Plant propagation is Nature's method of reproducing countless millions of plants and weeds each year. Species are plants which grow wild, whose seedlings are more or less identical with the parents. No two seedlings are blueprints of each other; there are always slight differences in height, time of flowering, hairs on the leaves, etc., but virtually in-detectable.

Only when something sensational occurs, such as a new colour, doubling in the flowers or variegated foliage, does the gardener normally take notice. The new plant is known as a 'sport' or 'muta tion' and if it makes a good garden subject it is named and becomes a new variety.

However, if one wishes to propagate the variety, it will not come true from seed, so must be reproduced by other means, such as cuttings, layers and grafts.

Again, when two species are crossed (pollen from one being put on the stigma of the other) the offspring, known as hybrids will show much variation. Only when the grower has made a deliberate cross, in the hope of raising new plants, would he bother to raise chance forms from seed.

Bees, crossing from Brussels Sprout to Cabbage Flowers, for example, would ruin the long, patient, selective work of the seedsman, so plants of this family are always well separated when grown for seed purposes.

Through constantly 'roguing' deviating types from seed crops,

we can confidently grow varieties of flowers and vegetables true to name.