We have been so long trained to think and speak of roses as only for their individual flowers that whole groups and families of kinds that do not make a great display of specimen individual flowers have been almost lost to the sight of the ordinary individual. It is not true that all roses are ugly plants, to be regarded only as the means of producing glorious blooms, and that therefore their proper place is in an out-of-the-way corner where they will never be seen.
Roses there are which are as good material for the garden picture as any other of the flowering shrubs. Let us have roses about our homes, and in every garden. If there is no other possibility, plant a climber to ramble over the piazza and show its rose buds about the window frame.
Elsewhere have walks of roses, arbours of roses, pillars of roses, roses climbing up, and roses in wreaths hanging down, and, indeed, roses everywhere. Grow them for their colour, for their fragrance, and—because they are roses!
How to do this ? Select the proper varieties of the proper groups, and, above all, don't put up a fight against the inherent nature of particular plants, for it will be a losing struggle, and there is no lasting pleasure in that sort of gardening. Certain conceits of rose culture demand special methods of setting about the desired end. Unless you are wonderfully favoured, standards are not possible under the usual method of permanent planting, and it then becomes necessary to take them into trenches each winter.
Again, climate controls the rose grower; a garden of Teas and other of the tender roses which is an easy matter in the South and on the Pacific Coast is a more difficult feat of gardening in the East and the North.
The gardener has to make his garden from the best possibilities, and the more this is realized the less apparent is the effort. American gardens have at hand a rich mass of available material for rose effects without a slavish adherence to the better known garden roses of the Hybrid Perpetual and Hybrid Tea or pure Tea types.
Even the native species are of importance, especially for shrubbery effects. What better than the bright red bark of Rosa blanda, massed, in the winter landscape! The Multiflora group, as represented by the once ubiquitous Crimson Rambler, has opened the eyes of thousands of suburban home makers to the possibilities of roses other than the ordinary. It is realized that there are roses for many purposes, and the Crimson Rambler itself has been the forerunner of a large and most useful race of hybrids.
The Wichuraiana hybrids, too, have entered a vital relation to the American rose garden. These two roses must be regarded reverently by the progressive rosarian on account of what has been accomplished through their acceptance as garden plants. They have helped the million to learn that there are roses and roses —and roses; that there are varieties for all kinds of purposes, and that a rose garden is a possibility anywhere if there are a foot or two of soil and a few rays of sunshine.
What everybody wants, and what we shall never get, is a perfect double rose that is fragrant and borne in great profusion on a bush that is beautiful even when out of bloom, and which will grow without care, is free from insects and diseases, and will not die in the winter. There are roses in Europe that come within a mile of this ideal, but rose culture in America is still in its infancy.
Our climate is fundamentally different from that of Europe, and the roses of the future must be hybrids of the best double roses of the Old World with the hardy roses of Japan, which are better adapted for plant-breeding purposes than the wild rose of the north-eastern United States.
The "common" roses that are grown everywhere in the United States are the Hybrid Teas, despite their lack of hardiness in certain rose-loving sections, the Hybrid Perpetuals that give us the great June bloom show, and the hardy climbers, both of Wichuraiana and Multiflora parentage, that give us dooryard beauty as well as a wonderful covering capacity for trellis, fence, stone-pile, and slope.
The lovely Tea rose has steadily lost ground to its stronger sister, the Hybrid Tea, giving equal beauty and fragrance with greater vigour and adaptability. Yet the Teas are not at all to be overlooked or neglected, even if the efforts of the great European rosarians are mostly put upon its hybrid relative.
One reason for the growth in popularity of the Hybrid Teas is the entrance into its family of a colour previously out of touch in the Teas. The genius of a great French hybridiser, Monsieur Jules Pernet-Ducher, has given us the definite yellow and the lovely copper hues of the Austrian Brier class.
Some writers class these roses as Pernetianas, in honour of the originator, but inasmuch as nearly all the old strains had already entered into the Hybrid Teas, the addition of one not previously used does not seem to justify the creation of a new class.
These roses of M. Pernet-Ducher, and those following as originated by all the great English, German, French, and American rosarians, are distinguished by blooms of exquisite colouration through all the range of yellow, apricot, salmon, copper, and the intermediate hues.
They are usually of vigorous habit, and have heavy and glossy foliage, which, alas, seems peculiarly susceptible to the worst foe to American prosperity, the fungous disease called "black-spot." (On another page is given a convenient preventive treatment for this trouble, so that no real rose-lover needs to be deprived of the rich hues of the Pernetianas.)
It is but proper to mention certain rose limitations here, and to admit that as yet one cannot have the best roses and the best bush at the same time. The pruning and general cultivation are entirely different. The two purposes cannot be entirely reconciled.
If you want the best double roses, your rose bushes are sure to be unsightly when they are out of bloom. If you want a rose bush that will look well through the season you cannot have the best double flowers. If you want the individual flowers you must grow flowers—not plants—by pruning hard each year in the spring, cutting back almost to the ground.
