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GARDENING FOR THIS WEEK.I

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GARDENING FOR THIS WEEK. Preparations for those general favourites, the so-called Dutch bulbs, should now be begun. The snowdrops and crocuses come first, to tell us of the revivifying influences ft nature but to have them in good time preparations for their culture must be begun at once. The crocus has so many and such varieties of colour that it may be em- ployed with the best effect in many different ways. As ¡ an edging to beds of other bulbs it is exceedingly useful, and may be grown in a deep band of different colours, or one colour alone, according to the taste of the cultivator. The cultivation of this bright harbinger of spring is simple, in the extreme it will grow in any soil, but well repays care and attention by enhanced beauty. In the open ground, crocuses may be planted any time from September to December. The bulbs or corms should be placed three inches down in the soil, and two inches apart. One of the prettiest uses to which extensive planting of this bulb can be put is the disposing in clumps of a dozen or twenty on a lawn. Perking up through the tender green grass in early spring, the crocuses and snowdrops are especially beautiful, more particularly when the lawn is extensive, and a congenial home may be found for them at the tor.t of trees In town gardening the crocuses and snowdrops are in- valuable They grow so readily in any situation that they form quite a feature in window gardening, either indoors or out. ⢠When required for the decoration of windows and rooms only, they should be lifted in clumps from the open ground just as they are coming into lfower, or they may be raised in boxes filled with some good light soil, and when the flower-buds are showing be shifted into pots, rustic stands, or baskets filled with cocoa-nut fibre and peat, covered wifh moss, or they will flower very well in moss alone provided there is a sufficient quantity and it is kept constantly moist. If the bulbs are started in boxes, it must be in a cool place. Both crocuses and snowdrops are very impatient of heat. In the open ground snowdrops should not be disturbed the longer they remain the better they flower, and the larger the clumps become. The same may be said of the crocus, with this exception, that it is better for being taken up and rc planted every fourth or fifth year. Of the different varieties of crocus, the self-coloursâyellow, purple, and whiteâare doubtless most effective in masses or clumps in the garden, but the delicately pen- cilled sepals of the variegated varieties are quite as beautiful for growth in ornamental rustic baskets, pots, vases, &c., in the house. With, or even, sometimes before, the appearance of the Bnowdrop and the crocus in cultivated gardens our hedge- rows and fields are made gay by the blossoms of the little golden aconite, a rich and dazzling bit of colour amid the brown soil and lingering barrenness of the late winter, growing closely nestled to the bosom of mother earth, surrounded by a circle of dark, bright green foliage. These simple, easily-grown little plants well deserve to be transferred to the borders of any garden, either to form a pretty dwarf edging to other early spring subjects, or to form bright clumps of gold beneath the shelter of shrubs. Hyacinths, when judiciously and profusely planted, make a lfowr garden in themsel ves To eulogise their beauty or extol their sweetness would be as supereroga- tory as to paint the lily or add perfume to the violet. They always chami us; we watch their coming with interest and delight, and note their fading away with a sadness which finds its only solace in the thoughts of the hosts of bright Dowers which are coming crowding round us with the plenitude or summer. We shall continue the subject of bulbs next week. HINTS O.^ INSECTS.âThe Gooseberry Caterpiliar.â The grubs of the Gooseberry saw-fly ( A ematus Ribesi) are often very troublesome. There is no more effectual method of keeping 11l1"hes free from them than removing the earth during the winter from under the trees to the depth of 2in. or 3in., and replacing it with soil from some other part of the garden. The earth taken away should be burnt or very carefully sifted, and then spread thinly over the ground, so that any cocoons which may have escaped notice during the sifting may fall a prey to the birds. Burn as soon as practicable all prunings from fruit trees, as there are often eggs laid on them. Lady- birds should never be killed, as their grubs are most valu- able in destroying aphides- All clear-winged insects which have a long sting-like organ protruding from the end of their bodies should be spared they belong to the family of ichneumons, and are of the greatest service in destroying caterpillars and gru bs. The little wooly egg- shaped bodies which may sometimes be found near a dead caterpillar should not be distil rbed, as they are.the cocoons of the insects. Toads should always be ercouraged in gardens, and all kinds nf hirrl? I'Iiuto ?-"f ?uienuht-y take ha\e mostly grubs in th.-?. Thoj nuber of caterpillars and grubs which birds (lesL?:oy during nesting season is incalculable, and it would be an I evil day for gardens in this country if the number of our birds was much diminished. THE. AND SIWeB A! tiTiLiATics'.âThis is bad en -ugh TREE A?D SHM'B  every year about Christmas time, and many near i rge towns have to deplore the or at lea"t mutiliati n of choice trees and shrubs about that season, but to encour- age inutiliation by offering special prizes for cut s mots, as at South Kensington the other day, seems to us most iinwise. It is doubtful if any good whatever can result from such exhibitions, even if confined to deciding trees, but when it comes to lopping off large boughs of choice conifers for the sake of a small monay prize it amounts to little short of vandalism. In one of the collecti ons shown the other day there were branches of Picea nobilis and of P. Nordmanmanna be?rin? several conil to cut which wli i e l i from the trees must neces?riiv have injured their appearance, i I appily, till this year the prizes offered for such exhibits have not been competed for, aud this vear but three collections were shown. The largest of the specimens exhibited filile,t to convey an adequate idea of the character of the tree or shrub from which they were cnt, though large enough to permanently destroy sym- metrical growth.-The Garden

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