10 SEPTEMBER 1948, Page 17

Town Gardens

An example of the urbanized mind is to be seen in a booklet issued at the price of a shilling for the Ministry of Health, with a preface by Mr. Bevan. It opens with a photograph of a spacious rural scene, but at once proceeds to the dictum that " some lands are more famous for the beauty of their towns than for their natural landscape " ; and the rest of the book is in essence urban. The aim—an excellent aim—is the Rus in Urbe. It is in essence a housing estate pamphlet, with the chief emphasis on shrubs and trees. The photographs are pleasing and the advice, though a little lacking in detail and precise information, good of its kind. One opportunity has been missed. The most urban of gardens, possible even in the worse slums, is the window-box ; and information is much needed on the plants that are most suitable. Not a hint is given except that some people grow vegetables in such boxes. In the most attractive window garden that I have seen the creeping jenny was used as a soil-coverer, which gave flower and leaf without interfering with more ambitious plants. Of all the bulb tribe none lasts so long or flourishes so strongly in towns as the lily-of-the-valley.