Among the last acts of service done to floriculture by the late Mr Samuel Broome, of Chrysanthemum renown - perhaps the last act - was that of entering a protest against the severely formal manner in which the specimen plants of Chrysanthemums were trained at the autumn show of the Liverpool Horticultural Society. The schedule of prizes to be given at a corresponding exhibition in the present year - as usual a liberal one - has just been issued, and with it a letter written last December by Mr Broome, containing the following passage: "Will you be so good as to call the attention of the Chrysanthemum-growers to an excess of training that I observed in some of their plants 1 they were too large, and too flatly trained. The centre of the plant ought to be from 9 inches to 1 foot higher than the outside, and the blooms should not be tied down after the bud is of the size of a small Pea. By tying them so late, the stem of the flower is not strong enough to support the bloom erect, and the beauty of the flower is lost, as it is buried in the foliage.

I have one more remark to make; viz., there are too many white and yellow varieties; try next year a few more dark colours." A piece of well-timed counsel: let us hope it will be acted upon at the next exhibition.

It is time also that a firm and decided stand were taken against that system of flat training on wire frames, followed in the case of the Zonal Pelargonium. Of the two, it is perhaps more offensive to good taste than in the case of the Chrysanthemum, as the habit of the latter plant is but ill adapted for exhibition on the raised stages usually seen at such shows, unless the growth be somewhat reduced by training. This system of flat training in the case of the Zonal Pelargonium assumed one of the worst forms in which it was ever seen, at the meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society at South Kensington, on the 18th of May. Six plants, forming a collection, were shown trained on flat wire trellises about 4 1/2 feet across; and the plants - by no means well furnished either with branches or flowers - were the most inelegant things in that way ever looked upon. They were so flat in shape, that, had the plants been severed from the roots just at the surface of the soil, each one could have been trundled along the walks of the garden at South Kensington with nearly as much ease as a child's hoop.

It is lamentable that judges can be found at a London exhibition willing to award first prizes to such floral monstrosities - something as unlike plants, in the natural freedom and elegance of their growth, as could well be imagined; plants too, that were both indifferently grown and flowered. When there shall arise judges who will have the courage to mark with strong disapproval, by withholding all prizes from them, such merely artificial modes of exhibiting plants, then, and not till then, will wire trellises become a thing of the past: the sooner it does, the better for legitimate exhibiting.

Apropos of floral exhibitions, it may be stated that a society is in course of formation having for its object the encouragement of florists' flowers. Those who are engaged in forming the society intimate that their first object would be to revive the once popular autumn exhibition of Dahlias, Verbenas, Gladiolus, Hollyhocks, etc, at the Crystal Palace; and also to endeavour to bring forward, from their comparative obscurity, many of those flowers that were once grown for exhibition to a great extent, but which are now sadly neglected; such things as the Auricula, Polyanthus, Pansy, Cineraria, etc, would no doubt receive special encouragement. The contributors to the fund now being raised to hold an autumn show at the Crystal Palace comprise many of the leading nurserymen and amateur cultivators of the day; and it is stated that the directors of the Crystal Palace are prepared to meet the new society in the most liberal manner. The Rev. H. H. Dombrain, Westwell Vicarage, Ashford, is in the mean time acting as secretary to the embryo society, and to him all communications should be addressed.

While this praiseworthy effort is being made to restore to popular favour some of the gems in the lists of florists' flowers, there is also being carried on in the pages of a contemporary a lively discussion under the general head of Flowers and Flower-shows. Mr William Paul, of Waltham Cross, who has retired from active participation in the work of exhibiting, has boldly avowed his conviction that the asserted decline of flower-shows is, to a great extent, attributable to the fact that many of the leading flowers, such as the Dahlia, Hyacinth, Pelargonium, Rose, etc. are subjected to such an amount of dressing and handling as to altogether mislead the public; and the public, who are the popular patrons of horticulture, are becoming aware of this, and, disliking the partly artificial aspect many of these things present, are withdrawing their patronage from the shows in consequence. This is a pretty fair representation of Mr Paul's argument, and it indicates the line of attack he has followed. "Dressing," states Mr Paul, "is now carried further than ever, and the Dahlia is made up of two or more flowers, and dressed with all the skill of an accomplished milliner;" instancing the case of Pelargonium flowers made up of several petals gummed together, and so on.

Such statements as these practically assert that the dishonest exhibitor is not the thing of the past we had fervently hoped he was, but that he is more active than ever in our midst, duping the judges and public alike, and chuckling over his ill-gotten gains. But, in all soberness, is such a horticultural monster as this aught else but the outcome of the imagination of an exhibition monomaniac 1 Mr Paul writes like a man soured by disappointment of some character, which has tinctured the sober judgment of his mature years; and so he flings forth utterances of floral misanthropy very painful to many of his old friends and associates in the work of exhibiting, who still hold him in high esteem both as a florist and a man.

In the charges thus brought against exhibitors in general, and indirectly against the judges at exhibitions as conniving at such acts, Mr Paul should not forget that invariably, when any resort has been made to these practices, it has resulted in detection. During the last year of the existence of the National Floricultural Society, of which Mr W. Paul was a member to its dissolution, an instance occurred of a seedling Dahlia being submitted to the judgment of the censors at one of the meetings of the Society, which had had its centre taken out and that of another flower substituted for it. The culprit was instantly expelled the Society, as a means by which the members could best express their abhorrence of such a deliberate intention to deceive. When the dishonest exhibitor and the venal judge come into power at our exhibitions, there will be reason to fear such practices may prevail; at present we have a higher opinion both of exhibitors and judges, notwithstanding what is stated by Mr Paul to the contrary.

From New York comes the intelligence of a new process for preserving timber, which has been tried with much success. We extract the following passage from 'Chambers's Journal': "There is, in all green wood, an amount of putrescible matter combined with the sap. If this can be got rid of, the timber will keep sound; and it is got rid of by soaking the timber in a solution of borax, and washing afterwards in plain water. Borax has an advantage over some other chemical substances used in the seasoning of timber; it does not attack or weaken the woody fibre, or the structural tissues, or cellular membranes, however delicate. This being the case, may we not suppose that by treating different kinds of wood with borax, a delicate appearance would be imparted, which would render them valuable for ornamental purposes ?"

The exigencies of railway communication in the metropolitan district has necessitated the closing of the Versailles Nursery, Hammersmith, occupied by Messrs Salter & Son, and the stock has been sold off preparatory to the property passing into the hands of the railway company. We hear Messrs Salter & Son do not intend to resume business, and their new Chrysanthemums will be distributed by Mr William Bull. We are very sorry indeed to lose the pleasant winter-garden in this nursery during the months of November and December, and hope some one else will make an effort to afford a similar treat to the admirers of the Chrysanthemum at the dull season of the year.