A correspondent writes to us saying, "The exigencies of space and labour compel me occasionally to do things in the cheapest and easiest way; and as we require to grow many Carnations and Picotees, I have begun to dispense with frames and pots for their protection in winter - the common practice - and instead, to plant them out as soon as they are established in autumn, when they are to flower. I have had many out in this way all the past winter, which has been severe enough in all conscience, and have not lost one. They are now growing very nicely, and look well." Of course the Carnation is one of the hardiest of hardy plants, and in some old-fashioned gardens it is quite a common thing to see old plants of the popular red and scarlet cloves that have survived on the same spot for years.

[We propagate thousands of Carnations every year, and have found that in our very unfavourable climate, they stand such winters as the three last ones best when left in the beds untouched till spring. It often occurs that one or two beds are left to bloom without transplanting the young plants, and the result is such a crop of bloom for dense-ness as cannot be had any other way. - Ed].

Dr Lindley expressed the opinion that if the physiological principles on which the operations of horticulture depended were correctly appreciated, the grounds of our practice would be settled upon a more satisfactory foundation than at present can be said to exist. This is no doubt true; but things are just now pretty much where the doctor left them. It might be pertinently asked, "Who are the physiologists" who teach correct "principles"? Are they those who merely chronicle the changes of opinion and practice that continually occur 1 or are they those who make the said changes and prove their utility 1 If our professed physiologists, who deliver oracular discourses before scientific committees and the like, understood their work, such matters as planting, pruning, training, and potting, etc, should have been settled long ago upon sure foundations; but every cultivator is left to do whatever seems right in his own eyes, and the physiologist is always ready to adapt his views to the necessities of the hour; and the general and somewhat vague and varied practices of the practical horticulturalist form the basis of all his theories and deliberations.

The vegetable physiologist has, and always had, far more abundant and more accommodating materials to work upon than the physician, but he has not made the same use of them, and is inconveniently far behind the latter in his profession. The doctor does know when and where to amputate a limb, and has ascertained, with some degree of accuracy, how his patients, under certain conditions of health and circumstances, should be treated; but the vegetable physiologist has to wait and learn, and is in a gulf of doubt and uncertainty on every occasion that anything new in practice is announced.

Mr Shirley Hibberd appears to have retreated from the field of fruit-culture, and joined himself to the "Florists." The florists, whatever crotchets they may entertain, are a body of gentlemen, and will no doubt appreciate their latest recruit as highly as he deserves. Mr Shirley Hibberd has lately read a paper on the Tulip, giving us details from the older catalogues, and no doubt considers he has obtained his degree, and hence the characteristic manifesto which appeared in the 'Gardeners' Magazine' lately, on the subjects of florists and their favourites. There are a great number of worthy people who do not believe in the creed of the florist in its entirety; and Mr Hibberd, who has always been great in the "parts of speech," in his new-born enthusiasm applies to those people who think differently from him on the subject, the following euphonious terms in about the space of a column or so : superficial, shallow, flippant, low-bred, ignorant, floss-brained, sour, nasty, and mean. If this does not crush "those who write " against the florists' ideas, they must be credited with belonging to the pachydermatous order of writers, and invulnerable.

But we are curious to know what the florists themselves think of their champion.

It is but a short while since that a lecture was delivered on pruning and training fruit-trees, in which the lecturer, adopting the suggestions of previous writers and practitioners, advocated what is now called the extension system in its most extreme form. At that time, the 'Gardeners' Chronicle' took up the subject in one of its leading articles. It lamented that the lecturer had not deemed the Royal Horticultural Society "a fitting place for such a disputation." It wanted, it said, "a professor of the art of pruning" there, who was glib of speech and dexterous with the knife, "to show how it was done." Your contemporary adopted the lecturer's views then, and declared that "it required no great amount of perspicacity to see" that the advocate of no pruning was "perfectly right, however much his assertions might go against the grain of some folks;" and it demanded to know "how we should prune, or rather if we should prune at all." Answering this question itself, it asserted that "under a healthy state of things we ought never to prune at all, whether for timber or for fruit;" and it cautioned gardeners to follow the example of the surgeon, and " avoid the use of the knife" - to learn to look "with reverence on the tissues they could destroy, but not replace;" and upon the whole, to regard pruning in general as a very bad thing.

It deprecated "ignorant clamour," and ended by " laying it down as a principle, and having reference solely to the life and vigour of the plant, that all pruning was mischievous".

The article in the 'Chronicle' containing these statements will be fresh in the minds of readers; for it is but yesterday, one might say, that they were written, and nothing has happened in the interval to change its opinions on the subject, but rather the reverse.

But turn we now to a leading article of the same type, in the same paper, and on the same subject, in its issue of May 7th : -

"Every one admits that pruning is more or less an unnatural process, though it is by no means wholly so, for Nature does a good deal in that way herself. Every one admits that a great deal of unintelligent, unnecessary, and, worse still, mischievous pruning is done. But because this is so, it by no means follows that all pruning is bad. ... In most cases, and especially in small private gardens, we want the tree to conform to our requirements and the exigencies of time and space. We secure this, amongst other things, by judicious pruning. It may well be that in the long-run the trees suffer in some way by this mutilation - but if it be to, it has to be proven, and in any case this can be provided against; there are more behind, and, under the circumstances, the advantages more than compensate for the disadvantages.'" (The italics are ours).

What is any one to think who began by following the advice given in the first article when he reads the last? If your contemporary forgets what it says and does, its readers have better memories. In its former article, it declared that it was " clear from the teachings of science that the practical rule to be laid down in all cases is not to prune more than is strictly necessary;" and how much it considered " necessary," may be gathered from its other admissions recorded above.