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to and during the period of inflorescence, and when the flowering is over to be kept nearly dry.
This is easily effected by removing the cover, and allowing the moisture to evaporate by exposure of the case for a short time to the sun. It is desirable that there should be an opening in the bottom of the cases for the purpose of draining off the superfluous moisture, and likewise of giving us the opportunity of washing the mould with lime water should slugs make their appearance, which sometimes occurs. With respect to the mould, it is perhaps best to select that in which the plants which are to be the subject of experiment ordinarily grow; but this is not a matter of so much moment as is generally imagined. It is a very common impression that great knowledge of Botany is required before any successful attempts at the cultivation of plants in closed cases can be made; now, it must be obvious, from all that has been said, that whether the plant be grown in a closed case or in the open air, the natural conditions must be fulfilled to ensure success. Again, many complain that the enclosed plants frequently become mouldy; this arises either from excess of moisture or deficiency of light, or a combination of both causes producing diminished vital action, or else from the natural decay of plants. It is very interesting to watch the progress of this. The moment a plant begins to decay it is no longer of any use; and those small parasitical fungi, commonly called moulds, are some of the means employed by nature in removing that which has now become an encumbrance: 66 down, why cumbereth it the ground?"
A few words respecting the importance of reflecting on what we see around us will with propriety close this chapter.
The simple circumstance which set me to work must have been presented to the eyes of horticulturists thousands of times, but has passed unheeded in consequence of their disused closed frames being filled with weeds, instead of cucumbers and melons; and I am quite ready to confess, that if some groundsel or chickweed had sprung up in my bottle instead of the fern, it would have made no impression upon me and again, after my complete success with the ferns, had I possessed the inductive mind of a Davy or a Faraday, I ought, in an hour's quiet reflection, to have anticipated the results of years. I should have concluded that all plants would grow as well as the ferns, inasmuch as I possessed the power of modifying the conditions suited to the wants of each individual.
"The golden boast
Of Portugal and Western India, there
The ruddier Orange and the paler Lime
Peep through their polished foliage at the storm,
And seem to smile at what they need not fear."
ON THE CONVEYANCE OF PLANTS AND SEEDS ON
NUMEROUS have been the methods employed in the conveyance of plants to and from distant countries. It is quite unnecessary, however, to enter into any lengthened account of these attempts, as they resolve themselves into two kinds; the one where the plants are meant to be kept in a passive condition; and the other where means are employed to keep them growing during the voyage.
The best method of keeping plants in a state of rest is the one generally employed, and, I believe, first recommended by Messrs. Loddiges, viz. the packing them in successive layers of bog-moss (Sphagnum), which answers very well for the majority of deciduous trees and shrubs and other plants, when dispatched at the termination of their active season. For the package of Cactuses and other succulent plants, Messrs. Loddiges recommend the driest sand, all vegetable matters being injurious.
But by far the greater number of plants require to be kept growing during the voyage; and, prior to the introduction of the glazed cases, a large majority of these plants perished from the variations of temperature to which