There is no disposition in any portion of such soils to run together, or to become sour; every facility is afforded the roots to permeate the borders, while the finely divided state of the various ingredients composing them (and their perfect admixture) favours the production of those minute fibrous roots which are so essential an element of Grape-growing. Here, then, is all the Vine requires to produce good and abundant crops, and to form for itself a constitution enabling it to supply generations with its generous produce. This, which may be called a recipe for a Vine-border, was published by Lindley nearly thirty years ago, and before so much had been written on the subject by modern authorities on Grape-culture; and it may be doubted if a more correct and generally applicable one was ever offered, or one which so suggestively explained how it is that the Vine succeeds in soils of such diverse character, and in soils that were never purposely prepared for it".

We have read a good many favourable notices lately of the new greenhouse Rhododendron, Lady Alice Fitzwilliam, and have also had the opportunity of seeing it at its best in two or three gardens. It is perhaps one of the grandest, if not the finest, variety of its kind yet raised - a hybrid, with pure white flowers of large size, possessing a strong but delicious perfume that fills the house. The flowers are larger than those of any existing variety we know, being more like moderately-sized Lilium auratums than anything else, and are produced in great profusion, and from two to four on a truss. The plant has received the usual certificates, we believe, from the Royal Horticultural and Botanical Societies.

"Ben's Boiler" is the latest addition of its kind to horticultural appliances. Who "Ben" himself is we have not the least idea, but he has lately written sensibly on the subject of heating, and now we have his boiler, which may be described as a Jones's "terminal end" turned outside in. Externally it is a simple arch of the proper portions, and the wings and auxiliary flues are all inside. Whether these flues are required or no may be a matter of opinion, but the form is the best conception of its kind we have yet seen.

It cannot but have struck the frequenters of our summer flower shows during the past two or three years, that there has been an appreciable falling off in the quality of the fruit exhibited - particularly Grapes, which have not been up to the mark. During the present season there has not been one show, so far as we have seen or read, of which it could be said the display of fruit was high class or even excellent. Pines, of course, have been few and poor, which is not surprising, because the St Michael's Pines and other causes have contributed to drive the English grower out of the running to a large extent [and yet to have a really full-flavoured Pine we must have an English one - Ed.], and greatly reduced the interest in Pine-culture in our gardens. It is not so with Grapes, however, and unless we are to attribute the inferiority of the examples that have been shown to the recent bad and untoward seasons we have experienced, it is difficult to assign a cause. It is not at all improbable that the cold and dull seasons following one another in succession for a number of years, as has been the case, may have impaired the constitution of Vines under glass.

The agricultural papers say that the effect of the continued cold and sunless seasons has been to deteriorate the quality of the hay crops, and almost to destroy much of the finer and better herbage, whose place has been usurped by the coarser grasses; and it requires no stretch of the imagination to believe that permanently planted indoor subjects may have suffered in some degree also. The complaint of the fruiterers this season is that Grapes are unusually ill-coloured.

Currency has been given to the report that in the reductions very generally taking place in gardens, owing to the depression of trade, cheaper and inferior men are being substituted for good ones as head-gardeners; but those whose business brings them in contact with proprietors and gardeners most, declare there is not a word of truth in the statement. Changes do take place, as usual, and no doubt reductions of a nature have had to be made in numbers of gardens that rendered it desirable to gardeners interested in their business to resign their charge; but, as a rule, employers are too much alive to their own interests, and, to do them justice, generally too considerate, to part with good servants for the sake of a few pounds' difference in their salary, knowing as well as other people that economy is not effected by such measures.

So much abuse has been heaped upon gardeners and farmers for their hostility to certain species of birds - which they believe destroy or greatly injure their crops - by those who have taken the "balance of life" in hand, and who maintain that the birds are really the cultivator's friends, that it will interest those concerned in such matters, to learn what has come of an attempt on the part of certain naturalists to establish an equilibrium in that way in New Zealand. In that country, cultivators of the soil were not so badly situated, on the whole, as regards insect-pests, only nature had provided insects that did do some little damage to crops, and had forgotten to supply the counterpoise in the shape of birds to prey upon them. This little omission the Acclimatisation Society kindly undertook to supply, and imported greenfinches, which have taken kindly to the soil and multiplied prodigiously. It is not quite clear what damage they have done to the particular scourges they were expected to destroy; but according to the New Zealand papers, the Acclimatisation Society have lately been asked to supply poison to destroy the finches; and one poser addressed to the Society is a request "to state what it proposes to do to remove these birds from the country!" In the meantime, the protection of the law, which the finches have enjoyed hitherto, has been removed, and a war of extermination against them is likely to commence.

The finches have increased so much these few years back in New Zealand, that it is feared " they will soon eat the produce of every farmer in the country." Where they abound, turnips can hardly be raised, owing to their ravages, and wheat and oat fields are so stripped as not to be worth cutting. In the attempts, to poison the birds by means of poisoned seeds, many other valuable birds that it is desirable to protect have been destroyed; and altogether the balancing experiment has produced such disastrous results that the Acclimatisation Society, which no doubt acted on the advice of "scientific" naturalists, has had to confess to having made some serious mistakes.