the better they will keep. When they are to be finally moved to their winter quarters, every leaf ought to be cut off, and the main stems cut back to where they are brown, or tolerably ripe, and a little of the soil that will stick to the roots may be left. A dry airy shed would be the best place for them now for the first fortnight or three weeks, till all the cut wounds have well dried up. After that they are ready to put away in a spare upper room, or over a stable, or the hay loft, which is always a safe place, as layers of hay may be put between them and the walls; and in very hard frost a quantity of hay might be thrown over them, or their roots might be set in long narrow boxes, with dry moss, hay, or chaff, thrown in all round them, leaving the tops free, to be covered only in hard weather. Some people talk of keeping them suspended in a cellar, but it is a most dangerous place, as not a cellar in five hundred is dry enough to preserve them from the damp. Even in the driest room damp is more likely to affect them than frost. Old plants of scarlet geraniums might also be kept in the ground all winter, if previously prepared as above; only they must be cut lower down than those for taking up, and six inches of dry old moss, or a foot of very dry leaves, placed all round them, and then thatched hy some means to throw off the wet. This is by far the safest plan, as if the frost is kept from the soil, although the tops would die quite down to the ground, the roots, stock, or collar, or even the main roots, would throw up strong shoots for another season, and come much earlier into bloom than those that are dried.
Three or four years since I learned a very curious plan for managing scarlet geraniums that were grown in pots, boxes, vases, &c., to stand about the doors, veranda, or other places out of doors, and unless I bad gone through the process two or three times I confess I could hardly believe the effect. We have scores of them used at Shrubland Park for various decorations; such as long narrow boxes to fit the outside sill of windows; pots and vases to stand on pedestals, and by the sides of steps along the terraces, and, indeed, in all conceivable ways. Now, in former years, I used to have some trouble in getting this section up into good trim so early in the summer as they were wanted, while Harry Moore, the man at one of our lodges, beat me right out with some green boxes he had full of these scarlets; so much so, that visitors often remarked how well I must have taught him that branch of decoration; whereas he was teaching me all the time. A fact which, of course, I acknowledged, neither wishing to plough with another man's heiter, as the saying is, or to appropriate the credit due to a worthy cottager. Now the secret of Harry's success was this: he never shifted his scarlets out of the same soil or boxes for several years; and yet every succeeding season they were beiter and better. He picked, or, rather, carefully cut, off all their leaves when he could no longer trust them to the frost; kept them quite dry in a
spare room all the winter, and as soon as the sun began to have some power, in March, he would bring them out in the day time, and put them back at night. But no water was given till their leaves appeared. After proving this plan over and over again, I can confidently recommend it as the best ever hit on for scarlet geraniums that are grown in pots or boxes; and all who have them that way ought now to give up watering them. I have just given orders that those in this place should receive no more watering this season, and that when it rains such as can be turned on one side should be so placed, and other contrivances are at hand to prevent much rain getting into the larger boxes, and such as from their situation cannot be turned on one side during rain. This style of decoration is getting more fashionable every year, and, fortunately, is within the reach of every cottager, I shall not lose sight of it. Therefore it is that I would recommend as many of the old plants as possible should be saved over this coming winter, and in the spring I shall offer many useful hints about the difierent uses they may be put to next season ; such as necessity, experience, and the “ force of circumstances," as Buonaparte used to say, have made me adopt here.
All the fuchsias, except the broad-leafed ones, as corymbiflora, fulgens, &c., go naturally to rest at the end of autumn, unless they are in rich damp soils, and very little preparation is necessary for them. Still we can prepare them so far as not to allow them to spend their force now in ripening a crop of berries. These should all be removed as soon as the flowers drop off, except, perhaps, a few to raise seedlings from, as nothing tries à plant so much as the last effort of nature to ripen seeds. When they have nearly done flowering, the tops of the young shoots ought to be cut off'; but cutting their roots is not of much use.
All the fuchsias may be easily kept alive in the borders by a thick covering of leaves, coal ashes, or moss, or, indeed, any kind of protection to keep the soil from freezing; but then they will only make huge bushes next year by throwing up strong suckers from the stool. When large-branched plants, or standards of them are prized, they must be removed before the frost hurts them, and stored away in sheds or dry cellars. We keep them here with their roots in sand in a dry shed. The tallest with their heads leaning against the wall or partition, and the others according to their sizes in front of them; so that we keep none of them in pots while they are at rest.
We take up strong old salvias, cut them down to within six inches of the roots, and carry quantities of the soil about their roots, place them in sand just like the fuchsias, and early in the spring the lumps are divided as much as possible, their old roots cut well in, and a little nursing in a pit or greenhouse under the stages will soon turn thein into nice bushy plants; they are then turned out of doors, and secured with mats in cold weather till the spring frosts are over, to allow of their being planted in the borders, and no pots are used, but the roots planted in some light rich soil. This is much easier than keeping cuttings of them, and abundance of good cuttings may be got from them when they begin to shoot in the spring
The salvia patens, having roots and eyes just like the dahlia, we treat it exactly the same, only that we plant the roots in sand, but they would do in boxes with sand, or even without any thing, but if they get too dry the plant does not grow so strong in the spring.
Nine-tenths of the half hardy plants which grow out in the beds and borders during the summer could be kept alive there during the winter also, but the trouble and expense would be a great deal more than they are worth. Nevertheless, when one has a fine favourite plant, but no better means of keeping it through the winter than a make-shift of this sort, even that is better than losing it altogether. Very dry materials, sufficient to secure the earth from freezing, and a waterproof covering to throw off rain and melting snow water, with an ordinary share of patience, are all that is needed for conducting such experiments.
I have said already that when plants are lifted, to be saved in pots, they should not be placed at first in any confinement, unless, indeed, the frost is at our heels, and then only in the night time. A sheltered place out of doors and away from the sun is the safest way to inure them to the change. We do a great deal of this kind of work here, and of all the plans I have heard or read of this is the most successful. We often do not lose half a dozen leaves off a plant just potted from the borders, so large that two men can hardly move the pot or box in which it is placed; but, like other large places which are carried on at a great expense, we have regular contrivances for carrying out our own plans. We have a skeleton shed bevind a row of store-houses, without thatch of any kind : merely rafters, and long strips of wood to tie them froin end to end. Into this skeleton shed we remore all our new potted plants from the borders, and run mats along the front of it, leaving the top wide open; the mats just break the force of the wind, and no
If the weather is dry, we pour water along among the pots, to keep the place damp; and a slight shower is given once a day.
If a sudden cold or frost sets in during this probation, the skeleton roof is ready for a covering of mats. From ten days to a fortnight in this place is sufficient for most plants to make new
roots in the fresh soil, and then they can stand the sun; and, by-and-by, they are put upon the stages of the greenhouse without losing any leaves worth speaking of. I never could set a large newlypotted plant from the borders into a house at once without losing more or less of its bottom leaves.
row, or bag, or basket, and collect all the leaves you possibly can. If wanted to make hotbeds with, lay them on a heap in the shape of the roof of a house. This will prevent them from becoming too wet, even in the wettest weather. Turn them over with a fork every three or four weeks. If they are very dry, throw a few buckets of water upon them as you are turning them over. You may also mix any newlygathered ones amongst those first collected. By this method duly carried on, the leaves will be well-prepared to make a hotbed of lasting temperature, yet moderate heat. Should the leaves not be required for the purpose of yielding heat, let them be spread, as fast as they are gathered, in some covenient place, and all the slops of the house, and the refuse of the kitchen, as well as any liquid-manure, be poured upon them. If a little gypsum or plaster of Paris is procurable, it would be useful to cast it thinly over the heap from time to time. Road scrapings, also, may be used to spread upon this heap of riches, for so, indeed, it truly is. Plenty of this mixture laid upon, and immediately dug into, the ground, will increase the following crop tenfold. Some part of the leaves may be wanted for potting purposes. Lay a heap apart, turn it more frequently, beating and chopping the leaves with a spade or fork, and lay this heap flat, in order to receive all the rains that fall, for they will materially assist decomposition. Avoid all mixtures with the leaves for making vegetable mould, intended ultimately, when rotted into a state to pass through a sieve, to mix with pure loam or peat carth, to be used for the more delicate plants, such, for instance, as auriculas and carnations. Lime, coarse sand, or road scrapings, would render this vegetable mould not so desirable for these finer rooted and more valuable plants.
