No gardening site, however simply treated for the beginner, would be complete without a section entirely devoted to the culture of roses. These flowers date back many centuries and still, every year, their popularity increases and wonderful new varieties are introduced by the growers, many of whom make roses their speciality.
There are many types of roses including the delightful Hybrid Teas carefully cultivated to produce brilliantly coloured blooms, some having wonderful perfume, and the Floribunda roses, developed some years ago in Denmark by crossing Hybrid Teas with Polyantha roses to give greater resistance to the severe weather conditions. Other types include the Rambler roses and the Climbers whose branches can be seen trained over archways and walls in many gardens. The difference between the “climber” and the “rambler” is quite easy to understand. Thehave existing branches which simply extend with new growth each year and the rambler begins again with lots of new growth from the base every summer, which, is used to replace the old growth.
Also among the rose types one can find a wide range of shrub roses which not only give a delightful effect to the shrub border with their long flowering period but also require little or no pruning. Naturally enough, it is the Hybrid Teas and bedding roses that attract most of the attention from the nurseries, but there is no doubt that a hedge planted with one of the “Rugosa” varieties or a shrub border planted with the many coloured varieties of shrub roses can be a most delightful sight to see.
Preparing thefor the
Having decided on the position of the rose bed, the soil should be very well dug over (preferably double-dug) at the same time incorporating in the trench a good amount of rottedor other organic material. If the sub-soil is found to be heavy with clay, mix in a moderate amount of lime before the top-soil is replaced. This whole operation should be completed well before the arrival of the roses from the nursery so that the soil has a chance to settle down. Having finished this work all that is necessary is to lightly fork into the top six inches of soil some base fertilizer carefully following the instructions that will be found on the packet.
New rose bushes may be planted at any time from the beginning of November to the end of March provided that the weather conditions are suitable. The best time however is during November as the soil should then be easy to work and there is less danger from lack of moisture as can happen when planting is delayed until early spring.
When a hole has been made with a slightly mounded floor, which is wide enough to accommodate the root system easily spread out, the rose should be examined for any torn roots which should be cleanly cut off with a sharp knife.
Remember that when planted these raw ends should be pointing down. The rose can now be lowered into the hole which, in the case of bush varieties, should be deep enough to allow the union (the point at whichhas been done) to be just below surface level. The soil may be replaced making sure that it penetrates well round the roots.
When this has been done it must be made firm by treading all round the bush. With standard roses the same procedure is adopted and the mark left from the nursery planting followed as a guide to depth. Before the soil is replaced a standard tree should have a strong stake inserted. This should not be attempted after planting has been completed as severe damage can result from a stake being blindly pushed through the roots.
Climbing or Rambler roses should be planted in exactly the same way, making sure that when the soil is prepared enough moisture retaining material is mixed with the soil as against a wall or fence the rain has less chance of reaching the roots. When planting climbers and ramblers it is advisable to spread the roots as far as possible away from the wall or fence.
Hybrid Tea Roses
These may be planted in the form of bushes or standards, allowing 18-24” apart between bushes and 4-4-½ ft. between standards, and in each case hard pruning should be done immediately after planting. This will allow the newly planted bush to establish its root system without the difficulty of supporting a lot of top growth. All the top growth should therefore be taken down to about the fourth or fifth bud from the base of the plant, preferably choosing an outward facing one, and cut just above in the way shown.
Subsequently in March of each year it will be necessary to reduce the length of each branch again to an outward pointing bud, aiming all the time at having a well shaped bush with all weak and crossing branches cut away.
Generally speaking the same method of pruning may be adopted for Floribunda roses as has been mentioned for Hybrid Teas. Provided that all old and weak growth is removed and the new growth reduced in length by about a third to an outward pointing bud. On newly planted bushes the same hard pruning should be effected so that the roots have a chance to establish themselves.
These may be planted against suitable supports at a distance of at least four feet apart and should be left unpruned for the first year. The new growth that has been made at the end of the first full year should be reduced by about two thirds of its length so that strong healthy wood is encouraged but in subsequent years it will only be necessary to remove one third of the length. By training the branches to grow in a near horizontal way far more blooms will appear.
Any side growth on these main branches may be reduced to about four buds from the main stem. All pruning should again be carried out in March.
These, as already described, tend to start new shoots from the base of the plant and these should be left to train in place of the oldest wood which can be cut away late in the summer after flowering has finished. If a new Rambler has been planted in November hard pruning to encourage new shoots should be made in the following March.
Following the first season of a shrub rose the new growth should be reduced by about a half to make sure of healthy, strong growth in the future, when little or no pruning will be necessary.
As a general rule roses of all types will benefit greatly from a 2-3” thick layer of well rotted compost spread around the plants during April of each year. Better still of course would be a supply of farmyard manure used in the same way but these days this is not so easily found. Just before and during the flowering season one of the many proprietary brands of rose fertilizer may be used but this should always be applied after carefully reading the manufacturer’s instructions.
