The Rose As A Summer Bedder
The amateur gardener may enjoy Roses from June to November if he is
willing to take a little trouble for them. Not, however, with the
material treated of in the chapter on "The Rose"--though what is said
in it relative to the culture
of the Hybrid Perpetual class applies with
considerable pertinence to the classes of which I shall make special
mention in this chapter--but with the summer-blooming sorts, such as the
Teas, the Bengals, the Bourbons, and the Noisettes. These are classed in
the catalogues as ever-bloomers, and the term is much more appropriate
to them than the term Hybrid Perpetual is to that section of the great
Rose family, for all of the four classes named above _are_ really
ever-bloomers if given the right kind of treatment--that is, bloomers
throughout the summer season. In them we find material from which it is
easy to secure a constant supply of flowers from the beginning of
summer to the closing in of winter.
In order to grow this class of Roses well, one must understand something
of their habits. They send out strong branches from the base of the
plant, shortly after planting, and these branches will generally bear
from five to eight blossoms. When all the buds on the branch have
developed into flowers, nothing more can be expected from that branch in
the way of bloom, unless it can be coaxed to send out other branches.
This it can be prevailed on to do by close pruning. Cut the old branch
back to some point along its length--preferably near its base--where
there is a strong "eye" or bud. If the soil is rich--and it can hardly
be _too rich_, for these Roses, like those of the kinds treated of in
the foregoing chapter, require strong food and a great deal of it in
order to do themselves justice--this bud will soon develop into a
vigorous branch which, like the original one, will bear a cluster of
flowers. In order to keep a succession of bloom it is absolutely
necessary to keep the plant producing new branches, as flowers are only
borne on new growth. It will be noticed that the treatment required by
these Roses is almost identical, so far, with that advised for the
Hybrid Perpetuals. Indeed, the latter are summer ever-bloomers of a
stronger habit than the class I am now speaking about. That is about all
the difference there is between them, up to this point, except as
regards the flowering habit. The Hybrid Perpetual blooms profusely in
June and July, but sparingly thereafter, while the ever-bloomers bloom
freely all the season after they get a good start.
Fertilizer should be applied at least once a month. Not in large
quantities, each time, but enough to stimulate a strong and healthy
growth. The plants should be kept going ahead constantly. Let them get a
check, and you will find it a difficult matter to get many flowers from
them after that, the same season. Give them the treatment that results
in continuous growth and you will have Roses in abundance up to the
coming of cold weather. Of course plants so treated are not to be
expected to attain much size. But who cares for large bushes if he can
have fine flowers and plenty of them?
The blossoms from the Teas and their kindred are never as large as those
of the June and the Hybrid Perpetual classes, and, as a general thing,
are not as brilliant in color. Some are delightfully fragrant, while
some have no fragrance at all.
La France,--which is classed as a Hybrid Tea, because it is the result
of hybridizing one of the hardier varieties with a pure-blooded Tea
variety,--is one of the finest Roses ever grown. It is large, and fine
in form, rich, though not brilliant, in color, is a very free bloomer,
and its fragrance is indescribably sweet. Indeed, all the sweetness of
the entire Rose family seems concentrated in its peculiar, powerful,
but, at the same time, delicate odor. Color, pale pink.
Duchess de Brabant is an old variety, popular years and years ago, but
all the better for that, for its long-continued popularity proves it the
possessor of exceptional merit. It is of very free development, and
bears large quantities of flowers of silvery pink.
Viscountess Folkestone is, like La France, a Hybrid Tea. It is an
excellent bloomer. Its color is a soft pink, shaded with cream, with
reflexed petals. It has a rich, June-Rose fragrance.
Maman Cochet is, all things considered, one of the best of its class. It
blooms in wonderful profusion. It is a strong grower. Its color is a
bright pink, overlaid with silvery lustre. It is very double, and quite
as lovely in bud as in the expanded flower.
Hermosa is an old favorite. It is always in bloom when well cared
for. Its rich carmine-rose flowers are very double, and are produced in
prodigal profusion. But it lacks the charm of fragrance.
Caprice is a very peculiar variety. Its thick, waxen petals of rosy
carmine are heavily blotched and striped with dark red, shading to
crimson. It is most pleasing when the flower begins to expand.
Perle des Jardins is a most lovely Rose, of almost as rich a color as
the famous Marechal Neil,--a deep, glowing yellow,--lovely beyond
description. It is a very free bloomer, and should be given a place in
Sunset--another good bloomer--is a tawny yellow in color, flamed with
fawn and coppery tints. It is an exquisite Rose.
Clothilde Soupert does not properly belong to either of the four classes
mentioned above, though of course closely related. It is catalogued as a
Polyantha. Its habit is peculiar. It bears enormous quantities of
flowers, with the greatest freedom of any Rose I have ever grown, but
its blossoms are small, and are produced in clusters quite unlike those
of the other members of the ever-blooming class. Indeed, its habit of
growth and flowering is quite like that of the Rambler varieties, on a
small scale. But, unlike the Ramblers, its flowers are very double. They
are produced at the extremity of the new branches, in clusters of
fifteen to twenty and thirty. So many are there to each branch that you
will find it advisable to thin out half of them if you want perfect
flowers. In color it is a delicate pink on first opening, fading to
almost white. At the centre of the flower it is a bright carmine. Give
this variety a trial and you will be delighted with it.
It must not be understood that the above list includes all the desirable
sorts adapted to general culture. It is simply a list of the most
distinct varieties that respond satisfactorily to the treatment
outlined, and from which the amateur gardener can expect the best
results. There are scores of other varieties possessing exceptional
merit, but many of them require the attention of the professional in
order to give satisfaction, and are not what I feel warranted in
recommending the amateur to undertake the culture of if large quantities
of flowers are what he has in mind. Every one on the list given is a
standard variety, and you will find that you have made no mistake in
confining your selection to it.
I would advise the purchase of two-year-old plants. Younger plants
seldom bloom with much profusion the first season.
Order your plants in April. Get them into the ground about the middle of
May. Mulch the soil about them well. This will do away with the
necessity of watering if the season happens to prove a dry one. In
planting, be governed by the directions given in the chapter on "The
Try a bed of these ever-bloomers for a season and you will never
afterward be without them. Other flowers will rival them in brilliance,
perhaps, and may require less attention, but--they will not be Roses!
One fine Rose affords more pleasure to the lover of the best among
flowers than a whole garden full of ordinary blossoms can, and this is
why I urge all flower-loving people to undertake the culture of the
ever-blooming class of Roses, for I know they will give greater
satisfaction than anything else you can grow.
In fall, the plants can be taken up, packed away in boxes of earth, and
kept in the cellar over winter. Cut away almost the entire top when the
plants are lifted. All that one cares to carry through the winter is the
root of the plant.
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