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I THE WEEK'S GARDENING. I ( i THE FLOWER GARDEN. I Window-boxes should now have attention if they are to be beautiful for autumn. Pot plants can be plunged in the soil, thus giving them protection from fierce heat, since scorching sun on pot-sides is most injurious to roots. A mulch of cocoanut fibre should always finish off window-boxes, whether plants are growing or plunged in them, for this material prevents the window from be- coming soil-splashed after heavy rains; but pot plants are especially benefited by this coierizig in, because it keeps their own soil moist. Palms may be repotted new, so as to give them time to get established before winter, and be ready to make fresh growth in the spring. It is not desirable for this purpose to use too large pots. Thorough drainage must be supplied, without unduly filling the pots too high with crocks. A good compost consists of equal parts of fibrous loam and peat with some nodules of charcoal, old lime rubble, and sand. Firm potting is essential. Tritomas, or red-hot pokers, with their brilliant scarlet, orange, or yellow flowering spikes, are grown without d.ffieulty in any fairly good soil, but it should be remembered that the roots are not quite hardy. In a heavy or damp soil, therefore, they should either be lifted every autunyi, and replanted in the spring, or else it is necessary that each root be protected from cold and wet by means of dry ashes or litter. Sweet William of any good variety may easily be increased by layers or from cut- tings, as the plants root without any diffi- culty. and shoots may even be found on the mother plant already rooted. Raising from seeds is, however, the natural method of pro- pngation, and is worth while. Now that the old plants are in flower they can be carefully gofte over. and the very best varieties noted and labelled, with the intention of saving the seeds when mature. Then sow the seeds in a fairly cool place, and keep moist. Transplant into a bed about four inches apart, and when the seedlings come into flower next year make another careful selec- tion, and in a short time a fine strai n will result. Plumbago capensis is one of the most use- ful climbers to furnish the bare walls and pillars of a greenhouse. Being a deciduous shrub, it bears no leaves in winter to shade the occupants of the stages. Very pretty, attractive specimens may also be grown in pots and tubs. Cuttings inserted from June to August or September root readily in a propagating frame with a little bottom heat. As a compost, use about four parts fibrous loam to one part leaf-mould or peat, and one part coarse sand. Prune back the young shoots of the previous season's growth an.nu- aiiy in February; the flowers are produced in profusion Oil the new shoots. There is a wlvite variety alba. One of the most striking of hardy shrubs in gardens is Rhus Cotinus, the Wig or Smoke Tree, so called on account of its feathery filaments. These small, thread-like filaments are really flower-stalks, a good pro- portion of which, however, have never borne a lfower, but are clothed with numerous silky hairs that give the entire panicle the curious fluffy appearance that is so charac- teristic. The shrub attains a height of from six feet to eight feet, with a sturdy habit. It is a native of Southern Europe and the Orient. In the autumn the foliage changes to quite a brilliant colour. A favourable opportunity should be taken of inserting snowdrop bulbs during the next few week". The depth at which to plant depends much on the nature of the soil. In stiff, reten- tive earth shallower planting than in soil which is li'jjht and open is required. In the stiff soil, from three to four inches will suit most snowdrops, and in light soif better growth and finer flowers are likely to come from planting six. eight, and even twelve inches deep. When snowdrops are being planted in the border a hole can be made sufficiently large to contain the bulbs, packed almost close to- gether if immediate effect is desired, but from one to two inches apart if increase and an eventually large clump is desired. The ground should be well broken up beneath, and a little old manure added, but this should not touch the roots. For the decoration of woodland and grass there is no prettier way than to take a handfu] of snowdrop bulbs and throw them down at random, planting them where they fall. A piece of turf should be lifted, the soil beneath broken up with a fork, the bulbs planted, and the turf replaced. If the soil is poor a little j bone meal or a little slag manure may be added. Cuttings of choice single and double pe- tunias are easier to root in & cold frame at this season of the year than in spring, when artificial heat is necessary. Cuttings, two or three inches long, will answer the purpose, and these may be dibbled into boxes or pots of a light, sandy compost, to which a considerable proportion of leaf mould is added. Some of the single varieties come fairly true from seeo, but that requires to be sown in beat, early in March, 3 get the plants to flowering size at the beginning of the bedding season. Cardoons will now need blanching. The usual way of doing this is to bring the leaves into an upright position, and then starting from the base to bind round hay-bands, until the whdle of the stem is covered. It is then banked up with soil from the trench, so as to exclude air and moisture until the blanching is complete. When the plants have grown sufficiently they can be earthed right up to the leaves. The cardoon keeps well after lifting, and it is in season from October tc March. Both the blanched leaf stalks ann the roots are eaten. I VEGETABLES AND RUIT. I Large onions grown from seed flown jaist J autumn and transplanted in March have now II completed growth. Advantage should, there- fore, be taken of a few fine days to lift and dry them. Open-air drying is always prefer- able, but in wet seasons this is often out of the question, and the bulbs have to be placed in a shed or a garden frame. Handle them carefully, and when properly dried store in a cool but dry spot. Some varieties of these onions keep sound a short time only, so that they should be used as required. There is often a difficulty in getting toma- toes grown in the open :IS brightly coloured as those ripened under glass, but this may be secured with a little extra attention. When the fruit is well mellowed, and begins to turn red. gather it and put it in a close box in a warm and dry position. Do not pile the toma- toes up several layers deep, but just cover the bottom of the box with them on a sheet of tissue-paper. Under these conditions they will assume a bright red colour. A mushroom bed miy be made up when sufficient horse dropr r';s have been got to- gether. These may b? >pread out loosely on the floor of a shed or outhouse, and be fre- oucntlv turned to make them ferment gently. Then throw thetn up in a eonical bc-ap till they become quite warm, when the bed may be made np at one?. Press the manure down nchtly till the bed is 12iii. deep, or a little ](-,s at the front. The temperature will get fairly high at first, but when it has sunk to 80aeg. the bed may be spawned. After a few days cover it with Kin. of loam. beating this down firmly with the back of a spade.