AQUATIC plants are now becoming more generally appreciated, and this is especially true of the small-growing kinds. Salvinia natans, Azolla (pinnata) Caroliniana, Trianaea bogotensis, Pistia stratiotes, and Myriophyllum proserpinoides are all worth a place, and may all be easily grown in small pans or inverted bell-glasses in a stove temperature. During the summer months the Azolla, Salvinia, and Myriophyllum grow freely enough in tubs or sheltered open-air tanks. A friend to whom I gave Salvinia last season, used it with excellent effect as a substitute for the sprig of flower or leaf in finger-glasses; and I have no doubt Mr Wills could show off these little curiosities to advantage in those miniature lakes with which he so artistically embellishes his ice-rockeries or Filmy-Fern glades.

Ouvirandra fenestralis is well known as one of the most rare and curious of all aquatics. Its cultivation, however, is not always a success. The following are, I think, essential to its wellbeing : 1. Pure soft rain or river water. 2. Pure fibrous peat, and a little silver-sand as compost. 3. A pot as small as possible. 4. The water to be refreshed twice daily, morning and evening, by watering overhead with a fine-rosed water-pot. 5. Dense shade: direct sunlight is fatal by browning the leaves and favouring the growth of confervae. 6. An opaque-sided pan or slate-tank to grow it in. 7. Temperature of water never below 60°. 8. A large body of compost at the bottom of the pan or tank is bad, as when planted out in this it is difficult to remove the plant, if the earth around it becomes vitiated or sour. Our plant is now making nice fresh leaves, 10 inches long in the blade by 4 inches wide. In dense shade and in pure soft water this plant is by no means of slow growth.

One of the finest of all Orchids now in blossom is the old but ever lovely Cymbidium eburneum. Its culture is now becoming better understood. It used to be grown in peat, and with care succeeded moderately well; but of late years a loamy compost has been found to suit it far better, and, so grown, its blossoms come larger and expand better. Mr Spyers was, I believe, one of the first to try the plant in loam, and he had his reward the other day when he brought a specimen to South Kensington bearing sixteen flowers! The leaves are gracefully grass-like, curving in a pleasing way, the one or two great Lycaste-like flowers being borne on erect stems a foot or more in height. It is wonderful how this plant roots into the lumps of loam; and those who do not bloom it well in peat should give it a loamy compost at once.

Dendrobium fimbriatum oculatum is not one of the most modern, or fashionable, or expensive of Orchids, but it is a robust grower, and, under ordinary culture, rarely disappoints one. It comes in well for April or May exhibitions also, and is showy enough for grouping with other flowering exotics. We have a plant just now bearing fifty spikes of from eight to fourteen flowers each, and the effect is quite brilliant enough; besides which, the spikes come in well for cut-flowers. It is necessary to bear in mind, however, that as the flowers are produced several years in succession from different nodes or joints of the same old bulbs, the bulb itself should not be cut away with the flowers.

There are one or two annuals that are not generally known, and so they are rarely met with in gardens. One of the most showy (on hot dry soils it is especially brilliant) is Venidium calendulaceum. The flowers are more vivid than those of Calendula officinalis, and the habit of the plant is neater and better in all ways. A bed of it here last year attracted much attention. It was recommended to me by the late Miss J. Hope of Wardie Lodge, and that is perhaps the best I can say of it. Another tiny plant, quite different but still very pretty, is Ionopsidium acaule, a fully developed specimen of which is about 1 1/2 inch in height and 2 inches in diameter. It has a mossy appearance, and is studded with pretty little lilac cup-shaped flowers, each of four petals. For the margin of a rockery or the front of a herbaceous border it is charming, and it may be successfully grown in small pots for greenhouse or window decoration.

Daffodils are now in perfection on this 11th day of April 1881: locality near Dublin Bay. There was some sense in a remark a gardening friend made to me the other day. "Oh yes," said he, "I know the varieties are interminable, but tell me the names of the best thirteen varieties in the whole family." Here they are in what I consider their order of merit: Narcissus maximus, N. Horsfieldii, N. Emperor, N. Empress (for size), N. obvallaris, N. Bulbocodium (for pots), N. poeticus, N. minor, N. princeps, N. incomparabilis, N. odor-us, N. Tazetta (for pots), N. jonquilla (for fragrance).

