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buying and selling nursery-products also seems to call for discussion in your "solemn assemblies.” I have lately advocated, through the press, a system which, in some respects, is an innovation upon the common plan, and at the risk of offending the vested rights of tree-dealers, I will here allude to some of the features of this plan of selling trees by sample.

Whatever may be said to the contrary, this system is just as practicable in selling the leading nursery products as it is in the sale of most kinds of merchandise. It is a system which will redeem this branch of business from the uncivilized practice of besieging every man's home with a horde of hungry canvassers, with their gaudy pictures and oily tongues, to “talk” him into buying; a custom which the country gentleman, who truly respects himself, will not encourage. But he will visit, either his local nurseryman, or an established and recognized dealer in town, and select, according to sample or description, such articles as he may need, in the same manner that he would send for any other class of goods which could not all be obtained at home.

The issue is fairly and squarely made and it remains to be seen whether the public prefer to pay 100 to 125 per cent. for the privilege of being bored at their houses and wheedled into signing a contract containing such clauses as the following:

“Should any stock be omitted through miscount, or otherwise, the amount of such omission to be deducted from the bill. If any sorts ordered should be exhausted in the nursery, you may supply such others as you deem desirable.”

Under such a contract, costly or scarce articles are often promised as an inducement to obtain a large order, yet on filling, it these articles may be omitted at the option of the seller! Or, if A. buys five hundred apple-trees and wants four hundred Baldwin and and Greening, if those sorts are scarce, or "exhausted," the seller substitutes some cheap, fall varieties which may be, practically, worse than worthless to the buyer. Would the agent of any mercantile house dare make such a proposition in a civilized community? Would your grocer dare "omit" your pound of tea or "substitute" brown, because his barrel of white sugar was "exhausted ?" It is this barbarian mode of selling trees which you have tolerated so long, that has filled your orchards with unproductive, unsalable sorts of fruit, and your gardens and lawns with miserable trash, bought at exhorbitant rates from the firms who prefer "small orders with large profits."

“And be these peddling fiends no more believed,
That keep the word of promise to our ear,

And break it to our hope.”
Another, and much better form of contract, is as follows:

“Sirs: Please send me the following trees and plants at the prices annexed, to be delivered at

not later than terms advertised by you (see terms), to be equal to sample in all arespects."

This is a straight and honest transaction, and binds the buyer to pay for nothing except what he agrees to purchase and pay for; just that, and not something else. On this plan a gentleman may engage in the business of tree-selling without lowering his respectability. It places him on a par with any other commercial sales

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This subject may or may not be of interest in your State, but it is being agitated with us, and will doubtless lead to good results, either in pruning the old system of its abuses or introducing a new

Whatever the difficulties of growing trees may be in any section, local nurserymen are as much a necessity as local merchants, to handle and order goods needed in a neighborhood.

If I may be allowed to refer to my own labors in connection with the horticulture of your section, I might remark, that of the varieties of late-keeping Siberian apples, which were introduced jointly by myself and other cultivators in the north west a few years since, several seem now to be coming into notice among the nurserymen, both east and west. But this is not the test needed by the public to determine their real value. It is the experience of fruiting. And it is to your proceedings that the public will look for information and reports that may come from cultivators. Having no personal interest in either growing or selling at present, I may say that I have reports from only one of the varieties introduced by myself, and that is the "Lady Elgin," which both in northern Illinois and western New York, has proved free from blight and the fruit has been uniformly fair and excellent. Its quality is such that it can be eaten out of hand after tasting Delaware grapes, and as it keeps till the holidays, it may replace the Lady Apple in the markets. It is fair to say that there are a number of Siberian apples which possess remarkably fine dessert qualities, and if the blight does not vanquish this species it will undoubtedly yield varieties that will become a permanent acquisition to the country.



No home can be made truly beautiful without flowers. No matter how elegant the rosewood furniture, the damask curtain, the rare picture, or costly statuary, if flowers are not there, to the person of truly refined taste, the eye wanders away dissatisfied, and longs for something more; let bouquets of flowers, pots of thrifty growing plants be interspersed among these elegancies, and home becomes the most beautiful and enjoyable spot upon earth. Yes, flowers, ye are always welcome, welcome in sickness or health, welcome in prosperity or adversity, welcome to the marriagefeast, or house of death, welcome to our cradle, to our altar, to our grave.

The love for flowers is largely on the increase among our people. In time, we bid fair to rival the French or English in decorating our public and private houses with them. In New York and Washington, we already know, that upon a single grand wedding, dinner-party, or reception occasion, thousands of dollars are expended for flowers; fleral wedding-bells are sometimes sold for two hundred dollars, and baskets of cut flowers for fifty dollars, about holiday times, when choice flowers are scarce. In the New York papers we read that the "lovely Miss S— is dead; five carriage-loads of fragrant flowers followed her to the tomb." Twenty-five years ago a bouquet of flowers was rarely seen in winter, and in summer, only the common ones were cultivated. Now florists are reaching out to the gardens of the east and the prairies of the west, in fact to all parts of the world for rarities. To our horticultural societies we are largely indebted for this increased education of our tastes. Let us increase this love for the beautiful, and fill our conservatories full, if we can afford it; if not we will have Sweet Peas, Mignonette, Violets, and Pansies, for they are the sweets of earth, and cost us nothing.


