Another "burster" from John Wills, F.R.H.S., etc. We can never read those periodical "demonstrations" of Mr Wills without thinking of his bread-and-butter Vine-borders, which he made when at Huntroyde Park, concerning which he manifested the same characteristic energy. Mr Wills's Vine borders were to eclipse all Vine-borders that had ever been made before; they were to last "not for five but for fifty years" at the least. They were five feet deep, and they were made on the "roly-poly" principle, and unheard-of results were expected from them; but the inventor's own account was the first and last anybody has ever heard of them. So far as we know, we regard Mr Wills's enthusiastic and somewhat obtrusive horticultural patriotism in somewhat the same light that we did his Vine-border exploit. In a late rambling communication to one of the papers, Mr Wills indulges, by turns, in humble and vainglorious rodomontade. His great concern, as usual, is the "future of horticulture" - and - the "General Horticultural Company," we suspect.

Mr Wills hopes and believes he will live to see the day when "a flower-show will be held in every village; " and this consummation, we suppose, is likely to happen when horticulturists of all shades and degrees enrol themselves under the banner of the aforesaid "Company," of which Mr Wills is the great luminary. If Mr John Wills could by any means be projected into space, he would become a star of the first magnitude - shining by his own light. The following paragraph from the article in question looks very like fishing for compliments : -

"Reverting again to the future of gardening, I think many will give me credit for the part I have taken in trying to help the advancement of an art which is part and parcel of my nature. My writings, I think, will also show that I have devoted a considerable amount of care and time to its advancement, and that I have tried to do so at no trifling cost; and I solemnly affirm that in the change recently made in the style of my undertaking, I have been actuated solely by the wish to benefit my fellow-men, and not in any way to injure others. The impression indissolubly impressed upon my mind is, that any one who can benefit horticulture by increasing its sphere of influence and prosperity must be the means of increasing the trade and considerably enhancing the pecuniary position of those who are engaged in it".

Good, this : cool, too. That Mr Wills, either by his writings or his actions, has promoted the advancement of horticulture more than, or even as much as, his neighbours, except, perhaps, in catering for the balls and routs of the "upper ten," and generally promoting his own interests, nobody, we think, is aware, and that is probably the reason why he every now and then reminds us of his doings, and his devotion to the cause of horticulture. The idea of a change from a private enterprise to a "John Wills (Limited)," all for the glory and future of horticulture, is too good by half. "I solemnly affirm," says our philanthropic friend, "that in the change recently made in the style of my undertaking, I have been actuated solely by the wish to benefit my fellow-men." Very likely ! Are all the members of the "co-op." actuated by the same amiable resolves, we wonder 1 Because, if they are, we rather think the firm is wrongly named. It ought to be the "General Horticultural Benevolent Company Unilimited; John Wills, Almoner." In short, it won't do, Mr Wills; thank you for your "priced catalogue," but "none of your blarney".

A correspondent has been writing to the genial and well-known "S. R. H." of Cauton Manor to suggest devout "thoughts" - sending coals to Newcastle. This correspondent has been gathering Violets, Primroses, Cowslips, and Aconites, etc, about Christmas season, in the pleasant land of Kent, and while these suggest hopeful anticipations to himself, they occasion him sad misgivings concerning his neighbours. "How few," he exclaims, "appreciate the beauty or the blessings which surround us! We speak of this poor dark world, and of this winter season as a dead, cheerless time (what a slander on the festive season!). Many seem to think there is nothing to see in a garden except in midsummer, and some cannot see it then. Nevertheless, though such blindness seems incurable, and we see no signs of a millennium, I feel sure that the spread of horticulture among all classes is doing something to cheer many a life." We devoutly hope horticulture is "doing something" in the direction indicated; but a more gloomy and ascetic view of the position of affairs we have never, we think, read; and we are perfectly sure the author of the 'Six of Spades' doesn't believe in it.

