Page images
PDF
EPUB

that rare colour among roses. The Spotted is a hybrid Provence of great beauty, with large globular flowers of the deepest rosecolour, delicately spotted. This fine rose has large leaves, and makes upright shoots of great luxuriance and vigour. The Striped Provence is a delicate variety, with flowers of a pale flesh-colour, often striped with red. This rose has smooth glaucous green shoots, and leaves much resembling the Striped Moss, and the Old White Moss.

The Unique Provence is a genuine English rose, which, I believe, was found by Mr. Grimwood, then of the Kensington Nursery, in some cottage-garden, growing among plants of the common Cabbage Rose. This variety was at first much esteemed, and plants of it were sold at very high prices. Most probably this was not a seedling from the Old Cabbage Rose, as that is too double to bear seed in this country, but what is called by florists a sporting* branch or sucker. In describing this and the next division I shall have occasion to notice more of

these spontaneous deviations. The Striped Unique is one; for this was not raised from seed,

* A term used to denote any portion of a plant departing from the character the entire plant should sustain. Thus, one stem of a carnation will often produce plain-coloured flowers, while the remainder of the plant has striped flowers: it is then said "to sport."

but, a flowering branch of the Unique having produced striped flowers, plants were budded from it, and the variety was "fixed," as the French florists term it. However, this is certainly not fixed; for it is a most inconstant rose, in some soils producing flowers beautifully striped, in others entirely red, and in the soil of this nursery most frequently pure white. In Sussex, where, this season (1837), it has bloomed finely in its variegated character, it has been honoured with a new name, and is now known as "the Maid of the Valley." The Wellington Provence is one of the largest of this division, something like Grand Bercam in the colour of its flowers, which are of a beautiful deep rose, very double, but not quite so much so as those of the Dutch Provence. This forms a splendid standard. Wilberforce is a new variety, and very splendid. This and La Simplicité are slightly hybridised with some dark variety of Rosa gallica, which has greatly added to their beauty, as they both produce flowers approaching to dark crimson, a rare colour among Provence Roses.

Since the publication of the first edition but few additions have been made to this family. In Appendix, List No. 2, I have given the names of a few new varieties, among which the Superb Striped Unique may be mentioned, as being very beautiful and con

stant in its variegation; it is of less vigorous growth than the common Striped Unique, its leaves are nearly round and deeply serrated: this is not the variety mentioned as being grown in Sussex, but a French variety, which was found among others, and propagated on account of its distinct character; the same rose appears to have bloomed at Grimstone Park, Yorkshire, in great perfection.

There are but two ways in which Provence Roses can be employed as ornaments to the flower garden,—as standards for the lawn, and as dwarfs for beds. Standards of some of the varieties, if grown on a strong clayey soil, form fine objects of ornament, as their large globular flowers are so gracefully pendent. In this description of soil also, if grown as dwarfs, they will not flourish unless they are worked on the Dog Rose; but in light sandy soils it will be advisable to cultivate them on their own roots. The freedom with which they grow in the light sandy soils of Surrey points out this method of culture on such soils as the most eligible, In pruning, they require a free use of the knife: every shoot should be shortened to three or four buds. If not pruned in this severe manner, the plants soon become straggling and unsightly. In poor soils, they should have annually, in November, a dressing of rotten

manure on the surface of the bed, to be washed in by the rains of winter.

To raise Provence Roses from seed, for which more full directions are given when treating of Moss Roses in pp. 18, 19, the Wellington should be planted with, and fertilised by, the single Crimson Moss, and Le Grand Bercam with the Luxembourg Moss; if seed can be procured from either of these varieties, thus fertilised, some fine crimson, and, what is also very desirable, pure Provence Roses may be raised. As the characters of the true Provence. Rose are so desirable, the object ought to be to endeavour to obtain deep crimson varieties, with all the pleasing qualities and perfume of the original. Wilberforce planted with the single Crimson Moss might possibly produce seed, but this variety is a hybrid, and, like many other hybrid roses, it does not bear seed so freely as those that are pure; but I shall have occasion to notice many exceptions to this, in giving instructions for raising new roses from seed these instructions and hints, with the names of the best seed-bearing roses, will be given at the end of each article, and they will, I hope, form a valuable addition to this work.

THE MOSS ROSE.

(ROSA CENTIFOLIA MUSCOSA.)

The Moss Rose, or Mossy Provence Rose, is most probably an accidental sport or seminal variety of the common Provence Rose, as the Old Double Moss Rose, which was introduced to this country from Holland in 1596, is the only one mentioned by our early writers on gardening. If it had any claims to be ranked as a botanical species*, the single-flowering Moss Rose would have been the first known and described; but the Single Moss, as compared with the Double, is a new variety. Some few years since a traveller in Portugal mentioned that the Moss Rose grew wild in the neighbourhood of Cintra; but, most likely, the plants were stragglers from some garden, as I have never seen this assertion properly authenticated. The origin of the Double Moss Rose, like that of the Old Double Yellow Rose (Rosa sulphurea) is therefore left to conjecture; for gardeners in those days did not publish to the world the result of their operations and discoveries. As regards the

* Miller says, with a most remarkable simplicity, that he thinks it must be a distinct species, as it is so much more difficult of propagation than the common Provence Rose.

« PreviousContinue »