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Wallace's passion for gardening

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                                       Parkstone, Dorset.
                                           Octr. 1st. 1893

My dear Violet,

You do not tell us a word of how you get on with your seventeen children, or what help you have, or what you do with them. Do give us an account of one day's work, so that we shall know what you are doing.    

I am glad your ferns are growing The three from Miller's Dale are all rather rare British ferns -Asplenium viride - now getting very rare - almost extinct in the Lakes Polypodium Robertianum - something like Beech Fern Cystopteris fragilis - Bladder fern - You remember we found them all at the top of that forsaken valley where tourists go not.     

I should think you had better wait till after 'Xmas to have the book-shelves, If the library is tolerably near I sh[oul]d. think it might be worthwhile, but I sh[oul]d. subscribe for the 12 months' old books, which are new enough, & have 2 vols. at a time for the 4s/6d or greater. I have marked a few books & I think most of them have been out 12 months.  

We have had some good soaking rains at last. The Lions tail is out about one third & now I am afraid there will not be enough sunshine & warmth to bring it out properly. The other water lily buds do not seem to open. I enclose a letter that came for you a few days ago,- also a cheque for £.5 for Xmas quarter.      

I am at work writing my 2nd. Geol. Paper about the Lakes. The 1st. is I think in this month's Fortnightly, & Harris says he thinks it very good, though he does not evidently understand it as he asks an idiotic question about it! One of the pipes in the Hot water Cistern cupboard leaked & we had Seller's man yesterday to put a new bit in, & he says the Cistern itself is getting eaten away by the water & will soon leak in a dozen places & will want a new one! There is a nice prospect! I hope it will last till next summer.   

Next time do tell us about your work, & the School & Miss _____ & the Governors &c. &c.
                     Your affectionate Pa
[signed]             Alfred R. Wallace

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Letter to Alfred Russel Wallace from the Royal Society, about his Darwin Medal award

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