The first little Aconites are out to-day! This is early Going through January without cold is rather despairing. I find that even in this dry soil the Aconites do much better under evergreens and at the edges of shrubs than in the borders which are manured and mulched. The borders are too good for them, and they increase better if not disturbed. I mention this, as I was so stupidly long in finding it out myself. The more the uneducated gardening mind cares about a plant, the more it turns to manure and mulching; but in many cases it does more harm than good - notably with Aconites, Daffodils, Scillas, etc. What they all want is moisture and protection at the growing-time. Drying ever so much in the summer does them good rather than harm, and they never do well in a bed that is hosed or watered to suit other things. With the Aconites, our first outdoor friends, come a few Snowdrops. They have never been planted here in any quantity, and have a tendency to diminish rather than increase: perhaps mice are especially fond of them. I am more than ever determined to plant a large quantity next year; enough, if possible, for me and the mice too. This little Snowdrop poem has such an echo of 'The Baby-seed Song' - a great favourite in my other book - that I copy it out of a recent 'Pall Mall Gazette':