The advance-guard of spring reaches West Virginia early in February, and we celebrate its arrival with a feast of Water Cresses, which are as grateful to snow-wearied eyes as to the palate. In late March a tour around the garden shows many signs of promise. The birds know very well that spring is coming, for in February the cardinal grosbeak whistles boldly on every frost-free morning, and the blue bird takes you into his confidence in his quiet fashion to say that the season of flowers is really at hand. The shrubberies on this 19th day of February are full of swelling buds, and even some insect life is discoverable here and there, and spider threads are seen thrown from one limb to another. Very striking is a low clump of Honey Locusts, the deep red spines of which make an effective contrast to the striped bark of the branches, a light gray on olive green and very smooth and satiny in texture. These curious waves and markings are confined to the young growth, and are conspicuous now. Later on, in the exquisite delicacy of its foliage, the red leaflets matching the thorns in color, it will rival any of the greenhouse Acacias. The Hypericums are already leafing out, and H. aureum is fairly covered with its stifflinear leaflets, dark green with red and orange tints on the latest comers.