At the commencement of this year Mr Brotherston gave us an article on the culture of the Hollyhock, and as his experience of this grand old flower was unfortunately the same as that of too many of its cultivators, I thought at the time that a few notes as to what had come under my own observation might be useful. However, I considered it best, with reference to the disease which of late years has attacked this plant, to postpone any, remarks until I had the results of this season before me. The disease, or more properly fungus, first made its appearance with me in the autumn of 1877; but I could not altogether consider it to be imported, seeing that no new plants had been received for three years previously. Of course I had heard alarming accounts of it before this time, but, luckily, never had anything to do with it - not even having seen it until the spring of that year, when, looking over a nurseryman's stock, and having some very fine varieties, I naturally felt rather anxious and very unwilling to consign them to the fire-heap, but at once removed the few leaves on which the disease had shown itself, and continued doing so until they were done blooming.

Having a plentiful supply of young plants on which the disease had not shown itself, these were planted out in autumn, and I decided to allow the old diseased ones to remain for another season. A few died out through the winter, but the others pushed away quite strong and healthy like, when, about the middle of July, the enemy made its appearance, this time in much stronger force. However, not being altogether dependent on these plants, I commenced with the old remedy, cutting off the leaves, and by the beginning of September many of them were denuded to such an extent as almost to resemble so many bare stakes with flowers stuck on. Many would naturally suppose, as I did, that this operation was of itself enough to cause death, and that the cure, if not worse, was at all events equally as bad as the disease. There is no doubt it weakens them, but I fed well, and in the end the flowers, although perhaps a little smaller, were as fine as ever they had been before - at least I could detect very little difference; and, in fact, with the exception of a very few, my blooms for exhibition last year were taken from those diseased plants, and the prize ticket proved what they were.

Still continuing my experiment, I had them lifted last autumn and transferred to a different position and planted in pits filled with a specially prepared compost, the ground previously having been trenched and manured. The result this year promises to be quite satisfactory, and so far as disease is concerned, not a single speck has yet made its appearance, and the growth is something wonderful, so that I am in hopes that it is possible to prevent the disease spreading, if not altogether to cure it and stamp it out, without sacrificing the plants. Mr Brotherston mentions the fact of the fungus being quite common on the Mallow, and this should be a warning to Hollyhock growers, as it seems to be at home on this plant, and ought to be carefully watched. We have no Mallows nearer than a mile, and on the ground of a different proprietor; but what does Mr B. think of the common Groundsel, which is often entirely covered by a similar fungus, but whether identical with that on the Hollyhock or Mallow, I cannot say.

Robert Stevens.