This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Flower lovers might grow this lily very easily if they will follow these directions of a correspondent of The Gardener's Monthly:
I will describe the' method I saw practiced for several years by a lady friend. The roots were procured in the lower part of New Jersey. They were kept damp during the ensuing winter in flower pots. A half barrel was obtained in the spring and the hoops well secured. It was left in " the rough " except one year, when it was much improved by a coat of green paint. The tub was set on bricks in the garden, and one-third filled with a mixture of garden earth, sand, and well rotted manure. The roots were set in this and covered. Water was added gently, and a little at a time every day or two, (so as not to disturb the earth), till the tub was filled. The handsome round leaves four or five inches in diameter, soon appeared, and filled the tub. Water was put in to supply that lost by evaporation, and during the summer several blossoms delighted us with their beauty. When cold weather approached, the water was allowed to dry off, and when nearly gone, the tub with the roots and earth still in it, was placed in the cellar, and watered at long intervals during the winter.
In the spring the roots were separated, and about half of the increase put back into the tub in a fresh mixture of earth. As they were brought out earlier (about the first of April), the blossoms were more numerous. These pure white flowers were as perfect as the Camellia, and delightfully fragrant. They close at night, and reopen in the morning. Those blooming in the tub were about two inches in diameter; but those of the ponds are larger. Near Moorestown, New Jersey, there is a very large kind, differing somewhat from these, and said to be the real Egyptian Lotus, brought from the East by a traveler.