This section is from the book "The Gardener V3", 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.
Sir, - I wish to be informed what the Two in Whist you mean by leaving me on the 1st of April, ult., in a ridiculous costume and a crowded anteroom, quietly proposing to keep me there for a month. My legs, sir, cannot be included among "varieties suitable for exhibition." They have, on the contrary, been described too truly by a sarcastic street-boy as "bad uns to stop a pig in a gate," and you might at least have clothed them in the black velvet trousers recently and reasonably introduced. Moreover, I hate anterooms. They remind me of disagreeable epochs - of waiting in custom-houses for luggage, which was not, perhap3, quite what moral luggage should be; of dreary dining-rooms belonging to dentists, where, surveying with nervous rapidity the photographic album, and wondering over the portrait of Mrs Dentist how that pretty face could have wed with forceps, lancet, and file, I have heard kicks and groans from the "drawing-room above," "oh-ohs" from the chair which I was about to fill. They recall to memory rooms scholastic, in which I listened for the approach of lictor and fasces, and from which, though mounted and with my back turned to the enemy, I had no power to flee.
They bring to recollection rooms collegiate, sombre, walled with books, where with other rebels I have waited to see that proctor, who hardly knew in the meek, respectful, gown-clad undergraduate of the morn the hilarious Jehu he met yester-eve in a tandem and a scarlet coat. Again, sir, I repeat that I hate anterooms, I hate waiting, I hate crowds, I hate black silk stockings, and I am yours irascibly, Rose Rampant.
I hasten at once, with many apologies, to the pacification and relief of my disciple; and seeing that he is much too hot and ruffled - I don't mean about the wrists, but inwardly - for immediate presentation, I propose to cool him a little in the fresh pure air, taking him with me to the summit of a breezy slope, which he, being of a rampant nature, will rejoice to ascend, and then showing him, when pleasantly and kindly "we've climbed the hill together," all the Roses!
Just out of Interlachen, the tourist on his way to Lauterbrunnen is invited by his courier or his coachman to leave the main road, and, walking up the higher ground on the right, to survey from the garden of a small residence, which was used when I saw it as a pension or boarding-house, one of the most lovely views in Switzerland - the two lakes of Thun and Brienz. So would I now invite the amateur to survey and to consider the Roses in two divisions. I would describe those, in the first place, which are desirable additions to the rosarium, either as enhancing the general effect from the abundance or colour of their flowers, or as having some distinctive merit of their own, and which, not being suitable for exhibition, I would designate as Garden Roses; and I would then make a selection of the varieties which produce the most symmetrical and perfect blooms - that is to say, of Show Roses.
And I advise the amateur, beginning to form a collection, to appropriate unto himself a good proportion of those Roses from the first division, which, being of a more robust growth than many of the Show varieties, are more likely to satisfy and to enlarge his ambition. I hardly think that I should have been a rosarian had not the wise nurseryman who supplied the first Roses which I remember, sent strong and free-blooming sorts; and I have known many a young florist discouraged who attempted, without experience, the cultivation of plants which required an expert, or who had received from some inferior or shortsighted purveyor weakly and moribund trees. Wherefore, writing with the hope that I may in some degree promote and instruct that love of the Rose from which I have derived so much happiness, I exhort novice and nurseryman alike, as ever they hope to build a goodly edifice, to lay a deep and sure foundation. Let the one order robust varieties, and the other send vigorous plants.
Then, should the educated taste of the amateur lead him to prefer the perfection of individual Roses to the general effect of his rosary - should he find more pleasure in a single bloom, teres atque rotunda, than in a tree luxuriantly laden with flowers, whose petals are less gracefully disposed - if, like young Norval, he has heard of battles, and longs to win his spurs - then must these latter lusty, trusty, valiant pioneers make way for the vanguard of his fighting troops. Let him not disband them hastily. If, surveying the Roses of these two divisions, and having grown them all, I were asked whether I should prefer a Rose-garden laid out and planted for its general beauty - for its inclusiveness of all varieties of special interest - or a collection brought together and disposed solely for the production of prize flowers- whether I would live by Brienz or by Thun - I hardly know what would be my answer. Let the amateur begin with a selection from both, and then let him make his choice. A choice, if he is worthy of that name, he will have to make, as increase of appetite grows with that it feeds on, and demands new ground to be broken up for its sustenance.
It is hardly possible, for the reasons which I have given at page 53, to grow the two conjointly: and to grow them separately - that is, to have both a beautiful Rose-garden and a garden of beautiful Roses- requires the the Magnos Senecse prjedivitis hortos, the ground and the gold, which few can spare. They who can - who have both the desire and the means, the enthusiasm and the exchequer -should have some such a Rosary as I have suggested in the chapter on Arrangement, together with a large budding-ground annually devoted, fresh Briers or Manetti on fresh soil, to the production of Show Roses. As a rule, the amateur who becomes a keen exhibitor will eliminate the varieties which he cannot show; and the amateur who studies tout ensemble - the completeness of the scene, diversity, abundance - will rest satisfied with his exhibition at home, thankfully admiring those garden Roses which I now propose to discuss.