Gardeners' Chronicle p. 167-168 (Feb. 11, 1888)

"Wild Rose"

OF course I do not mean that the "H.P.'s," as they are familiarly called, are neglected; they have, on the contrary, taken the lion's share of the rosarian's affections, time, space, and money: but I mean that there are some hybrid perpetuals which are well worthy a place in our gardens, a place they did once occupy, but which the eagerness of exhibiting, and the fashion it. sets even to those who are non-exhibitors, have, driven off the field; and in mentioning a few of them I may be, I hope, doing a service to those who would fain emulate (however futile the attempts may be) those whose stands they have stood admiringly before at the various Rose shows they have attended.

There are two causes which have led to the rejection of many Roses—want of size, or want of correct form. Of these the former is the most potent; indeed, I am not sure that it is not too large a factor in all cases. It is sometimes said that you cannot have a Rose too large if it is good both in colour and form: I am not at all so sure of this, and I think it would be a fatal day for us if stands of the various colours could be set up with Roses as large as Paul Néron or Antoine Mouton; but be this as it may, it has led to the rejection of Roses which I once remember to have, as I thought, graced many an exhibitor's stand. Then, again, as to shape: a Rose such as A. K. Williams has by some been pronounced to be too formal, and Marie Baumann or Alfred Colomb have been preferred; but if a Rose lacks shape the exhibitor will not tolerate it—will not allow it a place in his box, or, indeed, in his garden; and yet, although he may be quite right to exclude them from the former, he may, unless his whole soul is bound up in the exhibition-tent, give them a place in the latter. Let me, then, bring forward a few which certainly deserve better treatment than they now receive.

Comtesse Cecile de Chabrillant.—This is one of the most exquisitely formed Roses we have: it was raised by Marest, and sent out in 1859, and if not the only Rose he ever raised, certainly was the only one by which his name is likely to be remembered. It is of a clear satiny-rose, with the petals most beautifully folded, more like the form of a good Persian Ranunculus. It is not very vigorous in growth, although I cannot regard it, as some do, as a moderate grower. The wood is short, but the blooms are freely produced. I remember when we used to look out regularly for the exquisite blooms that good old Mr. Hedge, of Colchester, used to exhibit of it but now "none so poor as to do it reverence." Very pretty is the verdict, but a great deal too small.

Anna Alexieff.— This Rose, on the other hand, is not of good shape, but it is most vigorous in habit, and an abundant and continuous flowerer. It was raised by Margottin thirty years ago, and ought still to hold its own as a garden Rose for its free habit. It is, however, but rarely seen. Sometimes it creeps in in a provincial show, but as its chief merit cannot be seen there, it is unnoticed. In the garden, and especially as a pillar Rose, it is sure to attract attention.

Eugéne Appert.—Well do I remember the sensation Mr. Standish created when be brought up a stand of this flower to the National show held many years ago at Hanover Square Rooms. "Have you seen Standish's new Rose?" was heard on every sides and yet now it is very much relegated to the background. It was raised at Angers, by Trouillard, Lefroy's foreman, and is evidently of the Géant des Batailles racethat race which once reigned supreme; it is of a deep velvety-crimson colour, unlike any other Rose that I know; it is, however, defective in shape, and has, as the "Giant" and most of his family, a tendency to mildew.

Empereur de Maroc, raised, according to Ellwanger, by Ginoiseau, in 1858, and sent out by Eugene Verdier, is another of those attractive high-coloured Roses, which are always sure to please; but the superior character of such Roses as Louis Van Houtte and Reynolds Hole have eclipsed such flowers as this; but I am sure that as a garden Rose it is superior to either of them, it is so very free and rich. This also is apparently of the Géant race, and has one of its failings—the tendency to mildew.

Souvenir de Charles Montault, raised by Moreau-Robert, and sent out in 1862. It has never been an exhibition Rose, but as a garden Rose, bright in colour, very free flowering, and especially good in autumn; very pleasing, and for those who like bright Roses, irrespective of exhibition purposes, it is a desirable Rose.

Boule de Neige, Baronne de Maynard, &c.—Although these Roses—several of which originated with Lacharme—are sometimes classed as hybrid Noisettes yet as the National Rose Society classes them in its catalogue of garden Roses under this class, I follow their line. They are all small—too small ever to be useful to the exhibitor, but very pretty in the garden; they are very free flowering, and although there is some difference between them, yet they bear such a strong family likeness that they may well be classed together. Giving, as they do, a constant supply of very pure white Roses, they ought to be in every garden where space can be found for them.

Souvenir de Dr. Jamain.—This also is a Rose of Lacharme’s raising, very distinct in colour—a sort of ruby-claret, and imbricated in form, but too small for exhibition purposes; it is more than probable, however, that this Rose will be superseded by the new English-raised Rose, Sir Rowland Hill, which gained the National Rose Society's Gold Medal, and has been most highly spoken of by all who have seen it; it is almost identical in colour with the Rose now under review, but has that which it lacks, good size.

Anna de Diesbach.—This is also a seedling of Lacharme's, and at one time it was highly thought of, and even now ought to be valued for its vigorous growth, hardiness, and fragrance. There is rather a commonplace character about its colour, but notwithstanding this it ought to be more generally grown; it is admirable as a pillar Rose.

Gloire de Rosamène.—This may be regarded, I think, as having a great deal to do with the brilliant coloured Roses belonging to the H.P. class. Général Jacqueminot is generally considered to have been a seedling from this, and although at times it is hardly double enough—partaking in this respect too much of the character of its parent—yet there are times when it stands out above all the high-coloured Roses; and although forty years and more have elapsed since it was first sent out, it has more than once lately run an extremely close race for the medal for the best Rose in the show. The General has also been the parent, evidently, of many of our high-coloured Roses, so that, if for this reason only, Gloire de Rosamène ought to find a place in the rosarian's garden; but as a pillar Rose it is very beautiful, being brilliant in colour and very free flowering.

These are some of the Roses which I think ought not to be driven out of gardens because they are not suitable for exhibition. I know the exhibitor grudges every piece of ground occupied by a non-exhibition Rose, but I contend that there is no reason why the general public, who do not exhibit, should be led away from really beautiful and useful Roses. They are not seen on the exhibition table, and, therefore, "out of sight out of mind" holds good with them as with many other things.

There are, I dare say, others which might be added to this list. Why not, some would say, include Paul Néron? Is it not highly prized in France? Most assuredly it is, and especially in autumn. Two years ago I went to see my old friend Margottin, in September; he had his sitting-room filled with Roses, but only one kind, and that was Paul Néron; he was loud in his praises of it, and said there were none to be compared with it for autumn blooming. Personally I do not like it; its enormous size detracts from its beauty. But in the autumn this is, of course, not so perceptible, and many may like to add it to their collection, or not discard it therefrom. So again some may like Madame Clemence Joigneaux or Baronne Prévost; but I have not desired to overburden Rose lovers but only to suggest a few which have not met, as I think, with the favour they deserve, and have been rejected for others which will be forgotten when those I have named will be gratefully remembered and lovingly cherished.