Friday, February 25, 2011

Unseasonable weather = unwelcome weather.

I've spent the past 48 hours moving far too many container roses into two of the six greenhouses so they can be protected in a propane-heated space during this cold snap. (Last night was not as cold as the anticipated 22F; tonight is expected to be as low as 15F!!! New foliage doesn't appreciate that kind of cold, ugh.)

The photo isn't particularly relevant to the discussion, it just illustrates that a bit of snow here, rare as it is, can render a pretty landscape. (panoramic image courtesy of my iPhone 4. Our technology is truly remarkable, ain't it?!)

Monday, February 21, 2011

It only took a year.

R. glauca X ('Orangeade' R. fedtschenkoana)

This cross was planted in late February of 2010, and this is one of two seedlings that germinated in the tray.....a full year later! I had a feeling that these R. glauca seeds might take quite a while to germinate, so I kept the flat for a year. Good thing I did!

I'm not at all sure what to expect from a cross like this, but I am quite certain there will be no reblooming seedlings here. Like many hybridizers, I am interested in R. glauca because of its exceptionally graceful shrub architecture, and its unique bluish/pink tinted foliage. (Not to mention its excellent Winter hardiness, something most modern remontants lack entirely) The Rupert-bred R. fedtschenkoana hybrid that played pollen donor also has some unique traits, including its shrubby bush form and matte foliage that, while a bright grass green itself, tends to pass on bluish tones to its offspring. If I'm very lucky, I might find this is a match that emphasizes blue-tinted foliage so valued in R. glauca. It is a difficult species to work with, apparently, and even germinating the seeds, as I have seen, can be a challenge.

Further reading: Louis Riel is one of the more interesting R. glauca hybrids in commerce, and has been proven fertile in breeding. Very interesting indeed.

Friday, February 18, 2011

An in depth look at Moore's yellow breeder, 1-72-1

“1-72-1” (1972):
Breeding: ‘Little Darling’ X ‘Yellow Magic’

1-72-1 is a sibling to Moore's most famous yellow, 'Rise 'N' Shine'. It is in many ways a nearly identical rose except in stature; where 'Rise 'N' Shine' is a compact plant rarely exceeding 15 inches, 1-72-1 is much larger, with somewhat arching canes to three feet or more. Both roses have a beautifully clear yellow coloring that even forty years later is hard to improve upon, but of the two I think 'Rise 'N' Shine' has the more elegant flower form.
At the time of their creation Moore was referring to shrubs like 1-72-1 as "climbing miniatures" in order to improve their marketability. It would have been very difficult in the 1970's and 1980's to sell a "miniature" rose that grew to 4 X 4 feet!

Most people don't realize that 1-72-1 almost made it into commerce in the '70s, as a kind of larger version of 'Rise 'N' Shine'; Moore submitted the rose for the American Rose Society's Award of Excellence program, and Ralph said that if it won the award, he'd put it on the market. Unfortunately it didn't win, and so it remained at Sequoia Nursery where it was put to work as a breeder. Maybe it was better that way, as it turns out to have been one of the most important miniature breeders of Moore's career, and he made good use of it. Over the years it became clear to Moore that 1-72-1 was much more able to breed strongly colored offspring than its sibling 'Rise 'N' Shine', which tended to breed a lot of whites and very pale hues. Kim Rupert has more to say about this outstanding breeding plant:

“The final unsung hero of this tale is a relative new comer. Her sister got all the glory, while she was the wallflower. I guess it’s kind of hard to be noticed when your sister is the legendary ‘Rise N Shine’. “1-72-1” came from the same cross of ‘Little Darling’ X ‘Yellow Magic’ that produced ‘Rise N Shine’, and was selected in 1972. She was chosen as a parent because she consistently produces yellow seedlings, while ‘Rise N Shine’ gives mostly white ones. In the eighteen years of introductions of her offspring, thirteen outstanding roses have resulted. She has been mated to ‘Crested Jewel’ to produce ‘Chelsea’ (1986), the first mini to possess crested sepals from ‘Crested Moss’; ‘Old Blush’ to produce ‘Pink Poodle’(1992); and back to ‘Floradora’ to create the outstanding ‘Sequoia Ruby’ (1996). Mr. Moore has even bred her to new roses not yet on the market. Week’s ‘Shadow Dancer’, itself a Moore rose, when crossed with 1-72-1 gave the delightful ‘Twister’. It’s a short climber that can be grown as a neat little shrub. It has the cleanest, brightest red, pink and white stripes yet, on ‘Cecile Brunner’ style flowers.”
For the breeder and collector, ‘Softee’ represents one of the more interesting varieties to me. Pollen from “1-72-1” was placed on “0-47-19” producing a nearly thornless, heavily blooming, little shrub. The fragrant flowers are double, soft, creamy yellow aging off-white. There is really no telling what could come from using ‘Softee’ as a parent. When I asked why he had never tried it, Mr. Moore responded he had never thought of it. I believe it important because it brings his two most successful breeders together in one rose.”

From the article, Out Of China: “Another seedling produced by the same lot as 'Rise 'N Shine; became #1-72-1, a repeat flowering miniature climber. This sister seedling of 'Rise 'N Shine' was never introduced but we have used it extensively in our breeding. From crosses of 1-72-1 X 'Gold Badge' (Floribunda) have come 'Cal Poly', (also an Award of Excellence winner), 'Work of Art', an orange blend mini climber and others.”

