There were few yellow Roses in the very old gardens; for some time Banksia was about the only representative of that colour. In the year 1830 Persian Yellow and Harrison's Yellow were introduced, The flowers of the former are of good colour but small. Harrison's Yellow bears a medium size semi-double flower and blooms much freer than Persian. It makes an attractive-looking bush but should not be placed in the garden, rather on some distant spot where it may be seen and not heard, for its fair flowers cry to Heaven. If you should by some untoward accident pluck one of the rather tempting, golden blossoms, and investigate it with your nose, it will seem to you as if all the insects in the garden had crawled into it and died.
Old Thatched Chalk Wall.
There were many Summer Roses grown in the New England yards that have disappeared entirely from present-day gardens. The old yards were overrun with Roses, running, climbing, standing, reclining, and creeping over everything; in June the dooryards must have presented a carnival appearance. When they began to wane, however, the garden lost its interest to a great extent, for these old Summer Roses rarely bloomed more than once in a season. And what a beautiful time the bugs must have had! To-day, the Hardy Perpet-uals and the Teas, and the modern Climbers have taken their places. The English Sweetbriar (eglantine) was brought over at an early date; perhaps it came in the "Mayflower" along with the ten thousand spinning wheels, chests and chairs that were ferried to the New World. It was so generally cultivated that it escaped to the roadside and masquerades to-day as a wild Rose. It is unique because of its sweet-scented foliage; and may be had from the nurseries under the name of Rubignosa. An old Rose of much merit because of its bushlike form and plenitude of bloom is Madame Plan-tier, introduced in 1835. The colour of the flowers is white and they are borne early in the season; as many as a thousand blossoms have been counted on one bush.
If these old Roses are wanted, most of them will have to be sought in the old gardens, from whence the proprietors doubtless will let you take cuttings if you approach them in an humble and reverent spirit. The new Roses of course, do not always console one for the loss of the old; one longs for the sights and the smells of childhood almost as much as for "the touch of a vanished hand, And the sound of a voice that is still."
The perfumes, the sentiment, are not the same.
Stone Steps and Gateway.
But one cannot have everything, and modern Roses have a beauty and charm of their own that flower lovers cannot fail to appreciate, although in the depths of their hearts they are sure that they do not compare to the less gaudy, though more fragrant blossoms of the olden days.
Following is a list of some of the old Roses, with their bloom and some of their characteristics described briefly.
Damask Rose, of which Rosa mundi, or York and Lancaster is a variety; used by the colonists for rose water; in the East for attar of roses.
Crimson Boursault (Alpine Rose).
Banksian; double yellow, from China in 1807.
Musk Rose (Rosa Moschata); used in the East for attar of roses.
The sweet-scented June Rose of many thorns, common to the dooryards of New England and New York.
The Cinnamon Rose; in some parts of England called Whitsuntide, with small flat flowers, and a distinct cinnamon odour.
Scotch Briar, or Burnet-leaved Rose; white and yellow, very fragrant.
Rosa Alba, or Maiden's Blush; an old cottage garden rose; white and pink. This rose is very susceptible to blight, and was not generally an ornament to the garden after June.
The Dog Rose.
The Burgundy Rose.
The Black Rose.
The Fairy and Garland, two miniature Roses that were especially dear to the hearts of children.
If you have set your heart on having Perpetual Roses in the flower garden, plant them in the large beds along the paths, eight or nine feet apart, and two feet in from the edging, so that other flowers may be planted in front of them and they will be hidden after the first of July. This treatment is not meant to be recommended as a particularly beneficial one for Roses, although it does not seem to harm them; if any should succumb they may be easily and cheaply replaced.
Ulrich Brunner is one of the best of the Remontant Roses. Its foliage is particularly healthy and free from insects, and quite thornless; the flowers are a deep cherry-red colour, borne on long stems. It blooms freely in late June, and reblooms in September. The growth of this Rose is strong and vigorous, and the buds open out gradually, lasting for a long time whether left in the garden or cut and put in water. The greatest drawback to this plant is its want of compactness, the canes growing to the length of two feet or more before throwing out buds.
Magna Charta is a good pink Rose that bears many flowers on rather short stems, so close together in fact that they have the effect of clusters. A strong and vigorous grower, very hardy and making a shapely bush in a short time. Cut off the flowers as they begin to fade or they will hinder the growth of the remaining blossoms.
General Jacqueminot is the well known dark red Rose that blooms more brilliantly after a severe freezing, and may be grown without the slightest trouble. The flowers are almost worthless for cutting as they do not hold their colour.
Coquette des Blanches, a hybrid Noisette Rose, but may be considered and used as a Remontant. The flower is white, tinged slightly with pink. It makes a symmetrical bush, and blossoms rather late, prolonging the Rose season. It is hardy and easy to grow.
Paul Neyron, the largest of all the hardy Roses, but rather difficult to bring into bloom successfully on account of the uncertainty of the buds, and the certainty that the insects will destroy them. This Rose will look shabby and uninteresting unless much attention is given it, and its foliage frequently sprayed from the time the leaves begin to appear.