Bazaar Exchange and Mart, and Journal of the
Household, 25: 144-145 (Aug 8, 1881)
COLOURED TEA ROSES AND BUTTON-HOLE ROSES
W. D. PRIOR
SINCE the time when the now popular race of tea roses took their origin from the tender, though fragrant, “Rosa odorata,” introduced from China. in 1810, and the old yellow china which followed at some later date, Rosa indica (monthly) having been introduced from the same country in 1789, the improvement in them has been most astonishing. Indeed, there are no roses which, for refined beauty, can compare with them in their own special field of culture, which is scarcely, in most cases, that of the open air. Though some few are hardy, such as the Gloire de Dijon race, the “house,” in a climate like that of England, is their natural and appropriate region, where their beauty attains full development and amply repays the cultivator's care. It is not intended, however, on the present occasion to bring the general subject of tea roses under discussion, but to call the attention of connoisseurs to a certain special group of varieties, for the most part of recent introduction, having features peculiar to themselves. These might appropriately be designated “tinted teas,” their ground colour being stained or suffused, as it were, with a few distinct tints, often mingled in a remarkable manner, not shading off from dark to light, or the reverse, in the usual way. If we take blooms of the old noisette Jaune Desprez (not James, as it appeared in my last paper), we shall have an admirable illustration of the mélange referred to, in which red, copper, salmon, buff, and yellow are curiously mingled in varying depths and shades of intensity (mottled, perhaps, would be a suitable term), particularly towards the centre of the flower. Noisette Ophirie, again, is another example of mixed colours though the contrast is not so striking as in some other instances.
The next step is to proceed to enumerate some of the most marked examples of the roses referred to promising that their quality as show flowers has no relation to the present phase of the subject. Many of them are quite new: some are fairly hardy in favoured climates, especially the new section of hybrid teas, and all are better as dwarfs than reared up to an unnatural elevation on the summit of a briar stick. They are all, however, best upon their own roots in which case a winter mulching of sufficient depth will secure their safety from the collar and all below the soil, but with their treatment I have nothing to do here. My object is to point them out to the notice of rose lovers, that these may look out for them and note them during the season of bloom.
It may be said that all teas are pre-eminently roses for the buttonhole, and this is true as a general principle, yet, like all general principles, ft admits of the qualification that some are more suitable than others. Take the charming apricot buds of old Safrano and of Madame Falcot, and we see at once that for certain combinations with other colours they cannot be surpassed, particularly with well matched buds of deep red, or scarlet crimson, or the delicate rosy tone of a half developed flown of Madame Knorr. It is not every rose whose buds are fit to be need a. buttonhole flowers; such ought to be more oval than round. Those which have the appearance of knobs are particularly inartistic; they ought to be longish, in the style of those of Niphetos, the most beautiful white rose amongst the whole section of teas. This, Gloire de Dijon, Maréchal Niel, La France, and Souvenir de la Malmaison, are by far the most numerously used for the buttonhole, though old General Jacqueminot is infinitely more common in the shops and amongst the flower sellers in the streets than perhaps all other kinds put together. The following amongst teas, in addition to all those enumerated in the previous part of this paper, may be considered, when in bud at various stages, as specialities amongst buttonhole flowers: