« PreviousContinue »
them having been raised from seed by the Scotch nurserymen; in some of their catalogues two or three hundred names are given, but in many cases these names are attached to flowers without distinctive qualities. In my catalogue the names of a few of the best varieties are given, but even these vary much with the seasons; for I remarked that in the summer of 1836, after the peculiar cold and ungenial spring, and again this season (1837), they departed much from their usual characters, and bloomed very imperfectly; in warm and early seasons they flower in May, and are then highly ornamental.
The following varieties have generally proved good and distinct. Aimable Etrangère, a French hybrid with very double pure white flowers. Adelaide, a large red rose, double, and a good variety. Blanda is one of the best of the numerous marbled Scotch roses, as these are generally much alike. Countess of Glasgow, Daphne, Erebus, and Flora, are all good vivid coloured dark roses, varying in their shades, and very pretty. Guy Mannering is a large and very double blush rose, distinct and good. La Cenomane is a French hybrid, pure white, with large and very double flowers; a beautiful rose, but not so robust as the pure Scotch varieties. La Neige is deserving of its name, for it is of the purest white, and very
double and good. Lady Baillie, Marchioness of Lansdowne, and Mrs. Hay, are all pretty, pale sulphur-coloured roses; from the seed of these it is very probable that some good yellow varieties may, at some future time be raised.
Painted Lady is a French hybrid; white, striped with red, but rather inconstant, as its flowers are often pure white; when it blooms in character it is a charming little rose. Princess Elizabeth and the Queen of May are both bright pink varieties, very distinct and pretty. The True Yellow is a hybrid raised in France, and in most seasons is a pretty sulphur-coloured rose, much admired, but in very hot weather it fades very soon to white: this was the case more particularly this summer (1837); it seemed much influenced, in common with the other Scotch roses, by the cold spring and the rapid transition to hot weather. William the Fourth is the largest white pure Scotch rose known; a luxuriant grower, and a good variety. Venus is an excellent dark rose, with very double flowers and distinct character.
Scotch roses may be grown as standards, and the yellow, and one or two of the more robust varieties made good heads, but in general they form a round and lumpish tree, in ill accordance with good taste; when grown in beds or clumps, as dwarfs, they are beautiful, and in early seasons they will bloom nearly a fortnight before
the other summer roses make their appearance; this, of course, makes them desirable appendages to the flower garden. They bear seed profusely; and raising new varieties from seed will be found a most interesting employment. To do this, all that is required, is to sow the seed as soon as ripe, in October, in pots or beds of fine earth, covering it with nearly one inch of mould; the succeeding spring they will come up, and bloom in perfection the season following.
With the exception of La Cenomane, Painted Lady, and the True Yellow, all the Scotch roses bear seed most abundantly; if this seed is sown indiscriminately numerous varieties may be raised, and many of them very interesting; but the aim should be to obtain varieties with large and very double crimson flowers: this can only be done by slightly hybridising, and to effect this it will be necessary to have a plant or two of the Tuscany, and one of Superb Tuscany, or La Majestueuse, trained to a south wall, so that their flowers are expanded at the same time as the Scotch roses in the open borders; unless thus forced they will be too late. Any dark red varieties of the Scotch roses, such as Venus, Atro Rubra, or Flora, should be planted separately from others, and their flowers fertilised with the above French roses; some very original deep-coloured varieties will probably be obtained by this method. Sulphurea and one or
two other straw-coloured varieties may be planted with the double yellow Austrian Briar, and most likely some pretty sulphur-coloured roses will be the result of this combination.
THE SWEET BRIAR.
Who knows not the Sweet Briar? the Eglantine, that plant of song, the rhyme of which jingles so prettily, that nearly all our poets, even love-stricken rustics, have taken advantage of its sweet sound.
"I will give to my love the Eglantine,"
has been often the beginning of a country lover's song; but in sober truth, every one must love this simplest and sweetest of flowers, for what odour can surpass that emanating from a bush of Sweet Briar in the dewy evenings of June? It pleases not the eye, for the single Sweet Briar bears flowers, in comparison with other roses, quite inconspicuous; but it gratifies in a high degree by its delicious perfume, and gives to the mind most agreeable associations, for it is so often (at least in Hertfordshire) the inhabitant of the pretty English cottage garden —such a garden as one sees nowhere but in
England. The Single Sweet Briar is a native plant, growing in dry and chalky soils in some of the southern counties; from it the following varieties, with some others, have been originated, more or less hybridised. The Cluster Sweet Briar, with semi-double rosy lilac flowers. The Celestial, a beautiful little rose, with flowers very double and fragrant, of the palest flesh-colour, approaching to white. Hessoise, or Petite Hessoise, is a pretty French hybrid, with bright rose-coloured flowers, and leaves not so fragrant as some others. The Monstrous Sweet Briar is a very old variety, with large and very double flowers, distinct and good. Maiden's Blush and Manning's Blush are both double and pretty, with fragrant leaves like the original. Rose Angle Sweet Briar is a new variety raised from seed by Mr. Martyn of Rose Angle near Dundee: this produces large and very double flowers of a bright rose colour; its foliage is also very fragrant. Splendid Sweet Briar is really a splendid rose, with large light crimson flowers, but its foliage is not very fragrant. The Scarlet, or la Belle Distinguée, or Lee's Duchess, or la Petite Duchesse, for they are one and the same, is a pretty bright red, small, and compact rose, very distinct and good, but its leaves are entirely scentless.
Sweet Briars form a pretty group, interesting