Preparations to have everything in good shape at President Cleveland's private place are in progress, but, Oh! Downing, some one has laid out a left-handed approach to the house! Army officers in general, and engineers in particular, are amongst the very best educated people we have, and if not they ought to be. Their education costs the country enough, goodness knows! They can build bridges and monuments, pick up obelisks in Egypt and drop them down in Central Park, or any other place for that matter, but who ever yet saw one that knew anything about a plant or a piece of landscape work? At all events, in the affair above referred to, all laws human and divine, from the laying out of the Garden of Eden until to-day are defied, and it puts one in mind more than anything else in the world of Peter Henderson's "Sarpentine Landscaper," whom he has made so famous.

A great improvement can be noticed in the planting in the public parks in Washington during the past few years, principally in the introduction of more and choicer flowering plants and evergreens. When everything is bare and naked in the winter, a clump of evergreens is very grateful to the eye. In some of the recently planted parks flowering plants often push their blooms through the snow and others follow in rotation, and continue all through spring and early summer, until Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora come.

Some large plants of this on some of the old places here in Georgetown, are glorious when in bloom. A good companion plant is a dwarf AEsculus I saw last summer at the United States Botanic Gardens in bloom in July and August. Mr. Smith, I think, once told me it is peculiar to Texas or Kansas, which probably accounts for it not being oftener seen in collections.

I had a very pleasant walk through the White House conservatories with Mr. Pfister. The amount of cut flowers used there is simply enormous. Great blocks of lily of the valley, tulips, hyacinths, jonquils, narcissus, and other things, " too numerous to mention " are being forced and in every stage of development. Although I knew it by reputation a long time, it is the first time I have seen Freezia refracta alba in bloom. It is a very chaste white flower, and lasts well in a cut state. Primula obconica is also well thought of for cutting. The Amaryllis are as good as they get them anywhere. Mr. Pfister has caught on to a good strain of Primulas, Cyclamens and Cinerarias, the latter with flowers larger than a silver half-dollar. I had to handle the foliage to see the pots, and was surprised - none larger than a six-inch.

I was glad to see Musa coccinia in bloom at the Botanic Gardens, and very beautiful it looks.

Industrial Home, Georgetown, D. C.