My introduction to the fair readers of The Florist takes place at a season which, to the uninitiated, is destitute of floral attractions, but which yet furnishes objects of daily interest to those who look for them. The first snow which melts will entice the Aconite and the Snowdrop to unfold their petals; and, if the weather be mild, the close of the month may be graced with the Crocus. Indoors, Hyacinths and early Tulips will attract many bright eyes, and engage the handicraft of many taper fingers. However, there is not very much to be done this month by lady-amateurs, although the employment actually furnished is of a more recherche kind than usual. I will take advantage of this lack of business to define the duties I undertake, and the class I am more particularly anxious to benefit. This page is not intended to be read by the scientific florist, although there are many of that class to be found among ladies; the general contents of this work being a contribution to those engaged in the higher branches of horticulture. Neither do I write for ladies who keep gardeners, since they had better take the advice of their professional servants than mine.

I should be sorry for any collision of opinion to take place between a gardener and his mistress through me, and I therefore at once beg that I may never be used as an authority against the practice of men who ought to know better than I do how to transact their daily business.

There are many ladies who like to have a floricultural domain of their own, although they may possess an establishment requiring the aid of many minds and many hands. Gardening is, with many, an affair closely related, in the affections it excites, to the care of objects of domestic solicitude; so that its votaries delight in doing as much as possible for their favourites with their own hands. How would those Hyacinths lose half their charm, if you were never to change their water, prop their advancing flower-stems, or arrange their colours! Has not that little border on which the morning sun always shines, with its Crocuses, Tulips, and Carnations, all planted and reared by yourself, more attractions than whole acres of garden besides? Because we know something ourselves of this flower-worship, we are willing to instruct its devotees, and all we write will be intended to promote the beauty and grace of the temple. Without the formal routine of a calendar, it will be our object to throw out some suggestions applicable to the month, and thus to furnish a contribution to the annual wreath which the conductors of The Florist desire to present to their subscribers.

The Bury, Luton. Henry Burgess.