This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
L'Elegante, with the hybrid Bourbon habit of Henry IV., but not so vigorous in its growth, is a new Rose raised by Monsieur Laft'ay, deserving its name; in colour resembling the Duchess of Sutherland, and certainly not more beautiful than that very fine old Rose. Pourpre Royale also a new Rose of M. Laffay's is in fine bloom; this is of a remarkably rich purplish crimson; but, like Soleil d'Austerlitz, it is a delicate grower, and the edges of its petals scorch in hot sunshine.
The only pure white perpetual Rose, Blanche, raised by Monsieur Vibert, is to-day in greater perfection than I have ever yet seen it; its flowers are, however, small, rather inclined to be angular, and deficient in perfume: we must have another and a better Rose of this colour.
The long continuance of dry, warm weather has brought out the Bourbon Roses in great perfection. I think I scarcely ever saw such an abundance of flowers and buds full of promise as at the present time. It is rather remarkable that, for the last two or three years, but little improvement has taken place in this group; no new varieties superior in form or colour have made their appearance. George Cuvier, Henri Lecoq, Justine, La Gracieuse, La Flori-fere, and Edouard Desfosses, with their varied shades of rose-pink and carmine, and their beautifully cupped and perfect flowers, are still unrivalled. Dupetit Thouars and Le Grenadier are so brilliant as almost to be scarlet - that colour so rare in Roses. It is to be regretted that these flowers have not the form of George Cuvier. No new high-coloured Bourbon Rose must be patronised unless it has flowers cupped and as regular in shape as that very beautiful Rose.
Madame Angelina, that most unique Rose in its creamy fawny tints, was never more beautiful: how dwarf and compact is its habit! and how different to that finest of white Bourbon Roses, Acidalie, whose flowers, owing to these sunny days, are tinted most beautifully with pink and rose, which puts forth robust shoots, from five to six feet in height, each crowned with a cluster of its charming flowers! This will make a good pillar Rose; but will require slight protection in winter. The very best sort of protection for pillar Roses that are not quite hardy is formed by tying branches of evergreens round the column in December, to remain till March; and care must be taken not to remove them all at once, but let some remain in till the beginning of April if the season is cold and backward.
No one can pass Menoux without being attracted by its brilliant carmine; and Marquis de Moyria is nearly as vivid: certainly two beautiful Roses, but neither of them quite perfect in shape. Those deep crimson-purple Roses, Charles Souchet, Gloire de Paris, Julie de Fontenelle, Paul Joseph, Proserpine, and Souchet, are just now in unusual beauty; in moist weather, their purple tints become dull, and overpower, as it were, the rich crimson of their thick petals. The first named is a very dwarf and delicate plant; the others, with the exception of Julie de Fontenelle, are of dwarf, rigid, robust habits.
Leveson Gower, which was to have been Souvenir de la Mal-maison, with bright rose-coloured flowers, has not yet given its promised beauties. Its flowers are large, but they at present open badly, and are irregular in shape: it may probably yet prove a good Rose, when more acclimatised.
[To be continued].
Bourbon Roses still in full beauty. What glorious pillar Roses the vigorously growing varieties form! Acidalie, Ame-na'ide, Dupetit Thouars, Imperatrice Josephine, Julie de Fontenelle, Madame Aude, Madame Lacharme, Raymond, Splendens, Triomphe de la Guillotiere, Le Grenadier, and Lavine d'Ost, are all robust growers, and form fine pillar Roses of moderate height, say from six to seven or eight feet.
Bourbon Roses seem to bloom more freely as dwarf standards, on stems from twelve to twenty inches in height, than in any other mode of culture. I have observed this season, and indeed in several past ones, that late in September and October, when my show-beds of Bourbons, on their own roots, have been scant of flowers, my dwarf standards have been covered with blossoms and buds; I have seen the same difference also with my neighbours, the Messrs. Paul; their dwarf standard Bourbons have always late in autumn a profusion of flowers.
In common with all the autumnal Roses, the Tea-scented Roses have been this season, and are still, in great beauty; but we have no novelties to boast of. Fortune's Yellow Tea, or China Rose, is of the same orange-fawn colour as Noisette Ophirie, and is much like it in habit. When Mr. F. returned from China, he sent me a coloured figure of this Rose, and by return of post I sent him a bloom of Ophirie; the resemblance in every respect was most striking. I was at the moment quite impressed with the idea that it was the same Rose, and wrote to a friend at Angers to know the origin of Ophirie; but in his reply he said that it was to a certainty raised from seed at Angers, and was not an imported Rose.
It is a triumphant fact for English cultivators, that no Tea-scented Rose raised in France excels, or scarcely equals, our English variety Devoniensis. The gems of this family are, Adam, Bougere, Elise Sauvage, Goubault, Julie Mansais, Moire, Pellonia, Souvenir d'un Ami, Triomphe du Luxembourg, Vicomtesse de Cazes, and Victoria. Safrano, when in bud, with its brilliant orange-fawn colour, ought not to be passed over: this fine hardy Rose is most beautiful in September and October.
It is to be regretted that Tea-scented Roses cannot be cultivated with success as border Roses, unless in the extreme south and west of England; they require more than ordinary protection, and glass alone seems the only efficient material to guard them from the variable weather of our winters; a dry frost, however severe, does not injure them, but extremely wet weather and alternate frosts and thaws are fatal to them. In mild seasons, bunches of evergreens stuck in the ground round the plants will often save them; but then, when we have a real English winter, they will be killed root and branch.
Dwarf plants on their own roots may be taken up and potted in autumn, and kept under glass, the pots plunged in old tan or sawdust, till May, and then planted out; they will bloom well towards the end of summer and in autumn. This treatment may also be applied to dwarf standards with success: under no other mode of culture can the amateur be certain of keeping his plants uninjured by the weather. As dwarf standards they bloom beautifully, and also as standards; with the latter 1 have for some years succeeded by removing them in November or December to a north wall,* placing their roots in the ground, and their heads resting against the wall, over which a mat should be nailed in severe weather; in April they may be removed to their summer quarters. I think it is Mr. W. Paul who tells us (but I quote from memory), "that to remove a Rose once is to injure its growth, to do so twice is a still greater injury." I have reason to believe that a Rose may be removed every season for a number of years with the most complete success; and if some fresh compost is given to it every season when planted, a most luxuriant growth and abundance of flowers will be the result.
By this annual removal numerous fibrous roots are formed, which, it is well known, act as feeders, capable of taking up any quantity of nutriment supplied to the tree.
The frequent removal of Roses in unfavourable soils is an old doctrine of mine. I hope some of your readers will amuse themselves by planting two Rose-trees, removing one every season, giving it some fresh compost, and allowing the other to remain: if the soil is deep and rich, the tree frequently removed will perhaps be distanced by its competitor; but if the soil is shallow and unfavourable, the "oft-removed tree" will thrive "as well† as those that settled be".