This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There has been much difficulty experienced by the growers in raising Hybrid roses for the cut flower market; and thus far with the single exception of Gen. Jacqueminot, all efforts have been almost a total failure.
Paul Neron is grown to a limited extent, and could it be put on the market at a reasonable figure would probably be one of the favorites, as its large size, noble form, and peculiar soft rosy red color make it very attractive. A rose, however, that in February can hardly be sold under two dollars each, retail, will scarcely find more than a limited number of purchasers.
There are other hybrids that can be forced with more or less ease, but there is always something defective in the flower, either that it does not form a good bud, or that its color is wrong or undecided, or some such cause.
Gen. Jacqueminot, however, to those that have been lucky in raising it, has been a little "mine," so to speak, and has probably been the best paying of all the fancy roses.
Professionally speaking, "Jack" rose is not in the market much before February, although a few may be had as early as December. These are aptly called " bastards," being poor, miserable, scrubby little things. Poor as they are, however, they are worth about forty dollars per hundred then.
Although this price seems enormous for such a poor article, one grower who had one house especially for December forcing, assured me that the season before he had lost twenty cents on every bud he sold, and he having a superior stock received fifty dollars a hundred for them. He continued forcing early because it gave him a lead in the market, and enabled him to command a higher price for his other goods.
A single crop of Jacks lasts about two weeks, and a house will yield a couple of crops, one in February and a second in April.
The fluctuation in the price of Jacks is startling and terrifying to the oldest hand. I have known a rise or a fall of twenty dollars a hundred in a single day. Last season the average scale of prices in Philadelphia was about as follows to May 1st: -
1st half, per hundred,
2nd " "
1st week, "
2nd " "
3d " "
4th " "
1st " "
2nd " "
3d " "
4th " "
During this time, of course, there were many and violent changes - the highest figure that was reached in that time was sixty-five dollars, and the lowest six dollars per hundred.
The average retail price was fifty cents a bud, although they have sold as high as a dollar, each.
A " Jack" bouquet is worth from fifteen to thirty dollars. It is used alone, or in combination with Niel, Cook, or Lily of the Valley.
A bouquet, the centre formed of Niels, or one of one side Niels and one side Jacks, were the favorites last winter. A Jack bouquet is generally trimmed with ribbon to match the color of the bud.
Over a thousand Jacks were used in Philadelphia recently on one occasion by one firm. The buds having a good stiff figure in the market at the time.
Jacqueminot is a second of the three roses, the price of which is always kept up, for the same reason that M. Niel is held stiff by the retail florist.
Jacqueminot was first introduced to the public in Boston, where it at once created a furore that has not yet subsided.