AN admirable feature in the commercial gardens of Europe is the clustering of " specialties " in the exact spot where each is the most certain to succeed. In fact, years of constant trial have so fully decided this question, that now one always goes to Haarlem to see hyacinths, tulips, and crocuses; to Orleans, France, for young nursery seedlings; to the suburbs of Paris for gladiolus and roses; to Ghent for hardy azaleas and many kinds of succulent plants; to the suburbs of London for geraniums and florist's flowers, as well as for rhododendrons; to Edinburgh for seedling evergreens; to York, England, for ferns and alpines, and to Erfurt, Prussia, for flower seeds. Of all the many beautiful sights which gratified me whilst studying European horticulture, none gave me more real pleasure than did a visit to the last named locality. Although there are several distinct business firms at Erfurt, I was so much pleased with the exceeding neatness and perfect order displayed in every department of the grounds of Ernest Benary's celebrated establishment, that I have selected it as the " text " for my present paper.

The extent of the seed trade in and around Erfurt is perfectly enormous, hundreds of acres being devoted to the business, and hundreds of hands used during the various processes of growing and collecting.

They speak there of. shipping flower seeds, not only by the hundred-weight, but by the ton; think of that, my rural readers, when you purchase your tiny paper of mignonette and aster; it is but a drop in the bucket. Many firms in the vicinity are shippers on their own account, but the large majority of the growers contract with the few leading firms to supply them with specialties - one raising balsams and asters, another verbenas and pansies, and a third, perhaps, hollyhocks, carnations, etc. Occasionally a leading seed house will have his Ten Weeks' Stock or asters grown by several parties, so that failures may be avoided, and sometimes particular growers invariably excel in one flower, as, for instanoe, the carnation, when it will receive some one's constant care.

At Benary's establishment we commenced with his home-grounds, where there are several commodious and exceedingly neat greenhouses devoted to the rarer seeds. The first we found filled with the finest strains of fuchsias, then two houses of gloxinias in full bloom, all raised from seeds of his own saving. Two houses of colons, embracing all the finer kinds, were then examined, and adjoining them, a house, 120 feet in length, contained about 10,000 plants of the Chinese primrose, in great variety of color. All of these plants were grown for their seeds alone. These houses were shaded with a very convenient and sightly material, made from slender wooden strips, fastened together by means of strong twine, and painted green,, somewhat in the style of old-fashioned window-blinds. Beautiful plants of humea purpurea with their long, delicate, purple plumes, made a fine show in the open ground, and I think it will prove available hero as a striking lawn-plant, being more showy than the old humea elegans.

Platforms with roofs are greatly in vogue for raising many kinds of plants, as the free circulation of air is conducive to the perfection of seeds; one of these was filled with the finest double-flowering petunias I had ever seen, one particular flower measuring four inches in diameter, and another was especially striking on account of its peculiar marking - pink with a rich green border.

Every shade and color appeared to be represented in the collection, including so-called selfs (or flowers of a single color) stripes, mottled, green-edged, etc. Adjoining the above was a similar house filled with the single varictios, and these had all been dusted with pollen from the double strain, the stamens of the former having been previously removed. About thirty per cent. of the proceeds are expected to produce double flowers. The collection of shrubby calceolarias was likewise especially noticeable for their uniqueness in habit and color. Here also was a table covered with the new Phlox Drummondii cardinalis, of a bright red color, exceedingly striking, and valuable for ribboning. A bed of "Forget-me-not" (myosotis azorioa coelestina) introduced to notice two years since, attracted attention from its beautiful tint and free-flowering habit, Beds of daisies, the seeds of which yield a large percentage of double-flowering plants, were, as they always prove, very pretty. In one of the houses devoted to mixed plants, we noticed a number of the newer kinds of Begonia, now in use for their flowers, and which come singularly true from seed; I allude to the B. sedenii, Veitchii, boliviensis, and other allied varieties.

A showy species of Solanum, S. pyracanthum, with yellow or orange colored ribs to the leaves, and spines of the same tint, will, I presume, prove equally as showy with us, in a group of subtropical plants. S. marginatum, with silvery-white foliage, is also charming for the same purpose.

Another pretty little thing, rivina humilis, covered with its scarlet berries, will also prove very useful. A bed of the comparatively new species of Pentstemon - P. nudicaule, from California, with its tall panicles of scarlet flowers, greatly attracted our attention. This plant was discovered a few years since, I think, by Doctor Kellogg, of San Francisco, who kindly furnished the writer with seeds; they grew and lived over one winter, but, through carelessness, died afterward. It is hardy, and one of the most conspicuous herbaceous plants now in cultivation.

Who does not know, and consequently love, our gaudy Cardinal flower (lobelia cardinalis), with its tall spikes of dazzling scarlet? Here, in Benary's collection of choice novelties, was a long bed, filled with a superb variety of the above, remarkable for its rich purple leaves, and in every way a perfect :gem." They were ten years in "setting" this sport, i. e., in making it come true from seed - a trial of patience which none but an enthusiastic lover of flowers can appreciate. One of the enclosures belonging to this firm, situated a short distance outside the walls of the town, is devoted to the raising of cauliflowers and celery. Erfurt seed of these are celebrated wherever they are grown. Ten acres were in the enclosure, and the whole area was laid out in beds, neatly edged with closely shaven grass. Between the beds were streams of pure spring water, the ditches being ten feet in width, where a sweet water-cress was luxuriating. Laborers, with tin-pans fastened to long poles, were busy dipping up the water and irrigating the plants. The Erfurt Dwarf cauliflower is considered the standard of excellence, and is very low, with large snow-white heads. About 100,000 are annually grown by this firm alone, and their cultivation is attended with no little expense and care.