5 OCTOBER 1934, Page 17

How many gardeners arc now sending an S.O.S. to the

botanical research workers to save the most popular of all bedding plants ? In hundreds, indeed probably thousands of gardens, especially near London both in the north and the south, all the antirrhinums have simultaneously perished of a disease, more or less peculiar to the plant. It is not new, but new in the breadth and suddenness of its spread. A brown rust fairly eats up the plant. Not only is no cure known, the deadly infection is apt to stay about the affected plot for a series of years. The range of pleasing colour is so great that the species is often regarded as almost irreplaceable, In my garden the pinks withstood the attack much better than the bronzes ; but others had the reverse experience, and the degrees of infection made little difference, for the gardener's duty is to pull up and burn every plant and not to renew the stock for a year or two or three. It is a fair prophecy that the S.O.S. has not gone forth in vain. A cure will be found or, more likely, an immune variety bred by our florists.

W. BEACH Tnomes,