This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The present seems to be a suitable time to make some observations on Roses, and compare notes respecting new or favorite varieties. These have so rapidly multiplied within a few years past, that an amateur, even of experience, can scarcely look at a modern catalogue, with a view of selecting from it, without a feeling of despair. What a multitude of sorts are there to which the same description will apply! I have just glanced over a foreign catalogue, and find some thirty Perpetual Roses described as "deep rose." These may all be, and many doubtless are, quite distinct, but still resembling each other too nearly. Want of distinctness is the greatest fault of our collections, and in the profusion of new varieties which are annually sent out, the last thing thought of by the originators appears to be, whether they are distinct from sorts already in cultivation. If the leading horticultural societies would institute a sort of censorship over this flower, it would be a good move. Why could they not treat roses as the American Pomological Society does fruits, recommending some and condemning others?
I am an ardent lover of roses, and have been at some pains to obtain the best varieties, but find, among the many new sorts, few that excel some of the old established favorites. Still, there are new varieties which are a great improvement upon the older ones, and to these I do not hesitate to accord their full share of admiration. This improvement is especially discernible in Moss Roses, of which a few years since there were but few kinds; and these, with few exceptions, valuable only while in bud. Now, Moss Roses are numerous, and not only are they beautiful in bud, but several sorts are, when fully expanded, very finely formed, although, of course, in this state the greater part of the moss is concealed from view.
To commence with June Roses, among which are several varieties which can scarcely yet be dispensed with. 1 will first mention one of my especial favorites - of the class "Rosa Alba" - La Seduisante, a charming rose, of a deep rosy blush towards the centre, becoming nearly white near the edge. It is of good size and fine form; and its very numerous buds and flowers are finely contrasted with a very abundant foliage, of a peculiarly intense green.
Among Damasks, there is one variety which is quite indispensable to any collection, however small - Madame Hardy. This is the finest white rose that I have seen, being quite large, of the purest white, and beautifully cupped, although it not unfrequently shows a green bud in its centre. It is of vigorous habit, and a free bloomer.