The Japan bulbs are now almost entirely used for Easter. They arrive later than the Bermuda bulbs and sometimes require more forcing to get them in good shape for Easter. There should be no delay in getting them potted as soon as received, and there should not be any forcing done till they have made plenty of roots; so don't be alarmed if your Japan bulbs have made little top growth by New Year's. If you have a warm house at your command they will come along very fast if well rooted.
There is also a good demand for these beautiful flowers on Memorial day. To have a supply then it is more a problem of retarding than forcing. Keep them in a coldframe protected with glass till New Year's and then remove to a very cool house and with little artificial heat and plenty of ventilation in April and May they will be about right for the last of May. Here at least is where you could adopt the plan of starting them in 4-inch pots, for they would not want their flowering pot till the last of January. In a batch of 2,000 bulbs treated thus we did not have a single diseased plant, so the Bermuda disease is not bad in the land of the Shinto.
The longiflorum in good, well drained loam is hardy in this latitude, but would be benefited by a covering of litter every fall after the stems are dry. We have frequently planted out the plants of Har-risii that had been grown and cut at Easter. If a good piece of stem is left, so much the better. Many of them will send up a flower stalk from which you will get a few flowers in July and August. This is all the use you can make of them. To force any of them again is out of the question.
I know no cure for, or any means of detecting, a diseased bulb. It is to be hoped with a change of soil and care in discarding diseased plants and bulbs that our Bermuda friends will in future supply us with a higher grade of bulbs. One of the advantages I intended to mention in starting the large bulbs in small pots was that by shifting time you will be able to discover most of the diseased plants, and will not have wasted space, labor and soil on them nearly so much as you would in 6-inch or 7-inch.
Lilium lancifolium (which correctly is L. speciosum) is next to the longiflorum most valuable to the florist; album roseum and rubrum are merely varieties of speciosum. They are all about identical in growth. They are not forced for winter or spring, but are very acceptable in July and August, when we are often short of flowers. With a covering of leaves over the ground during winter, they are quite hardy with us.
We receive the bulbs (from Japan) in late fall and winter, and they are well packed, losing little of their strength in the long journey. We used to try these in coldframes during winter, but it was not a success, and now we never fail by potting them in 7-inch and 8-inch pots, three bulbs in a pot. Put them in dry loam a trifle below the surface, but do not water them, and place the pots beneath your coolest bench, where there is the least drip. If the soil is moderately moist the bulbs will remain seven or eight weeks without starting or making any growth. When they do start and have grown a few inches they must be given the light and grown on, but coolly.
Any of the lilies, either the longiflorum or lancifolium, want little water till they have made good roots, but after starting they soon fill the pots with roots, and from then on they want an abundance of water.
When the lancifolium lilies are in flower, and before they are in flower, they should be given the coolest house, with all the ventilation possible. It is midsummer when these lilies are in flower, so if kept cool and shaded the plants will be stronger, the flowers larger and they will last longer. Out of doors in a sheltered and shady place will do for the lancifolium type very well for the last month.
These lilies are much troubled with greenfly and need fumigating occasionally. They have a most delightful odor, agreeable to all.
The bulbs of Lilium lancifolium need not be thrown away. They are worth planting out in some good soil and will grow for years. We have also forced them the second year with good success. If you intend to do this, don't throw the bulbs under the bench as soon as the flowers are cut, but stand them out of doors and keep watered till the foliage is gone and the stems are dry, when they can be cut off and the pots stored under a very cool bench during winter. In February shake them out and repot and treat as those first imported. If bulbs are not received till March, then they can be given a bench at once, but little water till they start.
Lilium auratum, most gorgeous of all the family, has flowers sometimes a foot across, with broad bands of yellow and beautifully spotted, which gave it the name of " the golden rayed lily of Japan." It grows from two to three feet and strong, healthy bulbs frequently bear fifteen to twenty flowers. We can very well remember the introduction of this magnificent lily and the sensation it created when first flowered. It has long, narrow leaves. 1 have never seen it here out of doors where it has been treated as a hardy lily, but with good care and in well drained soil it may be quite hardy, as large masses of it are perfectly hardy in Scotland; and plantings of several hundred bulbs are a rich sight. We treat it precisely as we do the lancifolium section. It has a powerful odor, too much for most people, and this forbids its use as a decorative plant or as a cut flower in designs. Unfortunately many imported bulbs make but a poor growth.
Before the splendid forcing qualities of the L. Harrisii were known, and when the growing of the bulbs in Bermuda was not an industry as it now is, we used to grow and force the beautiful Lilium can-didum. Its delightful, pure pearl-white spikes were in great demand for cutting, as well as for Easter plants. It would be useless to describe our manner of forcing (although it differed little from that of the longiflorum), because it is entirely superseded. It should be always grown wherever you have ground to grow it. It does well in rather a heavy soil and should not be disturbed for several years. Its beautiful flowers are always in demand when in season, with us the end of June and July.
There are no other lilies grown in pots for commercial use. Many species doubtless could be, but would not be profitable. Beds of L. longiflorum and candidum should be on every florist's place. And if you have the room, many other species are beautiful plants for the border. The principal thing to observe with the lilies in the ground in winter is that it is a well drained soil. A good loam overlying a gravel would be perfection, but any soil that is drained will do. In the absence of peat, which many like, dig in a few inches of very rotten manure or rotten leaf-mold from the woods, and plant the bulbs when perfectly dormant. August is a good month. Plant six inches deep.
In addition to the longiflorum and lancifolium type, these will be found perfectly hardy:
L. Canadense, orange, finely spotted, two to three feet.
L. croceum, yellow, four to five feet.
L. excelsum or testaceum, yellow tinged with red, four to five feet.
L. Hansonii, reddish orange, three to four feet.
L. Humboldtii, orange, very fine, four to five feet.
L. pardalinum, orange with purple spots, five to six feet; of this there are several fine varieties.
L. pomponium, bright red, two to three feet.
L. rubescens, or Washingtoniannm, white tinged with purple, four to five feet.
L. superbum, orange red, spotted, four to five feet.
L. tenuifolium, scarlet, dwarf and slender, but handsome, one foot.
L. Thunbergianum, red, two to three feet.
L. tigrinum, the well-known tiger lily, deep orange, purple spots, very hardy, two to three feet.
And several others, both species and varieties.