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The Moonlight Garden
The Water Garden
The Rock Garden
The Wild Flower Garden
The Court Of The Queen Of Flowers
The Children's Garden
The Bulb Garden
The Indoor Garden
The Garden That Faces Four Ways
What Can Be Done With Half An Acre
Old And New Flowers For The Garden
Where Are And Nature Meet
Our Birds And Our Gardens
The Flower Spectrum
Garden Friends And Foes
Trees And Tree Planting
Window Box Gardening
Flowers For Cutting
The More Common Garden Flowers And How To Grow Them
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Who does not remember the picture of "A Yard of Roses" which, some years ago, hung in the window of every picture store? Beautiful great blossoms, red, yellow, white and pink, held entranced the generation of youngsters who flattened their little noses in speechless admiration against the panes behind which the picture was displayed. I think that the yard referred to was the yard of measure; but nowadays we who admired the painted roses in childhood have found it possible to realize the wonder of our childish dreams and to have a real yard (so much larger and better than the pictured one!) filled as compactly with blossoms which delight our eye as much as did the pictured one of former days!
For the rose garden is one of the easiest varieties of garden from which to secure results. Its preparation requires time and care, though no great expenditure of either; and once made it will practically, like the brook, "go on forever."
The preparation of the beds is the chief labor which confronts the maker of the rose garden. Roses require good drainage; they must not stand in water. On the other hand, they must have a certain amount of moisture. To obtain the best results, the beds where the flowers are to be planted should be dug out to a depth of about thirty inches. The ditch thus formed should be filled to the depth of six inches with small stones. This will ensure good drainage. Upon this foundation place a layer of leaf mould, one of the earth removed in making the trench, and one of well-rotted cow manure. These three layers should be well forked together, and the same process then repeated-mould, subsoil and manure-until the bed is full. If the subsoil be very sandy, it should be mixed with a little clay, which will help it to retain moisture. If cow manure is not available, horse manure may be used with almost equally good results.
The next step is to secure your roses. This is best done in the spring while the plants are still dormant, but it is possible to put in bushes after they are in leaf. They will, however, require closer watching, and will not give such good results the first year. Good bushes may be secured from any reliable seedsman. In many large cities there are also auction rooms, where plants are to be had at exceedingly low rates, and where many florists are said to purchase their supplies. The stock sold by such houses is almost invariably sturdy, and the saving in cost well worth while, especially when the rose enthusiast is anxious to secure a large number of plants. In such places it is usually necessary to purchase ten or a dozen plants of the same variety, or to take a selected "collection." These collections are generally well chosen, but if some special variety be desired two or more enthusiasts can well divide the plants and the expense. So substantial a saving is effected that one may, without undue extravagance, allow oneself a few extra flowers. The advertisements which offer a large number of plants for a very small sum should be avoided. Some reliable houses may make such glittering offers, but in general an order results in a quantity of tiny plants which struggle along for a short time, dying ignominiously one by one, however much care may be lavished upon them.
The rose garden may be simply a corner of the garden set apart for roses, or it may be entirely separate, and walled or fenced off from the other flowers. This wall or fence may contribute largely to the beauty of the rose garden itself by training climbing roses upon it until it is a mass of bloom and color.
In selecting roses those belonging to the group known. as hybrid tea are by far the most desirable. They are very hardy and bloom during the entire summer. The hybrid perpetuals bloom only during June, though by vigorous pruning they may be induced to send out a second crop of blossoms in September. Tea roses are far more difficult to winter and for that reason are less highly to be recommended.
The best white rose among the hybrid teas is probably the Kaiserin Auguste Victoria, frequently known since the war as Edith Cavell. It is a beautiful cream white blossom, deliciously scented. Its only rival among the white roses is the Frau Karl Druschki, a hybrid perpetual, which has been similarly re-christened "Snow Queen," and which bears flowers of enormous size. The creamy Gloire Lyonnaise also should find a place in every garden.
One of the best pink roses is the Jonkheer J. L. Mock. It is a beautiful deep pink, the inner petals of which are covered with a silvery sheen. The shape is that of the "hothouse" rose, and it is a free bloomer, delighting its owner by its blossoms during the entire summer. The Killarney Queen and Killarncy Brilliant are different varieties of the Killarney rose, too wellknown to need description here; while the almost dazzling brilliance of the Radiance deserves special mention. The Columbia, while less striking, is a charming and free-blooming flower.
Mrs. John Laing and Mrs. R. G. Sharman-Crawford, hybrid perpetuals, are exceedingly popular, but their shape is not so graceful as that of the roses I have mentioned, and they are upon the whole less pleasing.
A rose which somewhat resembles them in a general way is the more satisfactory hybrid tea, Caroline Testout. I have seen a garden, the paths of which were, entirely bordered by this rose, which was a lovely sight.
Among the red roses one's first thought naturally turns to that old and tried favorite, the hybrid perpetual General Jacqueminot. Small though he is his color, shape and perfume have kept him in the van for a longer time than generally falls to the lot of a rose in these days of hybridizing and improving. Among the hybrid perpetuals may also be mentioned the cherry-colored Ulrich Brunner and the sturdy Magna Charta. J. B. Clark also rejoices the heart of his owner by the abundance of his bloom. He requires a corner to himself, however, for in a marvelously short time he outgrows the bounds which have been assigned him, and threatens to occupy the entire garden. Among the hybrid teas, the Richmond with its flaming color, the Hoosier Beauty in dark rich crimson, the beautiful and free-flowering Hadley and the indestructible Gruss an Teplitz, as strong as it is handsome, are some of the best varieties.
