Floricultural Cabinet 6(66): 177-180 (Aug 1, 1838)
REMARKS ON THE ROSE
THE following very striking remarks on that lovely flower the Rose, I recently met with, and extract them for insertion in the Cabinet, the ardency with which the plant is now cultivated, and the season of blooming alike, will justify my requesting their immediate insertion.
The rose which is the emblem of beauty and the pride of Flora, reigns queen of the flowers in every part of the globe; and the bards of all nations have sung its praises. Yet what poet has been able, or language sufficient, to do justice to a plant that has been denominated the daughter of heaven, the glory of the spring, and the ornament of the earth.
As it is the most common of all that compose the garland of Flora, so it is the most delightful. Every country boasts of it, and every beholder admires it; poets have celebrated its charms without exhausting its eulogiums, for its allurements increase upon a familiarity, and every fresh view presents new beauties, and gives additional delight. Hence it renovates the imagination of the bard, and the very name of the flower gives harmony to his numbers, as its odours give sweetness to the air.
To paint this universal emblem of delicate splendor in its own hues, the pencil should be dipped in the tints of Aurora, when arising amidst her aerial glory. Human art can neither colour nor describe so fair a flower. Venus herself finds a rival in the rose, whose beauty is composed of all that is exquisite and graceful.
It has been made the symbol of sentiments as opposite as various. Piety seized it to decorate her temples, whilst Love expressed its tenderness by wreaths, and Jollity, revelled adorned with crowns of roses. Grief strews it on the tomb and luxury spreads it on the couch. It is mingled with our tears, and spread in our gayest walks; in epitaphs it expresses youthful modesty and chastity, whilst in the songs of the Bacchanalians their god is compared to this flower. The beauty of the morning is allegorically represented by this flower, and Aurora is depictured strewing roses before the chariot of Phoebus.
morning paints the orient skies,
Her fingers burn with roseate dyes."
It is thought to have given name to the Holy Land, where Solomon sung its praise, as Syria appears to be derived from Suri, a delicate species of rose, for which that beautiful country has always been famous; and hence called Suristan, the land of Roses,
Forster says, "the rose of Kashmire for its brilliancy and delicacy of odour has long been proverbial in the East."
has not heard of the vale of Cashmere,
With its roses the brightest that earth ever gave."
The oriental poetry abounds in flowery allusions to this plant. "You may place a hundred handfuls of fragrant herbs and flowers before the nightingale, yet he wishes not in his constant heart, for more than the sweet breath of his beloved rose."
sooner shall the rose of May
Mistake her own sweet nightingale,
And to some meaner minstrel's lay
Open her bosom's glowing veil."
The Ghebers say, that when Abraham, their great prophet was thrown into the fire by the order of Nimrod, the flame turned instantly into "a bed of roses, where the child sweetly reposed."
According to the heathen mythology, Pagoda Siri one of the wives of Wistnou, was found in a rose.
The island of Rhodes owes its name to the prodigious quantity of roses with which it abounds.
Ludivico Verthema, who travelled into the east in the year 1503, observes, that Taessa was particularly celebrated for roses, and that he saw a great quantity of these flowers at Calicut, both red, white, and yellow; and Sir William Ousely tells us, in his work on Persia, that when he entered the flower garden belonging to the governor of a castle near Fassa, he was overwhelmed with roses. In Persia, wine and other liquors are brought to table with a rose in the bottle, instead of a stopple or cork.
Jackson says, that the roses of the Jinan Nile, or the garden of the Nile, attached to the emperor of Morocco's palace, are unequalled, and that mattrasses are made of their petals for the men of rank to recline upon; and we read in Father Catrou's " Histoire de Mogol," that the celebrated princess Nourmahal caused an entire canal to be filled with rose water, upon which she took her pleasure with the Great Mogul.
The heat of the sun disengaging the water from the essential oil of the rose, this substance was remarked floating on the surface of the canal; and it was thus that the otto of roses was first discovered.
A perfumer in Paris who made otto of Roses for the court of Louis the Sixteenth, says, that it required four thousand pounds weight of rose leaves to produce seventeen ounces of the oil.
Of the birth of the rose, it is related in fable, that Flora having found the corpse of a favourite nymph, whose beauty of person was only surpassed by the purity of her heart and chastity of mind, resolved to raise a plant from the precious remains of this daughter of the dryads, for which purpose she begged the assistance of Venus and the Graces, as well as all the deities that. preside over gardens, to assist in the transformation of the nymph into a flower, that was to be by them proclaimed queen of all the vegetable beauties. The ceremony was attended by the Zephyrs, who cleared the atmosphere, in order that Apollo might bless the new created progeny with his beams. Bacchus supplied rivers of nectar to nourish it, and Vertumnus poured his choicest perfumes over the plant. When the metamorphosis was complete, Pomona strewed her fruit over the young branches, which were then crowned by Flora with a diadem, that had been purposely prepared by the celestials to distinguish this queen of flowers.
Anacreon's birth of the rose stands thus translated by Moore:
whence could such a plant have sprung?
Attend—for thus the tale is sung:
When, humid from the silvery stream,
Venus appear'd, in flushing hues,
MelIow'd by Ocean's briny dews—
When, in the starry courts above,
The pregnant brain of mighty Jove
Disclosed the nymph of azure glance—
The nymph who shakes the martial lance.
Then, then, in strange eventful hour,
The earth produced an infant flower,
Which sprung, with blushing tinctures drest,
And wanton'd o'er its parent's breast.
