This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Remembering how much the cultivators of the Hollyhock owe to the Cheshunt Nurseries, how much of its glorious past was fostered by the care bestowed on its cultivation and intelligence brought to bear upon its improvement there, it was pleasant to note that it is again being grown; that a large piece of ground had been planted with all the leading kinds, and that many seedlings had been planted out for trial. Mulching and due attention to watering was developing a fine growth, full of promise of rich heads of flower.
But who can do justice to the priceless treasures of the rich collections of Roses grown here 1 We saw them in the fulness of their splendid blossoms; and how these flowers have been developed at the Cheshunt Nurseries during the present summer let the exhibition-tables at the leading Rose-shows testify. There was acre after acre of Roses, of almost every imaginable hue of colour, spread out before the beholder.
"The imperishable glow Of summer sunshine never more confessed The harmony of nature, the divine Diffusive spirit of the beautiful".
Whether or no Mr George Paul be one of those cultivators of the Rose who grow it for exhibition, and as was sought to be not very good-naturedly implied not long since, to the deterioration of the plant in regard to its fitness for sale, certain it is that, judging from the quality of the many thousand standard and dwarf Roses to be found here, no purchaser need fear as to the nature of the article to be supplied by-and-by. We should have every confidence in the Roses supplied from Cheshunt, even though Mr Paul is an exhibitor, and a very successful one too.
Descriptive notes of some of the new Roses of last year, as taken on the occasion of our visit, cannot fail to have an interest for our readers. We had not an opportunity of seeing all the new varieties of 1869, but the following were some of the best of them: - Hybrid Perpetuals - Abbe Giraudier, a darker and finer form of the old Loelia, and a seedling from it, flowers large, full, and of fine form; Candide, a white Victor Verdier, very pretty indeed, and promising to be a fine forcing Rose; Charles Turner, bright glossy red, a fine hue of colour, but the flowers somewhat shallow in the build; Comtesse de Oxford, a cherry-crimson coloured Victor Verdier, but of better shape; Jules Seurre, a Victor-Verdier type of flower with the colour of Anna Alexieff, of fine shape and capital habit; Louis Van Houtte, a high-coloured shaded rose, very fine indeed as a bud, a flower in the way of Louis XIV., but with better growth: Madame Laurent, an improved Madame Therese Levet, but with more colour in it, a fine hue of deep cherry-rose; Madlle. Eugenie Verdier, a very good Rose, and very fine as a bud, colour deep-flesh: Marquis de Castellane, a rose-coloured Baroness A. de Rothschild, having the fine build, globular form, and fulness of this fine Rose, but with the addition of a fine depth of colour - one of the best of the new Roses; Paul Neron, a fine Rose in the way of Gloire de Vitry, of excellent habits and very free; and Reine des Beautes, like Candide, a white Victor Verdier, more globular in shape, and rather paler in colour also.
Noisette, Reve d'Or, a climbing Madame Falcot, but fuller, and with more freedom of bloom; Tea-scented Madame Ducher, one of the fine seedlings raised from Gloire de Dijon; this is in the way of Devoniensis, but with the build of Triomphe de Rennes; and Tour Bertrand, another seedling from Gloire de Dijon, of fine shape, and finely coloured in the centre.
Many of the new Roses of 1868 were in bloom, and gave us an opportunity of further testing their qualities. The following Hybrid Perpetuals were of fine quality: Bertha Baron, beautiful light rose, a free blooming variety, and good flower; Devienne Larny, deep reddish carmine, very fine and full, in the way of Madame Victor Verdier, but more globular in shape; Dupuy Jamain, bright cherry-red and violet, very fine petal, and great depth of substance; Edward Morren, a very fine and full flower, promising to become a good standard rose; Emilie Hausburg, pale glossy rose colour, in the way of Madame D. Duville, charming shape; Heuri Ledeckaux, a very fine rose of a beautiful hue of bright cherry carmine; Julie Touvais, light rose, flushed with a deeper colour, a little rough, but of fine substance; Leopold 11, salmon rose, a showy garden variety, that comes fine early in the season; Madame Creyton, deep carmine rose, a very fine autumnal flowering variety; Madame Decour, fine bright rose, very good; Madame Farfouillon, mauve, with salmon centre, dwarf habit, and very pretty; Madame Lierval, clear rose, a capital garden variety, very free, and fine for beds; Marquis de Mortemart, a splendid flower, colour, very bright light rose, form and substance fine; Nardy Freres, violet rose, very fine, free, and a good grower; Perfection de Lyon, deep rose, flowers full, very free, and a fine grower; Reine Blanche, white, very slightly tinted with rose, very fine in the bud, and a free bloomer; Rene Dacciol, deep cherry red, flushed with purple, in the way of Dupuy Jamain, but with more colour in the centre, a fine grower; Souvenir de Poiteau, bright salmon rose, quite a new colour, very fine and full; Thyra Hammerich, very light flesh colour, very free and dwarf growth; and Victor de Bihan, bright rosy carmine, very fine and full, promising to be a fine autumnal rose.
Some descriptive notes of the older kinds must stand over till our next number.
Standard Tea-Roses were not only very numerous, but finely developed at Cheshunt. All kinds of Tea-Roses appear to be at home here, but the Standards particularly so. We noticed a piece of Standards, one year from the bud, of such kinds as Marechal Niel, Triomphe de Rennes, La Marque, and others, of very vigorous development. In one part of the ground some Standard trees of the pretty Macartney Rose, Berberifolia, with yellow flowers spotted with maroon, which makes a charming head of bloom when grown in this way; also the Perpetual Scotch Rose, Stanwell Hybrid, Blush Rose flowers, large and double, blooming very freely and continuously. The Seedling Roses at Cheshunt will have to be reported on at a later date. We saw there in the bud, one from Alfred Colomb, one from Charles Lefebvre, and one from Duke of Edinburgh, all very promising, and of rich shades of colour; we also saw a sport from Victor Verdier, with a climbing habit and half pendulous leaves, promising to make a good pillar Rose.
It must not be supposed we have touched on all the subjects found at the Cheshunt Nurseries, for there can be seen a general collection of all those plants to be found in so extensive a place. If any visitor to London should find his way to Cheshunt at any time, and especially at the Rose season, he will not only have discovered how to spend a happy day, but he will also be instructed by such a visit, and find there many lessons of profit waiting to be stored up in his treasury of knowledge.