Back again from Glasgow to Dumfriesshire. "We were anxious to visit Eccles, the seat of------Maitland, Esq., where we had heard something extraordinary in the way of Grape-growing was to be seen; nor were we disappointed. The gardens are not very extensive, but in nice order. The only hothouses are two vineries, a Muscat-house and a mixed house; and we must say the Grapes were the finest we have seen for some time. The crop, we understand, was even finer last year, and very good some years previous to that. They were hardly ripe at the time of our visit, but promised to finish well. The Muscat of Alexandria bunches we estimated at from 5 lb. to 6 lb. each; Black Hambros about the same; Grizzly Frontignac 3 lb., - very fine samples. Muscat Hambro at 6 to 7 lb.; berries very large and uniform, and not an abortive one to be seen. The gardens here are on the same formation as Drumlanrig: the soil is very red, and the sandstone crops. out a few paces from the vinery door. What we saw here and at Drumlanrig* strengthened a conviction that has been gaining upon us for some time - that the red sandstone formation is, to say the least, exceedingly favourable to the production of good Grapes, and Mr Cramb did good service when he drew attention to this subject at the Manchester congress.

The question now is, Shall we add less in the way of lime-rubbish, brickbats, etc, to our Vine-borders, and something in the way of broken sandstone or sand? the experiment is worth trying.

A visit to Eccles will repay any one while they are in the neighbourhood of Drumlanrig, and they will be sure to receive every attention from Mr Ross, the excellent gardener, who, in addition to good Grapes, can also show visitors one if not the finest Beech-tree in Scotland - a grand specimen, which stands by itself in front of the house. We had the curiosity to take a few notes of its dimensions. The head is round and symmetrical, the branches stretch out horizontally, and cover a circular area 110 feet in diameter. The trunk is 23 feet in circumference; twelve of the lower limbs extend 50 feet or more from the trunk, and average about 5 feet in circumference a considerable distance from the centre. The tree is in vigorous health, and seems likely to extend its dimensions for a long period yet.

"Maxwellton braes are bonny, Where early fa's the dew".

Poets are supposed to have a considerable licence, but as we drove along the valley of the Shinnel, after contemplating the "braes" from the trim lawn in front of Maxwellton House, we were glad to pull an additional rug around us to keep off the "dews;" and it occurred to us that the poet had hit off the description accurately as well as poetically. Maxwellton, the seat of Mrs Laurie, lies ensconced among the hills, about 7 or 8 miles from Thornhill Station, and a short distance from the village of Moniaive, from which a wild moorland track, "The home of the heath-cock and wailing curlew," leads to New Galloway and the Glen-Kells. The garden?, which are of moderate extent, are well kept. They are under the superintendence of Mr Prichard, who also discharges the onerous duties of land-steward, etc. In such a moorland district we were quite surprised to see the display of bedding-plants. There was considerably more bloom than in many places we had seen in the south, and vegetables and small fruits were excellent. The gardens lie well to the sun, and the valley is warm during summer. There are some nice new hothouses here, and well furnished. Vines not long planted were bearing a nice crop.

Here, as elsewhere in thi3 part of Dumfriesshire, we noticed that the trees, from the Oak to the Currant-bush, were grey with lichen, indicating a very damp climate. Maxwellton, we would say, is one of those places where a good large orchard-house would be a safe investment. Altogether it is a pleasant place, and we left it well pleased with our visit.

*Although Drumlanrig is partly on the red sandstone formation, the whole of the loam in the Vine-borders had to be taken off the whinstone formation. We nevertheless believe that the Vine thrives exceedingly in the red sandstone soil. - Ed.

On the road again. A brief halt at Dumfries enables us to get a half-clandestine peep at the well-furnished and well-kept nursery of Messrs Kennedy, and to pay a visit to the shrine of Burns, like every true Scotchman, when we are off again by the Caledonian Railway via Lockerby, through one of the loneliest mountain-tracks in Scotland. A fast train, however, soon transfers us from the Solway to the shores of the Firth of Forth. Few towns are more associated with gardens and gardeners than Edinburgh. Young Horty at one time more than now, perhaps, did not consider his curriculum complete without a turn in "Auld Reekie," often to his advantage, it may be admitted, and often, alas! the other way. In canny Aberdeen, it is said, gardeners are struck in batches and sent to Edinburgh to be potted off. Certain it is the Scotch journeyman, in misfortune or otherwise, turns his face towards Edinburgh as if by instinct. In Edinburgh he will have a chance on his own merits; nor can it be disputed that for good, skilful workmen, that can turn their hand to anything, in doors or out, Edinburgh holds her own, and more.

