Thackeray in one of his books made a very nice little sketch of a small boy vigorous in urging his home-made boat across a tiny pool with the breath of his own lungs. "Urging the sail of his own work" was the legend below the wood-engraving. So on reading Dr Wallace's notes on p. 276 of last month's ' Gardener,' it occurred to me that there are others who, like Thackeray's small boy, are adepts at urging the sale of. their own goods. Of course Dr Wallace's motives in writing to the 'Gardener' were of the best; but I very much question the taste which prompted him to advertise his own "New Plant and Bulb Company," and to stigmatise a brother nurseryman's bond fide advertisement as a misleading one. How an advertisement which offers certain Lily bulbs at a stated price can mislead any one it is difficult to see. It is quite different when a nurseryman offers you Lily bulbs at a certain price, and when you give the order for them he neglects to send them; or when he advertises a good plant, and on your ordering it he sends you another thing altogether!

I know a good many people who now purchase their Lily bulbs at the London auction-rooms, where I have myself bought all the good and generally expensive kinds very cheaply. Good sound bulbs of Lilium auratum at 30s. to 50s. per hundred is cheap enough, and not unfrequently the best and largest bulbs may be purchased at that rate.

Of course a "fairly good representative collection" may be bought for three guineas - no one disputed that. For the same sum I can get a "fairly good representative collection" of Orchids, Ferns, or Stoveplants. My object in writing my "Consider the Lilies" note (at p. 145) was not to make a "grim joke," but to show that Lilies being fashionable, were also expensive in some markets. Nor has Dr Wallace shown us the contrary. No : he offers us three species of Lilium at 3 to 6, 6s. "per dozen;" or a "fairly good" - not a "first-rate" or "select" collection, mind, but a "fairly good" - collection of Lilies for 3, 3s. I speak from experience, and the only good and cheap Lilies I ever procured were from public auction-rooms. By judicious purchase of Lily bulbs at auction sales, amateurs near London might make 3, 3s. go a very long way, - indeed I could thus secure a first-rate representative collection in that way.

I quite agree with Dr Wallace that Lilies may be considered at a reasonable rate - at auction sales.

Amongst seasonable flowers there are few of the more distinct and showy sort which attract the eye more than the now numerous and beautiful new forms of Pyrethrum roseum. Pure white, rose - pink, rose-purple, rose-crimson, and magenta are well represented, and in form and size the individual flowers remind one of the finest of Asters or Chrysanthemums; and the finely cut foliage is fresh, and of a vivid green tint, which enhances the beauty of the flowers. Either for open-air or conservatory decoration these plants are useful, and as cut-flowers they are worthy of especial notice, as, in addition to their bright shapeliness, they endure for many days in vases or glasses indoors.

The old Double White Rocket is worth all attention from lovers of white and fragrant blossoms. It blooms in June, and is very effective in sheltered beds or borders, and its tall spikes of pure rosettes continue fresh and fragrant for a long time in vases. This is one of the old-fashioned herbaceous plants that well repays one for a little extra attention in the way of propagation and culture.

Those who have no hothouses, and to whom Cattleyas and Laelias are therefore an impossibility, should get up a collection of Iris of various kinds. The forms of I. germanica are now numerous and variable, and to these may well be added the finer of the English and Spanish bulbous-rooted kinds. The man who plants these well can afford to smile at the fate which forbids his indulging in Orchids or rare stove-plants.

By the same token, Caladiums may well be replaced by the hardy and altogether lovely kinds of Funkias. Mr Barr sent me a splendid collection of twenty - four distinct kinds of these last January, and they are now quite a feature here. In addition to their ample and shapely leaves, they produce long spikes of drooping bell-shaped flowers of a purple or white colour. The only secret in their culture is to plant in a deep rich border; and while they should never be disturbed in the autumn or winter, they may be cut into bits in April just as they start into growth, and every bit grows away without the least check whatever. These fine-leaved plants are now most effectively used in the London parks, and should henceforth find their way into all good private gardens.

Anent the price of Orchids, I hear of two plants of Cattleya Mendeli having recently been sold for ,200 each. This is a lovely Orchid, and these especial plants were exceptionally fine forms, of course. Then Sir Trevor Lawrence gave 50 for a plant of Cattleya exoniensis the other day with seven leads - a good specimen, in fact. Then that lovely pure white variety of Coelogyne cristata exhibited by Mr Titley of Leeds the other day, was so much admired in London that Mr Bull secured it for his patrons, the new plant buyers, at a cost of 200. At this rate, Orchids offer to the careful and experienced buyer as good a rate of interest as pictures or other works of art.