THE VASE.-In arranging flowers we will consider, first the vase. Bright colored vases are not as effective as white, brown, Swiss wood, silver or bronze; all will readily see, if the vase is green or blue, the color conflicts with the foliage in the bouquet; if pink or red, with the flowers. A bowl or broad open vase seems the most appropriate shape for roses. A tall, spreading vase, for gladiolas, ferns, tuberoses, etc.; flat glass dishes, or cups, for violets and early wild-flowers. “A flower lover will in time collect shapes and sizes to suit each group.

TIME FOR CUTTING FLOWERS.—If you wish your flowers to remain fresh a long time (and who does not), cut them early in the morning while the dew is still upon them; cut them with sharp scissors or knife, and remove unnecessary leaves; as soon as cut, drop them into a basket or tray. Do not touch them with the hands more than is necessary. In cutting roses, cut buds or half-blown ones; place them as soon as gathered in shallow tins or bowls in a dark cellar or cool place, until you wish to arrange them. They should be arranged two hours, at least, before wanted. A little water sprinkled finely over them sometimes improves fresh flowers, but rarely; it improves flowers beginning to decay. Flowers decay sooner when tied in clusters or bouquets than when arranged loosely. When ready for the table, place them in the vase, or dish, with cold soft water, add a few drops of ammonia, salt, camphor, or bits of charcoal; give plenty of fresh air, particularly at night. Some flowers, like the Archenia, Azalia, Rhododendron, have a way of dropping their petals just as they are most wanted. Florists let a drop of gum arabic fall into the center of the flower where it hardens at the base and fastens them tightly to the stigma. In cutting flowers, if you wish to avoid cutting unnecessary buds, cut the flower stem short, and tie with yarn to broom corn; put a little cotton between the stems and splint to preserve moisture.

ART OF ARRANGING BOUQUETS, BASKETS, ETC.— Assort your flowers according to size and color, and arrange them mentally. Before beginning, put the whole mind upon the work, and harmonize the colors perfectly, using green to separate the flowers. Do not crowd them; let each flower show its individual beauty, and a fine effect can be produced with but comparatively few flowers. We often see bouquets where fine flowers are used extravagantly, that are not pleasing, because of the crowded appearance. " The art of arranging bouquets is very simple, if any one possesses a good eye for color, and has some idea of tasteful combination,” Care should be taken to harmonize and blend the colors together, using white, neutral tints and green; nature says plenty of green. Each flower is beautiful in itself, but when you group sun-flowers and roses,. pansies and marigolds, together the charm of each blossom is lost. We often see at our agricultural fairs, bouquets of this kind utterly devoid of beauty, that are literally packed with beautiful flowers. We long to see in their places something simple, like a handful of Nasturtiums, Pinks, or a single flower with its buds and leaves. In arranging flowers, avoid stiffness; let the bright fern or fresh fine grass, break forth now and then, and the delicate vine wander about in its pristine beauty.

In arranging hand bouquets, begin at the centre with roses or something rare and beautiful.

Always placing the brightest colors in the centre of your bouquet, and gradually decreasing the intensity of the tints as you approach the exterior;" mingle shades and colors, but do not put one where it can detract from another, for instance, crimson and scarlet, unless flowers are very scarce; but if obliged to use them together, put plenty of white and green between them. Blue and yellow will not satisfy the eye, unless brightened by red or pink; pink, pale blue, or light purple, harmonize well. The color and shape of the green is a valuable adjunct in making all symmetrical; that must also be carefully studied. The lace figured paper makes a fine finish for hand bouquets. In arranging baskets, begin at the outer edge. Drooping flowers and vines, and nearly all kinds of garden flowers, look well in baskets.

Bouquets for the dining-table are usually made rather low. The custom of making bouquets as high as the heads of the guests at the table, is happily passing away. The custom of putting a small fragrant bouquet of Rose-buds, Pansies, Heliotrope, Geranium-leaves, etc., in the napkin, is a charming one. Large rooms, with high ceilings, will admit of very high, showy bouquets. I once saw, against a very white wall, upon a corner bracket, a huge vase filled with broad, green leaves, long, drooping lilly or corn-leaves, several ferns more than three feet long, a few plumes of grasses, one or two spikes of Holyhocks, Gladiolas, large Zinnias, and Dahlias, all cut with very long stems, that gave me great delight. The foliage, from a little distance, reminded one of the tropics. Bright, green,

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