Thursday, July 23, 2009

Things slowing down

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.


  1. For those of us like us I believe the only way to make a truelly great splash is to breed things out of the ordinary. I do not think we can compete or make anything that is comparable to breeding firms that employ a lot more people and have more land and extra to work with. My thoughts are probably skewed by the thoughts of others from the rose hybridizer association but I do not think it is a bad thing. I find myself thinking know days even when I am not relizing it about what I could use as a parent. I pay attention to what others are doing but in the end I want to do somethig different. I do not want to do the same things as they do. My greatest joy I think would be to do the ground breaking work on some new path that other people can build opon later.

    I wish you luck on your further endevors. I am in agreement that any shrub have the same parentage. It seems like the parentage that I study all have the same parents repeated over and over.

    I will keep you informed on the crosses that I make using your pollen.

  2. I'm hoping to see Kim's crosses next week. He said he had some seedlings with great blue-green ferny leaves. Will try and get some pics.