Many of the " old songs" are the dearest to my ear and heart. Many of the new are not without their charms. But in these " old time " melodies there is often a strange sweetness, richness and rapturous harmony that thrills me to the soul - which, too often later composers fail to attain.

So it is somewhat similar with flowers and fruits. Among the host of new productions a few equal the old and some surpass them in certain respects. .

But the existence of the latter can be but for a day - one predominant charm or quality will eventually slay the others and bury all. The qualities all must be equally developed; every feature must be preserved and developed. Complete culture; that is, attention to every attribute that goes to make a perfect flower or fruit, is as necessary in the improvement of flowers and fruits as mental, moral and physical education - all, should go to make up true culture in man. But too often this is not the case, one or the other of these natures is apt to be cultivated to the deterioration and death of the other, which, in time, only means the death of all; and the same is lamentably true in fruits and flowers. Geraniums especially we have been noticing. Queen of the West, Mad. Rompen and a few others are growing vigorously in the garden; but others, and by far the greater number of varieties planted there (among which are many new), are apparently of feeble constitution, and we note with regret that these all are those prolific, to me, of the finest flowers. Chas. Darwin is an example - one of the richest flowered geraniums ever attained, yet worthless on account of its sickly habit.

In pursuit of a fine flower, and perhaps a purple geranium, its improver lost sight of vigor in the plant, which should be the first thing sought for, the other features afterwards; for vigor in the plant is the foundation of every charm and pleasure that the plant or the garden affords.

There has been a number of truly grand geraniums brought forward in the last few years. By this I mean those combining vigor, freedom of bloom, coloring and perfection of flowers. In connection with many such varieties Mr. Thorpe will long be remembered.

All are grand, were I to think merely of flowers. But however brilliant or beautiful the flower may be, or whatever shades we may attain, these cannot last long or afford much satisfaction if we have not the plant to produce them. Yet, while we gladly welcome all for the sake of getting the good, many of the late varieties seem to say this is the direction their improvement is taking. In other words, it is a transition of vigor, or a taking of vigor from one place and putting it in another - from the plant and pushing it into the flower. But this can never be a successful basis or method for permanent progress. The cultivation of one muscle will never make a strong man. Neither will the cultivation of the intellect - the flower of man's nobler nature - come to any good, unless his physical organization has received equal or its share of the cultivation. So it is with the plant, good culture consists in the equal development of every feature ordained necessary to the existence, each attribute is dependent on the other, and isolating any one in our efforts at improvement makes a hole at once for death to enter.

All of nature's forces meet in equilibrium, and so do the forces of life in a plant.

In developing the possibilities of flower or fruit, the maintenance of this relation is the only basis of permanent improvement. But if any consideration is to be particularly kept in view, above all let it be vigor in the plant.

New Albany, Ind., Sept. 6, 1886.