The gods beheld this brilliant birth,
And hail'd the rose—the boon of earth!
With nectar drops, a ruby tide,
The sweetly orient buds they dyed,
And bade them bloom, the flowers divine
Of him who sheds the teeming vine:
and bade them on the spangled thorn
Expand their bosoms to the morn."
(To be continued)
Floricultural Cabinet 6(67): 205-208 (Sept 1, 1838)
Continued from page 180.
Fabulous authors also account for the delicious perfume of the rose, by telling us that Love, in a feast of Olympus, in the midst of the gaiety of a light and lively dance, overthrew, with a stroke of his wing, a cup of nectar, which precious liquor falling on the rose, embalmed it with that heavenly fragrance which it still retains.
Mythological writers also relate that Rhodante, queen of Corinth, to avoid the pursuit of her lovers, fled to the temple of Diana to conceal herself; but being besieged by lovers, and obliged to appear, she called on the people for assistance, who, on beholding her beauty, threw down the statue of Diana, and declared her to be the goddess of the temple; upon which Apollo changed her into a rose.
The first rose ever seen was said to have been given by the god of love to Harpocrates, the god of silence, to engage him not to divulge the amours of his mother Venus; and from hence the ancients made it a symbol of silence, and it became a custom to place a rose above their heads in their banquetting rooms, in order to banish restraint, as nothing there said would be repeated elsewhere; and from this practice originated the saying, "under the rose," when any thing was to be kept secret.
The Turks are great admirers of this beautiful flower, and Mussulmen in general believe, that it first sprang from the perspiration of Mahomet, on which account they will not suffer a rose leaf to lie on the ground, or permit any one to tread upon this sacred flower.
In the luxurious days of the ancients, even the warriors crowned themselves with garlands of roses, during their principal repast; and Pliny tells us, their delicate meats were either covered with the petals of these fragrant flowers, or sprinkled with its odorous oils. At a feast which Cleopatra gave to Anthony, the royal apartments were covered with rose leaves to a considerable depth.
The triumvir, when dying, begged of the captivating queen that she would scatter perfumes on his tomb, and cover it with roses.
In Turkey, a rose is sculptured on the monument of all ladies that die unmarried; and in Poland they cover the coffins of children with roses, and when the funeral passes the streets, a number of these roses are thrown from the windows. Camden tells us, "There is a classical custom observed, time out of mind, at Oakley, in Surry, of planting a rose tree on the graves, especially of the young men and maidens who have lost their lovers; so that this church-yard is full of them." It is the more remarkable, since it was used anciently both amongst the Greeks and Romans; who were so very religious in it, that we find it often annexed as a codicil to their wills (as appears by an old inscription at Ravenna, and another at Milan), by which they ordered roses to be strewed and planted over their graves.
This ancient custom of decorating graves with flowers, the symbols of fleeting mortality, has almost passed from recollection in this country, and is rapidly disappearing in most parts of Wales; but we read in the " Beauties of England," that Thomas Stevens, a poor and aged man, who lies buried in the church-yard of the village of Stokenchurch, in Oxfordshire, left a request that his oldest son would annually dress his grave with flowers on the recurrence of the wake of St. Peter's.
The Mexicans, says the Abbê Clavigero, have from time immemorial studied the cultivation of flowers and odorous plants which they employ in the worship of their gods; and in the temple of the true God, the high priest was formerly crowned with roses. The Catholic church has still preserved the use of these flowers in its most sacred ceremonies, as it is always the rose that they strew before the holy sacrament in solemn processions.
There is now to be seen at Rome in the church of Saint Susan, an old Mosaic, which represents Charlemagne kneeling, receiving of St. Peter, a standard covered with roses. The custom of blessing the rose is still preserved at Rome, and the day is called Dominica in rosa. They make in that city artificial rose-trees of pure gold, which are blessed by the Pope on the first Sunday in Lent, while they sing Laetera Jerusalema, and which after mass, he carries in procession, and then sends it to sovereigns, or presents it to princes who visit his capital: and it was the custom until about these last forty years, for the prince who received this rose tree, to give a sum equal to five hundred pounds to the person who brought him this present from the pope; but the rose-tree itself was worth twice that sum.
Pope Julius the Second sent a consecrated rose of gold, dipped in chrism, and perfumed with musk, to Archbishop Warham, to be presented to Henry the Eighth, at high mass, with the apostolical benediction. The king received the precious rose, and more precious benediction, with profound reference and excessive joy. But every body knows how soon the remembrance of this rose faded with this capricious monarch.
Mary Stuart, queen of Scots sent a magnificent rose-tree to Rosnard, the French poet, of the sixteenth century which was valued at two thousand crowns, with this inscription: Rosnard, l'Apollon de la Source des Muses.
Bayle relates an accident which happened at the baptism of Rosnard. In those days it was customary to bring large vases full of rose water, and baskets of flowers to christenings; and as the nurse was going to church with the infant bard, she let her flowers fall, and in turning to recover them, she touched the attendant who carried the vase of rose water, and spilt it on the child; and this says Bayle, was since regarded as a happy presage of the good odour that would some day scatter his poetry.
Painters represent Saint Dorothy holding a nosegay of roses, because it is told in her life that an angel gave her a bunch of roses; and a prodigy is related of Saint Louis the Ninth of France. It is pretended that a rose was seen to come out of his mouth after his death.
In the Abbey of Saint Croix, at Poictiers, they show a pillar that was raised to commemorate a pretended miracle, and where they tell you a rose-tree in full blossom sprung out of the grave of a young man after the day of his interment. It is truly shocking that the teachers of Christianity should countenance such absurd superstitions. We could enumerate many others coupled with the rose; but we are more anxious to give space for an account of the agreeable use to which this flower was put by Saint Medard, who about the year 530 instituted the most affecting prize piety has ever offered to virtue. It was a crown of roses for that villager's daughter who was the most modest, most obedient to her parents, and the most discreet. The first rose tree was his own sister, whom he crowned in the church of Salency.
We cannot pass over unnoticed the well-known story of the rose leaf, which shows how fond the eastern nations were of conveying their thoughts by hieroglyphics.
At Amadan there was a famous academy, the rules of which were, that the members of it should think much, write little, and speak as seldom as possible. Zeba, a learned doctor, celebrated all over the east for his great knowledge, hearing of a vacancy in this institution, hastened to the city in order to be elected. Unfortunately he arrived too late, for the place had already been filled by a candidate, who, like many in those times, owed his success more to his power than to his deserts. The president of the academy filled a vase so full of water that an additional drop would make it run over, by which the doctor was to understand that their society was too full to admit of another member.
The learned Zeb was retiring sorrowfully, when by chance he perceived a petal of a rose at his feet, which he seized with promptness, and placed so delicately on the top of the water, that it did not disturb it in the least. This ingenious allusion was received by the assembly with the greatest approbation, and the academicians testified by their unanimous applause, their consent to the reception of the illustrious Zeb as a member of their mute society.
(To be continued)
Floricultural Cabinet 6(68): 230-232 (Oct 1, 1838)
Continued from page 208.
Oriana when confined a prisoner in a lofty tower, threw a wet rose to her lover to express her grief and love; and in the floral language of the East, presenting a rose-bud with thorns and leaves, is understood to express both fear and hope; and when, returned reversed, it signifies, that you must neither entertain fear or hope. If the thorns be taken off before it is returned, then it expresses you have every thing to hope; but if the leaves be striped off, it gives the receiver to understand that he has every thing to fear. The pronoun I is understood by inclining the flower to the right, and the pronoun thou, by inclining it to the left.
The poet Bonnefons sent to the object of his love a nosegay consisting of a white and a red rose, the one to indicate the paleness of his complexion, caused by anxiety, and the other by its carnation tint, was to express the flames of his heart.
The flower which Philostratus dedicated to Cupid is made to speak the language of love. We are told that some persons pass through life without feeling the arrows of the young god; and we read of others who could not endure the sight and smell of roses. Mary de Medicis, it is said, detested roses even in paintings, and the knight of Guise fainted at the sight of a rose. These strange aversions are unnatural, and the objects deserve our pity.
Man alone seems born sensible to the delights of perfumes, and employs them to give energy to his passions, for animals and insects in general shun them. The beetle is said to have such an antipathy to roses, that the odour of this flower will cause its death; from which the ancients devised the allegory, to describe a man enervated by luxury, by representing him under the image of a beetle expiring surrounded by roses.
Madame de Genlis tells us that formerly the rose was so precious in France that in several parts of that country the inhabitants, were not allowed to cultivate it, as if all but the powerful were unworthy of such a gift; and at other times we find it mentioned among the ancient rights of manors, to levy a tax or tribute of so many bushels of roses, for the provision of rose-water for their lord, whose table was also covered with rose leaves instead of napkins. The French parliament had formerly a great day of ceremony, called "Baillée de Roses," because great quantities of roses were then distributed.
We presume that it was formerly more customary to use rose water, in this country than at present, as we find amongst the charges in the account of a dinner of Lord Leiyster, chancellor, of the university of Oxford, Sept. 5th, 1570: "For iij oz. of rose-watere, for boylde meats, and leaches, gelleys, and drie leaches, and marche payne, and to wash afore dinnere iij s. ix d."
Rose water is still in such demand in Damascus, for the purposes of cookery, that many hogsheads of it are sold daily in the markets of that city.
As we now possess upwards of eight hundred different kinds of Roses, it would be in vain to attempt the description of all the varieties and sub-varieties, which nothing short of the most minute inspection can discover, and the nicest pencil pourtray. To such of our readers as wish to see the roses pictured, we recommend them to inspect the work which Miss Lawrence has published in this country, and "Les Roses, par Redouté," published at Paris in three folio volumes.
Of the roses which are natives of these islands, the British Botanist of 1820, notice twenty belonging to England, four to Scotland, one to Ireland, and one to the Scilly Islands. These are made to form seven distinct species in the Hortus Kewensis, the most delightful of which is the sweet-brier, or eglantine, Rosa Rubiginosa or Eglanteria.
sweet-brier hedges, bath'd in dew,
Let me my wholesome path pursue."
gentle air! and while the thickest bloom,
Convey the jasmin's breath divine,
Convey the woodbine's rich perfume,
Nor spare the sweet-leaved eglantine."
It is noticed by Chaucer, as long back as the middle of the fourteenth century:
With sycamore was set and eglaterre.
This species of rose is found in chalky or gravelly soils, on heaths or hedges in most parts of Europe; but the size and fragrance of the leaf is greatly improved by cultivation, that has produced six varieties of this fragrant leaved brier, the most beautiful of which are the double-flowered and the double moss brier. It is hardly possible to scatter this shrub too thickly in the plantation, and when we pass hedges of this odorous thorny plant, after a spring shower, we feel not only delighted but refreshed by the fragrance.
