7 JULY 1950, Page 22


I SUPPOSE that the most beautiful wild flower in the English list is the wild rose, now in great splendour, yet there are, I think, few flowers about which less is generally known. Very few of the country people, such is my experience, distinguish between the dog-rose and the field- rose. The poets of Keats' era called them both musk-rose, Which neither is. Yet the other day I met a countrywoman who said that the cottage folk called the field-rose the te(-rose, a term we have apparently stolen for our garden roses. The dog-rose is perhaps lovelier than the field-rose in habit—its sweeping curves—and in colour ; but this year at any rate the field-rose has the larger flowers, and its singularly slender shoots have climbed higher up, almost as high as the honeysuckle which adorns the same hedge. The true musk-rose—Rosa moschaia —excels in bunches or trusses of flowers, which disperse their scent abroad (as many roses do not), grows to an inordinate size and has terrific thorns. I cut one down, to the ground last year ; and now it is ten feet high, with a great number of shoots, many of them in full flower. My bushes are of the so called grandiflora variety. The hips are more round, smaller and yellower than those of other wild species of rose: