Magazine of Horticulture 3(7): 246-248 (July 1837)
Art. II. Roses—new Varieties.
By An Amateur. (Gideon B. Smith, Esq.)
|*Mag. Hort. 3(4): 129 (Apr 1837) "Of roses, I think I may say with safety, he [Samuel Feast] has at least five hundred specimens, all of which promis very favorably.|
In a former communication* I mentioned that Mr. Samuel Feast, of this city, had produced a large number of new varieties of roses, rhododendrons, azaleas, &c. Some of the roses are now in bloom, and many of them may be deemed valuable additions to our floral collections: I mean additions, for, unlike many new things with which we are blessed from year to year, by our friends over the water, they are distinct from all other known individuals—they are themselves alone. They are not old plants with new names either, as very many new plants turn out to be. And, by the way, permit me to digress for the purpose of giving you an instance of the re-christening of plants, evidently for the purpose of increasing sales. In one of your numbers of last winter, a correspondent, writing from Philadelphia, mentioned the monthly cabbage rose, that they had in Philadelphia, in such terms that I immediately sent to the person whom I guessed was the writer, for the monthly cabbage rose spoken of, referring to the Magazine for the description. He sent me the rose—and what do you think it proves to be? Why, the Gloria de France; the same we have had for some time, and of which one of our gardeners (Mr. John Feast,) had an abundance of saleable plants, the stock of which he got from Philadelphia. There is no mistake about it—the plants are in bloom, and speak, as loud as full-blown roses can speak, for themselves. Besides which, the label on the plant which I received bears this inscription, (in the hand-writing of the person of whom I obtained it, and who I guess to be the author of the article above alluded to in your Magazine.) The label is "Gloria de France, or Monthly cabbage." Now, sir, what is the object of giving a new name to this rose, but to enable the person to sell them to those who had them before under another name? When your Magazine arrived here with the notice of the monthly cabbage, all our gardeners and many amateurs were on tiptoe to get it. I got the start of them in my hurry to be cheated, and saved them the expense and trouble of getting what they already possessed. The rose is a very fine one, and is not inappropriately called the monthly cabbage; but its other and well known name should have accompanied the new one, to prevent mistakes, and paying dearly for duplicates. By the way, the monthly cabbage sells for something more in Philadelphia than the Gloria de France, which I suppose is to pay for the trouble of giving it a new name.
But to return to Mr. Feast's roses. I have just seen six Ayrshire roses, four pure white and two pink, all of exquisite form, and very double. The whites are pure almost as snow, and the pinks exquisitely rich and bright. But the greatest acquisitions are those called by him La belle Triumphe, the crimson Ayrshire, the perpetual Bourbon, and the double prairie rose. La belle Triumphe is very dark crimson in the centre of the flower, growing paler towards the circumference, till it gets quite light pink, resembling somewhat the flower of the microphylla rose. It is very double, and cabbage form. The perpetual Bourbon is like the old Bourbon rose in form and color, but is a perpetual bloomer. The double prairie rose was produced from the seed of a plant raised from the seed of the wild rose of the western prairies. It is decidedly one of the most beautiful roses I ever saw. It is of the richest possible crimson, of the cabbage form, and when fully open forms a perfect goblet, the petals forming a cup so close and compact that it will hold water. In the centre there are a few imperfect petals, beautifully striped with white and yellow. It is altogether a most valuable addition to our gardens. Some of the Ayrshire roses are the most lovely white flowers you can imagine. These are only a few, a very few, of the new varieties of Mr. Feast's roses; but they are so very striking, that I thought I would attempt a description of them, as a confirmation of what I have before written to you. I ought to mention, also, that Mr. John Feast has a very large collection of new varieties (also produced by cross impregnation,) of roses, rhododendrons, pelargoniums, azaleas, &c.
"Last, not least," permit me to mention a couple of roses in my own collection, that I think highly of. They were raised from seed by a much respected lady of South Carolina, now deceased, who did me the great favor of sending them to me, and for which favor I cannot be sufficiently grateful to her memory. One is the Herbemonti grandiflora, a very tall growing plant, deep rich pink flowers, double, and exquisitely beautiful. The only fault with it is the simultaneous opening of nearly all the buds, thus producing a mass of bloom, covering the plant from top to bottom, (it is seven feet high,) and thus making the time of its flowering short, only about ten days: it is evidently a hybrid. The other is the Herbemont musk cluster. The flowers are double the size of the common white musk cluster, equally white, much more fragrant, and the plant is far more prolific and a perpetual bloomer. Last year my plant had three branches; this year it has upwards of one hundred and fifty branches, all bearing the buds of large clusters of flowers. Of all plants I ever saw, I never came across so thrifty a grower. The fragrance is so profuse that it fills the air for fifty yards around. This plant was raised from seed by the late Mrs. N. Herbemont, of Columbia, S. C., who sent me the original plant, retaining only a few cuttings for herself. Like her most excellent husband, whose writings I have often seen gracing your pages, this lady was passionately fond of floriculture, and produced many new varieties of roses and other plants. Among them she produced a very large white rose, very double, pure white, tall growth, and a perpetual bloomer. Three times has she and my very excellent friend, her husband, sent me cuttings and slips of it, but with all my exertions I have never been able to make them grow; and Mr. Herbemont informs me that he has also failed in every attempt to propagate it, by budding, grafting, layering, &c. I do not however despair of getting it, as Mr. H. will persevere in his trials to produce a rooted plant. From what I have written, you will perceive the propriety of the names given the Herbemont roses.
Baltimore, June 10, 1837.
Mr Feast has also tried charcoal in rooting plants from cuttings, and has succeeded in growing in this way Herbemont's musk cluster rose, which he has been unable to multiply by cuttings, in the ordinary way.