The name of Eglantine, by which the sweet-leaved brier is known, is taken from the French eglantier. That we so often find French names given to our native plants is not singular, as after the conquest, French became the written language of this country for many centuries. The Greeks called all the wild roses or briers Kunorodon, because the root was thought to cure the bite of a mad dog, and the Latins for the same reason, named them canina, and from them we call one of our hedge briers, the Dog-rose.
It is the Dog-rose, rosa Canina, that decorates our hedge-rows with its tall arching branches and lively odorous flowers in the months of June and July. From the petals of this blush-coloured wild rose, a perfumed water may be distilled, which is thought to be more fragrant than that from garden roses. The leaves of this brier, when dried and infused in boiling water, are often used as a substitute for tea, and have a grateful smell and subastringent taste.
The fruit of this brier also forms one of the greatest beauties amongst the autumnal tints, being of a bright scarlet, perfectly smooth and glossy, and of an elegant oblong shape. This briar is often called the hip tree, from the name of the fruit.
(To be continued.)
Floricultural Cabinet 6(69): 250-253) (Nov 1, 1838)
(Continued from page 232.)
MANY persons eat this fruit with pleasure when mellowed by the frost. It was formerly much used as a conserve, the seeds being taken out, and the pulp beaten with sugar. Gerrard says, "The fruit when it is ripe, maketh most pleasant meates, and banketting dishes, as tartes, and such like."
The fruit of the rose is nothing more than fleshy urceolate calyx, from whence the stigma springs, and it afterwards becomes the repositary of the true fruit or seed, after the manner of the fig, excepting that the seeds of the hip, are divided by silky bristles, or prickly fibres, which cause great irritation on the primae viae when eaten.
It is the strong shoots of this species of rose-tree that the largest kind of garden roses are now grafted on; and by this means we see, instead of bushes, tall stems growing out a-head, in imitation of the forest trees. Where it is desirable to raise them to a height above dwarf bushes, it has a good effect; as also when planted in flower gardens, as pinks and other flowers may cover the ground with blossoms, whilst the rose form a kind of parasol over them; but in general we prefer a rose bush to a tree of roses, and are better pleased to look into a rose than up to it. Delille notices this modern practice with that of keeping apple trees in a dwarf state.
old the rose on lowly bramble sprung,
While high in air the ruddy apple hung!
Now, strange reverse! the rose-tree fills the skies,
While scarce from earth our apple trees arise."
The white field rose, Rosa arvensis, is commonly called the White Dog-rose. This is much less fragrant than the last mentioned. As the fruit of this kind ripens, it changes from an oblong into a globose shape. The style of the flower, as soon as they have passed through the neck of the calyx, are compacted into a cylinder, resembling a single style, terminated by a knob composed of the stigmas, which distinguish it from the other species. It is said to be the most common rose in the west of Yorkshire, and is generally mentioned as the rebel rose.
A young English lady appearing in company in Paris, with a sprig of orange flowers in her bosom, was thus complimented by a Frenchman for the clearness of her complexion, at the same time, that he gave her a delicate hint that her bosom was more exposed than modesty allowed.
Tory, why the jest,
Of wearing orange in thy breast?
Since this breast so clearly shows
The whiteness of the rebel rose."
That both the white and the red rose were formerly considered rebellious emblems, the blood of our ancestors has fully proved.
here I prophesy—This brawl to day
Grown to this faction, in the Temple garden,
Shall send, between the red rose and the white,
A thousand souls to death and deadly night."
The idea of taking a white or a red rose, as an ensign for the parties who caused such dreadful devastation in this country for many ages, seems to have originated in the Temple Gardens of London, if we may trust to poetical history, that says in King Henry the Sixth,
the Temple hall we were too loud;
The garden here is more convenient"
From the year 1454, until the families were united in 1485, civil war laid waste the fairest portion of our country, and the sons of one father often engaged in battle, and sometimes the father against the son, under the different banners of the red and white rose.
In times of terror, fear and superstition are generally seen hand in hand. During these ages of domestic wars, we are told they discovered a rose tree at Longleat, which bore white flowers on one side and red ones on the other side, prognosticating both the division and uniting of the two families.
It was pretended upon the marriage of Henry the Seventh, to Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward the Fourth, that the rose first appeared with mixed petals of red and white, which is still acknowledged throughout Europe as the emblem of that happy union, by the name of York, and Lancaster Rose."
Gerrard tells us that the double white rose formerly grew wild in the hedges of Lancashire, in great abundance as briers. This we presume was the white dog rose which had become double by some accidental circumstance, and that the variety propagated itself by suckers and layers, in a soil that was suitable for that purpose.
"The sweetest rose where all are roses."
The most delightful rose of which the garden boasts is the Provence, or provins rose, Rosa provincialis, and which has been claimed by the inhabitants of the south of France as a native of Provence; whilst the Dutch, says Gerrard, consider themselves entitled to this flower, and say, as it first came out of Holland, it ought to have been named the Holland Rose, and not Provence rose; but it appears very evidently from Pliny, that neither of these countries can justly hold it as a native plant. He calls it a Greek rose, and thus describes it in the fourth chapter of his twenty-first book, The rose named Graecula, has its petals or flower leaves folded or lapped over each other so closely, that they will not open of themselves, unless they be forced with the fingers, and therefore look as if they were always in the bud, but when they are expanded, they are the largest of all the roses," This account correctly corresponds with the nature of the Provence rose, which is often called the Cabbage rose, from the manner in which the petals cabbage or fold over each other. As this rose is so nearly allied to the damask rose, it is probable the Greeks first obtained it from the vicinity of Damascus, and that the trivial change is owing to soil and cultivation.
