Gardeners’ Chronicle Sept 8, 1900

By “Wild Rose”

THERE has been a great deal of talk about new races of Roses, and although these are not likely to interest exhibitors very much, yet all Rose-growers are not Rose exhibitors, or if so only exhibitors of garden Roses. They have not the time or patience for the cultivation of what are called exhibition flowers; many, indeed, run them down as unworthy of the gardener's skill; they call them "fat and bloated," ignoring the fact that but for the production of these flowers the popularity of the Rose would never have reached the height that is has done; but let us be just all round, all honour be to those who strike out new paths and ask us to admire beauties only just revealed.

Amongst those Roses of which great expectations have been formed, and which have attracted much attention among American growers, is the trailing Rose Wichuriana, and several remarkable hybrids have been raised from it. but these are of rampant growth, and require therefore a considerable amount of room, more indeed than can be afforded by some of car more enthusiastic growers of Roses; indeed, this is the great difficulty which many of us experience. When you have a selection of the Penzance Sweet Briars, Paul's Carmine Pillar, Rosa macrantha, Paul's single White, Bardon Job, Paul's Royal Scarlet, and Polyanthus simplex, many are obliged to call out, "Hold, enough"; of course, where there is plenty of room it is a totally different matter, and I think nothing can be more delightful than the grace and elegance of these single-flowered Roses; nor must we forget how beautiful in the early season are the Austrians, both copper and yellow; but all these have the one defect, they only bloom once, and therefore the object must be to get perpetual-blooming single-flowered Roses. To Messrs. Dickson & Sons, of Newtownards, must be accorded the honour of introducing a race of single flowered Teas, and Hybrid Teas, in which these two objections, the rampant growth and too evanescent character of their blooms, have been obviated. These raisers have succeeded in obtaining some very beautiful flowers which are bound to find their place in most Rose gardens of the future. They are dwarf in habit and they flower continuously from June to November. At a recent show in Belfast this firm obtained the 1st prize for twelve single-flowered Roses, eleven of them being of their own raising, the twelfth being white Rugosa. The three most remarkable of these are Irish Beauty, Irish Modesty, and Irish Glory. These varieties were shown a year ago at the Crystal Palace, and were much admired. Mr. Burrell, of Cambridge, who has recently seen them at home, thinks very highly of them, and he is no mean judge.

This firm too, has again been successful in the raising of exhibition Roses; they have obtained the Gold Medal of the National Rose Society twice—once for Alice Lindsell, a creamy-pink Rose of great substance and fine form, which has many qualities to recommend it to an exhibitor, although it is of a colour of which we have many at the present day. The other is Duchess of Portland, which seems to bear considerable resemblance to Kaiserin Augusta Victoria, though of a much deeper yellow tint. My friend, Mr. Burrell, who has seen them growing in their Rose-house in Ireland, speaks very highly of their exhibition Roses, of which he says that Muriel Grant is in every respect a magnificent Rose. Florence Pemberton, by the same raiser, an almost white hybrid Tea, promises to be a great addition to that class. Edith D'Ombrain, another of their Roses, is a beautiful Rose, very fresh in colour, and apparently a late bloomer. They have also some one or two dark-coloured hybrid perpetuals—a class in which we require some additions; one of them is in the style of Horace Vernet, but is a strong grower, and doing well as a cutback, in which form Horace Vernet rarely ever succeeds—the fine blooms which are constantly seen of it being the growth of maiden plants. If these answer to their present high promise, they will be a great boon to exhibitors, especially amongst the smaller growers, who do not care to fill their gardens with plants that only last for one year.

I do not think that the foreign raisers have been very successful in their latest ventures; nothing seems to have come to us that is likely to take a permanent place; several of their new Teas have much of the China character in them. No new Tea seems to have come before us that is likely to be of real value; and I do not think that any one on this side of the Channel has seen anything amongst the new hybrid perpetuals worthy of notice. This has been for some years the case so far as French Roses are concerned, and if you take any stand of exhibition Roses you will be surprised to find how long ago the flowers were sent out. The following Roses which appear in so many prize stands have been upwards of twenty years in cultivation, they have not been superseded by any of more modern date, and are likely, I think, to hold their own against any new comers. Charles Lefebvre, 1861; A. K. Williams, 1877; Alfred Colomb, 1865; Baroness Rothschild, 1867; Beauty of Waltham, 1862; Dr. Audry, 1864; and General Jacqueminot, 1853; these are only a few in the Hybrid Perpetual class, and the same way in the Tea and Noisettes, the older varieties still maintain their position. What Roses can beat Marechal Niel, Catherine Mermet, or Comtesse de Nadaillac. Now and then we get hold of a gem, such as Maman Cochet or Ernest Metz, but I do not think that even those varieties equal the older ones. I am aware that there are a good many raisers whose productions have not been brought forward this season, but we may hope that from Waltham Cross and Cheshunt some new Roses may, as in times past, gladden the eyes and heart of many a rosarian. Why is it, one may ask, that so few new Roses are brought forward at the Drill Hall meetings of the Royal Horticultural Society? One indeed, Souvenir de Catherine Guyot, obtained an award of merit there, but then it is not an absolutely new Rose. On the whole then, I am not very sanguine as to what may be brought out this autumn, and shall be only too glad to find that my ideas on this subject are incorrect; of course I have only alluded to those Roses which have in one way or another come before me. Wild Rose.