This favourite Rose, which is only a few degrees less popular than Maréchal Niel, succeeds on the cutting back system remarkably well when grown in rich soil. With a tolerably dry atmosphere, and in very good ground, I have known it thrive for years in the open air under that system of pruning; but it was always cut badly by hard winters, and in very severe weather was cut to the ground. In a sense, Nature did the work of the knife, but she did it in winter, and, although the plant invariably broke up again from the base, there was not time for the new wood to ripen up to flowering point in the current year.
While, however, William Allen Richardson frequently gives good results when long pruned like Maréchal Niel, it also gives admirable results on a system more calculated to command the confidence of timid pruners. The main principle is to secure long main branches by cutting a young plant well back, and on these long shoots to get shorter ones, which bloom, and are cut back to firm wood below the points of flowering after the crop is gathered.
The details of this principle are explained in Fig. 26 and the references thereto. It is open to the grower to make a start with a very young plant, such as that represented at A, and by judicious shortening to carry it through the successive stages B and C to D, which represents a developed plant in full flowering condition. The plant may be hard pruned (B, d) if there is plenty of side space and a spreading tree is wanted, or lightly shortened if side space is scarce and the tree is desired to make the most of its growth upward.
When the tree is in flowering condition, it may be maintained so for many years, other things being right, by shortening the flowered shoots to five or six joints, or to ripened wood as previously indicated, cutting out entirely, however, all weak, soft, and unripe shoots. The tree will not long remain floriferous if the main branches are trained very close together, or if it is allowed to become crowded with side shoots. With sufficient space between the growths for the leaves to have full exposure the wood will become ripe, and the tree will bloom freely.