Cattleya labiata - the true old autumn-blooming variety collected in Brazil many years ago, and first bloomed by the late Mr Cattley of Barnet - is still rare, and so costly. Mr Day's plants fetched from 20 to 40 each. When it cannot be obtained, however, a good form of C. Warneri may be sufficient for one's appetite in that way. I have now two forms in bloom, and one, a native seedling now blooming for the first time, is little, if anything, inferior to C. labiata in size and colour of the flower.

A very distinct and effective hardy rock-plant, now in full beauty, is Onosma taurica. It is sometimes called the "Golden Drop," and bears its pure yellow Erica Cavendishii-like flowers on a twin-forked, leafy spike, 1 foot in height. It is not at all a common plant, but may be increased by cuttings in April. Either for open-air culture or for cut-flowers it well deserves a place in all gardens.

Nearly all Gladioli are beautiful, but one pure white kind now in bloom is especially lovely, and welcome for cut-flowers. I allude to G. Colvillei albus - sometimes called "The Bride" in bulb catalogues. About eighteen months ago we planted a few dozen bulbs of this kind out in a deep rich sandy border close to a low wall, which affords them shelter. They bloomed well the first year, but this season they are very much stronger, and so more floriferous. The long spikes of pare white flowers are peculiarly attractive for large drawing-room vases. The only other flower I know which can compare with it for this purpose is the large St Bruno's Lily (Anthericum liliago), which comes in a fortnight or three weeks earlier. Those who have not these two lovely white-flowered plants in their collection should make a note of their names now, and secure roots for next autumn planting season.

Of dwarf wall-shrubs, a note should be made of Veronica Hulkei, -a lovely little bush, now bearing panicles of delicate lilac flowers in the open air. It is also useful and effective as a greenhouse shrub, in pots, being quite distinct from the better-known kinds of the V. Andersoni section.

A good climbing shrub for a cool greenhouse is the lovely white-lowered Jasminum jasminioides, now in bloom. Its dark-green pinnate leaves set off its clusters of white flowers and pearly buds to perfection. Planted out, it makes rapid growth, and blooms most profusely for -several months.

Rooted cuttings of the white and sulphur-coloured Paris Daisies or Marguerites may now be planted out in the open air, and if pinched judiciously, and the flowers picked off carefully, they will form handsome little bushes for lifting and repotting next September for conservatory or greenhouse decoration. They yield cut-flowers in quantity all through the winter months. These plants are all varieties of Chrysanthemum frutescens; but a still better winter - blooming Daisy bush is C. tanacetifolia, an old plant, with bright-green leaves, and snow-white yellow-eyed flowers.

Anent sales of imported Orchids I hear many eomplaints. A friend of mine who paid rather a long price for Laelia anceps alba found out when they bloomed that they were of the old type. He was further taken in some time back by buying what he took to be large "masses" of Odontoglossum Alexandra. On more closely examining these preparatory to starting them, however, he found out to his great disgust that they were little pieces, and odd eyeless pseudo-bulbs, sewn or tied together with soft twine in such a way as to deceive even the wary in such matters. So it has come to this, - a state of things sure to meet with its just reward.

If one could always attend these sales in person there would be less risk, but in commissioning auctioneers they themselves are not unfre-quently deceived. Of course they would soon put a stop to manipulative trickery, or the selling of ordinary kinds under high-sounding or erroneous names, if they once detected the thing.

Nevertheless the main facts remain unaltered, that if due caution be exercised, Orchids, Lily bulbs, and many other plants may be obtained of as good quality and at a cheaper rate from these sales than elsewhere. Now and then one is lucky enough to get a good thing unexpected, and that takes the rough edge off previous disappointments.

The great thing is to attend in person, and examine everything carefully. After all, it is a question of whether you really know the physiognomy of the plants you wish to buy.

Mr John Dominy, whose name is "familiar as household words" to all gardeners, and especially to cultivators of Orchidaceous plants, having definitely retired from the management of the Chelsea nursery of Messrs Veitch, some of his friends have selected the time as the one best fitted to offer him some little memento of a well-spent and active life. This is as it should be. Mr Dominy's work has benefited all gardeners. He was the first hybridiser of Orchids and Nepenthes, and if it be true that a "man's best work is his best monument," it will be especially true of the man who has given us Cattleya exoniensis and Calanthe Veitchii, which are in their way two of the finest of all known Orchids. What Sir Trevor Lawrence and others desire to do now, however, is to offer Mr Dominy some little present as a token of esteem - an acknowledgment that his life's work has been a worthy one in his own - our own - profession. Those who wish to contribute are invited to send their contribution, of not more than 5 nor less than 10s. 6d., to Sir Trevor Lawrence, Bart., Burford Lodge, Dorking; or to the London Joint-Stock Bank, Pall Mall, S.W. F. W. B.