After a white frost in the morning we have had a day which, except for its shortness, we should be satisfied with and think beautiful in early spring. These mild, sunny winter days do great harm in prematurely forcing growth, but I know few things which it would be more difficult to wish non-existent. They make up to me for so many of our winter trials - fog and cold and darkness. I would not change them for the 'sunny South,' where sunshine is a right, while here it comes as a most gracious gift - all the more appreciated because it appears unexpectedly and lasts such a short time.
I have a plant of Daphne indica, one of my favourite winter flowers, in my greenhouse now. It is in flower and smelling deliciously, but does not look at all satisfactory, although it was only bought last year. It was put out of doors last summer, as it ought to be, but was allowed to get dry. It made no growth; it is leggy, drawn up, and the leaves are yellow, which with hard-wooded plants generally means over-watering in winter. I have tried for years to grow these Daphnes, but they are difficult to strike, difficult to grow, and have a quite extraordinary love of dying without any very obvious reason. I must devote myself to finding out, if possible, what the reason is. I see that Mr. Smee, in his book 'My Garden,' says they did the same with him.
I have just gathered three beautiful, full white buds off a Niphetos Rose in the conservatory next the drawing-room. It is blooming extra early this year.