This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"Mrs. J. G. M.," Buffalo, N. Y., writes: " Your valuable magazine is a most welcome visitor in our household. I do not know what we should do without it. The only trouble with it is, that it offers so much choice in all directions that one is bewildered and knows not where or which to choose. To-day I want to ask if some one will give me a list of some dozen or fifteen roses, (and perhaps five more climbers,) suitable for out-door cultivation in this climate. I mean hardy roses, that may be left in the ground, winters. Of course they would have to be covered in cold weather. Our winters are long and cold. We have a great deal of wind and cloudy weather at all seasons, and our summers are short and never very hot, unless for a few days in August.
"I am building a new house and making a garden in connection with it. There is not very much room; a strip of land 25 feet wide by 125 feet long is about all I have. This has a southern exposure, and I have a piazza and brick walls for climbers. How close together should I plant the roses, and is it better to make one bed for all, or to plant them about among the other flower beds?
"Also, what book of the many published, is it best to buy as a guide to my inexperience, in this matter of roses? I expect to oversee the garden myself, having only a man occasionally to do the heavy work, and weekly grass cutting. Among the list of roses I would like one or two for standards, for the front of the house.
"Also, what size of plant is it best to start with, and how late may they be planted here, and what special preparation does the ground need?
"Is the Swanley white violet only a florists' flower, or would it be worth my while to try it myself? I have a very small greenhouse off my dining room, not much larger than a big bay window, where I can winter small things, but I wanted these roses for out of doors plants, not to need removal.
"I will not ask any more questions now, but will hope some correspondent, or perhaps yourself, will give me a list of reliable varieties of roses that I can hope will do well with loving care, and grow to large plants and free bloomers in a reasonable number of years".
[We should be glad if any correspondent from the vicinity of Buffalo would give more details, so much depends on local circumstances; but, as the season for planting will soon be here, it may be as well to say that of hardy climbing roses we can hardly find fifteen among the ever-blooming classes to stand the winter climate of Buffalo. Of those which are not ever-blooming there are the Prairie Roses, which, by the way, it is surprising have not been more variously improved. We have an admiration for the red crimson Boursalt, and we should even class the Sweet Briar among good climbing roses. Some of the more vigorous hybrid perpetuals are good climbers, and so far south as this we can use such hardy Bourbons as Gloire des Rosamene, and some of the pure unadulterated Noisettes like Musk Cluster and Champney. The whole subject of hardy climbing roses is however well worthy of the attention of specialists in rose culture.
As a general rule roses are more satisfactory in one bed by themselves. In a small place where only hardy hybrid perpetuals are grown, and consequently not much flower at some seasons, geraniums may be grown between the rose plants during summer. Where teas and other truly ever-blooming kinds can be grown, all the space may be given to roses. If geraniums or other plants are to be grown with the roses, two feet apart would be a good distance. If all roses, eighteen inches will do very well.
The writer of this has a number of orchids, such as Stanhopea, Cattleya, Maxillaria and others, which are in baskets. These are hung out of doors under trees or lattice work all summer, and kept in a greenhouse where the temperature goes down to 450 during the winter, and the success is very good.
With these remarks we commend the whole subject as requested to the attention of correspondents - Ed. G. M].