In this climate the standard roses should be grown on the Dog Rose stock, every plant dug up in the autumn, laid in a trench, and covered for the winter. The standard is of service only to relieve the level monotony of a formal rose garden. It does not give larger flowers.
In the lists for special purposes, which follow, the object has been to present selections of the best varieties suited to each case. The lists, in other words, are not exclusive, but suggestive, rather. The previously published statements of experienced growers have been freely drawn from, and it is very interesting to observe how frequently certain varieties are named in widely separated parts of the country.
Varieties for a rose garden
All Hybrid Perpetual roses do not do well in America, and some favourites in England and Ireland are utterly worthless here. In order to discover the best for this climate, Dr. Robert Huey, of Philadelphia, Pa., has gone to considerable pains, and every Hybrid Perpetual in Dickson's catalogue has been thoroughly tested by garden cultivation. For this valuable and complete trial the thanks of all rosarians are due. The following varieties have all given good satisfaction:
Pink Roses, HP.
Crimson and Carmine Roses, HP.
The best of the very dark roses is Prince Camille de Rohan.
Any of the modern hardy climbers hereafter mentioned may be trained on trellises to advantage, though some of them, such as American Pillar, Silver Moon, and Dr. W. Van Fleet, are so vigorous in growth that a large surface needs to be provided for their advantage. Certain lovely sorts of less rampant disposition are especially suitable for trellises of not more than eight feet in height. These are named below.
All the Climbing Hybrid Teas—which are simply more vigorous and less free-blooming forms of their bushy parents—are adaptable to trellises, but it must be remembered that they are not dependably hardy north of Philadelphia, needing beyond that range to be laid down and covered with earth or other protection as previously recommended. The leading sorts are:
The other trellis roses here commended include:
Any of these roses may also be grown as pillar roses, being in that use trained about a support of iron pipe or similar character from four to seven feet high. Four to eight shoots are each year allowed to grow to the top of the support, being then cut off, and each year, after blooming, renewed from the base. Paul's Scarlet Climber, Dr. Huey, and Leuchtstern are particularly lovely when so treated.
Without question the Hybrid Teas are the dominating roses of the civilized world to-day. With more than a thousand existing varieties, all introduced since La France and Cheshunt Hybrid began the race in 1867, and with more than a hundred new introductions from England, France, Germany, and the United States in each year, the Hybrid Teas are yet in the ascendant.
The range of form and colour far exceeds that available in any other class, and the recurrent blooming habit further commends the class. As bushes it must be confessed that the Hybrid Teas are not in themselves ornamental, but this deficiency is overlooked when one takes in account the fragrant flowers in every hue of yellow and copper, pink and crimson, scarlet and light red, as well as white.
While many of the varieties are too closely similar to existent sorts, the Hybrid Teas include the sorts that are providing the roses for the gardens of America. Through the inquiries made of the country-wide membership of the American Rose Society, the varieties that are generally dependable are coming to be known. These are those that do not require the care that a fancier gives, and are in consequence the best for the amateur to begin with. They include the following:
Among these the two Radiances, Gruss an Teplitz, and Frau Karl Druschki can be depended upon as adaptable to at least three fourths of the United States, in which they will bloom acceptably.
Roses for vacation homes
If the vacation home is occupied toward the end of the summer rather than at the beginping, plant about it those roses that particularly tend to flower in the autumn. Selection has been made for all-round qualities such as profusion of bloom, cutting, garden effect, variety of colour, and variety of type, as well as length of season, for roses which will do well although given poor attention.
Roses for city gardens
In districts crowded with residences, with a minimum of light and air and a maximum of smoke and shadow, only the strongest roses of each group may be planted. A tolerable success may often be had even where the smoke is that from soft coal. Of course roses must have some sunshine.
Hybrid Perpetuals, Dark
Hybrid Perpetuals, Lighter Shades
Roses for shrubbery
Flowers are here a secondary consideration. The bush must be shapely, free from insects and diseases, and of easier culture than garden roses.
Roses for edging walks
The Polyantha roses, previously described, are ideal for the purpose, as they seldom grow to more than two feet, are compact and sightly, and bloom continually.
For a higher edging, the Scotch roses (R. spinosissima) are fine, growing about three feet high, and holding foliage in good condition until frost.
Roses for the wild garden
They must be of the easiest possible cultivation, single, free growing, and should be allowed to climb or trail at will over other shrubs. All the native species find a most appropriate place in the wild garden where they will flourish and attain a beauty of perfection not dreamt of in the fields; they should be located in a meadow-like effect. Any one who has visited the Arnold Arboretum in Boston will recall the richness of the wild rose flora in the meadow and along the edges of the drives and walks. That is the model.
Roses for clothing banks
Banks can be held from erosion and a very
lovely bloom effect be obtained in summer by planting almost any of the
recommended hardy climbers of strong growth. If the bank is of poor or
newly graded soil, these climbers may well be set in pockets of rich soil.
Drooping or Trailing Roses
Upright Growers to about three feet
The above may be allowed to grow untrained, and when they are tangled and old, can be mowed off for renewal. Any of the hardy climbers are excellent for this use.
