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OR TWR.

MORE ABOUT ROSES.

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MORE ABOUT ROSES. This week we will indulge a further chat about roses, not only because the subject is a seasonal one, but for the purpose of exp'aining a few heresies to which I plead guilty. I have read and studied much horticultural literature by the best known writers, and found a peculiar interest in comparing their obiter dicta in regard to what may be called essentials Trifling are their differences. They all subscribe to one plan, and if you read one comprehensive book you can rest satisfied that there's little more to be learnt of the art of ordinary gardening. Specialities are, of course, treated fully in separate works, but I now have in mind the ordinary amateur's garden. 1" Since a boy I have been interested by not a few hobbies, in most of which I liked to strike out along some lines which my friends did not con- sider quite orthodox. And because they were unorthodox I was assured that success was im- possible. But successful many of them were. And so it was that when I took to gardening the same heretical tendency possessed me. How I have succeeded in the matter of unorthodox rose growing you can judge. All horticultural books and gardening papers inform you that the proper time for taking and planting rose cuttings is October and November. Why, they argue, is because then the cutting can be had of ripened wood with a good rooting heel from the parent stem. The argument seems sound. But what of the season and the nature of the ground at that period? Try to root gera- niums or fuchsias, or most other kind of plants, in the open ground in the chilly months of October and November, and I guarantee you won't succeed. In fact, you have sense enough not to try to do anything of the kind. The soil and the weather are then too cold. On the other hand, during July or the early part of August, stick almost anything into the ground and mother earth will take kindly to it. Thus I reasoned concerning rose cuttings. Off the first flowering stems I took my cuttings at the end of July, and planted two dozen along a border edge Every one of those cuttings is to-day alive and robust. On the opposite side of the same border, and in a more sheltered position, I inserted a similar number of ripe wood cuttings at the end of October. To-day not a third of them seem likely to survive. The majority of them are little black stumps. You may cling to your bookish plans, I prefer to follow up the lessons of successful experiments, however antagonistic they may be to authoritative writers. What is more, a week ago I lifted one of those July cuttings, found it had grown quite a big root, placed it in a 6l inch pot under glass, and I undertake to say it will bear me roses before the spring. I shall let you know the date of the earliest bloom. Again, we are warned against hoping for winter roses under glass unless the plants are two years old and have stood in their pots all the summer. Such, undoubtedly, is the proper plan, pursuing which I have at present several pot bushes that will bloom next month. But here again I am a confessed heretic. In November last year I purchased a dozen dwarf bushes from a Middlesex nurseryman. They came in a bundle. I selected Liberty," Richmond," and Caroline Testout," And potting them in eight-inch pots, introduced them to the heat of a greenhouse. By the new year they were in full leaf, and at the end of February I had a crop of magnificent specimeas- certainly not less than three dozen-the like of which some of my friends said they had never before seen. With this heresy I acquainted the nurseryman from whom I bought the bushes. He wrote me back a letter of surprise, and gave as his only reason for my remarkable success that his bushes were always" fine, fibrous rooted stuff." He is welcome to that opinion and the advert. As to the necessity for standing the roses in pots throughout the summer before placing them under glass, that plan, as I have said, is un- questionably the right one. It stands to reason that having its pot full of roots, the bush will more readily respond to forcing than one which, taken from the garden, requires time to settle and recover from the check. But as I have proved, under favourable conditions the latter should produce roses by the end of February or March. At this moment I have Lady Ashton budding under glass. She grew her first crop in the rose bed during June and July. I disbudded her second "flight," and potted her in September. She stood in that pot out of doors till her leaves stripped about a month ago, Then I slightly pruned her, and took the pot under glass. In the cool greenhouse, and kept fairly dry, her leaves sprouted, and given a fortnight's heat over night she is showing her first bud. So much f,')r the result of heretical floriculture. No matter the nature of your hobby, it furnishes scope for experiment, and there is nothing more interesting than to watch the result of striking out in original directions. My thanks to a number of correspondents who have written in appreciation of this column. The best thanks they and all other amateurs can tender me is to send along some items of interest-particularly the results of original experiments. GODFRET DANIBL. ^MM

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