(To be continued.)
Floricultural Cabinet 6(70): 280-286 (Dec 1, 1838)
(Continued from page 253.)
AT what period this beautiful flower first found its way into English gardens is uncertain. Gerard speaks of it as no rarity in 1597. Hackluyt says, that the damask rose was, brought in by Dr. Linaker, physician to King Henry VII. and his successor. But from the verses of Chaucer, and other old Poets, it appears that the garden roses were common in this country at a much earlier period, and we can hardly suppose that so many pilgrimages would be made to Rome, and even to Jerusalem, without some one's bringing back plants of these flowers, that were so commonly used in Christian churches, and so highly extolled for their medicinal virtues.
In those early days the principal gardens of this kingdom were attached to priories and other religious edifices, and as the heads of these establishments had frequent communication with similar communities on the continent, we may safely conclude that so precious a gift as the rose would not pass neglected. From the uxurious manner in which the Romans lived in this country for many ages, and from their habit of wearing wreaths of roses at their banquets, it is more than probable that they introduced many kinds of their own roses into the gardens which they formed in this island. The principal variety of the Provence rose are, the Common, Scarlet, Blush, White, Rose de Meaux, Pompone, Rose de Rheims, Childing's Blandford, Rose of St. Francis, Shailer's, and the varieties of the Damask rose are, the Red, Blush, York and Lancaster, Red monthly, White monthly, Blush monthly, Great Royal, Blush Goliath, and Imperial blush, with many others that are yearly raised in various parts of the world by sowing the seed.
THE MOSS ROSE.—Muscova.
rose that hails the morning,
Arrayed in all its sweets,
Its mossy couch adorning,
The sun enamour'd meets."
This elegant rose is generally supposed to be the offspring of the Provence rose, whilst others think it belongs to the family of Centifolia or hundred leaved rose. It appears to be quite unknown to the ancients, as they have left no description of a flower that resembles it, and it is too singularly beautiful to have escaped Pliny's notice, had it been in existence, By Furber's catalogue it appears that it was cultivated here in 1724; but Miller first saw it in Dr. Boerhaave's garden in Leyden in 1727. The learned Doctor not only corresponded with many botanical persons in this country, but visited England, and became a member of the Royal Society of London. It is therefore most likely that on its first appearance in this country, a plant would be forwarded to Leyden, for the inspection of a person that all Europe was then regarding as the star of the age.
Although the moss rose appears to be a plant of so short an existence, its birth place is not satisfactorily known; but from all the accounts we can collect of its register, it appears to be a fortuitous child of England, as we have numerous accounts of its having been exported, but none of its importation into this island, nor has it been discovered elsewhere, except in a state of cultivation. Messrs. Lee and Kennedy, of Hammersmith have, a few years since produced a perfectly single moss rose, which they pronounce to be only a variety of the common Provins rose. We must therefore conclude that the moss-like pubescence of the calyx and young branches, is owing to some accidental circumstance which this climate produces, as we are told that this variety loses its mossiness, almost immediately when planted in Italy, and we have not yet heard of this rose having been in any instance raised from seed, for the single moss rose was reduced to that state from the double variety (either accidentally or intentionally) by a peculiar mode of cultivation. The single variety of the moss rose, as well as the double white moss rose, still continue scarce, and bring high prices to the nurserymen near London.
The moss rose is made the emblem of voluptuous love, and the creative imagination of the poet thus pleasingly accounts for this rose having clad itself in a mossy garment:
angel of the flowers, one day,
Beneath a rose-tree, sleeping lay.
That spirit—to whose charge is given,
To bathe young buds in dews from heaven.
Awaking from his light repose,
The angel whisper'd to the rose,—
' O fondest object of my care,
Still fairest found where all are fair,
For the sweet shade thou'st given to me,
Ask what thou wilt, 'tis granted thee,'
'Then,' said the rose, 'with deepened glow,
On me another grace bestow.'
The spirit paused in silent thought,
What grace was there that flower had not?
'Twas but a moment—o'er, the rose
A veil of moss the angel throws.
And, robed in nature's simplest weed,
Can there a flower that rose exceed?"
M. Redouté, the author of a French pictured work on Roses, seems displeased at our claiming the moss rose as originating in England: he says, nous ferons observer qu'il n'est pas rare de voir les Iconographes Anglais considérer beacoup de plantes comme indigènes au sol de leur pays, toutes les fois que le lieu dans lequel elles végetent naturellement leur est inconnu, circonstance qui doit faire rejeter toutes les assertions de ce genre."
Madame de Genlis tells us, that during her first visit to England, she saw moss roses for the first time, and that she took to Paris a moss rose-tree, which was the first that had been in that city; and she says, in 1810, " the cultivation of this superb flower is not yet known in France."
Madame de Latour endeavours to do away with this statement. In a high strain of compliment, she says, "when Madame de Genlis returned from London to Paris, she was become very celebrated, and the crowds of people who went to her house under pretence of seeing the moss rose were attracted thither by that lady's celebrity; and the modesty of Madame Genlis alone could have led her into this error; for this rose tree," she adds, "which is originally from Provence, has been known to us for several ages."
Mr. Rossig, who has lately published a work on roses, and with good coloured figures, says, that the moss rose is found on the Alps. But this information comes rather late, as it is improbable that a plant of such a size and singular beauty should have escaped the penetrating eyes of the various botanists who have herbalized so frequently on these mountains, as not to have left a species of grass or even moss unrecorded.