Roses for cemeteries
Modern cemeteries restrain miscellaneous planting, and roses should be used preferably in suitable borders. For ground cover, where permitted, R. Wichuraiana, Alberic Barbier, and Mrs. M. H. Walsh are best. For borders, use the Hybrid Perpetuals or the Polyanthas; and Gruss an Teplitz is a favourite. If pillars are admissible, any of the hardy climbers may be adapted, as previously directed.
Roses for verandas or pillars
If the arbours and arches are exposed to severe winter winds at low temperatures bend down the wood and either cover it with earth or with some other protective material that will exclude heavy rains. This protection is not necessary south of the latitude of New York.
The varieties named below are the standard dependable sorts, found most satisfactory over large range of the United States:
For the Southern States (south of Washington) and the California coasts, less hardy roses are available, including:
For sandy soils or seaside
The favourite HP. roses, if budded on the Dog Rose or Brier, can often be grown very successfully in such situations, but the one rose par excellence is R. rugosa.
Roses for cut flowers in winter
The growing of roses in greenhouses is a highly specialized matter, in which American growers particularly excel. New varieties adapted to indoor culture are constantly being produced, and these must be handled by experts to get the great size and beauty demanded by a critical cut-flower market which each year absorbs more than a hundred million cut roses.
Among the late favourites are Columbia, Hill's America, Commonwealth, Premier, Crusader, Legion, Madame Butterfly, and Annie Laurie. Older but yet largely used roses are American Beauty, Hadley, Mrs. Aaron Ward, Sunburst, Ophelia, Francis Scott Key, Richmond, Milady, Double White Killarney.
Roses for pots at Christmas and Easter
Those who have attended the great national
flower shows usually held in late March will have no difficulty in remembering
the beauty of the roses in pots and tubs there shown. Certain skilled
florists produce these in the greatest perfection, the method being to
prepare the plants a year in advance, to pot them early in autumn before
the flowering time, and then to bring them forward in greenhouses kept
at comparatively low temperature, regulated by the date of the desired
Among the Polyanthas or Baby Ramblers these are desirable for forcing in pots:
Of the hardy climbers the following have given beautiful results when trained into form and planted in tubs:
Roses for greenhouse decoration
Roses for this purpose should make a free growth and cover a good space in a season; therefore climbing roses are best. The larger-flowered kinds may be used for cut flowers also. Train the vines along the rafters, on a wire or upon a trellis against the wall.
Roses for boutonnieres
A gentleman who wears a rose bud in his coat lapel every day wishes a moderate-sized, compact, half-open bud of lasting quality. The following are adapted to this purpose, and are also desirable for garden decoration and cut flowers:
Hybrid Teas and others
Roses for their fruits
For table decoration in winter:
Roses for great masses of flowers
It is impossible to have the best flowers and the best bush at the same time. If roses are grown for a big floral display, the bushes or vines are almost sure to be unsightly when out of bloom. Therefore, the rosarium or formal rose garden, which is designed for a big display of double flowers, should be in an enclosed out-of-the-way place where it will not interfere with landscape effects. The following are excellent for entrances to rose gardens or hedges surrounding them:
Hybrid Teas and Rugosas
Also the stronger-growing popular varieties of the HP. group as enumerated in the lists of resistant and town roses.
Roses for “standards” in formal gardens
The object of "standards" is to break the low level of the rose beds. They fit formal gardens only, and are effective for an "avenue" effect on the sides of the principal walks. These standards are usually "worked" on Rugosa stems, and may be safely wintered either by laying them down with a cover of earth (the "ball" of their roots being tipped over), or by storing them in a deep coldframe or cold greenhouse.
Most of the Hybrid Teas and some climbers are available in standards. Among the best are:
Roses for foreground
Dwarf-growing roses for fronting large beds or for use in the foreground of shrubbery borders where a double-purpose garden is maintained are very useful.
The most sweetly scented rosws
As a rule, roses must be either sweetly scented or large flowered to be really popular. A few famous roses have no appreciable odour, e. g., Baroness Rothschild, Victor Verdier, Captain Christy, Frau Karl Druschki. Few of the desirable hardy climbers are fragrant. The neglected old Bourbon rose, Zephirine Drouhin, is a low climber with lovely deep pink flowers that are very sweet.
Old-fashioned Fragrant Roses
Modern Fragrant Roses
The Tea group; all are more or less scented with the characteristic tea odour. Gloire de Dijon, yellowish, and Marechal Niel (really a Noisette), yellow, are especially fragrant.
The Hybrid Teas are generally sweet-scented, some with the characteristic tea odour and some, with the richer fragrance of the Hybrid Perpetual. La France, Etoile de France, Radiance, Los Angeles, Laurent Carle, and Château de Clos Vougeot are especially fragrant.
The Hybrid Perpetuals mostly have distinctive
and delightful fragrance. Especially sweet are General Jacqueminot, Baron
de Bonstetten, American Beauty, Anna de Diesbach, George Dickson, Magna
Charta, Mrs. John Laing, Paul Neyron.