Nothing adds so much cheer to the house as beautiful window gardens filled with flowers and potted plants. These decorations are within the reach of all, and there are many beautiful designs which will sup-gest themselves besides those we offer. One of the prettiest we have seen is a window garden occupying the south end of a dining-room, arranged with a wire stand in the centre. These stands are readily procured at almost any merchandise store, or they may be readily made out of light pieces of lumber in the form of steps, which, if neatly painted green or red, will be very serviceable. Window shelves may be made and covered with heavy paper or oil cloth of a neat figure. The plants may be so arranged as to give sunlight to the varieties needing it most.
Another very useful form is to make for the window garden a box, in length equal to the width of the window, six or eight inches wide and eight inches deep. The box should be lined with zinc and filled with sand or light mold. Not more than six or eight plants should be used in an ordinary window-garden box. In winter time the plants should be carefully protected at night from the frost caused by the falling of the temperature of the room. This may be easily done by putting heavy paper between the plants and the window.
It is desirable to decorate rooms for both public and private occasions, such as anniversary days and festal days. Decorations intended to instil patriotism are frequently used on Children's Day, Washington's Birthday and the Fourth of July. The national flag is always a prominent feature. The platform, or stage, or the part of the room to be used for the entertainment, is made the centre of the decorations. Flowers, palms and vines are always beautiful, and their arrangement depends upon the taste of the parties directing the same. It must not be overlooked that even the most cornmon flowers and plants form the prettiest decorations. Although the farmer may fight the daisy as a nuisance in the field, yet the decorator will find that it makes one of the most beautiful decorations, either bunched together or in chains, woven around walls and furniture.
No wedding would be complete unless there were decorations in the parlor or church where the marriage ceremony takes place, and also of the dining-room and table where the breakfast or dinner is served. There are many happy suggestions for such occasions. It is customary to decorate the church by running arches, made of flowers and vines, over the aisle along which the bridal procession takes place. Festoons may be hung from the ceiling in artistic lines. Care should be taken that harmony in arrangement prevails, and one part is not decorated at the expense of another. Potted plants are always beautiful in decorating the platform and pulpit and for tables and window ledges. White ribbon, either in bows, or nicely looped, adds also to the effectiveness of the decorations.
For bridal or festive occasions very simple and pretty decorations may be made by the arrangement of a few flowers on the table and good taste in arranging the china, the silver, and the linen. It should not be overlooked that too much decoration is worse than no decoration at all, and the effectiveness is often lost by carelessness in arranging one or two small items. Symmetry and harmony should not be lost sight of. The color effect should be left to persons who have "an eye for color."