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Autumnal Bloomers, 1863

5 years ago

From THE FLORAL WORLD AND GARDEN GUIDE, July 1863, pp.152-4:



In the desire to possess exhibition flowers and novelties, rosarians too often forget varieties more suitable for the usual run of amateurs, who have neither the space nor accessories at command for growing large collections. Amateurs so circumstanced should make free and hardy growth, brilliancy of colour, and profusion and frequency of bloom, their primary consideration; and though some of our choicest kinds combine these qualities, such are the exception and not the rule; while many others of equal merit as garden decorations, though inferior in properties for the "stand," are lost sight of. There are kinds also valuable from coming into flower at a time when the first efforts of the perpetuals are over, and they are preparing for a second display, which too often, however, never comes. These sorts must be looked for among the Bourbons and Noisettes, deficient, perhaps, in size and symmetry, but nevertheless charming as denizens of the borders, afibrding the luxury of a fragrant bouquet when roses are really a treasure. The chrysanthemum has attained its popularity more from the period at which it comes into bloom than from its intrinsic beauty; yet there are not a few roses which flower quite as late, and better withstand the influences of an unfavourable autumn. Anyone visiting the nurseries in November to select plants for lifting from the rose beds, can scarcely fail to remark some kinds full of flowers, or of buds which only require a few days of open weather to arrive at maturity. Such are the kinds for amateurs to select, and such, I believe, are lost almost every year; among the old sorts from neglect, among the novelties from want of a fair trial in consequence of a deficiency in mere exhibition qualifications during their first season. It is not such a brief process to thoroughly prove roses. Different soils, situations, atmospheres, and stocks are necessary to be tried. Many varieties require time and culture to become acclimatized here, or to recover from the severe checks attendant upon rapid propagation. The Duchess of Norfolk, still a most valuable rose, is one notable instance of this, which would have been lost but for the patient perseverance of Mr. W. Wood.

Some again by no means keep up to their apparent character as displayed on their first appearance. However, the influx of novelties is so great in this age of steam, that nurserymen have not time to experiment upon varieties that do not become famous in a single season. It has often struck me that it might not be a bad speculation to submit some of the rejected to a further test. Skilful cultivation might develop them into decided acquisitions. Whether this is not sometimes done, and the kinds brought out again under different names is, perhaps, a moot question.

The following list of free and autumnal bloomers, irrespective of all other considerations, is selected as the result of my own experience and observation; if in sufficient quantity, they will keep the beds and borders furnished throughout the season. In the first-named section are some of the most general favourites grown. No number of such that space will allow is too many for the amateur to have, who wishes to revel in the fragrant beauties himself, or to bestow ever welcome bouquets upon visitors and friends.

Among the H. P.'s, General Jacqueminot must take the lead for its persevering habits, and many of its offspring partake of that desirable qualification. Venture not, however, upon "Santhenay," which is undoubtedly shy. Victor Verdier is scarcely second in flowering up to the last. Next follow Anna Alexieff, Madame de Cambaceres, Madame Domage, Chabrilland, Maria Portemer, Triomphe des Beaux Arts; Vainquer de Solferino, though much given to mildew, and Geant des Batailles, which needs a good situation to be worth anything at all. Of the Bourbons, Queen, Souvenir de la Malmaison, Apolline, Pierre de St. Cyr, and Dupetit Thouars, are the freest and latest; and Gloire de Dijon, Devoniensis, and Narcisse among the Teas. Gloire de Dijon requires somewhat peculiar management to develop its utmost capabilities. The shoots should be stopped at eighteen inches or two feet, when it will throw out laterals, nearly every one of which will flower. Not quite so continuous as the aforementioned, but still to be depended upon for a series of bloom, are H.P.'s Jules Margottin, a superb rose; Senateur Vaisse, another gem, superior to Jacqueminot as a flower, though not quite so continuous;

Marie Dauvesse, Mons. Montigny, Mons. Ravel, Therese Appert, Pæonia, Madame Eugene Verdier, scarcely appreciated; Duchess of Norfolk, Pauline Lanzezeur, Madame Knorr, Pius IX., Madame Laffay, Baronne Halley, Baronne Prevost, Jean Bart.

BourbonsCatherine Guillot (Is this a Bourbon?), Justine, Le Florifere, Prince Albert, Paul Joseph, George Peabody, Bouquet de Flore, Armosa, Paxton, Madame Desprez. TeasHomere, Melanie Willermoz, Safrano, Souvenir d'un Ami, Madame Damaizin, Bougere, Goubault. All of these are tolerably hardy, that is for teas, but of course require some protection during winter. Vicomtesse de Cazes is free, and of an exceptional colour, but very tender.

Socrate and Souvenir d'Elise are under trial.

The noisettes are no great favourites with me. Fellenberg and Vicomtesse d'Avesne are the freest. Ophirie the most peculiar. Triomphe de Rennes must have a good air; Aimee Vibert, Celine Forrestier, Lamarque, and Jaune Desprez are the best. The latter would be valuable were it not so very tender.

Most Chinas are, as a matter of course, continuous in bloom; it was from them, no doubt, that the habit was originally derived. Fabvier and Cramoisie Superieure are the best for beds; Mrs. Bosanquet and Marjolin as specimen flowers.

It is too early yet to pronounce upon the introductions of last year. I am noting the demeanour of some twenty of them. However, H. P. Henriette Dubus, though not a first-rate show flower, is a proper and frequent bloomer of good habit, worthy of trial for garden purposes; and Monte Christo and Madame Clemence Joigneaux come early, and, with me, promise to be first rate town varieties. I have the same anticipation also with respect to Charles Lefebvre, Madame C. Wood, Notre Dame de Fourvrieres, and Vicomte Vigier.

The worst of writing upon any special matter is, that a certain amount of repetition is unavoidable. Phraseology is limited, and certain words will recur in elucidating the subject. However, one must risk the charge of tautology in pursuit of the object for which these papers are written, viz., to popularize the most recherche ornament of our borders and parterres, in places and among those who at present are compelled to be satisfied with subjects of far inferior grade, such as mere bedding plants or annuals; pretty enough in their places, but which ought not to form the summum bonum of the enthusiastic florist's tastes and aspirations.

W. D. Prior.

Homerton, N.E., June 10.

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