As recollections of floriculture of other days, fitfully gleam upon memory, and carry us back to the happy spring-time of life, it makes us feel young again. Blessed are they who can joyfully recall and live them over again. Those who remember best, seem to have lived longest. While reviewing these old times, the writer fancies himself, as he once was, the hopeful lad, plodding along between two covered baskets containing twelve Auricula plants, in deep five-inch pots on his way to a county flower show. With him were two other boys carrying baskets of plants, one consisting of an equal number of pretty Polyanthus, which at that time, with Auriculas, were much in vogue with the many.

Though early in the morning, the cheerful lark was up before us, singing loud and high above the wheat-fields and blooming meadows; the black-bird, thrush, finch and linnet,caroled sweetly in the trees and hedgerows; and, while passing the fragrant orchards and gardens, the renowned little red-breasted soloist, "the gardener robin," seemed to warble his best to the flower folk who were passing by. The way before us - a distance of twelve miles - lay through romantic looking villages, and picturesque hamlets, leading into green lanes overhung with sturdy oak, elm, and ash trees, spreading above. And the sweet hawthorn hedges, festooned with odorous honeysuckles, made scenes of beauty and feasts of pleasure, which only those who have enjoyed them can folly appreciate.

With the three was Jim Fullblossom - as I will call him - the owner and grower, who carried a share of these Auriculas we were taking to the florists' Mecca - the Annual Flower Show. As we continued to trudge onward, we were joined by several other exhibitors, who "on pleasure were bent," as well as on business intent, at the same destination. Now, many of these were amateurs, the most of whom were working-men, whose few feet of glass-covered frames, well filled with Auriculas or Polyanthus, were the glory of their little gardens. To say they greatly admired, or even loved them, hardly expresses the intense delight with which these enthusiastic cultivators watched over, and devotedly cared for their pretty favorites.

And let me here inquire if the modern florist, gardener, or amateur cultivator of flowers, ever saw a choice collection of Auriculas or Polyanthus in bloom? If not, there is something new under the sun for him yet to see, the like of which is far more beautiful than any thing "dreamt of in your philosophy," as Shakespeare might say to him.

Let the kind readers, in imagination, accompany the writer "on a bright May morning long ago," through a pleasant part of rural England, until they come in sight of a May-pole, decked with garlands of hawthorn and long streamers of red and blue ribbons. They may further fancy they hear the music of a brass and reed band, playing the then popular air of "She wore a wreath of Roses," beneath the boughs of a wide spreading elm, at the front of that ancient hostelry, the "Red Dragon Inn." They may guess at what was taking place on that particularly interesting occasion. There was a smiling good-natured throng, already gathered around the door, facing the stairway which led to the spacious oak-paneled room above, where the exhibition was to be held.

Before proceeding further, let the reader open at chapter 2, "A Book about Roses," by S. Reynolds Hole, who, in his own inimitable way, describes a similar scene at a Rose Exhibition, in Nottingham. The graphic description this renowned Rosarian gives of what the noble and industrious working-men can do, under adverse circumstances, in perfecting the beauty of the Queen of Flowers, much resembles what their predecessors did with pretty Polyanthuses, and Auriculas, when they were then in fashion. And a similar case in the January Monthly of 1885 is thus perspicuously presented by Mr. James Morley, in his " Recollections of By-Gone Scenes:" 'Every man is a florist, no matter whether he works in a coal-pit or at the stocking-frame." And the same language is singularly applicable to the toiling men of tastes of other days, whose zeal for floriculture, was earnest indeed.

On entering the tastefully decorated room, the walls and ceiling of which were beautifully draped with a profusion of wild flowers and evergreens, mingled with blooming branches of red and white hawthorns, lilacs, mock-orange, laburnums, etc.; we were kindly greeted by the managing committee, who cordially assured us they were very glad to see us. Placing my heavy baskets on a bench to rest, and look around the beautiful bower for a moment or two, I noticed several exhibitors had already emptied their baskets of their precious contents; and on beds of green moss had arranged them for inspection. As soon as the allotted space was assigned for our plants, they were duly placed there, and seemed to occasion some little excitement among the admiring beholders. Well they might, for I honestly believe better examples of excellent cultivation had seldom, if ever, been previously placed on exhibition. In a group of three dozen distinct varieties of Auricula, were splendid specimens of such celebrities, then in the height of their floral fame, as the exceedingly handsome Colonel Taylor, beautiful Queen of the Alps, successful Ringleader, gallant Prince Bluch-er, bland Miller of Mansfield, brave Admiral Gardner, good-looking Fred Lud, universal Conqueror, very Bonnie Mary, glorious Aurora, beautiful Mrs. Clark, noted Maid of Orleans, charming Lancashire Lass, lovely Queen of May, and famous Waterloo. The twelve Polyanthus plants also, were all bright gems of their kind, and well merited the premiums afterwards awarded them.

After arranging the plants to his complete satisfaction, and beckoning the three lads to follow him down stairs, to share his bread and cheese, and while seated at the table, I well remember how the happy-looking face of Mr. Fullblossom was suffused with smiles, as he joyously whispered to us - "we shall beat them again." And just as he predicted, so it came to pass.