For really robust, hardy, and effective kinds, take N. maximus and N. Horsfieldii, both as hardy as the common wild Daffodil, and immeasurably more stately and effective as garden flowers.

A good spring-flowering greenhouse climber is Clematis indivisa lobata, which for a month at least has been covered with its pure-white star-shaped flowers. It grows rapidly, and is singularly free from insect enemies, and its blossoms come in at a time when choice and long-enduring flowers are valuable. A large dish fringed with Ivy leaves and filled with the flowers of this Clematis and those of the scarlet Pan Anemone (A. fulgens), has been a nine days' wonder to all who have seen it. I know of no other plant which gives such rapid and good return for its culture as this; and it should find a place in every greenhouse or conservatory, if not there already.

There are a good many sides to the hardy-plant question, and one well worth looking at is their importance and adaptability for forcing into bloom early in the year. Hyacinths, Tulips, Crocus, Lily of the Valley, Solomon's Seal, Tea Roses, Lilac, Deutzia, Spiraea, Narcissus, Scilla, Helleborus niger, Tree Paeonias, and many other things equally familiar, are perfectly hardy. Seeing that hardy plants are so adaptable, the question naturally arises whether we make the most of them in this way. There is a desire for variety abroad, and those who would profit most by it should keep an eye on hardy bulbs and experiment on their forcing qualities. One London florist made 70 last season by forced flowers of Narcissus poeticus alone. "I tried it last season," he told me, " in an accidental way. In the autumn I was planting Black Currants under my Plum-trees, and had to displace some old plantations of Narcissus. When I saw the crop of bulbs dug out, the idea suddenly came into my head to try and force them for early flowers ! The first year they were wellnigh a failure, so far as quantity of flowers went; but the flowers sold so well that I resolved to master their culture.

We mulched the pots with leaf-mould, and as the leaves turned yellow, allowed them to dry off under a north wall; and the result was that, from the same pots, we this season cut flowers in March by the thousand !" The moral is, when you experiment in forcing hardy flowers, and fail the first time, don't give up in despair, but try again. The addition of a new flower into the trade is not all couleur de rose; but if a thing "takes," the man who can supply it, and enjoys somewhat of a monopoly, is sure to reap his reward.

Orchids generally are cheaper than formerly was the case; but at Mr Day's sale the other day, the unique broad-petalled variety of Stone's Cypripedium fetched 140 guineas, or 42 in excess of any price ever before paid for a single Orchid of any kind! Sir Trevor Lawrence was the purchaser. I only remember three instances in which the price paid for a single specimen reached 100 before this case. Firstly, the late Duke of Devonshire gave it for one of the two first plants of Phalaenopsis brought by Mr Cuming from the Philippines. Then Lord Londesborough gave 100 for an immense plant of Den-drobium Wardianum imported by Messrs Low and sold by auction by Mr Stevens.* Then that splendid plant of Vanda caerulea grown by Mr Lowe at Henley-on-Thames was sold by auction for 80, and eventually changed hands at the lowest value of any three figures. After all, these fancy prices are not altogether satisfactory; and I have no doubt that those who pay moderate prices for some of the more common but not less beautiful kinds, derive more satisfaction in return for their money.

Every one to his taste, however.

It is no matter of doubt as to whether the Land Question will affect horticulture. It has affected it in some localities very sensibly; and not only in Ireland, but throughout England and Scotland, the depressing influence must be felt. Bad seasons, foreign competition, and other causes less evident, have lowered the value of land everywhere. At present Ireland, where everybody depends on the land for a livelihood, feels the pressure most heavily; but the influence must become general. It costs more to send produce from Lancashire to London than from New York to Liverpool, - in fact, in every way our own growers are heavily handicapped. Rent-rates, taxes, high freightage or carriage, and an inferior climate, all co-operate against them. Where all this will end it is difficult to see. At any rate, it seems probable that "free trade" will prove a very expensive article of faith even in our own time. F. \V. Burbidge.