This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In the February number of Gardener's Monthly, Mr. H. B. Ellwanger gives a list of the best twenty-four monthly roses for bedding. No doubt for the Northern and Eastern States the list could not be improved on; but for the Middle and Southern States the varieties grown are, according to my experience, not the best ones. I was hoping an abler pen than mine would make some suggestions for the March number already, therefore this delayed reply.
It is a well-known fact that scores of splendid bedding and decorative plants or fruits, or even vegetables which do well all summer east and north from here, cannot stand our hot and dry atmosphere, and the same trouble exists with some roses. For example, the famous La France cannot be recommended as a bedding rose here, because it is a poor grower, drops its leaves, and only in the fall brings its flowers to perfection. Jean Pernet and others given are poor growers here also.
I concur fully with Mr. Ellwanger about the requisite qualities, and will mention below the names of twelve varieties which, according to my opinion, have all the qualities a really good bedding rose must possess. The other twelve varieties named by Mr. H. B. Ellwanger can be put with fifty or more varieties which will do very well here and further South, the true land of and for roses:
Very perfect; fine, clear, fresh color, edges blush, a splendid bloomer.
Undoubtedly, next to Mareschal Niel, the finest rose in existence; large creamy yellow, a good bedder.
The freest bloomer, most vigorous grower, and showiest of all bedding roses; creamy white.
Bright rose, cup-shaped, freest bloomer, very sweet.
Bright lemon yellow, orange shaded, free grower and splendid bloomer.
Pure white, blooms in enormous clusters; very effective.
Beautiful, rich crimson scarlet; large, fine form, very double and sweet, very showy.
Delicate rose, shaded slightly salmon, very large double.
Light yellow, edged pink, producing a very pleasing effect.
Beautiful, pure rose-colored buds, freely produced; this rose deserves a place in every garden.
A splendid, large, finely imbricated rose, of a bright rose, changing to a reddish salmon.
Beautiful amber yellow, deepening to orange yellow in centre; extra fine.
Allow me to say a few words more about discarding roses as worthless, with which object I heartily concur if carried out right, but solemnly protest if practiced too lightly, or for mere bravado. For example, one of my neighboring rose-growers undertakes to say Innocenta Pirola is a seedling of Niphetos, lacking many of the good qualities of its parent, and has developed no others with us to make it worthy of being grown. My experience so far is about the reverse of the above, but I will give here the opinion of the most experienced rose-grower in this country, namely, Mr. Ant. Winzer, foreman for twelve years past to Messrs. Dingee & Conard's Rose Company. He says Innocenta Pirola is one of the best roses we have; its habit of growth is far superior to Niphetos, and I had bloom on it as fine as ever I saw, etc.
Again, my neighbor undertakes to strike out our old, hardy garden tea rose, Cels. Whoever saw this rose once in perfection and knows its hardiness and other good qualities, will not discard it from his list. Even Messrs. Ellwanger & Barry, who sounded the kejmote in this laudable work, are going too far in some instances, according to my opinion at least, and I would like to hear others express their opinion on this subject. I would also like to hear some particulars about the tea rose American Banner, of which reports are too conflicting to form any adequate idea of its value. I for my part would not undertake to put it down as utterly worthless, as some parties do.