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RURAL LIFE I BY A SON OF THE SOIJE- ON SPINACH. My Lancashire correspondent should be abte to grow spinach at a profit, for he is within easy range of one of the best markets in England, and the transit of produce should not cost him Very much in fact, by means of a light cart he could be his own carrier to Liverpool, and. as competition between the various railway com- panies is very keen, he could make favourable terms for the carriage of his produce to the hi" East Lancashire towns. RouiKl spinach should be sown for spring and summed use, at intervals I from February to May, and prickly spinach in July and August for winter use. The New Zea.- ITALIAN SPINACH. I land variety requires to be raised on a crentle I hot-bed in April, and planted out in May on a I good rich soil in a warm situation. Sow the I round and prickly varieties in drills about an inch deep and a foot apart in good rich soil, the I richer the better for the summer crop. Abund- ance of moisture and occasional weak liquid manurings will greatly improve the crop. A FINE HARDY PEEEXNIAL. The winter cherry (Physalis franchetti) is very popular for winter decoration, its scarlet fruit being very effective. It is one ofjfhe best hardy perennials, the greater part of which are brst raised in the months of May. June, and July, the cultivation being exceedingly simple. Early and vigorous thinning: out of the clumps or patches is nearly all that is necessary to ensure an abundance of fine plants, with a profusion of handsome flowers. In sowing, select a somewhat THE WINTBB CHEERY. I cool and shady situation in preference to one exposed to much sun. Sow thinly, and when the plants are large enough, prick out on nursery beds to strengthen, and plant out early in autumn, or in favourable weather in February and March, where they are intended to flow. r- Early sowing is decidedly the best, as it gives the plants a far better opportunity of becom sufficiently strong to resist severe frost in winter, and to bloom freely and finely in the coming spring and summer. This is especially the case in reference to double German wallflowers and Brompton stocks, which should not be sown later than the end of May. These being less hardy than most classed as such, should have the benefit of a more sheltered spot when finally planted out. which ought to be done if possible in July. Sweet Williams, unless sown early, will not all bloom the following year. THE CANARY. F. A. t(Leigh-on-Sea), who is anxious to inake -& fctart as a breeder of canaries—a profit- able hftfcfcy if carried on in the right way—should take the advice of a friend who is "in the fancy" before making his purchase of breeding stock. He might very easily drop a lot of money by rushing into the hobby without thought. An attic in a house facing south will make a splen- did aviary, and although he has no heating apparatus good oil-stoves are now so cheap and reliable that the difficulty of keeping the temperature in any way even is readily got over. A CINNAMON CANARY. In 3iv days of canary-breeding, however, a green-ho :se was the favourite aviary, for occa- sionally i.iie birds could be given a flight without harm being done,, and they were ail the better for it: while the insects which they discovered on the plants and vine provided them with capi- tal food. C age Bird*, a weekly paper which can be obtained at any bookstall, is a good medium for advertisements. A GREENHOUSE DEFINED. The greenhouse, says a writer in the Garden Home, as distinguished from the conservatory, is generally filled with plants in a. preparatory stage, with the idea of transferring them to the conservatory when at their best. At the present season. Roman Hyacinths, Liiics of the Valley, Paner-white Narcissus, and early Tulips are be- ing regularly supplied for decoration, whilst Primulas, Lilac, Cytisus. Deutzias. Spiraeas, Hya'-inths, later Tulips, and Narcissus of all sorts are being pushed along to take their turn from no'v to Easter, according to the require merits of the establishment. Freezias too, bring brought along in heat, are just showing their very pretty and dainty spikes of bloom. Useful Grapes may be grown in such a house, as well as a great number of plants. Camellias, Ferns, and fine-foliaged Begonias succeed admirably under Vines in summer, while spring-flowering plants will flourish before the Vines are in leaf. The cold-frames will be of great service for relieving the house of bedding plants in the spring, for growing Cucumlwrs in the summer, and for pro- tecting Lettuces or Calceolaria cuttings in the autumn and winter. Frames are alse valuable for growing Cinerarias, Calceolarias, Primulas, and other plants during the summer months, and aro much better for this purpose than are green- houses in hot weather, particularly if they are arranged so as to have plenty of light but little sun. WORK