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ON THE CULTIVATION OF BULBS.

As almost every vegetable production has an aspect of beauty, so no ornaments can exceed those which the generality of bulbous flowers present, whether we consider the splendour, variety, and delicacy of their colour, the symmetry and minute detail of their proportions, the gracefulness of simple form, or the gorgeous luxuriance of their grouped masses. If to this we add the delicious odour which they constantly and spontaneously diffuse, we need not wonder that these flowers should be universal favourites, and that we should find them ornamenting the humblest cottage, as well as the proudest palace.

HYACINTHS. — These most beautiful towers are either adapted for cultivatiou in beds, pots, or glasses. Many persons have been deterred from the cultivation of these charming plants by an apprehension that their culture was very difficult; but it may be safely affirmed that a more erroneous opinion has never been entertained ; especially as the greatest difficulty is the rearing and maturing of the young bulbs during their infancy. The hyacinth will grow and flower far better when contined to small beds raised six inches above the surrounding level of the ground. The soils best suited for the growth and development of the leaves and flowers are as follows :

Any well drained soil is easily rendered suitable for the growth of the hyacinth. If the soil is of a strong adhesive nature, add two inches of sharp sand, two of decomposed turf, and two of well decayed manure, then incorporate the whole together, and after the bed has been dug over to the depth of one foot, and a few inches of the original soil taken away, then cover the surface of the bed to the depth of six inches with the prepared soil, and that is all that is necessary for their well being. When planting time arrives, which will be about the end of May or June, choose a dry day to plant the bulbs ; place each bulb two and-ahalf inches under the surface of the ground, plant the bulbs about nine inches asunder every way, press the mould firmly to the bulb with the thumb and finger, then with a rake smooth the surface of the bed ; it will not require any artificial watering at any period of the year. Stir the surface of the bed, and keep it free from weeds. In the Spring, when the flower stems are advancing, place stakes to each to preserve them from being broken off by high winds and heavy rains. When the blossoms begin to expand, a slight awning should be placed over the bed to prevent heavy rains from tarnishing the flowers, as blues and whites are soon disfigured by much rain, and also strong sunshine. As soon as the plants are done blossoming, take away all the old flower stems, and this will assist the maturing and ripening of the bulbs ; do not injure any of the leaves, but rather tie them up so that they may not be injured by the wind, as it is the leaves that convey to the bulb the requirements of the following years' growth, and mature the embryo of the next flower. When the leaves begin to assume a yellow withered appearance, it is time to take them up. With a fork remove all the plants to the surface, and lay a little soil over the roots for a few days before finally storing the bulbs. December is the time to remove the roots, but before laying the bulbs away, each one must be rubbed and cleaned ; they should be exposed to the air and sun to dry for about a week or ten days; then put them in a flower-pot, mixed with dry sand, and place them on a shelf in a dry situation till the planting season arrives. The small offsets must be taken care of and planted in a piece of rich ground apart from the large bulbs, and if they show signs of flower stems, remove the buds, or cut the stems out as soon as they appear, as they only weaken the bulb. About the second or third year they will make fine strong bulbs for flowering, if treated as above described. Hyacinths grown in pots or glasses require a year to recover before they flower, as the bulbs are very much exhausted, owing to having little nourishment to feed on. The only way to bring them into a flowering state is to plant them out in the ground and pick off any flower stems as they appear, and they will flower well the following season.

The Polyanthus Narcissus grows and flowers in almost any soil in New Zealand, but the bulbs should be taken up and dried like the hyacinths. Plant single bulbs in. 'a bed one foot apart, and the flowers will grow one-third larger than when left in bunches ; always select the largest and finest bulbs for planting, and destroy the smalļer ones, if not required to increase the stock. A bed of them looks very well in the early spring, and gives the place a cheerful appearance. The bloom can be prolonged by planting in May, June, and July, and even later; they may be had in bloom five months out of the twelve.

Narcissus Odorus is a beautiful orange flower; the perfume is delicious ; it requires the same treatment as the Polyanthus Narcissus.

The Jonquil also requires to be taken up, and the roots divided ; bulbs dried, and allowed a period of rest. In June replant, and put three roots in together, or within a few inches of one another in borders, along the sides of walks and edges of beds.

THE AMARYLLIS.—These magnificent plants are not so extensively cultivated as they should be ; the varieties are so numerous, and the colouring so beautiful, that a small collection may have more diversity of colour, style of growth, and various periods of flowering, than many suppose. They all require a period of rest except “Aulica” and “Purpurea”—as soon as the foliage begins to look yellow and dies at the tips ; if they are grown in pots, withhold watering by degrees, and as soon as the foliage dies

away the pots can be removed to some cool part in the house, or airy shelf, till the leaves begin to show themselves again, which will be in about three months ; re-pot in larger pots if the pot is matted with roots. The soil best suited for this growth is a rather rich sandy loam, decomposed turf, sand, and rotten manure in about equal parts. In re-potting, press the mould firmly about the roots, and keep the top of the bulb level with the rim of the pot, then give a good watering, and place the pots near the glass in a warm part of the house. When the flower stems begin to rise, water about twice a week with manure water, as there will be a great demand on the roots then. In New Zealand almost all the varieties do remarkably well planted in a border or bed prepared, as above described for the Hyacinth, and when the leaves die away, take

up the bulbs and plant in a box, till the return of spring.

