"Oh, give me the sweet shady side of Pall Mall." "Sweet leaves to the air."

We have said a good deal about Flowering Plants for town decoration; there are also non-flowering sets of plants to choose from, which are just as lovely and far more uncommon; I mean the grand array of foliage plants.

Some years ago it was my good fortune to be present at one of the prettiest weddings of the season. Not one of the bridesmaids wore a flower. Every bouquet was made, of leaves, shaded, striped and coloured; they were as bright as they were graceful, the effect was indescribably fresh and charming, and was a lesson for ever on what can be done with leaves.

Furnishing the box or balcony with foliage-plants may be more costly than flowers in the first place, and they require more consideration in arrangement; but they have useful qualities which render them invaluable. They are much more durable than flowering plants, and less affected by accidents of weather.

About their beauty there is no question, and their variety, even if we exclude Palms and Ferns, is endless. Luckily for their admirers, it is found that many of those we have been taught to consider hot-house nurslings do just as well in the open air. Nor is there any difficulty in marketing for them. Growers are quite alive to the situation, and those who can afford the luxury have nothing to do but make their choice.

Covent Garden market, that fairyland of flowers, is, I suppose, at the head and front of the forward movement in the sale of plants. Twenty years ago only about thirty growers attended and sold plants there. Now there are over three hundred; and it is no exaggeration to count the plants and flowers yearly sold by them in millions.

With cordial sympathy we note the small green painted window-box on the garret window-sill of the artisan. It generally consists of a neat row of palings with a realistic stile or gateway in the middle, and bubbles over with Creeping-Jenny and Nasturtiums; the man in the street who passes the costly window-gardens of the rich, how he must sympathize with them, and revel in the sights we give him! This is the best of window-gardening, it is such an unselfish pleasure. Every passer-by is made happier by it. In the love of Nature and of flowers we all join hands, meeting on common ground. "Oh, the joy of the vast elemental sympathy which only the human soul is capable of generating!" Few things call it forth more pleasantly than the mutual enjoyment of earth's fair treasures, plants and trees and flowers.

Nowadays we have learned to expect great things from the wealthy people who live in the many-windowed mansions of our Capital. When spring comes back again with sunshine, like an old smile, we look for the flowers outside the houses as well as those that grow in the Parks, and we are not disappointed. But there are one or two districts that still want waking up. Some people are content to spend their money and display their taste only now and then at great entertainments or on special occasions, when enough is lavished in one night to furnish the whole roadway for a season!

If we could read the annals of some of our great floral firms, we should be startled to see what immense sums are paid for one month's decorations only by one family. Several thousand pounds are soon dispensed, when the flowers for a single entertainment have cost five hundred. Orchids and Roses cannot be had in huge quantities for nothing, and it is all good for trade, so nobody need pretend to be shocked or call out about extravagance. We all love the best when we see it, and why not secure the same - those who can? but I do not think that people who have made their ball-rooms into bowers of beauty, and transformed their houses into paradises for one night, have done their duty till they have contributed their quota to the street.

Yet it never looks well when outside decoration is overdone. All should be in keeping, and never an obtrusive glare. Here our foliage-plants come in well. They look so good and so refined. A list of plants to choose from may be useful. I will cull one from a paper on "Plants for House Decoration," read by Mr. John Wills, F.R.H.S., at a meeting of the Horticultural Society on March 8th, 1892, and published January, 1903. Even if one cannot remember the Latin names very well, it is easy to make a copied catalogue to show our florist when giving orders. He always does his best for those who show an intelligent interest and appear to know what they are talking about.

Among Palms, Corypha australis, Latania borbonica, and Cocos Weddelliana are recommended, especially this last; it is so graceful and enduring, and has been known to last for more than two years in a draughty room. Kentia Belmoreana is another good plant of the same habit.

Any of the following are also available for room or flower-box decoration: Areca Baueri, and A. lutescens, Cocos flexuosa, Geonoma gracilis, Phoenix reclinata, P. tenuis and Thrinax elegans.

So much for the Palms. Now for the coloured and ornamental foliage plants. The following may be relied upon as being very useful and satisfactory, as well as possessing the quality of endurance: Ananassa satina, Asparagus plumosa, and A. procumbens. These last are the most graceful, feathery, branching things in the world, delighting everybody. Many handsome Crotons mix in well, and may be used with impunity, out-of-doors. The following Dracaenas are also pretty, and hardy enough to brave an English summer. Dracaena australis D. fragrans, D. linita, D. Goldiana, and many other varieties. Bromeliads may be freely planted, and will retain their beauty for a long time. Tillandsias, Aspidistra lurida and its variegated form, are most useful and never-failing plants. Several of the Fittonias are also pretty. The never-dying Ophiopogon, any number of Ferns, and various other decorative foliage-plants too numerous to mention, are available for either house, balcony, or window-box purposes. We might add Kentias of different kinds, Nidularium fulgens, and Bamboos. Every plant mentioned will keep in good looks from June to the end of October.

Anybody who wants more sorts than these, had better consult his florist. I do not think I could resist adding some old-fashioned scented-leaf Geraniums for the sake of their delicious fragrance; both the Oak-leafed, the Peppermint, and the Musk, all of which are more valuable for their foliage than their flowers. So "out of fashion" these are now, that it is quite difficult to get them from the Nurseryman; we must invade the floral sanctums of our friends, where a pot or two may often be found hidden away in a Melon bed, or in a corner of the Peach house, or keeping company with the sweet leaves of the Grape-vine.