Cottage Gardener pp. 85, 97-99 (Nov 6, Nov 13, 1852)
November and May are the two best months to remove Roses. All the young and tender ones in pots we turn out in May, but for all those on their own roots, November is the best month to remove them; this is also the best time to train down the strong hybrid perpetuals, on the principle of little or no pruning, as explained in my last letter, and it is also the best time to prune all roses that are weak, or nothing more than of common strength. Indeed, all roses which require close pruning should be cut in November, unless there is some particular object in view to justify their being put off till the spring, such as, for instance, a desire to have them in bloom later than usual, or to check over-luxuriance, as late spring pruning is known to do.
I subjoin lists of the best roses for different purposes, every one of which is well worth having, and we can refer back to them for a year or two in our answers to correspondents who may not be so lucky as to possess our former volumes.
There is an old and very pretty rose called Crested Moss, though it is not a moss rose at all, and I wonder that some of our best growers still continue to class it among their moss roses. Seven years since I offered to one of our greatest rose-growers five guineas for a plant of a Moss Rose and crested, that is, having the flower-cup fringed as completely as the legs of a bantam cock.
Damask Perpetual.—The best in this division is the old rose which used to be called Lee's Perpetual—the right name of it is Rose du Roi, or Crimson Perpetual—and Mogador, or Crimson Superb; this is an improvement on Lee's Perpetual. They are two of the best roses in the world.
Hybrid Perpetual.—In choosing out of this very extensive class, the strongest growers should be preferred, and those which open well in the autumn, and they should be on their own roots, or, if they must be budded, Madame Laffay is the best stock for them. They all grow from cuttings as freely as gooseberries. Baronne Prevost is the largest flower, Mrs. Elliot the strongest grower; this and William Jesse may always be known by the metallic-like shine of the outer petals. The shade of Comte de Montalivet is different from all other roses; it is a kind of light bronze, and the guard-petals fold in towards the centre of the flower, another peculiarity which no other rose exhibits; Geant des Batailles is the most brilliant rose known. Madame Laffay is the hardiest and the latest flowering of this class:—Augustine Mouchelet, Baronne Prevost, Chateaubriand, Clementine Seringe, Comte de Montalivet, Cornet, Duchess of Sutherland, Geant des Batailles, Jacques Lafitte, La Reine, Standard of Marengo, Madame Laffay, William Jesse, Mrs. Elliot. I have grown every one of the above, and a score more of the same cast, except the Standard of Marengo.
Bourbon Roses.—The best of these blossom in the autumn, and some of them are very beautiful for beds, with few exceptions. They also should be grown on their own roots, or, at any rate, the strong growing ones. One great advantage in having Bourbon Roses on their own roots in flower-beds is, that if a very severe winter should damage them, they would soon throw up fine fresh shoots from the collar, or from the strongest of the roots, like the China Roses, from which the Bourbons first originated. Comte d'Eu, Paul Joseph, Proserpine, Souchet, Dupetit Thouars, and George Cuvier, would make a splendid bed of dwarf roses, with mixed rich dark colours; and in cold soil would do better budded on stocks of the Manetti Rose, not more than four inches out of the ground; but they and Emelie Courtier, and several others of that style of growth, should never be budded for standards, as they seldom live more than two or three years on tall standards. Another section of these Bourbons take after Madame Desprez, making long vigorous shoots, which bloom at the ends in large clusters; these, also, are not well adapted for standards, they are best suited for low walls, pales, or for stakes and poles. To be continued.
pp. 97-99 BOURBON ROSES—(Continued from page 85).
The finest Rose among all the Bourbons is, unquestionably, the Souvenir de la Malmaison, a pale flesh-coloured centre, and white on the outside. I have already said that a ring of this planted round a large mass of the Geant des Batailles would form one of the most splendid rose-beds that can be made. The whitest Bourbon Rose is Acidalie, a compact, free grower, with good shaped flowers; but for flowerbeds there is no white Rose that can be compared to the Old White China. Armosa and Queen of Bourbons are two fine lightish flowers to contrast with such dark ones as Dupetit Thouars and Paul Joseph. There are so many fine Roses among the Bourbons for beds, that the following list of them comprises only varieties that are as good as their neighbours; for long lists of any thing are as likely to puzzle strangers as not:—Acidlalie, Armosa, Bouquet de Flore, Celimene, Dupetit Thouars, Edward Desfosses, Emile Courtier, George Cuvier, Gloire de Rosamene (young plants), Henry Lecoq, Madame Angelina, Marianne, Paul Joseph, Phoenix, Proserpine, Queen of Bourbons, Reine des Vierges, Souvenir de la Malmaison, Suchet.
The following Bourbon Roses are strong growers, not well adapted for beds, or standards in beds, but excellent sorts for pillars and low walls, or for filling up the bottom of a rose wall, where stronger climbers are apt to get naked:—Amenaide, Cardinal Fesch, Gloire de Rosamene (old plants), Julie de Loynes, Le Grenadier, Madame Aubis, Madame Desprez, Madame Lacharme, Pierre de St.Cyr.
CHINA ROSES.—If China Roses were sweet-scented, all the best sorts of them now offered for sale would be grown in beds in every flower-garden where room could be found; and as it is, of all Roses they are the best fitted for our present style of flower-gardening. For bedding-out they, too, are much better on their own roots, and the best soil for them is a light, rich loam; it cannot be too rich if the situation is naturally dry at bottom. About the middle of April is the best time to prune them, and all the weak and middle-sized growths should be cut down close to the ground; the stronger shoots may be left from six to eighteen inches high, according to their size and strength. For the first two or three years after planting, the best way is to cut every one of the shoots close to the ground, in order to get strong bottoms all over the bed. In low, damp situations, and in very exposed places, the frost often injures them when they are young; moss, three or four inches thick, is the best thing to protect them, but ferns, coal-ashes, sawdust, or evergreen boughs, will do. They will come from cuttings any time from March to October, but for a large stock, the best time is when the beds are pruned in the spring, as at that time one can get all the cuttings with heels to them by slipping off the pieces, instead of cutting under a joint in the more common way. Heeled cuttings of them require no glasses if they are put in a shady place, and they will root in any light sandy stuff. They ought to remain in the cutting-bed just twelve months, on the supposition that they are made about the middle of April, therefore they should have plenty of room, much more than is generally given to cuttings in general. They also should be planted in regular rows, in order that they may be the more easily covered between the rows to save them from frost. The Old White China, of which I have often spoken, is by far the best of them all for a white bed; Clara Sylvain is the next best white, and Madame Bureau the third best white. These three would make a bed, planted in the order I have them here, Madame on the outside, Clara next, and the old one in the centre. Mrs. Bosanquet is a good bedder by itself, and is the next shade to a white. Eugene Beauharnais would come in well behind it, and beyond that, Napoleon or Mielez; these three or four would give a fine shade when they were all in bloom; but there is nothing more difficult than to get good shaded beds of Roses in any class, as every plant has its own proper time of giving the best tint, so that one is never sure of them, and that is the reason why I would plant Eugene Beauharnais between the lighter sorts. Cramoisie superieure, in a mass, and edged with Fabvier, would make a splendid bed, and another bed to match might be made out of Gloire de Rosamene, edged with the common old sanguinea; this would be crossing the colours, Fabvier being a scarlet round a crimson, and sanguinea a crimson round a scarlet, as we may call the Rosamene, which, when used for beds, ought to be called a China Rose, instead of a Bourbon; but it is neither the one or the other when seen in full vigour as an edge. For filling up the bottom of a rose-wall, Gloire de Rosamene is the best of all Roses; and for making bouquets of Roses in bud from September to Christmas the Rosamene and Old White China are the best; for bouquets of full-blown China Roses, Clara Sylvain and Madame Brehon are the best; the latter is the best favoured Rose of all the Chinas, and the best for a low wall.
