A lady writes: "It was very interesting to read that the blossoms of the Cypripedium insigne remained fresh for a long time in water, but I would be much more interested in hearing how to get the blossoms in the first place. I have had one for five years; it has made an apparently healthy growth of about one leaf a year, but looks vigorous. I have tried several plans. The last has been to repot it in equal parts of loam, manure and potsherds, and cover it with a melon gloss. I think it does look as if it were growing a little more. But what can I do to get blossoms?

"And my Poinsettas are not what they have been. The blossoms are larger but the bracts are fewer.and as it is more desirable to have bracts than flowers, I would like to know what is the matter. I have always been very successful with them before. I may have made the soil too rich when I potted them this fall. I have a small greenhouse or conservatory where everything else is growing well. Please help me about these two plants".

[ As soon after you read this as practicable (in January would be better, or just after they have done flowering) repot it in just such soil as you describe, and as soon as the weather is fairly settled for warm, say second week in May, set the pot in a warm spot out of doors, and yet partially shaded from the midday sun. Let it remain here all summer, and about the end of September take it into a cool greenhouse. It does not require heat. Such a temperature as a Camellia loves will suit it. It is a native of sub-shady places in the mountains of Mexico. Poinsettas, on the other hand, need very rich soil and plenty of water and hot sun during summer time. Pot them also now, in rich earth, and cut them back as low as you want them, so as to get a vigorous growth of young wood. Set the pots out in the full sun, where they may have plenty of water given them Pinch back the growing shoots so as to make them more bushy, and, if desirable to get them more bushy, pinch again a month afterwards. If very large bracts are preferable to a number of flowers, pinch back only once, for every pinching means flowers of a smaller size. In the fall put the plants in the warmest part of the house.

No part will be too hot for them in reason.

You will have plenty of Cypripedium flowers under this treatment, and as large and fine Poin-setta bracts as you can desire. - Ed. G. M].