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interesting way with breathing, voice production, exercises in tune, in time and expression, one or two fresh ponts of notation or theory and the practice of some rounds, two-part songs, etc., sixty-minutes' lessons will not be too long, unless in the case of very young boys. Where two lessons of sixty minutes can be arranged the school may claim to be exceptionally fortunate in a musical sense, and the results should be satisfactory in a proportionate degree. The sweet singing of a hymn at morning and evening prayers is also very helpful in keeping the boys' voices under control and their ears attuned to musical sounds.

Lastly, it may be said that a school cannot be made musical wholly to order. To afford facilities for the study of singing is to go a long way towards securing fair progress, but the boys are quick to discern whether or not the principal attaches importance to the singing lesson. If, with Martin Luther, he can say, "Music is a fair and glorious gift of God; I would not for the world renounce my humble share of music," and speak and act accordingly, the path of the singing master will be cast in pleasant places. Then assuredly will the teacher exert himself to satisfy his chief, and the boys respond to the efforts of their teacher. Then will the singing lesson be looked forward to as one of the pleasure-giving events of the week, and the ability to sing in part-song, glee, or chorus be recognised by the boys as one of the most delightful acquirements of their preparatory

school life.

LEONARD C. VENABLES.

GARDENING, ITS ROLE IN PREPARATORY

SCHOOL LIFE

THE writer has no other qualifications for the task imposed on him than those which a love of flowers and the supervision for many years of a few small gardens worked by the boys of his school confer. If, in spite of this, he ventures to give some practical hints, it is with the hope that some who from inexperience might otherwise decline the attempt may be encouraged to start gardens for their boys.

It is plain from the nature of the case that "gardening" is possible at school only in a very restricted sense, for the tenure of each garden is of such short duration, and the interruptions occasioned by holidays, and the claims which other occupations make upon the owners, are so many, that anything approaching the consistent growth and development of a garden is out of the question. Added to this there is usually but a limited amount of ground available, even if there were time for cultivating a wider area. But even if all forms of landscape gardening are excluded and the cultivation of perennials is debarred by the rapidity with which gardens change hands, it is still possible for a boy in the course of a single school year to derive no little pleasure from the management of his plot. And the more the inanagement is left in the boy's own hand the.greater will be the pleasure and the profit to himself. Given an ordinary loamy soil such as is found in most gardens, the boys may be left to prepare the ground for themselves unless it should so happen that among them none has had any experience of the sort. before. Given one boy with the requisite knowledge how to trench a piece of ground and prepare it for the reception of the bulbs and plants intended for cultivation, the rest will speedily imitate him. Should the soil however be exceptional in any way, inclining too much to clay or to sand, it would probably be better to have its defects remedied by the gardener before handing it over to the boys. The length of the garden is immaterial, but for convenience in working it a width of three, or at the most of four feet, will probably be found the most satisfactory. Grass paths between the plots are theoretically more attractive, but in practice too often resolve themselves into slippery mud or bare road, so that it is better to have the paths gravelled and tiling let in nearly level with the path. These paths the boys will keep clean and tidy, whereas their well-intentioned efforts to make the grass grow only result in failure. An abundant supply of water close to the gardens is a necessity---if possible a pipe or a cistern should be fixed, with space enough under the

