This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
People in our country buy Lilies and other rare native things, and stick them in common garden ground, and when they die " only wish they had the climate of England to grow these nice things." But in England they have to use some nice judgment in selecting first what each particular class of things require. In fact, it is horticultural skill and not mere climate that makes success. Witness what a correspondent of the Garden says about Lilies: " I have been down to Ware's to see how the Cali-fornian Lilies looked after the severe storms and rains, and found them as happy as if they had been in a glass case all the time - stately and vigorous, showing great beauty of form as well as splendor of blossom, sometimes held well above a man's head. This superb Lily growth in our own country settles at once the question of the culture of these noble flowers, which come to us from one of the fairest lands in the world - certainly the happiest for flowers and trees I ever saw. They are grown in light beds of free and rich vegetable soil - decayed manure, Cocoa-nut fibre, or leaf-mould, with a little mulching of half decayed stable manure over the earth. The soil is the very opposite to that which we see in a hard-baked border, and which may be described as an unnatural soil.
The earth in which they do so well in every stage - 'scale' plants, Lily babies, children, and up to the tallest - is mixed after all on a natural plan, so to say, because in woody places, in copses, there are accumulations of vegetable soil for ages. In it plants find a different medium from what our hard and fully-exposed garden soil so often is. The question, then, of growing these Lilies is for ever settled, and those who have not got beds of Rhododendrons or other American plants in which to put them know exactly what to do. A late form of the Californian Lily is very fine in flower now, i coming in after the usual type begins to fade".