Known first generation offspring includes:

1979: ‘Orange Cascade’: 1-72-1 X ‘Magic Wand’, Climbing Miniature, orange Blend.
1983: ‘High Stepper’: 1-72-1 X ‘Magic Wand’, Climbing Miniature, yellow blend.
1983: ‘Softee’: 0-47-19 X 1-72-1, Miniature, white.
1986: ‘Chelsea’: 1-72-1 X ‘Crested Jewel’, medium pink, some cresting on sepals.
1987: ‘Joycie’: 1-72-1 X ‘Gold Badge’, Miniature, orange blend.
1987: ‘Snow Twinkle’: 1-72-1 X ‘Magic Carousel’, Miniature, white.
1988: ‘Golden Gardens’: 1-72-1 X ‘Gold Badge’, Miniature, medium yellow.
1989: ‘Work of Art’: 1-72-1 X ‘Gold Badge’, Climbing Miniature, orange blend.
1991: ‘Vi’s Violet’: 1-72-1 X ‘Angel Face’, Miniature, mauve.
1992: ‘Cal Poly’: 1-72-1 X ‘Gold Badge’, Miniature, medium yellow.
1992: ‘Pink Poodle’: 1-72-1 X ‘Old Blush’, Miniature, pink blend.
1993: ‘Tag-a-Long’: 1-72-1 X ‘Make Believe’, Miniature, red blend.
1993: ‘Orchid Jubilee’: 1-72-1 X ‘Make Believe’, Climbing miniature, mauve.
1996: ‘Sequoia Ruby’: 1-72-1 X ‘Floradora’, Climbing miniature, medium red.
1997: ‘Twister’: 1-72-1 X ‘Shadow Dancer’, Climbing Miniature, red blend.
1998: ‘Woodstock’: 1-72-1 X ‘Clytemnestra’, Climbing miniature, yellow blend.
2002: 'Star Dust': 1-72-1 X ‘Out of Yesteryear’, Miniflora, white blend.
2003: 'Lemon Pearls': 1-72-1 X 'Out of Yesteryear'.
2005: ‘Keith’s Delight’: 1-72-1 X ‘Rugelda’.

There have been a number of other hybrids created by Kim Rupert in recent years, marrying 1-72-1 with R. fedtschenkoana hybrids and R. hugonis, to name just two. Kim's hybrids tend to be highly unconventional shrubs that are highly experimental yet attractive, aiming to improve the shrub architecture, while exploring new aesthetic paradigms.

I too have employed 1-72-1 in my work in recent years, with various goals in mind. Most recently, I made a number of crosses using yellow breeders in combination with the AgCan breeder L83 (A. Kordesii hybrid) including 1-72-1 as one parent. I was surprised at how many seedlings displayed medium to strong yellow or orange tones from this cross. Of these, I have selected three seedlings which have superior disease resistance and have demonstrated the ability to form seeds. These will be used in breeding to pursue the creation of a modest-sized yellow shrub rose that will withstand cold winters and have improved disease resistance.

Relatively recent additions to my 1-72-1 family includes 58-06-05 and 58-06-03
two beautifully pigmented "brown" miniatures. (although at between three and five feet tall, they can hardly be called true miniatures, even though they meet the ARS guidelines for such shrubs. Its hard to know what to call these odd-sized plants) Here is 58-06-03:

Monday, February 14, 2011

How I'm spending my mornings lately.

Cleaning rose seeds, thousands and thousands of 'em, till my fingertips are stained black!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Horizontal trellising"

This is something you should probably file under "Don't Do This At Home". *laughs*

When you manage a large collection of roses, especially one in which new seedlings are generated by the thousands every year (for 13 years!), you are inclined to let certain housekeeping chores slip. Case in point is what you see happening in the photo here. Years ago, I shoved a seedling flat under a bench after I had potted up the seedlings in it. (The red arrow in the lower left points at the outline of the flat) Every year a small percentage of seeds germinate much later than their flat-mates, often not until the Fall or the following Spring. Such was the case here: the flat lay under the bench, undisturbed, and here we are 6 or 7 years later with late germinating seedlings well rooted into the soil below the flat, and sending up vigorous canes through the metal grid bench tops! Three times now I have hacked these seedlings down to stumps, and this is how they look this weekend: happy and rarin' to go. As it happens, one of these is a seedling that hasn't yet flowered: a cross of ("Lemon D" X 'Scarlet Moss') X 'Fakir's Delight', all of which are complex Moss hybrids from Ralph Moore's library of inventive crosses. So, I don't dig these out because I am waiting to see this last, late seedling bloom.

At the far left side of the frame you see a hint of another seedling that escaped its flat entirely. It reaches to the roof of the house now and is wickedly thorny, although as is often the case with roses of modern Moss pedigree, the thorns are not particularly sharp and it would take some effort to actually injure yourself on them. I have documented the left-most seedling in previous posts, labeling it as simply "Floor Moss". Click the link to see a photo. I'm using "Floor Moss" in breeding now, since it tends to be very clean and has great vigor. Oh yeah, and the blooms ain't bad either.

Friday, February 4, 2011

One of my 2011 registrations

Its official: one of my 2011 introductions has had its registration completed. Meet 'Etienne', a Hybrid Gallica bred in 2004. It will be available through Rogue Valley Roses in the very near future!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I told ya so

Always one of the first to leaf out in the breeding house: Ralph's 'Joycie'.

Greenhouse cleanup continues

This is the main "stud house" where the majority of the breeding plants are concentrated. Every year a few plants get retired from service and a few new cultivars are brought into service. Right now I am finishing up the removal of last year's foliage and getting weeds pulled. (damned Oxalis!) this week I am seeing new foliage on a few things in this house. It's barely February!!!