"To crown the bowl,' says Mr. Davidson, 'sometimes signifies no more than to fill the cup to the brim; but here it is to»be taken literally for adorning the bowl with flowers, according to the ancient custom. Otherwise, implevitque mero would be mere tautology.' Horace repeatedly speaks of crowning the bowl with Roses.
"The Romans were at great expense to procure Roses in winter; Suetonius affirms that Nero spent upwards of 4,000,000 of sesterces, about thirty thousand pounds, for Roses, at one supper. Horace alludes to this custom in his thirty-eighth Ode, Book 1.
' Seek not for late-blowing Roses; I ask no other crown than simple Myrtle.
"It is said that the Turks cannot endure to see a Rose-leaf fall to the ground, because says Gerarde, ' some of them have dreamed that the first Rose sprang from the blood of Venus.'
"It may, perhaps, be worth while to quote Gerarde's translation of a passage from Anacreon, rather for its curiosity than beauty:-
' The Rose is the honor and beauty of flowers, The Rose is the care and the love of the spring, The Rose is the pleasure of th' heavenly powers; The boy of fair Venus. Cythera's darling, Doth wrap his head round with garlands of Rose, When to the dances of the Graces he goes.'
"Many species of the Rose preserve their sweet perfume even after death; as the poet observes in the following passage:-
' And first of all, the Rose; because its breath Is rich beyond the rest; and when it dies, It doth bequeath a charm to sweeten death.'
"The very essence of this sweet perfume is extracted from the flowers; and the attar of Roses is dearer than gold:-
' The Rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem For that sweet odor which doth in it live. The canker blooms have full as deep a dye As the perfumed tincture of the Roses, .
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly, When summer's breath their masked buds discloses. But. for their virtue only is their show, They live unmoved, and unrespeoted fade; Die to themselves; sweet Roses do not so; Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odors made.'"
"The Moss Rose, or Moss Provence Rose, is well-known as an elegant plant. The flowers are deeply colored, and the rich mossiness which surrounds them, gives them a luxuriant appearance not easily described; hut it is familiar to every one. It is a fragrant flower; its country is not known to us, and we know it only as a double flower.
"The origin of its mossy vest has been explained to us by a.German writer:-
* The angel of the flowers one day Beneath a Rose-tree sleeping lay: That spirit to whose charge is given To bathe young buds in dews from heaven; Awaking from his light repose, The angel whispered to the Rose: 'O fondest object of my care, Still fairest found where all are fair, For the sweet shade thou'st given to me, Ask what thou wilt, 't is granted thee.' ' Then,' said the Rose, with deepened glow, 'On me another grace bestow.' The spirit paused in silent thought; What grace was there that flower had not! 'T was but a moment; - o'er the Rose A veil of moss the angel throws; And, robed in nature's simplest weed, Could there a flower that Rose exceed?' "
We now proceed to give some practical instruction in relation to the Rose.
Roses will succeed well in any good garden soil, but to have them in perfection, it is necessary that the soil be well enriched and deeply dug. The Rose, like the vine, is a gross feeder, and is not injured by heavy manuring. In a poor, lean, shallow soil, it is impossible to bring out the beauties of any variety of the Rose. A strong, rich loam, or vegetable mould, with about one quarter of its bulk of well decomposed stable manure, is recommended by Parsons as a standard for the quality of the soil in which to grow the Rose; and if the soil of the garden, where the Rose is to be planted, differs materially from this, the requisite materials should be added, that it may approach as near as possible to that standard. In my own experience, I have found that the more manure, if not an extravagant quantity, the better the bloom; but, in addition to the quality and richness of the soil, a good depth is absolutely necessary. My general practice is to plant out Roses in beds, which, for all the hardy Roses, I prefer to do in November. First, the ground should be trenched two spades deep, and a liberal supply of stable, barnyard, or night-soil manure, with bone-dust incorporated with it, as the digging proceeds, but not buried too deep. I have not been very particular as to the quantity or quality of the manure. After the ground is settled, the Roses may be planted. Four feet each way is about the proper distance to plant the different varieties of Roses, in the rosary.
Rivers recommends, as the best compost for Roses, rotten dung and pit sand for cold, clayey soils; and for warm, dry soils, rotten dung and cool loams. He finds that night-soil, mixed with the drainings of the dunghill, or even with common ditch or pond water, so as to make a thick liquid, the best possible manure for Roses, poured on the surface of soil twice in the winter, one or two gallons to each tree. In our climate, it may be applied in November and in April. In my beds of established Roses, I cause manure from the stable to be applied to the surface of the ground about the bushes, in November, which serves as a protection; some of the tender sorts are fastened down and covered with the same. As soon as the ground is in a fit state to dig, in the spring, this manure is carefully incorporated with the surface soil, but not so as to injure the fibres or roots of the plants. A wet, retentive soil is injurious to the Rose, as I have found by sad experience; but in a rich, dry loam, my labors have been amply rewarded.
When Roses are to be planted out singly, as many of the climbing sorts are, the soil should be dug out two and a half feet deep; the bottom may be filled, to the depth of six inches, with small stones, or, what is better, with bones, and then filled up with prepared soil.