Fabvier and Henry the Fifth mixed together, and edged with the Crimson Fairy Rose, would make a beautiful low bed, and Fabvier, edged with the White Fairy Rose, would be quite a charm. These Fairy Roses, however, will not last any time, unless they are taken up in the autumn and planted in cold frames; but they are so elegant in many ways about a choice flower-garden, that they deserve as much care as the best Verbenas. I once had all the walks in the rosary at Shrubland edged with the Crimson Fairy, but one sharp winter killed every one of them; there are several sorts, but the Crimson and White are the two best; they call them Miniature Roses now, and they were once called Lawrenciana, but Fairy is the best name to ask for. The following list, like that of the Bourbons, is only a choice from a larger choice:—Archduke Charles, Clara Sylvain, Cramoisie superieure, Eugene Beauharnais, Fabvier, Henry the Fifth, Madame Beaureau, Madame Brehon [Bréon], Miellez, Mrs. Bosanquet, Napoleon, Prince Charles.
TEA-SCENTED CHINA ROSES.—I well recollect the time when the first Tea-Scented Rose appeared in this country, it was called Rosa odorata, and was a blush-white Rose; we used to bed it out, after propagating it, in August or September, like the Verbenas, and, like them, we had to keep it from the frost in the winter. The best plant of it I ever saw died last June; it must have been twenty years old, and taken great care of all the time by poor old Mr. Lovett, who was gardener to the late Sir W. Middleton for three-and-thirty years, and to the present baronet until he was pensioned off with a cottage in the park, where he died, at a green old age, a few weeks after his favourite Rosa odorata; it stood in an angle formed by a chimney stack, which projected from the gable of the cottage, having a south aspect, and a narrow-leaved myrtle stood at the opposite angle. I believe neither plant ever had any protection; but except in such favoured situations, I think the Tea Roses in general will do little good in this climate, unless they are taken as much care of in winter as the myrtles; and we shall never see them in perfection in England until cheap Rose-houses are devised for them; the glass to be kept on from October to May, then to let them have the full benefit of our sun and air all the summer. It would be a good speculation to plant whole beds, or borders, with them, and thus covered, for cut flowers and bouquets of them all the winter, in the neighbourhood of London and other large places. After the first cost, the expense would not be much; a few small coals and cinders to warm a common flue in very hard frost would be all. A low wall, or fence, however, such as I want for the Geraniums, is all that is needed to enable us to bloom them in summer as well as they do in France; and every word I write about the Geraniums for such a fence, is applicable for these Tea Roses. I know gardeners who grow many of them in nine or ten-inch pots, in a very rich compost, for plunging out in the flower-garden from May to October, then take them up and winter them in cold frames, covered with wooden shutters and straw during very hard frost. When they are left out all the winter, a west aspect is the best for them, it secures them from the easterly winds and the morning sun—two of the worst things which can reach them when they are frosted.
I never saw a real white Tea-Rose yet; Niphetos and Devoniensis were once called white, but they are far from it; light buffs, blushes, and yellows, are their prevailing colours. Vicomtesse de Gazes is the best yellow of the lot, and Pactolus, or Le Pactole, is the second-best yellow; both are strong enough for beds, and the best bedders of the whole race. Eliza Sauvage is a splendid Rose, but it is too tender for a bedder; under a south wall, in a dry bright summer, it is a tolerable yellow, but in a wet cold season it has no colour at all. Bougere is the hardiest of them all, and as good as any against a wall. On a dry sultry morning, it is as sweet as a fresh opened tea-caddy, but it must have a wall to support its immense blooms; the colour I cannot tell, and I never yet saw it rightly described in any book or catalogue; pale rosy bronze they call it, but, like the countryman, they might as well say that its huge blossoms were as big as a piece of chalk.
Adam, a beautiful blush; Comte de Paris, a light blush; Madame Lacharme, in the way of the Malmaison Rose; Moire, a very sweet yellowish sort; Queen Victoria, the same; and Souvenir d'un Ami, a light rose colour, are as good as one could wish, and the most likely to do well out of doors. Our list of them, then, will run thus:—Adam, Bougere, Comte de Paris, Devoniensis, Eliza Sauvage, Le Pactole, or Pactolus, Madame Lacharme, Moire, Niphetos, Smith's Yellow, Queen Victoria, Souvenir dun Ami, and Vicountesse de Cazes. The last name was given wrong in some of the catalogues when it first came out, las Cassas for de Cazes.