SHELTERS.— We trust our advice to have all sheltering places for plants through winter in readiness have been attended to. Already have we had a taste of frost. The heliotropes are first attacked, next the geraniums and dahlias, and lastly the hardy chrysanthemums. All these may be protected by shelters of mats, and the blooming season considerably prolonged. The frost often leaves us for a month or two, or longer, after giving us a foretaste, as it were, of what he intends to do between this and Christmas, and we should be much to blame if we neglected our favourite flowers, and did not protect them from the first frosts, in order to retain their beauty with us as long as, with moderate care, we could preserve them. Remember the frames and brick or turf pits, and have them all in order to receive the plants they have to shelter through the winter.
ROUTINE WORK. Leaves collecting.Our cottage friends, we trust, have not forgotten our earnest request last year, to collect all the fallen leaves they possibly
We must now reiterate that request. Decayed leaves make the best of all soils for potting purposes; properly prepared they also make the finest of all manures for the flower bed or border, and for the vegetable garden, more especially for manure for early potatoes. Independent of all those valuable purposes, leaves are pre-eminently useful as a fermenting article, of which to form hotbeds. Iu this respect, they are far more useful and better suited for the purpose than tanner's bark, horsedung, or any other substance whatever. Happy is the cottager that can procure a good store of them. Yet, in passing through the country, how often have we had to lament the utter waste we have witnessed of this auxiliary to good cottage gardening. Even amateurs and gardeners themselves do not seem to care for, and collect, and place in a proper situation to decay, this abundantly-supplied (at least, in the country,) article. As we directed last autumn to our cottage friends, so we do now. Set
children to work in lanes and bye-ways with their rakes and wheelbar.
FLORISTS FLOWERS. Bulbs.-Look over the stores of hardy bulbs, and prepare for planting them. Sort them over, selecting those likely, from their size or shape, to flower from the offsets. The offsets of tulips, as well as others, had better be planted immediately in a nursery bed, each kind, of course, by itself. This nursery bed ought to be made rich, in order to encourage the small bulbs to grow freely. They should not be planted too thickly, or that purpose will be defeated. Such small bulbs, as crocuses, snowdrops, jonquils, some narcissi, &c., intended to be planted in patches amongst shrubs, or the mixed flower border, should have the places, previously to planting where they are to be grown, enriched with some very rotten dung Dig out the earth first, put in the dung,
and mix it thoroughly with the under stratum of earth, then level up the place, and plant the bulbs immediately. Mice are very fond of crocuses. To prevent their ravages, chop some furze (gorse or whin), and cover the bulbs with it. The sharp thorns will prick their noses, and effectually protect the roots.
GLADIOLI.-Excepting the common Gladiolus communis, and, perhaps, G. byzantinus, the gladioli ought to be planted in a bed by themselves. To succeed well in blooming them the soil should have an extra care bestowed
there ought to be a large proportion of peat earth (heath mould) mixed amongst it, as well as a considerable quantity of vegetable mould; the proportions should be two parts loam, two parts vegetable mould, and three parts heath mould, with a portion of river sand, say one-eighth of the whole. The situation of the bed ought to be open and airy, and provision made for sheltering them when in flower with an awning of canvass. We do not recommend planting in the open bed as yet, the middle of November will be quite soon enough; if they are planted earlier they might spring up and the young shoots be destroyed by severe frost.
TULIPS for blooming should be planted about the 10th of November, and when that planting is finished then immediately plant your gladioli. The larger kinds of narcissi, such as Grand Monarque, Le Soliel d'Or, Grand Primo, Citronia, and StatesGeneral, may either be grown in pots a little larger than those for hyacinths, or will do very
well planted in beds of deep rich soil in the open air. If in pots, manage them exactly the same as described for the hyacinth in our last number. Van Thol, and other kinds of early tulips intended to bloom in pots, should be immediately potted, placing from three to five in a pot 44 inches wide, proportioning the number to the size of the bulbs. Always allow them time in a level place to form roots, previously to placing them in heat to bring them into flower.
