Roses For Amateurs
Teas--Hybrid perpetuals--Some good climbing varieties--Treatment and
soil--Rose hedges--Pillar roses.
The reason for the heading given to this chapter is that growing roses for
show will not be mentioned, as it is quite a separate branch of the art
would require a book to itself to do it full justice. =Blooms of a
fair size, but in abundance= during five months of the year, that is what
most amateurs need, for, after all, the amount of disbudding that has to
be done when growing roses for show quite goes to one's heart! We want
fine, well-coloured, healthy flowers, and to attain that end a =good soil
is absolutely necessary=. This is especially the case with =Hybrid
Perpetuals=, but Teas will often do in a light soil, if manure is given
them, and plenty of water in the dry season. The H.P.'s, as gardeners call
them, =must have loam and clay= to do them properly; where the soil is not
improved by adding these ingredients, it is advisable to rely chiefly on
=THE ADVANTAGES OF TEAS.= For many reasons Tea Roses are the best for
small gardens, as they like the shelter found there. They =flower more
continuously= and in much greater profusion, are not so troubled with
green fly, and are far =more decorative= in habit of growth and colour of
leafage than most of the other species. In their particular shades of
colour they cannot be equalled, though for cherry reds and dark maroons we
have to look to the Hybrid Perpetual, at least, if we want flowers of fine
form, and also for that =lovely fresh pink= of the Captain Christy type
(though this is now termed a Hybrid Tea by rosarians). The name Perpetual
is apt to give =a false idea= to those who are not experienced. Most of
these roses are not at all continuous, many only lasting six weeks or so
in bloom, and some even less, if the season is hot; that is one great
reason why they are being superseded by Teas, at least in the suburbs of
London and the South of England. In the Midlands and North the =hardiness
of the H.P.'s= is greatly in their favour.
=Teas will stand the closeness= of a garden surrounded by houses and trees
much better than the Perpetuals, which are very apt to become mildewed in
such positions. Of course, many remedies are given for this, but often
they are =worse than the disease=; flowers of sulphur, for instance, to
take the best-known remedy, disfigures the whole plant terribly.
=Teas= are much the =best for planting in beds= which are very
conspicuous, for, as I said previously, they are always ornamental. Where
standards are placed down each side of the lawn, it is rather a good plan
to place all the =Hybrid Perpetuals on one side and the Teas on the
other=, giving the greater amount of sun to the latter.
=GOOD CLIMBERS FOR WARM WALLS.= When covering a very hot wall, too, it is
best, in the South of England, to stick to the tender roses, as the others
become almost burnt up. I will name here five of the =best climbing Tea
roses= for a south or west wall. William Allan Richardson the beautiful
orange variety so much admired; Bouquet d'or, a daughter of Gloire de
Dijon, but prettier in the bud than the old variety; Madame Berard, fawny
yellow, very floriferous; L'Ideal, and Gustave Regis. =L'Ideal is a most
beautiful rose=, its colouring almost defying description--a peculiar
yellow, streaked with red and gold, like a Turner sunset. Gustave Regis,
though often classed as a bush rose, easily covers a low wall, and is one
of the best kinds there are, as it is covered with bloom the whole of the
season. The buds make =lovely button-holes=, and are creamy yellow, long,
and pointed. They are just like water-lilies when fully open, and on a
warm sunny day exhale a perfectly delicious fragrance, unlike any other
rose with which I am acquainted.
Another good climbing =tea-rose= is Duchesse d'Auerstadt. Though
introduced as long ago as 1887, this variety is =not often heard of=,
perhaps on account of its shy blooming qualities. This however need deter
no one from growing it, as its =lovely foliage= makes it quite a picture
at all times: bronze, crimson, rich metallic green, its shoots and leaves
are a pleasure to look at. Its flowers, too, when they come how splendid
they are! =great golden goblets= full to overflowing with the firm, rich
petals and with a scent to match; they are indeed worth waiting for!
