One forenoon, early in September, we found ourselves in the London establishment of Messrs Downie, Laird, & Laing at Forest Hill, which, under the personal direction of Mr Laing, has gained as much prestige with the gardening world of the south, as the parent nurseries at Edinburgh have gained for the firm in the north. This firm is noted par excellence for hardy florist-flowers, such as Phloxes, Pansies, Pentstemons, etc, some sections of the Pelargonium - the Nosegay, bronze, and silver tricolors especially. A walk through the nurseries gives ocular demonstration, however, that although every means are taken to be Al amongst these things, yet there are other subjects which have Mr Laing's best attention. We will point out a few of the special things to be seen at the Stanstead Park Nursery. Unfortunately, the day of our visit happened to be one of the days the Crystal Palace Company had set apart for their Autumn Fruit Show. To this show many of the occupants of the hothouses had been taken, causing some of them to look a little thin. With this understanding, we commence our tour of inspection with a stove, where, besides other things, Cucumbers in variety were growing. The "Luton Hoo" Mr Laing considers one of the finest sorts in cultivation, and in fact is his pet sort.

Though not belonging to the giants of the Cucumber race, it is most certainly a perfectly-shaped and pretty sort, being wanting in none of the points which constitute a good Cucumber. Passing through another stove, we find a large collection of those most beautiful of beautiful-leaved plants: Cala-diums in rich variety: Laingii, Prince Albert Edward, Auguste Riviere, Due de Ratibo, Triomphe de l'Exposition, and Baraquinii, we note as being most distinct and fine. A large quantity of Epiphyllums are growing in the same house. In other pits we found exotic Ferns in fine variety and Palms predominate. A good-sized span-roof house is filled with Camellias of all sizes, and all in the best possible health. An adjoining house is devoted to pot-Vines. These are ripening famously, with great brown buds starting out of the axils of every stem-leaf. These have been grown quietly on, without attempting to stimulate them in any way, and will doubtless give good residts, under as good management as they have been so far grown. In a greenhouse we noticed an exceedingly fine salmon-coloured Geranium with a foreign name. Unfortunately it was not noted down, and we dare not venture to say what it is.

Tricolor and bicolor Pelargoniums are grown extensively here, the best of the latter class in cultivation emanating from time to time from this nursery. Unfortunately for us, the plants were represented by a lot of nearly bare stumps; the propagator had done his work to perfection amongst them. We were shown a seedling which, if it retains its character, will astonish the lovers of this section of beautiful-leaved plants; the leaf looked more the work of a painter than of a hybridist. We saw a large collection of Pentstemons, but with rare exceptions they had done flowering. One of the features of the nursery is the collection of Phloxes grown in pots, which deserve the word most expressive of grand beauty applied to them. They will certainly repay a journey to see them, even should it be a long one. To make a selection is a hopeless case, where each variety is so near perfection. We will just mention a few which are most distinct, though there are many quite as beautiful. J. K. Lord, Lothair, pure scarlet, Queen of Whites, Miss Macrae, Princess Louise, Comte de Lambertye, Ange Gardien, Edith, La Candeur, Liervallii (the red variety), Mesdames Autin, Billy, Domage, Moisset and Andry, Mons. W. Bull, Marin Saison, Menottii, Souvenir des Femes, and Vierge Marie. These all belong to the decussata section.

The early-flowering sorts are not found to thrive in the south. "We came across some splendidly-grown young Azaleas, and in all the newest varieties. Pot-Roses we found in quantity, and looking well. Close by a new nursery is being formed, in which the Pansies, Pentstemons, etc, will be cultivated in future - the soil of the new nursery being more suited to their requirements than the stiff clayey soil of the older one.

