Every once in a while you get a pleasant surprise exactly when you don't expect it. Last year, in an effort to concentrate more on developing a diploid breeding line with disease resistance, I collected a number of open pollinated seeds from 'Magic Wand' one of the well documented Moore breeders. It is one of the first generation of "Zee" hybrids; a "climbing" shrub with very small foliage and large panicles of tiny, deep pink blooms. Although 'Magic Wand' is a tall growing cultivar, it frequently breeds very dwarf offspring, regardless of the stature of the other parent. For me, it has potential value as a breeder because it is virtually indestructible in my climate, thriving with minimal care and resisting all three of the major fungal diseases without chemical assistance.
And so, I grew a population of open pollinated seed to see what traits it had to offer. Mostly, I expected to see a range of characteristics, both dominants and recessives, but I didn't expect to keep any of the seedlings. The one pictured here was most noteworthy, with its well-formed blooms, spotless foliage, dense, bushy growth habit and balanced scale of all plant parts (tiny). It didn't hurt that the blooms are remarkably sweet-scented for such tiny flowers. (Blooms do not exceed 0.5" in diameter) So, I'm keeping this feller. I've struck a few cuttings already and it roots in a matter of days (+- 8 days), which is even better.
Funny, isn't it, how these little gifts turn up in a body of work in the places you don't expect them. The surprise factor is probably what I enjoy most about the work I do. I imagine a lot of hybridizers feel the same way. :-) Oh, and one more thing: I have given it a nickname for now; a reference to a rose it resembles: 'Si', by Pedro Dot. I'm calling it "Si Plus Plus". I wonder how many people will get that pun?