In October all possible ventilation should be given and less water and syringing. With a lower temperature growth will cease, and in December and January if you just keep the house above the freezing point it is enough. A few degrees of frost will do no harm, but don't forget your water pipes if you let the frost in.
Early in March or the middle of February start them up again. As the wood is firm and ripe and the roots inactive, these roses can be pruned hard when starting them in spring, and will bear a good heavy mulch of cow manure. Don't start with too much heat at once, but as the roots are undisturbed they will break immediately and can soon be given the usual rose house treatment.
As all the varieties you would grow for this purpose belong to the tea or hybrid tea class, you can make the season of rest still shorter and pick good flowers up to the middle of November, and merely lower the temperature down to 35 or 40 degrees till the end of January, when you can lightly prune and start growing again.
For this purpose there is no finer white than the grand Kaiserin Augusta Victoria. Perle des Jardins is the best yellow and comes fine in the warm weather. President Carnot, the blush white and pink, is splendid for the purpose, and for a red, Meteor delights in the summer heat. Old La France will flower to perfection with this treatment.
In our largest cities the summer rose does not receive much attention, for society is largely absent. In our salubrious climate people stop here, and besides that roses are wanted every day in the year.
My readers will know more about the varieties of the tea roses to grow than I can tell them, for they are familiar to all. The American Beauty stands first, if not in quantity most assuredly in high quality, and there is nothing in sight to depose it. Bride for white, and Bridesmaid for a clear pink, stand unrivalled, and their parent, Catherine Mermet, is still a beautiful pink. Meteor is the standard red or crimson, but the beautiful Liberty is likely to depose it. Since the above was written we have Richmond, which gives promise of superseding all red roses for winter blooming. If Liberty proves to be a good winter bloomer the fate of Meteor is sealed, for it is a far better flower, a true Jacqueminot color, bright and rich, and it does not have the bad fault of Meteor in winter. Perle des Jardins has no rival in yellow. Sunset, its sport, is a fine orange yellow.
The above will cover ninety per cent of all the roses grown for cut flowers, but many fine varieties find favor in some localities. Mme. Hoste, Mme. de Watte-ville, Belle Siebrecht, Mrs. J. Pierpont Morgan, Mme. C. Testout, Papa Gontier, Mrs. B. Garrett, and others, are grown.
In conclusion I will say that in my humble opinion there would be no need of grafting as a method of renewing our rose stock if we were to treat our plants more rationally. I am well aware it is not a new and original idea with me, but I have thought of it very much of late and can recall a few instances where circumstances would lead me to believe that we are asking too much of our tea roses. It can't be denied that we keep our stock of roses up to concert pitch the whole time, perhaps for seven or eight years, or until some new variety replaces an older one.
A cutting, as before said in these pages, is not a new individual; it is merely the perpetuation of the old, and without a natural rest it must get exhausted. The tea rose is an evergreen, or nearly so, and a continuous bloomer, or we make it so, but its parent or parents had a period of rest at some time of the year, that is sure. But we give none. Our cuttings are taken off when the plant is in most active growth, the cutting is grown along as quickly as possible and made into a vigorous young plant, set out in June and forced along in growth, and it continues to grow until propagating time again. Not a day of actual rest, and so the cycle revolves, but no rest for the roses. Now, the instance I remember was, first, a lot of young stock coming from a nursery firm in Pennsylvania which makes a specialty of roses. They arrived in April; the cuttings had been strong shoots taken off the previous fall and the plants had been wintered little if any above freezing. They were what we would say of a tramp, "hard looking citizens," having a scrubby looking appearance. They were put into 3-inch pots and began to grow immediately, and when planted out at the end of June grew most vigorously, far surpassing some much better looking plants that had been propagated that spring in the usual way. Those plants had had a winter's rest.
The other case was on my own place. Some plants left over from planting in July were knocking about the frames the following fall and winter, and in the spring stood under the wall of a shed, and occasionally when it rained stood with their pots full of water; in fact, they were abused. Being short of fifty plants when planting in June or July we put in these " runts" and they simply started off and grew prodigiously, far outstripping the good looking young plants by their side.
I believe and feel sure that, were we able to propagate in late spring or early fall and winter the plants in a very cold house, or in milder parts in a coldframe, and bring them along slowly to planting time, we should not be obliged to have recourse to the fussy job of grafting.
One word as a final. When you want to buy don't send to the man who raises hundreds of thousands of young plants for sale. Send to the good grower of flowers who has a few thousand surplus of his own stock, and never study the price of 2 cents on a plant. It is the height of folly and extravagance to buy poor stock. One single bud will more than pay for the plant. One word more in conclusion. The matter of cleanliness in forcing tea roses under glass is of the utmost importance. If the man in charge is a real rose grower, you may think he is fussy and spending too much time in keeping the surface of the beds free of decayed leaves, weeds or minute vegetable growths. He is not wasting any time. Cleanliness is of the first importance, and cannot be too thoroughly carried out, not only on the plants and beds, but in the paths and beneath the benches.
Aphis, the common greenfly, is very troublesome on the young shoots of tea roses. Besides fumigating, there are other methods of destroying them which will be found under the article Insecticides.
A Modern Range of Even-Span Connected Rose Houses.
A House of Young American Beauty Roses.