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hepatica, with pink or lilac flowers, enlivened the borders; and the showy, yellow daffodil, and various-coloured polyanthus, with the large-leaved saxifrage, formed a tolerable variety. Mrs. Vernon pointed out a little shrub, covered with small pink flowers, strongly perfumed, but which had not a green leaf on its branches. It was a mezereon, whose flowers appear before the leaves: it bears a pretty green berry, which afterwards becomes red, and is poisonous. The dwarf almond-tree had also produced its early blossoms of delicate pink colour. Frank gathered his mamma some sweet-scented violets from his own garden, and Mrs Vernon allowed him to take some large purple double violets, from a bank which was covered with them, and which she put into her drawers, for the sake of their perfume. Having stopped to admire the stately form of the crown imperial, with its large yellow flower, which resembles a cup turned downwards, Frank and his sister were much surprised, when their mamma cut off a single flower, and showed them the inside of it; for on each coloured leaf of the cup there appeared to be a drop of liquid, and the part which contains this liquid, botanists call the nectary. The nectar of plants is sweet, like honey, and is collected by the bees. They next examined some plants which the gardener had sheltered with glass frames: they were in pots, and the flowers were thus brought forward some weeks sooner than if they had been unprotected from the weather, Agnes compared the auriculas to flowers painted on velvet, and the silky
richness of the surface renders it a good comparison. They were of various colours; but those most esteemed by the florist are covered by a white mealy substance, like powder, and without this they are not considered valuable. There were also hyacinths in full bloom, red, white, blue, and yellow; and the fragrance of these fine flowers is equal to their beauty. Some patches of hardy Ericas or Heaths also were in flower; but most of the plants of this tribe are kept in the stove or green-house, being natives of warmer climates, and the variety is wonderful. “ You know, Frank,” said Mrs. Vernon, " that the stable-brooms are made of bunches of heath, which the country people cut from the moors, where it grows, and they call it ling. We must not forget this little, unobstrusive plant, with its pale
blue flower: it is a Veronica or Speed"well: it has much the appearance of the
flax-flower, which grows in the fields, from which plant all our linen is made. I will some day show you this most useful plant, and tell you what a process it goes through before it becomes thread.” Frank thanked his mamma for her explanation, which he promised to remember; and told her he should watch the growth of the flowers, which were budding, and then he should gain further instruction. ,
The weather being dry, the two gardeners had recourse to their wateringpots. Frank weeded his radishes, and thinned them, by drawing out those which were largest. To his great delight, he
found enough to make a little dish for the table, which he carried to his mamma. All the other seeds were coming up, and William began to sow the flower-seeds in great variety. These are of three kinds, called annuals, biennials, and perennials, The first grow and flower the first year, and then die away; the second kind appear the first summer, but seldom flower till the second, when they fade and die; but the third are those plants which grow from seed, and continue several years, though most of them perish to the roots when the flower fades; but these roots remain in the ground, and put forth fresh leaves in the spring: for instance, the hollyhocks, the evening primrose, some sorts of lupines, and many others.
As soon as the seeds were sown, William placed close to each patch a little