25 OCTOBER 1930, Page 15

The steadiness and rapidity of growth in botany is curiously

and persuasively illustrated in a new edition of The Culture of Vegetables and Flowers, published for Sutton and Sons (who number among them some notable research workers), by Simpkin Marshall. It is full, in respect both of vegetables and flowers, of scarcely credible examples of the results of modern selection or hybridization. Duration has been extended, productiveness and immunity to disease increased, quality improved. It is a smaller but not unimportant point that many of the plants, notably edible peas, take up less room and are more easily grown than the older sorts. As to decorative flowers we have witnessed a revolution within our generation, owing to the discovery or general appreciation of the fact that almost all plants are best raised not from cuttings or layers but from seed. They are stronger SO and are so encouraged to a true, but much accelerated evolution. This applies, as a writer in the Times continually insists, even to such flowers as the greater lilies and the dahlias. The better gardeners now grow their own chrysan- themums from seed (if sown in February they flower the same year) and many of their rock plants. Experiments with seed, even apart from deliberate hybridization, have produced a riot of new colours and even types. The book is much the hest in existence for the practical gardener, but the new edition is particularly interesting if compared with the first of the eighteen editions and taken merely as evidence of the growth in the art and science of gardening.

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