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SEA-GARDENS.

COUNTRY folks are justly proud of their
gardens, but coast folks have gardens
upon the land and in the sea. The hardy
sea-faring populations of the coasts and
islands, from the North Cape to the Bay
of Biscay, call the submarine valleys the
gardens. Lovelier gardens have never,
indeed, been made horticultural shows of, at
Ghent, at Paris, or at Chiswick. Fashion
does well, when upon horticultural fête days
it sends its votaries upon the green,
smoothshaven swards, and into the fruit and
flower-adorned tents; under the shady alleys, and
into the glass-palaces, where are collected
and displayed the wonders of the vegetable
worldfrom earth and air, the rivers and the
lakes. The contempt of ignorance, meanwhile,
persuades most town folks that the
gardens of coast folks are composed of weeds
and worms. Ignorance and contempt always
run into each other in a serpentine circle.
The most beautiful plants known in botany
have been called weeds, and the loveliest
creatures known in zoology have been called
worms. Fashion, when its leaders shall know
what is known to sea-side observers, will
probably launch its elegant crowds in
cushioned and streamered gondolas upon the
smooth summer seas, to admire the glorious
gardens whose plants now wave unseen
around our coast. The green ulva, the olive
laminaria, the rose ceramieæ, the herbivore
and carnivore conchylions; stony plants and
stony animals, animal stones, animal flowers,
animal vegetables, vegetal animals;—life, in
short, in a singularly lovely floralife in a
bizarrely beautiful, a sublimely wonderful
faunalife where the mineral, vegetal, and
animal worlds blend mysteriouslylife in the
ocean, which is the realm of life,—makes the
unique but various charm of the submarine
scenery, which the sea-kings of old called
expressly the gardensthe sea-gardens.
Decidedly we must have ocean floral fêtes.
Fashion is a tyrant, always demanding
the invention of new pleasures, and here is
one worth many, the suggestion of fêtes to
view the gardens of the sea.

The summer day is long and fine. The
boats are hearts of oak, and the boatmen,of
course, are jolly tars. There is not a man or
a woman, a boy or a girl of us all whose
pulse is not quickened, and whose eyes do not
sparkle, at the sight of the familiar bit of silk
called the Union Jack. We are sailing off
a granite coast, but inshore, and we look
down. Why, fathoms beneath us, wherever
our eyes turn, we gaze upon a floral-show, a
garden of the sea. There are grass-green
plants, olive-brown plants, and purple-rosy
plants. The ground of white and yellow
sand, here and there, throws well up their
colours, and defines their forms beautifully.
The undulations of the water affect them but
gently, and they wave

Like sister-flowers of one sweet shade
Which the same breeze does blow.

Every variety of hue refreshes the eyes.
Moreover, the sunlight which sparkles upon
the surface of the water descends down upon
the gardens with a softened, unearthly and
wavering radiance. No wonder photography
should be trying to seize the lights and
shades of this scenery:

Earth has not anything to show more fair!

There are ash-coloured, rust-coloured,
smoke-coloured, reddish-brown, greenish-blue,
dusky-green, iris-hued, hyaline, diaphanous,
pellucid, and metallically lustrous marine
plants. Persons who must needs know the
why and the wherefore of all they see, are
indeed puzzled to account for the colours of
the marine plants. The law of the coloration
of land-plants is, the further they are from
the light the paler they grow. The law of the
coloration of sea-plants is, the further they
grow from the light the more brilliantly
ruddy are their colours. The supposition that
the colouring rays act where the luminous
rays scarcely reach, is neither a probable nor
an explanatory hypothesis. Every
submarine zone has varied colours. No region,
tenanted by life, is without them. The fact
remains, account for it as we may; in the
darkest depths are the brightest colours. A
very common stony plant, erroneously called
Corallina officinalis, the purple chalky plant,
becomes white when exposed to the sunlight.
The pepper dulse of the Scotch East Coast,
the Laurencia pinnatifida of Lamouroux
(pinnatifida, because like a cut feather, and
Laurencia to honour a Monsieur de
Laurencie), a pungent, appetising, and agreeable

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