HYBRID PERPETUAL roses were mostly developed as hardy garden plants between 1840 and 1900, by crossing the Portland, Bourbon and Gallica roses. Most had very large, sweet-scented flowers in shades of pink or red, borne on long arching stems. In Victorian gardens it became common practice to ‘peg down’ these stems to encourage flowers along the entire length of the stem, but Hybrid Perpetuals were mainly grown as cut flowers, often for exhibition only. By 1900 it is estimated that some 4000 hybrids had been introduced, but they quickly lost ground to the superior Hybrid Teas. Nevertheless, the best Hybrid Perpetuals like ‘Mme Victor Verdier’ (shown) have many of the characteristics of modern roses.