"A thing of beauty is a joy forever," said poor young Keats, who would have stayed in this troublesome world to the present day, could his admirers have had their own short-sighted way about it. A group of wild flowers - and they are always beautiful - in the hands of a laughing, innocent girl - no matter about her age - where a dozen such are rambling over the grass, or among the trees, always draws the sunny side of my heart into their very midst, from the hopeful days of boyhood even to yesterday, when a score of the happy, wayward things made fearful havoc through the tall grass in my lawn, and among my snowballs, honeysuckles, and peonies; it was lucky the tulips were passe, for every one would have been beheaded. One-half the every-day charm of woman is, her love of, and attention to, flowers in their season; and all parents, having the opportunity, who neglect to educate their daughters in the knowledge and care of flowers, leave out one of the elements of education, which makes them better children, better wives, better mothers - indeed, better everything belonging to the gentler nature of woman.

Our group is composed of some of the more remarkable forms of leaves, being a selection from what the gardener calls "foliage plants," or plants which depend rather on their leaves than their flowers for their beauty or interest; in which points many of them are hardly excelled by any tenants of the conservatory, besides possessing the great advantage of remaining in equal perfection all the year through. Some of these rival in the richness of their tints the brightest flowers, such as Dracaena, Caladium, Calathea, and Cissus discolor. We figure the leaves of the last mentioned; but no engraving can show the beautiful variety and. gradation on the rich velvet of its upper surface. The centre rib and principal veins are marked by various shades of purple and black; between the veins are silvery patches of white, and towards the edges the purple softens off into a lovely subdued green, forming altogether one of the most harmonious little pieces of coloring with which Nature indulges us.

The pearly sonnerila (Sonnerila margaritacea) is one of the most charming of recent introductions. It has glossy green leaves, studded over with lustrous pearllike spots, and in the summer is ornamented with a spike of pink flowers of much beauty.

The curious plants from Java, called Anaectochilus, well deserve a place in any collection where sufficient heat is maintained. One of these plants at first sight gives the idea of a number of strange insects congregated on the ground, each leaf being so marked and shaped as to resemble the closed wings of a large beetle or moth - blackish green or brown, with golden or silvery veins, being the usual coloring. Anaectochiltis setaceus is the species figured. (See page 118).

Several species of club-moss - half moss, half fern-like feathery little plants - are very ornamental, for edging the aquarium, and for other purposes where their fresh bright green is acceptable. We figure the creeping-rooted club-moss (Ly-copodium stoloniferum).

There are several genera of plants bearing pitcher-like appendages to their leaves - that best known being the genus Nepenthes, the old pitcher-plants; but there is a little New Holland bog-plant, the Australian pitcher-plant (Cephalotus follicularis), of comparatively recent introduction, which, though of very small size, is equal in interest to any of the others. It produces a circle of pouches or pitchers of curious construction, resting on the ground, each being provided with a membranous lid; from the centre rises a spike of small white flowers. To the list of plants remarkable for their foliage we can now add one - perhaps the greatest curiosity of all - the extraordinary "Lattice plant" (Ouvirandra fene-straits), lately brought from Madagascar by a missionary, and now in the possession of Messrs. Veitch. It was figured and described in the Horticulturist for February.

Anoectochilus setaceus. Sonerilla margaritacea.

Anoectochilus setaceus. Sonerilla margaritacea.

Cissus discolor. Cephalotus follicularis.

Lycopodium stoloniferom.


Flowers And Botanical Notes #1

Here spreads a. range of level plots, Of box-fringed beds, where lurking knots Of buried flowers repose, to bring Kind greeting to the early spring.

The brightest flower of the winter garden - the very gem, until the crocus comes to rival it - is the winter aconite. The old writers called it yellow or winter wolf's-bane, Clare well describes this flower - The winter aconite, With buttercup-like flowers, that shut at night; Its green leaf furling round its cup of gold, Like tender maiden muffled from the cold.

The fern tribe may certainly claim our attention as possessing the qualities most worthy of interest; many of the species being evergreens, they give a fresh, verdant appearance to the conservatory when it is forsaken by the gay flowers of summer; or, if grown under a glass shade, or "temple," they form a delightful ornament to the dwelling-house at all seasons.

In the above group a variety of these graceful forms are given, and, as their attraction lies principally in .their form and transparent texture, our descriptions or each individual will be very brief.

The large-leaved brake (Pteris macrophyllus) is a very line species. The leaves are almost entirely surrounded by a thickened margin containing the organs of fructification.

Adiantum formorum and A. cultratum, two species of maidenhair, have the glossy black stems and delicate leaves so well known in the British maiden-hair fern.

Pteris argentea (the silver brake), and Daria diversifalia, are the other two species represented.

The large centre object is a most remarkable species of sidesaddle flower (Sarracenia Drummondi). In the summer it bears curious purple flowers, but its chief interest lies in its wonderfully-formed tubular leaves: they have somewhat the shape of a postman's horn, are about two feet in height, and of a vivid green color, except at the upper expanded end, where they are most beautifully marbled with red, green, and white. This plant requires a very high temperature for its cultivation, as much as from 80 to 100 degrees.