I copy here a letter lately received from my German friend. Our gardens are a constant interest to each of us, as what does easily and well with her does badly with me, and she is then quite jealous of the sun-dried little successes of my light soil.

We are nearly drowned, and to hear you talk of a dry garden sounds like distant myths of El Dorado. For a solid fortnight now we have had sheets of water, day and night, and everything is decaying and reduced to pulp ; one's very bones creep with the damp and feel mildewed.It is impossible to work thesoil or to go on the grass without wearing indiarubberboots,like waders. You ought to see it once like this to convince you of the numerous difficulties of my gardening - the parching, cutting east winds and droughts all this spring and summer, and then those indescribable masses of water that rot and spoil everything, so that when the frost does come everything is so saturated and water-logged it starts the roots and bulbs from the soil, the water turning to solid ice.What makes it a worse grievance than other years is the fact of its beginning a month or six weeks in advance of the usual time, and thus ruining the whole of my painfully-built-up scheme of a pretty September garden. The terrible havoc of last year's winter, and the heavy snows and frosts of the latter half of March, had so effectually ruined all prospects of a good spring garden that I set to in April and May, so as at least to ensure a good display for the summer and autumn.And, with all due humility, I believe I had succeeded; but now it is all battered and beaten into jam, and one could almost long for snow to cover it up mercifully.These are the woes of strong heavy soils, where things grow luxuriantly and drought does but littleharm, but where rains do untold damage, and a wet autumn means destruction to all tender things and disaster among the bulbs.Yet even so calamitous a month of September bears some lessons -one of them not to delay the gathering of seeds of the best annuals, the other to push forward planting and transplanting of perennials, so as to get them well established in the first days of the month.This exceptional year proves that the usual rule of counting upon the wholeofSeptember for all the transplanting and replanting is not a safe one. For the first time this year, driven by necessity and by the rows and rows of corpses which I discovered on coming out to Cronberg in April, I have really had a good show of annuals and half-hardies.

The single branching larkspurs have been quite lovely, both in pots on the terrace and in big masses by themselves in the little paved flower-garden. There were lavender-coloured ones, and a batch of quite lovely bright pink coral ones, besides the usual tall white kind and the different shades of blue. I had never yet got them to thrive in my stiff soil, and I was determined to have them, so I deliberately took out eighteen inches of my soil in more than half the flower-garden, only leaving those beds that were to grow dahlias, asters, pyrethrums, and Michaelmas daisies, and replaced the soil by fine compost made of sand, road-scrapings, turfy loam, and a very little decayed manure. All the annuals sown in February and March in pans, or in the soil of a cold frame, were pricked out into this good light soil at the end of April, and some were sown in place as late as the first week in May. The latter were portulacas, a few patches of Nemesia strumosa, Convolvulus minor, Viscaria oculata, and the lovely sky-blue viscaria. A large square bed of Nigella damascena, sown in a mixture with Omphalodes Imifolia and well thinned (it makes a perfect mixture and is most satisfactory), two big beds of salpiglossis of the largest strain (Haage & Schmidt at Erfurt), and smaller patches of the dwarf orange-coloured eschscholtzia, as well as the pink and white, both very pretty. Large patches of Shirley poppies and tall French double ones severely thinned out, the giant Machet mignonette, and the pretty bright red Stuttgart variety, then the lovely but very ephemeral Phacelia campanularia and the beautiful Bartonia aurea, the charming Linaria bipartita and L. Cymbalaria, the delightful tribe of Chinese fringed pinks, the purple corn-flowers ; all these did beautifully sown in place, and would have lasted until frost if they had not been battered and smashed by these terrible weeks of deluge. The frame-raised annuals were the single delphiniums, therhodanthes and acrocliniums, the tall self-coloured antirrhinums;theselast Icannever grow except as annuals, nor can I the white, the bright yellow and bright red, and very dark red, nearly black - the Chrysanthemum carinatum, the tall, beautiful Cosmos bipinnatus, Commelina ccelestis - which began to flower six weeks after sowing, when it was only two inches high, and is now still in full lovely bloom and two feet high, and a gorgeous gentian blue - the annual Lupinus Hartwegi and polyphylhus, the whole tribe of tall and dwarf orangeand pale yellow autumn marigolds (tagetes),and the best strainsof scabious, a large patch of very big-flowered pale lilac, exactly like S. caucasica, being excessively useful, besides the bright coral pink, the self-white, and the ruby-coloured ones.My paved flower-garden was all arranged on the principle of a market garden, each kind in a bed, or half a bed, by itself, with the exception of two mixed ones, one of which I kept nearly entirely blue with lupins, Phacelia viscaria, Viscaria oculata ccerulea, the Swan-River daisy, single-branching larkspur, Commelina ccelestis, cornflowers, nigellas,dark-blue salpiglossis, dark heliotrope, and on the edges tufts of dark violas, broken by patches of mignonette and the above-mentioned precious Omphalodes linifolia as the only exceptions to the general blueness.

That bed was lovely; it was about fifteen yards long by two and a half yards wide.I forgot to mention tufts of the dark-blue Salvia Horminum, and a tuft or two of lovely self-sownVeronica Hendersoni,withlong blue spikes.The Swan-River daisy above named is properly called Brachycome iberidifolia, and is lovely.The other bed, where I had several annuals mixed and not one kind planted alone, was a long narrow bed - only five feet wide and about twenty long - and here I planted all the shades of orange and terra-cotta zinnias, the white single larkspur of the tallest sort, the yellow antirrhinums, and the white feathery "Comet" aster, and then a large batch of brown, yellow, and orange Helichrysum macranthum (both these and the single zinnias have been very large and fine and satisfactory, and last so wonderfully in autumn and defy rain and drought and every fatality of weather); also a very pretty pink rudbeckia, about two feet high, with a lovely mahogany-coloured inside and broad zone all round. I found it in flower in a friend's garden in Hesse, and gathered some seed.' (It is not an annual, I think. Same as Echinacea purpurea. - M. T. E.) ' I forgot to mention among the annuals I have used largely for fringing and filling up the edges of my beds of dark-red hybrid perpetual roses is a good strain of tiny pink petunias, and Phlox Drummondii in all the shades of red, from salmon-pink to nearly black, barring all magenta, yellowish, or white. They did beautifully and are so pretty and luxuriant now; also the fringed Dianthus Heddewigi and the Viscaria oculata cardinalis. By keeping to tones of red or pink-red, I really got rather a nice harmony of colour low-growing in the bed among the hybrid perpetuals; but, alas! in spite of the book, "Chemistry in the Garden," I have again had mildew and rust, though the latter, perhaps, to a lesser degree than other years, owing to painting the plants with brimstone early in March and frequent syringings in the growing season with the mixture that book recommends. But the cutting, horrible east winds we have here, and the changes from very hot to almost freezing which are so common in spring and after August, will, I am afraid, always be a terrible evil to fight against amongst my roses. To fill the gaps created by the winter frost among my rose-beds (especially tea roses), I had quantities of self-raised little plants on their own roots (cuttings), but they are small and make no show yet, so I introduced patches of an early-flowering and quite lovely outdoor chrysanthemum, apricot coloured with a touch of pink; it is called "Gustave Grunewald," and flowers from August profusely. It has all the characteristics of a Japanese chrysanthemum, and not the ordinary quite hardy out-of-door flowering kinds. When the weather becomes too rough, and the lovely pink chrysanthemum flowers become spoilt, I take up all the plants and pot them, and they continue to flower well into October when the others come on.' (Any rose-grower would say, 'No wonder her roses don't do, if, for the sake of effect, she plants so many things among them.' - M. T. E.)