Sunday, April 12, 2009

Forgotten seedlings

I hate to think of all the decent seedlings I may have dispatched to the compost heap in the past decade. The thing is that you have to make a choice to keep or discard based on moment to moment evaluations. A few bad evaluations in a row and that seedling is gone. I have no doubt that I have thrown out plants that may have eventually matured into decent plants, but there is a limit to how many seedlings you can permit to reach maturity. Its just not possible unless you have unlimited space and resources. Ah well.

And then there is the occasional seedling that gets put out onto a plot for testing and stays there for years, never quite cared for as it should be, but occasionally you wander by to take a peek. The rose at left is one such seedling. Probably bred circa 2001 it is a cross of 'Duchesse de Montebello' X 'Buff Beauty'. It blooms only for a few weeks in late Spring, and it is a bit of a tall, sprawly shrub, but it is beautiful, generous with flowers and it smells wonderful. It never gets sprayed with Fungicides and yet it is disease free. The bottom line is that there is little room in the Rose market for a variety like this; we don't need any more blush pink once-bloomers. And so, it remains in my test garden, up to its waist in weeds and species Lupins, and once or twice each Spring I wander past to say hello and inhale its rich Honey-like perfume. And then its back to the greenhouse to browse the new seedlings and decide who gets potted up and who goes on the compost heap.

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