I will take it for granted the cultivator has succeeded in his operation of either budding or grafting. If so, the young tree should make a good healthy shoot several feet long during the first season. The next object is to get the wood thoroughly ripened by exposure to light and air. At the pruning season, in winter or spring, the leader ought to be cut back to 12 or 14 inches from the ground in the case of a dwarf-trained tree, but in the case of a tree intended for a rider - which probably will have been worked at the desired height - it ought to be cut back to three eyes from whence it started. The after-management of either a dwarf or rider is much the same. The second year three shoots should be allowed to spring from the young tree, one from the centre to form a leader and one on either side to form the basis of a tree. The side-shoots may be elevated to an angle of 45° or thereabouts, so as to encourage their growth. These in their turn should be thoroughly ripened. In autumn the young tree would benefit much by a gentle root-pruning, which may be done any time after the middle or end of August. All strong watery roots should be amputated by a nice clean cut, the points of the other roots being trimmed back a little so as to encourage the formation of healthy-feeding roots.

At the pruning season in winter, the leader, which has been formed during the summer, may be cut back to 4 or 6 inches from whence it started, while the side branches may be cut to any length from 1 to 1 1/2 foot, according to the quality of the wood. I need not give further details regarding the after-pruning or training of the Peach and Nectarine; suffice it to say that the principal object to be aimed at is the the regular filling up of the tree with young fruit-bearing wood. Nothing looks worse than to see a tree, either Peach or Nectarine, have the whole of its centre a blank devoid of either leaves or fruit, while the extremities are crowded with both in order to make up for the deficiency elsewhere. This is no uncommon sight, however, and is simply the result of an injudicious handling of the knife at the pruning season. Let the cultivator do his best to keep a supply of wood near home, and the tree itself will make ample provision for the extremities without his assistance. The disbudding season is perhaps the period when the greatest mischief is done in this way.

In performing this operation let the best back-buds remain to form shoots; and if this one simple matter is attended to year after year, there will never be a lack of fruit-bearing wood regularly distributed all over the tree. Some cultivators have tried to grow peaches upon what I may call a semi-spur system, but as in every case the fruit of the Peach is produced upon the wood formed the previous year, I see many drawbacks to the method, and little or nothing in its favour. I would therefore never leave a spur, but, where the knife is used, would make a clean cut, removing the entire shoot. I consider another great error is committed by leaving too much wood. If the shoots are left at a distance of from 4 to 6 inches apart all over the tree, there will be less disbudding required in spring, while there will be plenty of wood to bear a crop, which will have a greater chance of getting well ripened than if the tree were crowded with foliage. Root-pruning should be regularly attended to every two or three years, and the probability is that by the time the tree is eight or ten years of age it will be in a regular fruit-bearing condition for life. As in the case of other fruit-trees so is it with the Peach - early autumn is the best time for performing this operation.

From the middle of August till the end of September may be considered about the best season of the year. I would further recommend that the operation be performed much in the same way as already recommended for other fruits, and at the same time using the usual precautions for protecting the roots from drought, frost, or excessive rains. If such simple things as these get the attention they deserve, the cultivation of the Peach and Nectarine as hardy fruits is not such a difficult matter as some suppose it to be. The most difficult matter in their cultivation is the protection of the blossom and young fruit from the frosts of spring; this being overcome, the greatest obstacle has been surmounted: but as it is my intention to speak more fully on this point hereafter, I will drop the subject for the present.

There can be no two opinions regarding the situation which is best suited for the Peach and Nectarine. A south exposure is the only one from which success may be looked for. I cannot deny but that I have seen good crops occasionally taken from other situations, yet this is no argument why the best situation in the garden should not be given to the best of all our hardy fruits. A few points east or west of south will matter but little, but with this slight margin to work upon I claim the south aspect for the Peach.

In preparing borders for the reception of the Peach, my motto is, "Do it well, and the better it is done the more profitable will it be in the end." I am not a believer in that shortsighted economy which cannot see the practicability of spending a shilling to-day because there is no immediate certainty of having it returned with usury to-morrow. It savours too much of the slothful servant and the unused talent in the parable, and the gardener who does not do all in his power to have this operation well done is sowing for himself the first seeds of the want of success. The first thing to be observed when forming new borders is, that they be thoroughly well drained. Common tile-drains should run from the wall at distances of not more than 12 feet apart down to a main drain which should have enough of fall to carry off all superfluous moisture as rapidly as possible. These drains should not be more than 2 1/2 feet deep, and should be covered over with from 8 to 10 inches of broken bricks, stones, or suchlike, so as to leave from 20 inches to 2 feet for the soil of the border. This depth I consider quite enough; in fact, I believe that more success in Peach-growing has been accomplished with borders about this depth than when deeper.

In this opinion I find most of our horticultural writers agreed.

I now come to the sort of soil that is best suited for the Peach. A light mellow loam is what has been found generally to suit best. In wet and cold localities I would be inclined to have a very light loam, yet one possessing a good deal of vegetable matter; and according to the nature of the climate and the amount of rainfall should I be inclined to vary the nature and texture of it. In very dry localities I would not object to a slightly adhesive loam, always choosing it if possible from good old pasture, and consequently possessing abundance of vegetable matter. Notwithstanding all this I would have no scruples in attempting the cultivation of the Peach in any ordinary soil, for it is my belief it does not depend so much upon the nature of the soil, provided it be not positively bad, as upon the proper construction of the border and the nature of the drainage. I say this for the encouragement of those who may not have a choice in the matter; but to those who may have this, I recommend a moderately heavy and rich alluvial soil, cut from an old pasture, and stacked for nine or twelve months before being used.

If of this nature, the addition of a few bones and a little charcoal will be found beneficial; but if it is rather poor, I would recommend a slight addition of cow-dung over and above. Mr M'Intosh, in his ' Book of the Garden,' vol. ii. p. 487, has some very good and judicious remarks regarding the formation of Peach-tree borders, and in addition to what I have stated, he says regarding aeration, "Thorough drainage is not only necessary to the welfare of the roots of the Peach and all other tender trees - and this the more so as the situation is cold, late, or damp - but subterranean aeration, or underground ventilation, is equally essential." I have never seen this put into practice, but in theory I like the idea very much. The simplest mode I know of accomplishing this is to place ordinary tiles in communication with the drains of the border and the material covering the same. By placing these tiles perpendicularly so as to make regular communication with the air and the bottom of the border, placing one set along the bottom of the wall and the other at the front of the border near the walk, a regular and free circulation of air will be secured, which, I have no doubt, would prove highly beneficial to the cultivation of the Peach in localities where now its growth is regarded as almost impossible.

James M'Millan. (To be continued).