There has been a marked improvement in our country homes within the past few years, although there is still abundant room for more. A few years ago no such thing as a flower garden was to be seen on the farms of New England, now they are to be met upon more than one-half the farms, although there are still those that are so penurious that they think that time spent by the farmer's wife or daughter in making and weeding a flower garden, is time thrown away. I have in my mind a farmer's wife who is fond of her flower garden and will work out of season to make it succeed. I know another lady who thinks all such work thrown away, and that it would be much better to have the same garden planted with some vegetable that would yield an income. In fact she believes that every thing should go to increase the bank stock.

Our New England poet Whittier speaks of this class of farmers as they were two generations ago in his prelude to the poem, "Among the Hills," after speaking of their rooms and grounds bare of adornment, he gives them the following sarcastic hit, which is an apt description of the "close fisted" Yankee farmer of half a century ago. "Saving his soul and winter pork with the least possible outlay of salt and sanctity."

But a change has come over the people since then. The diffusion of knowledge by means of the agricultural newspaper, and such horticultural works as the Gardener'sMonthly, has been felt; and to day you will find some of as good horticulturists amongst the farmers as anywhere. And they have only to work on and imitate the example set by such workers as Hovey and the venerable Col. Wilder, and our New England hillsides will be the pride of the whole country.