This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
T. S., Brooklyn, writes:"There was lately in New York a sale of imported Japan Lilies, such as Auratum, Krameri, etc. These bulbs on opening the cases were packed, not in sawdust as usual, but in a coating of what I took to be clay, cow-dung and a something which kept them as sound as if they had just been packed. In order to ascertain what that stuff really is, I send you with this some of it in a little tin box, and would be pleased if you could have it analyzed and tell your readers the parts of composition, and if you consider it good for shipping Lilies and such like bulbs. One of my California friends asks me how I thought he could pack best his Lilium pardalinum, and your answer to the above will not only oblige him, but many of your readers who ship or send bulbs for long distances. About Trilliums, he thinks it would be best to have them matured, and then ship them dry; while my theory is, to take the bulbs up when and where found, transplant them in the garden and ship them in Fall, when they show signs of fresh starting, say end of September. About Rhododendron occiden-tilis, he says: 'I now believe that every piece of the crown with a shoot or stem will grow, if shipped perfectly dry, in a dormant state, from November to February. A number of the shoots I put in the ground when I set out the R.'s here started leaf buds, but I find no roots on those I have examined as yet.' If you consider the answering of these questions of general interest, I would like you to mention them in your paper".
[We have taken pains to examine the coating carefully, and find it is nothing but manure of some herbivorous animals and clay, very finely worked up together; just the sort of stuff, in essence, as our forefathers used for grafting before wax compositions came into general use. - Ed. G. M].