This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
Surely the summer Roses never before bloomed so splendidly! In our old age we shall talk of these Roses as we now do of stage-coaches, as things that have been, and our children will say, "Is it possible that you used to esteem Roses that bloomed only in June and July?" Still, in the far north they will be objects of interest, for autumnal Roses do not bloom well there, unless in warm localities; and the summer Roses, by late pruning, may be made to give their flowers in August, and even later.
Among the hybrid Bourbons, all our favourites have done their duty; and such Roses as Charles Duval, Sylvain, Tippoo Saib, and Coupe d'Hebe, have been most beautiful. Paul Ricant, a fine crimson Rose, is the only novelty in this group; and if it would but be liberal enough to give us a few flowers in autumn, how much more should we admire it! The hybrid China Roses have, in like manner, bloomed in great perfection; General Jacqueminot, General La-moriciere, Colbert, Gloire de Couline, and all the older favourites, have been most brilliant.
This warm weather has brought many varieties of Rosa alba to an unusual degree of perfection; how perfect and delicate are La Seduisante and Madame Audot! how pearly the white of Princesse de Lamballe and Madame Legras! how brilliant Vicomte Schrymaker! and that delicate glowing Rose, Due du Luxembourg; how very beautiful are its large globular flowers! Some old sorts that one had nearly forgotten have beckoned us in passing to give an admiring look, such as Montigny, Malvina, Royale rouge: these Roses have rarely been so perfect as they are to-day.
The summer Roses must have a few more words; for who can pass the hybrid Provence Roses without being arrested by such a Rose as Comtesse Plater (this was its first designation, but the person who raised it has made it Comte Plater); how singular and beautiful is its creamy, fawn-coloured tint! how large, how double, and finely shaped!
Diane de Poitiers, and La Sylphide, and Rose Devigne, how delicate are their shades of blush, and how perfect and regular are their finely cupped flowers! Emerance and Pauline Garcia, with their delicate straw colour, and Adrienne de Cardouville (too pretty a name for such a horrible story as Le Juif Errant) and Madame L'Abbey, with their rich deep rose-colour, make an assemblage of beauty rarely to be equalled.
What Roses are those in that distant bed, glowing in the morning sun? How large, how brilliant, how magnificent they are! and yet I find them all old friends, all French Roses, and among them, Kean, Boula de Nanteuil, Grandissima, Latour d'Auvergne, Ohl, Shakspeare, Gloire de Colmar, d'Aguesseau, Napoleon, Schon-brun, Triomphe de Coster, and Triomphe de Jaussens, with their crimson and red and scarlet tints; how thick and velvety are their petals, and how perfect and double are their flowers! Some of the rose-coloured varieties in this group, such as Columella, Guerin's Gift, La Circassienne, Letitia, Pharericus, and Sanchette, have been equally beautiful. We can scarcely afford to give up these Roses only because they are summer flowers; let me, therefore, suggest a mode of culture, so that their barren appearance in autumn may be partially hidden; for it must be confessed a bed of them after July is not an agreeable object in the Rose-garden; will it not, therefore, be advisable to plant them with hybrid Perpetuals in the proportion of about one-third or one-fourth? Thus, a bed of twenty-one dwarfs may have seven Gallicas, or hybrid Provence, or Alba, or Damask, to fourteen hybrid Perpetuals; or if one-fourth, a bed of twenty may have five of these summer Roses; they will, in June and July, give a beautiful variety of colour, and in autumn their barren appearance will not be perceptible amid their gay and bountiful sisterhood, the hybrid Perpetuals: we owe these old friends a debt of gratitude, let us not discard them too hastily.
To return to autumnal Roses: the Standard of Marengo, apparently acclimatised by this summer weather, - reminding it, I presume, of its birth-place, Lyons - improves on acquaintance; it is nearly as brilliant as the Geant, and how beautifully cupped!
The hybrid Perpetual Cornice de Marseilles is on bloom, - very pretty, very good, of a delicate blush, and nicely cupped. Better, and more distinct, is Madame Guillot; really a fine new Rose, of a deep pink, large, cupped, very double, and nicely shaped.
How very splendid is Comte de Montalivet! as large, or sometimes larger, than William Jesse; of a colour perfectly unique, and scarcely to be described, so rich are its red and purple tints! Although this Rose gives such large flowers, it is not a robust grower, and is liable to mildew: it may be budded on some strong-growing hybrid China Rose with advantage.
How striking and distinct is Henry IV. (HenriQuatre)! With all the vigour of a hybrid Bourbon, such as Charles Duval, it unites the desirable quality of blooming in autumn, making shoots three to four feet in length, crowned with clusters of flowers of a lively deep pink: these are not large, but nicely cupped and very double; its foliage is remarkably beautiful.
Jeanne d'Arc is certainly the nearest approaching to white of all the hybrid Perpetuals, and is a very pretty, cupped, and elegantly shaped Rose, of the most delicate flesh-colour. Dr. Arnal, also a new variety of this family, is very brilliant, very double, and pretty; but not very distinct in colour, which is brighter, but still resembles that of our old favourite, Madame Laffay, - certainly one of the very best autumnal Roses known.
General Negrier, one of the lions of the season, is now in full beauty. No Rose can be imagined more perfect in shape and more beautiful in the symmetry of its numerous petals, which are all nicely incurved, so as to form a most perfect, cupped, and very double Rose; in its delicate rose-colour we have no novelty.
Chateaubriand, although a thinly petalled Rose, is of such a brilliant glossy pink, that one turns at once to admire it. Those autumnal Roses that are not very double are valuable for cool or moist climates, as they always open freely in the autumn; this is really a charming variety. Madame Pepin is also in full dress to-day; a very pretty and good Rose, of a nice bright rose-colour, inclining to pink. It is really impossible to describe those light shades of colouring which make a Rose distinct, and yet which cannot be conveyed by words, or even the pencil of the artist.
Comte de Paris, one of our very oldest varieties of hybrid Perpetual Roses, has been, and is to-day, in great beauty. This fine old Rose deserves a passing word or two: it is, in most soils, a bad grower, either on its own roots or worked on the Dog-Rose. This induced me last year to have some budded on the Rose Manetti; the result is most gratifying, the plants have produced magnificent flowers; any other strong-growing hybrid China Rose for a stock would probably have the same effect.
This dry and warm summer has made Jacques Lafitte come out in full beauty; no autumnal Rose grows with more vigour, and gives a greater abundance of flowers in autumn. A warm soil and dry climate are, I think, essential to the development of its best qualities; for its deep brilliant rose-colour soon becomes tinged with lilac in wet seasons.
[To be continued].