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tap to place the can, and a trough should be provided to catch and carry off the spare water. The tools required are practically two, a rake and a trowel, unless the ground has to be prepared. To these must be added a watering-can with a fine rose, which should be soldered on. Rake, can, and trowel should all be numbered, and each will have its separate peg on which to hang, when not in use. As to the time which may be profitably allotted to gardening, few masters will be inclined to question the wisdom of confining gardening operations to such times as are not appropriated to any organised games, and such opportunities will naturally be found in the summer towards the evening, and in autumn, winter and spring, in the breaks which occur in the morning's work and immediately after dinner. On Sundays, too, much time can pleasurably be devoted to their gardens. The busy periods of preparation will be, as a rule, at the end of September the middle or end of March, and the middle of May. At the end of September the main planting of spring-flowering bulbs takes place. It is essential that this operation should not be deferred, for two reasons: (1) The soil is then still warm, and enables the bulbs to make vigorous root growth before the cold weather comes on; (2) the bulbs as a rule deteriorate by being kept out of the ground an unduly long time. Some little assistance at first will probably have to be given as to the depth at which the bulbs should be planted, and care will be necessary in seeing that all the bulbs of the same sort are planted at an uniform depth. If this precaution be disregarded the effect produced will be patchy and unsatisfactory. Advice, too, will naturally be asked for as to the sorts of bulbs it will be best to buy, and all must be dissuaded from investing their money in the purchase of one or two bulbs of a great many different sorts; probably, however, several boys will prefer to follow their own inclinations, and then in February and March it will be easy to convince them how much more effect can be produced from a single patch of some one gem than from the flowers of single bulbs of many different sorts. It will be found useful in soil at all inclined to be heavy to plant all bulbs on sand-not only does this serve to protect the bulbs during the winter, but its presence also acts as a danger flag when digging in the border. In planting a group of bulbs the soil will be dug out to the necessary depth and width, the bottom will be made flat, but not hard, a layer of sand of uniform thickness, sufficient to cover up a third of the bulb, will be placed on the bottom, into this the bulbs will be lightly pressed, the label will be put in the centre of the group, a little more sand thrown on the bulbs and the earth replaced, and the planting is done. Then as soon as the days begin to lengthen, should the weather be at all favourable, the various bulbs will begin to push their heads through the ground-winter aconite, snowdrop, crocus, squill, iris, Glory of the Snow, and many more. All through February and March and even into April the flowering will continue.

It will be well to devote only a portion of each plot to the bulbs--if the whole ground is occupied with bulbs à difficulty

will arise when the time comes for putting in the summer occupants of the bed. This difficulty will usually be solved in a rough-and-ready way by digging up all the bulbs regardless of whether they have completed the ripening process or not. By confining the bulbs to one portion only and planting them close together a better display is made in February and March, and a reprieve is gained, by means of which the bulbs will probably be more or less ripe before they are dug up. If it should be necessary to clear the bed, the bulbs should be dug up and at once laid in, covered with some inches of soil and left there to ripen. There is generally some sunny corner available for such a purpose, as a very large number of bulbs can in this way be packed into a very small space.

Should the weather in the middle of March be favourable and the ground fairly dry, it will be well to sow the seeds of any hardy annuals desired. It is true that many-e.g., poppies-are best sown in July, to bloom the following summer, but at that time the garden is fully occupied and no space will be available. The ground should be worked with the rake, and any lumps broken up, and the surface made smooth and fine. The seeds must be sown thinly and covered with a little fine soil. Birds are very fond of using any newly worked soil as dust-baths. This can be to some extent prevented by fixing twigs in the soil and running black thread backwards and forwards from one to the other. Where heather or ling abounds a thin layer of either will keep off the birds, but this must be removed when the seedlings are well above ground. Should the weather continue dry the beds must be watered with a fine rose. The size of the seed will be a rough guide as to the depth at which it should be planted, the smaller the seed the less the soil above it. By the end of the Easter holidays the plants should be well up, probably many of the patches will be the better for severe thinning. Now comes the time for filling up the beds. Many boys like to bring their flowers from home, and such a natural desire is not to be thwarted, save in so far as it relieves the boy of the trouble and thought involved in setting out his garden, the value of which from an educational point of view will be proportionate to the amount of reflection and taste bestowed upon it by the owner. In the grouping of plants, the selection of an edging, the choice of climbers, abundant scope is provided for the display of judgment and knowledge, while the patience and perseverance of all will be tested by the constant warfare to be waged with weeds, and every form of insect, and other plagues. Plants suitable for summer bedding can be procured in endless variety, and at a very cheap rate, from any good nurseryman; but it is well to go to a leading firm, as much of the beauty of the garden will depend on whether the strain, eg, of salpiglossis, be a good one or not. As soon as a reasonable time has elapsed for getting the garden into order, systematic inspection will take place; misfakes will be pointed out and comparisons made, from which all will learn. Zeal will be encouraged and slovenliness corrected---and as a rule a healthy spirit of emulation will be created.

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