15 APRIL 1938, Page 17

In the Garden

Queries reach me about " species tulips " to which some passing reference was made recently. Quite a large number of true species of tulip exist, most of them hailing from Eastern Asia. Nearly all are a good deal earlier than the garden tulips and require more care. It is perhaps surprising that they are much slower to reproduce themselves and are tenderer. It is best, it is indeed as good as necessary, to dig totem up every year after the leaves have withered ; and for this reason alone they are not suitable for a life of competition in the rough border or cheek by jowl with other plants. The garden tulips (which were created no one quite knows how), whether cottage or Darwin or what not, are usually preferred ; but there is a quality and an interest in the species that appeal to all gardeners. They lack altogether the stiffness and formality and cup-like form that the Dutch florists demanded. Something of wildness remains in their shape. It is worth the while of any gardener, however small his patch, to keep one little clump of species tulips, say the scarlet glory of Eichleri, or Linifolia or the delicately tinted Cluviana. They are tenderer, but often freer from disease, than the garden tulips, which this season are suffering severely in some gardens in which the species are at their best.