5 APRIL 1873, Page 21

Handbook of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, and Herbaceous Plants. Based on

the French work of Messrs. Decaisne and Naudin. By W. B. Homsley. (Longmans.)—We hare often been surprised at the indifference shown by good, practical gardeners, and even by educated amateurs, towards the study of botany ; at their contented ignorance of the wild forms of the plants they so sedulously cultivate, and whose minutest varieties are carefully recorded. This unnatural divorce between horticulture and botany is now, we hope, to be put an end to. Mr. Herusley's handy book is a great step towards the desired reconciliation. " Horti- culturists generally," he remarks, in his introduction, have evinced an increasing desire to study fist') physiology anti structural affinities of plants, as well as the art of growing them successfully." We should have thought that the one was a sine (pal non of the other, if the experience of many successful growers did not prove the contrary. We think, however, it cannot be doubted that a knowledge of the habitats, modes of growth, and natural dispositions of the wild originals of our garden plants must be of use in their culture, and we can heartily recommend this handy-book as at once simple and compendious. The original plants are arranged under their natural orders, and their garden varieties carefully noted, with hints as to their especial desirability in respect to habits of growth, beauty, Lt.c. As a book of reference to the amateur gardener, it will be found invaluable. There is not a plant or tree in his garden whose name and place in the order of the vegetable world ho may not ascer- tain by its means; while the practical hints on cultivation appended to the more purely descriptive and botanical portion of the volume are well worthy of his study. The illustrations taken from the French work of Messrs. Docaisno and Naudin are as truthful as they are delicately beautiful.