The great difference between an artist in landscape gardening, and a mere loon, would probably be in the ability of the one to give an intelligent reason for what he does, while the other could do little more than say, " I did that because I did." Yet an artist's reason is not always the sole reason for the work of the landscape gardener. The artist, who is simply an artist, seldom considers much besides the lines of beauty, but the landscape gardener has to study convenience as well. Utility can never be forgotten by the landscape gardener, and the beauty he strives for is seldom appreciated, unless some useful object underlies the whole. A winding carriage road, with its graceful lines leading to the building, is a pretty object in a picture; but the landscape gardener must remember that it is made for the purpose of getting to a building, and that it must be hard, solid, smooth, easy to travel over, and must not curve for the mere sake of curving. He has, therefore, often to sacrifice some abstract principles of beauty to gain the ulterior object, or he has to make reasons to give color to the beauty he desires.

We give a very good illustration of this principle in a view on next page, of the grounds of Springhurst, the residence of Frederick Goodridge, Esq., at Riverdale on the Hudson. The carriage road leading to the house, from the west of the picture, makes a nice, graceful curve, and easy grade to the front door; but an excellent reason for the curve at one point is the apparent necessity for circling around the elm tree. Even one who could give no reason for special lines, would see that the absence of the elm would detract from the beauty of the whole. Again, from the east of the picture, another road has to connect with the other. The bed of rhododendrons furnishes an excellent reason for the junction at that point. With that bed, the junction is a pretty feature. The driver of a vehicle would never think there was any thing improper in turning just there. Imagine now the bed absent, and the impulse both for driver and foot passengers would be to rebel at the orders of the landscape gardener. The "short cut" would be made in spite of him. The designer would be compelled to revise his lines.

The curve to the east would have to start a little beyond the lady and child, cutting off one-third of the rhododendron bed on its westerly edge, and coming into the easterly road very near to the south-east end of where the rhododendrons are growing.

Even good landscape gardeners can not always give a reason for what is done, but the lesson taught is, that such reasons should always be in mind, and should influence designing as far as practicable.

Speaking of rhododendrons, it is pleasant to note the increasing taste for this lovely evergreen shrub. The great enemy to success is sun in winter, and cold, cutting, wintry winds. Trees often make good protectors against these enemies; where these are not at hand, artificial shade with branches of trees, corn-stalks, or some similar material, is useful. The trouble with trees is, that the roots make the ground dry, and rhododendrons hate dry ground. On the other hand they do not like ground on which water lies. Soil for rhododendrons should hold moisture, but yet suffer water itself to pass rapidly away. The immense amount of fibrous, hair-like roots, give a ball of earth to the plant, which enables us to transplant them easily, at any season of the year. The beautiful rhododendrons of our gardens are mostly hybrids between the Rhododendron Catawbiense, of the mountains of North Carolina, and the Rhododendron ponticum, of Asia Minor. The latter species is somewhat tender in most parts of our country, hence those hybrids that partake largely of the nature of the ponticum, are not popular with American planters, though thriving well in the moister atmosphere of the old world.

The hybrids that have more of the nature of the Catawba species in them, are perfectly hardy, and these should be selected. The varieties are propagated by layers or by grafting. When grafted, the wild R. Catawbiense is used for a stock. The old Mountain laurel is the Rhododendron maximum, although the wood laurel, Kalmia latifolia, sometimes gets called Mountain laurel also. This rhododendron flowers later than the R. Catawbiense and its hybrids, and has not, so far as we know, been used for hybridizing with the southern form. It is, however, an excellent one to have in a collection, from its superior hardiness, and greater size. It usually reaches double the height of the other one.

Springhurst: Residence of Frederick Goodridge, Riverdale, N. Y.

Springhurst: Residence of Frederick Goodridge, Riverdale, N. Y.