I left home some days ago. A few snowdrops and a few green blades of daffodils were coming through the ground: that was all. Spring seemed very far away, but it was not really so. For a short time one must help nature, and have faith. During the last three years I have considerably developed the practice of forcing cut blossoming branches in water, in the little hothouse. Even in December if the weather is wet and bad, the Jasminum nudiflorum is far more effective and flowers more in a mass, if treated in this way, than left on the plant. I saw a year or two ago at one of the Drill Hall shows the Amygdalus Davidiana, which is a Chinese early-flowering shrub and exceedingly lovely. I bought one which has grown satisfactorily. It can be cut in January, and the bright brown stems, covered with buds, flower from one end to the other, after cutting and putting into water in the stove. It is a plant I thoroughly recommend to anybody living in the country in winter or having flowers sent up to London. Prunus Pissardii, which here the birds strip of buds, the common pink almond, Forsythia suspense/,, all do excellently cut and brought on in this way, by which I mean, they do very much better than if left to flower out of doors.All stalks must be peeled.The blackthorn, Primus spinosa, and its double variety also answer if picked in the same way a little later on in the year.TheDrillHall exhibitions, interesting as they are all the year round, always attract me most in the spring, as the plants are better adapted at that season than any other to the kind ofminiature pot-cultivation required for shows.Here everybody is able to see what these plants ought to be when grown in perfection, not in heat, but under glass whichsaves them from wind and weather.All those who try to grow fine Christmas roses in light soils know well how difficult it is,whereas the imaginative writer who speaks of gardens from the poetical point of view rather than the practical, alludes to them in a lordly kind of way as' flourishing' of their ownaccord in mixed borders or even in woods and shrubberies.As a matter of fact,though they hatebeing disturbed,I havefound strong nourishment when their leaves aregrowing and protection from the weather in any but very exceptional winters, absolutely necessary for producing even a moderate success. I have never seen them growing in their natural state onAlpine slopes, as M. Correvon so charmingly describes them in his poems 'Fleurs et Montagnes ':