At this stage of our journey we are bound to state that discharging the obligations of old acquaintanceship and relationship among a somewhat numerous circle compelled us, if not to shorten our programme, at best to complete the horticultural part of it in less time than we intended. We had just time to have a run through the gardens at Dalkeith, and to notice the fine crop of Grapes in the late vinery there, a fair sample of the produce for the last twelve years or more - to glance at the numerous collection of Orchids - the splendid Heaths, recognising in every specimen an old acquaintance - and to admire the heavy crop of Peaches in the long Peach-house, and be off. Next we had a peep at the Rev. B. Bushby's vinery, at the Parsonage, a few paces from the park-gates, where we saw a magnificent crop of Muscat Grapes, perfect in bunch and berry, and the Vines in high health. The bunches would apparently run from 2 to 4 lb. a-piece, and were finishing beautifully. We have been more or less intimately acquainted with the history of this vinery for nearly fourteen years, during which time the crops have been uniformly excellent.

Many Grape-growers have risen and fallen in that time, but none that we know of have accomplished so much as Mr Bushby. Yet Mr Bushby has no particular theory to communicate, nor is his success due to any special treatment. The vinery is an ordinary span-roof, of no great height; and the Vines, we believe, have always been pruned on the spur system. Originally the border was chiefly or partly composed of the ordinary soil of the garden, and occasionally since then Mr Bushby has added dressings of cow-dung or fresh soil, and mulched and watered abundantly - the points of paramount importance.

From Dalkeith to Archerfield seems a natural transition. We had only an hour to spend at this fine place, and just time to note the fine display at the flower-garden, the excellent crops of fruit and vegetables, and the thorough good order and tidiness that prevailed in every department. The new Pine-pits there are a feature of the place, and seem well adapted to their purpose. Mr Kettles had two fine batches of smooth Cayenne Pines swelling off, at different stages, that would run on the average from 4 to 5 lb. a-piece. We were struck also with the fine Apricot-trees here, which were bearing a splendid crop of fruit, and the healthy look of the fruit-trees generally.

We were now about setting our face towards the south again, after a very agreeable three weeks' holiday, but dropped off at Galashiels, thinking a visit to Mr Thomson's vineyard would be a fitting termination to our programme. A run out from Galashiels on the Innerleithen line for about three miles, lands the traveller at the little station of Clovenfords, a lonely nook among the hills, and one of the last places in the world where he would expect to come upon one of the greatest grape-growing depots in the kingdom. He is not long in the neighbourhood, however, before he discovers that Mr Thomson's establishment is already ranked among places of interest in a locality already rich in that respect. To the uninitiated in matters horticultural, it certainly cannot appear otherwise than astonishing that what was, not much more than two years ago, part of a sheep-run, is now a vineyard under glass, already bearing thousands of pounds' weight of Grapes. To horticulture the feat is highly creditable, and is a chapter in its history; and perhaps no man's name could be more fitly associated with the undertaking than that of Mr Thomson. Passing along the noble corridor which forms the base line, and is also filled with Vines, we cast our eye along one vista after another of span-roofed houses 24 feet wide, nearly as high, and two hundred feet in length, covered with wood and foliage to the top, and carrying a heavy crop of fruit two-thirds up the roof.

The wood of the permanent Vines and supernumeraries was remarkably strong; and if we recollect aright, the latter were carrying something like ten or twelve bunches each without showing any signs of distress, evincing the highly-sustaining nature of the soil, which is a deep and strong loam. Hundreds of pot-vines are also grown along the back walls of the Pine-stoves and other available spaces, where the foliage could be exposed to a good blaze of light, as pot-vines ought to be grown that are intended to produce anything; and we have no doubt the robust, leathery-leaved plants which we saw at Clovenfords will bear out their promise. Pines grown in the same soil as the Vines were if anything worthy of even greater commendation than the Vines, hundreds upon hundreds of fruiting and succession plants in long light houses; Queens, Smooths, Rothschilds, Prince Albert, Black Jamaica, and Envilles, etc, all grand plants. The fruiting-batches were late, intended for winter and spring, but the "shows" which were coming up broad and red, supported on massive stems, showed at a glance what they were likely to be.

In a cursory paper of this kind, it is of course impossible to convey anything like a correct impression of such an establishment, but we would just say to others as was said to us, "Go and see." J. S. W.