A hasty good-bye and a run to Catford Bridge Station, and we were again on our way to see more novelty. In due time we found ourselves in Station Road, Woolwich, looking across the railway at an establishment we have often wished to see - that of Mr Cannell. This gentleman goes in for all sorts of soft-wooded plants which do not require heat to grow, the specialite here being Fuchsias and Pelargoniums, more particularly zonals. These we wanted to see, and were not disappointed in finding perhaps the very largest collection of these to be found anywhere. Of the Fuchsias we noted the following as the best, and they are remarkably fine: Cannell's Gem, a variety with pure white corolla, and is the very best in this class; Conspicua is a good'old sort of the same class; Dr Hessel and Lady Dorothy Neville, novelties sent out by Mr B. S. Williams, are valuable acquisitions; Mr R. Pexton, Our Future Queen, Mauve Queen, Will Sell, Try me, O! Wave of Life, Lucrezia Borgia, Guiding Star, Minnie Banks, Lucy Mills, Beauty of Sholden, Hon. J. Bright, First of the Day, Beauty of Chiswick, Rose of Castile, Inimitable, and Noblesse. These are all single varieties.

Entirely failing to appreciate the monstrosities which obtain amongst the doubles, we only marked Purple Prince, Sir Colin Campbell, and Princess Alexandra as worth growing. The last-named variety is one of Messrs E. G. Henderson & Son's introductions of the present year. From amongst the Pelargoniums in flower we selected the following as the best: Mrs G. Gordon; a fine sort in the way of Madame Werle; Truth in the same class is also good; Heartsease, the flowers in the way of Sambo, are in colour a magenta shaded with purple, of most perfect form, though not large in pip - it is of dwarf, free-growing, and spreading habit, altogether a pretty variety; Renown Improved, a reddish scarlet and large trusser; Lord Mayo, a good dark scarlet; Clipper is a free-flowering and promising variety. These are all novelties of the present year. Mr Pearson's batch of new varieties were nearly all out of flower: a dark crimson, General Outram, was magnificent. Only two of Dr Denny's seedlings were in flower; the size of the plants was not such as to enable one to speak confidently regarding them. The new double whites, as here, are the merest rubbish, though for hybridising they may prove valuable.

Amongst older sorts, Harry King, Sir C. Napier, Corsair, Circulator, Purple Prince (magnificent in the way of colour), Ianthe, Master Christine, Rev. C. P. Peach, Lady Hawley, Wellington, Delight, President Thiers, Acme, L'Aurore, Florence Durand, Rose Bradwardine, Amaranth, M. E. Buenzod, Progress, Lady Louisa Egerton, Charles Burrows, F. Bradley, Magnifica, Forest Hill Nosegay, R. K. Bowley, Mrs Upton, Crimson King, and Magnum Bonum, will be sure to give satisfaction. Marked as the best amongst the golden tricolors are E. R. Benyon, Peter Grieve, Mrs Headly, Prince of Wales, Sir R. Napier, Achievement, Macbeth, Miss Batters, Lady Cullum, and Sophie Dumaresque; the last-named is also interesting as having been raised by a London omnibus conductor. Of silver tricolors, Lass o' Gowrie, Mrs Laing, Lady Dorothy Neville, Excellent, and Miss Burdett Coutts, are the best.

Besides these species of soft-wooded plants, as before hinted, Mr Cannell is great amongst all sorts of bedding-plants; many of the hardy florist-flowers are largely grown as well. A great part of Mr Cannell's business is carried on through the medium of the post-office, he having set on foot the plan of sending small packages of plants per post. The more to facilitate and at the same time cheapen the cost of transmission, the system of sending cuttings has been initiated. These are sold at a considerable reduction from the price of plants. It just meets the case of those amateurs who, not having the means to buy so largely as they would desire, owing to the price of plants, and especially of the newer sorts, and the high rate of carriage by the ordinary means, are thus enabled to buy things which otherwise they never would have had, and at the same time have the pleasure - which is a very great one to some - of striking their own plants, and growing them entirely under their own care. Most certainly, from the extent of glass at Mr Cannell's, the system is expanding into considerable proportions.

Close to the nursery the company who manufacture the hot-water circulator have their premises. Mr Cannell is well known as the inventor of this apparatus. We were informed that a large number of orders had been booked for it this autumn. It has yet to stand the test of practical working. Doubtless before long something will be published concerning its behaviour. R. P. B.