The moss rose is propagated by layers or suckers which it sends up plentifully when growing in rich light garden mould, that is rather moist than over dry. When the branches are laid down they should be slightly bent so as to crack the bark, which will cause them to take root sooner. This beautiful rose is also in. creased by budding upon stocks of the other sorts, which is generally performed in the month of May; but these plants are not so durable as those raised by layers.
THE HUNDRED-LEAVED ROSE—Rosa Centfolia.
This is the rose which painters chuse to represent Love and Hymen. It is certainly a fine flower, being very double and of a deep crimson colour; but the perfume is very weak, and the petals do not hang so loose and gracefully as in many other species; and it has, from the regularity of its petals, been compared to a rose made by a turner, and there called Flos quasi tornatus.
This species of rose, which has become the Parent of a most numerous variety, is a native of the mountains lying between 41 and 42 degrees of north latitude, if we may trust to the best ancient natural historian that ever wrote on plants. Pliny says, that the roses which grow about Campania, in Italy, and near Philippi, in Greece, are so double, that they have a hundred leaves, and are therefore called Centifolia. "However," says the author, "these soils do not bring forth these hundred-leaved roses naturally, for it is the mountain Pangaeus, near adjoining upon which they grow naturally, but when transplanted into the neighbourhood of Philippi, they become finer flowers than when on their native mountain;" and he adds, that "these very double roses are not so sweet as others."
This author tells us, that Caepio who lived in the time of Tiberius, was of opinion, that the hundred-leaved rose had no grace in a garland either for smell or beauty, and therefore should not be used in chaplets. Loureiro mentions it as a native of China; but Theophrastus and Pliny, clearly prove it to be an European tree.
Aiton does not notice the native place of this rose, and it is also omitted in Le Bon Jordainier, of Paris, down to the present time. The able compiler of the Hortus Kewensis, tells us from Gerard, that it was cultivated in our gardens in 1596. This appears to be an error, as Gerard in the original edition only notices this rose from the ancients; Martyn has fallen into the same mistake in his admirable edition of Miller.
We are not therefore able to discover at what time this rose was introduced, as it is not mentioned by Parkinson, in his Garden of Pleasant Flowers, of 1629; nor does it appear in his Theatre of plants of 1640.
THE CINNAMON OR MAY ROSE—Rosa Cinnamoma.
This agreeably perfumed rose, which opens its small blossoms in our gardens about the end of May, is a native of Nice in Italy, and has been common in our pleasure-grounds for many ages, as Gerard tells us, in 1597, that it was then cultivated in this country, both in its single and double state.
This rose loves a dry soil and sunny situation, and deserves a more frequent place in the shrubbery than modern plantations allows it, as its flowers appear a month before the common roses, and the bush grows tall enough to fill a middle situation amongst shrubs, where its smooth plum-coloured branches have good effect.
It is a favourite with our fair, as it may be worn in the bosom longer than any other rose, without fading, whilst its diminutive size, and red colour, together with a pleasant perfume, adapt it well to fill the place of a jeweller's brooch
THE MUSK ROSE—Rosa Moschata.
|"And each inconstant breeze that blows,
Steals essence from the musky rose."
This species of rose owes its name to the fine musky odour which its numerous white blossoms exhale during the autumnal months. It is a native of Barbary, and grows wild in the hedges and thickets in the kingdom of Tunis; and the Tunisians cultivate it also for the sake of a highly odorous essential oil, which they obtain from the petals by distillation.
This rose has been found growing naturally in Spain by Robert Moore, Esq. who sent seeds to this country. We presume it was planted in Spain, when the Moors first overran the coast of that country,
Hackluyt tells us, in 1582, that we first obtained the musk rose from Italy. It was cultivated commonly in the time of Gerard, and as it sends forth large umbel branches of flowers at the end of each branch, in the months of September and October, it forms an agreeable companion to the common China rose, which blossoms also plentifully at that season.
The stalks of the musk rose are often too weak to support the larger bunches of flowers that crown its branches. It therefore requires a support to keep them from the earth, unless it is planted with dwarf evergreens, that form a beautiful prop to these delicate blossoms.
THE YELLOW ROSE—Lutea and Sulphurea.
The single yellow brier rose, is said to be a native of Germany, the south of France, and Italy; and the single orange-coloured rose, bicolor, is an Austrian rose.
That it was through these countries that we first became acquainted with the yellow rose, there can be no hesitation in stating; but they were originally brought from more eastern climates, seems equally certain, since no ancient author we have consulted mentions a yellow rose of any description; and had it been a flower created by the art of grafting, as was formerly imagined, we should, ere this, have discovered the fact. Ludovico Verthema tells us, in 1503, he saw great quantities of yellow roses at Calicut, from whence we have no doubt, both the single and double varieties were brought into Europe by the Turks, as Parkinson tells us in a work which he dedicated to Henrietta, the queen of our unfortunate Charles the First, that the double yellow rose "was first procured to be brought into England, by Master Nicholas Lete, a worthy merchant of London, and a great lover of flowers, from Constantinople, which, as we hear, was brought thither from Syria, but perished quickly both with him, and to all other to whom he imparted it: yet, afterwards it was sent to Mr. John de Franqueville, a merchant also of London, and a great lover of all rare plants, as well as flowers, from which is sprung the greatest store, that is now flourishing through this kingdom."
(To be continued.)
Floricultural Cabinet 7(71): 14-16 (Jan 1, 1839)
(Continued from Vol. VI. page 286.)
THE double yellow rose, sulphurea, was unknown to us in 1597; but the single yellow brier was then common, as we find by Gerard.
