This section is from the book "The Gardener V2", 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.
Try and find out all Roses which are killed outright, and replace them before there is a scarcity of plants to be purchased - as I fear there will be. The reports of Roses and shrubs which are killed are truly distressing; but Roses generally do not show the worst till growth takes place, - then (except suckers, which generally come from stocks of budded and grafted plants) deaths appear in every direction. When planting Roses the ground should be well drained, deeply trenched, and well manured. The plants should be placed in the ground to cover the junction of stock and scion. Mulching is always of good service. Roses on walls may be trimmed, thinned if necessary, and trained. Seldom can climbers have room to do justice to their growth; but many of the free-growing hybrid Perpetuals and Teas can be trained from 6 to 12 feet, and give a fine display. Gloire de Dijon; Souvenir de Malmaison, and several others of that class, do well trained to walls. All pruning, manuring, and dressing of Rose beds and borders may be finished as soon as weather will allow it; but by late pruning nothing is lost.
A long chapter might be written on Roses at this season, their general treatment is so varied in certain localities : kinds which do well in some soils, may be seen in others half dead with mildew. But writing on these difficulties to any extent will do no good to any one who does not cope with them on the spot, and use legitimate means to secure the end in view. A few general remarks, by way of remembrance, are offered. Roses require deep well cultivated soil : free drainage (natural or artificial). Rotten cow-manure suits well where soil is light, as a general manuring or for mulching. Where soil is heavy and tenacious, rotten horse-manure (being more open) is very suitable. Where roots can run free unchecked, mildew is less formidable. The plants consume much nutriment while in active growth, and liquid manure tells wonderfully on their growth and flowers too; but when stagnant water harbours about them, in winter especially, they have a sorry appearance during the summer. Now being a good time for planting, selections should be made instead of collections. Roses are scarce this year, and very expensive. Many good nurseries were almost cleared out last year. Pruning is a matter for consideration, when the severest of the weather is past.
Good mulching is always of much service, both for protection and nutriment to the plants. Those grafted or budded close to the roots of stocks should be planted under the junction, and the mulching to fit closely to the collars Tea and other tender Roses are protected very simply by lifting them and placing their roots safely in any light soil in frames or turf pits. Trained Roses, of the tender kinds, can be easily protected by Fern or Spruce branches.