The Compleat Florist (2nd ed. 1706)
(trans. Francis Gentil, 1706)
Of Rose-Bushes of all Sorts
Louis Liger d'Auxerre

It must be own'd, that we are more divided upon Rose-Trees, than upon any other Shrubs used for the Imbellishment of Gardens. We cultivate many species of 'em, namely, The Odoriferous Rose-Bush, the Inodorous, the Dutch Hundred Leav'd Rose-Bush, the Milk-White Rose, the Pale-Red Rose, the Flesh-colour'd Rose, the Rose of Provence, the Virginia Rose, the Party-colour'd or Variegated Rose, the Single Rose of a deep Red Colour, the Rosa Omnium Calendarum, or the Every Month Rose, the Rosa Moschata alias Damask-Rose, and the Yellow Rose.

Of the Dutch odoriferous Rose with an Hundred leaves.

The most proper Season for planting the Dutch Rose-Bush, is commonly October, November, or February. A good Kitchin-Garden-Ground agrees very well with it; but we must take care to place it where it may have most Sun.

It looks gracefully in the flat Borders of large Parterres; for if it be artfully managed, it forms a sort of Bushy Dwarf, which, being deck'd with Flowers, has a charming Aspect; and 'tis only by Pruning and Trimming that we can bring it to that Form. We trim it in March.

We likewise lop it upon the Account of its dead Branches, which we cut to the Quick, as well as the other Old Branches, which by their Crowd and Confusion would cramp the young ones.

These Rose-Trees propagate by their Branches split along with the Root, which we set in the Ground to the Depth of a Span; and then all the further Service they require of us, is to turn up the Ground in which they stand, and manage them as above.

The Inodorous Hundred Leav'd Rose requires the same Culture, and thrives very well in the same Situation.

Of the Rosa Omnium Calendarum.

The Every Month Rose is likewise called, the Italian double and perpetual Rose. 'Tis called, Rosa Omnium Calendarum, because being often cut, it produces several Buds in Clusters, which growing by little and little, yield Flowers that we gather a Second time: and so it goes on successively all the Year round.

To make it yield Flowers every Month, or at least for the greatest part of the Year, you must prune it Three or Four times.

The first Operation of this kind is in November, when you ought to cut it almost close to the Ground, to make it sprout a new; for it's commonly those new Shoots that bear the greatest Plenty of Flowers.

Before you perform this Operation, I presume you have had the Precaution of furnishing this Rose-Bush with all the Conveniencies that it naturally demands, that is, a Place exposed to the Sun, a good gravelly Earth in the Boxes, if 'tis cultivated so, or a Ring fill'd with such Earth in open Ground. For if these its natural Demands be not duly answer'd, 'twill yield Flowers only once a Year, like the other species.

After the first Pruning mention'd above, we prune it a second Time, by cutting the young Shoots to the first or second Eye next the Trunk, and that commonly towards the End of May, or the Beginning of April.

Immediately after this second Lopping, take care to bare it all round the Root, whether in Boxes of open Earth, in order to substitute new Earth in the Room of what was there before, addind to it a sort of Mold half spent; and therupon to water it out of Hand.

The Radical Humour, which it stands in need of, for a Fertility in Flowers, must be fed by frequent watering; for without that Aid, we find sensibly that the Order of Nature is chang'd, and this sort of Rose Tree gives, instead of Flowers, nothing but Leaves and Branches.

Experience has given us to know, that the true Way to make it produce a great quantity of Flowers all the Summer round, is as soon as it begins to bud, to strip it of all its Buds, before they blow.

When the first Flowers are gone, cut the Branches under the Knot where the Flowers did stick; and repeat the same Operation every fall of the Flowers; by this means you'll gain the Pleasure of seeing your Trees Flower Eight Months in the Year.

Take notice that every time you design to lop, or prune, you must discontinue your watering for Fifteen before.

This Rosa Ominum Calendarum, is apt to suffer by Cold; to screen it from which, we cover it with Panniers or large Straw, if it stands in open Ground, or convey it to a Green-House, or some other Place of Shelter, if it stands in a Case. If we did not take this Precaution, it would afford us no young fresh Roots.

One Way to make this Species bear many Roses every Month, is to bow the Branches that we make fast to a Palisade or to Sticks thrust into the Ground, if 'tis planted in Cases.

We propagate it by Layers, as well as Slips taken from the Branches cut in Autumn, and stuck in the Ground, taking care not to let them stand above Two Inches above Ground. This Shrub being of a Nature that readily takes Root this way, we may readily guess that 'tis easie to perpetuate its Species: These Operations we perform in October or November.

Of the Rosa Moschata, alias Damask-Roses.

Your Damask Rose-Tree, requires a good Kitchin-Garden-Ground, a hot Sun, and frequent watering. One Advantage it has, that 'tis not afraid of Cold, and yields Flowers several Months in the Year.

The Rules of Gardening injoin us in every Autumn and Spring, to cut the old Branches of the Damask-Rose Tree to within Half a Foot of the Ground, that the Eyes which there remain may give Rise to many new Branches, which being unexhausted, will produce Roses in very great abundance.

