At this point in the season things are settling into a routine of maintenance more than anything, which becomes both monotonous, and yet allows me more time to relax, something I need. Most selections have been moved up into gallon cans and many seedlings have been culled and sent to compost. A lot of tidying up getting done.
It has become glaringly obvious to me, especially this year, that the most interesting plants (evaluated on foliage, architecture, vigor and health) are coming out of the species, the Canadian Explorers and L83. In comparison, the "cookie cutter" crosses, IE: modern shrub X modern shrub and that sort of thing (aka: stirring the same old pot 'o' genes) rarely results in something unique, vigorous or particularly healthy. This is an important reminder to me illustrating just how stale the modern rose gene pool has become, and how badly an injection of widely varied genetic material is needed. It has become very clear to me just how much roses like 'William Baffin' and 'John Davis', to name but two, really have to offer us in the search for improved garden roses. Crosses using Kim Rupert's 'Orangeade' X R. fedtschenkoana hybrid are even more remarkable, with their feathery, bluish matte foliage and exceptional vigor and beautiful growth architecture. This is a hybrid I will be using much more in the next few years. (/me makes a note to post a photo of one of these seedlings)
Speaking of which, I must go fetch more 'John Davis' pollen today for freezing, to be used in the greenhouse next April/May.