We have just been digging up and preparing a good-sized oblong piece of ground in the best and sunniest part of the kitchen garden, and moving into it gooseberries and currants - red, white, and black. Round this I am going to place, after considerable deliberation and doubt, a high fine-wire fencing with an opening on one side instead of a gate - which reduces the expense - and the opening can be covered when necessary with a net. The reason for not wiring over the top, besides the expense, is that it causes a rather injurious drip in rainy weather and breaks down under the snow. I am also assured by good gardeners that it is unnecessary, and that the wire netting round the sides is a most effectual protection to the bushes, as small birds do not fly downwards into a wire-netted enclosure. My gardener is very sceptical on this point, and says he thinks our birds are too clever to be kept out by such half-measures. I think we have an undue share of birds, as on one side of the kitchen garden there is a small copse belonging to a neighbour which has been entirely neglected for years, and presents the appearance of what one would imagine a virgin forest might be. This affords the most extraordinary protection for birds, and bullfinches and greenfinches abound. They not only do harm to the fruit when it is ripe, but they strip the trees of their buds in dry weather in early spring. If this new wire netting answers, I am told we ought to have three times the fruit for a less quantity of bushes. I shall grow white currants on the netting, with battens or sticks fastened to it as a protection from the heat of the zinc wire, which is fatal to everything. The trees are now all whitened with a preparation of lime which is distasteful to the birds and insects. After all this I shall indeed be disappointed if my crop of small fruit is not larger this year. However, a late frost may still defeat us altogether.

Mr. Wright in his book 'Profitable Fruit-growing' (171 Fleet Street, London) has a sentence on the purchasing of fruit-trees which is so good I must copy it: 'First look to the character and position of the vendors, and deal with those who have reputations to maintain. They cannot afford to sell inferior trees or, what is of .vital importance, distribute varieties under wrong names. It is a very serious matter to grow fruit-trees for some years, then when they bear find they are not the sorts ordered, but inferior. Time thus lost cannot be regained. Order early in October, and the sooner the trees arrive and are planted after the leaves fall the better they will grow.' He goes on to say, what is equally true, that the best trees are spoilt by bad planting, and it is deplorable to see how roughly the work is often done through lack of knowledge. Every kind of instruction is clearly given by Mr. Wright in this excellent, inexpensive little book, and if read carefully and followed things must go right. I have fallen this year into the so common fault of ordering the little I meant to have too late; but as they are only a few hardy Damson-trees I hope they will forgive me and do well all the same. Damsons are certainly not cultivated enough, and yet, after Morella Cherries, they make the best of jams, and no fruit-tree gives such big crops for so little outlay. The trees enjoy full exposure, and need hardly any attention, but it is well to remember to stake them securely to prevent strong winds blowing them about and straining the roots. Our only trouble is the birds, who eat out the buds before they even blossom. Some buds we could spare, but that is not Mr. Bully's way; if he begins on a tree he completely clears it, as the missel-thrushes do the Rowan berries of summer. Last year they fixed on a Pear-tree that was covered rather early with buds, and in one week every trace and promise of blossom was gone.