We propagate this Species by the Sucker, which sprout from it, and which being planted in a fresh Place, readily take Root, and in a little time become pretty Shrubs.

Of the double White Roses.

The White Rose desires to be planted in strong Ground, and requires a Sunny Exposure and frequent Watering.

'Tis of a different Temper from the Two Species last mention'd, which require Pruning, whereas it can't abide the Pruning-Knife, unless it be to get clear of its old Branches, that are useless, or wither'd.

We make use of this Species for making Hedges, which, when right order'd, make a very agreeable Ornament in a Garden.

It multiplies by Branches split along with the Roots, and planted in proper Places Four Inches deep in the Ground.

Of the Yellow Rose.

The Rose-Bushes with the Yellow-Flower, require to be planted in strong Earth, and cannot bear the least Constraint upon their Branches, for which Reason we commonly place them in the open Air, without making them fast to any thing.

They absolutely hate Pruning, because they shoot their Flowers at the Extremity of their Branches.

But yet if you perceive any Branches misplaced or spent, and consequently useless, you must be sure to lop the former till you bring the Bush to the Figure you desire, and to cut the latter down to the Quick.

To make the Yellow Roses finer, you must take off part of 'em before they are blown. We propagate the Species in Spring, by Virtue of the new Sprigs that this sort of Bushes shoots at their Roots.

The Yellow Roses have such fine tender Leaves, that the least Rain rots them; and for that Reason, when they are ready to blow, we give them some small covering, whether of Panniers or of other things of that Nature.

We oblige this Species to produce Flowers every Year, by Lopping its Branches pretty short, in March or February.

Of the Red Roses alias Province roses.

Tho' the Provence Rose has not so strong a Smell as that with the Hundred Leaves, yet it is equally esteem'd.

It requires the same Culture with that of the Hundred Leaves, and if right managed, produces many Branches, and a great Quantity of Flowers that blow very well.

Of the Variegated Roses.

The Strip'd Rose Tree does not rise high; we plant it both in Boxes and in open Ground.

It requires a strong Earth well sifted when put into a Box, and an indifferent hot Exposure, and Watering when in open Ground.

The Species is propagated Scutcheon-wise, either with Dormant or a shooting Eye, the First never failing to Flower the next Year, and the Second in the Autumn of the same Year. These Two Ways of Propagation are better liked than that of the Branches with the Roots split, which are always Two or Three Years before they produce any Flowers.

Of the other Species or Roses.

All the remaining Species of Roses, namely, the Flesh coloured Roses, the Pale Roses, the Virginia Roses and the Single Roses of a deep Red Colour, require much Sun, and a deep Red Colour, require much Sun, and a good strong Ground. We plant 'em in November, February or the Beginning of March, to the Depth of Four Inches: We prune them in Spring, when Occasion and the Rules of Gardening require it: We water those plants in Cases, and bare their Roots as well as those of the Plants set in open Ground, in order to take out the old Ground, and put in new which being fertile in Salts will make them yield fine Branches, and great Quantities of very pretty Flowers.

The Rose-Bushes with a Pale-Red Flower, are very proper for making Garden-Hedges, and edging large Walks, because they are thicker and better furnish'd than the rest; and when that Work is regularly perform'd, nothing can look handsomer than they do when the Bushes are in Flower.

The Description of the different Sorts of Rose-Trees, and their Flowers.

Generally speaking, Rose-Trees are a sort of Shrubs, that shoot out from their Roots, hard, woody and prickly Branches garnish'd with oblong Leaves, notch'd in the Edges, and prickly to the Touch. Upon these Branches are Flowers, consisting of several Leaves set in a Circular Form; the Cup of which is Leavy, and in Process of time becomes an oblong, fleshy or pulpous Fruit, with one Capsula, or Bag, fill'd with Angular Seeds, which are cover'd with small Hair. The Description of the Flower suits with all the other Species of Rose Bushes, which scarce differ from one another, otherwise than by a peculiar Colour or Smell.

Of Pale Roses.

The Pale-Roses are handsome, large, Carnation-colour'd, of a sweet Smell and an agreeable Aspect.

Of Damask-Roses.

The Musk or Damask Roses are little, single, White Roses, which have a Smell much like that of Musk. They are Purgative, being taken either in Infusion or Conserve.

Of common White Roses.

The common White Roses are large and pretty, but not so odoriferous as those last-mention'd.

Of Provence Roses.

The Provence, or Red-Roses, are large, very pretty, and of a deep Red Colour. They feel Velvet-like to the Touch, and have but a very faint Smell.

Of Yellow Roses.

Yellow Roses have broad handsome Leaves, of a Limon Yellow Color, and inodorous.

Of the Monthly Roses.

The Monthly Roses are a Species of the Damask Roses, of a Red Colour, which bear their Flowers in Knots.

Of Streak'd Roses.

The Strip'd Roses do not grow so full or double as the Dutch Roses and have Streaks of a Whitish Red upon the Leaves. This is what we call Panaches.