This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The rose is such a universal favorite, that one need scarcely apologize for making any suggestions that might appear likely to aid those who (like myself) must have them blooming both winter and summer. So much satisfaction have 1 had in growing certain varieties pegged to the ground, and so seldom have I seen this plan followed, that I begin to think its beauty and value are not universally known; hence the idea of inviting the attention of your readers to this special mode of propagation.
The management is extremely simple : a deep, rich loam in an open situation, but not exposed to rough, high winds, and to select such varieties as are known to do well as ordinary standards, and are on their own roots. I find the following very satisfactory : Madam Margotten, Madam Bosanquet, Lamarque, La Pactole, Hermosa, Devoniensis, Duchess de Brabant, Arch Duchesse Isabella, Beauty of Greenmount, Agrippina, Gen. Jacqueminot, Jean Goujon, La Reine, John Hopper, and Washington; all of which I received with a hundred more from the nurseries of the "Dingee & Conard Rose Co.," who, it is well known, send out specially fine plants; not one of mine at least, ever wilted.
Do not attempt to grow worked roses in this way, for the suckers from the old parent will choke them. A bed for this purpose may be started in March or October; but whether in Spring or Autumn, pack the surface of the bed immediately after planting, and each spring after priming and clearing, tramp the soil down firmly. This holds good I find with all rose beds.
If you use small plants, do not prune the first year, but peg clown all new shoots; for this purpose I use strong hair-pins. If, however, they are vigorous, cut down six or eight inches from each shoot; what we want here is a vigorous growth, so as to have abundance of flowering shoots the next year. Keep watered the first season and cut off the ends of all flowering branches, and the hips as soon as done flowering, and then soak the bed with manure water, repeating this every third day for a month, which will soon start the plants into a new growth.
These plants will become well established in a year, and will grow on vigorously all the season, sending up strong young shoots about three feet in height, which, with the ever-blooming class, will be a mass of flowers each month. Peg down the young shoots over vacant spots of ground, and if too many are made, cut away the weakest of them, and keep those pegged down about eight inches apart.
As a greater quantity of blooms are obtained from young than from old wood, it will be seen that each year the wood of the preceding season is to be cut out. Before covering for the winter remove the pegs, so as to allow it to rise up a little from the ground and cut away the old wood, then cover with sods and a layer of manure. Early in March cut hack all the shoots. The strong ones to two feet, the weakest to a foot or sixteen inches, fork in the manure covering and tramp down well; we are then ready for the season, and right royally will the queen of flowers show forth her beauty.
An English work names the following roses for this purpose: William Griffiths, William Jessee, Chas. Lafebvre,Annie Alexieff, Senateur Vaisse, Alfred Colcomb, Baronne Prevost, Gen. Washington, Gen. Jacqueminot, Jean Goujon, La Reine and John Hopper. I believe that some prefer roses on Manetti stock for pegging down, but I like them on their own roots. Hazel-rods cut into lengths of three and four inches make excellent forks for pegging.
A rose mount is beautiful covered in this way, and where this is large various combinations of scarlet Geraniums and Delphiniums (the latter pegged down), Cloth of Gold and Blue King Lobelia will form a lovely edge to circles of bloom; but to begin to enumerate the charming effects of combination in this regard is to occupy so many columns of the Gardener's Monthly that I should be voted a bore.
I had intended when I commenced to speak of a Rose Temple, Rose Wilderness, and several other pretty rose arrangements, to which I am partial, but the pegged-down bed has led me astray.
There is a point, however, and upon which I would like to say a word. There are many ladies who do not possess the advantage of a heated conservatory, but depend upon bay windows or small plant-rooms, for their winter treasures; the temperature of these frequently grow so low during the night that their plants are found entirely frozen. Now if these persons were to use one of the small kerosene stoves during intensely cold weather, merely lighting it at bed-time, they would find it to answer every purpose, and they are both economical and convenient. During one of our most severe winters I kept a large bay window (stocked with delicate ferns, etc.) quite safe by merely filling a huge wash-kettle with boiling water and placing it beneath the window box, which was perforated with auger-holes in the bottom. This window was on the north side of the house, with a western, northern and eastern exposure, and with only single sash. Again, I kept large plant-stands last winter by merely placing iron kettles of hot ashes beneath them. One frequently has more plants than the conservatory will contain or enjoys them in the windows; in such cases, the means just described prove valuable.
The plants kept warm with hot ashes, were never-troubled with vermin.