This section is from the book "How To Make A Flower Garden", by Wilhelm Miller. Also available from Amazon: The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques.
Out of the hundreds of roses described in floral catalogues, it is sometimes exceedingly difficult to select such varieties as are best suited for open-ground growing in the South. The trouble is that a large majority of the varieties of tea-roses are of such weak constitution as to unfit them for the above purposes, and are suitable only for forcing under glass. By the indiscriminate selection of new roses offered with extravagant descriptions, many of our enthusiastic amateur rosarians have met with disappointment. Preference should be given to old favourites which have withstood the test of years and have long been the glory of Southern gardens. Scores of newcomers have of late taken their places, only to disappear with their first season of growing, if, indeed, they grew at all.
Years ago, before the forcing of roses under glass had stimulated production of varieties intended for that purpose, the originators of new sorts looked more to a robust constitution, combined with a profusion of bloom, perfection of shape, and lasting colours, than to the characters that now constitute the up-to-date forcing rose. Forcing roses require the utmost skill and careful regulation of artificial temperature to bring out their wonderful fine points. At the South there are many classes or types of roses which grow to great perfection, but cannot withstand the cold of the Northern winters. There is, therefore, a greater range in selecting varieties for special purposes.
The tea-roses will doubtless long remain the favourite class; but in planting the proper sorts the amateur must not be misled by selecting those whose constitution is too weak to stand the long and warm southern summers. We cannot expect to grow in open ground as perfect Brides, Bridesmaids, Perles, etc., as are grown under glass, but we still have our Gloire de Dijon, Madame Camille, Devoniensis, Maréchal Niel, Souvenir de la Malmaison, Marie Van Houtte, and scores of others that have survived hundreds of newer sorts, and bid fair to survive for many years hence. The climbing Noisette roses frequently grow to enormous size, and are noted for the profusion and length of blooming. In the Hybrid Perpetual class are found the most perfect forms, the short-jointed sorts being as a rule those that bloom during the longest part of the growing season. Among some of these varieties, as also in the Hybrid Tea section which produces the most exquisite flowers, are many which are affected with what is termed "die back," which is often followed by the loss of the plant. Among these are La France, American Beauty, Caroline Testout, and a few others.
Polyantha roses give excellent results, and seem to adapt themselves to most soils.
Again, among the newer tea-roses there is a deficiency in their root system which causes a weak constitution. While this defect is less apparent when such plants are grown under glass, it becomes more serious when planted in open ground. Such varieties may, however, receive increased vigour if they are budded upon strong-growing stocks, and after trying many of the species used for that purpose by European growers, the Manetti has been found the most desirable. Many of our best tea and hybrid perpetuals would long since have disappeared from cultivation had it not been for the Manetti stock, which is in extensive use.
As a guide for prospective rose-planters at the South, the following lists are suggested as likely to prove the most successful:
Tea - Bon Silene, Bride, Bridesmaid, Caroline Kuster, Comtesse de Breteuil, Christine de Noué, Coquette de Lyon, Duchesse de Brabant, Etoile de Lyon, Kaiserin Augusta Victoria, Maman Cochet, Marie Guillot, Madame Camille, Mme. Abel Chatenay, Francisca Kruger, Mme. Honoré Defresne, Meteor, Vicomtesse de Wautiers, Safrano, Zelia Pradel.
Bourbon - Glory of France, Imperatrice Eugenie, Princess Imperial Victoria, Souvenir de la Malmaison.
Hybrid Perpetuals - A. K. Williams, Anne de Diesbach, Eugene Furst, Earl of Dufferin, Alfred Colomb, Coquette des Alpes, General Jacqueminot, Gloire Lyonnaise, Jean Liabaud, Mme. Moreau, Mme. Gabriel Luizet, Magna Charta, Paul Neyron, Pierre Notting, Pæonia, General Washington, Perle des Blanches, Prince Camille de Rohan, Rev. J. B. M. Camm, Ornement des Jardins.
China - Archiduc Charles, Madame Carl, Mme. Jean Sisley.
Polyantha - Cecile Brunner, Clothilde Soupert, Marie Favié, Perle d'Or, Mozella, Climbing Clothilde Soupert.
Noisette and Climbing - Devoniensis, Elie Beauvilain, Reine Marie Henriette, Reve d'Or, Solfaterre, Lamarque.
Banksia - White and Yellow.
Tea and Hybrid Tea and Noisettes - Captain Christy, La France, Caroline Testout, Perle des Jardins, Angelique Veyisset, Chromatella, Maréchal Niel, Niphetos, Emily Dupuy, Madame de Watteville.
Hybrid Perpetuals - American Beauty, Baronne de Rothschild, Doctor Hénon, Frère Marie Pierre, François Michelon, Mabel Morrison.