Anxiously is each bud watched, for they take so long to come to perfection
that the anxiety is not ill-founded. I have known a bud take four weeks to
come out, but then it had to stand a lot of bad weather, and came through
it safely after all. All these rose-trees may be had from Benjamin R. Cant
& Sons, Colchester, at 1s. 6d. each. This firm always sends out good
plants, with plenty of vitality in them, and as these old-established
rose-nurseries are by no means in a sheltered spot, you may be sure of
each tree being hardily grown and thoroughly ripened, great points in
their future well-being.
=CLIMBERS FOR COOL WALLS.= East, or better still E.S.E., is a good aspect
for Hybrid Perpetual and Bourbon roses on walls. I have frequently noticed
that they have a great dislike to the very hottest of the sun's rays, and
that is the reason I have advised those places to be reserved for Teas.
Some good climbing varieties for cool aspects are:--Mrs. John Laing, a
satiny pink of lovely form and sweet scent. Jules Margottin, cherry-red,
globular in shape, sweet-scented and very floriferous. Prince Camille de
Rohan, =one= of =the best dark roses= to be had, as they are generally so
difficult to grow--it is blackish-maroon in colour, and flowers
abundantly. Boule-de-neige, a Bourbon, with white flowers in great
abundance. Madame Isaac Pereire another Bourbon; it is a quick grower and
=most abundant flowerer=, the flowers are bright rose crimson.
Souvenir-de-la-Malmaison, one of the best Bourbons we have; does
particularly well on cold walls, even on those facing north. Its flowers
are very large, somewhat flat in form, and blush-white; it =blooms
abundantly in autumn=, and is rarely subject to blight.
=CLIMBERS REQUIRE VERY LITTLE PRUNING.= It is a case chiefly of cutting
out all dead wood, and snipping the decayed ends of those that are left.
=When planting rose-trees= of any description, choose mild and if possible
calm weather, for it is better to keep the trees out of the ground a few
days rather than plant them in frosty weather. =The soil should be
friable=, so that it crumbles fairly well, and when the plant is in
position it is advisable =to cover the roots with potting-soil= for two or
three inches. Spread the roots out like a fan, and be sure not to plant
the tree too deep. =Look carefully for the mark= showing the union =of
graft and stock=, and be careful not to cover this with more than two
inches of soil. Tread down the soil well to make it firm, and thus induce
the rose-trees to make fresh roots. In =planting out climbers=, carefully
tack all loose shoots to the wall or fence behind it, else the wind may do
much harm. When all is finished give a good mulching of strawy manure,
which should be dug in when March comes; and if there is a likelihood of
frost, protect the branches with bracken or any light covering.
=BUSH ROSES OF THE H.P. TYPE.= I will now give a few of the best Hybrid
Perpetuals of the bush type; many of the varieties I shall name, however,
=make very good standards= though they are more expensive. The "dwarfs,"
as rosarians call them, only cost from 9d. to 1s. each at Messrs. Cant's,
except in the case of =novelties=; and where these are concerned, it is
well to wait a year or two, as they rapidly go down to the normal price.
Duke of Teck, bright carmine scarlet, of good form, and occasionally
blooms in the autumn. Dupuy Jamain, =one of the best H.P.'s ever
introduced=, the flowers are almost cherry-red in colour, sweet-scented,
and come out in succession =the whole of the summer=: it is a quick
grower, and does well in a somewhat shady position. Heinrich Schultheis
flowers of a true rose-pink touched with silver, very prettily shaped and
exceedingly fragrant. Unfortunately, this variety is =subject to attacks
of mildew=, though this does not seem to affect the beauty of the flowers
but spoils the leaves.
Baroness Rothschild, a faultless rose as regards form and colour, which is
a beautiful pale pink, but utterly =devoid of scent=, a serious fault in
my opinion. Comtesse de Bearn, large, dark, and very floriferous. Madame
Gabriel Luizet, light silvery pink, quick growing, and free blooming.