The single yellow rose, lutea, blossoms freely in most situations, excepting in the vicinity of London, or other confined spots.
The double yellow rose, where it blossoms freely, is one of the most elegant flowers that any country has produced, and had nature bestowed on it the perfume that makes the Provence rose so delightful, it would be pronounced the acme of Flora’s skill.
The outer petals are of the most delicate golden yellow, whilst the inner ones are often of a tint approaching to copper colour, and so delicately transparent, as even to surpass the carnation poppy in texture; and although the flower is exceedingly double, yet the petals hang with a looseness and elegance that cannot be conceived without beholding it. Van Os, the elder, has been the most happy among painters in giving that transparent and crumpled effect to this rose, which Von Huysum himself could never perfectly accomplish. Sydenham Edwards has left a faithful representation of the double yellow rose, which is given in the Botanical Register.
We remember this species of rose much more common than at present growing in open situations, and we have generally observed that it has prospered best in an eastern aspect, where buildings or shrubs, have sheltered it from the mid-day sun. It loves a light soil, of a gravelly or sandy nature, but cannot endure a confined or wet situation. We have seen it in great perfection in a garden at Petersfield, in Hampshire; and it prospers and flowers very freely in some parts of the South Downs, particularly at Findon in Sussex. It seems much less affected by the cold than by low and damp situations; and we do not recollect having met with it in flower except in spots open to the east, which is generally considered the most pernicious to plants. The foliage of the double yellow rose is small, and of a beautiful bluish green, very light on the under side, whilst the stalks being of yellow-green, form a delightful graduation to the golden flower.
THE EVER BLOWING CHINA ROSE.—Semperflorens.
When this species of rose was first introduced, in 1780, it was considered to be so delicate a plant, that it was kept constantly in the stove, and the smallest cuttings were sold for many guineas each. It was soon found to thrive in a common greenhouse, where it was found to blossom the whole winter, to the great admiration and amazement of all who could obtain sight of this farfetched flower. As it was found to be so easy of propagation, in a few years every country casement had the pride of sheltering this Chinese prodigy, until the cottager for want of pence to purchase flower pots, planted it in the open ground; when, as if it gloried to breathe the air of this land of liberty, it soon surpassed in strength and beauty all the inmates of the “gardens, in which art supplies the fervour and the force of Indian skies.”
We have no plant on record, either of utility or beauty, that has spread itself so rapidly over the whole country as this rose has done in our Own age. It now climbs up to look into the attic windows of those very houses where we once saw it peep out at the lower casement; and it is not uncommon to see its petals blush through a veil of snow, in the month of December; a thing so unusual formerly, that no longer back than the year 1800, Mrs. Mary Robinson wrote the following verses on seeing a rose in flower at a cottage door on Egham-hill, on the 25th of October of that year.
|"Why dost thou linger still, sweet flower?
Why yet remain, thy leaves to flaunt?
This is for thee no fostering hour.
The cold wind blows,
And many a chilling, ruthless shower,
Will now assail thee, beauteous rose!
Although it is acknowledged that few plants contribute more agreeably to ornament our shrubberies in the autumnal months than this Chinese rose, yet we would not wish it to exclude or lessen the cultivation of the older and more beautiful species, but which, we fear, it has already done to a considerable degree. As the smallest cuttings of this rose will grow, we are not without the hope of seeing it creep into our hedge rows, where it would soon propagate itself both by suckers and seed; for it ripens its fruit in this climate, as perfectly as those of our native briers, and the hips of the Chinese rose are particularly ornamental, from their inverted pear shape, fine orange colour, and large size.
(To be continued.)
Floricultural Cabinet 7: 35-37 (Feb 1, 1839)
(Continued from page 13.)
THE deep-red China rose was first introduced by Gilbert Slater, Esq. of Knotsgreen, near Laytonstone, in the year 1789; but this is still confined to the greenhouse, being of a much more delicate nature than the common China rose. The flowers are semi-double and large in proportion to the plant, of a fine dark carmine colour, and of delightful fragrance.
The China rose, which has been named Lady Bank’s rose, we hope to see soon hardy enough to leave the green house, where it has occupied a place since the year 1807. This is a double white rose, of very diminutive size, but producing such abundance of blossoms, as to render the branches extremely elegant. We are informed that it was discovered growing out of an old wall in China.
In pleasure-grounds it is scarcely possible to plant too many rose-trees, and they have the best effect when three or four plants of the same kind come together. The Scotch or burnet-leaved rose, from its dwarf growth, forms a good foreground to other roses; and the neat little Rose de Meaux should advance towards the walks, whilst the more towering kinds may mix with shrubs of the middle class.
Where the lawn is interspersed with little clumps, fenced with basket-work, each clump or basket should be confined to one species of rose, or kinds that are quite opposite in colour; and as it is particularly desirable to keep these clumps successively in blossom during the season, those clumps that blossom the earliest and the latest should be divided by others that flower in the intermediate space.
Rosaries are formed into various devices; but the most common method is by planting the tallest standard rose-trees in the centre of a clump, around which the different species and varieties are placed according to their height of growth, the edge finishing by the dwarf kinds.
Rock work is sometimes covered with creeping roses, and surrounded with other varieties.
For covering arbors or trellis-work, the bracted rose, Rosa bracteata, commonly called Sir George Staunton’s rose, which was brought from China in the year 1795, is the most proper, for it grows to a great height, and thick of branches that are covered with shining leaves of a very fine green. The flowers are single and perfectly white, of a strong and agreeable perfume; it blossoms in August and September.
