[The following has been received from a correspondent, and we publish it to give an idea of the state of horticulture in New Zealand. - Ed].

On Monday, 23d December, the summer exhibition of fruit, flowers, and vegetables in connection with the Royal Horticultural Society of Otago, took place in the drill-shed, Octagon. The show, on the whole, was not nearly so good as on former occasions. This may be attributed to the late hot and dry weather, and to the fact that the show was held on a Monday. Roses especially have suffered through the heat, being generally over-bloomed.

His Excellency the Governor, accompanied by Lady Bowen and two daughters, his Honour the Superintendent, and Mayor Pitt, attended at the hall and spent some time in the examination of the different collections. Some fine selections of music were performed by Messrs West, Reichardt, and Linn, during the afternoon, and also in the evening, when there was a large attendance.

The long tables in the middle of the hall, on which pot plants were shown, were a splendid blaze of colours, Pelargoniums, Fuchsias, Cacti, and other blooms being conspicuous. The principal attraction of the exhibition was the table bouquets, placed for competition by ladies only, for a silver medal given by the Society; and next to these was certainly the wonderful collection of artificial flowers, exhibited by Mrs Simons, floral artist, of Great King Street. Her collection of flowers in wax, paper, and wool, attracted general admiration. They were in great variety, and of the most exquisite workmanship, rivalling Nature herself. There were some fine attractive bouquets, and some showy table ornaments in the ladies' department. A special prize was awarded to Mrs James Smith for an attractive table ornament.

Commencing with the gardeners' department, in which there were three collections of greenhouse plants, the first prize was taken by Mr Clement with a fine Heath (Erica Ventricosa Bothwelliana), a Byncospermum jesaminoides, a Statice Hollfordii, and a Cactus grandiflora. In ornamental foliage, Mr West, Mr Allan's propagator, came in first with a splendid specimen of Begonia grandis, the finest we have seen, measuring four feet through, and carrying large and beautiful leaves; a Bambusa fortunii variegata, Dracaena terminalis, and Maranta zebrina. Mr Martin was second with well-grown plants of Dracaena guilfoila, Begonia Baronne d'Asternoff, and Sedum azoiodum variegatum. The Pelargoniums, which are always a showy and attractive feature in an exhibition, were well represented. Mr West took the first prize. In fancies, and plain, and zonal, Mr Clement stood first. In tricolor, zonal, and silver-variegated, there were only two exhibits. Mr W. Martin gained a first prize for Ferns, with very fine specimens.

A specimen of Mitraria coccinea was shown by Mr G. Matthews, and a very fine collection of pot-conifene.

The amateurs were scarely equal to the gardeners in any department, except perhaps in that of cut flowers. Some of their plants were badly grown, and not fit for exhibition. The most conspicuous plants in their greenhouse collection were a fine Heath and a Climbing-plant (Abutilon) by Mr Dobbie, Mitraria coccinea, a rare stone plant by Mr Shurry, and an Orange-tree in bearing by Mr Crawford.

Of cut flowers, herbaceous plants, and bulbs, there was a fair display. Mr Sonntag was beyond all competitors, professional and amateur, in Poses, of which he had a splendid assortment, taking first prizes for twelve and eighteen varieties. He had also a large lot on exhibition, and some of them were greatly admired. He also took a first prize for a rose bouquet. Mr Shurry excelled in Carnations, Picotees, and Verbenas. There were many very pretty bouquets. Those of Messrs West, Milne, and Crawshaw, which were considered best, were carried off by Lady Bowen and her two daughters. Among the bouquets were three by Mr West, one of them a bride's, which were deservedly admired. Two of the best plants in the room, an Erica Cavendishii, and an Abutilon, were shown by Mr Dobbie for the second time, being still in full bloom.

Of the fruits the finest were the Strawberries. There were few vegetables, but those that were shown were very good, especially the Cauliflowers, Cucumbers, and Cabbages.

It is gratifying to find the Governor, his Excellency Sir George Bowen, on the Saturday previous to the above exhibition, bearing the following testimony to the rapid and prosperous advancement of the province of Otago and its capital, Dunedin. In reply to an address from the Mayor of that city, he said: "A quarter of a century has not elapsed since the 23d of March 1848, when the little band of Scotch immigrants first landed on the site of what is now a populous and well-built town, but which was then silent and uninhabited, and. covered with a thick forest. But the single province of Otago, of which those honoured men were the founders, already far surpasses in revenue, in trade, in all the elements of national wealth, many entire colonies, such as Jamaica, Bar-badoes, and Antigua, which have been settled for above two centuries. I congratulate you on the remarkable progress which Dunedin in particular has achieved".