IX THE NUPSERY-JANC-ARY. All pointing work among the deciduous an'd other trees and shrubs in nursery quarters must be completed as quickly as possible. However carefully this work is done, the young roots of the various subjects will be more or less in- jured. and it is of great importance that these should have time to heal before the growing season commences. Where the land is at all heavy there will be little chance of the turnc-d- up soil becoming weathered and friable so that the hoes may run freely in the spring. All planting of deciduous forest trees should be pushed on as fast as the weather will permit; but if the land is wet and heavy, provided th<> stuff to be planted out has been lifted and laid in by the heels, it should be left until next month. The state of the ground and weather must, however, be the guide in this matter. Seedling stocks for fruit-trees raised from seed last season will be ready for planting out; these should be lifted vvitH as mu'h root as possible, and be planted in nursery rows 2ft. 6in. apart, and about 15in. from plaatt. to plant; here they will remain one, two, or three years, being kept quite clean before budding or grafting. Para- dise stocks, also quince stocks, for working with pears should be got in as quickly as possible now. Prepare land for the sowing of seeds foi fruit-tree stocks by bastard trenching and manuring. THE YOUNG CHICKEN TIUDE. Chickens may be despatched as soon as their feathers are dry (in which case they will not re- quire any food) and may be forwarded when a week old. If they are alone they should be sent in dozers in a box about eight inches square and five inches high (inside measurement), properly ventilated, or in the small boxes advertised for the purpose, lining the inside with strips of felt, and beddH<r the birds on hay. Let the birds be well fed before they ere put in. If the journey is to bo a 1 'ig one some biscuit-meal, prepared with milk and afterwards squeezed into a. ball, should bo put into ? small wire cage and made fast at the top of t'1;. little box, so that the chickens can partake cf it at will. Despatch by passenger train, and mark the label in large letters, "Live Bird. -vn-it h Care—Urgent," and forward them so +Vi. they will travel direct and avoid any waiting junctions; this can be done by perusing a railway guide. As to I sending a hen with chickens, place her with them in a stout, closely- .vickered basket, or a box. such as a cube sugar case, in the latter instance boring a few holes the top for ventilation; bed tne birds on straw, with a layer of clean hay on top. If the mc her be at all fussy the chickens should be p aced in a chicken travelling box. and the cox made secure to the inside of the basket or near the bottom; or a compartment may be made in the package itself, so that the hen and her charges are separated. A SEASONABLE I'OULTKY NOTE. Yo&r after year some people lose many chickens from "gapes," says A. W. B. in Poultry, but th" scourgo can be stopped. Sprinkle the nest with pyrethrum powder twice or thrice during the hatching period, and sprinkle the hen freely with it under the breast and vring<. »nd let her have a dust bath. Coop eut the rhirkens twenty-four hours after hatch- ing on q'v coal. ashes, and there will not be much troubio W;i 11 gapes." Among hundreds of chickens the writer has not had a case of "gapes" for over three year. Tn addition to sitting hens, eggs, coops, a; other things, there is another important item to be observed in preparing for the hatching season. Chickens when a few days old require grac-. or its equiva- lënt. To witRin a few weeks ago we had sheep on the plots intended for chickens, and they have left the grsss in beautiful condition for the chicks. Those who have a lawn or grass plot should coop their chicks on it. Never mind what the neighbours say. it happens to be your affair, not thcir,thev will take the more interest in it on this account. If a chicken twenty-four hours old cannot thrive in the open with its mother, or foster mother, we invariably allow it to make its first and last acquaintance with he properties of chloroform. In breeding exhibition stock it may "pay" to coddle chicks, but-where perfectioh in bone, nllNle. and flesh is required jt does not pay to rear invalids. The" survilal of the fittet" is a cruel law, but it must be rigidly ob- served if OH' expects to be successful vith poultry for utility purposes. Without referring to any particular maker, it is a wise plan to have a stock of chicken meal to br^ak the monotony of "egg and btfead crumbs." The chick '.v;mts a change after taking up nearly the whoV 'f the yolk of the egg from which it was hatched. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. "P."—The address you requre is 4, Whitehall- place, London, All correspondence affecting this column should be addressed to "A Son of the Soil," care of the Sditor of ibis journal.