14 MARCH 1941, Page 14

Tender Lily An interesting example of frost-resistance has been provided

by Lilium Sulphureum. Text-books recommend it as a greenhouse lily, rather tender, with possible chances of success in Cornwall, where its glorious yellow-throated, pink-touched blossoms are said to flower on stems of eight or ten feet in September or October. Ignoring all those rules by flowering in the open rock-garden, at a height of three feet, in late August, Lilium Sulphureum got no coddling from me. Like the common tiger-lily, it throws off small fat bulblets at the leaf-axils, and these, as they ripened and fell in autumn, were the size of peas. In a well-ordered garden they would have been gathered, nursed like invalids through the winter and might well have perished from kindness. In mine they were forgotten, buried under great snows, seared by intense frosts, and not discovered again till spring. Far from having perished, they were then as fat as butter- balls, a rich rum-colour, and bravely sprouting roots. So much, I thought, for text-books, and promptly put a potential five pounds' worth of rare bulbs to bed.