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FLOWERS FOR THE SHOW
"WHERE are you going, Peggy?" asked Peter, as he passed
her in the lane, one Saturday afternoon in July.
 "I am going to look for flowers, for the flower-show
next week. I shall not gather them, but I want to see
what I can find."
"May I go with you?"
"Yes, if you can keep a secret. I want to make quite a
new kind of nosegay, of flowers that grow in the
"But they will all fade if you put them in a bunch."
"I am not going to put them in a bunch. I am going to
get one of father's large zinc pans which he uses for
the dog's food, and let the plants float in the water."
So Peggy and Peter started off to their favourite pond.
"See, Peter, I must have one of those lovely yellow
'water-lilies,' with its large, shiny green leaf, and
one of its curious seed-boxes, which remain after the
yellow flower-leaves have fallen off. I know that this
plant has a thick stem in the mud at the bottom of the
pond, and the long stalks grow right up, so that the
leaves float on the top of the water. Little beetles
crawl inside the flower and get honey from under the
small yellow flower-leaves inside.
WHITE AND YELLOW WATER-LILIES.
"Then I must have some of those white stars with yellow
in the middle. They look so pretty among their small
green leaves, which are cut into three half-rounds.
That is the 'water-crow-foot,'
 and if you hook a bit in
with your stick we shall see that it has some other
leaves under water, which are cut into strips like fine
blades of grass."
"Why should it have two kinds of leaves, Peggy?"
"One set are its floating leaves to keep the flowers
above the water, where the insects can get at them, and
the others are lighter and can spread out in the water
without making so much green leaf. And look, Peter, the
yellow lines on the white flowers point straight to the
narrow end of the flower-leaf, where the insects find
"Then I must have some duckweed. It will cover the pan
"But the duckweed is not pretty, Peggy. It is all
"No, Peter, that is just what it is not. Paul
 told me the other day that the duckweed has no real
leaves. Each plant is a little bit of stem with a thin
root hanging down in the water. Very tiny flowers
sometimes grow in a little split in the side of the
stem. I shall try to get one of these, but they are so
very small, and are only made of two little dust-bags
and a seed-box. But the duckweed will float on the
"Now, Peter, I want to find a 'bog-bean' in flower. I
am afraid it is rather late in the year, but there are
some, I know, at the shallow end of the pond. You must
look for a large spike of pink-white flowers, shaped
something like wide blue-bells and lined with a number
of white hairs. Ah! Here is one with the buds just
opening; it will be all right for Wednesday.
"Now we must have one more. A little plant called the
'water-milfoil,' which is almost all under water,
except the spike of tiny pink flowers which stands
straight up in the air. Look at its fine leaves
arranged in stars round the stem. They lie out so well
in the water. If you look very carefully at the
flowers, you will see that the top ones have only
dust-bags in them, and the lower ones have only
seed-boxes. But they are so small it is not easy to see
"Now I must not choose any more, for I must describe
each one on my show-card, and it will take a long time.