Cuttings of new varieties, or others much valued, should now be put in in large numbers. There is much less trouble in striking them early in the season, before the sun has great power; yet there is a difficulty attending early propagation, in keeping the plants dwarf, and also in preventing their becoming stunted in the heart - avoid the two extremes. Common border-flowers should be started in a little heat, that the root may be divided, leaving one shoot to each division.

Nursery, Slough. C. Turner.

The Dahlia #1

I thank the writer of the article entitled "Retrospective Glance at the Dahlia Trade," etc. in Number XIV. of The Florist, for the particulars therein detailed, and above all for the kindly spirit in which it is written: such articles will benefit both the amateur and fair dealer.

Different people look at things in different lights. At first glance, the article in question appears something like a stricture on the Dahlia trade in general; but on examination it really pays raisers of new flowers a substantial compliment. The question is asked, "What has become of the varieties offered so late as 1845?" It is true that there are but two of those sent out in the season worth cultivating for exhibition at the present day; but why is this? is it because they were not improvements on the older flowers? Certainly not, as I will endeavour to shew. Every one will say that the stands of Dahlias have improved since that time, and rapidly; and as the varieties shewn in 1848 were none of them raised before 1845, there must have been that progressive improvement going on, which is the aim of all true florists. I will demonstrate this fact by referring to the late Surrey show, reported in the October Number of The Florist, vol. i., and which show was acknowledged to be the best of the season, at which all the principal growers competed.

I find that the best 24 in the open or Nurserymen's Class contained three varieties sent out previous to 1845, one in that year, two in 1846, ten in 1847, and eight in 1848. It will be evident what has become of the old flowers, - they are beaten by the new ones. If this is not conclusive in favour of the new flowers, the 36 given at the conclusion of the article as the best out will be so. Twenty-three of them are flowers sent out in 1847 and 1848.

I must leave those who intend competing for prizes to form their own conclusion, whether new flowers are necessary or not to ensure success.

I again thank the writer; he has done some good: the subject only requires bringing prominently forward, and most purchasers will see the course which they ought to take. This last remark equally applies to all florists' flowers. Observer.

Dahlias #2

Propagating these will now be the business of the day. Put in cuttings, re-pot as soon as they are struck, and harden off as soon as they are sufficiently started in growth. Never allow them to stand in cold frames in very small pots, otherwise they soon become stunted, useless plants. The roots will generally part, and make from three to six strong plants, after they have done their work in producing cuttings. Sow seed without delay, in dung beds strongly heated. If the bed is a proper one, the young plants will make their appearance in five or six days. Transplant as soon as the plants are in rough leaf. Pieces of ground, or beds, intended for Dahlias, should be turned and broken fine with the spade; otherwise, if the spring be dry, and the soil heavy, the operation will be troublesome to perform, if it be left till planting-time.

Royal Nursery, Slough. C. Turner.

Dahlias #3

Carry out the operations recommended last month, and. repot into 4-inch pots such as are intended to bloom early. Plants received from the nursery should not remain a day without being repotted. Place them in gentle heat for a short time, and then harden in a cold frame. Free from slugs; fumigate if green-fly appears.

Royal Nursery, Slough. C Turner.

Dahlias #4

The plants by this time will be strong, and well hardened; the ground will also be in a good state to receive them, if the recommendations given in The Florist have been attended to; therefore plant out on the first fine quiet day, and secure the plants to strong stakes at once: placing some fine rich soil about their roots will help them in starting. It is important to prevent slugs or snails from injuring them at first. Some attention should be paid to arrangement; it is objectionable to see tall plants near the outside, and dwarf ones in the centre: a good distribution of colours also greatly improves the general effect.

Royal Nursery, Slough. C Turner.

Dahlias #5

Not much time will be required for Dahlias in this month. The principal things to attend to are, to keep them well watered, which should be done at night, with soft water, over the foliage, and to look well after insects: earwigs eat the young foliage as well as the blooms of Dahlias, and should be trapped and got under as soon as the plants are out. Rake the surface between the plants as often as it becomes at all hard or run together by-rain. Tie the Dahlias as they grow.

Royal Nursery, Slough. C. Turner.