Yellow roses are not, in my experience, as sturdy growers as the others, although they may be raised with care, which they abundantly repay. Chief among them, of course, is the "Daily Mail Rose," Mme. Edouard Heriot. This blossom with its shading of pink and yellow into amber is lovely in the extreme. Mrs. Aaron Ward is another charming blossom, paler in tint. The yellow Ophelia is also well worth growing. While a11 these plants are hardy, they do not attain to the sturdy growth of their red, white and pink sisters, and the bushes incline to be somewhat weak and puny. They live, however, and produce blossoms which are well worth having, which is perhaps all that can reasonably be expected of them, in view of their exquisite bloom.
Among the tea roses, which stand frankly in need of considerable protection in our northern latitudes, the beautiful Lady Hillingdon is conspicuous. The Maman Cochets-pink, white and yellow-also belong to this class, and are a distinct addition to any garden.
Among climbing roses the best known is the Crimson Rambler, which naturally brings to mind its improved variety, the Flower of Fairfield. These are of the polyantha variety, consisting of clusters of extremely double blossoms which nearly hide the plant in flowering season. Somewhat resembling them in pink are the Dorothy Perkins and the Lady Gay. These roses require no care whatever, as may be gathered from the fact that some railroads are at present planting them broadcast to cover unsightly railway cuts. They grow rapidly and may be used in a thousand ways-to cover arches or arbors, fences or stone walls. A lovely effect may be obtained by means of an ordinary iron chain, run loosely through a series of plain iron posts, at the foot of each of which a Lady Gay rose has been planted. If these be trained over the chains, the result will be, during June, a series of festoons of a solid mass of exquisite pink, which will be visible at a considerable distance. A somewhat similar effect, although a less delicate one, may be produced by training both red and pink ramblers over an ordinary wire fence, each post of which is connected with the next by an arch of lead pipe. The combination of crimson and pink blossoms, massed upon fence and arches, is one fairly dazzling to the beholder.
Hiawatha and the American Pillar are single pink climbers reminiscent of the wild rose or sweetbrier. They are very effective. Another single climber is the Silver Moon, which bears enormous single white blossoms with deep yellow centers, and is deliciously fragrant. A finely shaped climber is the Dr. W. Van Fleet, a delicate shell-pink. Among the yellows, the delicately tinted Shower of Gold is beautiful and hardy, as is the brighter old-fashioned Persian Yellow, which can hardly be improved upon for strength and effectiveness.
The standard, or tree rose, is a charming addition to the garden, but one which requires considerable care. Not only is careful pruning necessary to persuade the rose tree to retain its globular shape, but the intense heat of midsummer and the frosts of winter are almost equally harmful to it. It is well, with the approach of hot weather, to provide against it by wrapping the stem of the tree in moss, which should be wet from time to time. In winter a triangular casing should be made of three boards, placed side to side, and in this the stem of the rose tree should be enclosed, and the interstices filled with dried leaves.
Pruning is one of the most important items in the care of the rose garden, and should be done before the plants come into leaf in the spring. As the sap goes first to the ends of the branches, weak and straggling ones should be those most heavily pruned, lest all the growth go to the end of the shoot and the rest of the stem lack nourishment. Sharp shears should be used and the cuts made diagonally, so that the rain may not lodge in them and rot the plant. Cut from half to a quarter of an inch above the bud to which you are to prune. It is best to prune to buds on the outside of the stem rather than to those on the inside, in order to avoid a thick growth of foliage in the middle of the plant. The shape of the bush, it will be found, may be entirely decided by careful pruning. A supplementary pruning will be given with benefit to the plant if the roses, when cut, be cut with a long stem. Never, however, if you hope to secure more bloom from any stem during the season, leave less than two eyes at the base of the shoot from which you cut.
Hybrid teas and hybrid perpetuals may be heavily pruned, but climbers should be pruned lightly. Polyanthas should only be thinned out. Tea roses should not receive the heavy pruning which is given to hybrids. No rose should be pruned heavily in its first year.
The worst pests to which roses are subject are the green aphis-a soft green insect which attaches itself to the under side of the leaves-and the rose bug. For the former, spraying with tobacco water or whaleoil soap is an effective remedy and should be begun early in the spring (see p. 144) ; for the latter, handpicking into a cup of kerosene. Wood ashes and powdered bonemeal should be worked into the ground about the roses at intervals, while a weak solution of liquid manure-half a bushel of manure to a barrel of water is the proper proportion-may be applied frequently with benefit.
A careful lookout should be kept for suckers, or growth from the root on which the stock is grafted; for roses, of course, do not ordinarily grow on their own roots. These growths may be recognized by their thorny stems, and by the seven leaves which they put out in contrast to the grafted stock, which has but five.
They sap the vitality of the plant, and should be immediately removed.
About the middle of November rose bushes should be cut back to a height of about eighteen inches. They should then be hilled up, and some rich earth hoed in about them. If they are covered too early, insects will be attracted to them; so it is well to leave them, after hilling, until the ground freezes. A covering of leaves or some other similar protection should then be placed over the earth about them. It should be removed early in the spring, so that the roses may not start too soon under its protection, and be caught by a late frost. And after the covering is removed, the rose garden owner may await, without further labor, the pleasures which his garden has in store for him-pleasures which increase with each year that is added to its age.