JONQUILS.—These sweet-scented flowers are very desirable to grow either in pots or in the open beds or borders; manage them the same way as the crocus.
PERSIAN IRIS.-A beautiful dwarf variegated flower, sweet-scented, and suitable for pot culture. It does not thrive well excepting in a warm sheltered border in the open air. The roots, unless preserved with great care, are very apt to perish after the first year. Their native dwelling is in the hot sandy plains of Persia, the difficulty of imitating which is no doubt the great cause why we do not succeed in preserving them. The sandy fields of Holland, however, seem to suit them well, and as the price is so moderate (2s per dozen), we need not regret very much their perishable native. Pot them now in a light sandy peaty soil, and place them in a cool dry frame to form roots. They do not force well, but will flower beautifully in the months of April and May, as it were, naturally. More about bulbs next week.
AURICULAS AND POLYANTHUS.-As the cold weather has begun now to visit us, it is desirable to place these flowers in their winter quarters forthwith: they are best kept in a frame or pit; the latter is the best, well glazed to prevent drips. A stage of shelves of wood should be placed in the pit at such a distance as to allow the plants to be within from four to six inches of the glass. Every thing about them should be perfectly sweet and clean. Examine the hole at the bottom of each pot, and see that the draining is
open; should any worm-cast appear, turn out the plant carefully into the hand, and if the worm is visible, pick it out without disturbing the ball; if not visible, give the ball a gentle tapping with one hand; this will almost certainly cause the worm to creep out. Look carefully also for slugs; you will often find them snugly ensconced in the
hole of the pot, or under the leaves of a strong healthy plant. Previ. ously to putting the plants into the pit or frame spread a layer of dry coal-ashes under the stage: this will absorb the damp, and ought to be renewed occasionally during winter. If you have plenty of room it will be advantageous to place the plants so as not to allow the pots to touch each other : this though apparently a trifling matter is not so in reality; when the pots do not touch each other the air can circulate amongst them more freely, the sun can shine through the openings on fine days, and dry the ashes under the stage, and thus benefit the plants greatly. Supposing them all placed—the auriculas by themselves, and the polyanthus also alone-let them have abundance of air by drawing off the lights on all fine days, and on rainy days by tilting the lights behind. We ought to have mentioned previ. ously that the winter habitation of these plants ought to face the south-east. Upon a regular close attention to the giving of air, with very moderate watering, through winter, the health and strength, and consequently the power to produce fine blooms, almost entirely depends. It matters not how good your
kinds, nor how excellent your compost may be, unless abundance of light and air is given during the dark months of autumn and winter. These plants are very hardy if properly managed; yet, in severe weather, we would advise à covering of double mats whenever the thermometer indicates about ten degrees of frost (that is, falls to 22°, or 10° below the freezing point of water). In their Alpine habitations they are protected by a thick covering of snow, through which very little frost can penetrate. Our coverings are an imitation of this natural one.
CARNATIONS AND PICOTEES.—It is nearly time to begin to place these plants also in winter quarters. Next week we will describe our method of managing them in this respect.
GREENHOUSE AND WINDOW
GARDENING. The vegetable kingdom must have formed an ele. ment of study and attention to men at the earliest possible period. We are told that when God made man He placed him in a garden, and commissioned him “to dress it and keep it.” From this we learn, first, that gardening was man's first work; and, secondly, that even in a state of purity, infinite wisdom connected working with happiness. Think of this, ye who are in the habit of associating working with degradation! Think of this, my fellow workmen, when you look upon your horny bands, and feel your joints somewhat stiff with toil; and though forgetting not that the earth for man's fall was cursed with briers and thorns, cease not to remember that there was One, the reputed son of a carpenter, who by his conduct gave a dignity and an elevation to labour, and thus mitigated, if not. entirely removed, the force of the sting contained in the sentence, that in the sweat of his brow man was to eat his bread. Man's primeval condition, therefore, would render an ac