The modes of retarding the flowering of the Provence and moss roses, until the autumn are various; and as it is desirable to continue those beauties of the garden longer than they are naturally disposed to last, we will mention the best means of obtaining the enjoyment. The most simple method is by cutting off all the tops of the shoots that have been produced the same spring, which should be done just before they begin to show their buds; this will cause them to make fresh shoots, that will produce flowers late in the autumn. It may also be done by transplanting the bushes in the spring, just as they have formed their buds, which should be cut off, but the roots must not be out of the earth long enough to become dry, and they generally require watering when transplanted late, to obtain roses in October and November.
On the continent, where much more pains are bestowed on the retarding of flowers than in this country, the rose-trees are dug up just as they begin to shew a leaf bud, and the roots are instantly placed in a kind of mortar, formed of brick earth, which serves as a preservative plaster, whilst it debars the fibres of the roots from obtaining the necessary nutriment that would cause the usual growth of the plant. From this state of rest, the plants are removed into the clumps or flower borders in May or June, according to the time they are wished to be in blossom. When the season is dry, they will require frequent watering to ensure fine flowers, These plants should be kept in a cellar or a shed, where there is but little light.
The common Provence and moss-roses are the most esteemed for forcing, on account of their perfume.
| "This soft family,
to cares unknown.
Were born for pleasure and delight alone.
Gay without toil, and lovely without art,
They spring to cheer the sense, and glad the heart."
This sweet emblem of love, like the human body, breeds a canker in its bosom, that often destroys its heart.
| "She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
Prey on her damask cheek."
|"Death's subtle seed within,
(Sly, treacherous miner!) working in the dark,
The worm to riot on that rose so red,
Unfaded, ere it fell; one moment a prey!
(To be continued)
Floricultural Cabinet 7(73): 59-61 (March 1, 1839)
(Continued from page 37.)
THE principal enemy of the rose is a species of fly, called the rose saw-fly, which pierces the tender flower-bud, and thrusts an egg into the puncture, which soon becomes a caterpillar, that nourishes itself by eating away the heart of the young flower and fruit, down to where it joins the stalk. It then loses its supply of nourishment, droops on one side and dies, whilst the insect spins itself a descending rope, by which it reaches the ground, and entombs its body in a silken shell, whilst its transformation takes place first into a chrysalis, and then a fly, which renews this work of devastation,
There are several flies of this genus, that are equally injurious to the rose tree. These flies are furnished with a very remarkable instrument, in the shape of a saw, by which they make small holes in the bark of the young branches, where they deposit their numerous eggs, which on the succeeding summer are hatched by the warmth of the sun, and nourished by the ascending sap, until they assume the appearance of small green flies, in which state they issue from the bark in such numbers, as to cover the tender shoots and leaves, on which they rest, to suck the nutriment of the plant.
These flies may be known by a yellow body and a black head, with four wings edged with black. Another species of rose-fly has a head and breast of violet colour, with a body of yellow, and legs and wings of pale violet. It may be seen in a summer’s morning, working on the branches of the rose tree, and from its sluggish nature will suffer itself to be taken between the fingers. The branches where it has deposited its eggs are so vitiated by it, that they are easily discovered, as they generally swell to a greater size than the parts above or below, and they often become black on the under side: when examined with a glass, the eggs may be discovered. These branches should be carefully cut off; and when the plants are covered with these insects, it is desirable to brush them off with a bunch of feathers or young elder branches, as they fix themselves too fast to be washed off by water.
Insects may be destroyed by placing a chafing dish with lighted charcoal under the bushes, and then throwing a little brimstone on the coals; but this must be done in small quantities, and carefully, lest the sulphur injure the plants.
The lady bird, so named, from the points or specks on its shell wings, haunts rose bushes to feed on the small insects commonly called blights. The brier and Scotch roses are frequently attacked by the Cynips rosae, which, by puncturing the bark, occasions the production of those singular and beautiful flossy tufts, which are so frequently seen on wild roses. These rose galls contain several little cavities, in each of which is a small maggot. This substance was formerly used in medicine, under the name of Bedeguar.
The rose is too important a flower to have been overlooked by Aesculapius, who in old times used every part of this plant, from the root to the yellow anthers within the blossom, for some particular purpose in medicine, as may be seen in all the ancient medical authors. The kinds of roses principally used in modern practice, are the red and the damask. The latter is considered a safe and gentle purgative for children, when administered in infusion or by way of syrup.
The red roses are astringent, and particularly so when taken before they are fully blown; conserves are made of both these kinds of roses.
Ladies may make their own milk of roses, by simply adding one ounce of the oil of almonds to a pint of rose water, after which, ten drops of the oil of tartar is to be added.
We shall conclude our history of the rose with the lines of the Ayrshire Ploughman.
|"Never may’st thou, lovely flower
Chilly shrink in sleety show'r'.
Never Boreas’ hoary path,
Never Eurus's pois’nous breath,
Never baleful stellar lights.
Taint thee with untimely blights!
Never, never, reptile thief,
Riot on thy virgin leaf!
Nor even Sol, too fiercely view
Thy bosom blushing still with dew!
May'st thou long, sweet crimson gem,
Richly deck thy native stem;
Till some ev'ning, sober, calm,
Dropping dews, and breathing balm,
While all around the woodland rings,
And ev'ry bird thy requiem sings;
Thou, amid the dirgeful sound,
Shed thy dying honours round,
And resign to parent earth
The loveliest form she e'er gave birth."