We protest against the accusation of "incurable blindness," or of having obstructed the "millennium" in any way, because we cannot see Violets, Primroses, "yellow and pink, and double and single - Gentians, and Polyanthus, that are yet underneath the ground, and likely to remain there for a matter of six weeks to come, maybe. If we had them we would send some to S. R. H., but not as text for a sermon about our neighbours' failings. We are fain to confess, indeed, that the winter, so far, has not yet suggested any thoughts of spring, "everlasting" or otherwise; and our reflections have been akin to those of the pathetic Tannahill: -

"The trees are a' bare, and the birds mute and dowie - They shake the cauld drift frae their wings as they flee, And chirp out their plaints, seeming wae for my Johnnie; 'Tis winter wi' them, and 'tis winter wi' me".

We cannot, in short, quite enter into this correspondent's ecstasies - "we ain't in it." In our own pleasure-garden we have long since ceased contemplating the icicles on the trees, and have turned our attentions to "the footprints in the snow;" we traced them one by one, and our trapper's "thoughts" were principally running on the question of how " the darned beggars get on," for they are starving; but thieving hares and rabbits, my friend ! In the kitchen-garden the prospect has been less monotonous, but of a nature to produce reflections akin to Swift's ' Meditations on a Broomstick;' and if we do not give them publicity here, it is because we have misgivings about that discriminating party with the scissors in the editorial den of the 'Gardener:' for editors are not moralising animals, and it is not safe to trust them with fine sentiments; and as for poetry, they class it with the Potato disease, and topics of that nature.

Speaking of editors, we have a profound veneration for the marvellous circumspection and discrimination they display, as a general rule, in dealing with the contributions that come before them, but have never been able to fathom the mystery of "leading articles." We believe it is the object of editors to give the best articles the first place and the best type (we are speaking of horticultural editors generally, for they are all equally shrewd); but there is a suspicion abroad that they are a trifle weak on this point, and that the question of merit does not always rule in such matters. It has been indignantly suggested that the reason some contributions find their way into leading columns is that the poor creatures who wrote them might be well pilloried, and their conspicuous incapacity and failings, or their conceit and stupidity, the more effectually exposed. It is only charitable to state, however, that this explanation was offered simply because no other probable reason could be suggested.

When Benjamin Franklin was an ill-used " printer's devil" in the newspaper office of his elder brother and his partner, his literary contributions were despised, and he was severely lectured, if not cuffed, for presuming to address the editor at all; but when he took to writing his articles in a disguised hand, and shoving them under the office-door at night - not forgetting to use a pretentious nom de plume at the same time - they at once became prominent "leaders" that created quite a sensation among the early Bostoni-ans, and the editor became so anxious to know who their "able and highly esteemed correspondent" was, that poor Benjamin thought he might venture to confess to the imposition, and was kicked out of the office by the editor for his pains, and some days after was a homeless wayfarer in the streets of Philadelphia. Benjamin moralised much on this circumstance in after-life, just as readers of the horticultural papers do now when they see these issued occasionally, "wrong end first".

A remarkable exhibition of flowers that was from the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens in which those rare subjects the Senecio vulgaris and the Leontodon taraxacum were found. We once saw a magnificent display of the first in the trial-grounds of an eminent seedsman not far from Tooting. We clambered over the fence one Sunday morning to see it, and afterwards wrote to the proprietor to compliment him on his acquisition, and was assured that he believed he had the best collection of the kind in England. We believe he still has a fine stock of it.

Mr Wright, of the ' Journal of Horticulture,' has, we think, made rather an important discovery. For years back it has been perfectly well known that galvanised wire seriously injured the trees that were trained to it, under certain circumstances, but what the circumstances were was a puzzle. Mr Wright has, however, made out pretty clearly, from experiment and evidence which he has collected, that the injury is caused by a certain acid in the wire, but which becomes dissipated in time. New wire, it appears, is never safe, but after a few years it becomes harmless, while a good coat or two of paint prevents injury at all times.

The 'Journal of Horticulture' speaks highly of Geranium Guillon Mangilli as an unusually good kind, and particularly serviceable for winter flowering; and we have ourselves heard its good character confirmed by excellent judges.

There appears to be something very like a famine this season in certain kinds of vegetable-seeds, and what seed has been harvested is of indifferent quality. We believe the seedsmen never had greater difficulty in getting in their stocks of some kinds, and they are issuing advice to their customers to sow thickly such subjects as Kidney Beans, Peas, Onions, Lettuce, and Radishes, etc. As might be expected, seeds are also dearer than they have been for some years. Reader.