10 JANUARY 1931, Page 13

Fashions, often as inexplicable as social fashions, prevail in plants.

It is alleged that the peony (like the Alsatian wolf-hound) is losing favour ; and for this there can be no good reason, except that the newer and more lovely single varieties need more skilful treatment than they often receive.

The clarkia steadily grows in favour, because of the discovery that it lasts extremely long in water, which brings out the shut buds in succession. It is surpassed only by the centaureas, which also grow in favour. Generally speaking, the progressive flowers keep or increase their popularity : for example, sweet peas (which no annual has ever rivalled) continue to develop. Sorts that produce six and even eight flowerets to a head can be bought and both colour and size of petals increase. "What tint could be lovelier than the new lavender " Porcelain," a rival of Gleneagles and even of Powerscourt ? The annual carnations grow popular. They not only flower late, but will go on flowering into the winter if potted and brought indoors.