Half-hardy perennial Gardeners of experience will remember the time when the predominant colours of Cyclamen were purple and magenta, and it was impossible for the most friendly critic to feel enthusiastic concerning these flowers. But the new colours--Salmon Pink, Salmon Scarlet, the intense Vulcan, Rose

Queen and Cherry Red, together with Giant White and White Butterfly--are now regarded as the brightest and most beautiful decorative subjects for the long period of dark winter days of which Christmas is the centre. As cut flowers for the dinner-table Cyclamens have no rival at that period of the year, and as specimen plants in the home they are delightful for their free-flowering habit, compact form, and elegant foliage. Seed may be sown at any time during autumn or the early part of the year, and the plants will not only flower within twelve months, but if properly grown will produce more bloom than can be obtained from old bulbs. We do not advise more than three sowings, the first and most important of which should be made in August or the beginning of September. To obtain a succession of plants, sow again in October and for the last time early in the new year. Those who have not hitherto grown Cyclamen for midwinter blooming will be well pleased with the result. It is quite as easy to flower them in the winter as in the longer days, and this is more than can be said about most plants. The best soil for Cyclamen is a rich, sound loam, with a liberal admixture of leaf-mould, and sufficient silver sand to insure free drainage. Press this mixture firmly into pots or seed-pans, and dibble the seed about an inch apart and not more than a quarter of an inch deep. Cover the surface with a thin layer of leaves or fibrous material to check rapid evaporation, and later on keep the soil free from moss. The autumn sowings may at first be placed in a frame having a temperature of not less than 45 deg.. At the end of a fortnight transfer the pans to any warm and moist position in the greenhouse or propagating house. Although the Cyclamen is a tender plant, it does not need a strong heat, and will not endure extremes of any kind. Sudden changes are always fatal to its growth. In winter the temperature should not be allowed to fall below 56 deg., or to rise above 70 deg. at any time. The more evenly the heat can be maintained the better, and it is desirable to give all the light possible. In summer, however, although a warm and humid atmosphere is still necessary, the light may with advantage be somewhat subdued, but shading must not be overdone, or the constitution of the plant will suffer. Cyclamen seed not only germinates slowly, but it also grows in the most capricious manner; sometimes a few plants come up long after others have made a good start. Do not be impatient of their appearance, but when some seedlings are large enough for removal transfer to thumb pots, taking care not to insert them too deeply. As the plants develop, shift into larger pots, ending finally in the 48-size. In the later stages mix less sand with the soil, and when potting always leave the crown of the corm clear. Keep the plants near the glass, and as the sun becomes powerful it will be necessary to provide shade and prevent excess of heat. Never allow the seedlings to suffer from want of water, or to become a prey to aphis. To avoid the latter, occasional, or it may be frequent, fumigations must be resorted to. About the end of May should find the most forward plants ready for shifting into 60-pots. Give all the air possible to promote a sturdy growth. In doing this, however, avoid draughts of cold air. From the end of June to the middle of July the finest plants should be ready for their final shift into 48-pots, in which they will flower admirably. The growth during August and September will be very free, and then occasional assistance with weak manure water will add to the size and colour of the flowers. As the evenings shorten, save the plants from chills, which result in deformed blossoms. The whole secret of successful Cyclamen culture may be summed up in a few words: constant and unvarying heat, a moist atmosphere, and abundant supplies of water without stagnation; free circulation of air, avoiding cold draughts; light in winter, and shade in summer, with freedom from insect pests. These conditions will keep the plants in vigorous growth from first to last, and the result will be so bountiful a bloom as to prove the soundness of the rapid system of cultivation. This routine may be varied by the experienced cultivator, but the principles will remain the same in all cases, because the natural constitution of the plant gives the key to its management.

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