This has been a most unfortunate year, so far, for the weather prophets. It was widely predicted that we were to be nearly frizzled up by scorching heat some time in June or July, whereas we were, on the contrary, nearly drowned and starved. About the same period the lower orders in London and elsewhere were much disquieted by another prediction of our old friend "Mother Shipton " - who is always turning up periodically - to the effect that all the young and the old were to perish off the face of the earth during the present year. Up till the present time the dreadful visitation has not happened, and health statistics lead us to hope we shall escape finally. One of your contemporaries of the daily press tells us: "Many people have concluded that the weather of the past twelve months has been unwholesome so far as the public health is concerned; but this is not so. The metropolitan death-rate has been considerably less than the average, and has not been so low since 1860, when, as now, there was an excessive rainfall.

Therefore, although the summer has not been an enjoyable one - indeed it was one in which many classes of the community suffered heavy loss - it was one of the healthiest we have had for nearly twenty years." "We are pleased to have something good to say about the weather.

A correspondent of 'The Farmer' asks a very pertinent question: "Why do pot-plants die?" We persume he means those pot-plants that do not die a natural death, or get pitched to the rubbish heap. It is a wide question, and might be answered shortly, that plants die from being kept too hot and too cold, too wet and too dry; from being prunned too much and too little, and from being mismanaged in a number of ways that will readily suggest themselves to gardeners. The question might be discussed, and discussed instructively, for a twelvemonth; and we commend the subject to those who are short of one.

Mr C. P. Pead states, in the ' Journal of Horticulture,' that he has thoroughly proved the fallacy of the assertion that Grapes cannot be grown in the same house with plants. It says a good deal for Mr Pead's ability that he has been able to prove the fallacy of an assertion that we are sure was never made by any gardener worthy of the name. We know a good many gardens, great and small, but none where plants are not grown more or less extensively along with Vines - in plenty of instances all the year round. Gardeners do not approve of the practice, but they are, in the majority of cases, compelled to follow it.

The present time being rather a barren one for the newspapers, they have turned their attention to rural matters, and we extract the following from the 'Globe,' on Bees:-

"It has always been a matter for regret to all thoughtful persons that the keeping of Bees in this country is more systematically neglected than any other industry, and that, in consequence a most valuable gift of nature to man is ruthlessly and persistently wasted. In 1874, when the British Bee-keepers' Association was formed, Mr John Hunter declared that for every hive at present in this country there ought to be a thousand, and that for every pound of honey gathered a ton was lost. But an argument in favour of an industry requires something more than a statement of its advantages to the individual engaged in it and to the community at large. It is also necessary to show clearly that it can be conducted profitably, and here we have no difficulty. According to all authorities, there can be no doubt in the world but that in a good season the profit is large enough to tempt the most usurious, or that in the worst possible year the loss - at the most a few pounds of brown sugar - is so small that the most miserly need not be afraid of the risk.

Mr Pettigrew - the son of the 'old Bee-man,' of Carluke, in Lanarkshire - made a profit off the business at the rate of 2, 11s. 8d. per hive per annum on an average of six years; but he was noted as a skilful apiarist, and such a result must not be expected everywhere. Mr Hunter, and other authorities, estimate that the cost of a swarm of English Bees would be about 15s., and the cost of the wear and tear of hives 2s. per annum. For this the return should be at least 25 lb. of honey, value 25s.; 3 lb. or 4 lb. of wax, worth 4s., and a swarm of Bees, worth 15s. Thus the first year's outlay would be more than returned that year, and in after years 2 per hive profit might be expected. In good years, when two or more swarms turn out, or when the super of 50 lb. or 100 lb. gladdens the eye of the jubilant Bee-keeper, the profits will be correspondingly large. This profit ought to be sufficient to tempt a much larger number of persons to keep Bees than at present do so; and we advise all our readers having a garden, or living near fields, or in rural districts, to see if they cannot add a little to the natural productions of the country by assisting to save that 'sweetness' which is at present 'wasted on the desert air.' The amount of this waste is enormous.

A 20-acre field of grass well sprinkled with the flowers of the white clover will yield 100 lb. of honey per day, and a piece of moorland the same size, with heather in flower, will yield 200 lb. of honey per day, and yet in each case enough will be left to scent the air as well. Pettigrew tells us that in one garden - and not a very large one - he has seen fifty hives standing, the strongest of which has gathered 5 lb. of honey per day, in fine weather, and the weakest 3 lb. There are three classes of persons to whom we would recommend this industry: (1) capitalists; (2) farmers and cottagers and railway servants; and (3) that large body of business men who have 'a place a little way out.' We believe that a man with a little capital would find it profitable in the districts of the moors, or of good grass lands, to start colonies of Bees in which the hives number hundreds; and a few such men would find little, if any, difficulty in getting a skilful attendant at a reasonable cost to look after them".

Recent comments on the subject of Strawberry-culture by the press, induces us to give an extract from a late number of ' Chambers's Journal,' on the Scotch Strawberry-farms in Perthshire. "On the Muir of Blair," says this journal, "an extensive tract of land lying between Blairgowrie and Coupar-Angus, there is a community of about twenty-five Strawberry-farmers who earn a living for themselves and families at the business of Strawberry-growing. The fruit is usually sold en masse to the preservers; and in some years as much as 46 an acre has been realised by the sale; but the average income from a Scottish Strawberry-farm is seldom more than 27 an acre. An acre of Strawberries will sometimes yield the splendid return of 100 ! Apropos of the Perthshire Strawberry-farms, it was reported two years ago that one of the growers had been offered over 2000 for his lot of twenty-seven acres just as it stood".

It would almost seem as if the demand for horticultural information was at least equal to the supply when that information is placed within reach of the gardening public at a moderate price. We have now quite a number of weekly and monthly gardening periodicals, not to speak of provincial papers that furnish horticultural information in their pages regularly, and yet there seems room for more. It is stated that the circulation of the penny ' Gardening Illustrated,' started only a short time since, is now over 30,000 copies per week, which speaks well for gardening among the lower orders, as well as for the sagacity of the founder of the paper. READER.