The Garden Book of Sir Thomas Hanmer (1659) 1933


I begin with the SWEETEST and Loveliest, in all ages cherished and esteem'd. Some are SINGLE kinds, and some DOWBLE.

None of the Single are much valued by us except the Sweet Brier, for the sent of its leaves, and the Scarlet Rose, which is Yellow within, and Scarlet on the outside. It hath the small leafe of the Yellow kind, and weake branches of a red colour. It is but a Dwarfe, and is therefore usually enoculated on a Damaske or PROVINS, and because of the weaknes of the branches is usually set against a wall or palissade. It is a great bearer, but the flowers fall quickly. It loves a warme station, and agrees not with clipping or other pruning than to take away dead spriggs.

It flowers with the other kinds.

OF DOWBLE ROSES there are REDS, WHITES and YELLOW, and some stript or variegated with TWO COLOURS.


The VELVET Rose, of a deepe MURREY or PURPLE color, with some yellow thrums in the middle. The leaves are darke greene and spotted in some places with Red, somwhat larger than those of the common Red Rose. The prickles on the branches are very small, and may bee handled without offense. The flowers are not above two or three heights of leaves, which are large, and lye spreadd open. It growes up to a good high bush, and beares in standards very well, but the flowers last not. It abounds in succours at the Roote.

The PURPLE Rose, bearing a faire flower, but not soe great as the Provins, composed of very many small leaves set thicke together, and shewing no seeds in the middle. The color is deeper than the common Red, but not soe sad as the Velvet Rose. The leaves are like those of the Red. It growes to a competent height, and beares well, and is esteem'd for its dowblenes and scarcity as much as any rose wee have. It may bee kept in standards, but is most usually planted against a wall.

The PURPLE stript with WHITE, about Norwich, very rare.

The Common RED Rose, of an ill faded Red colour, and too few leaves. It is commonly kept low in a hedge, but will grow reasonable high.

The MARBLED Rose, hath the leafe of the Common Red, the flower is thicke & close enough, of the colour of the Common Red, bespotted or full speckled with an ill faded white. It is a great bearer, and usually set in standards.

ROSA MUNDI or the Christmass Rose, another new stript or variegated rose, first found in Norfolke a few years since, upon a branch of the common Red Rose, and from thence multiplied. It is like the Red in all things, but that it is stript in great flakes with indifferent good White.

The CINNAMON, a pretty sweet little Rose, very thicke, with redd branches, and small weake thornes. It is very common, and therefore no more of it here.

The GREAT RED PROVINS, with little sent, called now Centifolia Inodora in Latine, and formerly of Plyny Rosa Campana. It hath great leaves sett by paires thinne on the stemms, of a lighter color than those of the common Red, and growes into a tall bush, and loves not to bee kept low. It stands best against a wall, as the other great thicke flower'd Roses doe, yet beares in Standards.

The HUNGARIAN Rose, of an ill faded Red, fit only for stockes to enoculation, it growing high and lusty.

The ROSE without THORNES, of a color betwixt a Red and a Damaske, and SWEET.

Of the PALER REDS are

The DAMASKE Rose, very common with us, though it bee the sweetest of all, of a carnation color, indifferent full of leaves. It growes high in standards well, and hath paler and greater leaves than the Red.

The VARIEGATED DAMASKE, or YORKE AND LANCASTER, which is the true Damaske, striped well with White, a fine Rose when it markes rightly, sweet as the Damaske, and no fuller of leaves, called in Latine Prenestina.

The MONTHLY ROSE, a very Damaske in leaves and flower and sent, but it beares two or three moneths more in the yeare than the ordinary Damaske, and very plentifully, if it stand warme. It is called often ROSA ITALICA.

The DAMASKE PROVINS, a very large, and very Dowble Rose, of the color of the Damaske, and somwhat sweete. It hath such leaves as the Red Provins, but of a lighter greene color, and grows high like that. It is often called BATTAVICA MULTIPLEX in Latine.

The SWEET WILD ROSE or BRIER ROSE, not above two or three heights dowble, of a little deeper Red than the Damaske.

OF DOWBLE WHITE ROSES there are the PURE WHITE Dowble, with a weake sent. It growes very high and loves not cutting. Is full of very sharp strong prickles.

The WHITE PROVINS, a very sweete and very thicke Rose, with a little eye of very pale red in it. It beares very many flowers, and continues long, and growes high and strong.

The DOWBLE MUSKE, extreame sweet, the leaves are long and shining greene. It growes high, and hates pruning at the topps, and loves a warme wall or hedge.

Of YELLOW ROSES wee have only one Dowble, which is as bigg as a reasonable Provins, when it blowes well, which it seldome does, either in England or other countreyes, being eaten up commonly with wormes in the bud. In Italy they hold it likes best in a coole place. Wee know by experience that it loves to run up high, and not to bee cut at the tops. It is a lovely flower, being of a rich yellow color. The leafe is very small, and of a shining pale greene color. It blowes very well in open pure aire neere Hogmagog hills, not farr from Cambridge, and a light soyle.

All the kinds abovementioned flower from May to August, but the Monthly Rose beares most part of the yeare, and the Cinnamon early in the Spring, and the Dowble Muske flowers not till the end of Sommer.

These are the sorts of Roses wee have in England, at least the principall, all which prosper in a good rich garden mold, but not wett. They are either encreast by succours, layers, deviding of the rootes, cuttings, graffing, inoculation of seed. In old tyme the seed was ordinarily sowne, but now 'tis left off, it being soe long before it comes to beare, and the other wayes of multiplication soe easy, but the sowing of the seed in great quantityes certainly produces some new differences. The Cuttings are best set in October and November, and then also the Rootes devided, or the succours remov'd, though their rootes may also bee planted betimes in the Spring. Lay the layers about Michelmass, and remove them in the Spring.

All the kinds rather delight in shade than in a hott sun, a meane is best, but the cuttings and layers are best remov'd and set in the shade, and must bee water'd. It is enough to leave two or three eyes or buds above ground when you plant them, cutting off the rest, and every other yeare at furthest prune all the sorts very close, for the yong second yeare branches beare most flowers, and digg the earth about the rootes once or twice a yeare at least, putting old dung to them, and watering them with blood when you have it.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

In Italy there hath beene above twenty yeares a fine Rose, the seed whereof came thither from the East Indyes. It is called in Latine commonly ROSA SINENSIS, and by the Indians Fuyo.

It growes to a high tree for a rose, hath a leafe like a figg, or the Ivyes, and dowble large flowers, which at first breaking forth are White, and then turn Carnation, and at last Purple, and last not in Europe above two or three dayes, and in the Indyes but one, yet change into the three severall colors aforesaid in that short tyme. It is not sweet but very beautifull, yet looseth its greene leaves yearly. It is easily encreased either from cuttings or the roote or seed, and is very tender of cold, and therfore must bee hous'd in wynter, and endureth not wett upon the leaves. Hee that desireth a larger description of it, and of its culture may resort to FERRARIUS, who hath written of it, and was the first raiser of it from seed in our parts of the world.

It is in flower in SEPTEMBER.