22 AUGUST 1941, Page 11

the Garden Gardeners, like farmers, are in despair. The coldest

spring for hundred years, a terrific midsummer heat-wave, Christmas in uly, and finally January in August, have together destroyed many thcir hopes. Bees are not working. Beans have never given such stingy crops ; late peas are hopeless ; indoor and outdoor tomatoes, which promised so splendidly, ripen very slowly ; there are no sleepy crowds of butterflies on the buddleias. Yet there have been a few surprising compensations. Peaches (Early Alexander) were ripe, cheeks almost black, as soon as Early Rivers plums ; yuccas, with their high cream towers of scentless bells, gave the 'garden a tropical touch for weeks ; bignonias, with soft orange-scarlet trumpets, were as glorious as in the hottest summer. These, however, were tiny touches of consolation. Altogether it has been a very trying year. A word of hope for tomato-growers, however, comes from a correspondent, who says that tomatoes may be satisfactorily kept throughout the winter, that is in a fresh natural state, in a preparation of spagnum- moss peat. I am making inquiries about this, which sounds like the answer to my gardener's prayer. Meanwhile, I should be extremely glad to hear from anyone who has successfully