Ulrich Brunner, always given an excellent character in the catalogues, and
indeed it is a good rose, cherry-red in colour, sweet-scented, and of fine
form: it =rarely ails=, mildew and rust passing it by altogether. It is
exceedingly vigorous, and makes therefore a good pillar-rose. Pride of
Waltham, a =rose little heard-of= yet most lovely; its blossoms are of the
brightest pink, sweetly scented, and beautifully cupped. Charles Lefevre,
beautiful crimson with dark shading; also very good at Kew (and
continuous). Abel Carriere, another dark maroon of fine form, and Queen of
the bedders, producing carmine flowers so freely that it must be
disbudded; it is subject to mildew.
So many roses formerly classed as Hybrid Perpetuals are now called Hybrid
Teas. The dear old La France is one that has undergone this change; it is
=a rose no-one should be without=, and should be grown both as a standard
and a bush; its silvery pink flowers have a most exquisite scent and
perfect shape (that is, when nearly wide open; it is not a good
button-hole variety). Another Hybrid Tea rose that has come to the fore
lately is Bardou Job, a =splendid bedding variety=, with flaming roses
almost single in form, but produced in prodigal profusion; it pays for
feeding. Queen Mab is a somewhat similar rose but has apricot flowers,
tinted pink and orange, borne in the same generous manner. It is a china
rose; neither of these kinds attain a great height, nevertheless beds
entirely composed of them are exceedingly effective and may be seen some
distance off; they require very little pruning.
=PILLAR ROSES.= Having mentioned pillar-roses, I will add a few more names
especially calculated to do well in such positions; perhaps =one of the
best= is Paul's Carmine Pillar, with its sheets; of lovely flowers
covering the stems the whole way up, with plenty of healthy foliage to set
them off. When better known, I should imagine it would be a rival even to
Turner's Crimson Rambler, magnificent as that is when grown to perfection.
At Kew recently a bed of the Carmine Pillar was quite =one of the sights
of the garden=. A close investigation of the bed in which they were
planted revealed the fact that every alternate rose-tree was a Gloire de
Dijon, but each one was a sorry failure, and instead of scaling the
heights, crouched low at the foot of its iron stake, as though unwilling
to compete with the other blushing occupants. The "glories" were not very
youthful either, that one could see by their thick hard stems; plenty of
time had evidently been given them to do the work, but for some unknown
reason they had shirked it. I have known several cases of this sort with
the much-loved "glory de John," as the gardeners broadly term it. Madame
Plantier is =a good white pillar-rose=, doing well in any situation, and
Cheshunt Hybrid is also most accommodating, and blooms well even in poor
soil, though it well repays good cultivation. Its flowers, cherry-carmine
in colour, are large and full, and the petals are prettily veined and
curl over at the edges. The foliage is rich, and the tree =never seems
attacked by any disease=; it is a Hybrid Tea. Aimee Vibert, a noisette, is
very good as a pillar-rose and extremely hardy: it also does well on
arches; the flowers are small and white, with pink tips to the petals; it
is very free, and flowers continuously.
=ROSE HEDGES.= Hedges of roses are quite as effective as pillars, and make
a very pretty screen for two-thirds of the year. The =ever-green roses are
best= for this purpose, and of these Flora is by far-and-away the nicest
rose. It has sweet flowers, small, full, and of the loveliest pink; they
are borne in clusters, each one looking just ready for a fairy-wedding
bouquet. They have a delightful scent, too, their =only fault being their
short duration=; in one summer they will grow from five to ten feet, and
are so free-flowering as almost to hide the leaves. Dundee Rambler, Ruga,
Mirianthes, and Leopoldine d'Orleans are all equally suitable for hedges.
=DWARF TEAS.= I will now name a list of the best dwarf Tea-roses; to begin
with, Alba Rosea is a dear old rose-tree, moderate in growth, bearing
numbers of flesh-white blossoms, good in form though small in size. These
have a faint, sweet scent, and are very pretty for cutting. One day last
August, I cut a whole branch off with about six open flowers upon it, and
put it in a tall vase just as it was; they arranged themselves, and were
much admired. The tree is decidedly dwarf and moderate in growth, and the
leaves are very dark green, thus making a beautiful foil to the roses.
