Brier Roses, - "These Roses are distinguished by their small, rough foliage, and brier-like habit. They include the Sweet Brier, the Hybrid Sweet Brier, and the Austrian Brier."The Sweet Brier or Eglantine is generally Supposed to be indigenous, as it is found growing plentifully on road-sides, and in pastures; but it is believed by botanists to have been imported from England, and has been extensively disseminated by birds, who feed upon its abundant fruit, or hips, as they are called. The botanical name is R. rubiginosa. A plant of this species should find a place in every collection of shrubs, on account of the agreeable strong perfume of the flowers, and also of the leaves, when rubbed, or when wet, with dew or rain. The plant is armed with sharp-hooked prickles. In rich soil, new shoots will sometimes attain the height of eight or ten feet. These new shoots form the flowering stems for the next season. The old wood should be cut out every spring. The delicate Eglantine has scarcely been less honored by the poets, than the more luxuriant Roses. It is usually coupled with the European Woodbine, as the Lily with the Rose, etc.
"Shenstone, in describing the delights of a country walk, after long confinement in sickness, makes particular mention of the fragrant pair."
"Come gentle air! and while the thickets bloom, Convey the Jasmine's breath divine; Convey the Woodbine's rich perfume, Nor spare the sweet-leaved Eglantine."
"The Eglantine boasts that even in winter she has beauty."
"Though of both leaf and flower bereft, Some ornaments to me are left - Rich store of scarlet hips are mine."
"Keats alludes more than once to the sweet perfume of the Eglantine, when moist, with rain or dew."
"Its sides I'll plant with dew-sweet Eglantine And Honeysuckles full of clear bee wine."
The Double Yellow Provence Rose is supposed to have had its origin from the Austrian Brier. It is an old inhabitant of some gardens, but a very shy bloomer, showing its flowers very sparingly, and, some years, none. We have seen the bushes bending with their load of flowers. They are large, very double, of a pale-yellow. On account of its peculiar habits, it is not worth its room in the garden. Copper Austrian "is a very singular-looking Rose, blooming well in this climate, is of a coppery-red, and the outside inclining to pale-yellow, or sulphur." It has single flowers, but they are truly beautiful. The Yellow Harrison Rose was considered a great acquisition, a few years since, but this is now entirely eclipsed by the Persian Yellow. Its flowers are more double, and of a more brilliant yellow, than the Harrison; and this is the only hardy yellow Rose we know of, really worth growing, except the Copper Austrian. The flowers of the Austrian Roses are produced on short joints all along the stem; they will not, therefore, bear much pruning.
"Double-margined Hip is a Hybrid Sweet Brier, of luxuriant growth, almost adapted to a pillar. Its form is cupped, and its color creamy-white, shaded with pink."
The Climbing Roses may be divided into four or five sub-classes, viz.: Boursalt, Ayrshire, Prairie, Hybrid China, Noisette or Bourbon, and Miscellaneous. In the Miscellaneous class, the old-fashioned Cinnamon may be placed, not knowing where else to put it; and it should most assuredly have a place somewhere, "for auld lang syne," if nothing more. It deserves a place in the shrubbery, on account of its early flowering and profuse bloom. It opens it blossoms the last of May, in this climate, and, with a little attention, will make a bush ten or twelve feet high.
The Boursalt Roses come next in bloom after the Cinnamon. They are all desirable on account of their hardy character and vigorous growth. "Their smooth bark renders them desirable for stocks to bud upon." For the extreme North, this whole class, next to the Prairie, are the most desirable for pillars and trellises.
Amadis is one of the handsomest of the Boursalt Roses, producing its large purplish-crimson flowers in pendulous clusters.
For distant effect, the Common Purple Boursalt is not without its merits. The flowers are semi-double, but are produced in immense numbers; and, then, it is very hardy.
This is one of the earliest of the sub-class, producing large blush flowers, with a deep rose center, and perfectly double. All the Boursalts have quite smooth stems, but none more so than the Thornless Rose, which comes into bloom soon after the Cinnamon. Its stems are perfectly smooth; it makes a stout bush, ten or twelve feet high, and is covered with a profusion of pretty pink Roses. This is suitable for the shrubbery. The Old White Rose makes a handsome bush for training. The flowers are semi-double, of a fine rose-white, and, when properly managed, in rich soil, will grow twelve to fifteen feet high.
Samuel Feast, Esq., of Baltimore, has the honor of originating the first Prairie Rose, - the Queen of the Prairies, - for which the Massachusetts Horticultural Society awarded him their large gold medal, as a special premium. This is the type of a new class of hardy Roses, and proves to be a most valuable acquisition for the North, it being as hardy as the oak. The tribe bloom after the summer Roses are passed.
Queen of the Prairies is a most superb variety of Rosa setigera, a native of the West, sometimes known as the Michigan Rose. This is Mr. Feast's first seedling, and considered by some the best. The flowers are of a deep rose color, with a white stripe in the center of each petal. They have a peculiar globular, cup-shaped form. This variety is the most luxuriant grower of any of the class, making a surprising growth in rich soil. The flowers of all the varieties are produced in clusters.