Never till this year have I seen the old town of Harwich, my previous acquaintance having been limited to its name, and the shed at the Great Eastern Railway station on the way to the steamboats. In old days Harwich was an important place ; the King's pack-boats started from the town itself, and the early Georges always sailed from here on their joyful visits to their beloved Hanover. In the town there still exists a curious old posting-inn called by the unusual sign of ' The Three Cups,' and the room where Nelson slept is still shown. The reason of my visit to the inn was to see one of the strangest natural adaptations of luxuriant growth, of a kind seldom seen except now and then with an old vine. In the corner of the inn-yard is planted a Clematis Vitalba (traveller's joy), which I should think may be two hundred years old; the stem is as thick as an old apple tree, retaining of course its twisted, rope-like character; the long arms, viz., branches, of the plant have been carried across the yard in all directions, supported in the middle by a strong post. The plant grows in a damp corner next the house ; it must have been put there and encouraged by some plant-loving landlord, and has been carefully trained and pruned ever since. The effect is so rare and so charming that it might be tried and carried out with advantage in many places. It was such a splendid illustration of what I consider one of the first rules of gardening - clearly to show the hand of man, even to the extent of a certain artificiality, and then Nature being allowed to assert her sway. Thanks to pruning and care through a century or more of growth, this magnificent specimen of a wild plant still owes some of its charm to artifice. Given a sunny position, an old wistaria might be trained in the way described which is exactly how they are treated in Japan.

Loudon says, ' The first clematis brought to England was Clematis Viticella in 1569, Virgin's Bower.During the reign of Queen Elizabeth the name of Virgin's Bower might be intended to convey a compliment to that sovereign, who, as is well known, liked to be called the Virgin Queen.'

I never now visit seaside gardens except on the East Coast, where the houses and gardens are close to the sea, but it is interesting to observe there how well experience teaches, for the clothing of cliffs under the spray of the sea, which at one time seemed impossible, has now gradually succeeded. My host told me the other day that he had had the greatest difficulty in getting Pinus aus-triaca to grow. I immediately said, 'Oh, I am so glad ! I hate them.' He answered, 'You are wrong: their branching habit and sturdy growth from their youth make them endlessly useful to us as a protection. But,' he added, 'you will be interested to hear, in confirmation of what you have often said, that whereas we lost hundreds of transplanted plants bought from nurserymen, of our own seedlings we do not lose one in a hundred.' I am sure this is sound gardening, and corresponds with my experience with pears, already mentioned. Wherever a plant is difficult to grow and adapt to any particular soil, then grow it yourself from seed. It is a slow process, but is best in the end.

The sand cliffs along this Suffolk shore, the feet of which the sea is always licking, and at high tides gradually undermining and carrying away, have to be most skilfully preserved in both the gardens I know best. The fight with the powerful element seems a continual excitement to the owners, but to others it appears as a pathetic struggle against an irresistible foe which is known to be slowly devouring England both on the East and West coasts.

One of the most interesting growths on these garden terraces, clothing all the artificial rockwork in the most perfect way, is due to various perennial and annual mesembryanthemums, which bravely withstand the cold and cutting winds. Nothing suits them so well as sand and gravel, and they luxuriate and blaze in the sunshine and pure air. The large lilac-flowered M. Pomeridianum revels in the driest pocket and falls for yards like mermaid's hair over the hot bare surfaces.

All Cape and Japanese plants can be played with in these gardens where the myrtle and fuchsia flower abundantly every year. The Cape annuals, Octotis grandis and the orange venidium, also do gloriously, but even here the beautiful belladonna lily will not do against an ordinary south wall. It must be against a greenhouse wall where it gets a little heat from the inside pipes, or it comes into bloom too late. In one of these gardens where it is well established and never interfered with, it blooms from August to October in a right royal manner, with richer pink blooms and browner, stronger stems than I have seen inland. All the genistas, from least to largest, do splendidly if cut back after flowering.

I complained to one of my friend's clever gardeners that my pears would go quickly in the middle. He said he thought the cure for that was very early picking. They have a tendency in hot soils to ripen first in the middle. I long ago discovered how desirable it was to pick medlars while still hard and let them ripen in the fruit house.

In an old Suffolk rectory garden, once the property of the monks, I heard of a fruit wall with this peculiarity : small cupboard-like recesses were built into the wall between the fruit-trees and cleanly finished with stone slabs, and in these the peaches, nectarines, and apricots were placed on being picked to ripen in the sun, and yet not be exposed as on the tree to rain, flies, wasps, &c.

The entrance to the recess was closed temporarily after the fruit was in by a curtain of muslin or a piece of glass. I have never seen a fruit wall built on these lines, but I expect those old monks knew what they were about, and easily brought to their table each day such fruit as was ripe and ready.

My Suffolk friends have taken to constructing strong wind-resisting Pergolas. In one garden the piers are made of rough stones with strong iron girders sunk into cement at the top, and they run from north to south, which seems to me the best aspect, as in that way the roots on one side are in perfect shade, or in full sun according to the requirements of the creepers. The other Pergola runs east and west, and the columns are built of brick, while the top is made out of the curved beams of the sides of wrecked vessels thrown up on the beach. What a calm sylvan home for the poor storm-tossed beams to come to in their old age ! Another Pergola I saw this year entirely made of young larch saplings was very pretty, though less substantial than the two I have mentioned. Alternating with three poles bound together and three across the top, there came a single pole and a single one across the top, a far prettier arrangement and more substantial looking than when the poles are all single. On a flat piece of ground it would be an improvement to sink the walk and have raised stonework on each side, slightly after the manner of the Amalfi Pergola referred to in April.

I think the small-flowered hardy clematises are not nearly enough grown on Pergolas, and they are so light in their growth that they hardly injure roses or anything else they climb on. I mean such kinds as C. paniculata, which is even later flowering than C. Flammula; but in Jackman's catalogue they are all so well classified and described that there is no difficulty in ordering what is wanted. The new hybrid types raised from C. coccinea are very pretty, but expensive. I am very fond of two herbaceous clematises called C. erecta and C. maritima. C. Davidiana and G. carulea, too, are beautiful plants well grown. They do not like a dry place. None of these are climbers. The hardy yellow C. graveolens does well in these sunny, wind-swept gardens. It goes on flowering for months, the blossoms lasting long after the early ones have formed their pretty fluffy seed-tufts.

In gardens where enlargements are constantly being made, it always surprises me to see how much repetition goes on. The new beds are generally filled with plants that are already flourishing in other parts of the garden. I think, if I had a large garden, I would try to keep plants apart, and a new bit of ground or a sheltered corner should be entirely devoted to new kinds that were not in any other part of the ground, or to plants which had failed elsewhere. It is so rare in English gardens to find any distinctive planting or originality, and I think it must be partly due to idleness and laziness, for I can never take up any gardening book without seeing thousands of things which I still lack.