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.
Eight hundred roses per season in a house ten and one-half by fifteen and one-half feet.
My little greenhouse is built directly from, and includes a part of, the piazza on the south side of the house. It is ten and one-half feet wide and fifteen and one-half feet long, including the piazza, which is five and one-half feet.
A door from the parlour opens upon the piazza, and then a few steps lead down to the floor of the greenhouse proper; on the west is a door into the garden. The entrance from the house I regard as of supreme importance, because, fully to enjoy a greenhouse, you must be able to run into it easily, at odd moments, when you are pressed for time or the weather is stormy; and then what pride and joy, on a bleak winter's day, to simply open the parlour door and show admiring guests the pots of hyacinths and daffodils - above all, roses!
The greenhouse is heated by a small hot-water stove, but I imagine that it might be done more easily and cheaply by a coil, if our furnace permitted it. Sloping shelves fill the piazza for palms, begonias, geraniums, callas, and other plants, especially such as require little sun; for, of course, there is no direct light overhead on the piazza part of the greenhouse.
The benches are filled entirely with roses - between sixty and seventy in all - Souvenir de Wooton and Bon Silene, with a few Safranos and Perles. As the winter comes on we lock the garden door and fill that end of the passage with roses in pots. Most florists would smile at the idea of raising roses in such a house as mine, but I average eight hundred blooms from October to June. This is a generous reward, not to mention the pleasure of the work.
The roses are taken out the last of May, and new ones planted in the benches, in fresh soil. During the winter the soil is fertilised with well-rotted cow manure and a little bone-dust. A short hose, from a faucet on the piazza, easily waters and syringes the plants. Roses must be thoroughly syringed to keep down red spider. A guard on the top of the piazza and a wire screen over part of the greenhouse protect the glass from the snow from the roof of the house.
In my opinion, no one should attempt to raise roses in such a house who is not thoroughly in love with them, but ordinary plants and flowers may be easily managed.