The Garden: an illustrated weekly journal of gardening in all its branches 73: 151 (Mar 27, 1909)
The classification of perpetual-flowering Roses.
ALEXANDER HILL GRAY,
Island of Santa Maria, Azores, Portugal.

I have read with much interest both the Rev. Mr. Pemberton's and Mr. Prince's letters as to the re-classification of perpetual-flowering Roses. I think many, if not most, rosarians are of the opinion that the so-called Hybrid Perpetual Roses are misnamed, and I agree with Mr. Prince that the simple name of "Hybrids" would truly and correctly classify these latter. Mr. Pemberton rightly draws attention to the fact that certain Roses classed as hybrids are misclassed, quoting among others Frau Karl Druschki as an instance in point. On the occasion of a most agreeable visit which I paid to the raiser of that Rose at Treves, I took the liberty of asking Mr. Lambert why he had classed his famous Rose as a Hybrid Perpetual, adding that as it had obtained for me the only medal I had ever gained in England for a Hybrid Perpetual, it seemed to me that my light soil at Bath was testifying to a mistake on the raiser's part in classifying Frau Karl Druschki as a Hybrid Perpetual. While urging that the said Rose did contain a moiety of hybrid blood, it appeared to me that Mr. Lambert regretted that he had not classed the Rose as a Hybrid Tea. Leaving the Hybrid Perpetuals, Mr. Pemberton next enquires why, among other Roses, Mrs. Edward Mawley should be classed as a Tea? Possibly the reply to this would be that doubtless Mrs. Edward Mawley claims some fair share of Tea blood, and allowing such to be the case, what can even a first-class raiser of Roses do it both friends and neighbours beseech him to name after each of them, not one of your hybrids, nor yet even one of your beautiful Hybrid Teas, no! nothing less than that embodiment of loveliness — a perfect Tea Rose? To Mr. Pemberton's enquiry, Can anything be done to rectify Roses wrongly classed? I would suggest that after a Rose has been fairly tested a verdict given by the experts of the National Rose Society should suffice to place the Rose under its proper heading ; at least, in our own country. But when — and because of mistakes on the part of some raisers of Roses — Mr. Pemberton calmly suggests that a general conglomeration (which he calls an amalgamation) of Hybrid Perpetuals, Hybrid Teas and Teas should be made, I recall to mind the last conversation I had with Dean Hole, one of the founders and the first president of our National Rose Society. While admiring, at the Temple Show, a lovely Hermanos, the Dean reminded me "that no Tea Rose had been named after himself." Remembering this and the many conversations I had with that enthusiastic lover of Tea Roses, as Dean Hole certainly was, I naturally ask. What would he have thought of the proposition to demolish the Tea classes; this, too, in the cause of "progress"? Again, I remember our late secretary, the Rev. Mr. D'ombrain, telling me that other rosarians thought with himself that any highly coloured crimson Tea seemed out of place when exhibited along with the other Teas. May I not ask, too, what Mr. D'ombrain would have thought of a pseudo "progress" which, after bowling over his pet Tea classes, would condescendingly permit an exceptional Tea bloom to be exhibited, probably between two giant hybrids, in one of Mr. Pemberton's "specimen" boxes? What, too, the late Mr. Benjamin Cant (whose own prize medal Souvenir d'Elise Vardon will ever live in the memory — by whose advice I built wall after wall solely for the cultivation of Teas) would have thought of a progress which would simply annihilate the Tea classes? And that celebrated Tea Rose-grower, Mr. George Prince, with his never-to-be-forgotten Nadaillacs? Surely Mr. Pemberton's heretical proposition is enough to make these canonised rosarians turn in their graves! And our own Rev. Mr. Burnside! No need can there be of asking what he thinks of such progress; he whose Cleopatras and Innoeente Pirolas of auld lang syne must have rejoiced the cherubim and the seraphim, even allowing, as in conformity with the Rev. Mr. Pemberton's notion of progress, that these latter had already been amalgamated with the archangelic choirs. "Specimen Roses'' Mr. Pemberton describes "as Roses whose value lies principally in the beauty of the individual flowers as staged for exhibition." May I take it that such are the blooms usually selected by the judges as being most worthy of medals? For if Roses unmistakably inferior to medal blooms fall under the category of "Specimen Roses," what advantage is there to be gained by such exhibits, as we have enough and to spare of such blooms at our ordinary Rose shows? If, on the other hand, medal blooms are to be demanded, any of the judges will tell you that such blooms are few and far between; that even the great nurserymen with their thousands find it difficult to discover such in their nurseries. How, then, can the ordinary run of amateurs be expected to stage, on any given day, a box of blooms worthy to be considered as " Specimen Roses"?