ROSES are the emblem of floral
perfection, yet they are easy to grow and ready to reward the least attention. Neglected and starved, they continue to grace summer and autumn with colour and fragrance for many years. Roses succeed so well because they are in part derived front an Engltsh wild plant, and have never lost the hardiness and adaptability of the native species. This fact should indicate the great suitability of our gar dens for roses. If only the plants were hard to grow I feel Tillie that they would be fussed over and given pride of place in every garden. As it is, 1 can only assume that the cult of the rose suffers from three misfortunes: the contempt arising from the simplicity of the rose's demands: fear that roses are difficult: and the hostility of modern gardeners to formal bedding schemes. The second consideration can be disposed of at once. Any soil, any open situation, will suit the bush rose. The best home for these lovely flowers is probably in heavy loam that can be well fed; but there are some kinds of rootstock specially suited to lighter soils because they are fibrous. and roses budded on to these will endure even light sands. while at the other extreme roses are at home in intractable clays. Occasionally it happens that one or two varieties of rose are not robust in certain situations; but any good nurseryman will tell you what kinds are
most suitable for your district. It should not be supposed, either, that rose-growing means constant spraying, pruning. and so on. A rose-bed probably is less trouble than a bed of wallflowers or antirrhinums in the long run. and much of the ceremonial indulged in by some rose-growers need not be indulged in by the practical man.
THE FORTUNES OF THE ROSE To have roses of perfect shape held well up to the stalk it is advisable to prune bush roses in April. making sure that some of the older wood is available to support flowering shoots, and also to ensure the production of new framework-shoots which will themselves bear many flowers towards the end of summer. Bushes which do not have this treatment flower indeed, but their flowers usually are precocious and doomed to an early, shapeless death. Besides. some of the hushes we see have had so little pruning that they are masses .f spent wood not profuse in flower. Moreover, some of the older types of rose did not flower as long or as reliably as some of our modern tried favourites, and a collection of this type does not display the full possibilities of the rose. Novices should not be put off by this; they should make sure of a good modern collection which will combine floral elegance with old-fashioned scent, and then give the plants that little attention required to keep them perfect. At the other extreme we see intensely format gardens where everything is sacrificed to the rose-geometrical beds, grass paths, and SO on. The rose is not a tyrant; it does not blossom best in austerity. Modern beds are not quite so severely cut about and are capable of greater femininity, especially where the polyantha type of rose is grown. With rather less pruning than the ordinary type of rose, the polyentha becomes a more rounded bush. covered with flowers from May till after the frosts come. No herbaceous pliant and no bedding plant could be more co-operative. Polyantha roses seldom have the shapeliness and and scent of the " old, old " type, though they make amends by being so gay and so generous.
VARIETIES OF ROSE
A list of good old-fashioned roses now available in the market would include Shot Silk, Futile de Hollande. Southport, Mrs. Sam MeGredy, Mceiredy's Yellow. Betty Uprichard. Emma Wright, Lady Forteviot. Julien Potin and ()Odle. It is not suggested that all these are old varieties: but they are good varieties of conventional appearance. Two excellent roses of considerable vigour are Hugh Dickson and Frau K. Druschki. which make big bushes. Besides, there are many " sports " of standard kinds which have taken on a climbing habit, having the same lam flowers.
Then there are others, mostly hybrele of fairly modern origin, which ramble on long canes like the familiar small-flowered ramblers, but have medium-large flowers in lovely colours. My favourites are Alliertine and Dr. Van Fleet. It would be foolish to omit mention of Blaze. Paul's Scarlet, and American Pillar, or to forget that there is a host of ramblers with porn-porn flowers. Yet it seems more important to leave the rampant types and uree the charms of dainty hush polyanthus such es Donald Prior. Mrs. van Straaten van Ns (Permanent Wave). Ellen Paulsen. Karen Paulsen and Poulsen's Yellow.
• So many of the roses we grow have been hybridised from a combination of species that we tend to forget that many of the species themselves are well worth a place in the garden, and will grow in places not entirely suitable for rose beds, One of the most beautiful is Rosa Ilitgorris — always elegant and in spring a cascade of primrose delight. Rosa Moyesii is a vigorous briar with bright red flowers, followed by large. flagen-shaped hips of brilliant scarlet. Then there are the Moss Roses and Damask Roses of verse and legend, Musk Roses such as Pax and Fortuna which require hardly any pruning. not to mention the Austrian Briars and our own Burnet Roses. For an open bay in a shrubbery how much better these are than so many common interlopers!