New roses are added by the growers each year, but on the following pages may be found listed a few established varieties being offered by most rose nurseries.
Recommended hybrid tea roses:
Andre le Troquer – Coppery gold. Rich foliage. Compact.
Belle Blonde – Golden yellow. Early flowering.
Bettina – Veined old gold. Strong growth.
Crimson Glory – Deep crimson. Vigorous. Very fragrant.
The Doctor – Rose pink. Large fragrant blooms.
Eden Rose – Deep pink. Glossy foliage. Fragrant.
Ena Harkness – Crimson scarlet. Strong stems for cutting.
Fragrant Cloud – Coral red. Sweet scented. Strong.
Gail Borden – Rose pink, gold reverse. Very healthy.
Garvey – Rich pink. Dark strong foliage.
Grace de Monaco – Delicate pink. Very sweetly scented.
Grand’mere Jenny – Pale gold edged cyclamen. Fragrant.
Josephine Bruce – Velvety crimson. Blooms profusely.
Kronenbourg – Claret. Descendant of Peace.
Mardi Gras – Deep velvety red. Large and fragrant.
Message – Pure white, rain-resistant blooms.
Mischief – Coral salmon. Medium height. Fragrant.
Mojave – Coppery orange touched with red.
Mrs. Sam McGredy – Scarlet coppery orange. Bronze foliage.
Papa Meilland – Black crimson. Very highly fragrant.
Peace – Creamy gold tinged pink.
Pink Peace – Huge pink blooms. Glorious scent.
Spelt’s Yellow – Deep clear yellow. Long stems. Scented.
Sterling Silver – Silvery lavender. Strong fragrance.
Super Star – Brilliant vermillion. Robust. Prolific.
Sutter’s Gold – Deep goldy yellow, shaded orange.
Virgo – Pure white. Perfect in shape.
Wendy Cussons – Rose pink. Very strongly scented.
Recommended floribunda roses :
Allgold – Golden yellow. Semi-double. Compact.
Chanelle – Buff-pink. Free flowering.
Dearest – Rose salmon. Erect growth. Perfumed.
Elizabeth of Glamis – Deep salmon pink. Very fragrant.
Evelyn Fison – Brilliant red. Double. Strong growth.
Fashion – Orange salmon. Blooms in large clusters.
Frensham – Deep crimson. Ideal for hedging.
Iceberg – Pure white. Pink tinged buds.
Korona – Brilliant orange scarlet, changing to salmon.
Lili Marlene – Dark red. Bushy habit.
Marie Elizabeth – Red/Orange-Bi-colour. Strong.
Masquerade – Buds golden yellow, then flame to red.
My Girl – Deep salmon camellia-shaped blooms.
Orange Sensation – Vivid orange. Scented. Semi-double.
Orangeade – Dazzling orange. Semi-double.
Pink Parfait – Satin pink. Double. Few thorns.
Rumba – Bright yellow edged with red.
Recommended climbing roses :
Danse du Feu – Orange scarlet. Perpetual flowering.
Ena Harkness – Rich crimson. Scented. Tall growing.
Fashion – Climbing form of floribunda.
Goldilocks – Yellow. Medium height. Perpetual flowering.
Paul’s Scarlet – Semi-double. Vivid scarlet.
Queen Elizabeth – Rose pink. Rapid and tall grower.
Recommended rambler roses:
Albertine – Coppery pink. Strong fragrance.
American Pillar – Cerise pink with white eye. Vigorous.
Chaplin’s Pink – Pink. Glossy foliage. Hardy.
Dorothy Perkins – Shell pink. Free flowering. Sweet scent.
Dr. van Fleet – Pale pink to rose pink in centre.
Dukat – Golden yellow. Large double blooms.
Emily Gray – Golden yellow. Large blooms. Attractive foliage.
Excelsa – Crimson scarlet. Double flowers.
New Dawn – Delicate pink. Glossy foliage. Perpetual flowering.
Sander’s White – Pure white. Very fragrant.
Recommended shrub roses:
Baby Baccara – Dark red. Well shaped deep foliage.
Bonn – Orange crimson. Repeat flowering. Good hedger.
Buff Beauty – Deep buff, changing to cream.
Chinatown – Bright yellow. Vigorous. Dark green foliage.
Clair Matin – Sugar pink. Single. Good hedger.
Dorothy Wheatcroft – Brilliant orange scarlet. Huge clusters.
Fruhlingsgold – Yellow single flowers.
Kassel – Deep cherry red. Spreads vigorously.
Prestige – Deep red. Semi-double large blooms.
Reine des Violettes – Rich lilac purple flowers. Fragrant.
Will Scarlet – Pure scarlet. Free flowering.
York and Lancaster – White striped red damask blooms