Catherine Mermet is somewhat of the same type, but the flowers are larger
and more deeply flushed with pink; it is =a good green-house rose=. Madame
de Watteville resembles a tulip, having thick firm petals of a
creamy-white colour, distinctly edged with pink. It is a strong grower and
free in flowering. Madame Hoste is a pretty lemon-yellow colour, one of
the easiest to grow in this particular shade; the flowers are of good
form, and if well manured are large and full; it has a sweet scent. Madame
Lambard is =a rose no one can do without=, it is so free-blooming and
continuous; the colour is not constant, sometimes being mostly pink, at
others almost a fawn, but as a rule it is a blend of those two shades.
Marie van Houtte is another =indispensable variety=; the roses are lovely
in form, of a pale lemon-yellow colour, each petal being flushed with pink
at the edges, and the whole having a soft bloom, as it were, over it. This
carmine-marking, however, is not constant; weather and position seem to
have a good deal to do with it. Meteor is one of the darker Teas, being
carmine-crimson shaded with blackish-maroon; the roses are not full though
of good shape, consequently they =look best in bud=. This tree wants
feeding to do well, and is not a vigorous grower. Grace Darling is =a gem=
which everyone should have; the blossoms are large, full, perfect in shape
and exquisite in colour, which is generally a peachy-pink, the reverse of
the petals being a rich cream, and, as these curl over in a charming
manner, the effect is unique and extremely beautiful. The foliage is
abundant, of a ruddy tint, and keeps free from blight; indeed, =this
entirely fascinating rose= has only one fault, it is altogether too
A bright, pink rose of fine form is the Duchess of Albany; it is often
called =a deep coloured La France=, as it is a "sport" from that famous
rose. The Marquis of Salisbury is another dark tea-rose; it is small but
well-shaped though thin, and the blooms are abundant; it is strictly
moderate in growth, being somewhat like the Chinas in habit. A fine rose
=in a warm summer= is Kaiserin Friedrich, as it has large, very full,
flowers, which take a good deal of building up; it appears to dislike cold
and rainy weather.
=Sunrise is a new kind= that is making a considerable stir in the
rose-world; its flowers vary from reddish-carmine to pale fawn, and the
tree has glorious foliage.
=THE TIME TO PLANT.= October and November are the best months to plant
rose-trees, except in very cold parts; February is then a safer time,
especially for the tender sorts. =Their first season they require a great
deal of looking after=; their roots have not got a proper foot-hold in the
earth, and this means constant watering in dry weather. At blooming-time,
an occasional application of guano does a great deal of good, making both
flowers and leaves richer in colour. =Dead blooms, too, must be sedulously
cut off=, as, if left on, the tree is weakened.
=PRUNING.= Do a little pruning in October, though March and April are the
chief months. In the autumn, however, the shoots of rose-trees should be
thinned out, the branches left can then be shortened a fourth of their
length with advantage, as the winter's howling winds are less likely to
harm them. Standards especially require this, as when "carrying much sail"
they are very liable to be up-rooted.
When the spring comes, look the trees carefully over before commencing
operations, remembering that =the sturdier a tree is the less it needs
pruning=. The knife must go the deepest in the case of the poor, weak
ones. Always prune down to an "eye," that is an incipient leaf-bud; if
this is not done the wood rots.
Evergreen roses need scarcely be touched, save to cut out dead branches
and snip off decayed ends.
For Teas and Noisettes also, little actual pruning is necessary. H.P.'s
require the most. As a general rule for roses, if you want quality, not
quantity, prune: hard, but to enable you to "cut and come again," only
=Dis-budding= is a certain method of improving the blooms if it is done
=in time=. It is little use to do it when the buds once begin to show
colour; start picking off the superfluous ones when they are quite small,
and the difference in size and shape is often amazing.
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