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OUR SHORT STORY. j - I

I RAJAH'S BURIED TREASURE.…

I BOEUS AND NURSING SISTER.I

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Crack Cricketers.

MOUNTS FOR THE ARMY.

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" FIELD AND FARM.

GARDENING- GOSSIP.

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GARDENING- GOSSIP. I CONSERVATORY. The hard-wooded plants which have completed their flowering should (remarks Mr. E. Hobday, in "Gardening Illustrated") be collected together and placed in a house by themselves, where growth can be made under suitable conditions, and any pruning or pinching required can be given from time to time to keep the plants sym- metrical. Repotting, if required, should not be delayed. Those who have fine specimens and wish to keep them so will not allow them to remain in the conservatory so long, as the usual kind of house is not the best for hard-wooded plants, though in careful hands they are safe enough for a time but Azaleas want the syringe daily when growing, and this cannot be done where the house is full of flowering plants. The flowering of the Acacias is over, and the plants should have been pruned back. Winter-flowering Heaths also should be put into condition for growth, and re- potted if necessary. It is of no use attempting to grow Heaths in anything but the best of fibrous peat and clean silver-sand. Erica propendens is one of the prettiest early-flowering Heaths, and is not difficult to grow-at least, those who can grow the winter-flowering varieties will succeed with propendens. Good specimens of Erica Cavendishi and ventricosa are very attractive now, and, if placed in a light position, will last in perfection some time in the conservatory without injury. With such plants the watering and ven- tilation are the chief things to be considered. The house will be very bright now with Pelar- goniums (including Zonals), Fuchsias, Hydran- geas, Lilies of various kinds, Tree Carnations, Roses, etc., including a few odds of novelties which are not in sufficient stock to make any great display. For instance, just now a little group of early-flowering Gloxinias, Himantophyl- lums, and Streptocarpuses, set off with a mixture of Maiden-hair and other ferns, is pleasant to look upon. Fires have been discontinued, and a little ventilation will be left on all night along the ridge. The watering may still be done in the morning, but many things will want another look round about middav. In very hot weather it may be desirable to damp floors once or twice during the dav to kee- down the heat. Shade will be necessary if very bright. STOVE. Fine-foliaged plants, including Caladiums, Dractenas, Crotons, Marantas, etc., will be very interesting now, as the new growth of most things in this way is so clear and bright. Suckers may be taken from Pandanus Veitchii when they can be obtained. This makes a good specimen for exhibition, and is easily grown. Small plants of good colour are sometimes used for table decoration, having a striking appearance as centre plants, but they are not generally popular —at least, we have not found them so, as the hooked spurs on the leaves are always catching things near them. The most popular leaf plants are Caladium argyrites, Cocos Palms, red or golden-leaved Dracasnas, and the long, narrow- leaved Crotons. What is generally required for the work is not bulk or weight of foliage, but light, graceful-foliaged plants. The variegated Cyperus is very well for a change, and rather small plants of the gold and silver Feriis are use- ful when a distinct feature is required. A good many plants are required for table work in large country houses in the autumn and winter, for which provision should be made now. Smilax and Asparagus Sprengeri and plumosus are sura to be wanted, and these cannot be improvised on the spur of the moment. ORCHARD HOUSE. Top-dress trees in pots with rich compost. At the present stage trees in pots will take a good deal of nourishment. The best way is by giving top-dressings, supplementing where necessary with liquid-manure. The final thinning of the fruit should be given soon. Quantity when ex- cessive means poor quality. Use the syringe daily in bright weather twice a day, and with- out overdoing it see that no trees suffer from dry- ness at the root. Ventilate very freely when the weather is warm, but keep out cold north or east winds without unduly raising the temperature. Leave a little air on all night in warm weather. RIPENING FRUIT. When any fruit is approaching the ripening < or finishing stage, diminish the supply of water —not to permit the roots to get dust-dry, but if the roots are deluged when the fruits are finish- ing the flavour will be spoilt. This refers es- pecially to melons, peaches, pines, and in a less degree to grapes. Peaces and melons soon show by the flavour the bad effects of an influx of water at the roots at the finish. Deficient ventilation also has a bad effect upon flavour when fruits are ripening. OUTDOOR GARDEN. The season is very backward even the usual spring bedding has hardly reached its best. So, where the tender bedders follow spring flowers, the tender things must be well looked after to prevent a check being given. There is a great demand this Coronation year for red, white, and blue flowers, and most of the scarlet Geraniums, white Marguerites, and blue Lobelias will be used up. Scarlet Lobelia Queen Victoria, blue Salvia patens, and white Verbenas, pegged down, will give the national colours in a somewhat dif- ferent form, perhaps a little more interesting than the usual Geraniums, etc. There will be a severe struggle with insects this season. They always come in shoals with the east wind, or, rather, the east wind checks the growth and pre- pares the way for the green fly. One of the best insecticides for flies, green or bitek, is tobacco powder. It is always ready, can be easily ap- plied, has a deadly effect, and is cheaper than washes but do not wait till the leaves are curled. Maggots in the foliage of roses must be crushed between the finger and thumb. Place the stakes to Carnations in good time. The same remark applies to Dahlias and Hollyhocks, and have the stakes strong enough to resist a gale of wind. What a lovely family the border Pinks are, and how few grow a good collection! They are worthy of more attention. Hardy annuals should be thinned in good time, as a plant weakened by overcrowding never does its best. The Everlast- ing Peas are among the best plants for planting against small trees to cover the stems, such as apples, thorns, etc. Keep the hoe going. A loose surface saves watering. FRUIT GARDEN. j The earl"- blossoms of strawberries have suf- fered from the frost, and in some exposed, low- lying situations the crop will be a smaller one than was at one time hoped. Bush fruits also will Tn-obably be affected by the same cause, though it is probably premature yet to give a final estimation, as very often results come out better than expected. The principal work now is fighting insects, and this must be followed up till the trees have been cleared of their enemies. The copious rains which have recently fallen were much needed, and will have a beneficial effect. All spare frames may now be filled with cucumbers and melons. There must be root warmth to give the plants a start, especially for Melons, as a cold root-run generally leads to disease, canker in melons being generally in- duced by a low temperature. If canker appears on the main stems of Melons, attack it by cover- ing the affected parts with quicklime, changing it often till the disease is checked. If taken in time the plants will be enabled to ripen the crop. I think it is important that seeds should be saved from healthy plants only, and where possible growers should save their own seeds. In earth- ing up Melons use rather heavy loam slightly en- riched with bone-meal.