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The Belladonna Lily is a most lovely plant, and perfectly hardy ; it may remain for years in the same place, and will flower regularly every Autumn. The “ Vallota Purpurea” never loses its foliage, and does not require to be removed, as it is hardy also. Amaryllis A ulica” requires nearly the same treatment as “Vallota Purpurea;” it needs a period of rest, but the soil must never be, rubbed off entirely from the roots. Encourage the foliage as much as possible after the plants are done flowering, for on this depends the flower for the following season. They can be had in flower at almost any season of the year, by starting a few at stated intervals throughout the season. They are increased from seeds and offsets from the roots ; but it requires two or three years before they can be had in flower from small bulbs, and four or five years from seed.

THE WRAITH OF ODIN.

The guests were loud, the ale was strong,
King Olaf feasted late and long ;
The hoary Scalds together sang ;
O'erhead the smoky rafters rang.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

The door swung wide, with creek and din;
A blast of cold night-air came in,
And on the threshold shivering stood
An aged man, with cloak and hood.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

The King exclaimed, “O greybeard pale,
Come warm thee with this cup of ale.'
The foaming draught the old man quaffed,
The noisy guests looked on and laughed.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

Then spake the King: “Be not afraid ;
Sit here by me.” The guest obeyed,
And, seated at the table, told
Tales of the sea, and Sagas old.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
And ever when the tale was o'er,
The King demanded yet one more ;
Till Sigurd the Bishop smiling said,
“'Tis late, O King, and time for bed.”

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

The King retired; the stranger guest
Followed and entered with the rest;
The lights were out, the pages gone,
But still the garrulous guests spake on.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

As one who from a volume reads,
He spake of heroes and their deeds,
Of lands and cities he had seen,
And stormy gulfs that tossed between.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
Then from his lips in music rolled
The Havamal of Odin old,
With sounds mysterious as the roar
Of billows on a distant shore.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
“Do we not learn from runes and rhymes
Made by the Gods in earlier times,
And do not still the great Scalds teach
That silence better is than speech ?"

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
Smiling at this, the King replied,
“Thy lore is by thy tongue belied;
For never was I so enthralled
Either by Saga-man or Scald."

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang. The Bishop said, “Late hours we keep ! Night wanes, 0 King ! 'tis time for sleep!" Then slept the King and when he woke, The guest was gone, the morning broke,

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogeslang. They found the doors securely barred. They found the watch-dog in the yard, There was no foot-print in the grass, And none had seen the stranger pass.

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang. King Olaf crossed himself and said, “I know that Odin the Great is dead; Such is the triumph of our Faith, The white-haired stranger was his wraith."

Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang,

MONTHLY LITERARY REVIEW

“ROMOLA:" by the Author of “ Adam Bede,” London : Smith Elder

and Co., 1863. THERE have not been many writers who have made themselves so great a name in literature in so short a time, or in the space of so few works as George Eliot. It seems only the other day that every one was reading, and still more, if possible, was talking about the virtues and the vices of that strange and powerful novel, “Adam Bede.” And now the author or authoress—we don't care to enter upon vexed questions as to sex in these matters where really it makes but little difference—has achieved for him or herself a reputation second to but few male and to no female novelist in the language. Where a novelist of this kind and amount of reputation ventures upon an altogether new and untried field of labour, it is but natural that the success which attends the effort should be scanned and criticised with more than ordinary care and even severity. In “Romola” the public must feel, and we suppose the author must have been well aware, that a new field was being tried, and one which was in some respects a more ambitious one than any hitherto attempted by the author of " Adam Bede.” Of all fiction, the public most delights in historical fiction if it be first rate, and for this reason nearly all very successful novelists have sooner or later tried this theme as one which may elevate their fame to a pinnacle which hitherto it has not reached, and on which, should it reach it, it may go down to a remote posterity. George Eliot was ambitious. To write an historical novel was not enough to satisfy that ambition apparently, so the subject which presented the greatest possible complication of difficulties was the one chosen on which to try the powers of the author of “ Adam Bede.” To say that the result has justified this magnificent audacity, would in our opinion be to say too much ; while to say that the attempt has been a failure, would on the other hand give a false impression to the reader's mind. The first thought of any one who intelligently reads “ Komola,” will probably upon laying down the last volume be, what a wonderfully clever person the author must be ; and if this were the object kept in view by the writer of the remarkable book before us, we think it must be fully attained. We do not think however that the book was written with this view, or that the writer will feel satisfied with this amount of success. The question then arises, does it deserve a greater praise than this? In some respects we think it does, in others we think not. As a work of art it is a very perfect story ; few stories will more readily stand the ordeal of a critical examination as to perfection of plan or thoroughness

a of execution. As usual, it is in the delineation of character, in the moral and intellectual dissection of the purposes and feelings of the persons introduced, that George Eliot expends the greatest amount of labour, and achieves the most marked success. Tito Melema is a study by a

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