American Gardener's Magazine, 1(6): 217-220 (1835)
ART. IV. Some Hints on Propagating the Tea Rose, by budding on hardy, strong Stocks.
By J. W. RUSSELL
PERHAPS there are but few flowers in the whole range of Flora's dominions, so universally admired as the Rose. We become acquainted with it in our early days, and the delicious fragrance which is exhaled from this "queen of flowers," aside from its beauty, make it at once a favorite; and it never loses one particle of our admiration, until life becomes extinct.
There are but few difficulties to encounter with, in the propagation of this delightful genus of plants, especially the hardy kinds; as the greater part of them send up off-sets or suckers every year, which could be taken from the old plants in the spring or autumn, and transplanted to any part of the garden or pleasure ground where wanted to flower. Every well conducted nursery has what is called the stool grounds, for the propagation of roses, where all the sorts are judiciously arranged, and accurately named. Also, a memorandum is made of the colors of the flowers of each variety, so as to enable the grower to give a satisfactory answer to any enquiries made. But it is not my intention to treat upon the culture of hardy roses at present; the blush and yellow Tea roses, with their varieties, are my object.
As the tea roses are comparatively scarce in the vicinity of Boston, particularly the yellow flowering variety, and a few more sorts that are quite new, I beg leave to make a few brief remarks on their culture, which are the results of practical experience; if you think they are worthy of a place in your very excellent Magazine, you will please give them an insertion. Nevertheless, brevity may be the best part of it; but what I have to say, will, perhaps, be something new to a portion of your readers; the experienced gardener will be already acquainted with this subject. In the first place, I shall mention a few of the principal sorts that are highly spoken of, some of which are strongly scented with the tea flavor.
Rosa Thča odorāta. The blush Tea Rose. It is the most common sort, in the green-houses about this vicinity, but still we rarely or ever see a large, healthy, well-grown plant for sale.
R. Thča odorāta, var. lųtea. The yellow-flowering Tea Rose. This is in great demand, and commands an extraordinary price. A few days since I endeavored to purchase, for a gentleman, at one of the nurseries, a variety of roses. The yellow tea was one of the number wanted; but the price named was exorbitant, and this, too, for a very small plant.
R. Thča odorāta, var. Palavicina. Flower a bright yellow, inclining to an orange color, with a pink or red centre; a very beautiful kind.
R. Thča odorāta, var. Anemone. Flower blush or pink color. The last mentioned variety and this were flowered in the greenhouse of M. P. Wilder, Esq., Dorchester. This gentleman has a great taste for flowers, and his collection of roses and other plants consists of all that are choice and rare.
R. Thča odorāta, var. strómbio. Flower a most delicate blush; the bottom of the petals a cream color, and the inner ones striped with the two colors; strongly scented with the tea flavor, and of quite strong growth, when budded on a sweet briar or other strong growing stock, as was the case with the plant that I saw in the green-house of Messrs. Hoveys, Cambridgeport, who introduced it from France. I shall now add the names of a few more sorts that are in great repute, viz.:—
The system I would recommend to be put into practice is, first to procure stocks of the most luxuriant growing sorts, viz.: the Common Sweet Briar, Greville, multiflóra, and Boursalt Roses; any of these will answer the purpose very well; select the best stocks, which should be of a fine clear growth, always rejecting those that have a meagre appearance; as the character of the stock, will undoubtedly add much to the beauty of the plant. It certainly would be a very splendid sight in a green-house or conservatory, to have either the blush or yellow tea rose, budded on any of the above mentioned strong growing sorts, with a stem perfectly straight, three or four feet in height, ramifying with four or five lateral growths. Where the blush, white, and yellow varieties could be, if so desired, inserted upon one stock, the whole, when in flower, would have an elegant effect, as the weight of the flowers would naturally give the whole plant a pendulous habit; by following this system, any person can have just such a plant as they choose, or as their mind would suggest to them; every intermediate height, from one foot to six or eight feet in the plant, could be thus very easily obtained. The whole of this is perfectly simple, and I think there are but very few amateurs or gardeners, who will not, from these few remarks, adopt the method I have recommended. The common China, may be budded in the same manner.
Mount Auburn, Cambridge, May 16th, 1835.
THE above communication, by Mr. Russell, will undoubtedly be read with interest by every lover of the Rose family. It is true, as he states, that Tea Roses, of all the varieties, are as yet very scarce in every nursery; and such as are to be found, mostly small plants. The idea of budding the Chinese kinds, on hardy, strong growing sorts, is probably new to many of our readers.
We have, however, had plants imported from France, budded in this manner, and their luxuriant growth compared with those on their own stocks, was truly astonishing. But the value of budding on hardy and luxuriant stocks, is the cultivation of all the tender China varieties in the open air. The fine effect of these, when budded on tall stems, is truly magnificent; we have copied the following sketch of a variety (fig. 19), the Bizarre de la China, taken when in full flower, from Loudon's Magazine, (Vol. VIII). It will convey an idea of the beauty of Roses when grown as standards, better than any description we could possibly give.
Budded on standards, they can be easily protected by laying down; in a similar manner of covering grape vines. During the last severe winter, they have been thus preserved in this vicinity, and the plants are now budding out, and promising a most profuse bloom. At another time we shall make some further remarks on the cultivation of China roses as standards in the open air; our article on budding and grafting in the present number, will be valuable to those who wish to bud stocks.—Conductors.