Read before the Horticultural Society of Western New York.

On the subject of roses I shall confine myself to the hardy varieties for garden culture. I regard this branch of the subject as of great importance to you gentlemen assembled here who] are engaged in the nursery business, for I feel that it has "great possibilities" for the future, and is capable of almost indefinite extension. To grow a rose bush may possibly cost as much as to grow an apple tree, yet people will willingly pay twice as much for the rose-bush as for the apple tree, and if the great beauty as well as the great variety of form and color which is possessed by hybrid perpetual roses, together with their comparative ease of culture, were well understood by all lovers of this the Queen of Flowers, their introduction would be largely increased. A generation ago we had only a few of the old garden roses like Madame Hardy and George IV, and as they would grow and flourish without any particular care they were left pretty much to themselves. Some years later came the swarms of troublesome insects to attack our roses, almost completely discouraging every one from their culture, and on this account more than any other the introduction of the better varieties has been slow.

Some six years ago the writer who had for some years previous been making an earnest effort to solve the problem of a supply of roses in the garden through the summer by the culture of the tender varieties and without very satisfactory results, came across a paper read before this Society by the late H. B. Ellwanger on the culture of hardy roses. This paper was a new revelation, and, encouraged by it, he was induced to go ahead and try, and the result has been most thoroughly satisfactory; so much so that he is willing to venture the assertion that the most beautiful hybrid perpetual roses, far more beautiful than any of the tender roses, can be successfully grown in the greatest profusion by any true lover of the flower who has a reasonable amount of energy and perseverance. So much has been written in the past few years on the care and culture of hybrid perpetual roses that it is not the intention of the writer to make this paper a comprehensive treatise of the subject, but simply to allude to a few important features which in his experience he finds are the greatest stumbling blocks to the would-be rose growers, and some features which he has practically found to greatly contribute to success and interest in the work.

The ravages of injurious insects, which probably cause more trouble and discouragement than any other one feature to amateur rose growers, is of the easiest control. The treatment consists simply in providing a liberal supply of food and water so as to promote a strong, healthy growth under which the insects do not thrive, and such few of them as do occasionally appear can safely be ignored. Ignorance in regard to winter protection is another difficulty with beginners. Hybrid perpetual roses should have some protection during our long cold winters. A simple bending down to the ground is of the greatest service, and if there they could be covered with snow it would answer every purpose, but as we cannot depend on this we should cover them with evergreen boughs, or corn stalks, or brush - something that is loose and will not exclude a circulation of air and yet will protect them from extreme changes of temperature. It is the lack of a circulation of air, causing dampness and mould that ruins roses when covered with leaves or manure. This makes them extremely tender, in which condition the slightest freezing will blacken and kill them. A light covering of earth is good where other material is wanting.

In the spring the covering should not all be removed so as to expose the tops to the full glare of the sunshine, until the frost is well out of the ground.

The subject of pruning is often another troublesome feature and is quite apt to be neglected. When the roses are planted in the beds, be it either spring or fall, not more than two shoots should be left to each bush and they should be cut back to one or two buds each. This is the trying thing for beginners to do. but it is of the utmost importance. A friend of the writer said to him a few weeks ago, "I thought you were going to plant roses in that bed this fall," and the reply was, "Yes, they are there, already planted," and it was necessary to get down very close to the ground to discover the short stubs just peeping through the soil.

The writer is often asked during the season of June flowering about pruning the roses, and the questioner will say, "Well, now take for instance that bed of roses, how much of it will you prune away this fall?" and the reply is, "Every particle of wood that you see there now will be cut clean away this fall. The bushes are now giving all their strength to the production of the roses, but in a few days strong shoots will start just at the surface of the ground; even now you can see an occasional one, and those shoots will grow up 'way above these bushes and be left to flower for the next season. They will be laid down full length through the winter - full length because they are handled so much easier in that way - and in the spring they will be cut back, say from one-half to two-thirds being removed. The same thing is repeated year after year, and that is about all there is to the pruning of roses".

A great deal of pruning is done during the season of June flowering in cutting the roses. Hundreds of roses are cut every day and always with stems six or eight inches long, and regardless of buds. The beds are gone over every morning and all roses that are past their prime are removed, sometimes at the rate of a bushel a day, which keeps the beds constantly in a neat and tidy condition. The cutting of the roses with long stems causes a new growth to start almost immediately, so that before the June flowering is over they are budding and flowering again. Of course the flowers are fewer, and through the hot weather ! not nearly as fine, but we always have a scattering supply, some varieties far excelling others in this respect.

Other important features in the culture of roses are, a good location, good soil and drainage, and an abundance of fertilizing material, and water.

The location should be somewhat sheltered from cold winds, and open to the morning sun, and the sunny south, and if partly shaded from the burning sun of summer afternoons it will be an advantage.

I plant most of my roses in beds on the lawn, and for a permanent bed where the plants can maintain their vigor for years, an excavation should be made some two feet in depth, and good drainage provided. Most of the earth removed can probably be returned, and a liberal mixture of well-rotted manure should be returned with it. Hardy roses like a good strong soil, with a mixture of clay, but neither the clay nor the manure, should come so near the surface as to interfere with the first planting of the roses.

For this purpose some good garden soil should be provided or some soil prepared from a compost of old turf and manure and without any fresh manure in it. This should be firmly packed about the roots and then a coat of well-rotted manure should be applied to the surface.

If in the fall, this serves to keep the ground from freezing too deep, and if in the spring, it answers for a mulch, and soon becomes, by the frequent stirring of the soil, somewhat incorporated in it, and the frequent waterings necessary to the growth of the plants washes down through it, feeding them just as they like to be fed. A heavy coat of well rotted manure should be applied every fall just before winter sets in. But very few flowers should be expected the first year; in fact it would be better to pick off nearly all buds as soon as they appear, leaving only one or two to flower on each bush. This will throw the strength of the plants to a growth of wood for the succeeding year, and the occasional flowers that you permit to bloom will be such marvels of beauty, that your enthusiasm for the work will be doubled. The true lover of roses delights fully as much in a good growth of wood, with beautiful clean foliage, as he does in the production of flowers, feeling that the one is absolutely essential to the other.