On the subject of Classification of Roses, there has been much difficulty and confusion among amateurs; and even Rivers himself, one of the most correct of Rose amateurs in England, remarks: "Within the last ten years, how many plants have been named and unnamed, classed and unclassed! Professor A. placing it here, and Dr. B. placing it there! I can almost imagine Dame Nature laughing in her sleeve, when our philosophers are thus puzzled. Well, so it is, in a measure, with Roses; a variety has often equal claims on two classes. First impressions have placed it in one, and there rival amateurs should let it remain."
We are pleased with Mr. Parsons' classification, as being the most simple of any we have seen, and also as distinctive as possible, in a family so intermixed as the different varieties or species appear to be.
After speaking of the great confusion that has arisen in Rose nomenclature, he says:-
"If there exists, then, this doubt of the proper class to which many Roses belong, we think it would be better to drop entirely this sub-classification, and adopt some more general heads, under one of which every Rose can be classed. It may often be difficult to ascertain whether a Rose is a Damask, a Provence, or a Hybrid China; but there can be no difficulty in ascertaining whether it is dwarf or climbing, whether it blooms once or more in the year, and whether the leaves are rough as in the Remon-tants, or smooth as in the Bengals. We have, therefore, endeavored to simplify the old classification, and have placed all Roses under three principal heads, viz.:
"I. Those that make distinct and separate periods of bloom throughout the season, as the Remontant Roses.
"II. Those that bloom continually, without any temporary cessation, as the Bourbon, China, etc.
"III. Those that bloom only once in the season, as the French and others.
"The first of these includes only the present Damask and Hybrid Perpetuals, and for these we know no term so expressive as the French Remontant. Perpetual does not express their true character.
"The second general head we call Everblooming. This is divided into five classes:
"1. The Bourbon, which are easily known by their luxuriant growth, and thick, large, leathery leaves. These are not perfectly hardy in New England.
"2. The China, which includes the present China, Tea, and Noisette Roses, which are now much confused, as there are many among the Teas, which are not tea-scented, and among the Noisettes which do not bloom in clusters. They are, moreover, so much alike in their growth and habit, that it is better each should stand upon its own merits, and not on the characteristics of an imaginary-class.
"3. Musk, known by its rather rougher foliage.
"4. Macartney, known by its very rich, glossy foliage, almost evergreen.
"5. Microphylla, easily distinguished by its peculiar foliage and straggling habit.
"The third general head we divide into five classes:
"1. Garden Hoses. - This includes all the present French, Provence, Hybrid Provence, Hybrid China, Hybrid Bourbon, White, and Damask Roses, many of which, under the old arrangement, differ more from others in their own class than from many in another class.
"2. Moss Hoses, all of which are easily distinguished.
"3. Brier Hoses, which will include the Sweet Brier, Hybrid Sweet Brier, and Austrian Brier.
"4. The Scotch Hose.
"5. Climbing Rose; which are again divided into all the distinctive subdivisions."
"The term Remontant," says Mr. Parsons, "signifying, literally, to grow again, we have chosen to designate this class of Roses, there being no word in our language equally expressive. They were formerly called Damask and Hybrid Perpetuals, but are distinguished by their peculiarity of distinct and separate periods of bloom. They bloom with the other Roses in early summer, then cease for a while, then make a fresh bloom, and thus through the summer and autumn, differing entirely from the Bourbon and Bengal Roses, which grow and bloom continually through the summer." This class of Roses require longer time to establish themselves from layers than any others, as they are not often fit to detach from the old plant till the second year. Budding is resorted to for extensive propagation with this class. Some of the varieties, when grown upon their own roots, do not do justice to themselves; hut when worked on strong-growing stocks, grow much more luxuriantly, and give more perfect flowers. Mr. Parsons has described two hundred varieties of Roses from the various classes of those sorts he thinks most desirable for the amateur to select from. There are but few persons who will be dis-posed to cultivate that number. His selection is a very choice one, and I should hardly know myself which to reject. Fifty varieties, well chosen from the various classes, are as many as most persons, unless they have money enough and to spare, would be likely to cultivate; and the great majority would probably be happy to possess half that number.
These Roses are distinguished from the Remontant, by blooming continually through the season, without any temporary cessation. They include the Bourbon, the Bengal and its sub-varieties, the Tea and Noisette, the Musk, the Macartney, and the Micro-phylla Roses."
The Everblooming Roses are very desirable, wherever the climate renders it possible to preserve them through the winter. As far north as Boston, the greater part of them can only be cultivated to perfection in the greenhouse, but further south, they endure the winter, even, without protection.
This section of the Everblooming Roses has not succeeded in my own grounds. Mr. Parsons says they are perfectly hardy with him, (Long Island,) which is much warmer than in this State. He says, in speaking of it as having superior qualities to the Tea-scented Rose, "These qualities are, its perfect hardiness, its very thick, leathery foliage, its luxuriant growth, its constant bloom, and its thick, velvety petals of a consistency to endure even the burning heat of a tropical sun."
This class of Roses we must set down as the proper inhabitants of the green-house, in this section of the country; although, by planting in frames, taking up the plants and laying them in the ground in a dry place, or preserving them in a dry, cool cellar, they will do very well to plant out in the spring, and make a fine bloom after the summer Roses have passed away. Mr. Parsons remarks, that, "next to the Bourbon, this is perhaps the most valuable class of Roses; but in this climate they need protection from the cold. This, however, can be easily afforded by salt hay, or straw." I have tried to keep this class of Roses in the open ground, by protection of all kinds, but unfortunately their location was rather too wet in winter; perhaps, in a dry, loamy soil, they would succeed better. Further south, this is a most desirable class for out-door culture.