27 MARCH 1942, Page 14


YEARS ago in Queensland I saw the leaf of a prickly pear (hung up on a wire fence) which had produced and sent down roots into the ground some two feet below. No English plant is quite so stout or successful in the struggle for life ; but the growing of plants from leaves is a developing science. It is claimed that one of the easiest ways of multiplying the loganberry, for example, is to lay down the leaves in a frame and push the stalks well into the soil. Each wilt strike root and a tiny plant be produced. A famous professor is at present engaged in the attempt to multiply potatoes by cuttings from the haulms, previously treated by one of the hormone preparations that are proving more and more successful in ensuring the proper development of cuttings of all and every sort. On the subject of leaves, the most witty and ingenious writer of a fruit-growers' diary in The Countryman says that a fashion is springing up for raspbem- leaf tea! Horticultural science advances rapidly in many directions. New hybrids multiply so fast that some good ones are overlooked by the general public, the Worcesterberry for example. I hear marvellous tales of the Himalayan Giant, a blackberry of portentous growth and a heavy yield of big fruit, and the fruiting shoots do not die yearly as in the common blackberry and raspberry. In my own small experience one of the most useful of the garden blackberries is known as Willson Junior. It is also beautiful enough to grow on an ornamental pergola.